Maltese Law provides for the registration and location of a number of Funds and Collective Investment Scheme (CIS). These take the form of Retail Funds; professional Investor Funds and Private Collective Investment Schemes.
It is also possible to register Specialist Schemes.
The Malta Financial Services Authority is responsible for the licensing, regulation and supervision of all Funds and CISs. The principal legislation is the Investment Services Act, 1994 (ISA).
A CIS may choose to be exempt from tax in Malta but, in that case, it will not be entitled to avail itself of Malta’s vast Double Taxation Treaty network.
Retail Funds as structures may be both open-ended and close-ended.
These Funds may be set up as either public or private funds. It is also possible for these Funds to obtain a primary or secondary listing in the Malta Stock Exchange.
Professional Investor Funds
Professional Investor Funds (PIF) take the form of an open or close-ended investment company (in the form of a SICAV [having variable share capital] or INFCO [having fixed share capital]); a limited partnership or Unit Trust.
A PIF may be established outside Malta or, alternatively, established in Malta but operated from outside Malta. A PIF that is established in Malta and operated from abroad must appoint a judicial representative who must be either a licensee under the ISA, an advocate or an accountant recognised by the Malta Financial Services Authority.
Although a PIF may accept nominee investors, these will be treated on a transparent basis meaning that the Fund Manager must know the identity of the beneficial owner of the money being invested.
Private Collective Investment Schemes
These are schemes which are limited in participation to a maximum of fifteen persons who must be either close friends or relatives of the promoters. The Scheme must be predominantly private in nature such that it would not qualify as a Professional Investor Fund and cannot be listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. Such schemes do not require the appointment of an external manager and are not subject to licensing but must seek recognition in writing from the Malta Financial Services Authority.
PCM Legal provides services in the following areas:
- Drafting of Documentation
- Registration Procedures
- Recognition Procedures