Jersey's financial services industry is ideally placed to
support the needs of corporate and institutional business and
private clients in Greater China.
Through our ongoing engagement with intermediaries, lawyers and
financial advisers, this message is now being conveyed more
effectively than ever. The opening of a Jersey office in Hong Kong,
the sizeable delegations visiting the region on a regular basis and
the increasing banking deposits from the Far East now lodged with
Jersey banks all demonstrate our growing links with Greater
Banking deposits in Jersey are currently at £167 billion.
Almost 60% of the total value of deposits in Jersey banks is held
in non sterling currencies and 20% is from emerging market
economies. Most pertinent to current trends is that the Far East
now accounts for over 6% of total banking deposits, which is nearly
double last year's figure.
In 2009 significant strides were taken in developing business
when Jersey companies were approved for listings on the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange. As part of the approval process, the Hong Kong
Exchange had to satisfy itself that under Jersey law shareholder
protection was at least equal to that in Hong Kong. United Company
RUSAL Plc, the world's largest aluminium producer, was the
first example of a Jersey incorporated company listed on the
Exchange. More recently, West China Cement Limited became the first
Chinese business held through a Jersey company to be listed. Others
are anticipated. Head of Greater China Business Development in
Jersey Finance's Hong Kong office in the Central Tower,
Queen's Road Central, is Zhaoan Li, an investment and sales
specialist with extensive knowledge of the region. Not only has
Jersey's presence in the region been enhanced by the opening of
an office and by more frequent visits by Government and regulatory
officials and Jersey based professionals, but the contact has
encouraged greater interest amongst the Chinese to visit
Last year, the Chinese Ambassador to London paid an official
visit to meet Government officials, the regulator and senior
representatives of the finance industry. This year Jersey has
welcomed a delegation of leading business people from Tianjin, who
visited to learn more about the services available from the
Jersey Finance plans to host another delegation to Beijing,
Shanghai and Hong Kong in November. In the meantime Jersey's
Treasury Minister, accompanied by the chief regulator, have been in
Shanghai attending the Lujiazui Forum, a global platform for
influential government representatives and world financial leaders
to discuss international financial cooperation. In addition, a Tax
Information Exchange Agreement has recently been negotiated and is
due to be signed shortly. Such are the growing official and
business ties that a scheme has been established enabling lawyers
from a Shanghai based law firm to work in Jersey on secondment,
while local lawyers are doing the same in Shanghai. Also, a
microsite in Mandarin linked to the Jersey Finance website is under
construction so that Chinese intermediaries and investors can learn
about the services available from Jersey in their language and with
a focus on their bespoke needs.
Here at Jersey Finance we recognise that it is crucial to visit
our key markets regularly and to consistently explain our services
and highlight the appeal of our jurisdiction. If not present
talking about legislative developments and the modernisation of the
products and services, a jurisdiction can quickly fall away in
terms of awareness. We will draw attention to recent improvements
to our legal framework including company law changes, the success
of the new Jersey Foundation vehicle and the introduction of new
limited partnerships, and also to Jersey's record in achieving
top marks when its regulatory regime has been reviewed.
Chinese investors are rightly concerned that their money is
managed in a well regulated jurisdiction, where corporate
governance is strong. As ties with China are strengthened, Jersey
will promote its reputation, governance and expertise, while
responding to the specific requirements of investors based in the
key markets in the region.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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