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Guernsey funds sector positive despite quarterly fall in net asset value

Guernsey’s funds industry is seeing a number of new inquiries so far this year and expects to see a rise in the value of the sector before the end of the year, following a decline in the first quarter’s statistics.

Latest figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) showed the net asset value of funds business in the island declined by 2.9 per cent (GBP8 billion) during the quarter, with total assets under management and administration amounting to GBP262.5 billion. But the underlying trend is positive, with GBP40 billion growth over the past three years.

The decline was led by the winding up of non-Guernsey schemes – funds not domiciled in the island but with some aspect of management, administration or custody carried out locally – which fell by GBP7.6 billion, with a number of funds reaching a planned winding up, while the NAV of Guernsey-based schemes has increased by GBP1.4 billion to GBP209.7 billion over the previous 12 months.

The GFSC is also seeing an increase in applications for new funds, with a year-on-year rise to more than 110 made over the past six months. The Commission approved 16 new investment funds during Q1, 10 closed-ended, two open-ended and four non-Guernsey schemes.

Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley (pictured) says current activity levels mean there is confidence in the Guernsey industry. The island has recently announced a proposal to introduce a world-first green investment fund product and an update in regulations to the Guernsey Private Investment Fund.

“Work is currently being done that will bear fruit in the future,” Wheatley says. “The longer-term trend over the last three years shows we are on the right track and Guernsey funds are in a healthy and positive position. We remain a stable jurisdiction of substance able to offer solutions to the uncertainty of Brexit.”

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