Malta Voted as Favoured European Funds Domicile

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Malta as an option for domicile has swiftly escalated to the top of the ranks, skipping from third to first place in just a year. This according to the latest illustrious Hedge Funds Review Service Provider Ranking where individuals, including a good percentage who hold C-level positions, expressed their views.

Achieving 22.1 per cent of all European votes is tantamount evidence that Malta has invariably played its cards right following European accession. A glimpse at the amount of domiciled funds will paint a more clear picture; looking back in 2004 only four hedge funds were domiciled in Malta, whilst the figure has now surged to over 578. There is no doubt that the island’s reputation as a hedge fund domicile has steadily increased year on year and the survey result is testament to the fact that Malta is now considered to place at the top in Europe.

The reasons behind Malta’s success in being perceived as the most attractive domicile in Europe are numerous. Considering that English is an official and widely spoken language, the attractive real estate costs and the competitively priced skilled and multilingual workforce can be seen as only scratching the surface. Margie Lyndsay mentions that “Malta’s attractiveness as a domicile lies in its competitive advantage on cost as well as a regulator that is open to new strategies and approachable by fund managers who are just starting out.”

Having implemented tailor made legislation; Malta offers a portfolio of fund options ranging from UCITS schemes to PIFs. Moreover, recent regulation has further broadened the horizon allowing the possibility for a fund to be constituted as an Incorporated Cell Company.

Furthermore, Malta’s tax system, has been confirmed to be in full conformity with the requirements related to International transparency standards and exchange of information for tax purposes by the OECD and also deemed by the European Commission to be compliant with EU non-discrimination principles.

Taking all this into perspective there is no doubt why Professor Joe Bannister, Chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority has said: “This top ranking goes some way to demonstrate the pro-active and engaged way in which we deal with companies and funds seeking to use Malta as a funds domicile or funds centre.”

Another angle also shines a very positive light on Malta. The 2013 – 2014 Global Competitiveness Report drawn up by the World Economic Forum placed Malta amongst the top tier of a total of 148 world nations with regards to issues related to soundness of its banking institutions (14th), the regulation of Securities Exchanges (17th) and the strength and reporting standards (13th).