GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin will traveled to London on March 23, 2014, to meet with Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and attend a meeting of the Global Islamic Finance and Investment Group.
The Premier has been appointed by the FCO to the newly formed Global Islamic Finance and Investment Group along with Bermuda Premier Hon. Craig Cannonier as well as CEOs and presidents of a wide range of global banks.
Travelling with the Hon. Premier will be Home Affairs Chief Officer Eric Bush and Financial Services Councillor Roy McTaggart. They will be met in London by Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton.
Mr. McLaughlin will have separate meetings with FCO Minister Mark Simmonds, the UK Treasury and the Cayman Islands Government Representative Lord David Blencathra regarding the budget and various Cayman Islands Government projects.
The Hon. Premier will attend the finance group meeting at Lancaster House.
In a letter to the Premier making his appointment, Senior Minister of State The Right Hon. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi wrote, “This ambitious group brings together leading individuals in both industry and government to jointly set out a vision for the future of Islamic Finance in global markets. Over the next 12 months, Global IFIG hopes to make concrete recommendations to governments, regulators and the industry to help secure Islamic Finance’s place within global cross-border finance”.
There are many reasons for Cayman’s popularity among Islamic investors. As a British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands is politically stable and its laws are based on the English common law system. Since English law is the preferred governing law for Islamic law finance transactions, it makes sense for the offshore element to be based on English law.
Cayman law recognises the concept of a trust and it has proved flexible in response to the needs of the growing Islamic finance industry. Companies are already permitted to register their names in Arabic as well as English. Secondly, issuers could be categorised as mutual funds, meaning they would need to be regulated under the Mutual Funds Law.
Cayman is one of the largest banking centres in the world in terms of assets and has retained a rating of ‘Aa3’ from Moody’s continuously since 2000. The outlook for the rating is stable, encouraging investors to have utmost confidence in the jurisdiction. Islamic Finance is growing 50 per cent faster than traditional banking. Ten of the world’s 25 fastest growing markets are Muslim majority countries and globally, Islamic investments are set to grow by CI$2.4 trillion by the end of 2014. Those attending the meeting will work to identify the key global opportunities and barriers facing Islamic Finance, both those currently in the market and those that may appear in the future.
Cayman has a high standard of professional services with lawyers, auditors, trust companies and fund administrators familiar with complex cross-jurisdictional structures. The banks are viewed as reliable and responsive and the local infrastructure for communications is sophisticated.
The Premier and those travelling with him return to Cayman on March 28.