Antigua and Barbuda (AG)

Jurisdiction Overview

172 *Are bearer shares available? Yes, unregistered bearer shares are available/circulating or registered by a private custodian.
 Data Date: 2018


Bearer shares must be held by an approved custodian (OECD 2010:176). According to the INCSR [International Narcotics Control Strategy Report]: "Bearer shares are permitted for international companies but the names and addresses of directors (who must be natural persons), the activities the corporation intends to conduct, the names of shareholders, and the numbers of shares they will hold are required to be disclosed". (INCSR 2012: 51). The Global Forum adds: "Antigua and Barbuda has established a requirement for bearer shares to be deposited with a custodian, converted to registered shares, or cancelled. [...] A custodian may be a licensed custodian if it has a physical presence in Antigua and Barbuda, or a recognised custodian if it is located outside of Antigua and Barbuda. [...] As at 31 October 2013, the FSRC reported that 95% of the bearer shares issued by IBCs have been deposited with a licensed custodian before the expiry of the transition period provided under the IBC Act. The remaining 5% of the bearer shares which were not deposited with a licensed custodian before the expiry of the transition period are considered “disabled”" (GF 2014: 35-36).
The Global Forum mentions: " While there are requirements for the IBCs to maintain a register identifying all the beneficial owners of bearer shares, the FSRC has not conducted any on-site examinations or checks during the review period to ensure that such registers are properly kept by the IBCs or their agents." (ibid.). In 2018, the FATF reported: "[...] a bearer share held by anyone other than a custodian is disabled" (FATF 2018: 172). Given that the custodian can be a private business and not necessarily a public institution, we consider that the bearer shares are not sufficiantly immobilised.


OECD 2010: 176; GF 2014: 35-36
INCSR 2012: 51; GF 2011: 28-29
FATF 2018: 172