The British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) is a small chain of islands in the Caribbean situated between Puerto Rico and St. Maarten. The BVI has been a top sailing destination since the days of Sir Francis Drake. The BVI is a British Overseas Territory, meaning that although the BVI has a locally elected government, the British Crown exercises control over the territory and those born in the BVI are British citizens. However, since the leak of the so-called Panama Papers, the BVI has become known as a tax haven due to the perception that it is easy to register a company in the BVI without disclosure of company’s owners. Although the BVI issued a $440,000 fine against Mossack Fonseca for violating the BVI’s existing money laundering laws (the largest in the BVI’s history), the British government has expected the territory to do more.
As China continues to grapple with a slowing economy, its banks are facing an increasing number of overdue loans. Companies large and small, particularly in the industrial sectors, are finding themselves heavily indebted and dealing with substantial overcapacity issues. In this climate, a new strategy has recently emerged that may provide some relief to both banks and companies: paying off overdue debt with company equity. However, while banks and companies may see short-term benefits from improvements to their balance sheets flowing from such arrangements, some experts are predicting that banks taking equity interests in struggling companies will only put off hard choices and ultimately prevent a necessary, long-term reorganization of the economy. Read more at The New York Times DealBook.
The International Practice Group of Garvey Schubert Barer is a cross-disciplinary group of attorneys practicing in areas ranging from business transactions, immigration, maritime, government regulatory work, transportation and logistics, and estate planning. The group members include bilingual and multicultural attorneys who are well-versed in handling these subject matters in a cross-border context. The firm’s attorneys have been actively practicing in the international arena since the early 1970s.