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Mixed Fortunes For Cayman Finance Industry

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Cayman Islands' Economics and Statistics Office has reported that the island's economy began to recover from the economic downturn during the first nine months of 2011, with growth of 1.2% year-on-year recorded, compared to a contraction of 5.8% in the same period a year earlier.

Among the various economic sectors, the performance of the hotels and restaurants, and real estate, renting and business services stood out as these were estimated to have grown by 7.5% and 3.4% respectively. However, the financial services sector continues to see mixed results.

Banking deposits fell by 2% over the period to September 2011 to USD5.16 trillion. As of September 2011, the total number of licensed bank and trust companies stood at 250 - down by 4.6% from 262 a year ago. Similarly, licences issued to trust companies decreased by 4.7% to 123.

During the nine-month period, applicants from Europe and USA led the Caymans' banking licencees accounting for 29.2% and 26.4%, respectively. The distribution of other banking licence sources was as follows: South America 17.2%; Asia and Australia 10.0%; Caribbean and Central America 8.4%; Canada and Mexico 5.2%; and the Middle East and Africa 3.6%.

In the insurance industry, the number of captive insurers fell marginally over the period, while premiums improved to USD2.07bn. The number of mutual funds fell by 1.7% year-on-year.

The Cayman Islands Stock Exchange experienced a growth in listings of 1.5% from 1,116 in September 2010 to 1,133 in September 2011.

The Cayman Islands also witnessed growth in terms of company registrations, to 7,063 compared with 6,192 over the same period of 2010, a 14.1% increase.

Despite weak economic performance, the Cayman Islands government was successful in significantly reducing the deficit from USD61.3m a year ago to USD17m. Revenues increased by 6.5% over the period while expenditure increased at a lesser rate of 3.6%. Capital expenditures fell markedly.