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British Virgin Islands

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Market opinion is sharply divided on whether Cyprus’s favourable holding company regime is ringfenced from the effects of its banking crisis. It’s a critical question for Russia’s multi-billion dollar private M&A sector
Louise Hill Graham Natalie Bell Generally speaking, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an extremely flexible jurisdiction in relation to the granting and registering of security interests. One of the strengths of the BVI as an offshore jurisdiction is that it provides a stable platform for companies to provide collateral as security for debt finance and for the secured lenders to register and protect the priority of their interest. However, the largely unfettered right of business entities formed in the BVI to grant and register security interests is subject to one particular footnote which is easily overlooked. In the BVI, business entities are required to hold licences in order to conduct certain types of regulated business "in or from within" the Territory (meaning either through a BVI entity, or through a foreign entity physically operating within the jurisdiction). These licences are issued by the BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) and regulate certain types of financial services activity. The principal types of regulated activity include banking business, trust business, insurance, investment business and company management business.
The area of injunctions in aid of foreign divorce proceedings has expanded in recent years, in particular given the importance of so-called oligarch divorce proceedings.
Colin Riegels One of the great attractions of the British Virgin Islands as a jurisdiction for structuring finance transactions is the simple yet thorough security registration regime applicable to BVI companies. For the most part, where a lender advances money against security provided by a BVI company, registering the security and thereby protecting its priority and giving public notice of the secured party's rights is a straightforward and effective system. The legal position becomes less clear when the company is acting in its capacity as trustee of a trust.
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