Guernsey's finance industry had a stable second quarter and is already showing signs of renewed growth in the second half of the year.
Previously released figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) showed an uptick across each of the investment funds, banking and insurance sectors during the first quarter of the year.
This has continued in the insurance sector, where there has been net growth of 37 entities between the end of last year and the end of July 2013. However, the net asset value of investment funds under management or administration in the Island fell £10.5 billion (3.5%) during the second quarter of the year and total deposits held with Guernsey banks decreased £0.8 billion (0.9%) during the same period.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, said: "The performance during the first quarter of the year was very pleasing but we recognised at the time that external factors, such as rising stock markets, were playing their part. The new figures for the second quarter show a relatively flat but stable picture and this is understandable when we consider that during the period we saw a correction in the wider equity markets.
"However, the industry is also showing signs of renewed growth during the second half of the year, with figures for the insurance sector showing continual increases in the net number of entities domiciled in the Island and there is anecdotal evidence from the funds sector of a pick-up in business coming through the pipeline, especially in the closed-ended, listed space."
Figures from the GFSC show that the total value of deposits held by banks in Guernsey fell by £0.8 billion (0.9%) during the second quarter to reach £89.7 billion at the end of June 2013. This leaves deposits 13% lower than at the same time a year ago.
Miss Le Poidevin said: "These are difficult times for the banking sector and Guernsey is not immune from the impact. However, despite continued global deleveraging and low interest rates, the Guernsey banking sector has stabilised to remain at around the £90 billion mark at the end of the second quarter."
The GFSC's quarterly report for the investment funds sector showed that the net asset value of funds under management and administration in Guernsey decreased by £10.5 billion (3.5%) during the second quarter of the year to reach £286 billion at the end of June 2013. However, this represents an increase of £15.2 billion (5.6%) on a year previous.
The Guernsey closed-ended sector was valued at £137.5 billion at the end of June - up £0.5 billion (0.4%) during the quarter and up £11.4 billion (9%) compared to 12 months earlier. Guernsey domiciled open-ended funds reached a net asset value of £49.7 billion at the end of June 2013, which was a decrease of £4.4 billion (8.1%) during the quarter and down £3.4 billion (6.4%) year on year. Non-Guernsey schemes, where some aspect of management, administration or custody is carried out in the Island, fell by £6.6 billion (6.3%) during the quarter to reach £98.8 billion at the end of June 2013, although that is £7.2 billion (7.9%) higher than the value at the end of June 2012.
Miss Le Poidevin said: "It is important to recognise that we remain in a tough environment and yet this is the first quarterly decline we have experienced in more than a year; the value of funds business is still £10 billion higher than at the end of December 2012 and our core closed-ended sector continues to grow. Indeed, since the end of the second quarter we have seen some notable developments which give rise to optimism for renewed growth during the second half of the year."
Miss Le Poidevin pointed to the repeat business of private equity fund Better Capital PCC raising another £185 million in what is its fourth fundraising period and Doric Nimrod Air Three - the latest in a trio of Guernsey-based investment companies - which successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Specialist Fund Market (SFM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and listing on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX).
She highlighted new business in the form of the innovative Bluefield Solar Income Fund, which raised £130 million in listing on the LSE at the end of July and The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG), which raised £300 million on listing on the LSE in whatBloomberghas described as the 'UK's biggest initial public offering of a clean-power company'.
Miss Le Poidevin said: "These examples demonstrate that Guernsey is not only winning repeat business from existing promoters but that other groups are also recognising our strengths, most notably within the closed-ended, listed sector and in particular where there are investments into niche asset classes such as cleantech.
"We have also seen increased activity in the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) asset class and this is driving business in the funds sector as well as the insurance space where there continues to be significant growth. This is across a range of business but there has been notable growth in the number of cells being established as fully collateralised reinsurance vehicles for ILS."
The GFSC's monthly statistical update for the insurance sector shows that there has been net growth - incorporating additions and surrenders - of 37 international insurance entities domiciled in Guernsey during the first seven months of the year, reaching a total of 774 at the end of July 2013. This is up 13 from the end of May and eight from the end of June.
Miss Le Poidevin added: "Guernsey's finance industry is in a positive position as we enter the final part of the year and Guernsey Finance will continue to work hard on both protecting the business we have in our traditional core markets and developing new streams from emerging and niche markets."
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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