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Malta Finance Centre In Good Shape

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Malta's efforts to establish itself as a dynamic, cost-efficient, financial services domicile is paying dividends, according to promotional agency MaltaFinance, which has highlighted that each of the island's financial services sectors, insurance, banking, trusts and funds, recorded solid performance during 2011.

Discussing Malta's success as an international financial centre in a year-end statement, FinanceMalta’s Chairman, Kenneth Farrugia said that: "The growth of the [financial services] sector speaks for itself. If you look at the growth of the funds industry as an example, 15 years ago we could describe the industry in just one word - ‘two’ - because we had two funds, two custodians and two asset managers. Today Malta has over 500 funds and in excess of 100 asset management companies, so the growth has been quite significant, predominantly in the last two or three years."

Today there are over 6,500 people in direct employment in financial intermediation, against the background of a total workforce of approximately 160,000.

The latest statistics released by the National Statistics Office show Malta has had substantial growth primarily in financial intermediation. Financial services are a significant contributor to GDP, edging towards 15% of the economy.

Currently the funds industry is leading the sector, having added over 100 new listings in the first half of 2011. "We’ve had compelling growth in this particular industry," notes Farrugia. "It’s clearly a sign that the industry has become truly international because we are serving fund managers based in the US, Canada, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Latvia, and beyond."

FinanceMalta said that Malta is seeing substantial demand from a number of hedge fund managers who are choosing to shift their operations to Malta in response to both the rising costs of business and the growing regulatory burden in their domicile. Malta is emerging alongside London, Geneva, Luxembourg and the Swiss canton of Zug, as another European location for fund managers keen to maintain flexible operating arrangements and reduce tax bills, the agency said.

Farrugia highlighted the insurance sector as an additional future area of strong growth for Malta: "A growing body of insurers are finding their way to the island given the firm but flexible regulatory regime and access to excellent support services. Prospects for this sector look to be encouraging with Malta frequently being chosen ahead of competing jurisdictions."

Malta is also an emerging regional hub and key location for wealth managers, family offices, high-net worth individuals and retirees, MaltaFinance reported. Bruno L’ecuyer, FinanceMalta’s Head of Business Development, said: "Given Malta's favourable residency and tax laws, innovative investment vehicles (including specialist funds regimes and trust companies), excellent legal and accountancy services, and a warm and sunny climate, all within the European Union, the country has begun to appeal to a wide audience in this area."

Also, when it comes to the speed of transposing regulations and international legislation, Malta is industry leading, enhancing the territory's appeal, Head of Administration, Dr. Bernice Buttigieg said. "Malta has a clear edge and this contributes significantly to our competitive advantage. In fact, Malta on the EU scoreboard ranks joint first with Denmark. We are efficient in transposing directives or European regulations into our national legislation. The reason behind this is because we’re small but we’re nimble, we can act very quickly and we don’t have a significant hierarchy."

"We used to say that Malta is waiting to be discovered, but I think Malta is now being discovered today. The acceleration of foreign companies coming to the island is a manifestation of that. People are sometimes driven by perceptions, but you need to come to the island, meet with government, the regulator and the operators and get a first-hand view of what Malta is really about. I think when people do that, then Malta is sold to them. We don’t want to keep Malta a secret any more," Farrugia concluded.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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