Jersey’s finance industry showed stable overall growth in the third quarter of 2011, with the value of funds it administers growing to reach its highest level since June 2009.

Geoff Cook, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance Limited, saw signs of resilience for Jersey in what continues to be a challenging environment, citing particularly positive news for the funds sector, which recorded 10.5% year on year growth in the net asset value of funds being administered in Jersey to stand at £197.6bn. That figure does not include funds established under the Unregulated Funds Regime, of which there were 147 by the end of the period – an 8% increase on the previous quarter.

Bank deposits also showed a quarterly increase, with deposits originating from the Far East and Middle East remaining impressive, standing at £6.8bn and £20.3bn.respectively, once again reflecting the value of ongoing promotional activity in Hong Kong, Greater China and the Gulf region.

That the total number of companies registered in Jersey grew to its highest level in the past 12 months was also a positive indicator of the health of the industry.

The statistics, collated and prepared by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, are for the three month period ending 30th September 2011. The headline figures are as follows:

• Banking deposits increased by £2.3bn (1.4%) during the third quarter of 2011 from £165bn to £167.3bn.
• The Net Asset Value of funds under administration increased by £1bn (0.5%) from £196.6bn to £197.6bn during the third quarter of 2011. The total number of regulated funds increased by 42 from 1,323 to 1,365 over this period.
• The total number of unregulated funds increased by 11 (8%) to 147 during the third quarter of 2011.
• The value of funds under investment management decreased by £1.4bn (6.3%) compared to the previous quarter from £22.2bn to £20.8bn.
• The total number of live companies on the register increased by 78 from 33,116 to 33,194 during the third quarter of 2011.

Geoff Cook commented: “Jersey’s finance industry performed well during the third quarter of 2011. The total sterling value of banking deposits increased by 1.4% with currency fluctuations accounting for 0.5% of this movement. Encouraging news was also received on the banking front with the announcement that Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has successfully applied to operate in Jersey.

“We are particularly encouraged by the increase in the total number of Jersey funds, especially against a backdrop of challenging fundraising conditions. A total of 53 new funds were added to the total funds stocks during the period – the best quarterly performance since September 2010. Whilst a 6.3% decrease in the net asset value of funds under investment management was recorded, this performance is still relatively good when benchmarked against key financial market indices – the FTSE 100 index decreased by more than 15% over the same period.

“Increasingly, Jersey is a key jurisdiction for corporate listings. Our members are receiving enquiries from many Indian and Chinese businesses to set up capital raising structures using Jersey companies. This is supported by the total number of live companies in Jersey increasing for a fourth consecutive quarter.’’

Nigel Strachan, Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association, added: “That the funds sector in Jersey continues to perform well in difficult conditions, recording an increase in the value of funds under administration for the fifth consecutive quarter, will give investors confidence in Jersey. It’s also pleasing that the alternative asset classes remain strong, with the value of Private Equity, Venture Capital and Real Estate funds being administered in Jersey all showing increases on the previous quarter.”