Hedge Funds in Malta

No one could have foreseen the far sweeping effects of Malta joining the European Union in 2004. The country was galvanized and rejuvenated. Financial Services were set to expand and the reputation the country gained over the following years after accession solidified the country’s reputation further. At the heart of this cultural and mental revolution within the financial services sector, hedge funds were the foundation of the industry and the bases on which the other services could be based. The government of the day and every subsequent government has constantly encouraged this growth with great incentives in every area of financial services. Malta has evolved as a cost-effective domicile for funds, asset managers and fund administrators as well as for custodians catering to the growing fund industry in Malta. Testament to this effort is the undeniable fact that Malta is the home to over 580 investment funds and they have a combined net asset value of over €10 billion. The figures do not lie and the facts speak for themselves. Over the last few years Malta has managed to attract more complex and sophisticated asset management activities with larger companies and larger funds being attracted. In recent rankings she bench mark reports, Most has become a favoured domicile in Europe and the EU for investment funds. In fact, Malta has been ranked high in Hedge Funds Review Service Provider Rankings in 2013 and 2014. The World Economic Forum also ranks Malta high in their reports and publications. Regarding taxation, Malta is signatory to over 70 double taxation treaties. Due to Malta’s favourable relations with Mediterranean nations, North Africa states and countries the Middle East. This also facilities dealings for European, North & South American countries as well as Asian ones. Malta’s proximity to North Africa and the Middle East provides a perfect springboard to penetrate these lucrative and untapped markets. The Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA) is the regulatory body. Functioning in a constructive and helpful manner, they are quick, efficient and thorough. With the basic structure used for collective investment schemes being the SICAV, industry standards are retained. At this point in time, SICAV is the most widely used vehicle. The regulatory framework is in place and based on EU and British standards. Additionally, the industry is constantly evolving and expanding. With the new creation of a new system and regime for Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) bring one of the latest achievement as if further allows the landscape to be broadened. In fact it also allows for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and non-UCITS retail funds.

In 2012, there was a new addition to Malta’s repertoire of cellular fund vehicles. The Recognised Incorporated Cell Company (RICC). The RICC was set up as an innovative vehicle to target fund platform providers directly in exchange for payment of a platform fee. It also provides certain administrative services to its Incorporated Cells (ICs). All in all, Malta has constantly innovated and moved forward with legislation so that the climate is right and stable for investments of all kinds not least Funds.

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