Bahamas: Country and Foreign Investment
Import of Foreign Capital
The Bahamas' exchange controls apply only to the Bahamian dollar and to resident companies and individuals. There are no other capital or exchange controls applying to non-residents or to the various forms of offshore entity, which are allowed to import and export funds in all currencies. There are no taxes that apply to such transfers, and there is no withholding tax on interest, dividend or royalty payments. However, it is normal (and necessary) to apply to the Exchange Control Department before making any investment into the Bahamas; once the investment has been given 'approved investment' status, subsequent remittances out of the jurisdiction will be straightforward.
In February 2006 the Central Bank announced the relaxation of exchange controls relating to real estate investments, foreign currency transfers, mortgages, and debt and equity instruments.
Prior to the changes, residents purchasing securities or making real estate investments overseas had to do so through the Investment Currency Market (ICM), at a premium bid and offer rate of 25% and 20%, respectively. With immediate effect, these rates were reduced by half, to 12.5% and 10.0%, respectively.
In addition, equities of Bahamian Companies listed on BISX can be cross listed on principal CARICOM exchanges (i.e. Barbados, Jamaica, ECU and Trinidad & Tobago), within prescribed limits.
Foreign companies listed on principal CARICOM exchanges may list issued and outstanding equity securities on BISX.