KUALA LUMPUR – Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) today hosted more than 300 lessors and lessees from across Asia, including Malaysia, the largest ever gathering focused specifically on the benefits and future of asset leasing in the jurisdiction.
Speaking at Labuan IBFC Asset Leasing Symposium 2018, Farah Jaafar-Crossby, CEO of Labuan IBFC Inc, said: “The (leasing) industry is expected to have a bright prospect in Asia particularly, and it is expected to experience an increase in volume, with a projected annualised growth of 10%-18%. This level of growth is reflective of the continued economic growth of the Asian region and bodes well for the future of Labuan IBFC as Asia’s centre for asset leasing.”
She also expressed her confidence in Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA) commitment to ensure the jurisdiction remains centre and forefront in ensuring Labuan IBFC is kept up to date with the latest regulatory developments, especially those set by multilateral bodies, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Farah added that this was evidenced by the recent launch of a fresh guidance by Labuan FSA to further strengthen the operating environment of the industry by ensuring adherence to global best practices and international standards of transparency as well as economic substance.
One of the key changes in the revised Guidelines on the Establishment and Operations of Labuan Leasing Business is the substance requirements that call for Labuan leasing companies to establish substantial activities and perform strategic functions in island itself. Whilst not being excessively prescriptive, it now ensures that leasing companies now meet international standards.
“Although the revised legislations appear to be more restrictive, this certainly will not hinder the growth of the leasing sector in Labuan IBFC. In fact, the changes are beneficial for Labuan IBFC as this is in line with the global regulatory requirements.
“In a nutshell, we see transparency and substance creation as fundamental elements for all businesses operating in Labuan IBFC, especially when one considers the favourable operational cost of being in Malaysia or Labuan,” Farah added.
“After all, Labuan IBFC is a midshore jurisdiction which means that it provides a business and intermediation centre which marries ease of doing business, tax and currency neutrality, niche legal solutions, operational cost efficiency and international standards of compliance,” she quipped.
The Labuan IBFC Asset Leasing Symposium was a half-day event attended by more than 300 regional delegates from the leasing and leasing-related industries. Present at the event were Director-General of Labuan FSA, Danial Mah Abdullah and senior members of the Regulatory body as well as Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, the competent authority on all matters relating to taxation in Labuan IBFC.
The symposium also featured a presentation by Datin Shelina Razali Wahi, Partner at Abdullah Chan & Co, who is also the Honorary Secretary for the Malaysia Aerospace Industry Association on the potential of making Labuan IBFC as an aviation hub for Asia Pacific, especially in light of the latest developments in the jurisdiction.
The event was supported by Labuan IBFC’s key partners, specifically the Association of Labuan Trust Companies, Adnan Sundra & Low, AMS Trust Company Limited, Hans Advisory & Trust Co Ltd, Noblehouse International Trust Ltd, Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, JTC Kensington, Tricor and ZRC International Inc.
More information on the Guidelines on the Establishment and Operations of Labuan Leasing Business here: http://bit.ly/2tMfcsW