Chinese billionaires nervous about BVI revelations exposed by journalists

Chinese billionaires nervous about BVI revelations: report

Staff Reporter, 2013-04-16

An in-depth report on global tax havens has made many wealthy individuals across the globe anxious due to the increasing possibility that their overseas fortunes will be exposed by journalists, reports the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald.

Reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists said hundreds of thousands of billionaires around the world, including many from China, have hidden their wealth in territories like the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands to dodge taxes. While this is hardly a new revelation, the prospect that individuals could be named publicly has caused consternation among those who fear their financial affairs might come under investigation.One anonymous Chinese billionaire told the newspaper that he had set up an overseas trust in the British Virgin Islands through the Singapore-based Portcullis TrustNet two years ago. The trust was aimed to ensure that his fortune is divided among his three children, as per his wishes.

Portcullis, which is said to be the largest offshore trust service provider in Asia, persuaded him to set up an offshore trust on the British Virgin Islands because of the low taxes there. Now he is concerned that his overseas wealth would draw the attention of the Chinese authorities, who might launch an investigation into his financial affairs.

Once the authorities initiate a probe into the nation’s richest people, the company might not be able to keep individual holdings secret, much less continue to offer its banking and trust services, said the billionaire.

The man added that he had chosen Portcullis because of its promise that his privacy would be protected, but now the reports could force the company to disclose some of his information to avoid a scandal of their own, and he could ultimately be investigated for avoiding taxes.

According to a 2010 report by the International Monetary Fund, the British Virgin Islands were the second largest destination for Chinese overseas investments, behind only to Hong Kong.

The investigative journalists had claimed they had information about most Chinese billionaires who wanted to conceal their wealth on the islands, said the newspaper.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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