Recognition of Guernsey’s expertise as a finance centre continues to build in the Far East, according to Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry internationally.
Miss Le Poidevin was speaking at the culmination of a week-long trip to Hong Kong that saw her meet with some of the Guernsey-based businesses which have offices in the jurisdiction, as well as attend the three-day SuperReturn Asia conference – billed as Asia’s leading private equity funds event.
Miss Le Poidevin said her visits to the Hong Kong operations of Louvre Group, Mourant Ozannes, Newhaven Trust and Ogier Fiduciary Services demonstrated how Guernsey was viewed in a positive light in the region.
“It is extremely pleasing to see the progress that these firms are making in the Far East. They are helping Guernsey to build strong relationships with Asia and laying the foundations for future business growth between the regions. It was very useful to visit their offices as a way to better understand their businesses,” said Miss Le Poidevin.
“In addition, I met with the Hong Kong office of the London Stock Exchange. Guernsey is well known to them for our position as the non-UK listings leader in terms of the number of Guernsey companies listed across the London markets, so meeting with their officials was extremely beneficial.”
At SuperReturn Asia, Miss Le Poidevin was joined on the Guernsey stand by Julian Carey, Managing Director of Guernsey-based IAG’s Hong Kong office, and Paul Christopher, who relocated from Guernsey to Hong Kong last year to oversee the establishment of Mourant Ozannes’ Asian office as Managing Partner. Winnie Chow of IAG’s Hong Kong office also assisted the team.
“The conference was excellent. We have made many new contacts and it was pleasing to see that Guernsey is now not only known by many in Asia as a financial centre but also as a domicile for funds. We still have a lot of work to do in terms of raising the profile further in Asia but this is another step along the way,” said Miss Le Poidevin.
Miss Le Poidevin also met with financial journalists from a range of Asian publications, including the China Business Law Journal, FT Ignites Asia and WealthBriefingAsia.
Guernsey has made steady progress in establishing its reputation for financial services in Asia in recent years. In 2010, Guernsey signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Chinese central government tax authorities and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for exchange and cooperation with the Shanghai Financial Services Office, while last year saw the Island given approval for companies incorporated in Guernsey to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) and Guernsey’s financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), sign a statement of cooperation with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).
A Guernsey delegation, led by Miss Le Poidevin, will be returning to the Far East to attend STEP Asia in Hong Kong on 16 and 17 October, as well as hold meetings in both Shanghai and Beijing. Guernsey’s representative office in the region was opened in Shanghai at the end of 2007.