How China Supercharged the Offshore Market in Cayman and BVI

When Walkers was launched as an offshore law firm in 1964 in the small British dependency of the Cayman Islands it is fair to assume that the founders would never have dreamt their creation would, fifty years later, be working in a cross-border restructuring market driven by China.
 
In December's issue of Global Turnaround Walkers' cross-office IDR Group talked about China. 

Of course businesses from many other countries have also featured in insolvency and restructuring work in Cayman. But it is the emergence of China as an economic superpower and the resulting work it generates for Cayman that really stands out.

Table 1 in the article (download below) explains this phenomenon. Of all the corporates that are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) nearly half are incorporated in Cayman. This is an astonishing proportion for an obscure Caribbean island.

Bermuda is not far behind with just over a quarter.

Only about 11 per cent of Hong Kong-listed companies are actually incorporated in Hong Kong, highlighting what an ‘offshore’ centre it is as well. And roughly 12 per cent are incorporated in mainland China.

Turning to the right-hand list on Table 1, of all the companies listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), over three quarters are incorporated in Singapore. Nowhere else gets into double figures. Bermuda is the closest with nine per cent, Cayman and BVI don’t even get into single figures.
 

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CAYMAN ISLANDS
Neil LuptonPartnerT +1 345 914 4286neil.lupton@walkersglobal.com
Colette WilkinsPartnerT +1 345 914 4215colette.wilkins@walkersglobal.com

HONG KONG
Fraser HernPartnerT +65 6603 1692fraser.hern@walkersglobal.com

LONDON
John O'DriscollPartnerT +44 (0)20 7220 4987john.o'driscoll@walkersglobal.com
Paul GossSenior AssociateT +44 (0)20 7220 4985paul.goss@walkersglobal.com

SINGAPORE
Fraser HernPartnerT +65 6603 1692fraser.hern@walkersglobal.com