The total number of new company registrations increased across offshore jurisdictions in the first half of 2014, according to Appleby.

In the first half of 2014, there were 46,455 new offshore company incorporations, representing a 4% increase on the preceding six months, according to the firm’s latest On the Register report, which provides insight and data on company incorporations in offshore financial centres and focuses primarily on the first half of the year.

"This year is off to an encouraging start, with levels of active companies on the offshore company registers continuing to hold steady," said Farah Ballands, Partner and Global Head of Fiduciary & Administration Services at Appleby. "Cayman and Mauritius emerged as clear hot spots where we can see company creation activity looking very strong."

The Cayman Islands was the standout jurisdiction as measured by % increase, the report found, powering through the 5,000-level for the first time in a six-month period since 2008.

With 5,390 new companies registered, Cayman experienced a 17% increase over the previous six months – the largest percentage increase of all jurisdictions measured in the report.

In Mauritius, 1,278 new companies were incorporated during the first six months of 2014, representing a 12% increase over the previous half.

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The British Virgin Islands (BVI) continues to dominate offshore new company registration activity by volume, reporting 25,533 new companies – a 6% increase on the previous half-year – and easily maintaining its two-fold lead in number of companies formed ahead of its nearest comparator.

Bermuda followed up a strong second half of 2013 by adding an almost identical number of companies in the first half of 2014. Looking at the Crown Dependencies, Jersey experienced a 6% increase over the previous half-year, while Guernsey and the Isle of Man both saw dips in the number of new company incorporations.

The report noted, however, that Guernsey’s story remains encouraging as the total of 833 new incorporations is historically high.