Category: Economy

Mossack Fonseca, Panama: Ship Registry up Despite Slowing Global Economy

While a local news organization has misinterpreted technical information regarding the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), the AMP reports that 2015 has actually been a solid year for the Panama Ship Registry―despite headwinds from a slowing global economy. An AMP press release revealed the following:

  • As per Lloyd’s Register of Ships, the Panama Ship Registry ranks # 1 in the world with over 8,100 registered vessels that comprise 218 million gross registered tons (GRT), representing 18% of the world’s merchant fleet.
  • In the first 11 months of 2015, there was a net growth of over 350 vessels (flagging’s minus deletions), which represents an increase of 136 vessels (62%) when compared with the same period in 2014.
  • During the period of January to November 2015, 422 newly constructed ships were registered in the Panama Ship Registry compared to 413 during the same period in 2014. This increase represents, in terms of GRT, almost a million tons (700,000 tons).
  • The AMP estimates that the Panamanian fleet will add almost 600 newly constructed vessels over the next five years (2016-2020).

Who is Mossack Fonseca?

The AMP press release went on to indicate that they are guided by business strategies based on four pillars: (i) security and prevention; (ii) sustainability; (iii) registration; and (iv) business. They stressed that their business strategies are based on carefully considered, scientific analyses of all relevant aspects of the shipping industry.

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Mossack Fonseca – China on IMF Admits Chinese Renminbi to SDR Basket

(Mossack Fonseca) – On November 30, 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted China’s renminbi (RMB), also known as the Yuan, into the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket of currencies. Effective October 1, 2016 the RMB will be a freely usable currency and will be included in the SDR basket as a fifth currency, along with the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound. Launching the new SDR basket on October 1, 2016 will provide sufficient lead time for the Fund, its members and other SDR users to adjust to the change, according to an IMF press release.

The following weights have been established for each of the five currencies in the new SDR basket that will take effect on October 1, 2016:

  • U.S. dollar 41.73 percent (compared with 41.9 percent at the 2010 Review)
  • Euro 30.93 percent (compared with 37.4 percent at the 2010 Review)
  • Chinese renminbi 10.92 percent
  • Japanese yen 8.33 percent (compared with 9.4 percent at the 2010 Review)
  • Pound sterling 8.09 percent (compared with 11.3 percent at the 2010 Review)

The Role of the SDR

The SDR was created by the IMF in 1969 as a supplementary international reserve asset, in the context of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. The SDR is neither a currency, nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. Holders of SDRs can obtain these currencies in exchange for their SDRs in two ways: first, through the arrangement of voluntary exchanges between members; and second, by the IMF designating members with strong external positions to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions. In addition to its role as a supplementary reserve asset, the SDR serves as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations.

The SDR interest rate provides the basis for calculating the interest charged to borrowing members, and the interest paid to members for the use of their resources for regular (non-concessional) IMF loans. It is also the interest paid to members on their SDR holdings and charged on their SDR allocation. The SDR interest rate is determined weekly and is based on a weighted average of representative interest rates on short-term debt instruments in the money markets of the SDR basket currencies.

Why the IMF Added the Renminbi

China is the second largest economy after the United States and is first in world trade. The renminbi is the No. 4 currency for global trade, accounting for about 2.5 percent of the total, according to SWIFT, the organization for interbank financial transfers. Beijing controls the flow of money into and out of its economy but has encouraged the use of the renminbi abroad, especially for trade, which helps Chinese exporters by eliminating the cost and risk of volatile exchange rates. Since 2009, China has signed currency swap agreements with central banks in Britain, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, South Korea and other countries. Branches of Chinese state-owned banks in Britain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, France and Singapore have received authorization to take deposits or settle trade-related transactions in renminbi.

Impact on Global Finance

The SDR has no direct link to financial markets or private business. Over time, the IMF decision might prompt central banks to hold more reserves in renminbi. JP Morgan economist Haibin Zhu said renminbi holdings might rise to 5 percent of global reserves, or about $350 billion, over five years. That might encourage more use of renminbi for trade and investment. “Longer term, this is a huge step”, said Stephen Innes, chief trader for the currency firm OANDA in Singapore. “Once investors become more comfortable with Chinese markets, especially if they continue to progress with opening policies and make the same strides they did over the past year, international markets will really embrace Chinese capital markets”.

Impact on China

Economists say the IMF decision could encourage Chinese leaders to further relax controls on the renminbi. The ruling Communist Party’s latest five-year development plan says the renminbi will be “freely tradable and freely usable” by 2020. The surprise August introduction of a new mechanism for setting the government-controlled exchange rate led to 3.5 percent devaluation. However, the country’s top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, said in September that there were no plans for further declines. Some traders worry Beijing might devalue once it achieved its goal of being added to the IMF basket. But others say Chinese leaders want to be seen as reliable. The renminbi’s addition is “an endorsement as an international currency”, said Chen Kang, chief bond analyst for SWS Research Co. in Shanghai. “That will encourage China to adopt more measures toward accelerating the process of the opening of its foreign exchange markets and capital markets”.

Unintended Consequences

The renminbi’s government-set exchange rate still follows the dollar despite the new mechanism for setting its value. For now, that makes the renminbi a dollar in disguise, according to Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Until the renminbi is allowed to trade freely, the IMF decision will “increase the dollar’s importance”, said Scissors. “Those governments or investors hoping for a dilution of dollar dominance for portfolio diversification or political reasons are getting exactly the opposite”.

Panama: Hub for Maritime Trade & Intellectual Property by Mossack Fonseca

November 20, 2015―The Judiciary of the Republic of Panama and the International Trademark Association (INTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets forth a foundation for future cooperation between the two groups, and recognizes both the need for robust intellectual property (IP) systems in a rapidly changing and increasingly integrated global economy as well as the central role of Panama in international maritime trade.

Panama’s economy and infrastructure have driven its rapid rise in the areas of maritime trade and intellectual property protection.

Panama’s Economy

Panama has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, to wit:

  • Over the past 10 years, Panama’s GDP has grown at an annual average rate of 7.8%.
  • The IMF has projected Panama’s GDP growth at 6.1% and 6.4% for 2015 and 2016, respectively―far outpacing all countries of North and South America.
  • Poverty levels in Panama have been reduced from 39.9% to 26.2% percent over the past decade.

Panama’s Infrastructure

  • The Panama Canal is arguably the most important maritime waterway in the world, connecting North and South America and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • In 2016, the Panama Canal expansion project will be completed. The existing locks can handle cargo ships carrying up to 5,000 20-foot containers (TEUs). The expanded locks will handle megaships carrying up to 13,000 TEUs. The expanded canal will only bolster Panama’s role as an international business hub, and the canal’s annual revenue is projected to increase from $2.6 billion in 2014 to $6.2 billion by 2025.
  • A vastly expanded, ultra-modern international airport with connections throughout the world.
  • The world’s second largest free trade zone with170 multinational companies and over 100 international banks

Mossack Fonseca & Co.  – Office Profile

Panama’s Maritime Trade and Intellectual Property Protection

Both INTA and the Panamanian government appreciate the impact of the Panama Canal expansion on global trade and the global trademark community. Transshipment and transit of goods through free trade zones and free ports contribute significantly to the trafficking of counterfeit goods, and eighty percent of the goods passing through the canal are goods in transit. The MOU will serve to develop cooperative activities in the field of trademarks and other related areas. INTA and the Judiciary have already begun organizing judicial training seminars. Other areas of future cooperation include:

  • Development of collaborative projects related to trademarks, dispute settlement, trademark rights enforcement, and other related areas;
  • Exchange of information, experiences and educational materials;
  • Development of studies; and
  • Organization of meetings and conferences.

“Panama plays a critically important role in the global economy and international maritime trade and this will only increase with the expansion of the Panama Canal,” said INTA President J. Scott Evans. “At the same time, Panama’s economy and middle class are growing. The INTA looks forward to working with the Judiciary to enhance its effectiveness for brand owners and consumers in Panama and around the world.”

The INTA released this micro-documentary video to explain the impact of the Panama Canal expansion on brand owners and consumers around the world.

Source: The International Trademark Association

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Mossack Fonseca: Asociación de marcas internacional realiza conferencia anual de liderazgo

Del 17 al 20 de noviembre se  realizará la Conferencia Anual de Liderazgo para Latinoamérica.

Del 17 al 20 de noviembre, próximos, la Asociación Internacional de Marcas (INTA, por sus siglas en inglés) realizará la Conferencia Anual de Liderazgo para Latinoamérica.

De acuerdo con los organizadores, el evento será el mayor organizado por INTA en Latinoamérica hasta el momento y uno de los más importantes debido a que se han convocado las marcas más relevantes a nivel nacional e internacional.

‘Para realizar este evento se ha escogido a Panamá debido a que es uno de los países con más alto crecimiento empresarial y económico en Latinoamérica’, señaló Sanz de Acedo, uno de los miembros principales de INTA.

De acuerdo con la fuente, dentro del encuentro se conformarán diversos comités de trabajo, dentro de los cuales Mossack Fonseca, reconocida por su vanguardia y calidad profesional, ha sido aceptada para colaborar participando en dos mesas de trabajo, lo cual ratifica el profesionalismo y compromiso que caracteriza al equipo legal y administrativo de la empresa.

INTA es una organización que busca defender las marcas comerciales y la propiedad intelectual teniendo en cuenta siempre la seguridad y tranquilidad del propietario de las marcas, para de esa manera lograr un comercio justo.

La reunión de liderazgo liderado por la Asociación Internacional de Marcas se llevará a cabo en el Hotel Hard Rock Panama.

Mossack Fonseca: El servicio Escrow garantiza el cumplimiento

Mossack Fonseca El servicio Escrow garantiza el cumplimiento

La comprador entrega al agente Escrow el dinero para la compra del bien y este profesional se convierte en protector de sus intereses

Si como visitante a Panamá, está entre sus planes adquirir un bien inmueble y le invaden las dudas sobre quién cuide que la transacción cumpla eficientemente con todo el proceso de compra venta, lo más probable es que necesite los servicios de un abogado con capacidad de actuar como un agente de servicios Escrow.

Aunque suene curioso este término Escrow, su génesis proviene del francés antiguo y aplicaba a ‘escroue’, rollo o pergamino, que podía ser de bonos o escritos para alguna transacción comercial.

En la prestación de este importante servicio, la parte interesada entrega al agente Escrow el dinero para transacción que se desarrollará por la compra del bien y éste profesional, con capacidades y conocimientos legales y de bienes raíces, se convierte en un garante que custodia, protege y procura que el agente cumpla con todas las obligaciones contraídas en la transacción que vaya a realizar el inversionista.

Aunque este tipo de servicios se centraba primordialmente en países anglosajones, en la actualidad el ritmo económico y de desarrollo que tiene el país, permiten que el Escrow se extienda hacia diversos y complejos mercados, lo que requiere de un nivel participativo a través firmas legales responsables con vasta experiencia en este campo.

En Panamá, estos servicios se brindan de manera óptima, cumpliendo con las condiciones y tiempos establecidos en los contratos Escrow, a través de profesionales de firmas con sólido prestigio como Mossack Fonseca, preparados para ofrecer así adecuadas soluciones para que clientes internacionales puedan invertir con seguridad en terrenos y propiedades en Panamá.

El servicio Escrow es sin lugar a dudas un importante vehículo que depende de una relación contractual previa, como cuando se realizan contratos accesorios, con la modalidad de que el agente es el profesional quien puede ayudar a facilitar los pagos relacionados con este tipo de transacciones inmobiliarias.

A veces, cuando deseamos conseguir nuevas propiedades, el tiempo, los medios y el conocimiento jurídico se limitan a tal punto que los agentes Escrow logran convertirse en facilitadores para garantizar que todas las operaciones vinculadas a esta adquisición tengan una figura de confianza que lleven a buen puerto la intención de invertir en el patrimonio.

Así, la importancia del servicio radica en el hecho de estar a miles de kilómetros de alcance para concretar una buena transacción comercial, apostando al país, con todas las garantías y acciones que protejan su inversión.

Las personas que contratan este servicio pueden descansar en el mejor criterio de quien lo represente para que se dé cumplimiento a cada una de las obligaciones contractuales que se desarrollen en la actividad inmobiliaria.

Al final, se trata de confiar en un tercero para que se honre lo pactado en un contrato que logre la feliz adquisición del bien inmueble soñado, ya sea en la urbe capitalina o en algún paradisíaco destino de Panamá.