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Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

ISLAMIC FINANCE A CountryProfiler Publication


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About FinanceMalta

A Culture of Getting Things Done F

inanceMalta, a non-profit public-private foundation, was set up to promote Malta’s Business & Financial Centre, both within, as well as outside Malta. It brings together the resources of the industry and government, to ensure Malta maintains a modern and effective legal, regulatory and fiscal framework in which the financial services sector can continue to grow and prosper. FinanceMalta’s Board of Governors, together with the founding associations that include the Malta Funds Industry Association, the College of Stockbrokers, the Malta Bankers’ Association, the Malta Insurance Association, the Association of Insurance Brokers, the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners, and the affiliated Malta Insurance Management Association, as well as its members and staff, are committed to promoting Malta as a centre of excellence in financial services and international business.

Membership FinanceMalta offers two types of membership: Corporate and Affiliate. Corporate Membership is open to entities operating within the financial services industry, such as fund, insurance and pension management companies, while Affiliate Membership is designed for organisations and companies wishing to take advantage of the growth of Malta’s finance industry and the FinanceMalta network, including firms providing Real Estate Services, Recruitment Services, Business and Professional Services, and Media Organisations. For further information on membership categories and classification, visit www.financemalta.org.

Board Members Kenneth Farrugia (Chairman) Prof. Joe V. Bannister (Vice-Chairman) Charles Borg / Mark Watkinson Matthew Bianchi Chris J. Naudi Annalise Micallef John Huber André Borg Bernice Buttigieg (Secretary to the Board)


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Benefits of FinanceMalta Membership: • Direct access to the experience and knowledge of fellow members. • Receive regular updates, newsletters, and publications on relevant issues. • Attend partner seminars, training and workshops on a wide range of specialist subjects at heavily discounted rates, with some events being complimentary. • Influence the market, regulators and law makers through FinanceMalta’s lobbying activities. • Benefit from FinanceMalta’s marketing and PR initiatives. • Regular opportunities to showcase your firm on the international scene under the umbrella of FinanceMalta. • Opportunity to publish white papers and articles on FinanceMalta’s website and to take part in topical webcast series.

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FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

FinanceMalta Leadership Team

“Over the past ten years, Malta’s financial services industry has developed from one that was primarily led by the domestic market into a truly international financial services centre, attracting many top-rated financial services firms.”

“FinanceMalta is working with all stakeholders to ensure that more qualified individuals enter the industry as the finance centre grows. We also offer training and re-training initiatives in order to help professionals remain informed.”

“We are aiming to take Malta to the next level and create a globally recognised international financial services sector that is based on our skilled workforce, a stable regulatory environment and business-friendly policies.”

Kenneth Farrugia Chairman chairman@financemalta.org

Bernice Buttigieg Head of Administration bernice.buttigieg@financemalta.org

Ivan Grech Head of Business Development ivan.grech@financemalta.org

FinanceMalta, Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT 1063 - Malta E:  info@financemalta.org T: +356 21 224 525 · F: +356 21 449 212

Follow us on:

FinanceMalta

@FinanceMalta

Promoting and Fostering Malta’s Finance Centre

FinanceMalta

FinanceMaltaYT


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CountryProfiler Ltd is a specialist publisher of country information that assists corporations managing operations across national borders with trade, investment and relocation decisions. CountryProfiler is recognised by senior business executives, government representatives, institutions and global organisations as a leading provider of informative, insightful and actionable country intelligence. Europe 64, St Anne Court, Flat 4, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1642 - Malta T: +356 2034 2034 North America Suite 21-2123, Walkers Line, Burlington, Ontario L7M 42Z9 - Canada Tel: +1 905 645 1130 Fax: +1 905 963 7968

Meet the Team

Garvan Keating Regional Director keating@countryprofiler.com

Heidi Marttinen Editor marttinen@countryprofiler.com

Sonja Lindenberg Editor lindenberg@countryprofiler.com

Daniel Geraldes Business Executive daniel@countryprofiler.com

Morgane Stein Business Executive morgane@countryprofiler.com

Melissa Puglisevich Office Manager puglisevich@countryprofiler.com

Email: info@countryprofiler.com Website: www.countryprofiler.com Main Photography Fritz Grimm Additional Photography Alan Carville / Malta Stock Exchange Design Ramon Micallef - ram@box-design.net Printing Gutenberg Press, Malta Publication Date April 2015 The information included in this publication is for information purposes only and is subject to change. With regard to the licensing of a business, income generation or any other legal or accounting matters, the Publisher strongly recommends that the reader seeks the advice of an appropriately licensed professional. The Guide is meant as general information and should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a technical guide in substitution of the relevant legislation. Additional requirements may also apply. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs, or illustrations.


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Contents 1 2 4 6 7 16 18 22 24 26 28 30 34 36 40 44

About FinanceMalta Publisher Information Finance Industry Stakeholders Malta at a Glance International Finance Centre: A Partner for Success Key Reasons to do Business in Malta Key Opportunities Sharia-Compliant Funds MFSA Guidelines for Sharia-Compliant Funds Capital Markets: Sukuk and the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) Special Purpose Vehicles and Trusts Takaful: Islamic Insurance in Malta Islamic Finance: Glossary A Guide for Doing Business in Malta Malta: A Cosmopolitan Lifestyle in the Med Who's Who: Malta Business Profiles


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Finance Industry Stakeholders Ministry for Finance www.mfin.gov.mt

Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business www.economy.gov.mt

Prof. Edward Scicluna Minister for Finance

Dr Christian Cardona Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business

Dr José Herrera Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth

Finance Industry Associations

Malta Association for Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP)

Malta Bankers Association (MBA)

Malta Fund Industry Association (MFIA)

Malta Insurance Association (MIA)

Chairman: Bethell Codrington

Chairman: Mark Watkinson

Chairman: Kenneth Farrugia

Director General: Adrian Galea

www.maltabankers.org

www.mfia.org.mt

www.maltainsurance.org

Malta Institute of Taxation

Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA)

Malta Institute of Management (MIM)

www.maintax.org

www.miamalta.org

www.maltamanagement.com

Additional Resources


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Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) www.mfsa.com.mt

Central Bank of Malta www.centralbankmalta.org

FinanceMalta www.financemalta.org

Malta Stock Exchange www.borzamalta.com.mt

Prof. Joseph Bannister Chairman

Prof. Josef Bonnici Governer

Kenneth Farrugia Chairman

Paul Spiteri Chairman

Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA)

Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP)

Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB)

Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) Malta

Chairman: John Tortell

President: Christopher J. Naudi

Chairman: Mark Spiteri

Branch Chair: Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

www.mima-malta.com

www.ifsp.org.mt

www.aibmalta.com

www.step.org/malta

Malta Chamber of Commerce

Institute of Directors (IoD) Malta

Malta Enterprise

Malta Chamber of Advocates

www.maltachamber.org.mt

www.iod.com/malta

www.maltaenterprise.com

www.avukati.org


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International Finance Centre

Malta at a Glance

GOZO

Located in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta is rapidly growing into one of the foremost business hubs for international financial services in the Euro-Med region.

MALTA

Wealth Management Domicile at a Glance

Inflation rate (January 2015) EU: -0.5%

6.0%

Unemployment rate (January 2015) EU: 9.8%

3.3%

IFRS

GDP Growth (2014)

Accounting Standards

Total area Maltese Islands: 316km2

Currency Euro

68

Number of Double Tax Treaties

€136.8bn FDI (June 2014)

Time 1 hour ahead of GMT

Sovereign Ratings

0.8%

A

(Fitch, 2015)

A3

(Moody’s, 2014)

BBB+/A-2

(Standard & Poor’s, 2015)

Population 421,000 (2014)

Rain Annual rainfall 600mm

Finance Centre (2014) Contribution to GDP................................................13% Employees ....................................................... 10,000+ Companies on the register ............................. 65,000+ New registrations ................................................ 5,144 Number of new companies .................................. 5,061 Number of new partnerships .................................... 83 Time to start up a business ...............................1 week

Sunshine 300 days a year

Temperature Winter 12ºC Summer 31ºC

Redomiciled Companies

European Economic Forecast (Winter 2015)

In 2013, 111 companies transferred their domicile to Malta, which represents an increase of over 60 per cent from the previous year, 70 per cent of transferred companies were from non-EU countries while the remaining 30 per cent from EU countries.

Forecasts for Malta GDP growth (%, yoy) Inflation (%, yoy) Unemployment (%) Structural budget balance (% of GDP) Gross public debt (% of GDP) Current account balance (% of GDP)

2011

2012

2013

57 68 111

2014 3.3 0.8 6.0 -2.7 68.6 3.3

Tax rate 35%

2015 3.3 1.0 5.9 -2.4 68.0 3.5

2016 2.9 1.9 5.9 -2.2 66.8 3.6


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International Finance Centre

A Partner for Success Country

Knowledge Economy

Recession Proof Malta stands alone as an oasis of financial prosperity in a Europe desiccated by the financial crisis. From a financial standpoint, Malta is proof that you do not have to be a big country to be a big player. Home to a population of just over 421,000 people and just 316 square kilometres in area, the island prides itself on being one of the best performing eurozone economies, registering healthy economic growth and low unemployment. Adapting and Growing As a hub for business from European and North African countries, Malta is marked by its flexibility, innovation and competitiveness. It is with these qualities that Malta has gone from strength to strength since it gained independence from Britain in 1964. In particular, Malta’s financial services industry has been a key focus of the government and a great success story in the country’s growth. Business in English International Malta uses English as an official language, alongside Maltese. Use of English is universal, making Malta instantly accessible to anyone conversant in English. Many Maltese also speak a third language, usually Italian, German or French.

Central Location Located at the centre of the Mediterranean, the Maltese Islands lie virtually midway between Europe and North Africa, some 90 kilometres south of Sicily and 300 kilometres north of Libya. This makes the island an excellent gateway for business between Europe, Africa the Middle East and Asia. The capital city, Valletta, is both the administrative and business centre of the country. Committed to Business Malta’s parliament recognises the importance of business success to the nation’s prosperity. This is why Maltese political leaders are committed to developing key industries, such as finance, ICT and aviation, as well as encouraging more direct foreign investment. Over the past years, both government and opposition have worked hand-in-hand to create the right legislative and regulatory framework for financial services firms to grow and prosper.

Economic Power Malta has posted healthy economic growth for the last four years. In 2014, the economy and the labour market continued to perform well, and the outlook for 2015/16 is favourable. Strong labour market fundamentals, recovering investment and an accommodative fiscal stance are projected to have resulted in real GDP growth of 3.3 per cent in 2014. This has also allowed Malta to maintain one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, hovering around 6 per cent against the EU average of 10 per cent. Diversified Economy Over the past years, Malta has diversified and thrived. Popular as a safe and sunny tourist destination for sunstarved northern Europeans, the tourism sector contributes some 25 per cent to the island’s GDP. However, a variety of service businesses have joined the traditional economic generator, and services now account for 75 per cent of Malta’s GDP. Industry accounts for 23 per cent and agriculture for 2 per cent. A Future in Services Malta has played to its strengths by establishing itself as the most successful knowledge-based economy in the Mediterranean region. Key to this success has been

3.3% GDP Growth in 2014

75%

Services sector share in Malta’s economy the growth of service-focused businesses in fields such as ICT and the booming Maltese financial services industry. Expansion of the aviation and maritime industries together with life sciences and education pave the way for a prosperous future. Strong and Healthy Banks Much of Malta’s economic growth can be attributed to the excellent regulation of banks and the financial services sector. Maltese banks also have a strong local deposit base, and the banking sector is not significantly exposed to foreign sovereign debt risks. In addition, assets held by the island’s five core banks are twice the size of Malta’s GDP, which itself is only half the EU average. Towards the Future As hard work and diligent regulation have built the foundations for Malta’s recent achievements, the country’s future wellbeing is crucially linked to its success in moving further up the value chain and finding markets for the export of high-quality products and services. One of Malta’s aims is to become the European financial centre of choice. Outside of Europe, Malta continues to build its good relations with China, with both nations keen to encourage cooperation between their financial services sectors.


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10

th

Soundest Banking System

World Economic Forum 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Index

Finance Centre Serious Business Malta’s ascent into an international centre of repute has been one of the fastest and most remarkable growth stories in recent times. Recognised for its probusiness attitude, excellent regulation and competitive cost of doing business, Malta has become the go-to finance centre for start-ups, growthminded entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike. Europe’s Fund Gateway The fund industry is one of the finance centre’s main engines of growth. Malta hosts over 580 investment funds which have a combined net asset value of almost €10 billion. While Malta has a reputation as a jurisdiction for smaller financial services companies and start-ups, the fund sector is maturing and attracting sophisticated asset management activities. Strong Ratings and Rankings Maltese banks are some of the world’s safest credit institutions. The World Economic Forum rated the island’s banking system as the 10th soundest in its 20142015 Global Competitiveness Index. Institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and international credit rating agencies confirmed the sector’s robustness and resilience, while Bank of

Valletta and the parent banks of domestic subsidiaries – such as HSBC – have passed the EU-wide stress tests of recent years. Winning in Wealth Management The country is a welcoming place for high-net-worth individuals due to its mixture of innovative products, experienced professionals and strong regulatory framework. It offers all the favourite investment vehicles of wealthy clients, while allowing investors to protect their assets through the establishment of trusts and foundations. Malta is also presenting itself as a holistic lifestyle and residency destination for affluent foreigners. Pushing Growth through Captives Malta is a relative newcomer to the international insurance market, yet it has made significant strides in attracting world-class companies to its shores, including some of the largest blue-chip corporations in the world. Malta championed the introduction of innovative structures such as Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) and Reinsurance Special Purpose Vehicles (RSPVs), and has built up a reputation for being a cost-effective EU base for insurance and reinsurance providers and a highly attractive captive domicile.

Diversified International Finance Centre Insurance Banking Investment Funds Asset Management Holding & Trading Companies International Pensions Capital Markets Wealth Management Trusts & Foundations Maritime & Aviation Islamic Finance Expat Residency Financial Institutions Family Offices Foreign Exchange


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Competitiveness A Leading Centre Malta regularly receives high rankings in benchmarking reports and was named ‘Most favoured domicile in Europe’ for investment funds in the Hedge Funds Review Service Provider Rankings in 2013 and 2014. In addition, the World Economic Forum ranks Malta above average for almost every metric in financial market development. Innovation through Regulation Malta’s financial regulatory framework is among one of the most robust in the world and is fully harmonised with EU and OECD rules, while still being sophisticated enough to remain a flexible platform for the financial services industry. The proactive approach taken by the regulator – the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) – has supported the country in becoming a leading financial centre in Europe. High Performance Unlike many of its EU peers, Malta’s financial services sector has not been affected by the financial crisis. While other nations were trying to minimise their losses, Malta was posting year-on-year growth. Its financial sector alone has expanded around 25 per cent annually, and the banking sector did not have to carry out any restructuring or re-capitalisation exercises.

25%

Annual expansion of Malta’s financial sector

Low-Risk Environment As a European Union member with a longestablished democratic tradition, Malta offers a veritable safe haven for investors. Liberal economic policies and a government committed to an open business environment are important factors for many investors looking for longterm stability. The Maltese tax system is the only remaining full imputation system in the EU. The system has been in use since 1948 and is fully approved by the EU and OECD. Quick Start-Up Time Malta’s financial regulator, the MFSA, has set timeframes for the approval of licence applications for financial services such as investment funds and insurance vehicles. The authority takes a diligent, risk-based approach to each licence application. This allows for the fast-tracking of applications when needed and incorporating a company in Malta takes just a few days.

EU & OECD

Approved financial services framework


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Market Access Global Business Gateway Malta’s internal market is relatively small, and the real opportunity lies in using the country as a stepping stone to markets in Europe and North Africa. Strategically located at the centre of the Mediterranean, between Europe and North Africa, Malta has historically been the link between the two continents. This is why so many investors see the benefits of using Malta as the first step towards success in surrounding markets. Single EU Passport Since becoming an EU member in 2004, Malta has experienced accelerated growth in all sectors of its financial services industry. With the introduction of passporting rights, allowing companies to establish a branch or provide services

in any other EU country, many business opportunities opened up between Malta and the EU. Establishing a business in Malta provides instant access to the EU’s internal market of over 500 million people in 28 EU economies. Easy Access to World Markets Malta also enjoys excellent relations outside of the EU, specifically with other Mediterranean nations in North Africa and the Middle East, making it an attractive base for European, American or Asian companies wishing to enter the relatively untapped markets to the south. In addition, Malta is a signatory to some 70 doubletaxation treaties, covering most of the world’s highgrowth markets facilitating international business.

Perfect Timing Malta is in a convenient time zone to do international business. The island is one hour ahead of GMT, thus matching office hours with Asia in the morning, Europe throughout the day and the US in the afternoon. This allows international business conducted from Malta to be timely and profitable. Ahead of the Curve In a changing regulatory landscape with tighter requirements, Malta offers a safe EU location with a firm but flexible regulatory framework. Malta is quick in transposing EU directives related to the financial services sector into local law. The island also works closely with other regulatory authorities to provide access to international markets and to ensure a smooth international trading environment for financial services.

GOZO COMINO

Sliema •

• St. Julians • Valletta

MALTA Malta International Airport •

Malta offers easy access to EU, African and Middle Eastern Markets


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Infrastructure A Platform for Business As a rapidly expanding economy, Malta has consistently delivered on demands to its infrastructure. Substantial investments have created a highly sophisticated business environment. Thanks to its financial infrastructure, pro-business climate, and growing international trade and investment in new industries, Malta is well positioned to seize economic opportunities. State-of-the-Art Telecoms In overcoming its geographical limitations, Malta has built up one of the world’s best telecoms infrastructures. Currently it ranks 3rd of 144 countries worldwide for international internet bandwidth per user, as ranked by the

World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015. This incredible level of internet service is maintained by two satellite stations and four submarine fibre-optic links to mainland Europe. Growing Industry Cluster In growing its financial services industry, Malta’s government has the support of a vibrant community of progressive-minded officials and committed business leaders. Today, a growing business cluster is driving productivity, new business and innovation within Malta’s finance industry. There are also many entities offering expert legal and support services to local and international clients.

Network of Worldwide Connections Located on the main shipping routes, Malta has been a significant port for most of its modern history, with links to other major ports in Europe, North Africa and Asia. Malta is connected by air to almost every major city in Europe, and to key destinations in North Africa and the Middle East, most only a few hours’ flight-time away.

Affordable Office Space A wide range of office space can be found across the island, rents are reasonable and finding an office close to popular residential areas and amenities is relatively easy. Office space is available in purpose-built office blocks, as well as in converted houses and apartments, or within brand new mixed-use developments. Costs have become even more reasonable with business electricity tariffs being lowered by 25 per cent in 2015.

3

rd

out of 144 countries Malta’s ranking for International bandwidth per user

World Economic Forum 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Index


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Regulation and Legislation Robust Regulation The country’s legislation is in line with EU law and is built on best practices from other finance centres. It caters for the regulation of investment funds, banking, insurance business, pension funds, as well as investment service providers and trustees. Maltese legislation is designed to efficiently meet the needs of both the industry and the consumer and is updated continuously to reflect the latest market demands.

Efficient Regulator At the heart of Malta’s finance centre is an independent, risk-based regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which grants licences and regulates all financial activities. The MFSA ensures best practice and compliance, while the fact that it regulates all financial services allows it to streamline procedures for companies, to reduce bureaucracy and to offer lower regulatory fees.

Working in Partnership The MFSA is known for being as thorough in their regulation as they are easy to approach and associate with. The country’s small size allows direct contact with licensees, which gives the MFSA a good understanding of the soundness of the licence holders. The MFSA establishes constructive working relationships with companies investing in Malta, which helps ensure a smoother start up and full compliance with all regulatory standards.

Risk-based Regulator

Integrity and Low Risk Having joined the European Union in 2004, Malta strictly adheres to EU anti-money laundering policies, insider dealing and professional secrecy laws, and its

The Malta Financial Services Authority

frameworks are aimed at attracting only international businesses of repute. Malta’s adoption of the euro in 2008 has added further stability and increased the ease of doing business across frontiers. The Right Tools The island’s legal system is rooted in both the AngloSaxon common law tradition and the Continental European Napoleonic/Justinian code. However, Maltese corporate law is firmly based on British models. The MFSA also has advantageous regulation for re-domiciling companies into and out of Malta. This allows established businesses to set up shop in the country, while preserving the continuity of company legacy, reputation and its financial track record.


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Lifestyle Living the High Life Aside from being a great place to invest and run a business, Malta also offers an excellent quality of life. With its Mediterranean environment, Malta is far more relaxed and reasonably priced than other major European finance centres. The island also has your day-to-day needs covered, with some of the best medical care in the world and an excellent education system, whether private or public. The Mediterranean at its Best Malta is abundant with beautiful, easily accessed beaches and many offices for rent enjoy a sea-view. Thanks to the warm summers and mild winters, it is easy to make the most of your free time in Malta,

whether you prefer to enjoy fine dining al fresco, relax by the sea or engage in other outdoor activities. Top Leisure Activities Malta offers much more than just the traditional ‘sun and sea’ package. Leisure activities such as horse riding, archery and bowling are available alongside traditional sports clubs such as football and rugby as well as a variety of great gyms to keep you fit. You can also pamper yourself with a fantastic selection of restaurants, spas and hotels or visit one of the many lively night spots to dance your cares away. Feel at Home It is easy to feel at home in Malta. Chances are the local supermarkets will stock

products you know from home, and the high streets and shopping malls host most of the big brand names. All your personal needs – from private banking to tax planning – are catered for. When you are ready to find a place to settle down, Malta has a wide range of properties from luxury penthouses and villas to modest apartments and office spaces, all at very reasonable rents. Relaxed Atmosphere It is easy to strike a great work-life balance in Malta. The country’s small size means that commuting times are minimal, giving you more time to enjoy the island. As one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate, Malta is an ideal place for the whole family.


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Costs and Fees Value for Money No amount of sun, sea and sand can drive a business decision as much as cost. Fortunately, Malta offers great cost advantages as a finance centre, especially when compared to the rest of Europe and other leading jurisdictions. International companies often note that they receive great value for money when considering the skills and expertise present in the Maltese market. Despite its size, Malta is a compelling alternative to other larger financial hubs in Europe. Low Operational Overheads What makes Malta particularly attractive to international companies is that legal and accounting fees, as well as certain regulatory fees, are lower in Malta than in most other European jurisdictions. Overall ongoing operational costs are approximately 20-30 per cent lower than those in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This means companies can offer their services to clients at an attractive cost rate. Fiscally Efficient Framework Malta offers a tax-friendly base for financial services companies, operating a full imputation tax system. While all companies pay tax at a rate of 35 per cent, certain shareholders are entitled to refunds for the tax paid by

the company and there is no withholding tax on dividends. In addition, companies benefit from a wide network of double tax treaties. This combined with a number of other incentives make the costs of doing business in Malta more than affordable. Low Living Expenses Malta has one of the lowest costs of living in the EU. Rents are cheaper than in most other European countries, and apartments are often fully furnished. Public transport and taxi fares are also lower. Some household and personal care items can be more expensive in Malta as the majority of products are imported, yet food prices are more or less the same as in other European countries. Free state healthcare and education is available in addition to private clinics and schools. Competitive Personal Tax Rates Salaries in Malta are usually one-third lower than in the more established finance centres. Nevertheless, the purchasing power of Maltese people is much stronger thanks to the country’s lower living cost and competitive personal tax rates. Individuals are charged on their income at progressive tax rates up to a maximum of 35 per cent. However, for 2015, Malta reduced the top rate of income tax for those who earn less than ₏60,001 to 25 per cent.

20-30% Operational costs are 20-30% lower in Malta than in other finance centres

15%

Highly qualified foreign professionals can benefit from a flat tax rate of 15%


ISLAMIC FINANCE

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Advice and Assistance Outstanding Human Capital Malta’s drive to become a global financial services centre has helped generate around 10,000 jobs in this sector. With 60 per cent of Maltese students going on to further education, the island has a highly educated and multilingual pool of talent from which to hire. Malta is continually cultivating the right talent, with more University of Malta graduates coming

from the economy and management faculty than any other in 2013-2014. Established Service Providers Malta has both a proud tradition of family-run financial services firms, as well as being home to offices of ‘The Big Four’ – Deloitte, KPMG, EY and PwC. In addition, a large number of law firms operate on the island, most being part of international networks such

10,000+ Employed in international financial services in Malta

as Lex Mundi and Lexis Nexis and regularly ranked on Chambers, MartindaleHubbell or other similar institutions. Malta also provides an array of corporate service providers offering solid business advisory and back-office support. Finely Honed Skills Service companies in Malta are efficient and have developed expertise in key areas such as captive insurance, funds, trusts and wealth management. The island’s support services are top class, and professionals of the same calibre of those in London, Dublin or Luxembourg are easily found. To ensure that growth can be sustained, Malta is eager to expand its pool of highly specialised professionals.

Attracting Foreign Talent To attract further expertise in core sectors such as financial services, Malta offers a reduced 15 per cent flat tax rate to highly qualified persons in key positions within those industries. The island’s laws on immigration are in line with the European Union’s visa obligations for foreign nationals, and EU and European Economic Areas (EEA) citizens are free to work and reside in Malta. Multilingual Services The British influence is clear in the work ethic present in Malta, and aside from English and Maltese most locals also speak Italian, French or German. Malta has a vast pool of multilingual talent in the form of professional expatriates from all over the world.


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Key Reasons to do Business in Malta Global Islamic finance investments are forecast to surpass US$ 2.6 trillion by 2017. Malta is keen to play a role in this expansion, building on its EU membership, strategic geographic location, flexible regulation and cost-effectiveness.

A Fresh Alternative Globally, the Islamic finance industry is seeing steady growth and is encompassing new products, involving new markets and attracting many new customers. Islamic financial assets have soared from less than US$600 billion in 2007 to more than US$2 trillion in 2014. Most assets are concentrated in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, but the industry will need to expand considerably to have a significant impact on global financial markets. The sector seeks to move beyond its traditional strongholds and now appears poised to enter Western markets and to complement conventional financing. It is this combination that makes Malta, one of Europe’s key International Finance Centres, an interesting new jurisdiction for institutions wanting to set up Islamic financial instruments.

Regulatory Support Part of Malta’s success as a financial centre is founded on its excellent legal and regulatory environment. Malta’s financial services framework and tax laws are up to date with EU directives and in line with EU requirements, while the regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) performs its regulatory function in a constructive manner. In particular, Malta has a strong offering for investment funds. The MFSA has issued formal guidelines on Sharia-compliant funds, and is now looking at ways on how to enhance its Islamic finance industry.

Political Will & Government Initiatives Malta’s interest in Islamic finance began in 2008, when the then-administration stated their objective of developing Malta as a Mediterranean Islamic finance hub. The Malta Financial Services Authority then analysed the island’s regulatory framework and issued guidance notes on Shariah-compliant investment funds in 2010. The current administration also seeks to make Malta Islamic finance ready and to diversify its financial product offering. Amongst other measures, the government has displayed a keen interest in the international sukuk market, which is expected to grow to US$900 billion in 2017.

EU Location for Shariahcompliant Products Malta offers a highly regulated, well-respected and sophisticated EU environment to launch Islamic finance structures. There has been growing momentum to adopt and implement Sharia-compliant investment banking, project and trade finance, as well as Sharia funds and insurance, which could all appeal to customers in EU and North African markets. The island’s international reputation as a location to establish and manage private and commercial trusts is growing significantly as the demand for secure solutions to wealth management issues increases.


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FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

US$2.1 trillion Global Islamic Finance Assets - and growing at 1520% a year in most core markets

Passporting to EU and High-Growth Markets Located strategically at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta offers access to 230 million Muslims in Europe and North Africa, providing a considerable client base for Islamic finance practitioners. As a member of the European Union and the eurozone, Malta has strong links with all EU member states, while its extensive network of tax treaties, which includes countries such as Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, makes the country a springboard into wider Muslim markets.

Accessing NonMuslim Investors Islamic finance can also be lucrative and viable for non-Muslims looking to diversify their holdings. Islamic investments often involve less risk than their conventional counterparts as they are based on business contracts that increase transparency and reduce speculation. The knowledge that Islamic investments are held in Malta, a European financial centre of repute, may comfort Western investors.

High-Profile Industry Cluster Islamic finance, like every other type of financial activity, can benefit from Malta’s combination of experience and skills. Around 70 fund management companies as well as the offices of ‘The Big Four’ – Deloitte, KPMG, EY and PwC – operate in Malta. Global custody service providers also have a presence in Malta, with new international custodians moving in to cater to the booming fund industry. The country’s corporate service providers and legal firms are well-versed in setting up corporate vehicles, the preparation of offering documents and the regulatory procedures for licensing, and most are part of international networks such as Lex Mundi and are regularly ranked on Chambers, Martindale Hubbell or similar institutions.

Low Set-up and Operational Costs Malta is a cost-competitive jurisdiction in terms of set-up and on-going fees, compliance and operating costs. This makes the island an attractive outsourcing location for back and middle office functions. In addition, the cost of highquality staff is still well below Western European levels and professional fees are also significantly lower, though the standards are just as high.


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Key Opportunities Malta continues to be an attractive domicile for investors and financial entities seeking a dynamic European base that is professional, practical, safe and cost effective.

Regulation & Legislation Malta has done much over the past few years to build a strong finance sector. The island also has modern pragmatic legislation and a reputation for being innovative when it comes to launching new products. The Regulator The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is the single regulator of all financial services in Malta. The MFSA’s approach to regulation and supervision is based on principles rather than on rules and is proportionate to the size and nature
of the business, without undermining investor protection. The country’s small size allows a direct contact with all licensees, which gives the MFSA a good understanding of the soundness of the licence holders. Businesses 
are encouraged to meet with the regulator prior to applying for a licence to discuss the application of regulations. Shariah Compliance While operators in Malta are seeing opportunities to offer Shariah-compliant products, they are faced with the challenge of applying two sets of rules to Islamic finance transactions: Malta’s regulatory framework and Shariah law. Although Malta is still at the beginning of its journey to becoming an Islamic finance centre, the MFSA is taking pride in financial innovation. The MFSA has already issued formal guidelines on Sharia-compliant investments funds, giving investors and fund service providers direction on the structuring of funds. The island’s government has also expressed its willingness to develop a framework for Islamic banking, ultimately broadening the country’s Islamic product and service offering. Malta’s financial centre also stands out for its extensive experience in serving international clientele in areas such as insurance, capital markets and wealth management, all of which could cater to an Islamic audience.

Investment Funds Malta is regarded a well-established fund domicile. Retaining its popular Professional Investor Funds (PIF) regime, while implementing the EU’s Alternative Investment Funds Directive (AIFMD), is one of the biggest recent developments in Malta’s fund landscape. Today Malta continues to offer PIFs, with the addition of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and non-UCITS retail funds. All these types of funds could be used to set up Shariahcompliant structures.

Capital Markets The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) is a dynamic European exchange constantly evolving and providing new opportunities for both conventional and Islamic finance structures. With the relevant infrastructure already in place, this is an exciting prospect for investors and issuers to launch for example sukuk structures using Malta as a hub from which to market to European investors through a European exchange.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

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FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Immediate Opportunities in Malta u Islamic Funds – PIF legislation u Project Financing u Islamic Stock Broking u Takaful Insurance u Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)

Banking As an alternative form of finance, which prohibits interest on loans and generates profits in a socially responsible manner, international banks and financial services providers in Europe and elsewhere are increasingly offering Islamic products. Although barriers for Islamic retail banking exist in Malta due to the fact that banks are only allowed to own property up to a certain percentage of their total assets, Shariah-compliant investment banking, project and trade finance could be offered to neighbouring countries from Malta.

Corporate Structuring An open economy, effective tax rates and excellent professional services have been the natural strengths of Malta for decades and have established it as a key centre for corporate structuring and a prime jurisdiction in which to incorporate Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). The island is increasingly capturing the attention of Islamic finance practitioners since a Malta company offers an easy solution to the most varied international business needs.

Trusts & Foundations A key feature in the growth of Malta as a financial centre has been the provision of wealth management services. The concept of a trust is very similar to the Islamic waqf. The island is one of the few jurisdictions where both trusts and foundations can be set up. Both structures allow the creation of customised solutions that fit diverse personal and business needs, ranging from succession planning to estate management.

Insurance Islamic insurance is gaining popularity as it is based on risk sharing rather than risk transfer. Malta already has a thriving insurance industry, possesses the right legislative instruments to set up Takaful instruments, and is the only full EU member state with legislation that allows for Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) and Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs). Malta also has potential as an ideal base for reinsurance, or Retakaful, providers given that there are only a few Retakaful providers globally. This means that Takaful firms are often forced to transfer some of their risk to conventional reinsurers, creating a window of opportunity for Malta to attract new Islamic reinsurers into the market.


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Top Islamic Finance Markets (by size):

Top Potential Islamic Markets (by size):

Malaysia

Turkey,

Saudi Arabia

Iran

Iran

Saudi Arabia

UAE

UAE

Kuwait

Indonesia

Family Offices Malta is positioning itself as one of Europe’s main family office locations. Offering a wide range of investment tools, as well as residency options and a citizenship by investment programme, the island is emerging as a European base for Islamic wealth managers and an alternative to the traditional Western family office locations of the US, UK and Switzerland.

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Intellectual Property Manufacturers and service providers in the consumer goods industry are developing and offering increasing numbers of Halal products. The availability of Shariah-compliant products in areas such as health, lifestyle and food is evidence of this. Malta is providing corporations with unparalleled opportunities to exploit the Intellectual Property (IP) of these products. The island is seen as a trusted platform for international IP transactions offering support across the entire IP value chain, including protecting, managing and commercialising ideas and innovations.

Maritime & Aviation Malta has forged a reputation as a key centre of activity in the global maritime and aviation industry and has gradually built up the experience needed to compete in a highly technical industry. The island has transformed itself into a competitive location for the registration and financing of both planes and ships. Strong interests from financiers and investors for Shariah-compliant investment and financing instruments in the maritime and aviation industry is now fuelling demand for Islamic structures that could be set up in Malta in the form of funds, special purpose vehicles and sukuk.

Financial Software Development Malta is seeking to grow its financial technology cluster (Fintech) and is highlighting its potential to Islamic Fintech entrepreneurs. With an established state-of-theart telecoms infrastructure, Malta provides a tailor-made environment vastly conducive to Fintech companies that could use the island’s data centres in addition to developing and offering Fintech services. Malta’s small size and low costs make it an ideal start-up location, while potential synergies with Malta’s finance centre also make it a natural choice for companies seeking to use the island as a springboard to nearby markets.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Education & Training With Islamic finance estimated to grow up to 20 per cent annually, the need for specialised human capital in the industry is higher than ever. There is currently a shortage of staff with extensive experience in Islamic markets, and this issue needs to be addressed with the industry’s rapid growth. With English as one of its official languages and building on its international reputation as a centre for learning and training, Malta is well placed to host Islamic finance training institutions.

Regional Headquarters The combination of its central Mediterranean location, highly skilled international workforce, strong network of double tax treaties and high quality of life make Malta an attractive choice for companies looking for a location from where to oversee investment in the developed and emerging countries of the region. Malta is often regarded as the hub linking the EU’s market of 500 million people and the rapidly evolving markets of Africa.

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Philanthropy Philanthropists interested in impact and social investing are now looking at Malta due to the fact that the island offers both trusts and foundations as tools for charitable giving. The country’s strong regulatory framework and sound financial sector are expected to help Malta appeal to Muslims living in Europe and beyond.

Payments Industry The rising demand for Islamic banking products and services are creating significant opportunities for Shariahcompliant card products, including debit cards, charge cards and credit cards offering new ways of how credit is structured and marketed to consumers with risks and profits shared among all parties involved. A strong and innovative regulatory framework, state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure capable of hosting and delivering round-the-clock connectivity to mainland Europe, and Malta’s accessibility and lower costs could turn out to be a major draw to payment providers seeking a secure environment to offer Shariahcompliant transaction channels.


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Sharia-Compliant Funds Malta’s fund sector is developing at a remarkable pace and has become one of the finance centre’s key engines for growth. Today, the country hosts almost 600 investment funds which have a combined net asset value of €9.7 billion.

W

hile Malta has a reputation as a jurisdiction for smaller financial services companies and start-ups, the fund sector is maturing and attracting sophisticated asset management activities. Funds which comply with Islamic law can be set up either as Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS), as Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) or as Professional Investor Funds (PIFs), which are non-retail funds targeting the more experienced investor.

Ijarah Funds, Commodity Funds and Murabaha Funds, which generally invest in non-conventional asset classes, may only be licensed in Malta as PIFs, whilst Sharia-compliant equity funds can be set up as Maltese UCITS schemes or as PIFs. Considering the restrictions that apply to UCITS funds, Islamic funds may face particular challenges in operating under the UCITS framework, and industry experts believe that Malta’s framework for PIFs provides a more attractive environment for Sharia funds to work in.

Professional Investor Funds (PIF) An overwhelming majority of funds in Malta are Professional Investor Funds (PIFs), which are typically in the form of open-ended public or private limited liability investment companies with variable share capital (SICAVs). Types of Professional Investor Funds A Professional Investor Fund (PIF) is a collective investment scheme in terms of the ISA. There are three different types of PIFs: • PIFs promoted to experienced investors: with a minimum investment of €10k or equivalent, are subject to some investment restrictions, may be leveraged up to 100% NAV, must appoint a Custodian and issue an Offering Document

• PIFs promoted to qualifying investors: with a minimum investment of €75k or equivalent, with no investment restrictions (other than in the case of property funds), unlimited leverage, appointment of a Custodian is not mandatory (provided assets are subject to adequate safekeeping arrangements), and must issue an Offering Document

• PIFs promoted to extraordinary investors: with a minimum investment of €750k or equivalent, with no investment restrictions, unlimited leverage, appointment of a Custodian is not mandatory (provided assets are subject to adequate safekeeping arrangements) and can issue a simplified marketing document in lieu of a more detailed offering document

The underlying assets in which these funds can invest range from transferable securities, private equity, immovable property and infrastructure, to the more complex asset classes pertaining to the world of debt financing and derivatives. Most Maltese PIFs are used for hedge fund set-ups.

1

st

place

Europe’s favoured fund domicile Hedge Fund Review’s 2013 and 2014, Service Provider Rankings


ISLAMIC FINANCE

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FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Key Features of PIFs PIFs are regulated by the Investment Services Act and are mostly open-or close-ended investment companies, but unit trusts, contractual funds and limited partnerships can also be used. Self-managed PIFs are also allowed and the manager may also act as administrator. Experienced Investors

Qualifying Investors

Extraordinary Investors

Minimum Investment

€10,000

€75,000

€750,000

Setup Time

2-3 months

2-3 months

2-3 months

Investment Restrictions

Yes

None

None

Borrowing Restrictions

Up to 100% of NAV

Up to 100% of NAV

Up to 100% of NAV

Offering Documents

Required

Required

Required or Marketing Document

Third Party Manager

Required or Self-Managed

Required or Self-Managed

Required or Self-Managed

Fund Administrator

Manager may delegate fund administration to third party administrator

Manager may delegate fund administration to third party administrator

Manager may delegate fund administration to third party administrator

Custodian

Required. Must be independent from fund manager.

Optional, provided adequate safekeeing measures.

Optional, provided adequate safekeeing measures.

Auditor

Required

Required

Required

Money Laundering Reporting Office (MLRO)

Required

Required

Required

Compliance Officer (may also act as MLRO)

Required

Required

Required

Listing

Optional

Optional

Optional

Self-Managed PIFs: PIFs may be self-managed without the need to appoint a third-party manager. This means promoters have the option to use a self-managed fund without the need to have a presence in Malta. The management of the assets of the fund would be undertaken by an investment committee with the day-to-day management performed by one or more internal and/or external portfolio managers. Self-managed funds are subject to particular rules regarding the composition of the board members and the investment committee, as well as share capital requirements.

Features applicable to all PIFs: Service Provider: Must be based in Malta or in a recognised jurisdiction. Local Representative: Required if all officials and service providers are established abroad. Reporting Requirements: Half-yearly (PIFs sold to experienced investors only), annual and compliance reports Application Fees and Expenses: Application fee for a preliminary indication of acceptability is €600

Application for a Licence of a PIF: €1,500 per scheme €1,000 per sub-fund €1,500 per incorporated cell Supervisory Fee: €1,500 per scheme €500 per sub-fund €1,500 per incorporated cell


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

MFSA Guidelines for Sharia-Compliant Funds T

he formal guidelines issued by the MFSA give advice to fund promoters on how the current funds regime, regulated by the Investment Services Act, applies to funds established under Sharia rules and clarifies a number of related issues for the benefit of fund promoters. The principal categories of collective investment schemes that can be set up under this common framework are the following: Retail Investment Schemes which are in turn divided into: • UCITS • Non-UCITS Professional Investor Funds – which are in turn divided into: • Experienced Investor Funds • Qualifying Investor Funds • Extraordinary Investor Funds The regulatory standards that underpin the regime as applied to the different types of funds relies mainly on the principles of disclosure and transparency as means of protecting investors’ interests as well as on the investor’s understanding of risk as a key motive for applying regulation in a proportionate manner. The regime is applied to a large variety of conventional and alternative investment funds.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

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FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

MFSA Licensing Framework As a general rule Sharia-compliant funds may be set up as Retail Investment Schemes and Professional Investor Funds, although the nature of the investment and the methods used may have a determining effect on the fund category under which the fund may be licensed: Sharia-compliant equity funds: can be set up as Maltese UCITS Schemes, Maltese non-UCITS Schemes or Professional Investor Funds (PIF) Ijarah Funds: which generally invest in non-conventional asset classes, may only be licensed in Malta under the Professional Investor Funds regime (PIF) Commodity Funds: which generally invest in non-conventional asset classes similar to Ijarah Funds, can only be licensed in Malta under the Professional Investor Funds (PIF) regime Murabaha Funds: can only be licensed in Malta under the Professional Investor Funds (PIF) regime. Sharia compliant funds shall abide by the Standard Licence Conditions that are applicable to funds established under the Act. Due to the particular nature of Sharia funds, or certain types of Sharia funds, note should be taken of the following principles: Sharia compliant funds will be expected to follow the risk-spreading principle except when this can be waived in terms of the proviso to the definition of ‘collective investment scheme’ in the Investment Services Act The managing body of a Sharia fund (Board of Directors in the case of a corporate fund), will be responsible for ensuring that the fund satisfies the relevant Sharia principles and requirements as disclosed in the fund’s prospectus and other investor information documentation Except for the applicability of this Guidance Note, Sharia funds set up as retail funds (UCITS or non-UCITS), or Professional Investor Funds (PIF), will be regulated in the same manner as non-Sharia compliant funds falling under the same category The selected extra-financial criteria (Sharia Guidelines which the fund will adopt) must comply with all prevailing regulatory and statutory requirements. No specific difficulties arise provided that the extrafinancial criteria do not infringe regulatory principles


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Capital Markets: Sukuk and the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) Malta is positioning itself to tap into the billion-dollar sukuk market to attract foreign direct investment and to raise funds for both government and business.

M

alta is considering entering into the world of Islamic Finance. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated the country is exploring the opportunity to issue a sovereign sukuk on the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) in order to gage the reaction of the markets and send a strong political message that Malta is open for business. Launching a sovereign sukuk would certainly put the country and its Exchange on the map for Islamic Finance and facilitate more sukuk transactions and trading. The MSE has launched a number of major initiatives designed to bolster its strategy, such as the adoption of the Xetra trading platform supplied by Deutsche Börse, the launch of the Market Making rules and the designation of the Exchange as a Designated Offshore Securities Centre by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Recently awarded the title ‘Most Innovative Stock Exchange of 2014’ in the prestigious Acquisition International Finance Awards, the MSE has also set up an inter-operable link between its own Central Securities Depository (CSD) and Clearstream Banking, which has led to the successful launch of the MSE’s custody business.

Sukuk and bonds are internationally recognised as important project finance vehicles for companies, institutions and governments, as they provide financial protection for portfolios with lower risk tools and enable investors to diversify their investments. While traditional bonds represent pure debt obligations from the issuer to the investor/bondholders, the sukuk represents ownership of well-defined asset. The sale of the sukuk, both in primary and secondary markets, is a sale of a share of an asset, while selling a bond is essentially the sale of debt. In terms of pricing, sukuk prices are market-driven and depend on the fluctuation of the market value of underlying assets. In the case an issuer’s default, sukuk holders will possess the asset and either sell it or retain it as an asset. Bondholders on the other hand are completely dependent on the creditworthiness of the issuers without any specific assets to be relied on. New sukuk issuances are often oversubscribed, and some estimates suggest conventional investors may account for 40 to 60 per cent of any individual sukuk offering. Aspects of the sukuk: • An undivided ownership share in specific assets • Assets must be Shariacompliant, with a minimum of 51 per cent tangible assets

The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) Market Capitalisation 2014: €10.3bn Trading Across Europe: Issuers that have been granted Admissibility to Listing can opt to have their instruments traded on the Malta Stock Exchange trading platform, or have them traded anywhere within the EU. This is possible since both the Main and the Alternative Companies lists are Regulated Markets, and enjoy full passporting rights within the EU. Internationally Recognised Exchange: The Malta Stock Exchange is a small market with big vision, and its credible track record has already won recognition from other leading stock exchanges. Malta’s equity market has been included in the FTSE’s Global Equity Index Series (GEIS) since 2010. The MSE has also achieved recognition from the UK tax authorities and been granted recognised exchange status by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Malta Stock Exchange Affiliations • Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) • European Central Securities Depository Association (ECSDA) • World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) • International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) • Association of National Numbering Agencies • A signatory to the EU Code of Conduct for Clearing and Settlement. Why consider using the Malta Stock Exchange’s Central Securities Depositary (CSD) to maintain the register of the funds? • The MSE CSD already has significant experience and capacity, and has a very strong reputation in this area of operations. Registers held within the MSE CSD are the authenticated register of a security. • The close link with the MSE trading arm makes it a logical choice for listed funds and other securities to be domiciled at the CSD. • The CSD enjoys a link with Clearstream which provides international access to securities and is conducive to increasing the level of liquidity of the assets on the market.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

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Simple Transparent Pricing

The European Wholesale Securities Market (EWSM) The EWSM delivers service excellence to international market participants as well as process efficiency, a price promise and a highly professional regulatory regime. Malta is now offering the possibility for the listing of wholesale securities. The European Wholesale Securities Market (EWSM) is a new EU-regulated market for wholesale debt, asset-backed and derivative securities dedicated to the needs of arrangers and issuers of wholesale debt products. Combining the strengths of two reputable European exchanges, the EWSM is a joint venture with the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) and the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE), creating one truly European market designed to meet international debt issuer requirements. The EWSM is approved as an EU regulated market under MiFID and is considered a Recognised Stock Exchange under the UK Income Tax Act, 2007. As the listing authority the MFSA approves prospectuses for securities to be admitted to the EWSM under the Prospectus Directive, as well

as the on-going requirements of issuers under the Transparency Directive. The MFSA adopts a pragmatic market-oriented approach to prospectus review and approval, including guaranteed review times of three business days for initial submission and two business days for subsequent drafts of prospectuses. The guidelines provide for the appointment of a Listing Agent for the admission process to ensure smooth and timely interaction between issuers and arrangers on the one hand and the MFSA and EWSM on the other with respect to regulatory requirements. The MFSAapproved Agent may be a body, corporate, partnership or firm incorporated or established in the EEA and be independent of any Issuer, or related service provider, to which it provides listing agent services.

Five Reasons to List on EWSM

➊ EU Access

EWSM offers access to European financial services markets

➋ Publicity

listing on an international exchange helps to publicise the securities offering

➌ Credibility

listing highlights a recognised exchange’s seal of approval

➍ Withholding tax exemption applies to securities listed on an EU recognised stock exchange, while quoted Eurobonds benefit from an exemption from withholding tax on interest payments.

➎ Investor Requirements many investment portfolios stipulate a requirement to invest in listed securities

Fees for Non-Programme Admissions: The following fee structure applies to an issuer wishing to list securities on the EWSM under a standalone prospectus document. Registration of prospectus document and admission to listing: €1,500 For each class of security listed, the following processing fees apply: First tranche of an application (e.g. Class A): €500 All subsequent tranches under the same application: €250/tranche Annual fee (payable in advance) €2,000 Fees for Programme Admissions: The following fee structure applies to an issuer wishing to list securities on the EWSM as part of a multi-issuance programme. Registration of base prospectus: €1,500 Registration of programme updates: €1,500 Registration of prospectus supplement: €1,000 Registration of Series or Drawdown Prospectus and admission to listing: €1,500 For each class of security listed, the following processing fees apply: • First tranche (e.g. Class A): €500 • All subsequent tranches under the same application: €250/tranche • Programme annual fee (payable in advance): €2,000


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Special Purpose Vehicles and Trusts At the centre of Malta’s offering to the Islamic finance community is the Special Purpose Vehicle, which has become a key element in Islamic finance transactions.

M

alta is attracting increasing numbers of investors and highnet-worth-individuals from the Middle East and North Africa, enticed by the country’s geographical proximity, EU membership and, more importantly, its excellent wealth management, estate planning and corporate finance offering. Special purpose vehicles (SPVs) can take the form of a limited liability company or a trust in Malta. There are numerous benefits in establishing SPVs in Malta. In fact, Malta’s competitive tax regimes for companies, and for trusts, make the country the ideal location to establish SPVs. Coupled with the country’s wide network of double taxation treaties, the island offers an advantageous EU and eurozone location for the structuring of various

transactions, ranging from purchasing and holding property to other corporate and financing solutions. Where a Malta SPV is used in an Islamic finance transaction, it can be particularly useful when combined with a Malta trust holding the shares in the SPV. Malta trusts are effective and reliable, and can offer customised solutions for wealth management as well as succession planning. In the trust deed settlors can define how assets are distributed to the beneficiaries so that they are in accordance with Islamic rules of succession. SPVs and trusts are regularly used for Islamic finance transactions through Malta. As the island develops its Islamic finance infrastructure and expertise further, other vehicles of Malta’s International Finance Centre can be adapted to the Islamic moral order that governs finance.

Types of Trusts: • • • • • •

Discretionary trust Accumulation and maintenance trust Fixed interest trust Spendthrift trust Charitable trust Unit trust


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Key Features of a Malta Trust Means of establishment: A trust may be created unilaterally or bilaterally, by oral declaration or in writing. A unit trust must always be created in writing. The Settlor: The settlor is the person who sets up the trust. The settlor must be of age, have full capacity to contract and a free disposition of the assets settled on trust. While imposing fiduciary obligations upon the trustee in favour of the beneficiaries, trusts do not leave the settlor with any rights in relation to the trust property – except as specifically provided for in the Trusts and Trustees Act. The Trusts and Trustees Act lists the settlor’s rights (which may be supplemented by the trust deed) as follows: • The settlor has the power to seek court directives as to trust validity • The settlor has the right to a variation of terms and revocable trusts where the Trust Deed so provides • In cases of trust termination, interest lapses or no existing or possible beneficiary, the trustee holds the trust property for the settlor (or his or her heirs) • It is the trustee’s duty to provide the settlor with information, subject to the terms of the Trust Deed. • The settlor may reserve or grant himself any beneficial interest in the trust property, any power to appoint, add or remove trustees, protectors or beneficiaries and any power to appoint an investment adviser or investment manager The Protector: The protector is typically a person who is in a trustworthy position (e.g. the family lawyer). The protector may also act as investment advisor. Subject to the trust terms, the protector typically has the power to: • Appoint new and/or additional trustees • Remove trustees • Require trustees to obtain the protector’s discretion (including approval) in relation to particular matters e.g. purchase / sale of trust property. The Beneficiary: The beneficiary is the person who may benefit from the assets of the trust. All beneficiaries have to be mentioned by name or are ascertainable by class or by relationship to a person alive or dead. For instance, children not yet born or conceived may be potential beneficiaries. The rights of the beneficiary are personal and are regarded as movable property. Subject to the trust deed, the beneficiary may sell, charge or deal with his or her interest in any manner, provided that this is done in writing. The beneficiary has the right to information from the trustee and may seek court directives regarding the validity of the trust. The beneficiary may also disclaim his or her interest, or part thereof. All the beneficiaries who are in existence and have been ascertained, provided that none of them is interdicted or a minor, may request the trustee to terminate the trust and distribute the trust property. The new amendments preclude this rule from applying in the case of protective trusts.

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Trust Deed: The Trust Deed is the instrument whereby the trust is created and includes the terms of the trust and may also be in the form of a unilateral declaration of trust. For example, a Trust Deed may provide for the addition of new beneficiaries (e.g. for unborn children) or the exclusion of a specific benefit to certain beneficiaries under conditions clearly stated in the Trust Deed. Letter of Wishes: The settlor can guide the trustee in a separate letter of wishes on how the trustee should exercise his discretion. Depending on the relationship between the settlor and the beneficiaries, the settlor can inform the beneficiaries of this letter, however, he/ she may also choose not to disclose this letter to the beneficiaries. Legal Form: A trust is a form of legal institute which does not have its own legal personality. Trusts are not registered anywhere and there are no formalities for the annual maintenance of trusts other than statutory obligations that are imposed on trustees in the administration of trusts (for example the duty to prepare accounts). Set-up time: There are no statutory restrictions that could delay the setting up of a trust in Malta. Therefore, the time required depends on the particular circumstances and mainly relates to the drafting of the Trust Deed. Termination: The Malta trust has been amended to extend the permitted duration to 125 years (formerly maximum duration was 100 years), however, it can be terminated earlier if all beneficiaries acting in unison demand termination, which the trustees must accept. Attacking trusts: A creditor would need to take action against the trustee. As the assets of the trust are not the personal assets of the trustee, only the trust assets are exposed. Trust assets might be subject to precautionary and executive warrants (such as garnishee orders, injunctions and warrants of seizure) which can be issued by Maltese courts. Ensuring trustees’ performance: Professional trustees are licensed by the MFSA, which has also issued a code of conduct to provide guidance to trustees as to the standards required under the Trusts and Trustees Act and other financial services legislation, as well as to the best practice in the industry. Trustees must exercise their fiduciary duties prudently and competently and, subject to the terms of the trust and the provisions of the Trusts and Trustees Act, consider the rights of all beneficiaries when making decisions affecting the administration of the trust. If a trustee fails to administer a trust in accordance with the law and the respective trust deed, the trustee is liable for such a breach and can be sued for it. The trustees have a duty: • to avoid any conflicts of interests • upon accepting appointment, trustees are duty-bound to draw up a written inventory of the trust assets and declare that it includes all the trust property of which the trustees are aware • to keep accounts and records of their trusteeship for at least 10 years from the date of termination of the trust/trusteeship


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Takaful: Islamic Insurance in Malta Insurance is a dynamic growth industry and a number of Fortune 100 companies have already set up operations in Malta, among them multinationals such as BMW, Peugeot, CitroÍn and Vodafone. With financial and insurance activities accounting for over 90% of Malta’s FDI stock, the sector has a highly international focus and is set for further growth.

M

alta can also offer solutions for Takaful, Islamic insurance, which is structured as a charitable collective pool of funds based on social solidarity and cooperation. Takaful participants contribute equally to a fund to help protect one another against risks, whereas in the conventional insurance model, policyholders pay premiums to protect themselves.

Malta possesses the right legislative instruments to set up Takaful instruments, and is the only full EU member state with legislation that allows for Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) and Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs). A Takaful fund could be set up as a cell in both structures, which is then managed and administered on behalf of the participants by a Takaful operator who charges an agreed fee to cover costs. People requiring insurance cover, such as health, accident or motor insurance, could contribute to one or more cells to protect themselves against those risks.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Incorporated Cell Company

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FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Key Features of Incorporated Cell Companies

The Incorporated Cell Company is one of the latest additions to Malta’s insurance offering. Built on the familiar cellular model, but with the unique characteristic of cells with their own legal identity, the structure is set to prove innovative in the Reinsurance Special Purpose Vehicle landscape.

Corporate Form: Limited Liability Company

Permitted Business: The cell company and its cells may conduct business of insurance and reinsurance, including affiliated business.

Liability: Assets and liabilities are held separately within each cell. Claims by third parties can only be directed against the cell itself.

Incorporated cells are established within the ICC structure and assets and liabilities are attributed either to the cell company itself, or to a particular separate cell of the company. An incorporated cell in Malta allows a cell owner to insure directly own risks in EEA, sell insurance to third parties in EEA and reinsure risks outside the EEA. Cells can also insure on non-admitted basis risks globally where allowed.

Licensing Timeframe: Six months

Intercompany Loans: Allowed with approval from the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Name: The name of the company needs to include the expression ‘Incorporated Cell Company’ or its abbreviation ‘ICC’. This title needs to be displayed on all its business letters and forms to inform all parties dealing with the company of its status.

Redomiciliation allowed: Yes Solvency Margin: Solvency requirements for the ICC and each cell are the same as those of a standalone insurer. Guarantee Fund: Both the ICC and the respective Cells are to maintain a Guarantee Fund made up of the greater of: 1) the Minimum Guarantee Fund or 2) the value of one-third of the margin of solvency or Malta margin of solvency (as applicable). *Changes expected in 2016 under Solvency II Technical Provisions: Calculated in accordance with regulations modelled on EU directives. Cell Management: Each cell is a separate company and the board of the company has ultimate responsibility for all cells and cellular assets. The board may delegate the management and administration of a cell, or parts thereof, to a third-party insurance manager.

capital, subordinated loans, retained profits and reserves. The Own Funds Requirement applies to the ICC and to each Incorporated Cell individually. *Changes expected in 2016 under Solvency II Power to contract: Cells have the ability to enter into contracts in their own name.

Reporting Requirements: Audited accounts under IFRS. Incorporated Cells carrying out affiliated insurance are exempt from: • publishing abridged accounts in local newspapers • contributing to the protection and compensation fund • covering technical provisions by equivalent and matching assets to cover currency risk; • localisation rules and custody of assets rules • the payment of duty on any contract of insurance relating to a risk situated in Malta • depositing a minimum guarantee fund with an external institution. Regulatory Fees: Authorisation application fees are one-time fees and non-refundable irrespective of whether the application is accepted or refused. Cell Company carrying out affiliated insurance business: • Authorisation application €5,000 • Annual continuance of authorisation for cell company €2,500

Own Funds: • Long Term: Principal Insurance €3.7m / Affiliated Insurance €3.7m • General: Principal Insurance €2.5m - €3.7m / Affiliated Insurance €2.5m - €3.7m • Reinsurance: Principal Insurance €3.4m / Affiliated Insurance €1.2m • Insurance and Reinsurance: Principal Insurance €2.5m-€7.4 / Affiliated Insurance €2.5m -€7m

Each cell carrying out affiliated insurance business: • Authorisation application €2,500 • Acceptance of Application €2,500 • Annual continuance of authorisation for cell company €2,500

Own funds are to consist of: Paid-up share capital which must not be less than 50 per cent of the value of Own Funds requirement; and a mixture of issued and unpaid share capital, preferential share

Cell Company and Individual Cell carrying out non-affiliated insurance business: Fees according to Schedule in the Insurance Business (Fees) Regulations


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Protected Cell Companies Malta is the only full EU member state with Protected Cell Company (PCC) legislation, which provides numerous advantages compared to stand-alone insurance companies or captives. A unique element of a PCC is that an insurer can write business through the ownership of a protected cell, using the core’s capital.

Benefit of a Protected Cell Company ▶ The PCC set-up allows the start-up and ongoing regulatory burden of an insurance company to be spread throughout the owners of the various cells and the core of the PCC without putting any individual cell owners’ assets at risk from liabilities of the others. Cells are particularly attractive to medium-sized corporate groups wishing to establish their own insurance vehicle.


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Key Features of Protected Cell Companies Corporate Form: Limited Liability Company Name: The name of the company must include the expression ‘Protected Cell Company’ or its abbreviation ‘PCC’. This title needs to be displayed on all its business letters and forms to inform all parties dealing with the company of its status. Each cell needs to have its own distinct name. Permitted Business: The cell company and its cells may conduct business of insurance and reinsurance as principals, captives, insurance brokers and insurance management companies in respect of general and longterm business. However, insurance PCCs can only have insurance cells, management PCCs management cells and broker PCCs broker cells. Licensing Timeframe: Six months, reduced to three months in respect to the individual protected cells. Redomiciliation allowed: Yes. Individual cells cannot redomicile on their own. Own Funds (applying to the PCC as a whole): • Long Term Business: €3.7m • General Business: €2.5m-3.7m • Reinsurance: €3.4m, reduced to €1.2m for affiliated insurance • Insurance and Reinsurance: €2.5m-€7.4m Own funds are to consist of: initial paid up share capital which must not be less than 50 per cent of the value of Own Funds requirement, cumulative preferential share capital, subordinated loans, retained profits, reserves other than reserves corresponding to the technical provisions and where applicable, the equalisation reserves and securities with no specified maturity date and other instruments including cumulative preferential shares. The minimum own funds requirements do not apply to individual cells, but to the PCC as a whole. *Changes expected in 2016 under Solvency II Solvency Margin: Calculated on a cellular basis. Any deficit in the cellular solvency margin is funded through non-cellular assets. The solvency margin must not fall below the guarantee fund. Minimum Guarantee Fund: The core of the cell company shall maintain at all times a guarantee fund of an amount of assets equal to the greater of the minimum guarantee fund or the value of

one-third of the margin of solvency. Cells can use the minimum guarantee fund of the core. Technical Provisions: Calculated in accordance with regulations modelled on EU directives. Cell Management: The board of directors of the cell company has ultimate responsibility for all cells and cellular assets. The board may delegate the management and administration of a cell, or parts thereof, to a third-party insurance manager or/and a cell committee which many include representatives of the cell owner. Power to contract: Cells contract through the PCC which acts on behalf of the cell. Liability: Assets and liabilities are held separately within each cell. However, if the cellular assets of one cell have been exhausted, the company’s core assets may be secondarily liable to satisfy any cellular liability of one of its cells. Intercompany Loans: Allowed with approval from the Malta Financial Services Authority. Financial Reporting Requirements: Audited accounts under IFRS. Captive PCCs are exempt from: • publishing abridged accounts in local newspapers • contributing to the protection and compensation fund • covering technical provisions by equivalent and matching assets to cover currency risk • localisation rules and custody of assets rules • the payment of duty on any contract of insurance relating to a risk situated in Malta • depositing a minimum guarantee fund with an external institution Regulatory Fees: Authorisation application fees are one-time fees and non-refundable irrespective of whether the application is accepted or refused. Application Fees: • PCC: €6,500 • Individual Cells: €2,500 Annual fees: According to Schedule in the Insurance Business (Fees) Regulations reduced to €3,250 in respect of cells carrying on exclusively business of affiliated insurance


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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Islamic Finance: Glossary Islamic finance is based on the principles of Islamic law called Sharia. The literal translation of the Arabic term Sharia is ‘the way’, but is now widely understood to mean the principles of Islamic law. Sharia is not a finite standard, but rather a set of rules, principles and parameters whose primary sources are the Quran and the Sunna.

T

he fundamental principle of Islamic finance is that money has no intrinsic value. Shariah-compliant investments are structured on the exchange of ownership in tangible assets or services, with money simply acting as the payment mechanism to effect the transfer. The taking or receiving of interest (riba) is strictly prohibited as is speculation and uncertainty (gharar). Transactions involving certain products are also prohibited, including: pork, alcohol, armaments, gambling and conventional finance.

Globally, the Islamic finance industry is constantly evolving, and Shariacompliant products and structures are being tested and re-examined to ensure they meet current economic demands as they are increasingly being applied to different instruments across various jurisdictions.

Typical Islamic Transaction Structures Murabaha

Although it was not originally used as a method of providing finance, Murabaha arrangements are perhaps the most widely used Islamic financing technique at present. The Murabaha contract involves the trading of an asset between two parties where the seller of the asset discloses to the purchaser the original cost price of the asset. It is usually referred to as a ‘cost plus’ contract. The transfer of the asset under a Murabaha contract must be immediate (although the price payable by the purchaser is generally deferred). The introduction of deferred payment terms involves the provision of credit, and the profit markup of the seller is invariably benchmarked against a conventional index, such as LIBOR. A financial institution would typically acquire an asset from a vendor and immediately sell the asset on to the client. Although often referred to as a Murabaha contract (in the singular), the financing effect is actually achieved through the use of two separate contracts. The way in which they are executed must be carefully orchestrated to ensure compliance with Sharia.

Ijara

Ijara involves the act of leasing in which the owner of the asset transfers its manfa’a (usufruct or use and enjoyment of an asset) to another person to use for an agreed period and for an agreed rent. The subject of the lease should be valuable, identifiable and quantifiable. Anything which cannot be used without being consumed, cannot be leased (such as, for example, money or perishable food products). As title to the leased asset remains in the financier or lessor’s ownership, the lessor must bear all liabilities arising from its ownership. The period of the lease must be determined in clear terms and the lessee cannot use the leased asset for any purpose other than that contemplated by the lease agreement. The lessee or client’s use of the leased asset must also be Sharia-compliant. As with the purchase price payable under a Murabaha contract, the rent payable by a client under a lease is generally benchmarked against a conventional index such as LIBOR. An Ijara contract can be either: • An operating lease where the client has a right of occupation. • A finance lease (Ijara wa iqtina or Ijara muntahia bittamleek) where the client has, in addition, the right to acquire title to the asset.

Mudharabah

Mudharabah is an investment management partnership, where one party provides funds, while the other provides expertise and management, also called the investment manager (mudarib). Any profits are shared between the two parties on a pre-agreed basis, while losses are borne by the provider of the capital. Mudharabah is a common structure for sukuk.

Musharakah

Musharakah is an investment partnership. In a typical musharaka agreement, two or more parties agree to provide capital towards the financing of a commercial venture, share profits according to a stipulated ratio, and share losses on the basis of equity participation.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Sukuk

Sukuk are often referred to as ‘Islamic bonds’, but unlike conventional bonds, sukuk are not debt obligations but represent a beneficial ownership interest in the underlying asset or activities which generate cash flows. Sukuk are financial instruments which sit above a Sharia-compliant underlying structure which generates revenue on behalf of the holder of the instrument. The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) has defined sukuk as certificates of equal value representing undivided shares in the ownership of: • Tangible assets, usufructs and services • The assets of particular projects or special investment activity One of the Islamic financing techniques would typically be used as the underlying structure for a sukuk issuance.

The structure selected would depend on the: • Nature of the financing required (that is, whether it is required to finance the construction or acquisition of an asset, or for working capital purposes). • Types of assets available to the issuer (or obligor) for use in the Sharia structure Obligors which have fixed and unencumbered tangible assets (such as land or equipment) would typically choose the ijara financing technique partly because it is straightforward and also because it is suitable for longterm financing. However, mudaraba, musharaka and wakala sukuk also gained popularity because they allowed sukuk to be issued without being wholly reliant on the existence of underlying tangible assets (as in the case of ijara-based sukuk) to generate a return for the sukuk-holders.

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Asset-Based Sukuk

Most, but by no means all, sukuk issued to date fall into the category of asset-based instruments. This means that sukuk-holders have beneficial interests in the underlying assets. Payments to sukukholders ultimately depend on the obligor’s own ability to meet those payments, rather than the value of the underlying asset. On a default, the principal remedy available to sukuk-holders would be to enforce the payment obligations of the obligor pursuant to a purchase undertaking which the obligor has granted in favour of the sukuk-holders to purchase the underlying assets. In the majority of sukuk issued, the price at which the underlying assets are purchased is fixed at the outset and does not depend on the market value of the assets. The terms of the sukuk also state that sukukholders do not have recourse to the underlying assets to meet any shortfall in payments due to them. This therefore leaves sukuk-holders holding contractual rights against the obligor rather than proprietary rights against assets.

Asset-Backed Sukuk

A small number of sukuk issuances issued to date have been asset-backed, in which the returns due to sukuk-holders depend on the performance of the underlying assets. The sukuk-holders have recourse to the assets which they are able to sell or liquidate if the cash flow from the transaction is insufficient to meet payments due to them. They do not, however, have recourse against the obligor if there is any shortfall in cash flows because the assets fail to perform or fall in market value.

Types of Sukuk • Leased-based: Ijarah • Partnership-based: mudharabah and musharakah • Sale-based: murabaha and salam

Sukuk vs Bond vs Stock Comparison Sukuk

Bond Stock

Type of Security

Share of Revenue Stream

Debt

Ownership in a corporation

Type of Return

Profit sharing specified

Coupon Specified

Dividends Unspecified

Priority in Paying Principle First Priority

First Priority

Less in Priority

Risk

Lower

Higher

Lower


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A Guide for Doing Business in Malta Open Business Culture

Business Hours

As a former colony of the United Kingdom, the Maltese business environment is strongly influenced by British culture, but retains a Mediterranean flavour. Meetings and the way business is conducted may be less formal than in Northern Europe, however, scheduling appointments well in advance is necessary, and punctuality is both expected and appreciated. When it comes to business attire, men wear conservative suits and ties and women suits or dresses. When greeting new business contacts, their title and surname should be used and once a relationship has been established, often a firstname basis is appropriate.

Typical office hours are between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm Mondays to Fridays, with a one-hour lunch break between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm. In summer, most government offices work half days. Banks are open from 8 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday until 12 pm. Most retail outlets are open from 9 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays shops are generally open between 9 am and 1 pm.

Banking & Financial Services

Language Maltese and English are the official languages, with English the main language of business and laws and regulations are published in both languages. Many Maltese are also fluent in Italian, German or French.

The country’s banks are able to provide a full range of personal, commercial and trade services to clients. With five retail banks and more than 20 international commercial and trade banks already operating in or from Malta, this sector has become one of the most robust on the island. HSBC and Bank of Valletta are the leading retail banks on the island, while smaller banks

such as APS, Lombard and Banif Bank help to keep the banking sector competitive and innovative. Malta is also home to specialists in trade finance such as FIMBank and BAWAG. With the growing number of insurance companies that choose to domicile in Malta, Malta’s banks have also built expertise in the management of insurance company investment portfolios.


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Investment and Trustee Services

Custodian Banking

Professional Services

Location, Location, Location

A number of investment management companies as well as asset managers from the fund industry provide services to the insurance industry. With well over 100 investment services firms licensed in Malta, corporations seeking assistance in the management of their assets are spoilt for choice. In addition, more than 100 Maltese and international fiduciary companies are licensed to offer trust and trustee services on the island.

Malta hosts global custodians as well as several other banks providing custodial services through international partners. Bank of Valletta, Mediterranean Bank, Sparkasse Bank, Deutsche Bank, Swissquote and Custom House hold custody licences in Malta. Retirement schemes are required to appoint custodians and trustees under certain conditions.

The excellence of Malta’s professional services providers is internationally renowned, and the industry is well-equipped to offer support and strategic guidance. A large number of law firms operate on the island, which are regularly listed in Chambers, Legal 500 and other directories. International firms have a presence in Malta through associate links with local law firms, and many law firms have specialised in assisting international commercial and financial operators seeking opportunities in Malta. Most lawyers have obtained postgraduate degrees at major international institutions and have expertise in organisational structuring and licence applications. Businesses are also supported by a wide range of accounting and auditing practitioners from small boutique practices to the global Big Four accountancy firms, as well as various consultants providing business advisory and back office support. Professional services costs are in general significantly lower than in other Western European locations.

Malta’s strategic location at the centre of the Mediterranean has always been one of the key advantages of doing business in or from Malta. As an EU member state, businesses in Malta can passport their services to all other member states, tapping into the Union’s internal market of over 500 million people, while the growing markets of North Africa and the Middle Eastern countries bordering the southern coast of the Mediterranean basin are easily accessible. An insurer licensed in Malta may also cover insurable risks in non-EU countries in which persons are allowed to procure insurance directly from a Maltese insurer. Malta has an extensive network of double taxation treaties for a number of key markets. The country is a signatory to some 70 agreements, among them China, India and the USA. To provide access to international markets and to ensure a smooth trading environment for the financial services sector, Malta is working closely with other regulatory authorities.

Key Facts Short Travel Times: By air, main European hubs and North Africa can be reached in two to three hours Excellent ICT Connections: Satellite technology and high capacity fibre-optic submarine cables link Malta with Europe Major Transhipment Centre: Malta Freeport is a main regional hub

EU Member State: Passporting rights for services and companies Regional Ties: Malta has cultural and historic connections to countries in North Africa and the Middle East CET Time Zone: One hour ahead of GMT Schengen Zone: Malta is part of the Schengen area, which allows travel between member states without internal border controls


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Real Estate Malta offers a wide range of commercial and residential property for rent or purchase. Malta’s small geographical size is a benefit in terms of short commutes. The travelling time between Malta International Airport and an office is rarely longer than 20 minutes, and overall journeys are seldom longer than 40 minutes. Office space is available in purpose-built office blocks, in converted houses and palazzos, apartments or within new mixed-use developments. Malta offers enviable locations with sea views and marinas as well as prestigious landmark office complexes within

easy commuting distance of residential areas. Overall rental costs are around twothirds to half of those charged for comparable commercial spaces in continental Europe. Malta has also become one of the most sought after locations in Europe for foreign nationals to rent or purchase homes as an investment or for relocation purposes. A wide range of residential property can be found in Malta, ranging from apartments, penthouses, townhouses to villas, with or without a pool. Developments in recent years include marina and coastal complexes at the top-end of the market.

Examples of Commercial Property Rental Rates A▶ Prestigious Portomaso: €300 - €427 per m2 per annum

B▶ Prestigious SmartCity: €220 - €280 per m2 per annum

C▶ Professional Sliema / St. Julians Ta’ Xbiex / Gzira €60 - €267 per m2 per annum

D▶ ECONOMICAL Central / North / South part of the island €30 - €80 per m2 per annum

Communications

Human Capital

Malta’s telecoms network is reliable, stable and secure. As the infrastructure has opened up to market forces, access rates have increased and tariffs have lowered. Malta has seen huge public and private sector investment in ICT over the past 15 years and today the country boasts a truly modern infrastructure. The country’s ICT industry is a versatile and mature cluster, and the country hosts more than 200 IT companies, including international giants such as Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco. Malta is internationally connected through two satellite stations, one to the Atlantic Ocean region and the other to the Indian Ocean region, and four submarine fibre optic links to mainland Europe, two of which are operated by GO and the rest by Vodafone and Melita respectively. All operators say their cables are designed to carry a lot more traffic than current levels and their capacity is unlimited.

Highly educated, multilingual and diligent, the Maltese workforce is the country’s greatest strength and most valuable asset. Employers will find Malta can offer great value for money as labour costs are around two thirds of those in other Western European jurisdictions. Average Salaries per annum (€) CEO CFO Financial Controller Management Accountant Qualified Accountant Accounts Administration Senior Compliance Manager Compliance Manager Fund / Portfolio Manager Senior Fund Administrator Fund Accountant Trust Manager Senior Branch Manager Branch Manager Senior Insurance Manager Technical Insurance Executive Treasury Senior Manager Treasury Dealer

96,000 75,750 49,000 32,000 32,500 15,000 43,129 30,242 36,400 29,590 25,000 38,550 41,500 34,872 55,000 24,760 42,255 30,569

Source: Castille Resources, Salary Survey 2013

C D

A B


ISLAMIC FINANCE

What employers need to know: • Probation: The length of the probation period is normally six months unless otherwise agreed by both parties. • Weekly working time: 40 hours. • Leave: Employees in fulltime employment are entitled to 24 days of vacation leave per year. Maternity leave for female employees in full-time employment is 18 weeks. The law also provides for up to three months unpaid parental leave in the case of birth, adoption or legal custody of a minor. • Social security: Employers pay social security contribution at a rate of 10 per cent of the basic wage paid to their employees, subject to a minimum of €15.35 per week and a maximum of €35.39 per week. Employees pay another 10 per cent of basic wages, subject to the same minimum and maximum.

Taxation Malta’s tax system has been deemed by the European Commission to be compliant with EU non-discrimination principles and has also gained approval from the OECD.

Corporate Tax Malta offers a highly efficient fiscal regime that avoids double taxation on taxed company profits distributed as dividends. Malta companies are taxed at a rate of 35 per cent. However, a full imputation system applies to the taxation of dividends, whereby the tax paid by the company is imputed as a credit to the shareholder receiving the dividend. Following the distribution of a dividend, shareholders are also entitled to claim a tax refund of 6/7ths of the relevant tax paid in respect of trading income and 5/7ths of the relevant tax paid in the case of passive interest and royalties. The refund is reduced to 2/3rds where the distributing company claims double taxation relief. Income and gains from a participating holding (where a company holds directly at least 10 per cent of the equity shares of a non-resident company, or meets certain other criteria) are exempt from tax. Alternatively, instead of claiming this exemption, a company can choose to pay tax at the normal tax rate and then receive a full refund of the tax paid upon a distribution of dividends.

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Taxation of Key Vehicles Banks and Financial Institutions: Banks and financial institutions are taxed like all companies registered in Malta. Insurance Companies: Special provisions apply to the determination of total income from the business of insurance. Insurance Managers: Insurance management companies are taxed like all companies registered in Malta. Each cell in a PCC or an ICC is treated as a separate company for tax purposes. Fund Managers / Fund Administrators: Fund managers and fund administrators are taxed like all companies registered in Malta. Investment Funds: Maltadomiciled funds are, as a general rule, exempt from Maltese income and capital gains tax as long as they do not have over 85 per cent of their assets situated in Malta. Trusts: When all the beneficiaries of a trust are not domiciled/resident in Malta and where the trust assets are situated outside Malta, no Maltese income tax (or transfer duty) is payable. Foundations: A foundation may be treated as a Maltese company and benefit from Malta’s full imputation system. Foundations may also opt to be taxed in the same manner as a trust.

Retirement Schemes: Licensed retirement schemes are exempt from tax on income and capital gains but this does not apply to immovable property situated in Malta. Individuals: Individuals are charged on their income at progressive tax rates up to a maximum rate of 35 per cent.

Tax Incentives for Highly Qualified Professionals To attract highly qualified personnel to the financial services industry, Malta introduced an incentive scheme in 2011 targeting well-paid foreign executives. Individuals who have their domicile outside of Malta and are employed in senior positions with a company licensed or recognised by the MFSA to conduct financial business in or from Malta, can benefit from a flat personal income tax rate of 15 per cent on income up to €5 million. Any income over €5 million will be taxfree. To qualify for this tax incentive the employee must earn a minimum of €81,205 (basis year 2014) per year, amongst other criteria.


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MALTA

A Cosmopolitan Lifestyle in the Med

M

ore than just a smart place to invest, Malta is a multi-faceted jewel shining at the centre of the Mediterranean. This small, friendly and welcoming island contains everything you could want to strike that perfect balance between business and pleasure.

A Short Flight Away As a leading finance centre, Malta is well connected. Malta International Airport, the island’s only airport, is just two or three hours flying time from most European cities. Several airlines operate regular flights to the island including Air Malta, Lufthansa, Emirates, British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, Scandinavian Airlines, Ryanair, EasyJet, Turkish Airlines and Air Berlin.

Mediterranean Luxury Determined to uphold its reputation as a five-star destination for high-end travellers and the global business elite, Malta features a number of international and luxury hotels such as the Hilton, Excelsior, Radisson, Intercontinental, Westin Dragonara, Corinthia and the Hotel Phoenicia. Superior accommodation is also offered at the boutique hotel Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux.

Gastronomic Delight When it comes to dining, Malta is an island of staggering options. The food scene is defined by an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking with strong Italian influences, fuelled by rich ingredients fresh from farm and sea. There are also many restaurants offering international specialities, and the choice is wide, from smart city restaurants in Baroque palaces and family-run trattorias to seafront fish restaurants.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

The World’s Best Climate With more than 300 days of sun a year, expatriates in Malta often become the envy of friends back home. Hot, dry summers and mild winters have earned Malta the title of world’s best climate by ‘International Living’ magazine. Even in winter Malta enjoys an average of 5 to 6 hours of sunshine and more than 12 hours a day in summer.

Universal Use of English As an official language of Malta, English is spoken by nearly everyone. English is so prevalent in Malta that thousands of foreign students travel from all over the world to learn English on the island. It is the main business language, while laws and regulations are published in both Maltese and English. Maltese is a unique language with Arabic roots and speckled with Italian, French and English words. Many Maltese are multilingual and also fluent in Italian, German or French.

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A Home in the Sun For those looking for something more permanent, Malta boasts a wide range of properties available to rent or purchase, from furnished apartments to farmhouses, villas with pools, and even palazzos, all at competitive prices. Finding a good property close to amenities is fairly easy. Most notable properties include five-star apartment complexes built in Tigné and Portomaso.

Cosmopolitan, but not Costly Whether choosing a modest apartment or a luxury villa, costs in Malta are very reasonable. Malta comes close to having the lowest cost of living in Europe, while still catering to all lifestyles. Moreover, the island offers highly sophisticated and reliable banking, taxation, insurance, social security and communications services.


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

The End of Long Commutes In Malta the trip to work is a breeze, as it takes only 45 minutes to cross the entire island. Malta’s public transport system covers every corner of the two main islands. Water taxis are a scenic way to jump between the capital Valletta and the nearby headlands of Sliema to the west and the Three Cities to the east.

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Safe and Quiet Streets Few locations in the world can offer the same high standard of transparency, security and stability that Malta does. The country follows a zero-tolerance policy for corruption, and crime is almost non-existent. Children play on the streets, and there are still some areas where people leave their doors unlocked at night.

Family Life Malta has a highly familyoriented culture. Almost all restaurants and public places are family-friendly, while nurseries are free and the Government offers working families subsidies to cover the cost of daycare. Older children can be enrolled in one of many excellent international private or local public schools, nearly all of which teach in English. Tertiary education is offered through the University of Malta and other institutes and private colleges.

First Class Healthcare Malta has some of the best healthcare in the world, which is offered free to EU nationals residing in Malta, while foreign residents are advised to take out private medical insurance. As well as local clinics in each town, Malta has a large and modern public hospital, Mater Dei, while also being home to the renowned St James private hospital.


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Work and Live Visa Free As a member of the Schengen Zone, Malta attracts thousands of professional EU nationals every year, who are free to reside and work on the island. Non-EU citizens can find details about visaexempt countries and visa application procedures on the website of the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security (www.mhas.gov.mt). Third-country nationals require work permits, and the granting of these is subject to a labour market test.

Outdoor Malta Malta’s Mediterranean climate lends itself to a year-round outdoor lifestyle of water sports, golfing, hiking, fishing, horse riding and more. The conditions for scuba diving and snorkeling are excellent, particularly as the sea temperature never drops below 13C (55F). Malta has one golf course, located at the Royal Malta Golf Club, and gyms, football or water polo clubs can be found all over the island.

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Active in Malta The sea, cafés, restaurants, clubs, cinemas, theatres, sports clubs or gyms are almost always within a walking distance of office complexes or residential areas. Malta also hosts many great festivals of culture and art. Each town or village has its own annual feast and parade for their patron saint. For those in need of some retail therapy, Malta is home to shopping malls for big brand names and markets for local goods.

Centuries of Captivating History Heritage forms an important part of island life. With 7,000 years of history and many remains visible to this day, Malta can be described as an open-air museum. Megalithic temples, medieval towns and massive bastions have all been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These formidable structures regularly provide the backdrop for events listed in Malta’s packed cultural calendar such as concerts, plays or art exhibitions as well as its thriving film industry.


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Who’s who Malta Business Profiles Accounting & Auditing

Insurance Management

Baker Tilly Malta.........................................................................46 Capstone Group .........................................................................47 Deloitte Malta..............................................................................49 EY ................................................................................................49 Grant Thornton...........................................................................51 Griffiths + Associates Ltd...........................................................51 KPMG..........................................................................................53 PwC..............................................................................................54 RSM Malta...................................................................................54

Abacus Risk Management Services PCC Ltd ...........................45 Marsh Management Services Malta Limited............................54

Banking Services Bank Of Valletta plc....................................................................47 HSBC Bank Malta plc- Global Banking and Markets..............52 IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd..................................................................53 NBG Bank Malta Limited...........................................................54 Sparkasse Bank Malta plc...........................................................55

Insurance Services Atlas Group..................................................................................46 FirstUnited Insurance Brokers Ltd............................................50 GasanMamo Insurance...............................................................51

Investment Services Curmi & Partners Ltd.................................................................48

KYC & Compliance DAIS Software Limited...............................................................48

Corporate services

Legal Services

Abacus Corporate Services Limited..........................................45 Amicorp Malta Ltd......................................................................45 Avanzia Taxand Ltd.....................................................................46 Equiom Malta Limited................................................................49 Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Limited...................................50 International Management Services Ltd...................................53 STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd......................55 United International Management (Malta) Limited................56 WDM International....................................................................56 ZETA............................................................................................56

Argentarius ETI Management Limited.....................................46 Malta Stock Exchange plc...........................................................53

Acumum Legal & Advisory .......................................................45 Camilleri Preziosi .......................................................................47 Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates........................................................47 CSB Advocates.............................................................................48 David Griscti & Associates.........................................................48 David Zahra & Associates Advocates........................................49 Dingli & Dingli Law Firm..........................................................49 Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal.......................................................50 Ganado Advocates......................................................................51 Gonzi and Associates, Advocates...............................................51 GTG Advocates...........................................................................52 GVTH Advocates........................................................................52 Mamo TCV Advocates................................................................54 Simon Tortell & Associates.........................................................55 WH Partners ...............................................................................56

Foreign Exchange

Media Services

FXDD Malta Limited .................................................................50

CountryProfiler Malta Limited..................................................48

Fund Administration

Outsourcing Services

Alter Domus (Services) Malta Limited.....................................45 Apex Fund Services (Malta) Limited.........................................46 Heritage International Fund Services (Malta) Limited...........52 IDS Fund Services Malta Limited..............................................52 SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) Limited........................55 Valletta Fund Services Limited .................................................56

Centrecom...................................................................................47

Financial Markets

Promotional Agency FinanceMalta...............................................................................50

Real Estate Malta Sotheby's International Realty........................................53 Tumas Developments.................................................................55


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Paul Kneen

45

FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Abacus Corporate Services Limited Abacus is an independent and privately owned fiduciary and fund services specialist group. Operating from the Isle of Man and Malta, we provide premier onshore and offshore fiduciary, fund and pension solutions to an international client base, delivered by an experienced and technically competent team of multidisciplined and multi-lingual professionals. Whether an investment portfolio, trading company, real property, a luxury yacht or a business jet, we can establish an effective trust, company or fund structure tailored to your needs and offer associated administration and back office support services at the level you require. We also provide international corporate pension solutions and assistance to HNWIs accessing the Maltese Individual Investor Program.

Chief Executive Officer

Baudouin Deschamps

Abacus Risk Management Services PCC Ltd Abacus Risk Management Services PCC Ltd, an Associate Company of GasanMamo Insurance Ltd, provides the set up and efficient management of your captive, protected cell(s) or other insurance operations in Malta by a team of experienced professionals overseen by Abacus Executive Directors with more than 60 years combined experience in the complex world of captive and global insurance. Abacus’ protected cells also provide foreign insurance managers the opportunity to establish a presence in Malta at reasonable cost hereby enabling their clients to benefit from Malta’s direct writing, tax efficient and compliant European jurisdiction. Abacus, the Insurance Manager of choice for Malta, the domicile of choice.

director & insurance manager

Acumum Legal & Advisory Our highly experienced international lawyers, advocates and tax advisors, provide the full range of legal and advisory services in a multi-disciplinary practice. Representing private individuals, corporations, family offices and other organisations, our services include advocacy in the UK, Malta, at EU level and throughout the Commonwealth. Centrally managed in the EU tax efficient jurisdiction of Malta, Acumum provides superb client service and practical advice at competitive, transparent pricing. Geraldine Noel Managing Partner

Country Executive – Malta, Italy

Alter Domus (Services) Malta Limited Alter Domus is a leading European provider of Fund and Corporate Services, dedicated to private equity and infrastructure houses, real estate firms, multinationals, private clients and private debt managers. Our vertically integrated approach offers tailor-made administration solutions across the entire value chain of investment structures, from fund level down to local Special Purpose Vehicles. Founded in Luxembourg in 2003, Alter Domus has continually expanded its global service offer and today counts 28 offices and desks across four continents. This international network enables clients to benefit globally from the expertise of more than 750 experienced professionals active in fund administration, corporate secretarial, accounting, consolidation, tax and legal compliance and debt administration services.

Rudolph Psaila

Amicorp Malta Ltd Amicorp Malta entities are part of the Amicorp Group. Working as a global team across more than 41 offices in over 28 countries, each of Amicorp’s 950 + specialists contribute their individual talents to Amicorp’s broad range of expertise and experience. Amicorp Malta is licensed by the MFSA to set up and administer trusts and foundations and to provide fund administration and related services. In addition we assist international clients with company formations, management and administration and related services, including financial reporting services, income tax, VAT compliance and payroll services. Amicorp is also licensed to assist foreign nationals and their dependants with acquiring a certificate of naturalization as citizens of Malta.

Chris Casapinta

managing director

Level 3, Gasan Centre, Mriehel, Mriehel Bypass, BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2065 0500 E: enquiries@abacusmalta.com W: www.abacusmalta.com Contact: Paul Kneen - Chief Executive Officer

LF3 GasanMamo Head Office, Msida Road, Gzira - Malta T: (+356) 2349 0167 E: info@abacus.com.mt W: www.abacus.com.mt Contact: Baudouin Deschamps Director & Insurance Manager

260 St Albert’s Street, Gzira, GZR 1150 - Malta T: (+356) 2778 1700 E: info@acumum.com Skype ID: acumum W: www.acumum.com Contact: Geraldine Noel - Managing Partner

Domestica Bldg, Msida Valley Road, Msida MSD 9020 Territorials Street, Mriehel BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2205 1000 E: chris.casapinta@alterdomus.com W: www.alterdomus.com Contact: Chris Casapinta Country Executive - Malta & Italy

Level 1, Blue Harbour Business Centre, Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1027 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 4700 E: r.psaila@amicorp.com W: www.amicorp.com Contact: Rudolph Psaila - Managing Director


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

Apex Fund Services (Malta) limited Apex Fund Services (Malta) Limited is part of one of the world’s largest independent fund administration companies with approximately US$25 billion of assets under administration, 31 offices and over 350 employees across the globe. The Apex Global Network is at the heart of the company’s strategy of being located alongside its clients. Apex is unique in its ability to reach globally and services locally. We provide cross-jurisdictional solutions and the highest levels of personalised services.

Anthony O’Driscoll managing director

Argentarius ETI Management Limited Our firm is a specialist provider of private label securitisation transactions through a network of Special Purpose Securitisation Vehicles that we manage. We are an authorised Listing Agent for the issue of Structured Financial Instruments at the European Wholesale Securities Market in Malta and our speciality is the structuring and issue of Exchange Traded Instruments (ETIs) used in the securitisation of Alternative Investments under the Securitisation Act of Malta.

Andreas Woelfl managing partner

Atlas Group Atlas Group is an acknowledged market leader with its roots in the Maltese insurance market dating back to early last century. Atlas Insurance PCC Ltd, the group’s flagship company, converted to Protected Cell Company in 2006, a first for Malta and the EU, giving promoters the opportunity to have their own EU insurance vehicle with less capital and cost. With a highly educated staff complement of over 160 people, the group also includes Atlas Healthcare Insurance Agency Ltd, local agency for AXA PPP healthcare, Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited, Ark Insurance Brokers Limited and Ark Insurance Management PCC Limited. Michael Gatt Managing Director

Walter Cutajar

Avanzia Taxand Ltd Avanzia Taxand is a member firm of Taxand, the global network of leading tax advisors. Avanzia Taxand is dedicated to delivering top quality, tailored and practical strategic tax advice and a range of corporate services to drive the performance of multinational businesses. Our partners lead every engagement from start to finish, and achieve excellence and efficiencies for our clients, globally. Avanzia Taxand is the leading tax firm in Malta and was named ‘Malta Tax Firm of the Year’ by the International Tax Review in 2009 and 2013, whilst in 2011, 2014 and 2015 it was named ‘Malta Tax Firm of the Year’ by Corporate International.

Managing Director

Donald Sant Managing Partner & Head of Audit

Baker Tilly Malta Baker Tilly Malta is a firm of accountants, auditors, taxation and business advisors providing services for businesses operating in all spheres of the economy, both locally and overseas. Baker Tilly Malta is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide association of leading accountancy practices operating in 133 countries around the world, ensuring that our clients are able to draw on professional advice on any aspect of their international affairs. The philosophy of the firm is based on the concept of providing creative forward thinking and planning, and being able to offer an independent and innovative service in support of clients’ business goals.

6th Floor Airways House, Gaiety Lane, Sliema SLM 1549 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 1330 E: anthony@apexfunds.com.mt W: www.apexfundserivces.com Contact: Anthony O’ Driscoll - Managing Director

116/8 ‘San Juan’ St Georges Rd, St Julians STJ3203 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 7357 E: andreas@argentarius-group.com W: www.argentarius-group.com Contact: Andreas Woelfl - Managing Partner

48-50, Ta’ Xbiex Seafront, Ta’ Xbiex, XBX 1021 - Malta T: (+356) 2343 5221 E: michael.gatt@atlas.com.mt W: www.atlas.com.mt Contact: Michael Gatt - Managing Director

Blue Harbour Business Centre Level 1, Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1027 - Malta T: (+356) 2730 0045 E: walter.cutajar@avanzia.com.mt W: www.avanzia.com.mt Contact: Walter Cutajar - Managing Director

Level 5, Rosa Marina Building, 216 Marina Seafront, Pieta PTA 9041 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 9500 E: Info@bakertillymalta.com W: www.bakertillymalta.com Contact: Donald Sant Managing Partner & Head of Audit


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Charles Borg

47

FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Bank of Valletta plc Bank of Valletta is the leading financial services provider in Malta, offering a full spectrum of financial services, including investment banking, private banking, fund management, bancassurance, stockbroking and trustee services. The Bank serves its clients via an extensive network of branches, an International Corporate Centre and Business Centres that cater for its business clients, as well as a fully-fledged Wealth Management arm and Investment Centres. Representative Offices in Brussels, Milan, Tripoli and Melbourne liaise with clients interested in growing their business in these countries. BOV issues bank cards under the VISA and MasterCard brands and distributes American Express cards. The Bank’s services are available on a 24/7 basis via internet and mobile.

chief executive officer

Camilleri Preziosi A leading Maltese law firm with a commitment to deliver an efficient service to clients by combining technical excellence with a solution-driven approach to the practice of law. Camilleri Preziosi is a specialised practice, advising on domestic and international transactions with a focus on corporate and commercial law, and the financial services sector. The firm provides both transactional and regulatory advice and assistance to clients. We take a multi-disciplinary approach to our practice and all our lawyers advise across a broad range of areas, which enables us to give practical and effective advice to clients. Dr Louis de Gabriele Partner

David Borg Business Advisory Partner

Nadia Pace

Capstone Group Capstone is a dynamic group consisting of an accounting, tax and business advisory firm, Capstone Advisory Co. Ltd., and an independent audit firm, Capstone Assurance Co. Ltd., providing statutory and non-statutory audit and assurance services. Capstone is the Malta Member firm of Integra International, an interactive, global association of independent accounting and consulting firms with over 130 members in over 70 countries. With a growing portfolio of domestic and overseas clients, Capstone Group has developed specific competence and expertise within the financial services, remote gaming, international pensions, oil and gas, real estate, tourism and hospitality sectors. A team of over 29 qualified and semiqualified accountants and support staff provide personalised solutions to clients structuring in and out of Malta.

Centrecom Centrecom is a contact centre based in Malta that offers world-class customer support to a variety of industries, including Finance, Insurance, Online classifieds, Aviation, i-gaming and Government entities. Our contact centre is manned by a talented multi-national team that is native in nine languages ensuring that we can personally attend to your international customer service requirements across all touch points on a 24/7 basis. We’ve recently opened our second service centre in Fiji that ensures a worldwide coverage. If your company is relocating to Malta or looking for a global service centre to serve your worldwide brand, Centrecom is the right partner for your journey.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti Managing Partner

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates With offices in Malta, Chetcuti Cauchi is a law firm who advises successful entrepreneurs, business families, institutions and their advisors seamlessly on their business and private legal needs both at home and abroad. Our unique multi-disciplinary set-up of over 80 lawyers, tax advisors, accountants, company administrators and relocation advisors allows us to provide the full spectrum of legal, tax, company formation, immigration, corporate relocation, Malta Residency, Malta Citizenship by Investment and fiduciary services to clients using Malta in international tax planning, cross-border business structuring and wealth management solutions. The firm serves as a trusted advisor to personal and corporate end-clients as well as international law firms, tax advisors, accountants, private bankers and family offices worldwide. We maintain key strengths in corporate law, international tax, intellectual property, immigration law, property law and trusts.

BOV Centre, Triq il-Kanun, Santa Venera SVR 9030 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 2020 E: romeo.cutajar@bov.com W: www.bov.com Contact: Romeo Cutajar Chief Officer Investment Services

Level 3, Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta VLT 1103 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2123 8989 E: louis.degabriele@camilleripreziosi.com W: www.camilleripreziosi.com Contact: Dr Louis de Gabriele - Partner

Suite 5, Level 1, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2549 6500 E: dborg@capstonegroup.com.mt W: www.capstonegroup.com.mt Contact: David Borg Business Advisory Partner

Aviation Centre, First Floor, St. Thomas Street, LQA5000, Luqa - Malta T: (+356) 2364 4000 E: nadia.pace@centrecom.eu W: www.centrecom.eu Contact: Nadia Pace - Chief Executive Officer

CHETCUTI CAUCHI ADVOCATES

120, St Ursula Street, Valletta VLT 1236 - Malta T: (+356) 2205 6105 W: www.ccmalta.com Contact: Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti Managing Partner


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

CountryProfiler Malta Limited CountryProfiler (CP) is an international media company that specialises in the publication of country reports and investment guides on the world’s most innovative and high-growth markets for trade, foreign investment and international financial services. CountryProfiler’s publications provide blue-chip companies, their executive management and professional advisors with global business intelligence and market insight they require when managing cross-border operations, investing or doing business with new markets. CountryProfiler’s publications are considered to be among the most prestigious economic intelligence products available. Garvan Keating director emea

CSB Advocates CSB Advocates is a leading provider of quality financial and cross-border legal services in Malta, and has been consistently credited by its clients as being “sharp, focused, and readily available”. Active in the areas of: Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions; Finance; Financial Services Regulation; Hedge Fund Regulation; e-Commerce; iGaming; Shipping, Yachting & Aviation; Employment & Industrial Relations; Tax; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; Trusts & Estate Planning; Competition; Antitrust Regulation; Insolvency; Intellectual Property; Real Estate; Litigation & Arbitration. Dr Andrew J. Zammit managing Partner

David A. Curmi

Curmi & Partners Ltd Curmi & Partners Ltd. are one of the leading investment houses in Malta. Established in 1978, we offer a wide range of investment solutions across differing markets and market conditions that have specifically been developed for our clients and are the result of innovative thinking and thorough research. Our clients range from small banks, insurance companies, occupational and private pension schemes, other corporates and high net worth individuals. We feel that individual attention to each client is central to our investment approach, thus we build long-term relationships with our clients based on trust and our discreet approach to their investment objectives.

Managing Director

DAIS Software Limited DAIS Persona is a multi-function “customer acceptance” software that combines client document management and a compliance search tool for KYC/AML/ CFT process. Designed as a front-line screening and reporting tool to minimise regulatory risks, DAIS PERSONA enables you to automatically monitor, screen and search for an individual or a corporate entity against known sanction lists that include UN Sanction list, US Treasury OFAC and EU Sanctions lists. POWERED BY Dow Jones Risk & Compliance data solutions. Savas Manyasli founder, solution architect

David Griscti senior partner

David Griscti & Associates David Griscti & Associates is a law firm focused on the financial services industry, particularly Funds, Investment Managers, Securities, Credit and other financial institutions, corporates, trusts and foundations. We assist banks, asset managers, financial advisors and other intermediaries to structure, and license AIFs, de minimis PIFs, UCITS, AIFMs and UCITS managers, fund administrators, credit and other financial and investment service’ institutions. The Firm also structures alternative investment structures, such as Private Funds, Securitisation Vehicles, corporates, trusts and foundations. Post establishment the firm offers full legal, corporate, tax advisory, compliance, anti-money laundering, company secretarial and executive board services, as well as other supplementary back-office services, including support risk-management and reporting services.

64, St Anne Court, Flat 4, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1642 - Malta T: (+356) 2034 2034 E: puglisevich@countryprofiler.com W: www.countryprofiler.com Contact: Melissa Puglisevich Office Manager

The Penthouse, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2557 2300 E: info@csb-advocates.com W: www.csb-advocates.com Contact: Dr Andrew J. Zammit - ManagingPartner

Finance House, Princess Elizabeth Street, Ta’ Xbiex xbx 1102 - Malta T: (+356) 2134 7331 E: info@curmiandpartners.com W: www.curmiandpartners.com Contact: David A. Curmi Managing Director

64, St Anne Court, Suite 4, Bisazza Street, Sliema, SLM 1642 - Malta T: (+356) 2034 2037 E: juan@dais.com.mt W: www.dais.com.mt Contact: Juan Fach Business Development Director

168, St Christopher Street, Valletta VLT 1467 - Malta T: (+356) 2569 3000 E: dgriscti@dglawfirm.com W: dglawfirm.com.mt Contact: David Griscti - Senior Partner


ISLAMIC FINANCE

49

FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

David Zahra & Associates Advocates David Zahra & Associates Advocates is a law firm based in Valletta, which focuses on the core areas of commercial activity, with particular strength in corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, trusts and foundations and financial services law (including Islamic Finance). The firm’s founder, David Zahra, together with the firm’s associates, strive to satisfy the requirements of the client by fostering a close relationship and taking a keen interest in the client’s business to better understand their needs. The firm provides a solutions-driven approach to the law to assist the client quickly and efficiently in obtaining the best results. Dr David Zahra Partner

Deloitte Malta Deloitte Malta’s Financial Services Industry Group has been at the heart of the industry’s growth in Malta and offers a wide array of services specifically designed for entities in the banking, insurance and investment management sectors. This team consists of industry experts in all service lines being audit, tax and advisory and offers tailor made solutions for financial reporting, Information Technology solutions, compliance and risk management and regulatory advice and licence applications. Steve Paris Leader Financial Services Industry

Dr Kevin F. Dingli

Dingli & Dingli Law Firm Dingli & Dingli Law Firm was established in 1982 and has over the years earned a solid reputation for efficiency and effectiveness leading to results. This is achieved through the deployment of a strong team effort when handling assignments, harnessing the power of partnership to the full. The Firm handles all types of legal work, but is especially active in ship sale and purchase, registration and finance; financial services, tax, company formation and administration; real estate, citizenship and residency; intellectual property law, admiralty and aviation. Complementary services are rendered by DG Fiduciary Limited authorised to provide trustee and fiduciary services and Quorum Corporate Services Ltd. providing accounting services.

Managing Partner

Equiom Malta Limited Equiom is fast becoming the stand out business in the fiduciary services sector, with offices in some of the world’s premier international finance centres. We are an independent, management-owned company which allows us to think strategically and act quickly. Equiom operates niche business lines, in addition to its traditional corporate and fiduciary services. It proudly manages a large fleet of superyachts and business jets, with the intention of being the premier manager of these specific asset classes. Equiom has also successfully managed numerous licence applications for e-Gaming operators across a broad range of gaming platforms. Annie Sanchez-Talavera Director

EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young Limited) EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

Ronald Attard Country Managing Partner CSE TAS South Cluster Leader

Level 3, Theuma House, 302, St. Paul Street, Valletta, VLT 1213 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 0019 E: marika@davidzahra.com W: www.davidzahra.com Contact: Marika Borg Bonello Administrative Assistant

Deloitte Place, Mriehel Bypass, Mriehel BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2343 2000 E: sparis@deloitte.com.mt W: www.deloitte.com/mt Contact: Steve Paris Leader Financial Services Industry

Dingli&Dingli LAW

F I RM

18/2, South Street, Valletta VLT1102 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 6206 E: info@dingli.com.mt W: www.dingli.com.mt Contact: Dr Kevin F. Dingli Managing Partner

2nd Floor, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar, Birkirkara BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2546 6614 E: Anniesanchez-talavera@equiomgroup.com W: www.equiomgroup.com Contact: Annie Sanchez-Talavera - Director

Regional Business Centre, Achille Ferris Street, Msida MSD 1751 - Malta T: (+356) 2134 2134 E: Jennifer.tonna@mt.ey.com W: www.ey.com Contact: Jennifer Tonna - Marketing Manager


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Tonio Fenech

50

ISLAMIC FINANCE

Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal is a full-service law firm whose specific centres of expertise include Corporate & Commercial Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Taxation, Banking, Insurance & Investment Funds, Capital Markets Regulation, Trust & Fiduciary Structures, Shipping & Aviation Law, New Media Law, and Regulatory Compliance & Gaming Law. It has specialised units involving industry expertise in various sectors, principal among which are the financial services and investment funds industries, asset finance and the igaming sector. The firm’s clientele is versatile, both in terms of size as well as in terms of geographic spread. Our policy is to take a comprehensive and integrated approach, in collaboration with other professional disciplines, where required.

Joint Managing Partner

FinanceMalta FinanceMalta, a non-profit public-private initiative, was set up to promote Malta’s international Business & Financial Centre, both within, as well as outside Malta. It brings together, and harnesses, the resources of the industry and government, to ensure Malta maintains a modern and effective legal, regulatory and fiscal framework in which the financial services sector can continue to grow and prosper. The Board of Governors, together with the founding associations, its corporate and affiliate members and staff are committed to promoting Malta as a centre of excellence in financial services and international business. Kenneth Farrugia CHAIRMAN

Kevin Galea

Follow us on:

FinanceMalta

@FinanceMalta

FinanceMaltaYT

FinanceMalta

Firstunited Insurance Brokers Ltd Established in 1998 we offer bespoke insurance advisory, risk assessment and broking services to Malta domiciled firms establishing new operations or who are looking to review or revalidate their existing insurance programs. Our team of professionals offer considerable experience in the design, negotiation and placement of complex insurance solutions for corporate and multinational clients looking to build strong, long term relationships with the local and international insurance market. We form part of the Willis Global Network and as part of such affiliation, our clients receive the full benefit of the service that FirstUnited and Willis Group offers. We call this Glocal Service - Global resources delivered locally.

partner

Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Limited Francis J. Vassallo, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, established Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Ltd 17 years ago. Our team of lawyers, accountants and support professionals deliver a broad spectrum of bespoke services to a global client portfolio and specialises predominantly in the provision of Tax and Advisory Services, Corporate Services, Management and Compliance, Aviation and Shipping Services, Investment Funds and Foundations. Our personalised approach to address our clients’ requirements offers an efficient, professional and outstanding service. Francis J. Vassallo president

FXDD Malta Limited FXDD Global is a global foreign exchange (forex) dealer and subsidiary of FXDD. FXDD Global delivers innovative technologies and education that help empower client trading. FXDD Global provides services to individual and institutional traders, hedge funds, commercial entities, brokerage firms and money managers outside of the US. FXDD Global offers a comprehensive array of trading tools and platforms to accommodate all strategies, with dedicated, 24-hour customer service for every account holder. FXDD Global is headquartered in Malta, regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Lubomir Kaneti executive director

Tower Business Centre, Level 1, Suite 5, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2549 6400 E: tfenech@fff-legal.com W: www.fff-legal.com Contact: Tonio Fenech Joint Managing Partner

Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT1063 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 4525 E: chairman@financemalta.org W: www.financemalta.org Contact: Kenneth Farrugia - Chairman

25, Villa Eden, Princess Elizabeth Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1103 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 9000 E: kgp@firstunited.com.mt W: www.firstunited.com.mt Contact: Jean Portelli

FJVA Business Centre, Industry Street, Qormi QRM 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2299 3100 E: info@fjvassallo.com W: www.fjvassallo.com Contact: Adriana Camilleri Vassallo - Director

K2 First Floor, Forni Complex, Valletta Waterfront, Floriana FRN1913 - Malta T: (+356) 2013 3000 E: fsoler@fxdd.com.mt W: www.fxdd.com Contact: Lubomir Kaneti - Executive Director


ISLAMIC FINANCE

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FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Ganado Advocates As trusted legal advisors to some of the largest international and local corporations and financial institutions for the past 50 years, we are proud to have contributed to Malta’s achievements by underpinning our clients’ continued success. We are known for the quality of our work. Whether advising on our clients’ daily needs or on some of the most groundbreaking and complex transactions or disputes, we consistently provide our clients with advice that they can depend upon. Our approach combines legal excellence with commercial acumen. James Farrugia Partner

171 Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1455 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 5406 E: lawfirm@ganadoadvocates.com W: www.ganadoadvocates.com Contact: James Farrugia - Partner

GasanMamo Insurance GasanMamo Insurance traces its roots in insurance back to 1947 and has evolved into a household name in Malta. Licensed as a general insurer by the Malta Financial Services Authority in 2003. GasanMamo is focused on adding value in all that it does putting the customer at the heart of its mission.

Msida Road, Gzira GZR 1405 - Malta T: (+356) 2134 5123 E: insurance@gasanmamo.com W: www.gasanmamo.com Contact: Julian J Mamo - Managing Director

Julian J Mamo Managing Director

Gonzi And Associates, Advocates Gonzi and Associates, Advocates is an established Maltese law firm specialising in Corporate and Tax, Financial Services and iGaming law. Our lawyers are experts in their respective fields allowing us to provide you with relevant, reliable and experience-based legal advice. Contact us for a free initial assessment as to how we can better your business by setting up or relocating your company to Malta or by assisting you to establish and license your credit or financial institution (including electronic money), investment services, funds or igaming operations in Malta. Dr David Gonzi Partner

Mark Bugeja

Grant Thornton Founded in 1975, Grant Thornton Malta is a member of Grant Thornton International and a leading assurance, tax and advisory firm in Malta. Proactive teams, led by approachable partners, use insights, technical knowledge and experience to help dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, forward-looking advice. Our clients include governmentowned organisations, local and international privately-held businesses and public interest entities operating in a variety of sectors including financial services, aviation, insurance, gaming, ICT, manufacturing, construction, import and retail. We also provide trustee and fiduciary services through Grant Thornton Fiduciary.

managing Partner

Griffiths + Associates Ltd Established in 1982 and located in Naxxar, our firm of Certified Public Accountants offers a one-stop shop assisting businesses in carrying out activities in, from or through Malta. The firm’s activities include company incorporations, back-office services and international corporate structuring, especially within the context of Malta’s extensive tax treaty network and advantageous tax regime. Being members of PrimeGlobal, an international association of accountants and advisers, adds value to the servicing of clients’ needs within an international perspective. Peter Griffiths managing & tax director

115B, Old Mint Street, Valletta VLT1515 - Malta T: (+356) 2015 7000 E: info@gonzi.com.mt W: www.gonzi.com.mt Contact: Dr David Gonzi - Partner

Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2132 0134 E: mark.bugeja@mt.gt.com W: www.grantthornton.com.mt Contact: Mark Bugeja - Managing Partner

Level 1, Casal Naxaro, Labour Avenue, Naxxar NXR 9021 - Malta T: (+356) 2738 3631 E: peter@griffithsassoc.com W: www.griffithsassoc.com Contact: Peter Griffiths – Managing & Tax Director


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

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ISLAMIC FINANCE

GTG Advocates GTG combines experience and knowledge to provide its clients with integrated advice and assistance in the fields of shipping, commercial and corporate law, financial services and intellectual property. A leader in communications, gaming and betting, e-commerce and information technology, GTG serves a diverse client base, which also benefits from an international professional network including international firms, banks as well as business contacts in the Middle East. The success of GTG is based on its dedication to client services, providing tailored, efficient and value-added legal solutions. Dr Robert Tufigno PARTNER

Joseph J. Vella

GVTH Advocates GVTH is one of Malta’s leading Commercial Law firms which complements its strong local client base with a considerable international practice. The Firm’s service-integrated approach deals with the most challenging assignments of those national and international companies and organisations that seek the Firm’s advice. GVTH prides itself in assisting these organisations to face their daily challenges, including the ever-increasing complexities of new regulatory landscapes and the issues and dynamics of constantly changing markets. Areas of specialisation include, predominately, Corporate and Commercial Law, Financial Services and Taxation, Intellectual Property and ICT, Banking and Finance, Ship and Yacht Registration, Insurance, Dispute Resolution and Immigration.

Managing PARTNER

Dr Neville Carabott Managing Director

James Woodeson

Heritage International Fund Services (Malta) Limited Heritage International Fund Services (Malta) Limited (“Heritage”) is part of the Heritage Group. Heritage is an independent provider of client-focused, comprehensive, third-party fund administration and depositary lite services with particular expertise in the establishment and servicing of private equity, real estate, infrastructure and esoteric funds investing in both developed and emerging markets. More specifically, Heritage provides administration, accounting, corporate governance, company secretarial and compliance services as part of its fund administration business. Heritage also provides depositary lite services to collective investment schemes (“CIS”) in accordance with the AIFMD regime. These services include asset verification, cash monitoring and general oversight of the CIS’ operations.

HSBC Bank Malta plc- Global Banking and Markets The Capital Financing Department within HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. provides a full range of services to local corporates looking to diversify your sources of funds, with financing solutions devised specifically to meet your needs. By providing a wide range of products and services and through active involvement; we are a source of guidance and expertise to the financial sector and corporate entities. With a proven track record managing Bond and Equity Transactions, supporting the Issuer from start to finish. We are able to leverage HSBC group’s connectivity across the Globe to provide vital expertise through highly experienced teams. We are able to bring a variety of different financing solutions, depending on client’s needs.

Head of Global Banking and Markets

Ids Fund Services Malta Ltd IDS Fund Services Malta Ltd was established in 2010 as a subsidiary to the leading administration company, the IDS Group. Tapping into the extensive knowledge and experience of the IDS Group, IDS Malta is focused on offering innovative fund administration and a full suite of supporting services to the investment industry, from long only to pure alternate focussed funds. Our clients include new launches as well as established funds. We are able to assist with new formations and the redomiciliation of existing structures to Malta. Michael Keyrouz managing director

66, Old Bakery Street, Valletta vlt 1454 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 2713 E: info@gtgadvocates.com W: www.gtgadvocates.com Contact: Dr Robert Tufigno - Partner

192, Old Bakery Street, Valletta - Malta T: (+356) 2122 8888 E: gege.vella@gvthlaw.com W: www.gvthlaw.com Contact: Joseph J. Vella - Managing Partner

SmartCity Malta SCM 01, Suite 502, Ricasoli SCM 1001 - Malta T: (+356) 2090 8900 E: neville.carabott@heritage.com.mt W: www.heritage.co.gg Contact: Dr Neville Carabott Managing Director

80, Mill Street, Qormi - Malta T: (+356) 2380 2242 E: james.woodeson@hsbc.com W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: James Woodeson - Head of Global Banking and Markets for HSBC Malta

276 Fleur-de-Lys Road, Birkirkara, BKR 9067 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 9500 E: michael.keyrouz@idsfundservices.com W: www.idsfundservices.com Contact: Michael Keyrouz - Managing Director


ISLAMIC FINANCE

Raymond Busuttil

53

FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd is a specialist trade finance bank focused on international commodity trade and does this through a comprehensive range of services that are tailored to meet the needs of its international trading customers spread over Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd is dynamic and innovative in providing structured solutions for trading companies, distributors, manufacturers and exporters, especially those trading in emerging markets. The Bank’s approach to business is characterised by its desire to build long lasting relationships and by being close to the customer to promote a better understanding of the complexities inherent in international trade flows.

managing director & CEO

International Management Services Ltd IMS provides financial services in general, including the creation of commercial vehicles and structures. It enjoys a solid reputation in the provision of extensive centralised back office operations for its clients. IMS’s multi-disciplinary team is experienced in handling the accounting, tax and administrative functions allowing clients the freedom to concentrate their focus on their core business operations. IMS has an international client base ranging from high-net-worth individuals to quoted companies. Clients operate in trading, e-gaming, investment funds, leasing, aviation and maritime sectors amongst others. Gordon Mifsud Managing Director

IMS is proud to be celebrating 30 years of successful professional service. The Company’s partners are Gordon Mifsud, Adrian Giordano Imbroll and Dr Kathleen Zarb Adami who lead various service sectors. KPMG KPMG in Malta is one of the leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services. KPMG is effectively the largest provider of professional services on the island with a total staff complement in Malta of over 450. As we work with our clients, both international and local, we bring our experience and knowledge to bear for the purpose of inspiring confidence and empowering change. We continue to build on past successes thanks to a clear vision, rigorously maintained values and, above all, our people.

Tonio Zarb Senior Partner

Managing Director & Joint-Owner

Malta Sotheby’s International Realty Malta Sotheby’s International Realty aims to serve the high-end residential and commercial real estate market, representing lifestyle properties of exceptional quality and unique characteristics. A brand that represents quality and luxury, its presence in Malta serves international clients looking for high-end real estate investment in Malta and Gozo, and local clients seeking real estate investment opportunities worldwide through our international network. Services include: Residential Sales & Letting, Commercial Sales & Letting, Property Management and Relocation & Residency. Malta Sotheby’s International Realty is operated by CSB Real Estate Ltd – forming part of CSB Group (est. 1987) who offer specialised business and commercial services to clients wishing to set-up or relocate their businesses to Malta.

Eileen V. Muscat

Malta Stock Exchange plc For over 20 years, the Malta Stock Exchange has successfully fulfilled its role as an effective venue to raise capital finance. The Exchange provides a structure for admission of financial instruments to its recognised lists which may subsequently be traded on a regulated, transparent and orderly secondary market place. The Malta Stock Exchange also offers a comprehensive range of back–office services, including maintenance of share and bond registers, clearing and settlement and custody services through its in-house Central Securities Depository. The Exchange enjoys international accessibility on both fronts, through its relationship with Clearstream Banking in Frankfurt, Germany, and in Luxembourg, and through the use of the XETRA trading platform, operated by Deutsche Bourse in Frankfurt.

Michael J. Zammit

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Level 20, Portomaso Business Tower St. Julians STJ 4011 - Malta T: (+356) 2248 4500 E: raymond.busuttil@iigbank-malta.com W: www.iigbank-malta.com Contact: Raymond Busuttil Managing Director & CEO

30 years of service 1985-2015

Regent House, Office 21, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1640 - Malta T: (+356) 2134 1219 E: gmifsud@imscons.com W: www.imscons.com Contact: Gordon Mifsud - Managing Director

Portico Building, Marina Street, Pieta’ PTA 9044 - Malta T: (+356) 2563 1000 E: toniozarb@kpmg.com.mt W: www.kpmg.com.mt Contact: Tonio Zarb - Senior Partner

200, Tower Road Sliema SLM 1602 - Malta T: +356 2010 8070 E: info@maltasothebysrealty.com W: www@maltasothebysrealty.com Contact: Michael J. Zammit Managing Director & Joint-Owner

Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT 1063 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 4051 E: evmuscat@borzamalta.com.mt W: www.borzamalta.com.mt Contact: Eileen V. Muscat - Chief Executive


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

54

ISLAMIC FINANCE

Mamo TCV Advocates Mamo TCV Advocates, a Maltese tier-one law firm with a strong local and international practice, provides legal services in all areas of commercial law, most notably banking and financial services, corporate, communications, media and technology, intellectual property, shipping & aviation, and litigation services. The firm’s mission is to deliver high-quality services through its diverse specialist resources and expertise in a proactive, efficient and timely fashion, and to foster its local and international networks to offer comprehensive and integrated services to clients. Prof. Andrew Muscat managing Partner

Marsh Management Services Malta Limited Marsh Management Services Malta Limited is licensed as an insurance manager in Malta under the Insurance Intermediaries Act. Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the premier global professional services firm providing advice and solutions in risk, strategy and human capital. The Malta office was formed in July 2005 and is the market leader for Malta in the formation and management of affiliated (Captive) and non-affiliated insurance and reinsurance companies. Clients under the Company’s management come from a wide range of industries and geographies from around the world. William Thomas-Ferrand Head of Office

NBG Bank Malta Limited NBG Bank Malta Limited (formerly Finansbank Malta Ltd) was established in 2005 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NBG Group. The Group is the oldest and largest bank in Greece and is present in a number of jurisdictions namely Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, UK, Serbia, Egypt, Malta, Romania and Turkey. NBG Malta is designed to be a one-stop shop for banking services for highnet-worth individuals and corporations worldwide. Furthermore, the bank also specialises in the provision of risk management and treasury products/solutions for its clients (Ex. Foreign Exchange and Derivative products). Cenk Kahraman Chief Executive Officer

Joseph Camilleri

PwC PwC is the leading and largest professional services organisation in Malta, providing industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services. The Malta firm forms part of the PwC network where more than 184,000 people in 157 countries share their experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. The PwC Asset Management (AM) practice serves institutional, retail, insurance company and bank-advised funds, domestic and offshore hedge funds, private equity and other alternative asset vehicles. PwC Malta provides a full range of industry-focused services and has a strong local and international network of tax and accounting compliance professionals, providing a high quality service, covering the entire life cycle of the asset management sector.

Partner

RSM Malta Every firm that carries the RSM name is driven by a common desire – to assist clients in achieving their goals and outperform their competitors. At RSM Malta, we have developed in-house capabilities to help organisations anticipate and meet complex challenges. We are the firm that entrepreneurs count on. We focus our efforts on all the regulatory, statutory, tax, audit and accounting services required to operate in the financial services sector.

George Gregory Tax and Corporate Services Partner

Palazzo Pietro Stiges, 103, Strait Street, Valletta, VLT 1436 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 2271 E: andrew.muscat@mamotcv.com W: www.mamotcv.com Contact: Prof. Andrew Muscat Managing Partner

Strand Towers, Floor 1, 36 The Strand, Sliema SLM1022 - Malta T: (+356) 2342 3000 E: William.thomas-ferrand@marsh.com W: www.marshcaptivesolutions.com Contact: William Thomas-Ferrand Head of Office

302/304, Townsquare, Qui-Si-Sana Place, Sliema SLM 3112 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 8969 E: cenk.kahraman@nbg.com.mt W: www.nbg.com.mt Contact: Cenk Kahraman - Chief Executive Officer

78, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 7000 E: joseph.camilleri@mt.pwc.com W: www.pwc.com/mt Contact: Joseph Camilleri - Partner

Cobalt House, Level 2, Notabile Road, Mriehel BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2149 3313 E: george.gregory@rsmmalta.com.mt W: www.rsmmalta.com.mt Contact: George Gregory - Partner


ISLAMIC FINANCE

55

FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) Limited SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) is your administrative partner for all your fund management requirements, bringing together the international expertise of SGGG Fund Services Inc, responsible for the administration of over 220 alternative strategy funds, together with Fexserv Financial Services, one of the leading and most established companies in the local financial services industry.

Anabel Mifsud Chief Executive Officer

Alpine House, Naxxar Road, San Gwann SGN 9032 - Malta T: (+356) 2576 2121 E: anabel@sgggfexserv.com W: www.sgggfexserv.com Contact: Anabel Mifsud Chief Executive Officer

Simon Tortell & Associates Simon Tortell & Associates is a full-service law firm with a particular focus on financial services and corporate law. Our lawyers are trained to not only apply the law to any given transaction or scenario but to familiarise themselves with the markets in which they operate with the ultimate goal of finding the best solutions for our clients. 188 Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1455 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 8862 E: katya@simontortell.com W: www.simontortell.com Contact: Katya Tua - Partner

Katya Tua Partner

Sparkasse Bank Malta Plc The Bank forms part of the Austrian Savings Banks and the Erste Group Bank AG network. From Malta the Bank provides Private Banking, Wealth Management, Custody and Depositary solutions. Fund custody is a core business for the bank and its experience in the field allows for flexible and practical workable solutions. The bank provides custody services to UCITS, AIF and PIFs providing a personal, tailored and seamless banking, execution and settlement solution.

Paul A Mifsud Managing Director

STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd part of STM Group Plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange with offices in Gibraltar, Spain, Cyprus and Jersey. STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to act as Trustees and registered to act as Administrators of Trusts, Foundations and Retirement Schemes, providing these services to a growing international client base. Our dedicated staff have helped the business grow in offering retirement schemes recognised as QROPS, EURBS and QNUPS. Deborah Schembri Managing Director

George Bonnici SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR

Tumas Developments Described as Malta’s most enterprising and exciting entrepreneur in property development, Tumas Developments, has been instrumental in developing many of the island’s most prestigious projects. Launched in the 1960s by Tumas Fenech, the company grew quickly based on its values of ingenuity, expertise and skill, and successfully revolutionised the local property industry. There have been numerous milestone projects over the years but none more magnificent than the international award-winning, marina, hotel, leisure and residential development. Commencing construction in the late 90s, Portomaso represents a unique multi-million investment that has revolutionised the way people live, think and work in Malta.

101 Townsquare, Ix-Xatt ta’Qui-siSana, Sliema SLM 3112 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 5705 E: paul.mifsud@sparkasse-bank-malta.com W: www.sparkasse-bank-malta.com Contact: Paul A Mifsud - Managing Director

Tagliaferro Business Centre, Level 2, Gaiety Lane c/w High Street, Sliema SLM 1549 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 3210 E: deborah.schembri@stmmalta.com W: www.stmmalta.com Contact: Deborah Schembri Managing Director

10 52 Portomaso, St Julians STJ 4011 - Malta T: (+356) 2138 6802 E: gbonnici@tumas.com W: www.tumasdevelopments.com Contact Person: George Bonnici Sales & Marketing Director


FINANCEMALTA Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Bob Rottinghuis

56

ISLAMIC FINANCE

United International Management (Malta) Limited United International Management (Malta) Limited is part of the United Bank & Trust Group. We are a fully independent and privately owned financial services group with a proven track record in the industry. We provide banking, corporate and fund services to an international private, corporate and institutional client base from our offices in the major regulated financial centers. We combine an international presence with local expertise resulting in total client commitment and tailored client service. In Malta our full range of corporate services include: company formation, (re-)domiciliation, management, administration and accounting, tax compliance, structuring and transaction coordination.

Manager

Joseph M. Camilleri

Valletta Fund Services Limited VFS was incorporated in 2006 as a fully owned subsidiary of Bank of Valletta plc, Malta’s largest banking group, to provide the fund management industry with a comprehensive and integrated range of high-quality fund administration solutions. Through the dedication of its highly qualified and professional human resources as well as the significant investment in state-of-the-art technology, VFS has positioned itself as Malta’s leading fund administrator. As at 31st January 2015, VFS was servicing over 118 investment funds representing US$2.9 billion worth of assets. VFS is recognised to provide fund administration services by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Chief Officer

Dr Jonathan De Giovanni Partner

Olga Finkel

WDM International WDM International is a full service firm, offering a multidisciplinary service, ranging from tax and legal consultancy to audit and business advisory. WDM Lex Advisory, the firm’s legal services arm, is at the forefront in offering consultancy in the following lines of expertise: International and local tax consultancy; residence, citizenship planning and private client services; regulated industry solutions such as setting up of funds, fund managers, forex companies, credit and financial institutions; setting up of iGaming operations; registration of aircraft, yachts and commercial vessels. WDM Lex Advisory is an approved company services provider and an accredited person for Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Programme. Through WDM Trustees, the firm is also licensed to act as a trustee or co-trustee and as an administrator in the context of private foundations.

WH Partners WH Partners is a Malta-based business law firm with focus and a sound reputation for its work in gaming and gambling, e-payments, ICT, digital industries, privacy and data protection, corporate finance, M&A and taxation. The firm’s approach combines an in-depth understanding of clients’ industries with a result-oriented attitude to work, a strong dose of enthusiasm and perseverance. Lawyers at WH Partners are known for their pan-European experience and seek to give clients a competitive advantage which is also facilitated through solid relations with the regulators. The firm has won international awards for its service levels and is highly ranked by the foremost independent legal directories.

Partner

The Plaza Commercial Centre, (Level 6 – Suite 1), Bisazza Street, Sliema, SLM 1640 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 8648 E: bob.rottinghuis@united-itrust.com.mt W: www.united-itrust.com Contact: Bob Rottinghuis - Manager

TG Complex, Suite 2, Level 3, Triq il-Birrerija, l-Imriehel Birkirkara BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 7148 E: infovfs@bov.com W: www.vfs.com.mt Contact: Joseph M. Camilleri - Chief Officer

35, The Penthouse, Salvu Psaila Street, Birkirkara, BKR 9072 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 2096 E: info@wdm.com.mt W: www.wdm.com.mt Contact: Dr Jonathan De Giovanni - Partner

Level 5 Quantum House, 75 Abate Rigord Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1120 - Malta T: (+356) 2092 5100 E: monique.dingli@whpartners.eu W: www.whpartners.eu Contact: Monique Dingli Marketing Coordinator

ZETA ZETA is a privately held independent group of companies based in Malta offering targeted services which include: Transaction Advisory & Structuring; Company Incorporation; Corporate Administration & Management; Fund Services; Directorship Services; Trusts & Foundations Administration; Insurance Advisory, Insurance Brokerage & Insurance Management.

David Zammit Managing Director

43A/1 St. Paul’s Buildings, West Street, Valletta VLT 1532 - Malta T: (+356) 2011 9700 E: david@zeta-capital.com W: www.zeta-holdings.com Contact: David Zammit - Managing Director


Promoting and Fostering Malta’s International Finance Centre

INVESTMENT GUIDE & BUSINESS DIRECTORY

2014-2015 EDITION

Malta:

European with a Global Outlook Published by

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Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

CAPITAL MARKETS

WEALTH MANAGEMENT

INSURANCE & reinsurance

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Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

Sector guides 2O15 -2O16

INVESTMENT funds & asset management

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

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