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Singapore and Hong Kong vie to be the Caymans of Asia

The two cities have set up new fund structures to lure wealth away from traditional offshore financial centres   In 2020, the pandemic halted travel and shut borders. But at the same time, two of Asia’s biggest financial hubs saw an opportunity to shift the global centre of gravity for hedge funds and the world’s wealthiest families. Singapore established the “variable capital company”, a fund structure that allows a wide range of potential users to shelter large pools of capital in discreet, lightly taxed wrappers domiciled in a well-regulated financial centre. Hong Kong made enhancements to the “open-ended fund company”,...

Mauritius: International Tax Planning Update & Opportunities

By Mr. Patrice Tze Sek Sum, CPA (US), MIntTax, TEP   1. Overview   Over the past few years, Mauritius has undergone significant transformation in order to maintain itself as a serious jurisdiction of substance. While Mauritius remains the de facto hub to Africa due to its political stability, independent judiciary and strong institutional framework, and absence of foreign currency exchange control, it has had its fair share of challenges over the past year. Mauritius has enhanced its AML/CFT laws accordingly and restructured some of its tax regimes which were deemed harmful from the perspective of the OECD especially in regard to some ring-fencing...

For Asia’s Super-Rich, Singapore Family Offices Keep the Wealth Churning – but Hong Kong Wants a Piece of the Pie too

By Kok Xinghui   Singapore is popularly known as an Asian financial hub where companies set up regional headquarters and rich individuals park their wealth. In recent years, it has also been attracting another sort of investment through a vehicle that is just gaining popularity in the region: corporate entities called family offices that moneyed families use to structure the way they invest and preserve their riches.   From 2017 to 2019, the number of family offices in Singapore grew by five times as the region got wealthier. Some of these offices were set up by Singaporean families who want to manage their assets better,...

Singapore: Re-domiciliation Of Investment Funds To Singapore

By The Sovereign Group   We recently highlighted the launch in Singapore this year of the Variable Capital Companies (VCC) framework, a new corporate structure that can be used for a wide range of investment funds.   The VCC is designed to offer more flexibility to investment funds in Singapore by providing an umbrella-sub-fund structure and less rigid capital maintenance requirements. The VCC is therefore similar to the 'protected cell' and 'segregated portfolio' structures in offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Guernsey.   Singapore fund managers will be able to constitute investment funds as VCCs...

Charming Singapore the Back Garden for Living ——New Trend of Global Immigration in 2020

In recent years, with the trend of asset allocation globalization, more and more high net worth individuals realize the importance of overseas status planning and building overseas homeworld. HNWI's asset allocation has shifted from simply focusing on wealth planning and tax planning to focusing on status planning and building a back garden for overseas life. The home country is still the first place for HNWIs to live and develop their businesses, but for investment, education, health, pension, vacation, medical and other reasons, they build their own overseas living garden. This overseas garden is an overseas home that matches with the...

Stability and Longevity in Uncertain Times: Singapore's Business Advantage

Singapore's Minister of Trade and Industry, Chen Zhensheng, said in Singapore parliament on September 3, 2019, that Singapore needed diversification and innovation to cope with uncertainty in the world market. The uncertainties mentioned not only the US-China trade conflict but also including BREXIT, tense situation between Japan and South Korea, and the situation in Hong Kong. This is also a various challenge, not only including trade but also technical issues. He answered Mr. Christopher de Souza from Holland-Bukit Timah GRC's question on how Singapore's SMEs, regional headquarters, MNCs, and labor force could protect themselves from the side-effects of the trade...

Henley Index: Japan and Singapore top 2019 list of world's most powerful passports

(CNN) — It's been a three-horse race this year to be named the world's most powerful passport, with all top three contenders in Asia. Now, as we enter the second half of 2019, Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world's most travel-friendly passports, with South Korea dropping into second place. That's the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country's travel document affords. Singapore and Japan's passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 189 countries each. South Korea is now rubbing shoulders with Finland and Germany in the...

Interview - Singapore Trusts and Foundations

What are the key advantages of your jurisdiction in terms of privacy & asset protection for a Chinese HNWI or Family (etc.) looking to succeed their assets to the next generation? We work with the top countries for ease of doing business and high on the corruption perception index (no corruption): New Zealand, Singapore and the Netherlands. All these traditional jurisdictions can offer advantages of asset protections and estate planning to the next generation. Dutch Foundations (Stichtings) can offer them an excellent solution to protect and preserve their wealth in a confidential manner. It is easy to create and Chinese...