The Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) provides a fast-track listing procedure for debt and equity securities and currently has over 2,500 listings of all types of securities. One of the key drivers for this growth has been the ability of the CISX to list Eurobonds which qualify for exemption from the requirement to pay UK withholding tax.
Conditions for Eurobond exemption
If interest arising in the UK is to be paid to a person who is resident outside the UK, the person paying the interest (or its paying agent) must deduct UK withholding tax. However, an exemption from this requirement is available where interest is payable on a quoted Eurobond. A quoted Eurobond is a security that (a) carries a right to interest; (b) is issued by a corporate; and (c) is listed on a 'recognised stock exchange'.
Following CISX's designation as a recognised stock exchange by HMRC in 2002, the CISX has as a result of its inexpensive and fast-track listing procedures become a popular exchange for Eurobond listings.
The UK Finance Act 2007 was intended to clarify the meaning of the expression 'securities listed on a recognised stock exchange', as used in UK tax legislation. The statute provided that securities will qualify for the Eurobond exemption if they are: (a) admitted to trading on a recognised exchange; and (b) officially listed in a qualifying country outside the United Kingdom. Within the context of the CISX listing rules, being admitted to the official list automatically means that the listed securities are also admitted to trading. The apparent dual test of being listed and trading, as set out in the Finance Act 2007 will, accordingly, be satisfied upon a CISX listing. By way of confirmation, HMRC has stated that the changes set out in the Finance Act 2007 were not intended to alter the position of stock exchanges which had already been designated as 'recognised' by HMRC.
The CISX continues to be one of the key exchanges for listing quoted Eurobonds, particularly for companies seeking cost-effective corporate finance solutions.
Ogier Corporate Finance Limited (OCFL) is a full listing member of the CISX and specialises in providing high quality and cost effective professional services in relation to listing quoted Eurobonds. Ogier is experienced in all aspects of structuring and documenting debt issuance transactions, from initial design to public offerings. OCFL acts as a sponsor for all types of listings, including Eurobonds and as at 30 September 2008, was the leading sponsor on the CISX by numbers of securities listed.
OCFL is part of the Ogier group. Ogier is one of the world's leading providers of offshore legal and fiduciary services employing over 750 professional and support staff. The group has a presence in nine jurisdictions around the world, namely the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jersey, London, Montevideo and New Zealand.
As well as being able to sponsor listings on the CISX via OCFL, Ogier provides advice on all aspects of BVI, Cayman, Guernsey and Jersey law and associated fiduciary services through a global network of offices that cover all time zones and key financial markets including the rapidly growing Middle Eastern, Asian and Chinese markets.
Ogier continues to be recognised as a leading law firm by the leading legal directories, including Legal 500 and Chambers.
- In Legal 500 Ogier has more lawyers recommended and more tier 1 rankings for individual practice areas than any other Jersey firm.
- In Chambers the firm has more lawyers recommended than any other Jersey firm.
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