New Arabic Language Facility In Cayman Should Boost Business From Islamic Region, Funds Lawyer Predicts

The new Arabic language facility introduced by the General Registry in the Cayman Islands will trigger more valuable business from the Islamic region, according to a leading funds lawyer. Ogier partner Gray Smith, who practices Cayman law from London, said

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The new Arabic language facility introduced by the General Registry in the Cayman Islands will trigger more valuable business from the Islamic region, according to a leading funds lawyer.

Ogier partner Gray Smith, who practices Cayman law from London, said that the move demonstrated Cayman’s recognition of the Middle East as an important area for new business.

“We can now use both Arabic and English names on all documents when setting up a company and can also open bank accounts in both names,” Smith said. “Previously we had to use only an English translation. The same ethos was applied to Chinese characters a few years ago and that was of huge benefit in Hong Kong, where both English and Chinese are used widely.”

Smith said that Cayman law particularly lent itself to Islamic finance structures because of its flexibility. It has become a center for ‘sukuks’ bond issues that are Shari’a compliant, prohibit interest payments and require tangible assets or equity as collateral.

“It’s straightforward, the processes are relatively easy and it’s very flexible, allowing for the drafting of articles and agreements that comply with the restrictions of Islamic law,” Smith said. “Cayman is also a lighter regulation jurisdiction and a widely recognized international finance center which suits Middle East companies looking for investments.”

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