4 - 10 April 2001
Investment Services, CIS up dramatically last year
- IS licences more than double last year
By a staff reporter
The number of Collective Investment Schemes licensed to operate in Malta leaped dramatically last year, more than doubled from 132 at the end of 1999 to no less than 306 by the end of last year, the Malta Financial Services Centre reports.
Meanwhile, Investment Services licenses were also on the rise last year, nearly doubling from 50 at the end of 1999 to 94 at the end of 2000.
Foreign Collective Investment Schemes continued their interest in seeking listings on the Malta Stock Exchange, demonstrated by the fact that of the 306 licenses currently listed 262 were overseas based schemes.
Maltese Collective Investment Schemes listed last year were the Amalgamated Investments, Melita International Funds and Wignacourt Funds.
The main objectives of the Amalgamated and Wignacourt Funds are to maximise the level of return for investors through investments in Maltese equities and debt securities, Collective Investment Schemes listed on the MSE, money market instruments and through bank deposits.
Meanwhile, Melita International Funds, which includes Aberdeen International sub-funds, invests in a wide range of international markets.
The MFSC's Investment Services Unit also forged an important relationships last year.
Following Malta's recognition as an approved jurisdiction by the British Virgin Islands Finance Ministry, the MFSC and the British Virgin Islands Finance Ministry undertook the exchange of information between the two bodies on a regular basis while ensuring that the information remains confidential.
A similar agreement was established in 1996 between the MFSC and the Commissione Nazionale per la Societa e la Borsa (CONSOB). The two bodies had agreed to provide one another with non-public information upon request.
Collective Investment Schemes in particular were the subject of debate recently, with the Chamber of Commerce and others calling upon on the government to abandon the budgetary initiative that will see the imposition of a 15 per cent tax on CISs both those with a local and a foreign base.
The parties concerned contend that such a measure will lead to a loss in the local investment service business a sensitive area important to Malta's growing financial sector.
The budgetary initiative is aimed at eliminating a discrepancy between those who invest in Collective Investment Schemes and those investing in other investment vehicles on the Malta Stock Exchange.