Archive for December, 2007

Esprit Financial Group forms Belize SPC

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

On December 12, 2007, Esprit Financial Group Inc. announced having completed the incorporation of a Belize SPC (Special Purpose Company).

The SPC was named the is Asia Pacific Enterprises Limited, which is a Belize company registered under a company number 67568.

The sole purpose of the SPC incorporation is the acquisition of Hebei Haorizi Company Ltd, a China-based company as well as the acquisition and the sale of assets. The Chinese law requires that an SPC complies with the Chinese regulations and acquisitions of any Chinese entity.

In the above-mentioned transaction and formulation, the Mina Mar Group Inc. acted as advisors to the company.

Esprit CEO Winters said that the next step is finishing off the US paperwork in concert with the Belize SPC, and then to submit it to the reporting issuer. According to him, the company expects “to be in a position to close on the Canden transaction, very soon after the SPC and Hebei Haorizi is finalized”.

Esprit Financial Group Inc. is a public company dealing with a diversified number of online financial services including the Forex Trading, Payday Loan Software division, Advanced Electronic Funds Management, and Specialized Investment Banking and Financial Advisory Services.

IDB President visits Belize to reiterate the continued economic and social development support

Monday, December 24th, 2007

On December 11, 2007, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno made his 1st visit to Belize. The objective of the visit was reiterating the IDB’s continued support for the economic and social development of Belize.

When meeting with the Prime Minister, Financial Secretary, and the Ministry of National Development, Moreno discussed the Inter-American Development Bank’s current portfolio in Belize. Its portfolio includes investment projects in the areas of the land administration and health sector. It also includes a policy-based loan that has supported significant macroeconomic and public financial sector reforms which encompass debt sustainability, fiscal reform, the management of oil revenues, and the orderly liquidation of the Development Financial Corporation.

Regarding support to the private sector, an Inter-American Development Corporation (IIC) loan to Belize Co-Generation Energy Limited (Belcogen) helps to finance building a cogeneration power plant which will reduce Belize’s dependence on imported electricity as well as promote the use of renewable energy sources.

Currently, the Bank is conducting a series of sector studies analyze the medium-term development challenges that Belize is facing. The sector studies will underpin a policy dialogue with the authorities. The studies and policy dialogue will support preparing a new IDB Country Strategy with Belize for 2008-2012.

The IDB is preparing programs to facilitate tourism development, to improve solid waste management, as well as to support policy reforms in the social sectors.

It also should be noted that, during his visit to Belize, IDB President Moreno met with the private sector and the international cooperation community of Belize.

S&P affirms Belize’s “B” long and short-term sovereign ratings and stable outlook

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has affirmed the long and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Belize at “B” with a stable outlook.

According to Standard & Poor’s, Belize’s ratings balance Belize’s government’s huge debt against its improved amortisation and cost profiles. S&P said that the debt exchange launched by the government of Belize on December 18, 2006 and concluded by it on February 20, 2007, affected 50% of the jurisdiction’s total public debt.

According to the ratings agency, interest costs dropped to 5.5% of GDP in 2007 from 7% in 2006, and are expected to decrease further to 4.3% of GDP in 2008.

The agency commented that the stable outlook reflects that Standard & Poor’s expects that the government is able to improve its financial position and reduce debt improved after the debt restructuring.

Belize Government signs agreement with Infotel

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

In the end of November, it was announced that an agreement had been signed by the Ministry of National Development and Infotel International Limited to grant Infotel Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status. The EPZ status allows Infotel establishing a call centre operation and ICT business in Belize City.

In accordance with the investment plan, Infotel International Limited will provide data and voice processing services that include customer support, telemarketing, direct marketing, e-mail and website hosting and other call centre services.

Reynaldo Malik signed on behalf of Infotel, while Chairman of the Export Processing Zone Committee, CEO Hugh O’Brien signed on behalf of the Ministry of National Development.

It should be noted that the approval for Infotel to operate in Belize is part of the Government’s policy of expanding the EPZ programme to include ICT companies, especially as these companies create higher income jobs for Belizeans.

In Belize, any Export Processing Zone business receives a guaranteed 20-year tax holiday, being exempt from income tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax or any new corporate tax. There also other benefits that include:
– a possibility to extend the tax holiday period;
– a possibility to carry losses incurred during the tax holiday period forward and to deduct them against any future profits;
– any dividend that an EPZ business pays is exempted from tax in perpetuity;
– exemption from customs duties, VAT, sales taxes, excise taxes, tonnage taxes, trade turnover taxes, consumption taxes or other taxes for imports and exports of an EPZ business;
– exemption from currency export taxes or foreign exchange taxes on purchases or sales of foreign currency;
– exemption from capital gains tax on the sale of stock or other ownership interest (partial or complete) in an EPZ business;
– exemption from property or land tax and property transfer tax.