The financial services industry in the British Virgin Islands remains resilient as it finished 2018 stronger than the previous two years, with BVI Finance highlighting an increase in the the quantity and quality of business the territory attracts.
Figures from the finance centre said nearly 1,000 higher-end limited partnerships were registered last year, a 4.4% increase from 2017. A total of 8,916 companies incorporated in 2018 Q4, bringing the 2018 total to 37,415 incorporations — surpassing the 2017 total of 32,493 by nearly 4,922 and 2016 by 5,646, falling short of the 2015 total of 44,752 incorporations.
"The strong year for registrations comes as the BVI enjoyed its strongest year for overall new incorporations in three years," the release said.
2018 was a strong year for incorporations as more businesses and individuals chose to take advantage of the strategic and administrative benefits that our global financial centre offers"
Chief executive officer of BVI Finance Elise Donovan also said the jurisdiction still leads in merger and acquisitions, public listings, and innovative areas such as Initial Coin Offerings.
"2018 was a strong year for incorporations as more businesses and individuals chose to take advantage of the strategic and administrative benefits that our global financial centre offers," said Elise Donovan, chief executive officer of BVI Finance, in a press release. "The noted increase in the quality business happening on-island is a reflection of the type of businesses and professionals making the BVI stronger."
According to BVI Finance, more companies are choosing the British Virgin Islands to conduct business.
"The strength of this BVI sector is exemplified by recent activity, such as the counsel provided by BVI-based law firm Ogier on a $350 million biopharmaceutical merger," the release said.
"Appleby, another BVI-based law firm, recently acted as advisers on a private token sale, raising approximately $1 billion in just 10 days. Earlier this year Harneys, represented an Information Technology services provider on a $2 billion merger acquisition. This transaction set a new BVI record for the largest ever takeover of a publicly-listed BVI company by transaction value."
The release also mentioned that Appleby also recently reported that the total value of merger and acquisitions in the territory rose by 25% in last year.
"The law firm found that 504 transactions worth $46.8bn took place in 2018, up from $37.8bn in 2017. The report also indicates 57 of the 2018 deals exceeded $1bn, including nine mega deals exceeding $5bn, leading to a significant rise in the total value of deals."
The industry saw growth despite the potential threats from the UK's public registers obligation and the EU's tax-avoidance blacklisting.