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Guernsey funds stable during second quarter

The total value of funds business in Guernsey grew by GBP711m (0.3 per cent) during the second quarter of the year.

New figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) show that the second quarter increase has built on the GBP9bn growth during the first quarter of the year to take the total net asset value of funds under management and administration in the island to GBP270.8bn at the end of June 2012.

This represents a decrease of GBP3.6bn (1.3 per cent) year on year but is up GBP46.6bn (20.8 per cent) on the same time two years ago and an increase of GBP101.2bn (59.6 per cent) since the end of June 2009.

Fiona Le Poidevin (pictured), chief executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry, says: “It is encouraging to see that the Guernsey funds sector is showing some stability during what remains an uncertain time for the global economy but it is also a reminder that it will be a case of making slow and steady progress down the long road to recovery.

“These figures are based on the values of assets within the funds and so they will, to a large extent, reflect the wider market conditions at a particular point in time, in this case the end of June. However, they do also provide a useful snapshot of the latest trends within the Guernsey funds sector, especially when explored in more detail and also taken into account with anecdotal evidence from the industry.

“What we can see is that overall the sector is stable, with the continuation of longer term trends such as the decrease in Guernsey open ended business being offset by marginal growth in the servicing of non-Guernsey open ended schemes and the more notable increase in work related to Guernsey closed ended funds.

“Indeed, there have been a number of positive announcements made in recent months related to Guernsey closed ended funds across a number of different sectors, such as infrastructure, renewable energy and mining, with diverse geographical interests, including  the UK, Europe, Africa and Brazil.

“However, the most notable recent development was Coller Capital announcing the final closing of its latest Guernsey fund, Coller International Partners VI, with commitments of USD5.5bn. This is yet another high profile example of the fact that Guernsey is recognised as one of the leading jurisdictions for the domiciling, management, administration and custody of closed ended funds and in particular private equity, which represents around GBP80bn of our funds business.”

The new figures from the GFSC show that Guernsey domiciled open-ended funds reached a net asset value of GBP53.1bn at the end of June 2012, which was a decrease of GBP2.7bn (4.8 per cent) during the quarter and down GBP5.9bn (10 per cent) year on year.

The Guernsey closed-ended sector was valued at GBP126.1bn at the end of June – up GBP2.2bn (1.8 per cent) during the second three months of 2012 and up GBP3.8bn (3.1 per cent) compared to 12 months earlier.

Non-Guernsey schemes, where some aspect of management, administration or custody is carried out in the island, grew by GBP1.2bn (1.3 per cent) during the quarter to reach GBP91.6bn at the end of June 2012, which is GBP1.5bn (1.6 per cent) lower than the value at the end of June 2011.

The GFSC figures also show that there were four Guernsey open ended funds approved in the quarter but eight lost, the closed ended sector saw 14 new licences approved and nine surrendered and there were seven new licences issued for non-Guernsey schemes and three funds lost.

Horace Camp, chairman of the Guernsey Investment Fund Association, says: “It is pleasing to see continued, albeit marginal, growth in the Guernsey funds sector between the start of April and the end of June. Our fund administrators, custodians and support services are reporting that there is a steady flow of new business, although nothing like at the volumes experienced several years ago. Indeed, the general economic malaise, particularly in the Eurozone, does mean that we need to be cautious but overall we have had a positive first half of 2012.”

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