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Guernsey Sees Far East Promise

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recognition of Guernsey’s expertise as a finance centre continues to build in the Far East, according to Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the island’s finance industry internationally.

Le Poidevin was commenting following a week-long trip to Hong Kong during which she met with Guernsey-based businesses with Hong Kong offices, including Louvre Group, Mourant Ozannes, Newhaven Trust and Ogier Fiduciary Services, and attended the three-day SuperReturn Asia conference, billed as Asia's leading private equity funds event.

“It is extremely pleasing to see the progress that these firms are making in the Far East. They are helping Guernsey to build strong relationships with Asia and laying the foundations for future business growth between the regions. It was very useful to visit their offices as a way to better understand their businesses,” said Le Poidevin.

“In addition, I met with the Hong Kong office of the London Stock Exchange. Guernsey is well known to them for our position as the non-UK listings leader in terms of the number of Guernsey companies listed across the London markets, so meeting with their officials was extremely beneficial,” she added.

At SuperReturn Asia, Le Poidevin was joined on the Guernsey stand by Julian Carey, Managing Director of Guernsey-based IAG’s Hong Kong office, and Paul Christopher, who relocated from Guernsey to Hong Kong last year to oversee the establishment of Mourant Ozannes’ Asian office as Managing Partner.

“The conference was excellent. We have made many new contacts and it was pleasing to see that Guernsey is now not only known by many in Asia as a financial centre but also as a domicile for funds. We still have a lot of work to do in terms of raising the profile further in Asia but this is another step along the way,” she said.

Guernsey has made steady progress in establishing its reputation for financial services in Asia in recent years since the establishment of a representative office in Shanghai in 2007. In 2010, Guernsey signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Chinese central government tax authorities and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for exchange and cooperation with the Shanghai Financial Services Office. Last year, the island received approval for companies incorporated in Guernsey to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) and Guernsey’s financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), sign a statement of cooperation with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

A Guernsey delegation, led by Le Poidevin, will be returning to the Far East to attend STEP Asia in Hong Kong on October 16-17, 2012, as well as hold meetings in both Shanghai and Beijing.