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Investment Guide & Business Directory

2014-2015 edition

Malta:

European with a Global Outlook Published by

CountryProfiler


www.pwc.com/mt

Thinking for tomorrow We help create the value you’re looking for

PwC Malta helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a member of the PwC network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/mt


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www.pwc.com/mt Š 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the Malta member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.


SHIP

At Palmali Shipmanagement we provide the full spectrum of third-party ship management services. We pride ourselves on offering a flexible and customized approach to our ship management clients seeking global solutions for all vessel segments. Nigar Aliyeva Keating Director - Palmali Shipmanagement Ltd.


MANAGEMENT Exceeding Expectations

T

he Palmali Group of Companies, an international shipping organisation with its head office based in Istanbul, includes under its umbrella the expansive network of seventeen international offices, located all around Europe and Eurasia, Established in 1998, Palmali has grown rapidly from the initial service company offering agency services to vessels passing through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits on their way to Turkish ports, into one of the largest oil and dry cargo carriers across the Black, Caspian, Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, as well as the waters of the world’s oceans. Palmali Ship Management Ltd established operations in Malta in 2006 to provide financial, technical, administrative and strategic services to our parent company fleet of ships. Malta’s location at the centre of the Mediterranean and the good reputation of its Maritime Authority has attracted the registration of most of the company’s fleet since 2001. Palmali Shipmanagement has been established to be a leading provider of ship management and related services to the shipping industry. Our primary objective as a service company is to add value to our clients by delivering quality services in a transparent, cost effective and consistent way. Supported by a team of highly experienced professionals Palmali Shipmanagement services cover all aspects of ship management including: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Company Formation Legal services Vessel registration Vessel operation Full Technical Shipmanagement Ship inspection

◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Commercial Management Repair and maintenance, Dry-docking new building supervision Vessel purchasing and Sale

◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Accountancy Administration Taxation & financial consultancy Banking administration Insurance Crew management

Palmali ShiPmanagement ltd Palmali Shipmanagement Ltd - Villa Aurora, 14-16, Princess Elizabeth Street, Ta' Xbiex XBX 1102 - Malta T: (+356) 2138 8344/5/6 • F (+356) 2138 8347 • E: secretary@palmalimalta.com • W: palmali.com.tr


BDO Malta Towergate Place Tal-Qroqq Street Msida MSD 1703 Malta Telephone: 2131 3060 E-Mail: info@bdo.com.mt in

www.bdo.com.mt


TAKING UP THE CHALLENGE BDO Malta, a Maltese civil partnership, is a member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent firms. The partnership has been operating since 1978. Our team evolved to its present form through the engagement of specialists who have excelled in their various fields of expertise mainly being Assurance and Auditing, Internal Auditing, Taxation, Consultancy, Corporate and Trust, Compliance and Outsourcing, Payroll, Back office Administration and Legal services. At BDO we offer a tailor made service as we believe in the importance of close personal relationships and of listening carefully to and working with our clients to determine what exceptional client service really means to them. Looking into the future we will continue to strengthen our service keeping in mind five key components: client needs, communication, commitment, people and value to ensure that our clients’ service needs are fulfilled.


Publisher Information 8

The Team

Garvan Keating Regional Director keating@countryprofiler.com Publication Date February 2014 ISBN Nº 978-99957-0-672-2 Publisher’s Information 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) 9902 0808

Sonja Lindenberg Editor lindenberg@countryprofiler.com

North America Suite 21-2123 Walkers Line, Burlington, Ontario L7M 4Z9 - Canada T: (+1) 905 645 1130 • F: (+1) 905 963 7968 E: info@countryprofiler.com • W: www.countryprofiler.com Photography Alan Carville / Department of Information – Malta / Chris Sant Fournier / Michael Jurick / viewingmalta.com – Damian Allison, Michele Camiscia, Pauline Dingli, Rolex/Daniel Forster, Mario Galea, H. Sugi, Clive Vella, Peter Vanissek, Chen Weizhong Art Director Ramon Micallef / ram@box-design.net Printing Gutenberg Press, Malta 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. 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.

Melissa Puglisevich Administration puglisevich@countryprofiler.com


Contents 11

Contents


Contents 12

Contents

IFC Profile

Key Facts & Figures ...................................................................... 16 International Finance Centre Overview.................................... 20 Country Profile

Country Overview......................................................................... 30 Interview with the Prime Minister ............................................ 38 FinanceMalta

About FinanceMalta ..................................................................... 45 Interview with the Chairman of FinanceMalta........................ 48 Finance Industry Stakeholders ................................................... 54 Finance Centre Vision & Insights

Interview with the Minister for Finance ................................... 58 Interview with the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business ............................. 60 Interview with the Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth.......................... 62 Interview with the Chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority ........................................ 64 Finance Industry Roundup.......................................................... 66 Sector Profiles

Banking........................................................................................... 70 Capital Markets.............................................................................. 78 Investment Funds.......................................................................... 85 Insurance & Reinsurance............................................................. 97 International Pensions ............................................................... 104 Corporate Structuring / M&A................................................... 110 Corporate Headquarters............................................................. 119


Contents 13

Trusts & Foundations.................................................................. 125 Wealth Management................................................................... 132 Family Offices............................................................................... 138 Philanthropy................................................................................. 144 Citizenship & Residency ............................................................ 150 Corporate Treasury..................................................................... 154 Foreign Exchange Trading......................................................... 157 Islamic Finance............................................................................ 162 Intellectual Property.................................................................... 166 Arbitration.................................................................................... 170 Maritime & Yachting................................................................... 174 Aviation......................................................................................... 182 Payments Industry....................................................................... 187 Shared Services & Outsourcing................................................. 192 Financial Software Development.............................................. 198 Legal Environment

Legislation & Regulation............................................................ 204 Corporate Business Structures.................................................. 213 Taxation......................................................................................... 220 Business Operating Environment

Malta Director’s Guide................................................................ 233 Travel & Living in Malta

Conference & Incentive Travel.................................................. 244 The Essential Expat Guide.......................................................... 249 Company Profiles

Business Directory: Who’s Who................................................ 263


Why Malta? Contact us to Find Out. Malta has proved to be a resilient jurisdiction, with the financial crisis leaving us largely unscathed. Our diversified economy has been endorsed by the European Commission, Fitch and Bloomberg amongst others. The use of the English language, a tax system based on UK principles that has been approved by the EU, a strong yet open regulator and a corporate law system similar to the UK’s, ensure that by choosing Malta your mind is at rest. One of the largest service providers on the island, KPMG offers a one-stop shop solution with an experienced, skilled and dynamic team that is ready to assist you with all your needs in Malta and beyond. Our vision is simple: we want to be the best firm for our clients by providing quality and value adding services whilst building and maintaining strong client relationships. Your contacts: Tonio Zarb Senior Partner, Head of Advisory Services toniozarb@kpmg.com.mt Andre’ Zarb Partner, Tax Services andrezarb@kpmg.com.mt Juanita Bencini Partner, Risk Consulting juanitabencini@kpmg.com.mt Hilary Galea-Lauri Partner, Head of Audit Services, Technical and Quality Matters hilarygalea-lauri@kpmg.com.mt

www.kpmg.com.mt www.workingwithkpmg.com.mt


© 2013 KPMG, a Maltese civil partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.


Key Facts & Figures 16

Key Facts & Figures All figures as of September 2013 unless otherwise indicated.

GOZO

COMINO

โ€ข Valletta

MALTA

316 The total area in square kilometres of the Maltese Islands

Sunshine: 300 days of sunshine a year

Temperature: Winter 12ยบC Summer 31ยบC

Rain: Annual rainfall 600mm

Population: 421,000 (2013)

Currency: Euro

Time: 1 hour ahead of GMT


Key Facts & Figures 17

Country

Economy

Official Name:

Total GDP (EUR): 6.8 billion (2012)

Republic of Malta

GDP per Capita (EUR): 16,300 (2012)

European Union:

GDP Growth (Source: Eurostat, Government of Malta)

Member since 2004 Languages: Maltese

2012 +0.8%

2014 (forecasted) +1.7%

2013 +1.2%

Malta

(official), English (official)

Roman Catholic

2014 (forecasted) +1.4%

EU

Religion: 98%

2013 0.0%

2012 -0.3%

International Dialling Code: +356

GDP Composition (2012):

Legal System:

Agriculture 2%

Common and Civil Law

Industry 23%

Services 75%

Economic Forecast 2013 – 2015 Source: Government of Malta, Budget 2014

2013

2014

2015

GDP growth

1.2%

1.7%

1.7%

Inflation

1.7%

2.3%

2.1%

6.3%

6.3%

6.2%

Unemployment

Sovereign Rating: A3 (Moody’s 2013) A (Fitch 2013) • BBB+/A-2 (Standard & Poor’s 2013)


Key Facts & Figures 18

Finance Centre

IFC History

10,000

60,000

7 DAYS

IFRS

12%

70+

Contribution to GDP

Double taxation treaties

Banks: 26

Insurance Managers: 15

Investment Funds: 615

Total Gross Premiums

including subfunds

Written by Insurance Sector

Employees

Time to start a business

Registered companies

Accounting standards

(EUR): 2.31 billion (2012) Net Asset Value of Funds Total (EUR):

Retirement Schemes: 24

8.95 billion (June 2013) Retirement Scheme Recognised Fund

Administrators: 12

Administrators: 27 Corporate Tax: 35%. Fund Managers: 70+

However, through Malta’s full imputation system,

Trust and Fiduciary

shareholders can claim

Companies: 137

a tax credit for the tax paid by the company

Foundation Administrators: 32

Regulator: Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA),

Insurance Vehicles: 58

www.mfsa.com.mt

1964

Malta gained independence from the UK. Tourism and low-cost manufacturing were chosen as economic foundations of this newly formed state.

mid-1980s

To diversify the island’s economy, Malta began providing “offshore” financial services to international clients.

1992

The decision to wind down the “offshore business” was taken and the process to update the legislative framework began.

1994

A substantial legislative package was pushed through parliament as the next step in the process of evolving Malta into an International Financial Centre.

2002

Set up of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), an autonomous body and the single regulator for all financial services. The MFSA took over supervisory functions that were previously carried out by the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Malta Financial Services Centre.

2004

Malta joined the European Union. The introduction of passporting rights has accelerated growth in every sector of the finance centre.

2008

Malta adopted the euro – a step that inspired further confidence in the IFC.


IFC Overview 20

International Finance Centre Overview

Capitalising on Malta D

iversity and stability have become the hallmarks of Malta’s financial services sector, and the country’s ascent to become an international centre of repute has been one of the fastest and most remarkable growth stories in recent times. Not long ago, the island was only known as a popular holiday destination, but in just a decade, financial services have become one of Malta’s world-class export industries, serving markets around the globe and registering impressive year-on-year growth. While these results have not only propelled Malta into the ranks of leading European finance centres, they have also made the island an exception to the financial crisis that hit global economies. One reason for the island’s resilience is the growing range of activities offered by Malta’s International Financial Centre (IFC) which include banking services, insurance, investment funds and wealth management. Attracted by EU-compliant legislation, a competitive business environment, access to key


IFC Overview 21

markets and a pool of highly trained professional service providers, some of the world���s top-rated financial firms now base their operations in Malta. Never one to rest on its laurels, Malta still has ambitious plans for the future. Many believe the introduction of new EU legislation in the investment and insurance sectors could be a game changer for the jurisdiction that would make Malta increasingly attractive to financial services firms beyond the 28-nation bloc. The financial sector is also expanding into other potentially lucrative markets, such as currency trading, intellectual property and international pensions. From Offshore to Onshore

INSIGHT

Built by Gentlemen for Gentlemen Valletta is Malta’s capital city and is often described as “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen”. Named after Jean Parisot de la Valette, who was Grand Master of the Order of St. John and founder of the city, Malta’s capital is today a UNESCO World Heritage site dotted with museums, art and architecture.

Compared to many other countries, Malta has been a rather late entrant to the financial services sector. The foundation for the island’s financial centre was laid in 1988 when legislation was passed to facilitate the establishment of an offshore financial framework. However, the government soon recognised that the future lay in the provision of a well-regulated, transparent financial sector and decided to move its financial services onshore. At this time Malta was also seeking membership of the EU and began to harmonise its legislation, incorporating best practices from comparable centres. EU membership provided the island with the spur it needed to catapult it from relative obscurity to one of Europe’s most dynamic and fastest growing finance centres. By introducing a strong regulatory framework as well as a competitive, transparent fiscal regime approved by both the EU and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Malta sought to distance itself from secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens. Key Economic Generator

The finance sector has expanded by around 25 per cent annually in recent years. It now accounts for some 12 per cent of the island’s GDP and provides close to 10,000 jobs. While bigger economies have been rocked by the global financial crisis, Malta’s finance sector has been given a clean bill of health by rating agencies, the EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The country’s banks did not require government assistance during the financial crisis, and their strong capital reserves and liquidity ratios continue to serve them well. Offering both security and flexibility to investors, Malta is increasingly being seen as an alternative to established European finance centres such as Dublin, London and Luxembourg. Malta’s IFC has also climbed 15 places in the most recent Global Financial Services Index and is now ranked ahead of Madrid, Dublin and Brussels. The government be-


Tax and Corporate Services

Awarded Best National Tax Firm for 2013 by The International Tax Review

Experience. Expertise. Excellence. Avanzia Taxand Limited, Blue Harbour Business Centre Level 1, Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina, Ta’ Xbiex, XBX 1027, Malta t +356 2730 0045 • f +356 2730 0049 • e info@avanzia.com.mt Registered address: Leicester Court, Suite 2, Edgar Bernard Street, Gzira GZR 1702, Malta

www.avanzia.com.mt


IFC Overview 23

lieves there is still scope for growth and has made strengthening the financial sector one of its key priorities. However, it is concerned that financial services should not grow too large and dominate the economy. But rather than restricting the growth of the financial services sector, the country has embarked on a programme to diversify its economy and thus avoid reliance on any one sector.

■ Malta has developed into a vibrant, popular and respected International Finance Centre, challenging and competing with the top domiciles in the world. Its international appeal is now stronger than ever.

Product Portfolio

For an island nation of just 421,000 people, Malta has built up a remarkably diverse financial services portfolio. The country’s banking sector was one of the first to embrace an international approach. More than 25 banks have established operations in Malta, although only a handful of these are active in the local market. Most use the island as a platform from which to conduct specialised asset financing, corporate banking and trade finance services. The insurance sector has also experienced an upsurge of interest due to the presence of expert insurance management services and EU passporting rights. Today, Malta is among the leading European captive insurance domiciles. The fund sector began to expand soon after the introduction of a specialist regime for alternative investment funds, known as Professional Investor Funds (PIFs), in addition to EU-certified UCITS funds. Malta now hosts over 600 funds which had a combined net asset value of €9 billion at the end of June 2013. Corporate formation has long been one of the most important areas of business, and today the island’s register lists around 60,000 companies. More recently, Malta has developed into an important wealth management location. The country’s wide range of investment vehicles, which include trusts and foundations, are increasingly utilised by high-net-worth individuals, wealth managers and family offices. Niche Operators & Big Names

The island has gained a reputation as a jurisdiction for smaller financial services companies and start-ups, which offer clients more personalised services than those provided by the bigger firms. But as Malta’s status as a financial centre has grown, Malta has also attracted international credit institutions such as Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Banif Bank and FIMBank. The island hosts nearly 30 fund administrators and close to 60 insurance companies that range from well-known international names to smaller, niche establishments. Fund administrators such as Apex, TMF and Custom House all have a presence in Malta, along with insurance managers such as Munich Re, Aon and


IFC Overview 24

Marsh. In addition, a number of Fortune 100 companies have set up captives here, including multinationals such as BMW, Peugeot, Citroën and Vodafone. Malta also boasts considerable expertise in the field of trusts and foundations, including many legal firms that operate in-house trust companies and international organisations. Insurance & Pensions

The past two years were positive ones for Malta’s financial sector, with the insurance industry being one of the top performers. The insurance industry continued to expand and gross written premiums topped the €2.3 billion mark in 2012, despite uncertainty surrounding the EU’s Solvency II legislation which led many potential clients to adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach. Insurance managers point to Malta’s Protected Cell Company (PCC) regime and argue that this offers a cost-effective way of managing the higher capital and compliance requirements of Solvency II. Growth has also been recorded in the retirement pensions sector which, at the end of September 2013, listed 24 international retirement schemes, thus positioning the island as a competitive jurisdiction for the management of cross-border pension vehicles.

25%

Average annual growth rate of the financial sector


IFC Overview 25

Investment Funds

INSIGHT

A Safe Shelter Malta has long been famous for its natural harbours that have provided safe shelter for many seafarers throughout the centuries. Vittoriosa, the first home of the Knights of St. John, still boasts the charm of a typical Mediterranean port town. Its marina, the Grand Harbour Marina, is today totally dedicated to yachting and sailing and home to some of the largest yachts in world.

Malta’s development as an international financial services domicile has also been spearheaded by strong growth in the investment fund sector. The island is estimated to have a market share of 20 per cent of the EU’s fund business, but most funds are small and well under the US$50 million mark. In 2012 a new vehicle, the Recognised Incorporated Cell Company (RICC), was launched to enable the establishment of fund platforms. The industry is now maturing and attracting increasingly sophisticated asset management activities. In early 2013 the largest hedge fund administrator in the world, Citco, established an office on the island. Following the introduction of the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (AIFMD) that regulates alternative fund managers and the promotion of alternative funds within the EU in 2013, Malta’s fund industry is entering a new phase in its development. It is hoped that the Directive will act as a catalyst for further expansion in the coming years, attracting non-EU managers to set up shop in Malta. In addition to the newly introduced Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) regime that allows managers to launch funds under the AIFMD, the island’s successful Professional Investor Fund regime has been retained and refined and will continue to be available to EU and non-EU alternative fund managers. Banking & More

Maltese banking has remained resilient due to its strong capital base and bank liquidity. In the wealth management sector trusts have become a popular instrument for many transaction planners, and the country has begun the process of updating its trust law in order to cater for the demands of modern investors. It is hoped that a more streamlined and simplified trust regime will attract foreign, as well as domestic, clients to utilise the 130 companies already operating on the island. The country’s corporate framework, which includes a fully EU-compliant regime, as well as a respected and well-regulated legal system, makes Malta a particularly desirable company domicile. The island’s practices also comply with the OECD’s international standards for transparency and information exchange. A Maltese company is equally suited as a vehicle for international business, investment or financial services, and can be used as a holding or trading company. The Right Balance

A major part of Malta’s success can be credited to the country’s robust regulatory framework. Its legislation is in line with EU


IFC Overview 26

law and has facilitated a commercially secure business environment from which international investors can operate. The country has gained a reputation for striking a good commercial balance by providing an appropriate legal framework, without over-regulating in a way that might inhibit growth and innovation. Financial services legislation is drawn up by the Ministry for Finance and all financial services are overseen by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). As a result, companies benefit from streamlined procedures, reduced bureaucracy and lower regulatory fees. The MFSA is open and approachable and offers face-to-face meetings with international companies seeking to operate from Malta. Such access is rare in other finance centres and a blessing in a bureaucratic world. Talent Pool

Human capital investment is at the core of much of Malta’s success. From home-grown talent to experienced international financial sector professionals, Malta offers a diverse talent pool. A high proportion (60 per cent) of Maltese students continue to third-level education, with law, accountancy and management among the most popular subjects. Of course, the fact that Malta is an island with a population of some 421,000 means that there is a finite number of graduates. Companies may occasionally struggle with a shortage of qualified employees, but this is tackled with training initiatives and the hiring of foreign staff. The country has also introduced tax incentives for highly qualified foreign professionals, who can benefit from a flat income tax rate of just 15 per cent. In today’s world where the emphasis is on establishing companies with substance, making it attractive for individuals and families to relocate is equally important. There are few finance centres in the world that match Malta’s sunny climate, low crime rate, excellent schools and packed cultural calendar. Central Location

EU membership has provided Malta with access to a massive internal market of over 500 million people. The island is just two to three hours direct flight time from Europe’s major cities, and not surprisingly Malta’s most important commercial relationship is with the European Union. However, the finance centre does not solely focus on its traditional links and has sought to promote itself in overseas and developing markets. The island’s geographic position in the middle of the Mediterranean and its close proximity to North Africa also make it a good stepping stone for financial companies wishing to target the Arab world.

14th soundest banking system World Economic Forum 2013-2014 (out of 148 countries)

1st place Europe’s favoured fund domicile Hedge Fund Review’s 2013 Service Provider Rankings


CHARTING YOUR COURSE TO SUCCESS

Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal provides a robust 360째 legal service with expertise in corporate and commercial law, financial services, gaming and taxation. We pride ourselves in our multi-disciplinary service-offering underpinned by professional excellence, ethics and collegiality. Together we traverse the journey with you to safeguard your best interests. Discover more at www.fff-legal.com Suite 5, Level 1, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar, BKR4013 MALTA T: +356 2549 6000 F: +356 2549 6444 info@fff-legal.com

MEMBER OF


IFC Overview 28

Networks and Expertise

New companies setting up on the island find many helping hands. FinanceMalta, a non-profit public-private foundation set up to promote Malta’s financial centre, is the first point of contact for investors and financiers who soon find that the island’s professional services firms offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. Most law firms are affiliated with international networks, and many lawyers have post-graduate degrees in finance. In addition, each of the global ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms has a presence in Malta and, together with the smaller accountancy and auditing practices, service international clients. Clients can rest assured that they are dealing with professional firms. Trust and fiduciary providers need to be licensed by the MFSA and under new legislation, companies offering administrative and management services will also be obliged to register with the authorities. Malta also offers significant cost advantages. Legal and accounting fees are lower than in most other European jurisdictions, and other operational costs and salaries are 30 to 40 per cent less than in more established centres. Moving Forward

Malta’s commitment to the development of a transparent, well-regulated financial sector is clear from the work it has recently done to introduce new legislation, establish international partnerships and nurture an appropriate infrastructure. The country is expanding its portfolio into profitable niche areas, such as the recently developed pensions sector, which offer significant growth opportunities. Another relatively unexplored area is that of eFinancial services, and it is hoped that more online banks, credit card issuers or foreign exchange businesses will base themselves in the country. The island is also establishing a presence in the global forex trading market and several forex businesses have already set up in Malta. Further growth is anticipated as Malta positions itself to become a major jurisdiction for the establishment of Intellectual Property (IP) holding companies. Tax exemptions on royalties from patents, trademarks and copyrights have already been introduced. As a politically stable and neutral country, Malta also has potential to become a centre for international arbitration, while its long-standing connections to North Africa and the Middle East make it a suitable jurisdiction from which to establish Shariah-compliant structures.

Diversified International Finance Centre Insurance Banking Investment Funds Asset Management Holding & Trading Companies International Pensions Capital Markets


IFC Overview 29

Safeguarding a Position

Wealth Management Trusts & Foundations Maritime & Aviation Islamic Finance Expat Residency Financial Institutions Family Offices Foreign Exchange

Yet for all its strengths, Malta’s finance sector faces some challenges. In the funds market a limited number of custodians inhibit growth, while industry experts warn that the country risks becoming a victim of its own success, with a shortage of experienced professionals unable to deal efficiently with the rapidly increasing levels of business. Malta quickly needs to reach critical mass to reinforce its position. The island also has to deal with tougher regulation and increased scrutiny. The recent financial crisis, the current European debt crisis and subsequent banking ■ While Malta has failures have undoubtedly damaged the reputation of withstood past the financial services martroubles, the challenge ketplace in general. While for the island will Malta has withstood past troubles, the challenge for be to safeguard the island will be to safeits reputation as a guard its reputation as a strong jurisdiction. One way strong jurisdiction. of protecting this position is to provide leadership in ongoing international discussions on financial regulation. Malta’s government emphasises that it will make Malta’s voice heard and will strive to achieve a balance between enhanced financial stability and a competitive tax and regulatory framework to make the island’s future even brighter than its past. Clear Direction

Its robust regulatory framework underpins Malta’s success as an international finance centre. The government remains focused on expanding the sector and developing its reputation as a stable financial centre that is international in outlook and reach. The opportunity is there to ensure that Malta will not only be seen as the financial centre of the Mediterranean but as part of the global financial system. ■


Country Overview 30

Country Overview

Leading

from the front

W

hile Malta has served as everything from an ancient trading hub to a military outpost, the country’s most recent incarnation as a globally recognised finance centre is certainly the most surprising stage in its evolution so far. Gone are the days when Malta relied almost solely on tourism to support its economy. Today, its economy is a diverse one, supported by sectors such as ICT, advanced manufacturing, maritime and life sciences. The island is also a key player in financial services thanks to an efficient regulatory framework and a growing list of international clients and partners. Malta’s decision to join the EU in 2004, and later the eurozone in 2008, was integral to the expansion of its horizons and bolstered its status as a key business hub in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The island today ranks among the best-performing eurozone economies, registering low unemployment and economic growth. A new government was elected in March 2013, and Malta has much to look forward to: the country has been chosen to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2015, to hold the EU Presidency in 2017; and its capital, Valletta, has been named European Capital of Culture for 2018.


Country Overview 31

A Stepping Stone

With just over 316 square kilometres in area, the Maltese archipelago lies almost midway between Europe and North Africa, some 90 kilometres south of Sicily and 300 kilometres north of Libya. Malta, Gozo and Comino are the only inhabited islands, though there are many more small islets which are home to flora and fauna, some of which are endemic to the country. The main island, Malta, is one-fifth the size of London, 27 kilometres long and 14.5 kilometres at its widest point. It takes just 45 minutes to cross the island by car, and this compactness serves to cut commuting times while increasing leisure time. Malta’s sister island, Gozo, is smaller still at 67 square kilometres, and Comino covers only 3.5 square kilometres. A Rich Tapestry

INSIGHT

Mastering the Challenge The Rolex Middle Sea Race, a highly rated offshore classic, starts and finishes in Malta. It is regarded as a “must do” race, and participants from all over Europe register for the event. The race is a real challenge to skippers and crews, who often have to cope with changing and demanding conditions.

One of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, Malta’s strategic location at the commercial crossroads linking Europe, Africa and the Middle East has attracted the interest of the various dominant cultures for over 7,000 years. The Phoenicians, the Romans, the Carthaginians, the Arabs, the Ottomans, the Knights of St John, the French and the British all ruled the island at one time and contributed to the mosaic that is modern Malta. Not surprisingly, Britain’s legacy has lasted the longest as Malta was part of the British Empire for over 150 years: business, law and education retain British characteristics, while English, alongside Maltese, is an official language. Maltese is believed to have developed during the Arab occupation of the islands (870-1090) and is still the only Semitic language to be written in Latin script. An Idyllic Backdrop

Malta enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate, similar to that of southern Greece, with the average temperature ranging from 12°C in January to 30°C in July and August. It experiences around 300 days of sunshine a year and, according to the most recent rankings in International Living magazine, the best weather in the world. Malta rises to a series of low hills and limestone cliffs in the northwest and falls to low-lying land in the southeast. The majority of the main towns are dotted along the eastern coast, including the capital and administrative centre, Valletta, and the lively beachside towns of St Julian’s and Sliema. These are situated around what is known as the inner and outer harbour areas and provide most of the island’s tourism and shopping revenue. Other main towns lie further inland: Mosta and Birkirkara in the centre of the island and Paola in the south. While some 90 per cent of Maltese live in


Country Overview 32

towns, there are numerous small villages that still evoke the traditional, rural character of Mediterranean life, particularly on the island of Gozo. A Strong Lineage

Descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians, with Italian as well as other Mediterranean ancestry, the Maltese are said to be among the most international of people. Despite a history that has seen a succession of foreign rulers, Malta has managed to develop and maintain its own unique character. The islanders have acquired an ability to adapt to new ideas, and adopt and improve the best of them to their ultimate advantage. Malta’s population of just over 421,000 people grows by a small amount each year, and the majority of Maltese are of working age. Most people are Roman Catholic, and the church plays an active role in most communities on the island – a fact that is represented by the island’s 365 churches, as well as the prominent role that religious festivals are given within the community. Generally well educated and qualified, 90 per cent of Maltese are bilingual in English and Maltese, and many also speak a third language, usually Italian, German or French. A New Direction

Malta’s population is also one of the most politically active in Europe, with elections seeing voter turnout regularly exceeding 90 per cent. The island is a parliamentary representative democratic republic, in which executive powers rest with the prime minister while the president fulfils the function of Head of State. Elections are contested, for the most part, by the two main

Key Moments in Malta’s History

5000BC First human settlers

60AD

St Paul gets shipwrecked on the Maltese Islands on the way to Rome. He spends some time on the island, in the process converting the local pagan population to Christianity.

395

Byzantine Rule

870 Arab Rule

1091

Norman Rule

1565

The Knights of Malta (who arrived in 1530) together with the local population manage, against all odds, to defeat an invading Ottoman army and keep Malta a Christian bastion against Ottoman expansion.


Country Overview 33

■ Malta presents itself today as the thriving face of Europe, with a pragmatic attitude to change and an international outlook. It owes its success to its ability to explore new ideas, take on fresh challenges and drive economic diversity.

parties: the Labour Party led by current Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, and the Nationalist Party headed by Simon Busuttil. The last general elections, in March 2013, resulted in a landslide victory for Labour at the expense of the centre-right Nationalist Party which had been in power for 15 years. Having won 55 per cent of the vote, Prime Minister Muscat is determined to shape the country’s fortunes in the coming years. Malta’s current president is George Abela. His term ends in April 2014. Irrepressible Resilience

The island’s small, open economy has proven to be remarkably quick to recover in the face of the global economic downturn. Despite the economic difficulties currently afflicting neighbouring states in the southern Mediterranean, Malta has posted positive growth figures over the past three years and has regularly been among the best-performing economies in the EU. In 2012 it registered annual real GDP growth of 0.8 per cent. For 2013 the government is expecting GDP growth of 1.2 per cent, and the growth rate is forecasted to rise to 1.7 per cent in 2014. During past decades, Malta has transformed itself into a modern economy based on knowledge industries and has pursued powerful sector-specific development plans. While unemployment remains characteristically low, the new government is focused on getting more women into the workplace; a statistic which has been overlooked for some time. Prime Minister Muscat also intends to achieve even stronger economic growth by reducing energy production costs, boosting employment through free childcare and reducing bureaucracy.

1798

French Rule

1800

Following the expulsion of the French by the local population with the assistance of the British, Malta becomes part of the British Empire for the next 150 years.

1964

After centuries of foreign rule, one of the smallest European nations gains independence.

1974

Malta becomes a republic.

2004

Malta joins the European Union.

2008 Malta adopts the euro.


Country Overview 34

A Diverse Economy

Long popular as a safe and cloudless tourist destination for sun-starved northern Europeans, Malta attracts over 1.5 million visitors each year. The city of Valletta has recently been named the European Capital of Culture for 2018 which is sure to bolster the already thriving tourist industry that contributes some 25 per cent to the island’s GDP. Another high-growth sector is financial services, accounting for 12 to 15 per cent of GDP. In particular, the banking sector is strong and healthy and, in contrast to some other eurozone economies, has no exposure to foreign sovereign debt. Life sciences and digital media are joining the traditional economic generators, creating a solid base of diverse operations from which Malta is competing on an international level. The maritime industry is steeped in tradition, and today Malta is home to the largest ship register in Europe, as well as being one of the major logistics providers in the Mediterranean. The country now aims to replicate this success in the aviation sector and has introduced legislation to help achieve this. Malta’s biggest weakness is its dependence on imported energy sources. However, the country has attracted foreign investment into the energy sector and plans to change electricity generation from oil to cheaper natural gas. At the same time recent oil and gas finds elsewhere in the Mediterranean are attracting renewed interest for exploration in Maltese waters.

POLITICS Since gaining independence from the UK in 1964, Maltese politics has been dominated by two parties, both focused on attracting foreign investment and establishing a stable and competitive business environment. Form of state: Republic

A Land of Opportunity

With its successful economic track record, it is no surprise that Malta has consistently attracted a steady stream of foreign direct investment (FDI) across all sectors of its economy. Malta’s FDI stock position reached €11.4 billion at the end of June 2013. Providing access to the EU’s single market, Malta’s proximity to, and cultural links with, North African and Middle East countries are particularly attractive to companies that use the island as a hub for trading, distribution and marketing of their international operations in Southern Europe and North Africa. Some prominent companies which have invested in Malta are HSBC, Microsoft, Playmobil, Uniblue, Betfair, Cardinal Health and Lufthansa Technik. In addition to its historical and strong commercial links with Italy and the UK, Malta also enjoys a healthy trade relationship with France, Germany and Greece. With an average trade-to-GDP ratio of 82 per cent, trade is of vital importance to the economy and the country’s exposure to international commerce is one of the highest worldwide. Malta’s leaders are constantly working to develop new ties with foreign governments in order to facilitate worldwide market

Two parties: Labour Party (PL) and Nationalist Party (PN) 93% of voter participation (2013 general election) President: Dr. George Abela Head of State Prime Minister: Dr. Joseph Muscat Head of Government Opposition Leader: Dr. Simon Busuttil


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Country Overview 36

access for all industries. Trade with economic heavyweights in Asia (mainly China and Singapore), Russia and the US is also increasing. People Power

Malta offers investors a secure and transparent environment in which to build, or expand, a business. The country has introduced business-friendly policies underpinned by a legal and regulatory framework that is fully harmonised with EU legislation. Malta has also invested heavily in modern telecommunications and transport infrastructure, with a full package of incentives that range from fiscal benefits to the provision of custom-built production facilities. Malta’s unique selling point is its highly skilled and highly qualified workforce, available at competitive rates, for all areas of the expanding economy. With great attention being paid to Malta’s FDI stock the next generation of its workforce, the country (at the end of continues to invest heavily in education, each June 2013) year seeing a steady stream of new students entering higher education. Surveys have found that the flexibility of the local workforce is one of the country’s greatest assets: the Maltese are quick to adapt to changing technological and market needs, sustaining and enhancing Malta’s appeal as a world-class investment and business centre.

¤11.4 billion

The Way Forward

The island now faces the challenge of preserving its economic stability in an uncertain macroeconomic environment without resorting to negativity and protectionism. Based on the positive experience of recent years, the island’s leaders are optimistic that the ambition and flexibility of its people, qualities that are a direct result of the colourful history that makes the country so fascinating, will guarantee Malta’s status as a centre for international business in the years ahead. Malta will continue to offer foreign investors the security and ease of operating within EU borders, yet allow them to remain within easy reach of the emerging markets of North Africa and the Middle East, while being supported by a top-class legislative framework and a cost-effective workforce. With these valuable assets, Malta is convinced that it will be able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of today’s knowledge-driven companies and institutions, ensuring that growth is sustained. ■


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Interview 38

Interview with the Prime Minister

“An Oasis of Stability”

After his decisive victory in the general election, Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat is now focused on honing Malta’s competitive edge and cementing its place as a tier-1 economy in the European Union.

After 15 years in opposition you led the Labour party to a landslide victory in 2013. What do you believe were the reasons for your success, and what are your priorities for the coming years, in particular for the development of Malta’s International Finance Centre (IFC)?

Essentially, the people of Malta elected us because they wanted change, and they wanted a government that had greater conviction in its strategies for the future of this country. We developed a coherent roadmap of what we wanted to achieve. It was not a wish list, but a realistic programme built on our vision of


Interview 39

being the best in Europe and ensuring that the fruits of Malta’s economic growth were shared at all levels of the community. While Malta has demonstrated its economic fortitude in recent years, we feel that this is only the beginning of our financial coming of age. We are committed to consolidating the success of Malta’s International Financial Centre and further enhancing its reputation. A change in administration does not mean that changes will be made to the fundamentals of the financial services sector. However, one of our main priorities is to eliminate excessive bureaucracy and red tape. We are also strengthening our economy by tackling government debt and deficit, encouraging greater female participation in the workforce and kickstarting major infrastructure projects. These initiatives will raise Malta’s capacity to grow and will also help to safeguard stability and investment in the financial sector. Europe as a whole is still struggling to find a balance between generating economic growth and implementing austerity measures. How has Malta’s economy been performing?

I believe that Europe will continue to feel the effects of the recession until European institutions realise that the way out is not austerity, but growth. We cannot sacrifice our future at the altar of austerity. Yes, there needs to be fiscal discipline, that is obvious, but we have to open up our markets and go for growth if we are to see any real progress. That being said, the Maltese economy is in good shape when compared to other European economies. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU. The average rate for the first 11 months of 2013 was 6.4 per cent. Public debt stood at 76.6 per cent of GDP at the end of the third quarter in 2013. Economic growth is projected to be 1.7 per cent in 2014. The first Labour budget set a deficit target of 2.7 percent of GDP for 2013, which compares highly favourably with the rest of Europe. We carried through on our election promises and announced electricity bills would be cut by an average of 25 per cent. We are making tax cuts that will benefit low and middle income families, and people earning less than €60,001 will see their top rate of income tax cut from 32 per cent to 29 per cent. Another important measure is the introduction of free childcare; this will ease the burden on families and increase the number of women in the workforce.


Interview 40

What can be seen as the economic principle underlying Malta’s achievements?

The driving force behind Malta’s past and current economic success story is that we never allowed any one sector to dominate our economy. Diversification is the name of the game. Although our International Finance Centre is one of the more prominent pillars of the economy, it is only one cog in a very intricate machine. Other core industries such as maritime, tourism and manufacturing are still going strong, and we have also attracted new, high-growth sectors such as life sciences, ICT, digital gaming and aviation. Our aim is to diversify the

“It is important to state at this point that Malta is not a tax haven or a fiscal paradise and that both the EU and the OECD have approved our tax regime. We ditched concepts such as banking secrecy a long time ago and fully adhere to EU rules and regulations.”


Interview 41

economy as much as possible in order to achieve the highest possible growth rates. This will allow Malta to become more competitive on a global scale and pave the way for sustainable and long term deficit cutting. What impact did the banking crisis have on Malta?

This country is a mature European democracy that, in the midst of a financial storm, stands as an oasis of stability. Our financial services sector has received a clean bill of health from the main standard setting institutions, including the European Commission, IMF and credit rating agencies. Throughout this crisis none of our banks required any sort of government intervention, confirming Malta to be a resilient jurisdiction with sound and conservative investment policies. Data published by the European Central Bank places Maltese banks as the most solvent in the EU. Our banks have been very prudent in their lending practices, are funded domestically and maintain healthy liquidity ratios. The division between core domestic banks and international banks is strictly controlled to ensure the international banking sector does not have an influence on the domestic economy. Malta’s finance centre has experienced significant growth. What are the main reasons for this growth and which sectors are showing the greatest growth potential?

Despite the diversity of Malta’s IFC, the growth of the funds sector has played a considerable role in the overall success of the finance industry. In particular, our regime for alternative investment funds has attracted the attention of many international financial services organisations who have established funds, servicing or management operations in Malta. Our insurance sector has also grown beyond all expectations, and we now have 58 insurance companies established in Malta. Most of them have set up on the island after we joined the European Union and now sell their services cross-border to the rest of Europe. Banking, wealth management and corporate formation are also contributing positively. Opportunities are emerging in a number of sectors, including intellectual property and arbitration. However, more importantly, we want to broaden and deepen the activities and services that are already being offered in, or from, Malta. For instance, we want to attract services that complement our thriving maritime and aviation sector, such as ship and aircraft finance.


Interview 42

With some EU member states calling for tax harmonisation, where does Malta stand on the issue?

It is important to state at this point that Malta is not a tax haven or a fiscal paradise and that both the EU and the OECD have approved our tax regime. We ditched concepts such as banking secrecy a long time ago and fully adhere to EU rules and regulations, which gives us a high level of tax transparency. While we are fully in support of a fair and ethical marketplace, we do not think Europe should adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. This is our red line when it comes to discussing new proposals and EU-wide reforms, such as tax harmonisation. What would you highlight as the key elements that make Malta an attractive location for financial services?

We offer a very well-regulated and pro-business environment. Over the years, we have worked hard to establish our high standards, and we do not believe we should lower or undermine them to accommodate operators. We demand that operators are of a certain quality and good reputation. It is this mentality which has been key to attracting world-class companies to our shores. We have retained our high standards, and it is paying off. We are a reputable jurisdiction within the EU and are ready to refuse business if necessary to keep our reputation intact. How would you define Malta’s role within the global finance industry, and how active are you in developing links with high-growth economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC)?

While Malta remains primarily an EU-based finance centre, the time is now right to begin securing strategic partnerships with countries outside of Europe. We have very good relations with China and are actively encouraging Chinese companies to look at Malta. In fact we have just struck a deal with the Chinese for investment in our energy company, Enemalta. Similarly, we would like to attract investment from other BRIC countries and high-growth markets, such as Turkey and the Gulf region, which are also on our radar. Another deal was struck recently for us to import oil from our neighbour, Libya. We have some 70 double taxation treaties in force, including treaties with economic powerhouses

“None of our banks required any sort of government intervention, confirming Malta to be a resilient jurisdiction with sound and conservative investment policies.�


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Interview 44

such as Russia, India, the US and China. In addition, we also have treaties with other financially important centres such as Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland. These agreements facilitate cross-border transactions and global finance as they often provide legal clarity, while countering tax evasion. And we should never underestimate our strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean. This gives us an invaluable appeal to high-growth economies looking to break into the EU market. Competition between finance centres and the demand for qualified employees continues
to grow. What is Malta doing to attract the best companies and the brightest talent?

Malta is a fantastic place to live and invest in. Malta has many faces: the sea and the sun, culture and history, business and investment. Foreign investors always comment favourably on our business environment and the efficient service they receive. However, it is no secret that HR is becoming a challenge for many sectors. While we are encouraging students to take up finance related subjects, we have also introduced tax incentives to attract foreign talent that will ensure that our flourishing financial services, aviation and gaming sectors have adequate pools of highly qualified professionals to choose from. To smoothen the process of settling in, we are currently creating a citizenship and visa agency, which will be committed to clear deadlines and a fast track for business. What are your expectations for the finance industry in the coming years?

Thanks to the solid foundation provided by sound financial services regulations, Malta’s IFC is poised to drive further growth into the economy as a whole. I believe we have not yet exploited our full potential, although we do not want to see the financial sector dominate our economy. We want it to grow in tandem with our other economic pillars. My government is committed to providing the best possible operating environment for financial institutions that choose our country. I am glad that we are increasingly being seen as an alternative European finance centre to Dublin or Luxembourg. But I do not want us to be a secondary option. My aim is to have Malta on the radar of investors worldwide and become the country to beat in attracting them. ■


About FinanceMalta 45

Geared for Growth

Promoting and Fostering Malta’s Finance Centre Contact Information FinanceMalta, Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT 1063 - Malta • Email:  info@financemalta.org Tel:  +356 21 224 525
• Fax: +356 21 449 212 Follow us on:

FinanceMalta

@FinanceMalta

FinanceMalta

FinanceMaltaYT


About FinanceMalta 46

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, 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. 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) Mark Watkinson / Charles Borg Dr. Matthew Bianchi Chris J. Naudi Dr. Annalise Micallef John Huber Dr. André Borg Dr. Bernice Buttigieg (Secretary to the Board)


About FinanceMalta 47

Selected 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.

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.” Kenneth Farrugia Chairman chairman@financemalta.org “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.” Dr. Bernice Buttigieg Head of Administration bernice.buttigieg@financemalta.org

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


Interview 48

Interview with Kenneth Farrugia, Chairman, FinanceMalta

A Greater Global Role How would you

Euro-Mediterranean region,

country, and their overall

define Malta’s role

its political and economic

positive experience serves

within the global

stability, the presence of an

as a very strong attesta-

finance industry, and how

accessible financial services

tion to Malta’s overall value

does Malta differ from other

regulator, the strong opera-

proposition for the industry.

onshore jurisdictions?

tional infrastructure, overall

As I mentioned earlier, Malta

cost competitiveness and

is firmly establishing itself

Malta’s financial services

skilled labour force are the

as a regional financial centre

industry is going through

key differentiating factors

and the next phase of the

an interesting paradigm

which have thus far enabled

industry’s development is

shift, evolving from an

Malta’s value proposition to

geared towards widening

industry primarily driven by

stand out from the rest.   

the industry’s reach to other

1

the domestic market into a well connected, attractive domicile for EU-regulated financial services business.

international markets in a

2

Malta has been

more accentuated manner.  

very successful in attracting start-ups

3

Which sectors

While there is still ample

and smaller niche operators.

room for stronger growth

What do you believe has

in EU-driven business flows,

attracted them to Malta,

Finance Centre are

Malta is equally attractive for

and why should the country

offering the greatest

non-EU based financial ser-

be on the agenda of larger,

growth potential?

vices operators, particularly

global organisations?

those in the Middle East, the

of Malta’s International

Malta’s insurance and asset

US, Latin America and Hong

Malta’s entry into the EU

management sectors have

Kong/China to do business

and the adoption of the euro

taken the lead in terms
of

in Europe through Malta.

were the key catalysts
that

their respective growth. This

Admittedly, all EU member

strengthened Malta’s

is evidenced by the pres-

states somewhat position

relevance as a financial

ence
of 58 insurance opera-

their country as a ‘Gateway

centre. Our responsiveness

tions, which include captive

to Europe’. Nonetheless, in

and ‘can-do’ mindset has in

insurance or affiliated

my opinion, Malta’s unique

turn attracted a number
of

insurance companies and

geographic positioning in the

international operators to the

Protected Cell Companies


Interview

QUESTIONS

49

(PCCs). There are currently only a small number of insurance companies

4

What measures are FinanceMalta taking to promote Malta’s

licensed in Malta which

financial centre, and which

are primarily active in the

markets are you placing a

local market, reflecting the

greater strategic focus on?

5

What is your vision for the industry and its prospects

in the coming years? Malta’s financial services industry is clearly becom-

international orientation of Malta’s insurance sector.

Since its inception,

ing an important economic

The same may be stated for

FinanceMalta has primarily

enabler by way of its growing

the asset management and

focused its attention on the

contribution to the country’s

investment funds sector. In

European marketplace by

GDP. That contribution has

tandem with the growing

organising various initia-

more than doubled in these

number of funds, which

tives, as well as participat-

last few years and in turn

have exceeded the 600

ing in numerous third-party

has generated employment

mark, over the past seven

financial services events and

opportunities. As a result, it

years various international

conferences. Other initia-

is important to sustain the

financial services providers

tives include the organisa-

growth of the industry in its

have set up their operation

tion of webinars, podcasts

journey towards becoming

in Malta. In fact, there are

as well as visibility on the

an International Financial

currently around
70 asset

main social media platforms.

Centre. Although Europe is,

managers and 27 fund ad-

These initiatives are all aimed

and will remain, an impor-

ministrators registered with

at strengthening Malta’s

tant market for the industry,

the Malta Financial Services

financial services brand and

it is evident that Malta’s

Authority. Apart from

creating networking op-

relevance as a financial centre

the growth in these
two

portunities for our member

extends beyond the realms of

sectors, the industry is also

base. Going forward, while

Europe. I believe that Malta

experiencing sustained

European markets will remain

as a financial centre has

growth in the trust, wealth

our key priority, in the coming

untapped potential and can

management and finan-

three years, it is in our plans

act as an important conduit

cial institutions sectors.

to extend our reach to other

of financial services business

regions including the Gulf,

to Europe and Africa. ■

Hong Kong/China and the US.  


Members 50

FinanceMalta Members

Corporate Members 2014 3A Accountants Abacus Corporate Services Limited Abacus Financial Services (Malta) Limited Active Services (Malta) Ltd Acumum Legal & Advisory Group Advocates Primei Aequitas Legal Aeronautica (Malta) Limited Afex (Europe) Ltd Affinity Management Services (Malta) Limited AgriBank Akbank TAS Malta Branch Alter Domus (Services) Malta Limited Alternative Risk Management (Malta) Ltd Amicorp Fund Services Malta Ltd Amicorp Malta Limited Amstel Capital Malta Ltd Antelope Trustees Ltd AON Insurance Managers (Malta) Ltd Apex Fund Services (Malta) Ltd APS Bank Ltd Areti Fiduciary Services Ltd Atlas Insurance PCC Ltd Avanzia Taxand Limited Banif Bank (Malta) plc Baker Tilly Sant Bank Of Valletta plc Barclays Bank plc Bawag Malta Bank Limited BDO Consult Ltd Bee Insurance Management Ltd Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited Blue Planet Investment Management Ltd Boston Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd BTI Management Limited Cabinet Comptable Rawat Calamatta Cuschieri & Co Ltd Camilleri Galea Ltd Camilleri Preziosi Castlegate Fund Services Ltd Charts Investment Management Service Ltd Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates - Legal/Tax/Corporate


Members 51

Ciantar Associates

FIMBANK

Citadel Insurance plc

Financial Planning Services Ltd

Citco Custody Limited

Finco Trust Services Ltd

Citco Fund Services (Malta) Limited

Finisterre Malta Ltd

Citco (Malta) Ltd

FirstUnited Insurance Management Ltd

City Legal

FMG (Malta) Ltd

Clearstream Banking

Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Limited

CommBank Europe Limited

FZD Advocates

Corrieri Cilia Legal

Galea Salomone & Associates

CREDAL International Ltd

Gamma Capital Markets Ltd

Credence Corporate & Advisory Services Ltd

Ganado Advocates

Creditinfo Malta Limited

GasanMamo Insurance

CSB Advocates

Gatt Tufigno Gauci Advocates

CSB Group

GM Corporate & Fiduciary Services Limited

Curmi & Partners Ltd

Gonzi & Associates Advocates

Custom House Global Fund Services Ltd

Grand Harbour Trustees Limited

David Griscti & Associates

Grant Thornton

David Zahra & Associates Advocates

Griffiths & Associates

Deloitte

H & P Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd

Deutsche Bank (Malta) Ltd

Harbour Pensions Limited

DF Advocates

HBM Malta Ltd

Dingli & Dingli Law Firm

Heptagon Capital

Directors Chambers Ltd

Heritage Insurance Management (Malta) Ltd

DNT Fiduciary Ltd

Heritage International Fund Managers (Malta) Ltd

Ecovis (Malta) Consultants Ltd

HSBC Bank Malta plc

EJZ Comprehensive Business Services Ltd

HSBC Global Asset Management (Malta) Ltd

EMD

HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Ltd

Elmo Insurance Ltd

IDS Fund Services Malta Ltd

e-Management Ltd

IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd

EMCS International

Integradvisory Ltd

Equiom (Malta) Limited

Integrated-Capabilities (Malta) Ltd

Ernst & Young Limited

Integritas Trustees Ltd

e-Volve Consutlancy Limited

International Management Services Ltd

Exante Limited

IFINA group

Exco Services Ltd

Island Insurance Brokers Limited

FACT Group

Island Insurance Management Services Limited

FCM Bank Ltd

Iuris Services Ltd

Fenech & Fenech Advocates

Izola Bank Limited

Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal

JACS International Ltd

Fenlex Corporate Services Ltd

JATCO Insurance Brokers Ltd

Fexserv Financial Services Ltd

Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited

Fides Corporate Services Ltd

John Huber & Associates


Members 52

Justin Cutajar CPA

Refalo & Zammit Pace Advocates

Lombard Bank Malta plc

RiskCap International Limited

Kamber Consultancy AG

Rizzo, Farrugia & Co (Stockbrokers) Ltd

KDM Insurance Brokers PCC Ltd

RS Attard - Moore Stephens Malta

Kendrick Capital Limited

RSM Malta

KPMG

RTFX Ltd

KSi Malta

Salt Partners (Services) Limited

Mahoney & Co

SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) Ltd

Maitland Malta Limited

Simon Tortell & Associates

Malta Capital Management Ltd

Somerset Management (Malta) Ltd

Malta Stock Exchange plc

South Risk Partners

Maltese Cross Financial Services Ltd

Sparkasse Bank Malta plc

Mamo TCV Advocates

SSRBJ Administration

Marsh Management Services Malta Ltd

SSRBJ Law

Mazars Malta

Stivala & Stivala Corporate Management Ltd

Mdina Trust Services Limited

STM Malta Insurance Ltd

Mediterranean Bank plc

STM Malta Trust & Company Ltd

Mercieca Azzopardi & Co

Summa Fiduciary Services Ltd

Mediterranean Insurance Brokers (Malta) Ltd

Swissquote Europe Ltd

Micallef & Associates

Taliti Funds SICAV plc

Michael Grech Financial Investments Services Ltd

Tanti-Dougall & Associates, Advocates

Middlesea Insurance p.l.c

Taxways Group (Invest Group Ltd)

Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates

Temple Asset Management Limited

MSV Life p.l.c

TMF Fund Administrators

Mifra Consultants Limited

Trident Fund Services (Malta) Ltd

MSS International Services Ltd

Trident Trust Company (Malta) Ltd

Munich Re of Malta p.l.c.

Tri-Mer Services Ltd

Muscat Azzopardi and Associates Advocates

Tromino Financial Services (Malta) Ltd

MZ Investment Services Ltd

TW Management Limited

NBG Bank Malta Limited

UHY Business Advisory Services Ltd

Newco Corporate Services Ltd

Unifin Services Limited

Northway Broker Limited

United International Management (Malta) Limited

Orangefield Group

Valletta Commercial Services Ltd

Osiris Trust Ltd

Valletta Fund Services

Palmali Ship Management Ltd

Valletta Fund Management

Papilio Services Limited

Vistra Malta Ltd

PiscoPartners

Vltava Fund SICAV

PKF (Malta)

WDM International Ltd

Plethora Management Services Ltd

WH Partners

Portman International Ltd

WTP ADVISORS MALTA

Portmann Capital Management Ltd

Zeta Capital Advisory

Praxis Fund Services (Malta) Limited

Zeta Corporate & Management Services Ltd

Premier Fiduciary & Trusts Ltd

Zodiac Advisory Services Ltd

PricewaterHouseCoopers QGen Raiffeisen Malta Bank plc


Members 53

FinanceMalta Members

Affiliate Members 2014 Aetos Holdings Pty Ltd

S & D Yachts Ltd

Allied Newspapers Ltd

Salvo Grima (Freeport operations) Ltd

Ascent Software

SIX Financial Information

ATCS consulting Ltd

Smartcity Malta

Avantech Ltd

Spinola Development Co. Ltd

Bacchus Company Ltd

St.Michael School

Belair Real Estate

Systec Ltd

BMIT Ltd

The Richard Clarke Academy

Business Intelligence Solutions Ltd

The Xara Lodge

C & C Express Ltd

The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux

Castille Resources Ltd

thewealthworks

CDDS International S.A.

The Westin Dragonara Resort

Chartered Institute for Securities

Tristar Travel

& Investment (CISI)

Vodafone Malta Ltd

Chesterton (Boutique Properties) Country Profiler Dhalia Real Estate Services Dmax & Associates Ltd Frank Salt Real Estate Ltd Hera Cruises Ltd Hilton Malta ICT Ltd KONNEKT Search & Selection Linedata Malta Institute of Management M. Demajo Group Melita plc MIDI plc Mifsud Brothers Miles Express Cargo Systems Limited MISCO Misco Directors Network Outdoor Living P5+ Pender Ville Ltd People & Co Ltd Hotel Phoenicia Malta PowerHouse Ltd Regus Serviced Offices RE/MAX Malta


Finance Industry Stakeholders 54

Ministry for Finance

Finance Industry Stakeholders

www.mfin.gov.mt

Prof. Edward Scicluna Minister for Finance

Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)

Central Bank of Malta

www.mfsa.com.mt

www.centralbankmalta.org

Prof. Joseph Bannister Chairman

Prof. Josef Bonnici Governor

Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA) Chairman Kenneth Farrugia www.mfia.org.mt

Malta Insurance Association (MIA) Director General Adrian Galea www.maltainsurance.org

IndustryAssociations

Malta Association for Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP) Chairman Bethell Codrington

Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA) Chairman Charles Borg www.maltabankers.org

Additional Resources Malta Institute of Taxation www.maintax.org

Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA) www.miamalta.org

Malta Institute of College of Management (MIM) Stockbroking Firms www.maltamanagement.com www.stockbrokersmalta.com


Finance Industry Stakeholders 55

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

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

Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth

FinanceMalta

Malta Stock Exchange

www.financemalta.org

www.borzamalta.com.mt

Kenneth Farrugia Chairman

Eileen V. Muscat Chief Executive

Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA) Chairman John Tortell www.mima-足malta.com

The Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) President Christopher J. Naudi www.ifsp.org.mt

Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB) Chairman Mark Spiteri www.aibmalta.com

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Malta, Branch Chair Dr. Jean-足Philippe Chetcuti www.step.org/malta

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry www.maltachamber.org.mt

Institute of Directors (IoD) Malta www.iod.com/malta

Malta Enterprise Corporation www.maltaenterprise.com

Malta Chamber of Advocates www.avukati.org


Investor Guide Series 56

interview

Investor Guide Series

Need a deeper level of technical information?

‌more to follow

The FinanceMalta sector guides can be downloaded from

www.financemalta.org


CUSTOM HOUSE GLOBAL FUND SERVICES LIMITED

“Best Client Service 2010/11/12/13”

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Interview 58

Interview with Professor Edward Scicluna, Minister for Finance

The Right Prescription Macroeconomic

2013, a definite clear picture

ness climate are also essential

stability

would be confirmed in the

for Malta to maintain and

strengthens investor

first quarter of this year.

strengthen the country’s at-

confidence. How has

However, indicative informa-

tractiveness as a destination

Malta’s economy performed

tion still points to a cautious

for foreign investment. Many

over the past year?

optimistic outcome, namely

of Malta’s competitors have

that of reaching a deficit

been going through difficult

Malta’s economy is continual-

which will be lower than

structural reforms and inter-

ly showing resilience and ap-

the 3 per cent benchmark.

nal devaluation. This means

1

petite for growth in the midst of lacklustre performance in Europe. GDP growth has accelerated further, beyond what we were prudently

that in the future they could

2

What are the

pose a stronger challenge for

main challenges

Malta’s competitiveness. In

the country is

this regard, the educational

facing at the moment?

forecasting. During the first

system must continue to provide the required skills

two quarters of 2013, GDP

Malta continues to benefit

and qualifications so that the

was 1.5 per cent and 3.3 per

from its sound banking

quality of human capital can

cent higher than in the same

system and a low reliance on

evolve to meet the changing

respective quarter in the pre-

external funding on the part

needs of both the domes-

vious year. Data for a number

of both the government and

tic and export markets.

of variables is indicating that

the domestic banks. Those

this performance has been

two factors contribute sig-

sustained during the last two

nificantly to macroeconomic

quarters. Employment has

stability. Looking forward to

continued to increase at a

the post-crisis period, the

been influenced by

significant rate of 3 per cent

main challenge is to ensure

the financial and the

in the third quarter of 2013,

that the country is well

EU banking crises?

while the unemployment

positioned to exploit the op-

rate is 6.4 per cent, the same

portunities provided by faster

The financial and EU banking

level as the previous two

growth in external demand.

crises have not affected our

years. With respect to Malta’s

Further improvements in

banking industry directly.

public finances at the end of

productivity and in the busi-

None of our banks were

3

How has Malta’s banking and financial industry


Interview

QUESTIONS

59

What are your

affected or in need of a

framework to sustain the

bail-out. Our systemically

stability and integrity of the

important banks have also

financial system. The Malta

passed the stress tests

regime is on the frontier of

to the finance centre’s

that were undertaken. The

reforms being suggested in

future development?

regulatory aftermath has

the regulatory field. While

influenced the government

these developments create

Malta has to continue to

and the principal financial

significant challenges, they

remain compliant with the

regulators, namely the Malta

also represent opportuni-

best global and EU stand-

Financial Services Authority

ties for the country to

ards and practices. The

and the Central Bank. These

address inherent issues

various reports, including

institutions have estab-

and undertake neces-

those by Moneyval, the

lished the Joint Financial

sary reforms in order to

OECD and others show

Stability Board under the

maximise its economic

that our competitiveness is

European Systemic Risk

growth potential. One such

being maintained, without

Board to monitor and assess

example is the Alternative

compromising on the bilateral

financial stability issues.

Investment Fund Managers

and multilateral agreements

Directive (AIFM), which has

regarding the exchange of

Considering

taken effect from mid-July

information to prevent illegal

the rapid pace

2013, and which represents

activities, such as money

of change in

an opportunity to increase

laundering. My priority for the

the financial services

Malta’s competitiveness,

sector is to ensure financial

industry, how robust and

especially outside the EU.

stability and to continue to

operator friendly is Malta’s

I am confident that Malta’s

support the regulator in the

regulatory framework?

financial practitioners and

development of legisla-

FinanceMalta will continue

tion. In this way the sector

In today’s world the success

to ensure that the opportu-

can continue to flourish at

of a financial centre largely

nities offered by regula-

the international level.

depends on the adequacy of

tory changes are exploited

its regulatory and supervisory

to Malta’s advantage.

4

5

ministry’s priorities with regard


Interview 60

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

The Multiplier Effect Can you outline

despite Europe’s challeng-

greater role in the future of

Malta’s current

ing economic backdrop. The

Malta’s international finance

economic profile,

sector is also attracting ever

centre, including foreign

and how does Malta’s

increasing international atten-

exchange trading, pay-

financial centre contribute

tion from investors across the

ments, intellectual property

to the island’s economy?

world, and financial and insur-

and international pensions.

ance activities account for

This positive performance

Malta’s economic resilience

some 80 per cent of foreign

has been supported by a

is reflected in its diversified

direct investment in Malta.

number of factors, including

1

economy that is primarily driven by the tourism, manufacturing and services sectors. Over the past years our economy has

a comprehensive legal and

2

What have been the

regulatory environment, an

key drivers of new

accessible and pro-business

business in Malta’s

regulatory body, the avail-

financial services industry?

outperformed many of our

ability of a highly skilled workforce and a sound

EU peers, and in 2013 we

Despite the international

expect real GDP growth of

economic and political

1.2 per cent. This sustained

turmoil that has gripped

economic growth has led to

European economies and

low unemployment, sound

which has led to a dampened

exports which have grown

economic environment, all

markets and, in particular,

faster than imports, and

segments of our financial

to other financial centres?

relatively stable public fi-

services sector have recorded

nances. In particular, financial

growth. Malta has established

Malta’s geographic location

services have become one

robust banking, insurance,

has, over the past centuries,

of Malta’s most important

investment funds and wealth

necessitated the need to

economic generators. The

management sectors. Our

strengthen its connectivity,

contribution of the sector

banks did not require gov-

not only from a logistics point

from a gross value added

ernment assistance, having

of view, but more so from an

point of view has doubled

strong capital adequacy and

economic perspective. In fact,

from 4.67 per cent in 2008

liquidity ratios. In addition, we

the success that Malta has

to 8.31 per cent in 2012, and

are seeing new growth areas

experienced over the years is

the outlook is equally positive

that are expected to play a

reflected in various eco-

operational infrastructure.

3

How well connected is Malta to international


Interview

QUESTIONS

61

Investors regularly

nomic sectors. For instance,

challenges. These include the

in the maritime, tourism

ability to adapt to the raft of

and aviation sectors that in

new regulatory requirements

themselves are an attestation

that are being constantly

predictability as the most

of the existing connectivity

introduced, sustaining the

important characteristics

between Malta and other

availability of skilled person-

of an International Finance

international markets. Due

nel to service the needs of

Centre. How is Malta

to Malta’s status as an EU

the industry and ensuring

signalling its long-term

member state, companies

that the critical success

commitment to international

in Malta can also offer their

factors that have under-

financial services?

services throughout the 28-

pinned the growth of the in-

nation bloc. We also have a

dustry are sustained. It is my

The economic turmoil

network of some 70 double

view that both the industry

experienced by a number of

tax agreements, including

and the Government of Malta

European countries has left

treaties with many of the

are undertaking a number of

a profound impact on their

world’s high-growth markets

initiatives to address these

respective economic sectors,

and a range of other finance

challenges. Nonetheless,

as well as on their financial

centres such as Luxembourg,

I strongly feel that the

services businesses. On the

Ireland, Singapore and

core challenge that we will

other hand, Malta’s prudent

Hong Kong. This means that

constantly face is that of in-

macroeconomic policies have

financial services firms can

novation. In this increasingly

protected our economy from

conveniently use Malta as a

homogenous industry it is of

the international economic

base from where to under-

primary importance to remain

downturn, which has in turn

take international business.

relevant, and this can only be

positively impacted the

achieved through constant

financial services sector. The

What would you

innovation. It is firmly in the

absence of economic shocks

say is the biggest

government’s plans to assist

has minimised investor un-

challenge facing

and facilitate the means

certainty and brought about

Malta’s finance centre, and

through which the industry

stability and predictability.

how would you overcome it?

can be seen as an innovator

4

in the market by supportMalta’s financial services

ing industry and regulatory

industry faces a number of

initiatives in this regard.

5

cite stability, visibility and


Interview 62

Interview with Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis, Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth

Small Island, Big Ambitions 1

Malta has improved its ranking in the latest Global

2

What is Malta

Singapore and Turkey.

doing to minimise

These markets demonstrate

red tape and

economic growth and are de-

Financial Centres Index

provide a more business-

by 15 positions. What

friendly operating

do you believe were

environment for investors?

the reasons for this? It is our intention to cut un-

veloping at a very fast pace. 

3

How is Malta seeking to develop its capacity and

The fact that Malta has

necessary bureaucracy by

financial skills base to

climbed 15 positions in the

implementing better regula-

sustain the current high

Global Financial Centres

tion principles and making

levels of growth, and

Index is a testament to the

better use of available

what initiatives are you

excellence of our financial

information. We have created

implementing to attract the

services industry. Malta now

a role specifically for the

best and brightest talent?

stands ahead of Madrid,

simplification of government

Dublin and Brussels. While we

processes. The government is

Malta has a very strong

are not yet a big international

also fully committed to build-

skills base with thousands

player, this is one of the most

ing a robust digital economy.

of professionals working in

pronounced improvements

More government services

the financial services sector.

in Malta’s rankings. In fact, of

will be made available online

However, the industry is

the 27 financial centres in the

to reduce bureaucracy and to

growing on a daily basis.

EU, Malta was in 14th place.

facilitate start-up operations

Therefore, we have been

I think the main reasons for

in Malta. We are also working

consistently investing in train-

our success are our consen-

on launching a number of

ing, both through the national

sual commitment to financial

initiatives that will help Malta-

higher educational institu-

services, our attractive tax

based companies to expand

tions, the University of Malta

regime and incentives, as

their business internationally.

and MCAST, and through

well as the prudent super-

We are aware of the need

private providers. We are also

vision and regulation of

to develop new markets

developing more specialised

the sector, accompanied

and want to assist compa-

courses to cater for new

by stability, transparency,

nies to tap non-traditional

developments and have given

accountability and a zero

markets such as India, China,

government scholarships for

tolerance for corruption.

the Russian Federation,

specialisations at Masters


Interview

QUESTIONS

63

level in areas such as fund

record for financial services

able growth too. One such

management, financial math-

innovation and are commit-

sector is wealth manage-

ematics, back office support

ted to supporting new ideas

ment, which is supported

management and many

and start-ups. Naturally, we

by clusters such as aviation

more. To fill positions that

are mindful of the effects that

and yachting. In June 2013

require specalised knowledge

costs can have on competi-

we also launched the Global

that cannot be found locally,

tiveness and want to improve

Residence Programme, which

Malta also offers special tax

Malta’s proposition in this

renders Malta an attrac-

incentives for foreign profes-

regard. We are strengthen-

tive residency location for

sionals to take up jobs in our

ing our energy infrastruc-

high-net-worth individuals.

financial services industry.

ture and by March 2014 we

In addition, private banking,

will be reducing water and

trusts and foundations are

Malta’s lower cost

electricity tariffs. We are also

witnessing growth. We will

base has often

supporting the development

continue working hand-in-

given it an edge

of the ‘Fibre to the Home’

hand with all stakeholders

over rival finance centres.

project that will enable high

concerned to achieve our

What is the country doing to

bandwidth upload/down-

goal of establishing Malta as

maintain its competitiveness

load speeds, providing Malta

a destination of excellence in

as an investment location?

with a very competitive

the private wealth sector.

4

and sophisticated commuIt is not only our lower

nications infrastructure.

cost that has helped us in establishing an International Finance Centre (IFC). Operators have also set up

5

Looking ahead, how do you believe the financial

in Malta due to our strate-

services sector will develop

gic location which offers

over the next five years?

easy access to a number of markets, attractive regulatory

Malta’s fund and insur-

framework for financial ser-

ance sectors have thus far

vices and an English-speaking

been the main engines of

workforce. We have also

growth. However, many other

established a proven track

areas are showing sustain-


Interview 64

Interview with Professor Joe Bannister, Chairman, Malta Financial Services Authority

The Right Model Regulation is one

aged to discuss their develop-

regime, a process that calls for

of the leading

ment objectives and ongoing

strict liaison between the regu-

factors that make a

concerns with the regulators to

lator and operators, particularly

financial centre successful.

ensure that they can operate

with the investment managers

What do you believe are

smoothly and identify any

themselves. The AIFMD is also

Malta’s key operating

possible risks early in the day.

leading to noticeable shifts in

advantages in this regard?  

 

the funds landscape as manag-

1

 

2

Malta has developed a robust regulatory regime with a

Malta was one of

ers both inside and outside the

the first countries

EU review their strategic posi-

to transpose the

tioning in the light of new regu-

highly approachable regula-

EU’s Alternative Investment

latory demands and market

tory authority. Over the years,

Fund Managers Directive

realities. Malta was one of the

the Malta Financial Services

(AIFMD). Can you give us a

first member states to trans-

Authority (MFSA) has worked

brief overview of Malta’s new

pose the AIFMD and has built

together with the industry for

regulatory environment in the

up a reputation as a European

the implementation of major

funds sector, and what does

funds jurisdiction. With its re-

strategic objectives. Various

it mean for the jurisdiction? 

cently confirmed international

joint initiatives have assisted

 

status as one of the sharp

the industry in building up

The AIFMD has opened up

risers in the industry, Malta’s

the capabilities and capac-

a raft of new challenges and

fund industry is entering a new

ity required to move into new

opportunities. The MFSA has

phase that will eventually see

areas of business for which

worked closely with the fund

it consolidating its position as

regulatory frameworks were

industry in Malta in order to

an investment services hub

being developed. The close re-

ensure a smooth transition to

within the single market.

lationship between the regula-

the new regime. Alongside

 

tor, policy makers and industry

the Maltese Professional

stakeholders has enabled Malta

Investor Fund (PIF) regime, a

to attract know-how, develop

new Alternative Investment

talent and ensure consistent

Fund (AIF) regime has been

regulatory framework.

levels of growth to keep the

launched. The focus this year

Which sectors and

momentum going. Individual

will be on the conversion of

concepts are you currently

operators are also encour-

existing licences to the new

looking into and why?

3

 

Malta has been proactive in expanding its


Interview

QUESTIONS

65

One of the more evident

intermediaries, launched

investors and investees. Product

consequences of the financial

improved alternative company

safety and fair distribution

crises has been a disruption

listing rules and is strengthen-

practices will therefore be as

in capital supply lines and

ing asset protection regimes

important a factor as creativ-

capital flows, resulting in

for securitised products.

ity in the generation of capital

market inefficiencies. This,

 

returns. One cannot exist

in turn, has a stifling effect on potential investment and growth opportunities, both

4

How has the

without the other if markets

introduction of

are to function efficiently and

three pan-European

effectively. Regulation should

in the real and the financial

supervisory authorities

never be seen as the antith-

economy.  New regulation

for banking, insurance &

esis of innovation, and Malta’s

intended to ensure greater

pensions, and securities

track record to date proves

financial stability is also

& markets influenced

this. However, during 2014 the

changing the rules of the

Malta’s International

eurozone will be going beyond

game in a way that generates

Finance Centre, as well as

the European Banking Authority

new demand for innova-

its ability to innovate and

(EBA) with the establishment

tive, yet more sustainable,

differentiate itself from

of the Single Supervisory

investment products in the

competing locations?

Mechanism under the European

market. Market infrastruc-

Central Bank (ECB). Malta being

tures will also need to be

The new pan-European super-

a member of the eurozone will

re-engineered in order to

visory authorities are part of

fall under this mechanism.

better cater for these new

a wider framework to ensure

products, while regulatory

financial stability, reduce the

frameworks will need to find

likelihood and transmission

ways of throwing wide open

of shocks within the financial

the windows on governance

system, and ensure a more

sustain these high levels of

standards in order to encour-

standardised regulatory

growth into the future?

age investors to return to the

platform for European cross-

market. With this in mind, the

border business. Operators

We need to keep getting

MFSA has set about review-

will still be given space to

better at what we have been

ing the conduct of business

innovate and come up with

doing and never lose sight

frameworks for financial

new products to suit both

of where we started.

5

How do you believe Malta needs to position itself to


Finance Industry Roundup 66

Finance Industry Roundup

From Challenges to Opportunities

“Malta is very attractive to insurance operators for many reasons. It is the only full EU member state with Protected Cell Company (PCC) legislation. Malta also offers insurers the opportunity to write business in all EU countries by exercising their passporting rights. The biggest challenges for the insurance industry are the continuing length of time that it is taking to have Solvency II legislation in place and the prevailing economic recession in the EU. However, growth opportunities are in the PCC and the securitisation sectors where catastrophe bonds can be a major development in the local legislation.” John Tortell Chairman - Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA)

“Malta’s fund industry has achieved remarkable growth, particularly when one considers its very humble beginnings. This was primarily driven by the presence of a meticulous, yet responsive and probusiness, regulatory body, as well as a highly developed operational infrastructure. Going forward, there are clearly strong growth prospects, and it is vital for the key stakeholders to ensure that Malta remains both highly responsive and competitive”. Kenneth Farrugia Chairman - Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA)


Finance Industry Roundup 67

“Malta’s EU and eurozone membership, our legislative framework and tax system, as well as the presence of a reputable regulator make up Malta’s strength as an insurance centre. In addition, Malta has a competitive, English-speaking professional workforce, which also satisfies the needs of the industry for ancillary services, particularly in terms of IT, accounting and legal services. But we cannot rely on the success achieved so far. We need to continue developing our workforce, to tap relatively undeveloped areas such as Protected Cell Companies and venture into other markets outside Europe.” Mark Spiteri Chairman - Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB)

“Political and economic stability, cemented by EU and eurozone membership, together with a sound regulatory framework, and the accessibility and firm but flexible approach of the single regulator, have provided a solid base on which business has flourished. These favourable aspects, coupled with Malta’s ability to innovate and respond swiftly to changing circumstances and opportunities, should ensure further growth. Growth in the banking sector may be subdued in the immediate future, with stricter capital, liquidity and other requirements now being imposed on credit institutions in the wake of the financial crisis.” James Bonello Secretary General - Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA)


Finance Industry Roundup 68

“Malta’s growth has been impressive and has continued despite the financial troubles Europe and the rest of the world are facing. The main challenge we face as a jurisdiction is to preserve the responsive business environment as the volume of business grows. This means, among other things, a continuation of the cross-party political support the industry has enjoyed, while ensuring that enough of our young people choose to enter the financial services industry so that we can maintain one of our major advantages: skilled, welleducated professionals who can offer clients a cost-effective service.” Christopher J. Naudi President - Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP)

“Malta is a responsive and service-driven jurisdiction which implements high levels of investor protection and transparency. It is one of the few jurisdictions that cater for both trusts and foundations. In addition, Malta has a sophisticated legal framework and a sound regulatory infrastructure which is capable of supporting complex businesses operating throughout the financial services ecosystem. Recognising the fact that the industry’s growth also poses challenges to the jurisdiction’s limited pool of local talent, the jurisdiction has also implemented a number of measures designed to attract specialists with key skills.” Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti Chairman - Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Malta


Finance Industry Roundup 69

“Malta has successfully attracted foreign insurance companies to its shores to underwrite insurance business from other EU member states. They have greatly supported the positive performance of the industry. Local insurers are now focusing on the growth of the domestic market. We are confident that fiscal incentives and educational campaigns will leave a longer-lasting impact on certain sectors within the life and non-life pillars and facilitate their uptake by society at large.” Adrian Galea Director General - Malta Insurance Association

“We are fortunate in Malta that the authorities have spent considerable time and effort in developing detailed legislation to support the international pensions industry. With a serious system of taxation, separate registration and approval processes for pension scheme administrators and the requirement for an annual independent audit, the system assures that Malta really does lead the way. The main challenges will be to ensure that Malta remains a ‘jurisdiction of choice’ by staying on top of legislative and industry developments, as well as widening the country’s double tax treaty network.” Dr. Matthew Brincat General Secretary - Malta Association of Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP)


Banking 70

INSIGHT

A Trio of Towns Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea are situated

Banking

Strength in

Diversity D

espite being a small Mediterranean island, Malta has become a leading international banking centre and today accounts for a significant share of global banking activity. Lured by the ease of doing business, international and regional players have established operations in the country. Today, Malta’s banks are the envy of many of its European peers as they are ranked among the safest and best-run financial institutions in the EU. The sector suffered no systemic shocks or banking failures. There is a clear divide between the local retail banks and the more investment-focused, specialised foreign banks that have set up in Malta and which have almost no interaction with the domestic economy. The island is also welcoming a new breed of financial institutions and is increasingly on the radar of non-banking finance companies in search of a regulatory framework suited to their needs.

on the other side of the Grand Harbour from Valletta. The three towns are collectively known as the Three Cities, and are enclosed by a massive line of fortification created by the Knights of St John.


Banking 71

From a Small Base

Malta has a small domestic market and its banks’ strategies have traditionally been tied to the local economy. The two largest retail banks on the island, Bank of Valletta (BOV) and HSBC Malta, can trace their origins back to the 19th century. Maltese banking history has seen a number of mergers and acquisitions that shifted the competitive landscape, as well as a period during which major institutions were nationalised. However, the desire to establish Malta as a centre for financial services in the late 1980s and 1990s brought extra dynamism, ambition and pace to the sector’s development. The banking sector changed significantly, having been transformed from a tightly controlled publicly owned sector into one of liberalisation and foreign ownership. Malta also garnered attention when it joined the EU in 2004, and the eurozone in 2008, as more banks discovered the island as a platform for business. Today, 26 credit institutions have a presence in Malta, offering a full set of banking services that range from retail and investment banking to trade finance and custody services. High Marks

Employing some 4,000 people, or 2 per cent of the workforce, the banking sector is today the star economic performer, leaving Europe’s powerhouses such as Germany, the UK and France – and even banking centres like Switzerland or Luxembourg – behind in international rankings. The World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2013-2014 rates it as the 14th soundest banking system in the world. In 2013, institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, Bloomberg and the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s confirmed the sector’s robustness and resilience. BOV and the parent banks of domestic subsidiaries – such as HSBC – have successfully passed the EU-wide stress tests of recent years. Clusters of Activity

Holding over €50 billion in assets, almost eight times the country’s GDP, the financial system seems large when compared to the economy’s output. However, the key defining factor of the banking sector is that it is sharply segmented and essentially divided into three clusters. The assets of the island’s five core banks, which have strong links with Malta’s economy, amount to 211 per cent of GDP, which is below the EU average of around 350 per cent of GDP. Banks with limited links to the domestic market have assets totalling 78 per cent of GDP. The rest of Malta’s banking sector is made up of international banks


Banking 72

with no links to the domestic economy, with assets totalling 492 per cent of GDP. They do not take local deposits, but rather focus on business with non-residents or intragroup transactions supporting their parent banks, or concentrate their activities on areas such as trade and project finance, syndicated loans and investment banking. In fact, many of them hold executive responsibility for specialised areas of their group’s global operations. A Mosaic of Banks

BOV and HSBC are the largest players in the local retail sector. With almost €12 billion in assets and nearly €10 billion in deposits, they account for around 90 per cent of the domestic market. Both banks traditionally register an annual pre-tax profit in the region of €100 million. APS Bank, Lombard Bank and the Portuguese Banif Bank also have a significant presence on the island. The local banks are retail-deposit funded, and their loan portfolios are diversified in different sectors of the economy. Several other banks have small-scale operations in Malta, including the Austrian banks Volksbank and Sparkasse. A number of niche banks offer corporate banking services or seek to attract customers from the local saving and investing community with competitive interest rates. The largest international banks are subsidiaries of Turkey’s Akbank and Garanti Bank. They use Malta as a booking centre for foreignexchange loans. Other leading banking groups with a presence in Malta are Deutsche Bank, BAWAG, Raiffeisen, IIG Bank and CommBank. In addition to the banks, 28 financial institutions such as foreign exchange businesses and factoring operations of international corporations, as well as a number of payment institutions, have operations in Malta. Successful Strategies

A deep-rooted conservative approach to banking adopted by the domestic banks in Malta has served the island well. Bank funding depends on retail deposits rather than wholesale borrowing, and over the years, the island has stuck to this conventional banking approach. Most banking institutions increased their earnings during 2012, reflecting the strong fundamentals of Malta’s retail and corporate business segments. The country’s banks maintain substantial liquidity, adequate capital and prudent lending policies. The regulatory capital of the domestic banking sector stands at 14.3 per cent and the tier one ratio is 10.3 per cent, with the latter being well above the new Basel III minimum requirements of 6 per cent, even when adding in the new capital conservation buffer of 2.5 per cent. And while

■ Malta’s banks remain strong and resilient, and the island’s authorities are keeping a watchful eye on the sector to ensure that this does not change.


your financial services provider in Malta Bank of Valletta has contributed to the economic development of Malta for the past two centuries. Today we actively endorse the nation’s drive and ambition to transform itself into a centre for financial excellence. With a well-developed network of correspondent banks and representative offices, we have the infrastructure and expertise to manage corporate banking for companies registered across international jurisdictions. Being firm believers that economic achievement does not subsist on its own, we have pledged our commitment to our country to aim towards success while acting responsibly towards the society within which we operate. At Bank of Valletta we aspire to exceed customer expectations by offering a trusted, genuine and truly caring service, adding value every time we connect.

Your success is our goal.

Corporate FinanCe trusts Wealth ManageMent payMent solutions Fund serviCes 2131 2020 I bov.com

Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is licensed to conduct investment services business and to provide trustee services by the Malta Financial Services Authority. Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c. 58, Zachary Street, Valletta VLT 1130 - Malta


Banking 74

the loans-to-deposit ratio in the euro area averages around 110 per cent, it stands at 70 per cent for the Maltese banking sector. Operating income in the domestic sector averages around 3 per cent. In contrast to many European countries in 2012 and 2013, banks’ deposits and credit to the private sector continued to increase. In October 2013, Malta’s sector held deposits of close to €43 billion, with resident deposits accounting for €11.5 billion and foreign deposits for some €31.5 billion. Malta’s international banking segment also finds the island to be a profitable base. Credit institutions benefit from its growing international finance centre and the high demand for specialised, sector-specific banking solutions that come with it. Malta offers plenty of opportunities for specialised banks, niche players or institutions targeting regional markets. Tradefinance specialist FIMBank, which grew from its base in Malta to become an international banking brand, is one of Malta’s greatest success stories. The bank was founded in Malta in 1994 and has set up offices in major cities across the world. Today the bank forms part of the Kipco Group, one of the largest diversified holding companies in the Middle East and North Africa.

Bank Deposits Source: Central Bank of Malta 45 40 35

38.5

39.5

30 25 20

27.7

28.7

15 10 5 0 June 2010

December 2011

Prudential Oversight

Strong financial sector oversight is a critical pillar in Malta’s success as a financial centre and supports the robustness of its banking sector. Banking legislation is founded on European Union legislation and is compliant with the Basel Core Principles. The presence of a single regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which has built a reputation for being a meticulous, yet accessible, supervisory body, ensures that banks are closely monitored and fully compliant with regulations. While the MFSA is cautiously selecting and screening new applicants, it has pointed out that the appetite for a banking licence has been diminishing. In fact, most banking aspirants operate as non-banking financial services companies or have business models that do not require them to follow the strict rules that deposit-taking institutions are required to uphold. Many of these companies have found a new home in Malta as the regulatory framework also caters for financial activities which do not require a full banking licence. Credit card companies, payment service providers, payment gateways, card issuers and eWallets are today regulated under the Financial Institutions Act. As one of the EU front-runners in terms of IT adoption and sophistication, Malta also provides a favourable regulatory framework for eBanking solutions, allowing banks that serve their clients exclusively online to start operations

10.3%

tier one capital ratio of Malta’s domestic banking sector


Banking 75

Total deposits in billion ¤ Non-resident bank deposits in billion ¤

40.9

29.9

December 2012

42.9

31.3

October 2013

with a lower capital requirement compared to a full banking licence. Banking and finance institutions operating in, or from, Malta benefit from a high quality of staff and a comprehensive support network. A large number of accounting and auditing practitioners, ranging from small boutique practices to the global ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms and numerous legal firms, support the sector. Operating, training, retention and recruitment costs are up to one-third less than in other EU countries, and highly educated staff such as branch and treasury managers are easily sourced. Minimising Risks

While Malta’s banking sector is performing well, developments in the international banking world are being closely monitored in order to detect potential spillovers from troubled eurozone economies. In addition, the domestic banks are heavily exposed to the property market. The two largest retail banks reported that non-performing loans had increased to over 5 per cent in the last financial year, reflecting subdued conditions in the construction and real estate sectors. While a decline in


Banking 76

property prices could have a sizeable effect on the domestic banking sector, this is not likely to happen in the short term. Nevertheless, Malta’s banks have already taken steps to safeguard their positions and have limited their lending to property developers. January 2013 also marked the start of implementing the Basel III package of measures. While the effects of this reform on any particular bank depend on the structure of their assets and liabilities, some business lines may no longer be viable as a result of Basel III. Observers say that several international banks are currently rethinking their strategies to find ways on how their Malta operations can deliver the best returns. Business Opportunities

In fact, the island’s constantly expanding international finance sector offers plenty of growth opportunities in areas such as ship finance, investment banking and custody services. Malta is also a land of opportunity for credit institutions looking for an EU-compliant, yet flexible, domicile that provides access to the EU market and the neighbouring countries of North Africa. The emerging economies of the region have a high demand for infrastructure development, offering opportunities in the area of project finance. Malta’s professionals also believe that there is strong potential to attract more eCommerce payment business and payment factory operations to the island and promote Malta as a location from where to service customers across the globe. The island’s growing importance as a fund domicile has triggered the need for custody services, and Malta is keen to further increase the number of custodians in a bid to attract a greater number of funds. Potential Remains Strong

In the face of the current European debt crisis it has become apparent that the true value of Malta’s banking industry lies in prudential oversight and a robust regulatory regime, as well as the sound policies and practices of all stakeholders. The risk of contagion spreading to Malta is low, and the island is keen to ensure that this remains so. Malta’s strengths lie in the provision of specialist banking services in which it aims to compete on an international level. In particular, expanding into North African markets from Malta offers foreign credit and finance institutions plenty of potential. Locally, increased demand will result from the deepening and widening of the finance industry, which will allow international banks to satisfy emerging banking needs. ■

■ Malta’s professionals also believe that there is strong potential to attract more eCommerce payment business and payment factory operations to the island and promote Malta as a location from where to service customers across the globe.


PR I VAT E & C O R P O R AT E B A N K I N G / W E A LT H M A N AG E M E N T / C u S TO dY

Speed. Agility. Teamwork. A Winning combination for Fund Custody Services.

Fund custody is a core business for Sparkasse Bank Malta plc. Our experience and knowledge enables us to be nimble and flexible, allowing us to offer practical, workable solutions to our customers. By choosing not to provide other related fund services such as Fund Administration or Management , we avoid all potential conflicts of interest and focus entirely on what it is we do best – safekeeping, record keeping, monitoring and reporting. We acknowledge the responsibilities and obligations bestowed upon us as custodians – for this reason, we are committed to making the necessary investment in IT, Human Resources and ongoing training in Legislation, Regulation and Compliance. Only in this manner can we guarantee a high and robust standard of service to our customer.

Sparkasse Bank Malta plc 101 Townsquare, Ix-Xatt Ta’ Qui-Si-Sana, Sliema, SLM 3112 – Malta

Tel: +356 2133 5705 • Fax: +356 2133 5710 • info@sparkasse-bank-malta.com • www.sparkasse-bank-malta.com Sparkasse Bank Malta plc is authorised to conduct Banking business and to conduct Investment Services business by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Part of the Austrian Savings Banks - Banking since 1872


Capital Markets 78

Capital Markets

Investment in the Future A

lthough the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) is still in its infancy by global comparisons, in recent years it has made good on its international expansion aspirations. The MSE has internationalised its market by making it accessible to both foreign investors and companies. New, internationally recognised technologies have been adopted in order to improve the MSE’s appeal as a listing venue. The Exchange now uses Deutsche Börse’s Xetra trading platform and has implemented an international clearing and settlement system, which connects the Exchange to brokers, traders and investors worldwide. The Central Securities Depository (CSD) has continued to expand its range of services that are on offer for listed and unlisted companies across Europe. These developments were instrumental for the German Berenberg Bank’s decision to become the 13th and first international member on the Exchange in February 2013. The MSE is keen to attract more listings, especially international ones, and is targeting firms that are looking for an exchange that offers them an international window without being too large to provide a personalised service. To add liquidity and depth to the market, marketmaking has been introduced in October 2013.

Trading participants in
Malta are now connected to
a fully electronic network
of

4,500 traders in 18 countries.


Capital Markets 79

International Ambitions

INSIGHT

A 19th Century Chapel Overlooking the Grand Harbour, and sitting on the edge of a tunnel-ridden bastion, the Garrison Chapel is today home to the Malta Stock Exchange. The building was constructed in the 19th century, at the time of the Crimean War, as a church for the allied troops passing through Malta on their way to battle.

While Malta provides a fully-fledged and regulated market, at its inception over 20 years ago trading took place only in government stocks. This has since expanded to include services to domestic and international companies. Traditionally, the Exchange mainly serves the Maltese market: local companies tap the market for equity, and investors tend to be domestic institutions or the general public. Many of Malta’s largest corporations are third or fourth-generation family businesses, and they have come to appreciate the possibilities that a listing offers them, such as providing an exit route for dormant family shareholders. However, the Exchange has recognised that future growth has to be driven by international expansion. Although government stocks and bonds remain the MSE’s most active segments, Malta’s drive to maintain low operating costs has led international investment funds to choose the MSE as their venue for listings, while international companies increasingly use the Exchange’s CSD services. This new international business is a result of the strong regulatory structure, professionalism, cost-effectiveness and reputation that the MSE enjoys overseas. Two Markets

The MSE operates two distinct markets. The Main List consists of equities, corporate bonds, government bonds and treasury bills. Companies with a trading history of three years and over are admitted to the MSE’s Main List, while a secondary Alternative Companies List offers firms with little or no trading history the opportunity to access capital markets. During 2013 the Exchange listed two new equities, five corporate bonds, 17 government bonds and 81 treasury bills. The MSE’s improving track record earned it recognition from other leading stock exchanges, and since 2010, Malta’s equity market has been included in the FTSE’s Global Equity Index Series (GEIS). The MSE has also achieved recognition from the UK tax authorities and recently was granted recognised exchange status by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US. Record Turnover

In 2012, activity at the Exchange was dominated by the government bond market. Twenty-seven new government stocks with a value of just under €1.3 billion were issued, as opposed to only one new equity and five corporate bonds. The Exchange registered a record market turnover of €670 million, compared to €510 million in 2011. A large proportion of that turnover


Capital Markets 80

was attributable to increased investor interest in government debt instruments, rather than in respect of corporate bonds and equities. However, equities recovered gradually, and by the end of 2012, the MSE Share Index registered an increase of some 4 per cent over the previous year. Market capitalisation closed off at €8.6 billion, an increase of more than 5 per cent over the previous year. In 2013, activity shifted very strongly to show higher trade volumes in equities and government stocks when compared to 2012, albeit with slightly lower levels of turnover generated in corporate bonds. Nevertheless, with a total turnover of €775 million, the Exchange even surpassed its 2012 result. The market capitalisation reached €9.4 billion, an increase of 9 per cent compared to 2012, and the MSE share index gained 14.75 per cent in 2013 and closed at 3,685,790 points – a clear reflection of the level of confidence and business generated. Despite a small increase in 2013, trading volumes at the Exchange have remained relatively low in recent years. To overcome the ‘buy-to-hold culture’ prevailing among Maltese investors, and to increase the level of liquidity on the market, the MSE has developed a market-making structure that was launched on 1 October 2013.

Financial Instruments

Beyond Trading

Treasury Bill Issues

Key to the Exchange’s international strategy is its technology alliance with the Deutsche Börse Group. In 2012 the MSE allied with the German heavyweight in order to benefit from the Group’s fully electronic trading system. By welcoming the MSE into this network of 4,500 traders in 18 different countries, new doors were opened for issuers and investors as well as for the MSE itself. Apart from admission and trading, the Exchange also offers a comprehensive range of back-office services, including maintenance of share and bond registers, clearing and settlement, and custodial services. On the settlement and custodial side, further barriers between Malta and the rest of the world’s trading centres were lowered by linking up with Clearstream, Deutsche Börse’s liquidity provider. The MSE also started to provide fund custodial services, offering them to locally listed Professional Investor Funds. These forward leaps in technology have allowed the MSE greater access to worldwide investors. In addition, international investors can now easily include securities issued in Malta within their portfolios through the MSE’s link with Clearstream.

granted admission (as at December 2013)

24 40 52 20 1 Equities

Corporate Bonds

Government Stock Issues

Close ended Collective Investment Scheme

1

Structured Debt Instrument Collective Investment Schemes 39 – Primary Listed 19 – Secondary Listed


Capital Markets 81

IPO Location

As is the case with many other sectors of Malta’s economy, the MSE is presenting itself as an ideal place to accommodate specialist services, providing small and medium-cap companies a step towards eventual listing on the main European exchanges. The small and intimate character of the MSE allows for greater flexibility when accommodating these companies, as well as providing a faster and more efficient service than they might receive elsewhere. Malta’s strategic position in the Mediterranean also lends itself to becoming a gateway to European investors by using the EU Prospectus Directive to tap into the wider EU capital market. Despite being equipped with and connected to the latest technology, what differentiates the Malta Stock Exchange is its very high standard of personal service. Thus, in Malta it is possible to go through the preparation for an initial public offering (IPO) with a lot more support than on a larger exchange. In addition to this, costs and fees remain competitive while those making primary and secondary applications can expect a swift, well-organised process. Local, as well as foreign companies, can also benefit from ancillary services that range from admission and trading to depository and custodial services. These services provide important income for the MSE during times of subdued trading, as well as broadening Malta’s relevance by countering the natural limitations of Malta’s small internal market. Debt Securities & ETFs

MSE 2013 Results Number of total trades:

16,886 Value of trades:

¤775 million Market capitalisation:

¤9.4 billion

In order to aid expansion, the MSE has recently created a new market for global debt securities in cooperation with the Irish Stock Exchange. The European Wholesale Securities Market (EWSM) is aimed at a global client base, targeting issuers who desire a European listing for distribution to European investors. While primary market infrastructure, listing, promotion and other corporate services are provided by the Irish Stock Exchange, the MSE functions as the market operator and offers secondary market services. The MSE is optimistic that the EWSM will satisfy a demand that is not met by existing markets and will account for substantial revenues, as well as bolstering the already established relationship between the two countries. In the summer of 2013, the market welcomed its first listing when Grand Harbour, an issuer registered in the Netherlands, listed seven classes of securities. The island’s service providers also believe in the potential of the market, although they admit that Malta is still gearing up to reach the level of expertise required for the structuring of debt securities.


Capital Markets 82

The MSE also believes there is growth potential in the market for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which have expanded globally in the past decade. ETFs are now used by a growing number of fund managers for asset allocation and completion strategies, and as a liquid cash substitute. While the MSE is looking into the possibility of launching an ETF market, it is also keen on providing services to ETFs traded on other European bourses such as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the Borsa Italiana (the Italian Stock Exchange) and the London Stock Exchange. Time to Shine

The Exchange has always been at the forefront of initiatives to help develop Malta into an international financial centre. Despite its relatively young age, the MSE offers all the benefits of a well-regulated, transparent marketplace, with the added advantage of providing a personalised and swift service. Moreover, the island’s stable economic and political climate provides potential issuers and investors with real peace of mind when conducting business with the MSE. Now is a crucial time for Malta’s capital markets as new initiatives, such as the introduction of market-makers and a new trading system, are expected to yield visible results over the coming years. With access to large volumes of liquidity through Clearstream, and thousands of new traders via Xetra, Malta’s appeal as an international finance centre is set to increase further. ■

International Affiliations Malta Stock Exchange is a member of: • 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. The Exchange is also a signatory to the EU Code of Conduct for Clearing and Settlement.


Providing the complete DNA infrastructure for funds Anthony O’ Driscoll Managing Director Apex Fund Services (Malta) Ltd. Tel: +356 21311330 anthony@apexfunds.com.mt

apexfundservices.com


Investment Funds 85

Investment Funds

A Fund Favourite

INSIGHT

A Medieval Gem Mdina is Malta’s medieval jewel. Until the 15th century, it was Malta’s capital. The city is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture.

M

alta has risen up the ranks on the list of top European fund domiciles. The sector has grown at a much faster rate than many industry professionals had anticipated, and today the island is estimated to have a market share of 20 per cent of the EU’s fund business. The industry is now maturing and attracting increasingly sophisticated asset management activities. While the majority of funds are rather small in nature thus far, larger fund platforms have been attracted to the island. It was welcome news when, in 2013, the largest hedge fund administrator in the world, Citco, established an office in Malta. The country has strongly positioned itself to continue this growth into the future and is now being seen as a complementary jurisdiction to Luxembourg and Ireland, with the added advantage that in Malta costs are lower and the regulatory environment is able to support innovative strategies and solutions.


Investment Funds 86

Swift Growth

While the first fund was set up in Malta in the mid-1990s, the island’s fund industry only saw meaningful growth after the country joined the European Union. The EU approved the finance centre’s regulatory framework and passporting rights for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) were introduced. Malta, however, experienced the biggest growth in the field of alternative funds because the island was one of the first European jurisdictions to introduce a specialised regime for Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) targeted at financially literate, high-net-worth investors. Ironically, Malta also benefited from the financial crisis as more fund managers were forced to rethink their operating conditions, and so began looking for cheaper alternatives to the traditional European fund domiciles. Over the past years fund registration has more than tripled. While in 2004 there were some 130 funds registered on the island, this number has grown to 615 in September 2013. The combined net asset value of these funds totalled almost €9 billion. Hedge funds, equity funds and property funds are usually set up as PIFs in Malta, and more than 80 per cent of all Malta-based funds are PIFs. There are only around 60 UCITS licensed on the island.

22.1%

With 22.1 per cent of the European votes, Malta was found to be the most favoured domicile for hedge funds in the recent Hedge Funds Review’s 2013 Service Provider Rankings, followed by Luxembourg (19.1 per cent) and Ireland (17.1 per cent).

Building on Success

There is no doubt that to date Malta’s growth story has largely been affected by how successful the island has been in attracting start-up fund managers. Most funds launched from Malta are in the US$20 to US$50 million range, however funds in the region of US$100 to US$200 million are becoming more common in recent months. The island has also attracted larger fund platforms such as Celsius and NBCG. In addition, one of the largest fund structures domiciled on the island, the Royal Bank of Canada funds, has assets under management of more than US$2 billion. Malta’s popularity as a jurisdiction for alternative investment products looks set to continue, although the sector has been hit by a wave of new legislation and regulations. The strength of Malta’s fund sector is evident in the fact that the country was voted as the favoured European fund domicile in Hedge Fund Review’s 2013 Service Provider Rankings. The island was one of the first countries to bring its regulatory regime in line with the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). In contrast to many other domiciles that shelved their professional investor products, Malta has improved and refined its PIF structure and has introduced a brand new regime for alternative investment funds (AIFs). While Malta has traditionally not been seen as a jurisdiction

¤25,000 ¤35,000 Set-up costs for a fund average between ¤25,000 to ¤35,000 and are hence significantly lower than in competing domiciles.


In the time it takes you to read this page…

…you would have discovered an alternative European fund domicile and a fund administration partner Malta has a robust yet flexible regulatory funds framework, an accessible regulator, cost-competitive service providers and a service driven culture, all resulting in a highly effective time to market.

levels: at the set-up stage through our Turnkey Fund Formation Service, and, once the fund is licensed, we provide a comprehensive range of fund services covering fund accounting and valuation, transfer agency as well as corporate support services.

At Valletta Fund Services Limited, Malta’s largest fund administrator, we support fund promoters at two Visit our website at www.vfs.com.mt or call Kenneth Farrugia or Joseph Camilleri on +356 21227311 Valletta Fund Services Limited, TG Complex, Suite 2, Level 3 Brewery Street, Mriehel BKR 3000 - Malta. Valletta Fund Services Limited is recognised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide fund administration services.

It’s well worth spending a few minutes just talking to us.


Investment Funds 89

¤9 billion combined net asset value of

for retail funds, UCITS are becoming a growing part of Malta’s fund industry landscape, and the island is keen to welcome more funds of this type.

funds domiciled in Malta

Global & Local

INSIGHT

Classic Car Lovers Many Maltese are passionate about classic cars. Once a year, a racing event for vintage and historic cars is being organised, attracting both local and international drivers.

The sector also gained momentum due to increased asset management activity. Around 80 fund managers are currently operating in Malta, including companies such as Liongate Capital Management, Clive Capital, Comac Capital and BlueGold Capital Management, while 27 fund administrators such as Valletta Fund Services, HSBC, Apex Fund Services, Custom House, Praxis and TMF have set up on the island. A high number of Maltese funds choose to work with local service providers. For example, in the field of fund administration almost 70 per cent of the funds domiciled in Malta use local administrators. This is a clear testament to the high quality of service provided by local administrators. Six custody service providers, among them Custom House, Sparkasse Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of Valletta, offer their services in Malta. The Citco Group now also offers fund administration and custody services.


Investment Funds 90

New Business

Despite the turbulence of global markets, Malta’s fund industry continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace. In 2012, the number of funds domiciled in Malta went up by 6 per cent when compared to 2011, which was a record year with the island seeing a 35 per cent increase in funds. In the first six months of 2013 the number of domiciled funds went up by 4 per cent. Malta has also made a name for itself as a jurisdiction that supports innovation and has provided the platform for the launch of the world’s first Bitcoin fund, a hedge fund that trades exclusively in this new inflation-proof digital currency. While Malta’s industry is confident that the island will continue to get its fair share of new registrations, future growth will also be driven by asset managers. Fund managers today use the island primarily to tap into EU markets, and the recent regulatory changes have also attracted fund managers to relocate to the island. Seasoned fund managers, in particular from offshore jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, are now opening offices in Malta. With the AIFM Directive coming through, many non-EU managers have decided to move onshore or to set up a parallel EU fund operation in order to continue marketing their products to EU investors. In addition, the island is also attracting mediumsized managers from other parts of the EU, including the UK, Belgium and Italy. Plenty of Options

Malta knows what its strengths are, and the island continues to focus on presenting itself as a viable jurisdiction for hedge funds and private equity. Promoters can now choose between the island’s PIF regime that offers three types of funds and which are linked to different eligibility criteria for investors based on their experience and knowledge, or the newly introduced AIF regime that allows managers to launch AIFs under the AIFMD. It is also possible to launch a PIF which is managed by an alternative investment fund. Although each manager should naturally examine which structure fits their business model, the PIF regime is generally more suited to smaller managers with less than €100 million under management. The AIF regime then ticks all the right boxes for managers of larger funds who want to take advantage of passporting opportunities. Speed to Market

Malta’s success as a fund domicile is also partly due to the fact that the regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), performs its regulatory function in a constructive


Introducing...

European “ Now in our sixteenth year continuing to provide solutions & services to major institutions as well as start ups.” a multi-jurisdictional group of companies, providing investment fund formation, administration & valuation services. For further information regarding our new or existing services, please contact :-

Sales & Marketing: Derek Adler dadler@ifina.com

Group Headquarters:

Sam Bratchie sbratchie@ifina.com

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UK • BVI • Cayman • Malta • Hong Kong • Singapore • USA • Switzerland • Panama


Investment Funds 92

and helpful manner. Operators based in Malta cite the licensing process with the MFSA as being quick, thorough and efficient, usually taking approximately two to three months if all documentation is provided. Fund promoters are encouraged to meet with the regulator prior to applying for the authorisation of a fund to discuss the application of regulations. In particular, if fund structures are complex, promoters find the accessibility of the MFSA beneficial and value the opportunity to have faceto-face meetings. Investment funds can be formed in a number of possible vehicles, including open-ended and closed-ended corporate entities, trusts, limited partnerships and contractual funds. While the investment company with variable share capital (SICAV) is to date the most widely used vehicle in Malta, the island also enacted new regulations which make it possible for a fund to be constituted as an Incorporated Cell in an Incorporated Cell Company (ICC). Malta has also extended this structure into a platform concept that involves a Recognised Incorporated Cell Company (RICC), providing administrative services to any number of Incorporated Cells licensed as investment funds. Competitive Edge

Funds and managers in Malta can benefit from a fiscally efficient tax framework, with the added advantage of being located in an onshore jurisdiction. And while many other international centres have become expensive, Malta offers various other cost advantages: the cost of high-quality staff and office space is still well below Western European levels, and professional and supervisory fees are also significantly lower. For instance, set-up costs for a fund average between €25,000 to €35,000 and are hence significantly lower than in competing domiciles. With the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms all established on the island, Malta has the capacity and expertise to help the fund industry continue to expand. They add extra weight to the small and medium sized accountancy firms, and large number of legal firms, that service the fund sector in Malta. While in certain cases there is a shortage of qualified staff for senior positions, the island has introduced special tax incentives for high-calibre professionals to relocate, making it relatively easy for firms to fill positions. Call for Custody

Another area that needs to see substantial growth is fund custody. The MFSA has negotiated a derogation from the EU requirement of AIFs to appoint a local custodian until 2017.


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Investment Funds 94

However, from then onwards AIFMs in Malta are required to use a local custodian, unless EU rules change. While many hope that by then custodians will be allowed to provide their services on a cross-border basis, and custody passporting is currently being discussed at EU level as part of UCITS V, Malta is keen to attract foreign custodians to set up on the island to address this issue. The sector is also exploring an option which could see the depository of the Malta Stock Exchange enter into sub-custody agreements with international players. One of the advantages of having more custodians on the island is that it would also fuel growth in the number of UCITS funds which are also required to have a local custodian. Access to Markets

Despite these challenges, Malta’s fund industry is expected to continue on its growth course. Now that the full extent of regulatory developments, such as the AIFM Directive and the UCITS IV Directive, which brought about the management passport for fund managers are known and established, Malta hopes to see a significant migration of funds and service providers to the island. The future looks very promising for Malta to become an EU domicile of choice, and the country also provides distribution opportunities to other countries in the Americas, the Middle East and Asia where in particular UCITS are welcome. Malta has a vast network of some 70 double taxation treaties, among them are countries such as China, India, Hong Kong and the US, in addition to agreements with foreign regulators that ensure a smooth trading environment for the funds industry. Malta’s fund sector is also eyeing the growing wealth in the Arab countries of North Africa, and shariahcompliant funds can generally be set up in Malta. Great Prospects

Effective regulation and a highly personalised approach have helped Malta to establish itself as a fund domicile of international repute. With low costs, efficient regulation, a beneficial tax treatment and a flexible and accessible regulator, Malta appears to be well positioned to attract funds and fund managers alike. In recent years, Malta’s support industry, including lawyers, accountants, administrators, consultants and the regulator, has gained the necessary experience and expertise to meet the requirements of more demanding, larger fund sector participants. While it remains to be seen whether the island will actually experience a surge in demand, Malta is committed to ensure that its unique advantages remain strong in order to win fund business from competing jurisdictions. ■


Investment Funds 95

Management of locally based investment funds (June 2013)

16.3%

Self-managed

47.3% Managed from outside Malta

36.4% Managed in Malta

Administration of locally based investment funds (June 2013)

0.2% Self-administered 31.3% Administered

from outside Malta

68.6% Administered in Malta


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Insurance & Reinsurance 97

Insurance & Reinsurance

Hitting its

Stride

INSIGHT

Protecting the Harbour The breakwater, which protects the entrance to the Grand Harbour, was built under British rule. The breakwater headlight can be reached via a steel bridge from Fort St. Elmo.

M

alta has greatly expanded the definition of its insurance sector that now accommodates international captives, large insurance managers and big name insurance companies. In seeking to win investment from EU and globally focused insurance companies, the island championed the introduction of innovative structures such as Protected and Incorporated Cell Companies. As the only EU member state with legislation in place to offer tailor-made solutions, the country has built up a reputation for being a cost-effective base for insurance and reinsurance providers and a high-quality captive domicile. The international insurance market now plays a key role in the evolution of Malta’s International Finance Centre (IFC). As the industry moves towards Solvency II, the need for cost-effective solutions is expected to rise, promising Malta a bright future as an insurance domicile.


Insurance & Reinsurance 98

Building an Insurance Hub

Over the past decades, Malta’s insurance sector has undergone rapid change and reorganisation. Private and commercial insurance was first developed between the two world wars when a number of underwriting agencies representing British insurance companies set up in Malta. Following major consolidation in the UK market during the 1990s, many of the British insurers exited Malta’s small market, creating the opportunity for local agencies to convert into independent insurance companies. But it was Malta’s entry into the EU in 2004 that transformed the insurance landscape, with EU regulations enabling foreign companies to insure assets and risks anywhere within the Union. This attracted insurers seeking a more cost-effective jurisdiction, as well as non-EU insurance companies or intermediaries seeking to tap into the EU insurance market. They can provide insurance directly across Europe, avoiding fronting costs and collateral requirements. Numbers Up

The number of insurance companies registered in Malta increased dramatically, from just a handful before Malta’s EU accession to 58 by the end of September 2013. These were made up of 42 licensed non-life insurance companies, seven life insurance firms, two composite and seven reinsurance enterprises. In addition, there are 15 insurance managers registered in Malta. This growth has also impacted the level of employment: while the industry employed a little over 600 people up to 2004, the total is now more than 1,200. According to the International Monetary Fund, Malta’s insurance companies appear healthy, with relatively sound capital and liquidity ratios. Many names of repute, including international insurance managers such as AON, Marsh and Willis, have established operations in Malta. Reinsurance provider Munich Re also has a presence on the island, while global corporations such as BMW, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Vodafone and RWE have set up captive insurance companies. Malta is also very welcoming to international niche insurers, an example being one specialising in diving risks. Companies that are primarily active on the local market include Middlesea Insurance, Atlas Insurance, GasanMamo Insurance, Citadel Insurance, Elmo Insurance and HSBC Life Assurance. Today, these companies service some 85 per cent of the local personal and commercial market, while the two major life insurance companies, Middlesea’s MSV Life and HSBC, handle some 90 per cent of the life market. The combination of a local and an international market has led to record growth in gross written premiums. Companies

Total Gross Premium Written

2.3 bn

2012 2.2 bn

2.1 bn

2.0 bn

2011 1.9 bn

1.8 bn

1.7 bn

1.6 bn

1.4 bn

2010 1.2 bn

1.0 bn

2009 0.8 bn

2008 2007

0.6 bn

2006 0.4 bn

2005 0.2 bn

2004 0.0 bn


Insurance & Reinsurance 100

wrote €2.31 billion in gross premiums in 2012, up from €2.2 billion in 2011, and an increase of more than 45 per cent over 2010 (€1.5 billion). While gross written premiums have been almost equally split between the life and the non-life segment, premiums relating to risks or commitments based outside Malta have rocketed from €1.2 billion in 2010 to over €2 billion by the end of 2012. International insurance business now accounts for more than 85 per cent of the total gross written premium. Structured for Growth

Insurance business is licensed and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Malta’s legislative framework is innovative in that it caters for insurance set-up options considered to be relatively new and progressive in the context of the rest of the EU. The country has also enacted legislation that allows the set-up of captives, which are referred to as ‘Affiliated Insurance Companies’ (AICs) under Maltese law, and is the only full EU member state with legislation for Protected Cell


Insurance & Reinsurance 101

INSIGHT

An Artificial Lake Malta has no natural lakes or rivers, although a few streams appear in most valleys during winter and after rainfall. Chadwick Lakes, artificial fresh water lakes located between Rabat and Mdina, are, in fact, a large reservoir built in the 1890s at the suggestion of British engineer Osbert Chadwick.

Companies (PCC) and Incorporated Cell Companies (ICC). Both structures allow firms to write risks through cells within a core company and provide businesses with a cost-effective alternative to setting up a stand-alone insurance company. Malta’s PCC legislation is applicable to all insurance companies, insurance managers and brokers. Atlas Insurance, a Maltese underwriter, converted to this highly flexible structure in 2007. Other registered PCCs include Axeria Life International PCC and AON’s White Rock Insurance (Europe) PCC. Malta has also recognised the growing importance of insurance-linked securities (ILS) and catastrophe bonds, as well as the convergence of reinsurance and capital markets. The island is currently preparing legislation allowing for the formation of Reinsurance Special Purpose Vehicles (RSPVs). These new regulations will strengthen Malta’s role as an alternative risk transfer domicile as they link the insurance industry with the capital markets. They also allow Malta to attract reinsurance sidecars and hedge funds interested in entering the reinsurance business.


Insurance & Reinsurance 102

Industry Network

Insurance companies in Malta can rely on a wide support network, including three associations: the Malta Insurance Association (MIA), the Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA) and the Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB). The sector is also backed by a large number of legal firms, as well as accounting and auditing practitioners that range from local practices to the global ‘Big Four’. Over the past years, Malta’s lawyers and accountants have also acquired the specialist insurance knowledge needed for more complex services, like the re-domiciliation of captives from another jurisdiction to Malta. Companies rarely encounter HR challenges. Office and administrative support such as secretaries, bookkeeping and accounting personnel, and claims and policy processing clerks can easily be sourced locally. While it is still the case that many professionals have acquired their qualifications overseas, the University of Malta now also offers specialist courses in insurance and finance.

INSIGHT

A Giant Doorway The Azure Window in Gozo is a natural rock arch over the sea. The

Outsourcing & Relocation

stunning formation

Malta’s state-of-the-art telecoms network and its multilingual workforce also make the island an attractive outsourcing destination for foreign insurance companies, managers, brokers and other intermediaries. They can locate functions such as claims administration, analytics, customer care, policy administration, and sales and distribution to Malta with a view to reducing costs. With its innovative legislation and operational advantages, the country is possibly top of the list for compa-

was created thousands of years ago when two limestone caves collapsed. It is one of Gozo’s prime tourist attractions and quite possibly the singlemost photographed location on the island.

Industry Growth 2004-2013 Number of Insurance Companies 60

50

40

42 - Non-Life

30

20 7 - Life 10

2 - Composite 8

16

22

30

41

45

50

54

58

58

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Sep 2013

0

7 - Reinsurance


Insurance & Reinsurance 103

■ With its innovative legislation and operational advantages, the country is possibly top of the list for companies that seek to relocate to another jurisdiction and require vehicles for specific needs, such as thirdparty business or solutions to reinsurance issues.

nies that seek to relocate to another jurisdiction and require vehicles for specific needs, such as third-party business or solutions to reinsurance issues. Malta’s re-domiciliation legislation allows for a seamless transfer of structures in and out of the island, without the need to wind up operations. Malta also offers significant cost advantages to insurance operators. Insurance companies can benefit from a competitive tax framework in addition to a network of around 70 double tax treaties. They are also exempt from paying duty on documents on the insurance of risks situated outside Malta and from paying contributions to the Protection and Compensation Fund with respect to the same risks. In addition, particularly when compared with other finance centres, fees for professional services, salaries and other operational costs are lower in Malta. Most insurance professionals believe that Malta’s legal framework – and specifically the PCC structure – is the island’s main selling point. While the uncertainty surrounding the introduction of Solvency II remains a key challenge for the European insurance industry, the PCC regime is well placed to provide insurers with a cost-effective way to manage higher capital and compliance requirements which are expected to be introduced under Solvency II. The structure offers economies of scale, cost burden sharing and provides the cell with access to knowledge and management expertise pooled within the core of the PCC. The cell model also proves attractive to insurance intermediaries, and one insurance broker has already transformed itself into a PCC, with the expectation to rent out cells to other brokers. Foreign brokers could also benefit from the creation of their own PCCs or cells in Malta in which they could place the business of customers, for instance small and medium-sized companies, who do not have the capital to create their own stand-alone insurance company. Grounds for Optimism

Although it is currently a transitional period for insurance sectors across the EU, the international insurance business in Malta will continue on its growth path. The island has become an important player in the global insurance market and the presence of all the major insurance managers enhances the country’s reputation. While the next 12 months could prove to be a make or break situation for many European insurance industries, Malta remains unperturbed due to its strong international client base, tax-efficient environment and appealing operational costs. ■


International Pensions 104

International Pensions

Step-by-Step Growth M

alta has the ambition of positioning itself as a European pension centre. Multinational corporations and individuals are increasingly looking at the country in order to put their benefit plans on solid ground. As Europe’s most upand-coming jurisdiction for the setup of international pension pooling vehicles, the island provides the ideal solution for high-net-worth individuals looking for an investment vehicle, international workers planning for retirement and global corporations seeking pension schemes for their staff. While Malta is primarily catering to the UK market thus far, other European cross-border schemes are currently being established. In an effort to future-proof the sector, the country is set to enact a new law which will provide a new regulatory regime for retirement schemes and pension funds.


International Pensions 105

The British Connection

It is only recently that the creation of international pension plans has become a real possibility. Across the world, pension provision was long considered from a purely domestic perspective. However, the increasing mobility of people facilitated a change in attitude. Malta’s growth as a financial service centre created a market for UK-linked pension products. Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) were first introduced in Britain in 2006 to make the process of transferring pensions to another country for UK pensioners living abroad a simpler affair. In 2009, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) procured confirmation from the British tax authorities that pension schemes established on the island, and regulated by the MFSA, are eligible for recognition as QROPS. Therefore, pension rights can be transferred into it without a UK tax charge. The interest in Malta as a QROPS jurisdiction has been on the increase ever since this recognition was obtained, and the country has become the main market for UK expats’ pensions. Evolving Sector

INSIGHT

An Old Tradition Harvesting sea-salt is a centuries-old tradition on the Maltese Islands. It is harvested from June to September, when artisan producers patiently wait as seawater in the saltpans gradually evaporates and the salt starts to crystallise.

Today, newly set-up schemes can self-certify with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK as QROPS. In addition, a retirement scheme licensed in Malta is also eligible as a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS), providing it satisfies the requirements specified in the UK Inheritance Tax Law. Money transferred into these schemes is free from UK inheritance tax, as opposed to QROPS which are subject to inheritance tax in the event of the holder’s death. The island is also making a name for itself in relation to Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs). In line with the EU’s single market, these schemes can be set up in Malta to be passported to other EU and EEA member states. With IORPs, the EU is trying to establish a second pillar for a pan-European pension system, and the island’s professionals believe that Malta is the ideal base for operators of such schemes. Rapid Growth

Malta licensed its first six pension schemes in 2010, but since then the amount of schemes available has accelerated yearon-year. By 2012 Malta was home to 17 different pension schemes, while as of September 2013 there were 24 schemes established which together are estimated to have at least 5,000 members. These year-on-year increases are representative of the rapid growth that the sector is experiencing due, in part,


International Pensions 106

to the appeal of Maltese policies when it comes to the regulation and taxation of international pensions. Around 90 per cent of pension schemes based on the island serve the UK market. The surge in pension schemes licensed in Malta can also be partially explained by the fact that changes to the QROPS legislation in 2012 meant that jurisdictions that failed to comply, such as Hong Kong, Guernsey, Cyprus and New Zealand, were forced to de-list a large proportion of their schemes, with some operators relocating to Malta. Another indication that Malta provides an ideal base for pension vehicles is that pension operators from countries other than the UK have begun to consider the island, with a Dutch pension operator in the process of setting up on the island. A New Framework

International pensions are currently governed by the Special Funds (Regulation) Act 2002. However, this will be replaced with the Retirement Pensions Act which has been approved by the Maltese Parliament and is expected to come into force in 2014. This reform occurred due to the fact that the outgoing legislation only covered occupational, or ‘second pillar’, retirement schemes rather than explicitly catering for personal pension services. The new law aims to solidify the regulatory and legislative framework relative to both occupational and personal pension plans. While this reform will also affect the local market, as the government is keen to introduce third pillar pensions locally, the new legislation sets out a framework that will go further to attract multinationals, European employers, high-net-worth individuals and wealthy expatriates to base their pension provisions in Malta and benefit from a costcompetitive structure within a tax-efficient framework. As in other areas of financial services, Malta’s approach to legislation and regulation in this sector aims at providing the necessary safeguards to ensure the smooth operation of pension schemes and pension funds. The regulatory framework, which requires the registration and ongoing supervision of pension schemes, as well as service providers and scheme administrators, investment managers and custodians through the MFSA, makes Malta an attractive location for accrued pension funds for expatriates living around the globe. The country’s new pension legislation is expected to be well received internationally and could lead to a new wave of licensing once it is in force. However, while the industry does not expect the number of schemes to go to the hundreds, they do expect to see significant funds under management being brought to the island.

5,000+ the number of estimated members in pension schemes licensed in Malta


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International Pensions 108

Unique Advantages

Maltese QROPS and QNUPS are ideal for those who have previously built up UK pensions but are no longer a UK resident, such as British expatriates and foreign nationals who have worked in the UK and have accumulated pension funds there. A QROPS scheme held in Malta can be highly advantageous, benefitting from excellent flexibility and strict regulation in an English-speaking environment. In addition, with no requirement to buy an annuity, and with the ability to receive a lump sum of 30 per cent of the fund’s value, a QROPS gives the pension holder greater control of their pension. The island is also seen as an ideal base for the QROPS industry due to its extensive double-taxation agreement network. Malta currently boasts some 70 double taxation treaties. The UK’s regulations require QROPS jurisdictions that tax local residents on their pension income to also tax payments to non-residents at the same rate. An exemption to this is where the QROPS jurisdiction has a double tax treaty with the individual’s country of residence. In Malta, QROPS schemes have already been designed for expatriates living in the US, interacting with the island’s double taxation agreement with the US. While Malta has seen the breakthrough in the international pension sector due to its attractiveness for QROPS and QNUPS, it is now aiming to come to similar agreements with other countries. Mobile workers across the European Union are said to account for 5 to 10 per cent of the Union’s workforce, and the island sees an opportunity to cater for the pension needs of companies and individuals from EU markets. Competitive Costs

Governments are often reluctant to provide for tax deductibility of contributions made cross-border. While this seems to make Malta less attractive as an international pension centre, the island’s competitive cost base offers advantages to both pension providers and policyholders. Companies can benefit from operating costs, which are 20 to 30 per cent lower than in most other EU countries. These cost-savings can be translated into lower contributions and higher gains for scheme participants. Malta’s support infrastructure is also becoming stronger by the year. The country boasts a sophisticated telecommunications network and is serviced by a hard-working, English-speaking workforce. This goes a long way towards reassuring potential clients that any advice they require is always readily available. Moreover, many of Malta’s law firms offer pension providers assistance in setting up, while accountancy and related services, such as business consultancy, are also well represented on the island.

5-10%

Mobile workers across the European Union are said to account for 5 to 10 per cent of the Union’s workforce, and the island sees an opportunity to cater for the pension needs of companies and individuals from EU markets.


International Pensions 109

Seizing the Day

Although it is still a relatively young sector, Malta’s international pensions industry is poised for growth. With increased global mobility, the need for expat pensions and pension solutions for international companies is on the rise. Even though EU regulations have been in place to facilitate the set-up of pan-European pension plans, the marketplace has not really provided for cross-border pensions, despite demand from multinationals and individuals. However, barriers related to pensions for mobile workers are slowly being removed. While industry professionals believe that different taxation and regulatory systems will impede growth in the field of occupational pensions in the short term, they are convinced that there is already tremendous potential for private pension plans. By the time market momentum grows, the island will have had the optimal amount of time to hone its services and build up an enviable track record, ideally suited to serve the pension requirements of the wider market. ■


Corporate Structuring / M&A 110

Corporate Structuring / M&A

Simple but

Sophisticated


Corporate Structuring / M&A 111

INSIGHT

A Solid Structure To transport spring water from Rabat to Valletta, the Knights of St John constructed kilometre-long aqueducts. Much of the aqueduct system built near the city of Mdina was constructed above ground because the island’s rough terrain proved difficult for 17th-century engineers to dig into.

T

he last few years have seen a wave of companies being structured from Malta, with the island increasingly being used by blue chip corporations and corporate planners for international transactions and investments into Europe, as well as into the world’s leading emerging markets. As a member of the European Union and the eurozone, Malta provides international businesses with fully EU-compliant legislation, low effective tax rates, an excellent professional services infrastructure and a respected, well-regulated legal jurisdiction. A Malta company offers an easy solution to the most varied international business needs. Through a Malta company, oil majors can hold exploration rights, football clubs can manage their intellectual property, manufacturers can trade in EU and international markets, while small, medium and multinational companies can use it as a financing vehicle for new investments, for example.


Corporate Structuring / M&A 112

Stamp of Approval

Malta has a long history as a company domicile. Offshore companies were introduced in the 1980s, but with the country’s decision to move onshore, these companies were converted into structures compatible with EU law. With the island’s accession to the EU in 2004, Malta’s tax regime – which had been in place since 1948 – was approved by the European Commission. The country operates a full imputation tax system under which companies are taxed at a rate of 35 per cent. However, shareholders are entitled to refunds for the tax paid by the company. The island also meets international tax standards and is included on the so-called ‘white list’, set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Adhering to the highest anti-money laundering standards, Malta’s regulatory framework has been assessed numerous times. These measures have helped the country to quickly develop a reputation as a quality jurisdiction that offers the complete package investors are looking for: strong regulation, high levels of transparency and good governance.

70

Malta’s network of some 70 double taxation treaties further strengthens the country’s position as a key corporate location.

INSIGHT

Valletta Waterfront Magnificent warehouses, built by the Knights of St John, stretching along the water’s edge and the historical quay wall where merchants used to unload their wares, have been restored and today provide a mix of retail, dining and leisure experiences.


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Corporate Structuring / M&A 114

60,000+ Companies

Incorporating a company in Malta is relatively easy and only takes a couple of days. Every company must be registered with the Registrar of Companies at the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which today lists some 60,000 companies. The most commonly used vehicle for international business is the Limited Liability Company, but businesses can also choose to set up General Partnerships, Co-operatives and Limited Partnerships. Malta has also introduced special legislation for the formation of Protected and Incorporated Cell Companies. Cell companies are used in the insurance and fund sector and are usually promoted by offshore jurisdictions, making Malta the only full EU member state to offer these structures. Flexible Structures

A Malta company is the ideal vehicle for a wide range of business activities, as holding or trading companies, ranging from property ownership to the management of eCommerce activities and licensed financial services provision. Malta companies are also being used for shipping and maritime activities, as well as for aircraft transactions. A Malta holding company can hold shares in onshore and offshore companies, as well as equities, bonds, loan portfolios, real estate and other asset classes. In addition, Malta registered companies can be used for listing on foreign stock exchanges. The popularity of Maltese special purpose vehicles is increasing and particularly structured finance transactions are experiencing growth at present. For instance, in 2012 the German airline Lufthansa set up a Maltese limited partnership, Lufthansa Malta Blues, to issue a €234 million bond. Malta’s positive international reputation has also helped the island to emerge as a jurisdiction for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). With the market for M&A today being truly global recording significant corporate activity in every territory, firms and corporations involved in international M&A are beginning to pay more detailed attention to what the island can offer them. Incorporation & Relocation

In tandem with the island’s growth as an International Finance Centre, the incorporation of companies and the structuring of deals through the island steadily increased. The Registry of Companies recorded more than 4,000 new listings in 2012, an increase of 16 per cent on 2011. This positive trend continued in 2013, with the number of new registrations during the first three quarters of 2013 surpassing the figures for the same period in the previous year. But it is not only new incor-

■ As a gateway to the world, Malta is attracting growing numbers of corporate planners to use the island to structure their international investments.


Corporate Structuring / M&A 115

porations that are highlighting Malta’s credentials in this sector. The island’s practitioners also report that Malta is seeing more re-domiciliations of companies from other European jurisdictions, such as the Netherlands, Cyprus and Portugal, as well as the relocation of the management and effective control of the companies to Malta. Mergers & Acquisitions

M&A activity has remained relatively stable and local activity was driven mainly by the consolidation of smaller firms. The island also witnessed foreign companies acquiring stakes in local enterprises, or taking stakes in joint ventures with Maltese investors. International M&A activity has been characterised by foreign companies seeking to set up a European business base through establishing a Malta company which would then acquire another European company or group, or through a cross-border merger. Malta is perceived as a flexible and efficient jurisdiction for this kind of work due to its attractive corporate law and regulatory environment, as well as the advantageous fiscal treatment of locally registered companies used as vehicles for cross-border acquisitions. Equally important, the minimal tax leakages mean bidders using a Maltese company to launch an offer for a foreign firm are able to put in a more attractive bid in an auction process. Strong Legislation INSIGHT

Picturesque Bay St Julian’s is today an extension of Sliema, although it started life as a small fishing village. Like Sliema, it is a major residential, business and tourist centre. Picturesque Spinola Bay is still used by fishermen whose traditional boats are housed just below the restaurants.

Malta’s reputation as a tier-1 jurisdiction for corporate structuring is solidly underpinned by a regulatory framework aimed at attracting reputable players in the international market, and fuelled by the relentless commitment of the MFSA, and practitioners alike, to retain a quality service and high standards of business regulation. The Maltese legal structure is a hybrid system of Civil and Anglo law. While it is based on the civil law pattern of continental Europe, most administrative and fiscal legislation is constructed on the British model. Malta’s unique legal and regulatory framework also gives the island an advantage in M&A activity, as practitioners have a cultural affinity to both systems and can easily bridge the gap between continental European and Anglo-Saxon (UK) legal frameworks. Maltese legislation also allows foreign companies to change their domicile to Malta, without the need to wind up their operations in the foreign country and incorporating a new company in Malta. This results in substantial cost savings for the company and makes it attractive for already established companies to move their seat to Malta, while Maltese law allows for companies to re-domicile out of Malta in an equally easy process.


Corporate Structuring / M&A 116

Seasoned Service Providers

Whether dealing with re-domiciliations, M&A, or finding the right corporate structure, Malta’s service providers are able to provide clients with the full range of services. They have acquired the experience and in-depth knowledge of company formations, mergers and acquisitions that comes with frequent exposure to international transactions. Their reputation is excellent, and most of the country’s legal firms are part of international networks, such as Lex Mundi and Lexis Nexis, and are regularly ranked on Chambers, Martindale-Hubbell and Legal 500. The ‘Big Four’ accounting firms have a presence in Malta, while the large number of small and medium-sized firms have made significant strides in establishing the country as a serious and well-respected financial services centre. Most firms also offer company secretarial, management and directorship services and are authorised by the MFSA to offer trustee and fiduciary services. A Clean Reputation

Over the past year or so, corporate taxation of multinational companies has become a matter of public interest. Malta emphasises that it is not a tax haven and is keen to keep up its reputation as a transparent jurisdiction. The country keeps its regulatory framework in sync with the changing demands of the industry and in line with the requirements laid out at EU level. This ensures that Malta retains maximum relevance, effectiveness and attractiveness to the international financial community. Malta’s network of 70 double taxation treaties further strengthens the country’s position as a key corporate location. Thus far, the majority of transactions coming through Malta are predominantly European, but there is increased interest from outside the EU, including America and Asia. Following the Arab Spring, Malta’s professional services firms also believe that the island is well positioned to pick up work coming from North Africa, and in particular Libya, in the years ahead. And as more and more corporations establish companies with substance and shift away from brass-plate companies, Malta stands out as a cost-effective EU jurisdiction which has a well-educated workforce that is able to deliver innovative solutions in the most complex transactions at a pace and level demanded by international players. ■

■ It is not only new incorporations that are highlighting Malta’s credentials in this sector. The island’s practitioners also report that the island is seeing more re-domiciliations of companies from other European jurisdictions, such as the Netherlands, Cyprus and Portugal, as well as the relocation of the management and effective control of the companies to Malta.


Where law, business and technology converge.

Innovative companies need law firms that keep up the pace with their business.

+356 2124 2713 66, Old Bakery Street, Valletta, Malta. www.gtgadvocates.com info@gtgadvocates.com

GTG is committed towards focusing on emerging industries and is one of Malta’s leading firms in the communications, gaming and betting, e-commerce and information technology sectors. Longstanding core activities include maritime, commercial and corporate law, financial services, intellectual property and civil litigation.


Corporate Headquarters 119

Corporate Headquarters

In Good Company

INSIGHT

Grand Masters’ Seat Designed by the famous Maltese architect Gerolamo Cassar in 1571, this palace in Valletta was once the residence of the Grand Masters and the administrative headquarters of the Knights of St John. The Grand Masters Palace currently houses the Maltese Parliament and the office the president.

M

alta is increasingly ranked on decision makers’ shortlists when it comes to choosing the location of their international and regional headquarters. The island provides not only access to the EU’s market of 500 million people but also to the rapidly evolving markets of Africa. Offering a high quality of life, a central location and competitive taxes, among other advantages, companies view Malta as a strategic location from where they can oversee investment in the developed and emerging countries of the region. Coupled with a network of double tax treaties, English-speaking staff and strong cultural ties, the country is gaining attention as an international management centre and an ideal hub to enter neighbouring markets. Konica Minolta, Lufthansa Technik, Actavis, FimBank and HeidelbergCement are just some of the corporations that have located corporate management functions on the island.


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Gateway Country

Malta’s geographical position in the centre of the Mediterranean has always played a pivotal role in influencing the country’s destiny and prosperity. Situated between North Africa and Europe, historically Malta has been the link between the two continents. The island has long enjoyed close cultural and business relationships with countries such as Libya, Algeria and Tunisia. Malta’s entry into the EU in 2004 was widely welcomed by the international business community who saw Malta’s EU membership opening up new opportunities for foreign companies to enter the EU marketplace. Malta is also a long established key intermediary for foreign investment. In fact, trade and investment are of vital importance to Malta’s economy and, according to the 2013 Open Market Index published by the International Chamber of Commerce, Malta has the fifth most open economy in its league table of 75 nations. Some of the most highly respected names in financial services, manufacturing and IT have in turn chosen to establish operations in Malta and use the island’s strategic location as a springboard for development in the Mediterranean region and beyond. Based in Malta

Companies from all economic sectors have located regional headquarters or certain key functions on the island. The international trading arm of the HeildelbergCement Group has its headquarters in Malta, and shipping company Palmali manages its global fleet from the island. Lufthansa Technik found the country to be a convenient location to establish a regional service centre as a result of the country’s favourable situation in the southern European Mediterranean region, as well as its proximity to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Konica Minolta set up a sales, services and support centre for Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa in Malta in an effort to break down the barriers of distance, language and culture. Companies from the finance sector have also found Malta a profitable base. Trade finance specialist FimBank has its global headquarters in Malta, and a number of foreign banks use Malta as a springboard to the Mediterranean and North Africa. The 
oil and gas industry has also discovered Malta as a safe service centre in the Mediterranean, while in the IT sector Malta has become a prime jurisdiction for gaming companies offering games to players in many European countries. The pharmaceutical industry is another prominent example of strategic investment in the country, with generics producer Actavis operating a regional sales and marketing unit in the country, which is responsible for Malta, Cyprus, Israel and Africa.

■ Malta’s profile as a safe and secure gateway to African markets is taking shape, and the island is emerging as a preferred entry point for companies with operations across Africa.


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Corporate Location

Doing business in and from Malta is easy: as home to a major international financial services sector, the country has one of the most developed business infrastructures in the world, making it an ideal base for region-wide corporate coordination and central management functions, sales, marketing and customer service. A neutral, pro-business and economically stable country, Malta offers companies a perfect climate to successfully compete in the region. A fiscally efficient tax structure leads the way and is complemented by a network of some 70 double-taxation treaties, facilitating international business and ensuring a smooth trading environment. Political stability and solid legal, banking and accounting systems make investing in Malta attractive and safe. Opportunity Knocks

There is optimism in Malta that the country’s importance as a management centre is set to grow. The island believes it is particularly attractive as a location for American and Asian firms wishing to enter the EU or the North African markets. In its efforts to persuade growing numbers of foreign companies to use it as a base, Malta emphasises that it is also a great place for small and medium-sized enterprises seeking growth opportunities outside their home countries. With operational costs being 20 to 30 per cent lower than in most other Western European countries, Malta offers smaller companies a conducive business environment in which to build up European, African or Middle Eastern networks. An Eye on Africa

As growth opportunities continue to move away from the traditional markets, most multinationals want Africa to become part of their expanding global footprint. It is a continent ripe with potential; and an increasing number of corporates believe locating key business functions close to the growing number of African consumers is now more important than ever. Despite a number of challenges, Africa is undergoing a transformation that is difficult to ignore. The continent is seeking to accelerate its own economic growth and offers investment and trade opportunities across all sectors, including energy, retail, tourism, leisure, utilities, transport, telecoms, health and education. In this climate, Malta’s profile as a safe and secure gateway to these developing markets is taking shape and the island is emerging as a preferred entry point for companies with operations across Africa. Some of the first companies to take advantage of the huge market at its doorstep were Malta’s retailers and distributors. Many of them have successfully expanded and now un-


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dertake the distribution management for a number of leading brands in North African markets. For instance, the Hudson Group today handles brands such as Nike, Converse, Tommy Hilfiger and Timberland in some North African countries. Malta’s business community believes the island is well suited to be a base for the sale and distribution of a vast range of consumer goods into African markets. Believing in Malta’s potential as a launch pad to nearby markets, Tecom Investments of Dubai is currently building SmartCity Malta, modelled on the Dubai IT and media city, and is keen to attract international companies to set up shop there. Decision Criteria

Besides geographical proximity to major markets, Malta also scores high on connectivity. The country is connected by air to almost every major city in Europe and to key destinations in North Africa and the Middle East, most being just a few hours’ flight-time away. Located uniquely on the main shipping routes, Malta has also become a major Mediterranean transshipment hub connected to more than 100 ports worldwide. In addition, the country is drawing on long-established links with its neighbouring countries and many Maltese professionals have in-depth knowledge of African markets, often acting as key business introducers. The advantages of operating in, or from, Malta also include the county’s flexible, highly trained and multilingual workforce, with wages below the Western European average. Foreign companies based in Malta comment favourably on their experiences with their local employees in terms of productivity, profitability, dependability and rapid response times. The island’s low crime rate, Mediterranean climate, competitive personal tax rates, as well as its good educational and healthcare systems also make Malta an easy sell for American, Asian or European expatriate executives, particularly those with families. Pull Factors

Malta has established itself as a magnet for foreign-owned companies and is improving its competitive position steadily. A stable business environment, favourable corporate tax regime, world-class infrastructure and excellent quality of life – these are just a few of the many reasons why companies relocate senior decision makers to perform strategic functions from Malta. In the long term, the prospects are good that Malta will benefit from the growth in the region and become an increasingly popular choice for the location of international and regional headquarters. ■

5th

most open economy 2013 Open Market Index International Chamber of Commerce (out of 75 nations)


Playmobil

Hutchinson

Lufthansa Technik

ST Microelectronics

Baxter

Actavis

SR Technics

Microsoft

Carlo Gavazzi Cardinal Health Trelleborg

De La Rue

Find out what these companies have in common. Gwardamangia Hill, Pieta’ MEC 0001 - Malta T: +356 2542 0000 F: +356 2542 3401 W: www.maltaenterprise.com

Contact Malta Enterprise on +356 2542 0000 or email: investinmalta@maltaenterprise.com


WE’RE WITH YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

Alliance Trust Company Limited provides professional and corporate services, enabling clients to concentrate on delivering a flawless performance. From company formation to trust and fiduciary services, ATCL can provide access to crucial, top quality legal, accounting and tax advice. Our team of highly trained administrators ensure that companies within our client portfolio maintain on-going compliance and have effective administration. Everything we do is focused on helping you prepare for business on the world stage.

Suite 5, Level 1, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar, BKR4013 MALTA T: +356 2549 6000 F: +356 2549 6444 info@atcl.com.mt • www.atcl.com.mt MEMBER OF


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Trusts & Foundations

A Foundation of

Trust

INSIGHT

Watchful Eye A watchtower at Senglea overlooking the Grand Harbour of Valletta. The tower has various symbols sculpted on such as an eye, an ear and the crane bird, symbolising guardianship and protection of the Maltese shores.

A

strong legal framework, combined with competitive set-up and management costs, has made Malta one of the ‘go-to’ names for those in search of wealth management solutions. The country has been a prominent player in administering private wealth structures for over 20 years. While trusts remain at the heart of the island’s service offering, they are now complemented by foundations, making Malta one of the few places in the EU where both trusts and foundations can be established. This ‘marketable advantage’ has attracted more than 130 service providers, including large banks, independently owned trust companies and smaller niche providers to the Mediterranean island. Malta is now in the process of introducing new, more efficient laws to make sure that the sector is primed and ready to sustain the growth the island has enjoyed for many years. An Enduring Legacy

130+

Fiduciary service providers operate in Malta.

Trusts were originally developed in England in the 12th century when landowners temporarily transferred their estates to another person while they were away fighting in the Crusades. After centuries of cultivation, this idea was officially introduced into Maltese legislation in 1989 as a ‘ring-fenced’ vehicle, only allowing non-residents to set up such structures. However, after ratifying the Hague Convention in 1994 and becoming


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an EU member state in 2004, Malta has made significant investments in the development of its legal and regulatory framework, adapting its legislation and tax regime to make it a truly attractive and effective jurisdiction for establishing and managing trusts. In recent years the island has created specific legislation to establish clear judicial and tax regimes for the set-up of foundations, which had previously only been recognised through case law and doctrinal writing. The new framework made this instrument more secure and the creation of a foundation even more attractive for foreign clients.

Trusts and Foundations A civil law jurisdiction that has developed a trust concept by integrating it with old Roman law sources Recognition of

Growing Popularity

Whether for tax planning purposes, inheritance planning, shareholdings, or the protection of assets, trusts and foundations are becoming the first choice for everyone from high-net-worth individuals to corporate entities. The recent banking failures, financial crises and economic recession have also made asset protection popular for those of more modest means. While there are no figures on the number of structures established in Malta due to the sector’s confidential nature, foundations appear to be primarily attractive to continental European, Middle Eastern and Asian clients for whom the concept of a trust is less familiar. Trusts are usually found in common law countries, however with the passing of the Trusts and Trustees Act in 2005, trusts became fully ingrained in Malta’s civil law framework. Nevertheless, the island’s practitioners point out that foundations are also of increasing interest to affluent individuals from common law countries. They like the fact that a foundation offers all the benefits of a trust, with the added advantage that the founders can maintain a greater level of control. Unlike trusts, foundations have a separate legal personality and can hold assets in their own name.

foreign trust law Offering the set-up of both trusts and foundations Legislation published in English EU and eurozone location Competitive fiscal environment High professional standards with many accountants, bankers, lawyers and investment advisors holding overseas qualifications and having international experience

Multiple Uses

Malta’s trust practitioners and foundation administrators stress that both structures have their specific uses and operate in parallel in Malta. Malta does not offer ‘off-the-shelf ’ trusts, and each trust is structured carefully to reflect the requirements of the client. Malta’s legislation recognises all forms of trusts one would find in other jurisdictions, such as discretionary trusts, accumulation and maintenance trusts, fixed interests trusts, spendthrift and charitable trusts. In addition, the trust law identifies a number of commercial situations within which the use of trusts would attract more favourable treatment. These include security trusts, unit trusts or collective investment schemes and securitisation, among others. Trusts can also be

Fast-track authorisation for trustees licensed in other (approved) jurisdictions English-speaking country with a probusiness government


Doing corporate services together—transparently For individuals. Their advisors. Entrepreneurs. For decision-makers within companies.

Aruba • Anguilla • Curaçao • Cyprus • Ireland • Luxembourg • Malta • The Netherlands • United Kingdom

United International Management (Malta) Limited The Plaza Commercial Centre (Level 6 - Suite 1), Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1640 - Malta Tel. +356 2010 8648 | Fax +356 2010 8646 | info@united-itrust.com.mt | www.united-itrust.com


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converted into a company and vice versa. Foundations can be used in most cases where a trust or a company could be set up, with the most common structures having a wealth planning and philanthropic background. Vast Choice

Having structures available is not enough: clients also expect experienced and professional service providers. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) oversees trustees and foundation administrators who appreciate the highly regulated environment, as it provides certainty to clients that they are dealing with professional firms. The large number of companies currently operating in Malta proves that they thrive in this environment. This also yields a highly competitive landscape for clients who are spoilt for choice when choosing a service provider. In addition to international organisations, Malta hosts many legal firms who own in-house trust companies. These companies are able to act as trustees and assist in establishing a trust. More than 20 companies in Malta are authorised to act as foundation administrators. Some of the major players on the island are Vistra, Alliance Trust Company Limited, Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited, EMCS International, IntegritasTrustees, Premier Fiduciary & Trusts Ltd., STM Malta Trust and Company Management Limited and Trident Trust. Legislative Update

Trusts and foundations have been set up in Malta to safeguard everything from heirlooms, to stocks, bonds, art and real estate. The proposed changes to the Trusts & Trustees Act are expected to make Malta an even more attractive destination for wealth management. The MFSA is proposing to extend the perpetuity period of trusts from its current duration of 100 years up to 125 years. This measure is intended to bring Malta into line with trust law in competing jurisdictions. In addition to this, the MFSA is also proposing to introduce a minimum share capital requirement of â‚Ź25,000 for trustees. A major amendment being discussed is the introduction of family trusts. A family trust would hold assets to the benefit of one specific family, whereby the trustee must be a company that only provides services to that specific family trust. Malta is also reviewing its legislative framework to ensure that it is in line with any new laws which might affect prospective markets, such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) due to come into force in the US in the near future. Thus far, the majority of business originates from the European market, however, companies are keen to attract larger numbers of American and Asian clients.

INSIGHT

Castle on a Hill The Citadella, which lies in the heart of Victoria, Gozo, is a fortified city or castle. It is built on one of the many flattopped hills in the centre of Gozo. Its origins can be traced to the latter part of the Middle Ages.


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A Robust Structure

Across the world, the awareness for the need to establish compliant structures for wealth and succession planning is growing. The MFSA has gained a reputation as an effective and responsive regulator that works hand-in-hand with the government to cement the island’s position as a wealth management hub. Malta’s advantageous taxation regime enhances the attractiveness of the jurisdiction, though naturally the actual impact of taxation on trusts depends on a number of issues, including the type of assets and the status of residence of the beneficiaries. However, where the beneficiaries under a trust are non-residents and the income of the trust does not arise in Malta, there is no taxation in Malta. Foundations may choose to be treated as a trust or as a company in which case they can potentially benefit from the country’s tax refund regime. The MFSA also operates a fast-track authorisation for trust companies licensed in other approved jurisdictions. Many are now choosing Malta over other big names in the industry given the island’s status as EU member state, as well as its fiscal and political stability. They are also attracted by the flexibility of the island’s framework, which includes the option to have the trust governed by the laws of a country other than Malta. Although a European may be happy to have his trust governed by Malta, a civil law country, somebody from Australia, for example, might prefer to have his trust governed by a common law country, such as the United Kingdom. Geared to Service

Trusts and foundation practitioners setting up in Malta will find the highest professional standards in the country, with many Maltese accountants, auditing practitioners, bankers, lawyers and investment advisors possessing experience and qualifications from overseas. Legal and administrative support ranges from small boutique practices to the global ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms with Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young and KPMG all operating branches on the island. Individuals looking to set up trusts or foundations can also benefit from Malta’s robust banking sector, with Bank of Valletta, Mediterranean Bank, Sparkasse Bank Malta, Deutsche Bank and Custom House all providing additional custodial services. These twin pillars of Malta’s fiduciary sector are built upon strong foundations of a well-educated and multilingual workforce, which can easily be sourced from within the country at two thirds of the labour costs found in other Western European nations.


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Affordability and Efficiency

Historically, trusts and foundations have been seen as instruments designed to maintain discretion and have been associated with tax avoidance structures. Unlike tax havens or offshore jurisdictions, Malta, as an EU member state, has a respectable international image – a factor which should not be underestimated. A Maltese trust or foundation offers security, assurance and flexibility in an EU-regulated environment, while maintaining the principle of confidentiality that clients expect. Malta’s other key selling point is the value for money it can offer those looking to the EU for wealth management solutions, such as significantly lower set up and administrative costs than in other countries. Legal costs, management fees and auditing rates are all lower than in the majority of European jurisdictions. For instance, on average, setting up a trust in Switzerland will cost a minimum of €5,000, whereas in Malta the cost of setting up a trust is around €1,500. Staying Hungry

The outlook for the future of Malta’s fiduciary industry is bright, with the country thriving from a growing reputation on the international stage. Not content to rest on its laurels, Malta is constantly updating its laws in order to maintain its competitive edge. The sector is blessed with strong support from its highly qualified legal and financial service providers and also boasts unique legislation that allows the individual requirements of each client and company to be met. In addition to these factors, Malta is one of the few southern European countries enjoying a stable political and economic environment which, combined with Malta’s strategic location between Africa, Europe and the Middle East, cements the island’s claim as a premiere wealth management hub within the EU. ■ Differences between Malta Trusts and Foundations Trusts

Foundations

Do not have a separate

Have a separate

legal personality

legal personality

Defined in terms of

Defined in terms of the assets

relationship

making up the foundation

Trustee is the legal

Foundation is the legal

owner of the assets

owner of its own assets

Approved Service Providers Malta’s specific trust legislation creates a highly regulated environment for the set-up and management of trusts and foundations. Trustees have to be licensed, and foundation administrators have to be authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which has gained a reputation as an effective and responsive regulator of the industry. Regular audits of all trustees ensure ongoing integrity. The Continuation of Companies Regulations also provides existing trust companies the opportunity to re-domicile to Malta, without the need of dissolution in their jurisdiction of incorporation and re-incorporation in Malta. Conversely, a trust company set up in Malta always has the option of continuing outside of Malta, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals being obtained. Since Malta recognises foreign trust law, a trustee operating in Malta does not need to adopt Maltese law as the law of the trust and can continue to hold property under foreign law trusts to service clients worldwide.


Your dream yesterday, is your reality today

It’s understanding the importance of protecting the dream that sets us apart from the rest. In addition to excellent service and first class credentials the highly experienced team at Equiom can provide efficient and professional fiduciary services.

Our services include: Trusts & Companies: Yachting & Aviation: Crewing: e-Gaming: Property:

the establishment, formation and administration of trusts, foundations and companies multi-jurisdictional registration, VAT planning and effective ownership structures MLC compliant employment solutions and automated payroll management of licence applications, tax-efficient compliant corporate structures and the provision of key personnel tailored property solutions and the highest standards of corporate governance

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Malta: Tel: +356 2546 6614 | Email: enquiries@equiom.com.mt | www.equiom.im Equiom (Malta) Limited is authorised to act as a trustee and fiduciary services provider by the Malta Financial Services Authority.


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Wealth Management

The Total

Package M

alta’s drive to become a leading centre for private asset management is gaining momentum as high-net-worth individuals express a demand for robust alternatives in the wake of the financial crisis. Orchestrating a symphony of innovative products, experienced professionals, as well as personal and cost-effective services, Malta believes it can fulfil the demands of today’s affluent clients and their advisers. It offers all the favourite investment vehicles of high-net-worth individuals, while the also allowing investors to protect their wealth through the establishment of trusts and foundations. Malta is also a competitive location for luxury asset management. It offers significant advantages for yacht and aircraft registration, featuring Europe’s largest shipping register and a fast-growing aircraft register. In addition, the island boasts a collection of prestigious residential homes which can be purchased for future occupancy or as an investment.


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Strong Fundamentals

Malta’s stable economic climate, business friendly regulatory practices and experience in running a financial centre place the island in an advantageous position in terms of wealth management. In recent years, the island has honed its expertise in many areas of finance, including banking, investment funds and corporate structuring. The high standards of the country’s service providers and its diversified economy have served to protect it from the ravages of the global financial crisis. While the global wealth management industry is at an inflection point, challenged by regulatory reforms and the loss of clients’ trust as a result of the financial crisis, Malta believes it can enlarge its market share and attract larger volumes of client assets. After having won respect for the excellence and resilience of its financial services industry, the island now aims to emulate the success of wealth management centres such as Geneva, London and Hong Kong. 360-Degree Services

INSIGHT

Miniature Versailles Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar is one of Malta’s hidden jewels. Behind its relatively modest façade, one finds a sumptuous and flamboyant chateau that can be described as a miniature Versailles. Originally built in 1733 by the Portuguese Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena, it was later bought and embellished by Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna in 1898.

Malta’s strengths as a wealth management centre lie in its holistic offering that caters for a wide spectrum of needs, including succession planning, investment advisory, corporate structuring, investment banking and even lifestyle administration. Private bankers and asset managers cater to all levels of wealth from the mass affluent to the ultra-high-net-worth individual. A wide range of investment vehicles is available – from simple trusts and company structures for families, to high value and more complex set-ups involving trusts, companies, investment funds and foundations for affluent clients. The island’s membership of the EU further strengthens its competitive position as it provides asset planners the security of a reputable jurisdiction, coupled with flexible business entities that can accommodate the most diverse needs. Equally important, the country has an excellent legal infrastructure, which is supported by experienced professionals that can combine all the separate strands into a unified and comprehensive wealth management offering. Quickly Expanding

In recent years, the island has been experiencing a steady influx of banks specifically established to offer investment banking, private banking and wealth management services to their wealthiest clients. Specialist wealth managers are offering Swiss-style private wealth management, while a large number of banks provide professional financial advice and products to high-net-worth, corporate and institutional clients. The island


Wealth Management 134

has also attracted a number of family offices, which are finding it a compelling alternative to traditional wealth management centres and have transferred all or part of their operations to the island. With some 130 trustees and 120 investment services firms registered in Malta, the sector is rapidly evolving. Local corporate service providers are also extending their offerings and Maltese professionals such as tax advisers, lawyers and accountants are recognised to be among the best in the world. Risk & Reputation

The percentage of the world’s rich is said to have reached an alltime high in the summer of 2013, with 200,000 high-net-worth individuals having a combined wealth of US$27.8 trillion. This bodes well for the future of Malta’s wealth management industry which is beginning to draw affluent individuals and families to structure investments and to manage assets from Malta. They appreciate the security that the island’s regulatory system provides and emphasise that the true value of Malta’s wealth management industry lies in the island’s reputation as a stable financial centre. Malta offers an OECD and EU-approved efficient fiscal framework, combined with around 70 double taxation treaties and a strong banking sector. In addition, the country’s prudential supervisory system, under which trustees and other investment service providers have to be licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), gives comfort to clients by ensuring that certain regulatory standards are met. Having been ranked as the 14th soundest banking sector in the world by the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2013-2014, Malta’s banks are well capitalised and have emerged from the recent turmoil in the financial markets relatively unscathed. The country experienced no banking failures or bailouts. The island also operates an efficient taxation system, through which shareholders can claim a tax credit for the tax paid by the company. There are many reasons why an individual may wish to establish such an entity in Malta, ranging from the simple creation of a company to own, for example, a holiday residence, a yacht or a private aircraft, to the more complex set-ups required in the structuring of Islamic Finance transactions. Preserving & Growing

Malta is also offering solutions to those clients who are interested in wealth preservation through trusts and foundations and to those who want to achieve yield through investment funds and the like. The island is one of the few jurisdictions where both trusts and foundations can be set up. Both structures

■ Malta’s sound banking system, innovative investment vehicles, and its deep pool of legal and financial advisors, are highly valued and are expected to pull a lot of clients to the island’s shores.


SHARED VALUES, SHARED VISION TOGETHER WE ARE APS BANK.

Unity, responsibility, collaboration and sharing of experience are the values that have helped create Malta’s first community Bank. As one of the leading drivers of ethical, social and economic development in the financial services industry we offer personalised banking solutions based on trust and inspired by our social commitment. Our strategy centres around customer satisfaction built on employee development, quality and innovation.

Together we are APS Bank.

(+356) 2122 6644

apsbank.com.mt

APS Bank is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority

Deposits • Loans • Investments

values you can bank on


Wealth Management 136

allow the creation of customised solutions that will fit the most diverse personal and business needs, ranging from succession planning to estate management. While Malta has a pedigree in the field of administering trusts since the 1980s, the country is currently updating its legislation to bring it in line with the latest trends and to ensure that Malta maintains its competitive position. Since Malta joined the EU in 2004, the island has risen as a centre of merit in the field of investment funds. With more than 600 funds established in Malta, the country’s fund administrators and managers have a solid track record in setting up and managing different investment vehicles for institutional and individual investors. The framework for Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) is designed to attract high-net-worth investors, while hedge funds, private equity funds and property funds are also normally structured as PIFs. Asset management companies in Malta have launched fund platforms which are exclusively open to family offices and third-party managers to provide them with an efficient and cost-effective solution to enter the market. Investors preferring physical assets are increasingly looking at Malta, too. Already a strategic port of call for superyachts crossing the Mediterranean, there has been growing demand from high-net-worth individuals for private yacht and aircraft solutions. The introduction of extensive VAT incentives for the

■ Malta strives to play on its strength in the world of global finance, and its wealth management offering is all about service, not sales.

INSIGHT

Malta’s Oldest Built in 1732, Manoel Theatre, situated in the capital city of Valletta, is Malta’s oldest theatre and Europe’s third-oldest working theatre. Today it stages everything from contemporary plays to opera and attracts performers from around the world.


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Wealth Management

WHY MALTA? EU and eurozone location Multi-disciplined advisors that are able to adapt to the changing needs of high-net-worth individuals and their families Sound and sophisticated banking system Fast-track authorisation for Professional Investor Funds Flexible investment structures (SICAVs, trusts, partnerships, etc.) One of the few civil law jurisdictions that have developed a trust concept by integrating it with Roman law sources A reputable stock exchange Recognition of foreign trusts Offering the set-up of both trusts and foundations Legislation published in English A stable macroeconomic environment

registration of yachts under the country’s flag, and the excellent infrastructure of the island’s marinas make Malta a logical choice to base a yacht. The island also offers tax-efficient ways to purchase and manage aircraft and has developed a strong legislative framework that has paved the way for the easy registration of private jets. Reaching Out

Traditionally, Malta’s wealth management offering has been focused on Europe, with many companies even specialising in certain markets, such as the UK or the German-speaking nations. However, thanks to a growing number of double taxation treaties with high-growth economies in Asia and Latin America, Malta is set to cater to a wider audience. Malta is also keen to take advantage of global trends, most notably growth in Asia where the number of high-net-worth individuals is increasing faster than in the rest of the world. The country is also positioning itself as an attractive place for high-net-worth individuals to reside. Malta has recently introduced a residence programme, offering non-EU nationals a flat tax rate of 15 per cent on foreign income if they purchase property in Malta. The country has also enacted legislation offering foreigners the option of obtaining Maltese citizenship through an Individual Investor Programme. International wealth planners and advisers find Malta the ideal location for the structuring, holding and managing of client’s assets due to its lower cost-base. Salaries and other operational costs are 20 to 30 per cent lower than in the traditional wealth management centres. Despite the lower cost, the level of service found in Malta is high, and many Maltese firms say they instil their staff with a ‘service mentality’ rather than focusing on sales, as is the case with other investment institutions. Defining Factors

The landscape for international wealth management has changed over the past five years. After the financial crisis, client expectations grew more sophisticated and competition intensified. Trust and reputation have become more important. Malta’s sound banking system, innovative investment vehicles, and its deep pool of legal and financial advisors are highly valued now, and are expected to pull a lot of clients to the island’s shores. Initiatives to update the island’s regulatory framework, as well as incentives for high-net-worth individuals, are aiding the growth and will likely lead to Malta playing a greater role in investor’s decisions when choosing an international wealth management centre. ■


Family Offices 138

Family Offices

Keeping it

in the Family

M

alta’s reputation as a paragon of financial stability has prompted renowned family offices to relocate to the island and has also led legal and corporate services firms to offer family office type services. Family offices are on the rise around the globe as they can offer high-net-worth clients a more convenient way of protecting and growing their fortunes. As the financial crisis has brought down the level of trust and confidence in large banks, a gap in the market has appeared which Malta’s financial services sector intends to take full advantage of. Offering the entire spectrum of services, the country’s firms have built up a reputation of personalised assistance and tailored solutions over the years that now allows them to cater for every aspect of a client’s wealth management needs.


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Years of Practice

Malta’s growth as an International Finance Centre (IFC) has also made it a strong contender in the market for highend financial services. The island is increasingly being seen as an alternative to the traditional family office locations of the US, UK and Switzerland. Although the Maltese family office sector is still very much in its infancy, the composite services have been on offer in the country for much longer. In fact, Malta was an early mover in this segment with many lawyers and accountants acting as trustees or advisers on a wide range of issues and providing services to single and multi-family offices worldwide. As more and more clients are now beginning to appreciate the island’s relationship-driven business culture and service-oriented workforce, Malta’s family office sector is maturing rapidly. Wealth management firms seek to serve their clients more holistically by moving up the value chain and are launching complete family office services. At the same time, increased demand for Malta’s financial products required better coordination and the amalgamation of services, attracting money-managers from the world’s banking centres to establish fully-fledged offices on the island. Key Advantages

INSIGHT

Precious Pieces Filigree jewellery is made from thin strands of silver and gold that are twisted into different forms, shapes and designs. Malta’s filigree legacy dates back to the Phoenicians who spread this technique throughout the Mediterranean and beyond.

Wealth creators and their families, heirs who benefit from old fortunes, as well as newly rich tech billionaires and professional athletes, are today looking at Malta as a location to manage their assets. They will find service providers who manage everything for them: tax structuring, investment management, estate planning as well as inheritance and wealth transfer services. In addition, larger law and accounting firms are providing an array of family office services. One of the key attractions for family office providers is the country’s regulatory framework that surrounds the wealth management industry and the smooth licensing process for trustees, foundation administrators and investment advisors. In addition, setting up a family office is expensive; it often costs more than US$1 million a year to run a fully integrated family office due to the lack of economies of scale. By locating both the administration and asset management functions in Malta, affluent families and their advisors can benefit from the island’s low administrative costs, simple licensing arrangements and an effective regulator in the form of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).


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Investment Choices

Globally, the combined wealth of ultra-high-net-worth individuals stands at US$14.7 trillion, with North America having the largest percentage, followed by Asia and Europe. Thus far, most family offices in Malta originate from continental Europe, however, several companies are looking to reach new and profitable markets such as the US, Australia and New Zealand. In seeking to attract affluent families and their ‘chief financial officers’ to Malta, they highlight the availability of a full suite of investment vehicles and corporate structures. The island has world-class regulatory frameworks for holding companies, investment funds and fund platforms, as well as trusts and foundations, and is constantly developing new solutions that can be used in a family office setting. The trust law is in the process of being updated, and the new version will include the concept of a family trust. For a family trust a company can be set up which exclusively acts as trustee to this particular family trust, thereby allowing for greater control and confidentiality. These family trusts are also exempt from authorisation, provided the family and its chosen directors fulfil certain conditions dictated by the MFSA. Unfazed by Legislation

Although the financial sector is today more complex than ever, family offices based in Malta say they can successfully navigate the new regulatory landscape due to the fact that all of Malta’s financial services fall under the regulation of the MFSA. New and foreign companies are able to benefit from streamlined licensing procedures, lower regulatory fees and reduced bureaucracy when compared to other International Finance Centres. Political and financial stability is also critical in attracting business to the island and Malta’s strengths have been proven in recent years, particularly in how well the country weathered the global recession. Staff recruitment, however, has become a key challenge for firms as the competition for talent in Malta’s rapidly expanding financial services industry has intensified. More and more companies are now sourcing foreign employees with the required level of expertise in order to deal with the demand. Though the sector is restricted by these problems, the intention of most companies is to remain boutique. By doing so, they can continue to provide their clients with the kind of intimate service for which they were chosen while, year-on year, ensuring that the human resources are available to sustain the growth.

■ Thanks to its streamlined and efficient business environment, Malta has emerged as a new alternative to the traditional European wealth management centres.


A name you can trust

Our mission is to provide bespoke fiduciary and corporate services for choice clientele by engendering a reputably reliant service backed by an efficient professional team. The core competences of the firm are related to knowledge and experience in the accountancy, finance, auditing, legal services including corporate civil, commercial law and corporate criminal law, fiduciary and corporate services.

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Where and when you need them...

Plethora Management Services Ltd

8, 2nd floor, Northfields Apartments, Independence Avenue, Mosta MST9928 Tel: (+356) 2180-6613 Fax: (+356) 2540-1308 Email: info@plethora.com.mt Website: www.plethora.com.mt


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Sector Growth

It is estimated that there are around 6,000 family offices worldwide and the number of high-net-worth individuals is set to grow in the coming years. However, in order to remain cost-efficient, a family office also needs to control the cost of its operations, which includes not only staffing costs but also overhead administrative costs and the costs of running an IT system. Many family offices are currently analysing their cost structure to restructure their operations, and Malta, with its cheaper fee and salary structure, expects to welcome more family offices in the near future. The island’s role as a reliable outsourcing partner will also remain important as a strong support infrastructure is establishing itself, with account managers to carry out everyday transactions for clients and portfolio managers to make investment decisions. The country’s law firms are on hand to provide legal advice, and senior client relationship managers generally deal with the backbone of the family office itself. Most multi-family offices are open to clients with at least US$20 million, and a few hundred million is usually considered as the minimum needed to operate a reasonably sophisticated single family office. However, Malta is also attractive to clients who are not considered part of the super rich: sharing high-end wealth management services, or sourcing a few services from Malta’s experienced service providers, is also a reasonable proposition for the average wealthy family. Location, Legislation & Longevity

As the global financial crisis caused wealthy clients to seek new, more secure alternatives to traditional investment banking, Malta’s strategic position in the Mediterranean, sound legal framework and appealing tax benefits have led several providers to relocate to the island. With ultra-highnet-worth individuals increasing on an annual basis, coupled with an improving global financial outlook, family office type services are expected to expand in Malta. Setting up a family office on the island can create direct access to different types of investments, while the costs of running it can be controlled. Despite challenges and competition from some of the more established locations, the island is gaining prominence as a professional and attentive wealth management centre with sustainable growth well within its means. ■

■ As more and more clients are now beginning to appreciate the island’s relationshipdriven business culture and serviceoriented workforce, Malta’s family office sector is maturing rapidly.


Maltese hand sculpted limestone

Determination BELIEVE: THE WILLPOWER TO ACHIEVE GOALS 2260 1000 | www.banif.com.mt Banif Bank (Malta) plc is a credit institution licensed to undertake the business of banking by the MFSA in terms of the Banking Act 1994. Registered in Malta C41030 – 203, Level 2, Rue D’Argens, Gzira, GZR 1368, Malta.


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Philanthropy

A Platform for

Good Deeds

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ith charitable giving and social investing gaining momentum globally, Malta is establishing philanthropy as a core wealth management service. The island offers both trusts and foundations as useful tools for charitable giving – a fact that is expected to help Malta gain a foothold in this trilliondollar industry. The country’s strong regulatory framework, sound financial sector and status as an EU member state add to the island’s favourable and transparent environment for charitable institutions. The number of service providers counselling international donors on how to make best use of their money has also grown in tandem with the island’s wealth management sector. Hospitaller Heritage

The roots of philanthropy reach deep into Malta’s history and culture. The island was home to one of the first international charity organisations: the Knights of St John, drawn exclusively from Europe’s nobility to fund its charitable and humanitarian work, ruled the Maltese Islands for almost 300 years. In more


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INSIGHT

A Prime Address Tigné Point, located on the peninsula tip of Sliema, is a new residential, commercial and leisure development. The area was used as a military base during the British period in Malta. In the early 2000s the redevelopment of Tigné Point started, and today

modern times, interest in philanthropy among high-net-worth individuals has been growing for some time and many billionaires believe that leaving enormous riches to their children will spoil them and cause them harm. Predictions are that wealthy families worldwide will donate over US$6 trillion to charities over the next 35 years. With prominent examples, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who have given away large parts of their wealth, the idea of ‘giving while living’ has re-emerged in international high-net-worth circles.

it is one of the prime corporate and residential addresses on the island.

Onshore Option

The practice of large-scale personal philanthropy as a form of wealth management begins to enjoy a significantly higher profile in Malta’s International Finance Centre (IFC). While philanthropy was once considered as a collection of money or simple donations, today it is increasingly being seen as a comprehensive investment for the benefit of society. The contemporary manifestation of philanthropy in the guise of charitable trusts and foundations provides potential philanthropists with


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globally recognised structures for both wealth transfer and the effective management of charitable institutions. While Malta is still at the beginning of its journey as a philanthropy jurisdiction, it has considerable advantages as a location: the island boasts a high level of know-how in the management of trusts and foundations and offers wealthy investors an onshore alternative of high repute due to its well-regulated, sophisticated EU environment. Two Key Structures

In attempting to attract potential clients, Malta allows a greater deal of flexibility than many other jurisdictions in that it can offer trusts as well as foundations. While trusts are a common law concept, Malta’s Trusts and Trustees Act creates a unique framework within the island’s civil law environment and enables residents and non-residents alike to set up various types of trusts on the island. Purpose trusts can be created for a charitable or a philanthropic purpose rather than for specific beneficiaries, including vehicles which aid in education, healthcare, society, national heritage, human rights, the environment and even conflict resolution. While the same functions can be asked of foundations, the concept has its roots in civil law, which could be more familiar to Middle Eastern and continental European clients who may prefer to establish a foundation rather than a trust. Today, the Second Schedule to the Civil Code regulates foundations and, very much like trusts, they can be structured to meet each client’s specific criteria and to encompass a wide range of charitable approaches. Transparency & Accountability

Philanthropic investing through Malta has yet another advantage. Trustees and foundation administrators are authorised and supervised by the Malta Financial Services Authority. This ensures a safe and secure environment for charitable organisations wishing to maintain the transparency and accountability of their operations. On the other hand, there is no registration of trusts in Malta, meaning that a settlor’s identity is not disclosed. It is up to the international donor to decide if he or she wants to appear in relation to the organisation or maintain a low profile. While trusts and foundations generally benefit from Malta’s fiscally efficient framework, charitable trusts and foundations may also be granted additional tax advantages, especially if the charity has a recognisable charity status. The island also boasts a large pool of advisers who stand ready to help donors navigate the philanthropic landscape. More than 20 companies are authorised to act as foundation administra-

US$6 trillion Predictions are that wealthy families worldwide will donate over US$6 trillion to charities over the next 35 years.


FJVA Business Centre | Industry Street | Qormi | QRM 3000 | Malta Tel: (+356) 2299 3100 | Fax: (+356) 2299 3101 | Email: info@fjvassallo.com | Website: www.fjvassallo.com


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■ As the worlds of philanthropy and finance collide, Malta stands out not only as a centre for asset protection but also as a jurisdiction for initiating philanthropic intentions.

tors, and a staggering 130 trust service providers operate on the island. They will ensure that structures are tax efficient and fully in line with EU regulations, while providing ancillary services that include strategic planning, asset management and record-keeping, in order to further simplify the administrative burden and guarantee the smooth running of the charity. Real Potential

Despite the financial downturn in the face of global recession, philanthropy has continued in its upward economic trajectory. In the US alone, where a large number of foundations are already in operation, there was a total of $316.23 billion donated in 2012 by individuals, foundations, estates and corporations. This figure has increased for the past three consecutive years, and similar trends can be observed elsewhere in other like-minded jurisdictions, such as the UK, Canada and Switzerland. Encouraged by these examples, Malta believes it has the potential to offer the international community a topnotch philanthropic platform. The country is in close proximity to markets in continental Europe, while it also has ties with many other countries; including countries in Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. With decades of experience in administering trusts and a flexible framework for foundations, the country’s reputation as a jurisdiction is well deserved, and Malta’s financial services practitioners are primed to provide high-quality services to potential clients. An Untapped Market

While wealth managers and finance professionals can add enormous value to philanthropic clients, philanthropy requires more than financial knowledge. Philanthropic institutions today own and manage some of the world’s leading medical, educational, research and cultural organisations. The substantial number of doctors, qualified professionals and experts available on the island make up an ideal market for philanthropists and service providers to tap into when seeking advisers, international project managers or chairpersons for their organisations. High Time

With a variety of vehicles to choose from and a selection of beneficial legislation in place, the opportunities for philanthropy in Malta have never been more abundant. Moreover, as global trends imply that the amount of philanthropic ventures is on the rise, the timing is right for providers to make the most of Malta’s untouched human capital. ■


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Citizenship & Residency

Luxury Living W

ith its warm climate and relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, Malta has become one of Europe’s top spots for affluent foreigners, expats and globetrotting professionals looking for a permanent or temporary home. The island has recently implemented a new residency programme, which has made relocating to the island easier and more affordable than ever before. This programme ultimately offers foreign nationals a flat tax rate of 15 per cent if they purchase or rent property on the Maltese Islands. Seeking to attract highly talented and networked people from around the world to Malta, the country has also introduced legislation for a citizenship by investment programme. While living in Malta has long been popular with European nationals, and especially with people from the UK and Scandinavia, the new wave of expatriates choosing the island to work, live and invest in, is expected to include individuals and families from Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Attracting Foreigners

There are many reasons why expats have joined more than 1.5 million tourists flocking to the Maltese Islands every year. Year-round sunny skies have definitely been one of the foremost draws to this alluring island, while a beneficial tax treatment has helped to attract foreign residents to Malta for the past 50 years. The first measures to attract foreigners came in to place following independence from Britain in 1964, when a fiscal strategy was implemented that offered a special tax rate to foreign residents who had an above-average income. At that time, most individuals who relocated to Malta were British. A further residency programme was introduced in 1988 which built on this idea, offering foreign nationals a 15 per cent at tax rate and attracting expats from all parts of the world. While this programme has been updated over the years, the flat tax rate has been retained to this day. In addition, a resident of Malta who is not domiciled in Malta will be taxed solely on income and certain capital gains arising in Malta or income remitted to Malta, and not on a worldwide basis.


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Growing Appeal INSIGHT

A Lagoon Getaway Situated between Malta and Gozo, the smaller island of Comino is a paradise for snorkelers, divers, windsurfers and ramblers. The island’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon with its crystal clear, turquoise waters.

While Malta has historically been a popular choice for those looking for an increased quality of life in a Mediterranean island setting, economic growth and investments from international companies have also caught the attention of high-flying foreign professionals. Malta is fast becoming an all-round top expat destination that ranks well as a place for career progression and financial gain, as well as for a lifestyle change, demonstrating that the country delivers across numerous elements of expat life. In particular, the continuous development of Malta’s International Finance Centre contributes to attracting expats from all over the world. The country continued to open its borders through accession to the EU in 2004 and the Schengen area in 2007; the fruits of this can be seen in the fact that there are currently over 21,000 foreigners, about 5 per cent of the total population, living in Malta and contributing to the island’s economy. Residency Opportunities

Malta aims to attract both foreigners from inside and outside the EU. While EU nationals are free to live and work on the island, non-EU nationals are required to adhere to visa policies. Affluent non-EU foreigners can also take advantage of the country’s Global Residency Programme, including the 15 per cent flat tax rate on income remitted to Malta. The programme is linked to the purchase of property, however investment can be as low as €220,000 for property in the south of Malta or in Gozo. The value of property bought in the remaining parts of Malta has to be at least €275,000. Alternatively, they can rent property for €9,600 per year in Malta and €8,750 per year in Gozo or the South of Malta. Industry professionals point to the benefits derived from this scheme for foreign entrepreneurs, international consultants, intellectuals, authors, musicians or athletes who can establish a second residence in Malta that suits their lifestyle and tax profile. A similar programme for EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals is expected to be launched shortly. Gateway into Europe

Possibly the most attractive feature of the Global Residence Programme for non-EU nationals is the opportunity of visa free travel throughout the Schengen zone. Applicants from unstable countries in search of a safe residency location for their families are expected to see the benefit of the programme as well. They might also be attracted by Malta’s recently introduced Individual Investor Programme. The programme offers foreign nationals the possibility to obtain Maltese citizenship, after having resided


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in the country for 12 months, by paying €650,000 to the National Economic and Social Development Fund, purchasing property having a minimum value of €350,000 or leasing a property for a minimum annual rent of €16,000, and investing €150,000 in government-approved financial instruments, in addition to fulfilling a number of other criteria. Attracting the Best

Over recent years, Malta has attracted younger, career-oriented expats who work in many sectors of the island’s growing economy and who have chosen to relocate to take advantage of job opportunities. They are employed by foreign and local firms in sectors such as financial services, gaming and aviation. Malta introduced a scheme that offers professionals, in a range of executive positions in these sectors, a flat tax rate of 15 per cent for a number of years, provided they have an annual income of at least €80,000 (basis year 2013). Any income over €5 million is tax-free. Conveniently located at the centre of the Mediterranean within a few hours flying time from major European cities, the country is also the ideal location for globetrotting professionals working in Europe, Africa or Asia. Retirement Hotspot

In addition, the island’s popularity as a retirement location has increased. Pensioners can benefit from the Malta Retirement Programme which has been designed to attract nationals of the EU, EEA and Switzerland, offering a 15 per cent tax rate for individuals. Retirees can also make use of Malta’s wide network of double taxation agreements. Under most tax treaties that Malta is party to, pensions are tax-exempt from the country in which they are sourced, as long as the person is residing and receiving the pension in Malta. This means pensioners can remit their pensions to Malta and have them taxed at only 15 per cent if they apply for the Malta Retirement Programme. Living the Lifestyle

Aside from the fiscal benefits of relocating to Malta, expatriates can rest assured that they would be living in a country where crime is virtually non-existent. Despite the island’s size, there

10 reasons why expats enjoy living in Malta

1

Fabulous all-year round weather with 300 days of sunshine and a crystal clear sea.

2

Short distances between destinations save commuting time.

3 4

Friendly and hospitable local population.

No communication problems with English and Maltese as official languages, while Italian is widely spoken, as well as German and French within the tourism sector.

5

Low cost of living while all goods are easily available.

6 7

The Maltese Islands have a low crime rate.

Excellent social life for all ages, with bars, clubs and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets and a thriving cultural scene with big name concerts, outdoor festivals and a number of theatres and cinemas.

8

Good medical services with a government hospital and many private clinics.

9

Above UK-average schooling in Englishspeaking schools and a respected university.

10

A wide variety of property is available in all price ranges.


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are always new experiences to be enjoyed that range from scuba diving and jetskiing to exploring Malta’s vast and engrossing history first-hand in its preserved medieval cities. Malta’s climate has been voted the best in the world in the most recent survey by International Living magazine, which also ranks the island in its top three places for quality of life. The country also makes it among the top 10 places to retire the world over. Leveraging a rich legacy of historical buildings and magnificent architecture, Malta boasts an abundance of lifestyle properties, ranging from sea-front apartments to exclusive villas with private pools. Anyone seeking to purchase property in connection with the residency programme will be spoilt for choice. Many expats also report that they have a better standard of living and more luxurious life since relocating due to the island’s lower cost of living. In addition, exclusive, five-star restaurants combining the finest seasonal produce with innovation and expertise can be found all over the island. While some of the high fashion brand names, designers and upmarket services present in Monaco or Milan are not as common on the island, this merely serves to accentuate the unpretentious and genuine nature of Malta and its people. A Network of Support

In order to support the thousands of foreigners who have chosen to live in Malta, a large and experienced network of professionals has developed including estate agents, lawyers and other service providers. There are also a number of relocation specialists. They advise on all administrative matters, such as applying for the respective permits, taxation, the sourcing of property, and even with issues such as schooling for children to help foreigners settle in to life on the island. A Simple Choice

With 300 days of sunshine in a year, idyllic seafront properties and efficient connections to so many major cities, it is easy to see why Malta is among the foremost international expat destinations. As well as a rich history and enduring traditions, the island also enjoys a modern, lively atmosphere. With a high standard of living, reasonable costs and no inheritance, wealth, or annual property taxes in place, expats need look no further. Unlike in many other destinations, such as the UAE or India, where foreigners do not stay for long periods, expats in Malta often spend many years in the country. Some even stay until they retire, knowing that Malta offers the best fusion of the traditional and the sophisticated, the luxurious and the intimate, and embodies the very best in Mediterranean charm. ■


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Corporate Treasury

Harnessing Liquidity

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fter having built up expertise in banking and asset management, Malta is gaining international attention as a treasury location, and renowned groups have chosen the island to set up regional or worldwide treasury operations. Due to its fiscally efficient regime, adaptable and highly skilled Englishspeaking workforce, and the impressive quality of support service providers, Malta has positioned itself as a corporate hub that meets international treasury service needs. Following many larger companies who have opened subsidiaries on the island over the past few years, a number of independent treasury service providers have sprung up in order to take advantage of the fact that treasury operations are frequently outsourced. It is a strategic corporate function where the cash from different subsidiaries is being pooled, where borrowing and lending positions are being operated, and where hedging techniques are being utilised. With lower costs than Luxembourg, Ireland and Switzerland, coupled with sophisticated banking solutions and a strong regulatory framework, Malta is quickly becoming the preferred European location for treasurers and CFOs. A Strong Proposition

Malta has been a key corporate location for three decades and has developed strong skills in finance, accounting and banking, as well as in back and middle office activities. The island’s economy, the smallest in the European Union, emerged from the international financial and European debt crises relatively unscathed – a fact that has strengthened Malta’s growing reputation as a stable and reputable international financial


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centre. In particular, the country won international acclaim for its solid banking system, which is the 14th soundest in the world according to the World Economic Forum’s 2013-2014 Competitiveness Index. This has allowed the island to move up the value chain in financial services provision, with a focus on front office activities, complex transactions and high-level risk management. Malta now aims to attract more foreign companies wishing to centralise, or consolidate, their regional or global treasury management operations in Malta. Globally, the financial crisis led to a more cost-conscious organisational culture, and more multinational corporations are currently seeking cost-effective jurisdictions for their corporate finance transactions, making the island an interesting alternative to other European treasury locations. Independent or Outsourced

INSIGHT

Skilled Craftmanship Glass production is a relatively new craft in Malta, although the industry was present on the island in Phoenician times. Maltese glassware is entirely mouth blown and hand made. The process begins with multi-coloured beads, which are melted and blown into a shape. Clear glass is then placed around the coloured glass and a shape is designed.

In most cases, multinationals want a single platform that can offer them an overview of their position, and many of them have come to appreciate the advantages of a Malta company, which can be established to function as Group Treasury for related companies in Malta and abroad. For smaller corporations preferring to outsource treasury functions, a number of providers, including the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms, banks and smaller organisations, offer a full range of financial management and transaction services to their clients. Cash pooling, leasing arrangements, asset management, risk management and payment services can all be procured from the same treasury service, whether the client is a single entity or a group of companies. A treasury operation can benefit from Malta’s tax regime under which shareholders can claim a refund for the tax paid by the company, all the while staying completely in line with EU Directives. The importance of international trade for the country, in particular for its finance industry, has also led to the development of a vast network of some 70 double tax treaties. While treasury services in Malta are still currently something of a niche market, many companies also look to Malta due to its eurozone membership. The euro is relatively stable due to its widespread use and, when compared to other outsourcing options in Europe such as the UK or Switzerland who are not in the eurozone, it emerges as a clear favourite. The Right Conditions

The country’s economic soundness and political stability, coupled with a number of other advantages, also make Malta


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a prime location for treasury operations. In fact, the success or failure of a treasury service hinges on a number of factors, including the quality of a country’s banking facilities, the ease of access to local stock exchanges and a liberalised capital market. While Malta possesses all these traits, it is also rich in professional expertise, and due to the island’s overall quality of life, it is also relatively easy to recruit experts from abroad. Good communication is also a vital characteristic for any corporate entity seeking to exercise control over their cash and assets. Malta has a strong telecoms network, providing efficient links to Europe via four submarine cables. The island’s IT industry is also booming, with many specialist providers assisting companies to tap into the latest technologies and software products. Prime Location

2013 has been another challenging year for treasurers worldwide, with companies continuing to face headwinds from volatile markets and economic recession. Ongoing regulatory changes, many of which impact business processes and systems, further add to the complexity of treasury management. In this climate, treasury departments now more than ever before seek to optimise their company’s liquidity, make sound financial investments and enter into hedges against their financial risks. Its very competitive cost-base, which is 20 to 30 per cent lower than those of other Western European locations, has opened the door for Malta to become a major player in the treasury sector. The island’s location between Europe and North Africa also makes it attractive for emerging market multinationals and companies expanding into regions such as North Africa and the Middle East that are seeking a sophisticated, safe and stable financial centre to base their treasury operations. A Growing Sector

While many believe that the Mediterranean island still has a way to go to establish itself as world-class treasury centre location, Malta is set to jump to the head of the queue. This is due to the fact that it fills every one of the prerequisite conditions set out by those looking to relocate, while boasting a number of additional unique selling points. It is as stable as many of the current treasury locations, such as Switzerland or Luxembourg, with the added bonus of costs being lower and bureaucracy at a minimum. Malta has done everything it can to provide the perfect environment to welcome treasury services and their clients. Whether the hard work will pay off or not is yet to be seen, but the prospects are good and considerable growth in the sector is expected in the coming years. ■

■ With lower costs than Luxembourg, Ireland and Switzerland, coupled with sophisticated banking solutions and a strong regulatory framework, Malta is quickly becoming the preferred European location for treasurers and CFOs.


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Foreign Exchange Trading

Time to

Trade up

INSIGHT

Firework Enthusiasts Malta has been manufacturing fireworks for centuries, and fireworks are an integral part of every Maltese village festa. There are currently 35 factories in Malta, and production takes place all year round, with various factories and villages competing for the most beautiful displays.

T

he online foreign exchange (forex) industry and its followers can still be called pioneers given the age of the industry. Traditionally the exclusive preserve of the high-flying financial elite, the internet and mobile technology have been defining game changers and currency trading has moved into the mainstream. This industry shift, coupled with a greater demand for dedicated regulation, has seen many of the world’s leading eforeign exchange platforms locate to Malta due to the country’s cutting-edge ICT infrastructure, EU-compliant regulatory environment and deep pool of financial talent.


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Demystifying Forex

London, New York and Hong Kong have long been the international centres of global currency trading and investing in foreign exchange. In challenging the captains of the finance world, the EU’s smallest member state is building on its unique value proposition. As a seafaring nation, trading has been part of Malta’s culture for millennia, and in the past two decades the country has established itself as an international centre of financial excellence. International banking and insurance, investment funds and wealth management are all growing sectors of the island’s successful economy. Strict adherence to the EU rulebook and an infrastructure that is geared to financial services has seen numerous forex firms set up on-the-ground operations in Malta. The growth of the forex market is due to a number of factors, but none more important than the proliferation of online trading systems that have opened the market to more users than ever. On-demand access to the latest information, combined with easy to use technology, has demystified the forex market. Individuals and small businesses, that would once have left forex to large banks and large institutional users, are now participating and trading forex directly.

INSIGHT

Memorial Bell The 10-tonne bronze Siege Bell Memorial in Valletta commemorates some 7,000 servicemen, merchant seamen and civilians who died during World War II. The bell, which is mounted in a limestone tower, is rung daily at noon.


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■ With growing numbers of investors eager to add foreign exchange to their portfolios, Malta has made a name for itself as a tier-1 trading hub, providing both operators and investors with the security and legal clarity that comes with a well-regulated environment.

A Global Market

With growing numbers of investors eager to add foreign exchange to their portfolios, Malta has made a name for itself as a tier-1 trading hub, providing both operators and investors with the security and legal clarity that comes with a well-regulated environment. The key attraction for many firms is that forex companies based in Malta are licensed and overseen by the island’s financial regulatory body, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Malta’s sophisticated IT and telecoms infrastructure along with the vibrancy of its financial sector has also helped the country to gain a
foothold in a global market that is
estimated to have grown to more than US$5.3 trillion a day. A wide range of market participants, including fully-fledged market makers, platform providers, brokers and fund managers focusing on forex as an asset class, have opened offices on the island. Foreign exchange dealers RTFX, FXDD, Swissquote and Sensus Capital Markets all have operations in Malta. Driven by Regulation

While the increase in the number of forex players has been one of the biggest changes in the global market, Malta has been careful and selective in order to attract only the most reputable operators to retain its tier-1 status. Although stringent regulatory standards might seem to be a barrier to growth, the events in the international financial markets and related regulatory issues have seen an increase in financial companies seeking to be licensed in EU-compliant jurisdictions. The reputation of Malta as a well-regulated jurisdiction gives investors confidence, peace of mind, and the added comfort of knowing they are trading with a company that is licensed and adheres to high regulatory standards. Malta’s status as an EU member state also means that certain foreign exchange products and services can be offered in all countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), without the need to obtain authorisation from the regulator in each country, through a process referred to as passporting. This allows operators to reduce operational costs and bureaucracy, while catering to a diverse set of clients who have a growing desire to participate in the retail foreign exchange market. In particular, it makes Malta attractive as a base for non-EU companies wishing to expand their operations, using the island as a launch pad into Europe. Good Credentials

Malta’s regulator, the MFSA, has built a reputation in international circles as being very accessible and promoting transpar-


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ency, openness and dialogue. The island has established a set of conditions governing operators’ diverse activities. Forex firms can apply for different types of licences with varying capital requirements, depending on the business model they choose to adopt. The framework places great emphasis on investor protection and the handling of clients’ funds, which are aspects of crucial importance in the round-the-clock, constantly changing currency markets. Forex companies licensed in Malta are also required to participate in the local investor compensation scheme. Analysts forecast that currency trading will continue to increase its stake in investors’ portfolios. However, Basle III is expected to shake things up in the forex industry in the next years due to new liquidity requirements, which will impact the way firms hedge against risks and may make certain transactions more expensive. Key to Success

Aside from its regulatory advantage, Malta’s strength as a forex location is based on a strong desire to provide an optimum operating environment for business. Foreign exchange today is as much about technology as it is about financial markets. Thanks to heavy investments in infrastructure to support the growth of its finance centre and other industries, Malta offers forex companies a ‘plug-and-play’ environment. In addition, the country is the largest European hub for eGaming companies. All this means that the technical infrastructure that forex companies typically require is already established. Professional hosting and co-location services are widely available as Malta has developed a growing cluster of data centres with 24/7 support services. Systems are designed for high traffic and have ample redundancy. International connectivity is guaranteed with three operators, GO, Vodafone and Melita, providing international gateway services via submarine fibre optic cables to mainland Europe. With eTrading now being the norm, all three operators also emphasise that their bandwidth capacity is virtually unlimited, which is reassuring for forex firms whose future growth will not be limited by connectivity issues. Maintaining the smooth operation of any forex trading platform also requires a sophisticated team of IT experts. Malta boasts a large pool of IT professionals to monitor trends and drive innovation, meaning that clients and companies are at the forefront of developments in the financial trading environment. Malta is also gaining the attention of key industry players because it provides numerous operational advantages. Companies established on the island comment favourably on the country’s highly efficient fiscal regime and low overhead

INSIGHT

Home of the Guards The Main Guard building is located in St George’s Square, Valletta, facing the Grand Masters Palace. Built in 1603 by the Knights of St John, it housed the palace guards.


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expenses. In general, all-round costs are well below European averages, with licensing and professional fees of lawyers, accountants and technology providers being very competitive. Rising to the Top

US$5.3 trillion With currency trading becoming ever more popular, Malta is well on its way to become a centre for online foreign exchange companies servicing the US$5.3 trillion a day market.

The forex market is expected to grow further in the coming years and is set to attract increasing numbers of clients from established and emerging markets. In times when the protection of investors’ money is as important as returns, being regulated in a respected jurisdiction with a stable and proven track record gives forex companies an added advantage in winning the confidence of international institutions and retail clients. At the same time, companies can seek opportunities within the island’s international finance centre. Alternative investment managers, hedge fund managers, wealth managers and family offices are all moving to the country, which means that domestic opportunities for forex firms in Malta are expanding in tandem with the island’s role as a global currency trading hub. ■


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Islamic Finance

Unlocking ShariahStyle Finance

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he Islamic finance sector has grown in recent years from being a specialised niche to a global mainstream industry. The proliferation of the market means that more and more deals are conducted outside the Islamic world, and Malta is increasingly being looked at as a jurisdiction of choice for sophisticated institutions wanting to set up Islamic financial instruments. Located strategically at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta offers access to 230 million Muslims in Europe and North Africa, providing a massive 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 Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, makes the country also a springboard into the wider Muslim markets. Up to the Task

As a politically stable ďŹ nancial centre in the European Union, Malta is seen to possess the potential to become a major centre for Islamic Finance through the use of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), investment funds, insurance products and other ďŹ nancial services governed by Shariah law. 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. Investments are also expected to reflect real trade and business. Supported by its multilingual and multicultural workforce, Malta’s financial centre stands out for its extensive experience in serving international clientele, while maintaining a strong focus on ethics, strict investment rules, prudential practices and supervision. The Rule of Law

Islamic finance is estimated to be worth US$2 trillion, with an annual growth rate of 15 to 20 per cent. The market proved remarkably resilient to the financial crisis, which has also made it popular with non-Muslims living in Europe. While operators in Malta are seeing opportunities to offer Shariah-compliant products, they are faced with the challenge of applying two

US$2 trillion Malta is keen to acquire a share of the US$2 trillion Islamic Finance market and is positioning itself to serve the increasing appetite for Shariah-compliant products.


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INSIGHT

Gallarija Maltija Most buildings in Maltese village cores have colourful closed balconies, which are similar architecturally to those of the North African countries. Although it is not known when exactly the first “Gallarija Maltija” (Maltese balcony) was built, iconographic evidence suggests that such balconies appeared in the first half of the 18th century.

sets of rules to Islamic finance transactions: Malta’s regulatory framework and Shariah law. Given that Malta’s regulations only allow banks to own property up to a certain percentage of their total assets, procuring finance in a way that is Shariah compliant, where the bank buys the property and sells it to the eventual purchaser after marking up the price of the property, is not possible. However, most other Shariah-compliant financial transactions are possible in Malta, such as the use of trusts and SPVs, as well as the set-up of Protected and Incorporated Cell Companies (PCCs and ICCs). First Ventures

Nonetheless, it is Malta’s FIMBank which is poised to make the initial step towards welcoming Islamic banking to the country. In 2013, Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO), the Gulf state’s largest investment firm by assets, has acquired a controlling stake in the trade finance specialist through two of its banking subsidiaries, and FIMBank announced that this could lead the bank to adopt Islamic finance solutions. Although Malta’s Islamic finance sector is still in its infancy, the island has already been the founding place of the World Islamic Finance Institute, a body created to develop best practice in the industry. The organisation is based in Malta with a satellite office in Dubai and has some of the most respected Islamic finance operators, including the Bahraini Al Baraka Banking Group, among its founding members. SPVs & Trusts

Thus far, Malta caters especially for Islamic investors’ wealth management, estate planning and corporate finance needs. At the heart of its offering to the Islamic finance community is the SPV which has become a key element in Islamic finance transactions. SPVs can take the form of a limited liability company or a trust in Malta. There are numerous benefits in establishing a SPV 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


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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. Shariah Funds

Malta is regarded as a well-established fund domicile, and the sector is developing at a remarkable pace. 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 nonconventional asset classes, may only be licensed in Malta as PIFs, whilst Shariah-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 Shariah funds to work in. Islamic Insurance

Malta can also offer solutions for ‘Takaful 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.

230 Million Malta offers access to 230 million Muslims in Europe and North Africa, providing a massive client base for Islamic finance practitioners.


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Unlimited Possibilities

INSIGHT

Semitic Language Maltese is the only Semitic language written in the Latin alphabet. It is one of Malta’s official languages, with English being the other. While preserving its Arabic roots, in the course of its history, the language has adopted many loanwords, and even phonetic and phonological features, from Italian and English.

Market analysts expect Islamic finance worldwide to be valued up to US$5 trillion by 2016. While the UK has become the biggest Islamic finance centre in Europe, practitioners in Malta believe the island can establish its own place in this growing sector. Shariah-compliant investment banking, project and trade finance, as well as Shariah funds and insurance, could all appeal to customers in the nearby EU and North African markets, particularly in newly liberated Islamic states like Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Malta can also act as a conduit into other EU countries, such as Italy, which is currently an underdeveloped market for Islamic finance, despite having a Muslim population of over 1.5 million. Islamic finance can be lucrative for Muslims and equally viable for non-Muslims with its ethical, transparent and non-interest-bearing financial functions. With the economies of a number of Islamic countries rising, and the Muslim population of Europe set to double in the next decade, Islamic finance has been getting more attention in the mainstream business media than ever before. However, Malta’s success in this sector will be measured by the island’s ability to attract Islamic finance institutions and scholars to the country. A Window of Opportunity

Islamic finance, like every other type of financial activity, can benefit from Malta’s combination of experience, variety of skills, geographic location, infrastructure, transparency and openness. The country’s legal class and its professional advisors are continuously building up knowledge and experience in Islamic finance in order to support investors and provide guidance on how they can benefit from Malta’s legal and regulatory framework, while simultaneously complying with Shariah law. With all these factors in place, the potential for growth in Malta-based Islamic financial services is vast, and the country can be regarded as a gateway to Islamic Finance in Europe and North Africa. ■


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Intellectual Property

Releasing the Hidden Value

INSIGHT

Works of Art

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alta’s position as an International Finance Centre is being reinforced through the country’s strong focus on developing, protecting and commercialising intellectual property (IP). Copyrights, patents and trademarks, as well as other intellectual assets, have become important growth factors for companies. IP is everywhere – it is in a product’s name by way of a trademark, in a product’s formula secured by a patent, and in advertisement and marketing protected by copyrights. Building on its experience in corporate structuring and tax planning, Malta has developed a very attractive IP regime, including tax exemptions on royalty income from patents, copyrights and trademarks, that allows companies and individuals to take full advantage of their intellectual property rights. The island’s vision for the future is to become a trusted platform for international IP transactions and to support the development and growth of the complete IP supply chain.

Ornamental door knockers are common fixtures on the front doors of Maltese homes. Some are just simple rings, but the door knockers of large houses and palaces are works of art in brass and bronze. Dolphins, fish and seahorses are popular designs but there are also faces, coats of arms, natural and flowered motifs, and of course, the Maltese Cross.


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A Prime Location

Signatory to International Conventions

Malta has an established history as a European hub for corporate structuring and the management of companies due to its favourable tax regime and appealing legislation. International companies have relocated operations to Malta, using the island as a platform from which to reach out to Europe, Africa and beyond. As a member of the EU and the eurozone, Malta provides international business with significant advantages as a company domicile, offering fully EU-compliant legislation, efficient tax rates and an excellent professional services infrastructure. These factors, along with the advantages provided by 70 double tax treaties, underline Malta’s position as a key business centre. Already a top destination for corporate structuring, the island is set to build on its reputation and become a centre of IP activity and development.

Malta is a member of all the major organisations and treaties in the field of intellectual property such as the: • World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property; • Berne Convention for the Protection
of Literary and Artistic Works; • Universal Copyright Convention (UCC); • Universal Copyright Convention and the Agreement on TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual Property Right (TRIPs agreement);

Emerging IP Business

In positioning itself as an IP hub, Malta is starting from a position of strength. Its legal system protects the full range of IP rights and the country is a signatory to all major agreements in this field, ensuring the enforceability of IP rights in other countries. IP rights can be filed in, or through, Malta, but due to the market size, the registration of IP rights on the island is relatively low. However, a number of international corporations have discovered the benefits of using Malta to set up dedicated companies that can hold and manage their intellectual property rights worldwide. Long described as the ‘crown jewel’ assets or the ‘hidden value’ of a company, IP rights are increasingly commercialised and traded around the world. Given its outstanding business environment, robust IP protection regime and extensive experience in international transactions, Malta believes it has the potential to develop into a regional IP trading and licensing hub. The island is now reaching out to international IP owners – individuals, corporations, universities and research institutes – who are looking at ways on how to best manage their intellectual assets and generate revenue from them.

• WIPO Copyright Treaty; • WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty; • World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement; • European Patent Convention (EPC); • Patent Co-Operation Treaty (PCT).

Monetising IP

Separating the core business from the holding and management of IP rights has become increasingly popular in order to fully exploit IP assets and to benefit from the special tax incentives on offer. In Malta, an IP holding company may be incorporated as a normal limited liability company registered under the Companies Act, which can hold, license and market any type of intellectual asset, including trademarks, software copyrights, brand-names, patents, designs and technical know-how.


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The company can enter into licence and franchise agreements with other companies wishing to exploit these rights and may also acquire IP rights from third parties – for instance, in the context of a merger or acquisition, whereby the IP rights are acquired separately as part of the acquisition of the business. This way of structuring means that the IP company can benefit from Malta’s competitive tax regime and will have access to the country’s wide network of double taxation treaties. Incentive Framework

To encourage companies and professionals from around the world to bring their IP to Malta, the country enacted special tax incentives for the set-up of royalty companies. Royalties derived from a certain type of registered patent are totally exempt from tax. Patents qualify for this exemption if the patented invention is new, involves an inventive step, has industrial applications, or is a result of fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development. In 2012, the island introduced a similar tax exemption for royalties deriving from copyrights, including books, film scripts, music and art, while in 2013 the scheme has been extended to include certain type of trademarks. It is neither important where the patent, copyright or trademark has been developed nor whether they are registered in Malta or elsewhere, giving these exemptions an enormous reach. Together with Malta’s favourable geographic position, world-class legal and financial infrastructure, and its high-quality workforce, these incentives are strong reasons for IP owners to base their portfolios and management teams in Malta. IP Friendly Environment

Specialist service providers and Malta’s legal firms offer IP owners assistance in developing IP management strategies, providing guidance through all aspects of IP strategy, protection, exploitation, as well as the enforcement of IP rights. They can conclude comprehensive portfolio reviews, which flag issues such as business critical intellectual assets that should be protected, conduct searches in databases and registers, manage the registration of IP rights in Malta, as well as in other countries, and liaise with the relevant authorities for clients seeking to protect their creations and ideas. Malta also provides a strong and conducive business environment for companies to manage and trade their IP. It boasts lower operational costs than many of its EU peers, while laws and legislation can easily be accessed due to the fact that English is an official language.

■ Intellectual property has become a hot asset class for corporates and professionals worldwide, and Malta’s profile as an intellectual property holding jurisdiction has been significantly enhanced.


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Strengthening the Ecosystem

While Malta does have the potential to become a global centre for IP services, it remains something of a fledgling market. The main challenge for the sector as a whole is to record significant growth and maintain it over the coming years. It will be crucial for the island’s success to attract top IP service providers – in particular, commercial IP managers, experienced in connecting buyers with sellers, to shore up expertise and knowledge. The island also needs to ensure that its IP framework not only meets international standards, but also remains progressive and supportive of the needs of IP owners. Malta could follow the example of Guernsey by introducing personality and image rights to complement its other IP rights, thereby providing an attractive value proposition to sports personalities, musicians and actors to register their personality. The rapid evolution of the global IP landscape also presents opportunities in the field of arbitration. The island is in a good position to establish itself as a location for IP dispute resolution given the growing importance of the Malta Arbitration Centre (MAC). A Centre for Innovation

Malta has all the right elements in place to become a gateway for international IP protection and to build up a vibrant IP marketplace that supports global operations. The Maltese government considers IP as a new growth area and will support the development of the sector. IP-related activities also have a vital role in Malta’s wider economic development plan. Less than 1 per cent of Malta’s GDP is currently produced by research and development activity, but the island is determined to change this. Malta is fostering the growth of sectors such as life sciences, ICT and the creative industries, including the construction of industry clusters and dedicated infrastructure that facilitiates research and innovation. Offering companies a favourable location for the protection and management of their intellectual property, the island is hoping that once the IP is located on the island, the core business will follow. The aim is to bolster the country’s entire IP economy and support activities across the entire value chain, from the creation to the commercialisation and exploitation of IP. ■

Registration of IP Rights in, or through, Malta Applications for patents or designs must be filed with the Office of the Comptroller of Industrial Property. Malta is a signatory to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Patent Co-Operation Treaty (PCT). As a result, applications for patents under these agreements can also be made to the Office of the Comptroller of Industrial Property in Malta, indicating the countries for which the patent is sought. An application for a trademark must also be filed with the Office of the Comptroller of Industrial Property. European trademark and design registration can be obtained from the EU’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). Those applications can also be directed to the Malta office and individuals or enterprises can select the countries in which they wish to register their trademark.


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Arbitration

Corporate

Peacemakers B

reaches of contract, payment defaults and intellectual property theft – businesses are increasingly reverting to alternative methods for the resolution of these types of commercial conflicts, and Malta is positioning itself in the multi-billion dollar arbitration market. Arbitration is fast establishing itself on the island as a welcome alternative to traditional litigation, enabling disputes to be resolved in a more informal, yet legally sound and confidential, environment. Malta is being seen as an emerging arbitral venue due to its geographically convenient location, its sophisticated physical and political infrastructure, as well as its legal framework that is on par with the best international practices and meets the needs of the global arbitration community. From the Cold War to Global Corporations

Despite being a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has a history of being the venue of international conflict resolution: the country hosted the famous Bush-Gorbachev summit in 1989 that ended the Cold War. Today, global corporations are turning to the island to solve commercial disputes of all kinds within the energy, construction, infrastructure, trade and commodities sectors. It also has expertise in shipping and insurance arbitrations, while disputes between investors and the government of countries in which they invest can also be solved in Malta.


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INSIGHT

Turning the Tide Malta’s neutrality and peacefulness helped convince US President George H. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to attend a superpower summit on board a cruise ship, anchored off the coast of Marsaxlokk Harbour. This summit, in December 1989, effectively ended the Cold War.

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countries have signed the New York Convention which enforces an arbitral award across borders

It is unfortunate, yet true, that commercial disputes have become an inevitable feature of the business landscape in recent years. Nevertheless, the silver lining of this particular black cloud is that this trend has given birth to a thriving industry of international arbitration. Arbitration is a form of voluntary dispute resolution by a private ‘judge’ instead of a state court. An arbitrator, who is a neutral third party, renders a final and binding award – a method that is especially useful in international commercial transactions where parties are often unfamiliar with foreign legal systems. In arbitration, both parties control the process from the outset, leading to significant cost-savings compared to litigation; they themselves mutually choose the arbitrator, who often has special expertise in the subject matter, and decide on issues such as the venue and the language of the proceedings. Located strategically between Europe and North Africa and within easy reach of the Middle East, Malta offers companies from the region the right environment to solve commercial disputes. In 1996 the island implemented the Arbitration Act, which is based on the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration set out by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). This created a legal framework which gave parties all the necessary flexibility for arbitral proceedings, acting as a precursor for the establishment of the Malta Arbitration Centre (MAC) which started its operations in March 2000. Today, all arbitrations in Malta have to be carried out under the auspices of the MAC. Wealth of Experience

The MAC manages over 450 arbitrations a year, a fact that clearly demonstrates that the local arbitrators have become very experienced in this field. The majority of disputes being referred to the MAC are of a domestic nature so far. This is due to the introduction of mandatory arbitrations in 2004, where certain disputes, such as motor insurance claims, are by law referred to arbitration. Since the introduction of mandatory arbitrations, over 3,300 cases have been referred to the MAC, of which 2,600 have already been settled. The MAC has also provided for around 300 commercial disputes between local companies. Many firms repeatedly use the Centre’s services and appreciate the confidentiality of the proceedings. The appeal of Malta as a destination for international arbitrations is also steadily increasing. The high percentage of local arbitration is unusual when compared to other countries, since the courts traditionally


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remain the arena of choice for the vast majority of domestic commercial disputes. This shows, however, that arbitration has become a true alternative to litigation in Malta and, as a useful by-product, has given the country’s arbitrators valuable experience and a thorough understanding of the arbitration process in general. Informal Proceedings

Once the case is filed with the MAC, a consultation between the parties is held in order to deal with all preliminary matters, including the appointment of the arbitral tribunal to hear and decide the case, thus ensuring that the arbitral proceedings commence right away. The parties are free to agree whether one arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators should be appointed. The MAC will only intervene should the parties fail to agree on an arbitrator. One of the key advantages of arbitration is that the parties can appoint an arbitrator with knowledge and understanding of the subject matter of the dispute. The MAC has a number of Panels of Arbitrators with expertise on offer, ranging from specialist insurance, construction and taxation professionals to experts in the maritime, finance and accounting sector. Alternatively, parties can also engage a foreign arbitrator who can also be chosen from the Panel of International Arbitrators maintained by the MAC. The arbitration hearings themselves are much less formal than court proceedings. The time, date, deadlines and location are all selected at the behest of the parties themselves, and it is their decision as to whether lawyers or other experts are to be involved. Awards delivered are final and binding and, once registered with the MAC, they constitute an executive title and can thus be enforced as court judgements. An award can be appealed in a court of law on a point of law, which appeal will then render the award public. This right of appeal, however, can be excluded by agreement between the parties. Significant Advantages

Although the exact cost of arbitration depends on the duration of the proceedings, the number of witnesses and the expert analysis required, it is still usually cheaper than litigation. The parties agree a fee directly with the arbitral tribunal, making costs more calculable. Registry fees are lower in Malta than in other arbitration centres, such as London or Paris, which makes the country an ideal location for arbitration of trans-border contracts whose parties wish to avoid the risk of having to litigate in the other party’s courts. In addi-

■ Malta is ready to become a popular location for the resolution of commercial conflicts, as arbitration is steadily gaining ground as an alternative to court litigation.


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tion, the entire process is underpinned by an eďŹƒcient infrastructure which is comprised of educated English-speaking professionals who have experience in dealing with international businesses. The law in Malta is strongly pro-arbitration. To ensure the enforceability of awards, the Malta Arbitration Act incorporates the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, which has been signed by some 150 states, the 1923 Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses, the 1927 Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards, and the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States. These international agreements help the successful party in arbitration to enforce the award in the country in which the losing party has assets. A handful of international arbitration awards have already been enforced in Maltese courts. Poised for Growth

While the MAC has been seen primarily as a domestic arbitration centre, progress has been made in recent years to enhance confidence in Malta as an international arbitration hub. However, the Maltese government believes that much more can be done to promote Malta, in particular as a location for arbitration of disputes arising in the emerging markets of North Africa. The MAC is keen to expand its activities and is also pointing out the benefits of arbitration to a wider audience, including eGaming operators and agribusinesses. Arbitration in general is expected to grow. One in four companies are said to have experienced commercial disputes in the past two years and, as more small and medium-sized businesses are expanding their cross-border transactions, the number of disputes resulting from this activity is likely to increase. One of the long-term goals of the MAC is to formulate a separate set of rules for international arbitrations to ensure that Malta’s framework reflects the very best of modern practice in international arbitration. Arbitration is fast becoming a popular choice for international businesses because it remains as legally binding as court action but can be conducted in a more flexible, affordable and timely manner. Given the growing interest in its myriad advantages, a central Mediterranean location such as Malta is sure to see an increase in the number, size and complexity of international arbitration cases handled over the coming years. ■


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Maritime & Yachting

Europe’s

Flagship Although the global shipping industry is facing a challenging period, the growth of Malta’s maritime sector shows little sign of slowing. The island now hosts Europe’s largest shipping register, has five per cent of the world’s superyacht fleet under its administration, and boasts a legal and regulatory framework that has made Malta a safe, efficient and profitable location in which to do business. Key to this success has been the island’s wellrun international maritime register where high service standards are attracting clients from as far away as Asia and Latin America. In parallel with its strong shipping register, Malta has also cultivated world-class support services to provide the best possible facilities and expertise for ship owners, financers and operators who choose to become a part of Malta’s rich maritime industry. Business streams such as ship finance, litigation and maritime security are all experiencing growth while future plans, such as the construction of a new maritime park, demonstrate the government’s confidence in the sector.


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Strong Heritage

Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean, Malta has a centuries-old maritime tradition. The island’s strategic location midway between Europe, the Middle East and North Africa has seen it used as a transshipment hub for thousands of years by everyone from the Phoenicians to the Order of Saint John, with the latter responsible for transforming Valletta into the harbour city it is today. The capital’s Grand Harbour area was used by corsairs and privateers in the 17th century and even became a major naval base during British rule in the 19th and 20th centuries. The picture today is perhaps less colourful, focusing on commercial and leisure shipping, but history has bequeathed Malta a strong maritime culture, with the island offering some of the best services and facilities in the Mediterranean. A Rapid Ascent

INSIGHT

A Maritime Showcase Malta has a longstanding maritime vocation, and today the island boast one of the largest and most reputable ship registers in the world. Fort St. Angelo is the

Ship registration is today the main engine of growth in Malta’s maritime sector. Malta’s shipping register, although it was established as recently as 1973, has grown steadily ever since. The register and tonnage alone doubled in the past 15 years, with Malta overtaking Greece and Cyprus to top the rankings as Europe’s largest in 2011 and 2012. Malta’s register ranges from oil tankers to superyachts, from LNG carriers to cruise ships, and from bulk carriers to RORO ships. Today over 6,200 vessels sail under the Maltese flag, with some 400 superyachts (vessels over 24 metres in length) registered in Malta at the end of 2013. Over the past ten years, the global luxury superyacht market has expanded beyond all expectations, and the development of a new yacht code has made the registration of commercial and pleasure yachts, including superyachts, in Malta very attractive. However, there is much more to the country’s shipping industry than its registered merchant fleet: Malta is also home to a premier maritime cluster, including excellent yacht marinas, cargo port facilities, and shipbuilding and repair services, in addition to a wide range of finance, law, insurance and management facilities.

jewel in Malta’s rich military heritage. It stands majestically at the tip of Vittoriosa, which is also known as Birgu, and is possibly one of the oldest fortifications on the island.

Global Appeal

Dedicated legislation and tight registration criteria, all in line with EU Directives and International Maritime Organisation conventions, as well as a high-level 24/7 administrative service are among the driving forces behind the success of Malta’s burgeoning shipping industry. As one of only two open registers in the EU, registration is available to vessels owned by Maltese and non-Maltese persons, and in practice any kind of vessel may be registered, including one under construction.


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Traditionally, Malta has been a favourite among Greek ship owners and, while Greek-operated ships and the Malta Flag administration still work hand in hand, the island has recently seen an influx of vessels from Germany and Turkey. Attracted by minimal bureaucracy and an unparalleled customer service, they appreciate that Transport Malta, the regulator of all maritime activities, is on call 24-hours a day to deal with problems from managers or ships’ staff. In addition, documentation can be lodged outside normal Central European working hours – a service which is important for ship owners and financiers coming from the Americas or the Far East. Flying the Flag

The main reason that so many vessels choose to fly the Maltese flag can be found in favourable legislation and regulations offering ship owners substantial cost-savings. Registration costs and the fees of service providers have remained very affordable, while the Maltese flag also offers an advantageous tonnage tax system for income derived from shipping and ship management activities. Transport Malta goes to great lengths to emphasise that Malta is a flag of confidence and not one of convenience. The island’s status as an EU member state, its state-of-the-art maritime framework and the excellent safety records of Malta-flagged ships helped the island to be officially classified as a low-risk flag. Transport Malta has put a premium on quality by introducing regulations which require ships aged 15 years and over to pass additional inspections, and ships over 25 years are simply not accepted on the register. The island now has one of the youngest fleets in the world, with the average age of vessels at registration down to seven years. The island’s regulations are also a big part of Malta’s attraction to yacht owners. For example, yachts registered as commercial vessels can benefit by paying an annual tax on the tonnage, rather than an income tax on earnings. For yachts which are not commercially registered, Malta operates an attractive system for purchasing and leasing. This enables yacht owners to pay VAT on their yachts calculated on the percentage of the time that vessels are deemed to have sailed in EU waters – based on the assumption that the larger the yacht, the less time it stays in those waters and vice-versa. Malta also protects superyacht financiers from defaulters. The regulations enable any person with an executive title to obtain a court-approved sale. The Merchant Shipping Act also entitles the mortgagee to take possession of the yacht and to sell it privately to a third party – usually for much more than he/she would get from a judicial sale.


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The Malta Flag in Figures (2013)

51.8 million gross tonnage

6,248 ships registered in Malta

7 years Average age of vessels at registration

11.7 years Average age of merchant fleet


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Keeping the Momentum

On a global scale, shipping is going through a challenging period due to reduced trade volumes in the wake of worldwide recession, but this has still not seemed to deter the growth of Malta’s own maritime industry. The development of In Europe the international ship register has also encouraged owners and management companies to locate their operations in Malta and tap into the island’s professional services. Malta’s lawyers and corporate service providers are among the most experienced in international circles and can advise on all aspects of registration and operation of vessels. With a growing international finance sector, Malta is destined to see future opportunities arising in banking and insurance. Malta’s success is also down to a raft of new initiatives designed to achieve the government’s target of developing Malta into a centre for maritime excellence. Among the initiatives being undertaken is one to protect Maltese registered vessels against piracy by allowing armed guards on board and introducing a licensing regime for private maritime security com-

1st

The Malta Ship Register

7th

In the World


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panies – a first in international maritime history. Recently, the island has also adopted a reduced VAT rate on short-term yacht charters commencing in Malta. While such charters will continue to be subject to a rate of 18 per cent on the cost of the charter, this will only be applied proportionally, based on the amount of time the charter is in EU waters. Malta’s proximity to North African and Eastern Mediterranean destinations means that a superyacht charter could be undertaken where a significant portion of the time is spent beyond the realms of the EU and its tax rules. A Service Industry

The newest addition to Malta’s maritime sector will be the 172,000 square metre Maritime Services Park to be constructed in Marsa, which will host a range of technical and commercial service providers, as well as providing space for offices, workshops and other ancillary infrastructure. Though the privatisation of the shipyards a few years ago initially lowered the number of jobs in the maritime sector, growth in the shipservicing segment is creating new employment opportunities, and the Maritime Services Park looks set to solidify this trend. Another key factor that provides the bedrock for such an appealing maritime sector is the various specialist companies that make up the rest of the maritime cluster. This includes

■ Malta has become the flagship register of Europe’s merchant vessels and is rapidly on its way of becoming the EU’s most recognised address for the maritime industry.


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Growth in superyacht registrations 2009-2013

IT companies who specialise in marine software engineering and electrical engineering companies who develop and install vessel-management systems. There are also five marinas on the island catering for luxury, private and charter vessels. Some of the most luxurious superyachts often stop at the island in order to make use of the wide variety of services available. The sheer volume of facilities, including names such as Palumbo, Bezzina Ship Repair Yard and Cassar Ship Repair Yard, make for a competitive and productive environment. The Manoel Island Yacht Yard is ideal for the refitting and repairing of vessels up to 40 metres, while Palumbo’s superyacht facility is capable of handling vessels up to 360 metres. Looking to the Horizon

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Malta’s growth in the maritime sector has not happened by accident but is the result of a constant effort to improve the island’s competitiveness and service offering. Today, the country’s legislative and regulatory frameworks rank among the best in the world, offering high standards, high service levels and a quality international reputation which makes flying the Maltese flag ensign a competitive alternative to other registers. Given the cluster of services already on offer, the island’s maritime professionals believe that any other rival destination will find it difficult to compete with Malta. ■


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Aviation

A Flight Plan that Works

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n less than three years Malta’s aviation industry has experienced rapid growth, thanks to an appealing regulatory framework and continued investment from the government, as well as private companies. This support has allowed the industry to focus on attracting new names to its expanding aircraft register,


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INSIGHT

Overlooking the Bay Located on a hilltop, Mellieha offers stunning views all year around. Its name derives from the Semitic root “ml-h”, meaning salt in Arabic. The village is known mostly for its beach – the largest sandy beach in Malta.

streamlining its regulations and exploring new opportunities for development. Malta’s aviation sector aspires to follow in the successful footsteps of the country’s long-established maritime industry, which to this day retains the largest shipping register in Europe. The intention is now to attract growing numbers of private and corporate jets from across the globe. Malta is already home to a selection of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers and hosts a number of firms catering for everything from crew training to engineering services and communications. The examples set by aviation finance powerhouses, for instance Ireland, are also being used as a template for sustainable growth in the industry. A Watershed Moment

Malta’s first aircraft register was established in the 1960s, but was populated only by aeroplanes operated by the country’s national carrier, Air Malta, in addition to a small number of business jets and light aircraft. Though the industry saw gradual improvement through the years, it was not until the arrival of aircraft servicing company Lufthansa Technik in the early 2000s that other companies chose to explore the opportunities available on the island. Joining the EU in 2004, and later enacting the Aircraft Registration Act in 2010, contributed towards Malta’s transformation into a competitive location for both private and corporate jets, establishing the island as an aviation centre of excellence that today offers everything from registration and finance to repair, maintenance and training. A New Dawn

Regardless of comparisons with the maritime sector, aviation has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country: it currently provides 2.5 per cent of Malta’s GDP and supports over 5,000 jobs. The country’s expanding aviation register is generally regarded as a key driver behind the growth of the industry. The number of aircraft registered under the Maltese flag has skyrocketed in recent years, from just 90 in 2010 up to 155 today. This growth is due in no small part to the sector’s helpful legislation. Malta’s Aircraft Registration Act strives to do away with unnecessary red tape and regulatory burdens, while maintaining the added protection of being fully recognised by Maltese and EU law. The legislation allows the registration of an aircraft while it is still under construction, the recognition of fractional ownership and the regulation of trust agreements in relation to aircraft.


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Pooling Resources

Malta’s aviation sector is expanding by the year. Corporate charter airlines such as Comlux, Orion Malta and Carree all registered aircraft in the country. Aircraft management companies DC Aviation and Hangar 8 also established operations on the island. Austrian private jet company VistaJet announced in the summer of 2013 that it planned to register 40 new Bombardier aircraft under the Malta flag, adding to the increasing number of private jet companies choosing Malta as an ideal location for the management of their fleets. Transport Malta, the regulator of both the maritime and aviation industries, offers fees that are amongst the lowest in the EU, as well as streamlined regulations that are in full compliance with the international safety standards set out by the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA). It also provides an attentive, personal service to companies choosing to set up on the island due to the current register size. As this sector expands at an increasingly rapid pace, and to maintain the level of service provided thus far, the island plans to establish an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority and develop a holistic aviation policy. Sustaining Momentum

As well as developing cutting-edge legislation, Malta has recently sought to position itself at the forefront of aircraft finance transactions. Thus far, Malta and Ireland have been the only countries to ratify the Cape Town Convention, which is widely recognised as the market standard in aircraft finance. The Convention provides certainty to investors in the event a debtor defaults and details procedures that should be undertaken if this happens, such as taking possession or control of the aircraft, selling or granting a lease in the aircraft, and collecting or receiving any income or profits arising from the management or use of the aircraft. A simplified method of VAT assessment was also introduced at the end of 2012 which makes the purchase and subsequent lease of an aircraft more attractive, whereby VAT becomes due only for the time an aircraft operates in the European Union. In addition, Malta offers the aviation industry a competitive tax system and access to over 70 double taxation treaties worldwide. These advantages, combined with EU membership and the fact that English – the global language of aviation – is one of Malta’s official languages, enhances the country’s proposition as a base for aviation operators.

■ Malta’s aviation sector has begun stepping out of the maritime industry’s shadow as the number of aircraft listed on its aircraft registry has increased rapidly in recent years.


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Supportive Environment

A major boost for Malta’s aviation industry was the inauguration of the new €17 million, 200,000-square metre Safi Aviation Park in 2012, which hosts a number of business aircraft operators and MRO facilities. The government sees this development as instrumental in attracting more large aircraft-leasing and charter companies, thus sustaining the industry’s upward trajectory. Further steps in the creation of an aviation cluster at Malta International Airport have been taken by jet servicing company MCM. They will be investing €5.5 million on the building of a new 2,400 square metre hangar, enabling them to expand their services to larger aircraft. These strong investments in physical infrastructure are also supported by a growing number of ancillary services provided by law and accountancy firms, who are able to assist aircraft owners, managers, lessors and lessees, financiers and aircraft MRO facilities on a wide range of issues. They advise on sale and purchase deals, aircraft registration, chartering and leasing, and the drafting of aviation-related service agreements pertaining to maintenance and repair. Growth in aircraft registrations 2010-2013

Growing Leasing Market

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With 40 per cent of the world’s aircraft being leased today, and this percentage set to increase in the coming years, aircraft leasing proves to offer tremendous opportunities for Malta to position itself as a Mediterranean hub alongside established or emerging centres, such as Dublin or Singapore. The main challenge for Malta’s aviation finance and leasing industry in meeting its own growth targets is to develop the required expertise; but the island is confident that with increased exposure to international transactions it will quickly develop a track record of high-quality work. To take full advantage of the growing aircraft leasing and financing markets, it will be important for Malta to further develop its tax treaty network, in particular with the large and developing economies in Asia that are increasingly on the radar of the industry. Basing operations in Malta allows companies to access a quality labour force including lawyers, tax and aircraft technical specialists. As well as housing some of the big names, the sector offers a range of opportunities for smaller companies, with aircraft refurbishment firms being among the most common. Other profitable niches, such as custom IT design or specialist airline reservation call centres, are seeing the benefits of joining an expanding sector first hand. Major airlines also regard the country as a prime recruitment location for niche markets, such as aircrew training, due to the language abili-


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ties of the Maltese, their lower labour costs and their famously ardent work ethic. The growth of the industry has also allowed the establishment of flight academies, as well as permitting the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) to begin offering aviation-related training. Added to its very supportive environment, Malta has taken strides to attract an even greater share of top-tier talent and world-class firms by extending tax-friendly policies, originally drawn up for the finance industry, to the aviation sector. Foreign aircraft managers coming to Malta can now benefit from a reduced income tax rate. A Strong Foundation

With a rapidly growing aircraft register, appealing legislation and a strong support infrastructure, Malta’s aviation industry looks set to continue its extraordinary expansion. Although the global aviation industry is challenged for profitability, the growth for years ahead seems to be assured by an increasing demand for safe and efficient transport in every corner of the world. Due to its lower cost base and competitive tax framework, more and more companies are choosing to capitalise on the opportunities available on the island. This implies that the aviation ecosystem will grow further and create more opportunities for service providers to expand in tandem with the sector. The government has also announced its intention to invest heavily in the aviation industry’s research and development sector in order to retain its competitiveness on a global scale. Should Malta’s aviation sector maintain, or even improve, upon its recent performance, there is little doubt that it will achieve its goal of emulating the maritime industry’s worldwide success and build up the critical mass to reinforce its position. ■

200,000 square metres

The Safi Aviation Park offers hangers and associated facilities


Payments Industry 187

Payments Industry

Simple, Secure, Smart

INSIGHT

A Symbol of Protection The traditional Maltese fishing boat is called “luzzu”. They are brightly painted in shades of yellow, red, blue and green. All Maltese boats also have the Eye of Osiris painted on them – a symbol said to have been brought to Malta by the Phoenicians. The eye is believed to protect the fishermen from any harm and danger.

M

alta has become a preferred location for the processing of online and mobile payments for customers from across the globe. The island’s payments industry has developed at a rapid pace, interacting directly with the island’s strong financial services, telecoms and eCommerce sectors. Companies offering payment gateways or card services have established operations in the country, and Malta has proved to be a dynamic onthe-ball player by offering a new licence for electronic money (eMoney) institutions. 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 the island’s accessibility and lower costs have been a major draw to international payment providers seeking a secure environment to offer new transaction channels.

Demand Drivers

The first payment service providers, card issuers, payment gateways and eWallets to set up on the island were attracted by its role as a hub for ICT firms. They started servicing and supporting the growing number of eGaming companies that flocked to the island due to its favourable fiscal and regulatory regime. Today Malta is home to more than 250 operators and


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is regarded as Europe’s eGaming capital. At the same time, the island has built up a reputation as a safe and stable international finance centre, having weathered the challenges posed by both the global financial crisis and the EU sovereign debt crisis. With a cutting-edge IT infrastructure, and with successive governments investing heavily in an eSociety, Malta has turned its attention towards establishing an independent payments industry and is focused on attracting payment and eMoney institutions to the island with some measure of success already being felt.

18 6

Payment Hub

(September 2013)

A total of 18 payment institutions operate in Malta as of September 2013. Credorax, All Financial Services, and Fexserv – which started as a foreign exchange business but now offers a wide range of services including international payments – are just some of the companies that process payments for merchants and individuals worldwide. The sector also saw some traction with the introduction of an updated regime for eMoney institutions. Since October 2011, when Syspay Ltd was the first company to receive its licence from Malta’s regulator, five other companies have followed its lead. The main difference between the two types of service providers is that only eMoney institutions are allowed to issue electronic money in addition to other services usually provided by payment institutions such as credit transfers, direct debits or money remittance. A number of specialist PCI certified payment service providers have also established operations in Malta, offering a full range of payment services. These companies have seen their business expand radically over the past few years, and they now collectively service several hundred merchant customers every month, with between 20 and 30 per cent of their business being generated by the online gaming industry that operates out of Malta. A Leading Location

With safety and security being a major concern for consumers, and the desire of companies to be based within a reputable EU jurisdiction, Malta offers the opportunity to operate in a well-regulated environment and service customers throughout the European Union. Malta’s legislation is modern and sophisticated, ahead of many of its competitors in the areas of eFinancial services regulation and facilitation. The island is in particular being seen as a convenient location for the European headquarters of American and Asian financial institutions wanting to enter the EU market. A significant portion of the

Payments institutions and

eMoney institutions operate out of Malta


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global payments sector is also made up of small technology start-ups. Malta’s lower cost gives these companies significantly more runway. Many of these firms also moved to Malta to gain access to its technological infrastructure. The island boasts a steadily growing community of financial software developers and is positioning itself as a centre for app development, creating a cluster of related activities and an ecosystem of support for the payments industry. Consumer Confidence

Malta’s legislative and regulatory framework places great emphasis on anti-money laundering and anti-fraud measures. Overseen and supervised by a single regulator, a licence from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) can assure consumers of the integrity of a payment solution. An organisation’s safeguard measures, risk management procedures and money laundering controls are thoroughly examined in the licensing process. The MFSA has built up a reputation as being very approachable and offers potential operators the opportunity of a face-to-face meeting to explain their business model. Industry participants setting up in Malta can then choose between four distinctive licences: the banking licence, the eMoney institution licence, the financial institution licence, and the payment institution licence. While a fully-fledged banking licence offers operators the opportunity to provide online banking services, an eMoney institution licence is more attractive to standalone eMoney institutions such as eWallets because it allows operations to start with a lower capital requirement (€350,000) when compared to a full banking licence (€1 million). Top-Level Infrastructure

Handling large amounts of transactions each day, and connecting customers from different parts of the world, Malta’s payments industry requires a strong and reliable telecommunications infrastructure. To serve the industry’s needs, the country has expanded its international connectivity and communications capacity enormously over the last few years, with four submarine fibre optic cables connecting the island to the European mainland. International connectivity is pivotal to the further development of this sector and all three operators, GO, Vodafone and Melita Cable, emphasise that their future capacity is virtually unlimited. This means that connectivity issues do not limit future growth. Range of Service Providers

Malta also boasts a number of specialist firms offering services

■ With global non-cash transactions on the rise, Malta has developed into a centre for ePayments on the cutting-edge of innovation.


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to the industry. From legal, accounting and corporate services to technical security audits and PCI compliance testing, the country has established a strong contingent of professional and technical services providers to meet the holistic requirements of electronic financial institutions. Specialist advice is also available surrounding issues such as compliance, risk management and licensing. Malta is able to offer operators services at costs that are generally 20 to 30 per cent lower than in other Western European locations. This adds enormous value to the island’s overall package for payment providers, and the opportunity to apply this value across all areas of required services, whether legal, corporate or technical, further reinforces the island’s competitive advantage as an established financial services centre. Market Potential

Malta’s professionals believe that there is strong potential to attract more payment business given the overall growth of the industry. The presence of a large number of financial services, eGaming and eCommerce companies situated on the island means that they can tap into an established cluster of service providers as well as potential clients. The country’s payments industry offers entrepreneurs significant opportunities to win business internationally. While passporting rights offer access to European markets, Malta’s geographical location means that companies can also use the island as a springboard to African markets. In particular, developing countries are driving growth in this sector. Mobile payments have played a big role in financial inclusion in Africa where the population fully embraces new payment options due to a lack of traditional infrastructure, such as credit cards and banks. Remittances and money transfer are also gaining popularity in these nations. A World-Class System

The payments sector has become a crowded market and competition is intense. Reputation and innovation are more important than ever today. In this climate, Malta offers the payments industry highly advantageous conditions. Companies are able to benefit from Malta’s favourable tax regime, relatively low cost base and experienced, qualified personnel, as well as its strategic location midway between Europe and Africa. The island’s well-respected banking system, and widely praised legislative and regulatory regime, give payment providers the security of knowing they are operating within a world-class system, offering sophisticated methods for online payments and ensuring that customer satisfaction is high. ■


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Shared Services & Outsourcing

Europe’s Back Office

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alta’s shared services and outsourcing industry is rapidly moving up the value chain to sustain the growth started by the island’s call centres. Economic progress has opened up several new avenues in sectors such as financial services, IT and software development. Malta has benefitted from the recent ‘nearshoring’ trend that has seen many businesses moving westwards from Asia – with the search for higher quality eroding the traditional global offshore dominance of India, the Philippines and China. With cost no longer the prime driver, Malta’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry offers high-end customer care and sophisticated service in an EU and eurozone location. With a large pool of English-speaking talent, cost savings of 20 to 30 per cent in comparison to other EU countries, and a time zone positioning ideal for Europe, America and Asia it comes as no surprise that more and more companies are looking to Malta for their outsourcing needs.


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INSIGHT

A Modern Landmark Located in the heart of St Julian’s, the state-of-theart Portomaso Business Tower has become one of the country’s most iconic modern landmarks. The 23-storey tower was built to the highest specifications to offer a top-quality business environment. The complex also encompasses a marina and a residential development.

The Second Coming

Malta’s emergence as an outsourcing location began in the calland contact-centre market and was built upon some of the country’s most fundamental strengths: the fact that English is an official language, near universal fluency in Italian and widespread knowledge of at least one other European language. Financial services companies were the first to take advantage of the development of the call-centre sector in Malta. One example was Malta’s 2006 success in edging out India in the bid to host HSBC’s global call centre for English-language calls. While a number of other international call centres were set up on the island, Malta soon recognised that the future lay in the provision of higher value-added services, and over a relatively short period the island’s outsourcing sector evolved. The growth of Malta’s international business and finance centre has encouraged companies to offer their services


Shared Services & Outsourcing 194

as independent outsourcers. The island also proves fertile ground for shared services centres that are responsible for the handling of specific functions supporting a group’s global operations in areas such as HR, finance and IT. Malta’s swift ascendency in the outsourcing sector was highlighted in 2013 when the island was listed among the top five FDI locations for BPO and managed services worldwide by an FDI intelligence think tank. European Player

The shift to higher-value services has greatly benefitted Malta. Many Maltese firms now offer so-called Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) functions, in which more skilled professionals can assist in knowledge-based areas of work on behalf of finance, insurance or banking companies. While developing economies have struggled to acquire investments from client nations, Malta has continued to show signs of evolution and maturity. Today the sector employs thousands of people, and Malta is a top nearshoring centre for Europe. A large number of companies offer customer management, including sales, marketing and customer care, or enterprise services such as HR, finance and accounting. Some firms have specialised, providing vertical services with a specific industry focus, such as compliance for the finance industry, while others offer supply management in the field of logistics, procurement and warehousing. The key markets for Malta’s outsourcing firms are accounts based in the UK, France and Germany; though the next few years are expected to herald a period of worldwide interest in what this small island nation has to offer. Constantly Evolving

The largest BPO providers in Malta today are the Swedish company Besedo (specialising in content moderation and media management) and Centrecom, an international call- and contact-centre. Both also source a significant volume of contracts from the local market. Besedo services most of Malta’s eCommerce and eGaming companies, while Centrecom, which mainly offers services to airlines, has diversified its portfolio to include Malta’s utility company and its transport authority. Boasting large numbers of accounting firms, including boutique practices and the ‘Big Four’, accountancy is the biggest outsourcing sector. Companies are also offering foreign clients back-office services, such as the processing and recording of invoices and sales transactions, accounts management, and information reporting. In the area of shared services, Malta is


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differentiating itself from traditional outsourcing locations by viewing shared services as a high performance business, and many entities are now expanding to deliver high-value services, including business analysis and decision support to their parent companies, in areas such as finance and accounting, IT, HR, customer service, procurement, payroll, real estate and marketing. A Focus on Excellence

In recent years, Malta’s outsourcing industry has diversified, now delivering services in a wide range of sectors and industries, including transport, financial, and software services, as well as for investment, insurance and shipping firms. In the face of global competition, Maltese companies have focused on providing high-end analytic services as most organisations are today outsourcing not only business processes but also knowledge ones, including market research and financial analysis. While voice services accounted for the bulk of the business a few years ago, most opportunities currently arise from data services, such as form filling, web research and content provision. In particular, its pool of professionals with degrees in finance, banking or insurance has made the island attractive for the outsourcing of activities that are analytical or skills-intensive. With strong data protection legislation and risk-management frameworks, Malta is recognised as a safer location than other outsourcing destinations for the holding of customer information. In addition, there is a trend in shared services towards adopting better practices and centralising higher value functions in knowledge economies, allowing Malta to position itself at the value-added end of the shared services market. With the global outsourcing market expected to grow by 5 per cent annually and Malta’s status as a financial centre on the rise, the stage is set for the country to improve its already solid reputation as an outsourcing destination. The Human Element

The island’s close cultural affinity with the UK and the rest of Europe, combined with its strong work ethic, give it a significant advantage across many sectors. While costs may be higher than in Asia, many European companies that outsource work to Malta comment that it offers better all-round value for money: the workforce is highly educated and wages are reasonable, and employee turnover is relatively low, resulting in reduced training costs and better quality of service. The island also boasts an excellent ICT infrastructure, with large-bandwidth net-


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â–  With its focus on professionalism and customer care, Malta is steadily building a reputation as one of the key hubs in Europe for shared services centres and outsourcing.

works providing high capacity international connectivity via four submarine fibre-optic cables. The robustness of the IT and telecoms infrastructure, coupled with the good language skills of the Maltese workforce, as well as an attractive business and living environment, will further drive Malta’s outsourcing and shared services success. Opportunities Ahead

New opportunities for the outsourcing industry are emerging in tandem with the development of the economy. The outsourcing of R&D functions is a recent trend and, as this sector expands, Malta is seeking to attract large global players and independent niche firms to reassign particular roles to the island. Outsourced services could range from the transcription of client information to data analysis or intellectual property searches. In particular, the international finance centre is expected to create further growth for the industry, which could undertake routine or administrative tasks, such as filling in online data entry forms and processing insurance claims, or repetitive administrative work involved in fund administration. For international companies looking at setting up shared services centres, Malta offers a gateway to the European Union, equipped to provide both basic business support and best-ofbreed services for knowledge-intensive functions. The challenge will be to compete with other outsourcing destinations in Eastern Europe as well as in Western Europe, such as Ireland and Portugal, where the BPO sector is benefitting from international bailouts, which involve salary cuts and efficiency improvements. Quality over Quantity

Malta has proved itself to be a dynamic, on-the-ball player in the international services market. Companies face no infrastructure bottlenecks: with its highly qualified, multilingual workforce, advanced telecommunications, favourable business environment and strategic location, the island has the potential to offer measurable added value to operations that choose the country as their preferred location. The task for the future is to continue to increase efficiency and proficiency in order to compete with other European destinations and to create broader awareness of what Malta has to offer. As the outsourcing market matures, Malta offers clients an attractive package: industry expertise and insight, as well as analytics and innovation, at a competitive price. If global trends are anything to go by, then the prospects for the country to attract more outsourcing business are certainly encouraging. â– 


Financial Software Development 198

Financial Software Development

Mobilising Digital Finance

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alta’s growing status as an International Finance Centre (IFC) has become a healthy breeding ground for tech companies targeting the financial sector. With Fintech (short for financial technology) the island is positioning itself in the world of virtual finance and is keen to expand this niche in the years ahead. Malta offers financial software developers the opportunity to be located in one of the fastest growing finance centres, in close proximity to potential employers, contractors and investors. With an established state-of-the-art telecoms infrastructure capable of hosting and delivering round the clock connectivity to mainland Europe, Malta provides a tailor-made environment vastly conducive to Fintech entrepreneurs. Malta’s small size and low costs make it an ideal start-up location, while the potential synergies with Malta’s finance centre also make it a natural choice for international companies looking to expand into Fintech or use the island as a springboard to nearby markets.


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ICT Hub

Malta’s information, communication and technology (ICT) sector thrives on rapid innovation and the introduction of new technologies. The sector is constantly evolving, with impressive growth being driven by a wide array of segments, such as cloud computing, mobile platforms and applications, social networking and animation. The first companies to take advantage of what Malta offers, such as fiscal benefits, a strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean and cultural proximity to Europe, were eGaming and eCommerce companies. The sector has expanded considerably beyond its humble beginnings, now employing around 7,000 people and boasting a vibrant and dynamic software development industry. Over the years, Malta has become one of Europe’s favoured destinations for foreign direct investment within the ICT industry. The island has attracted not only the large global brands but also smaller, more specialised software developers from countries such as the UK, Sweden and Germany. All have found the island to be a profitable and productive location. Today, several hundred ICT companies operate in, or from, Malta. The majority of these are micro-enterprises but, at the same time, many high-profile names have been attracted to the country, including Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle. The island’s ICT firms realised early on that growth can be achieved by specialisation and moved away from generalised product and service portfolios. Many of them today offer specific solutions and tailor-made products for a range of sectors, including financial services. Fintech Opportunity

While more markets are becoming fully electronic, and the demand for safe and secure eFinancial Services has intensified, the island is keen to bring a new breed of innovation to Malta’s IFC. This includes companies that will reshape the finance landscape tremendously by changing the ways in which people borrow, save and make payments, as well as the ways that financial institutions operate their risk and security systems or deal with ‘big data’. Malta is now reaching out to the global Fintech innovators as technology is seen as having the potential to facilitate growth in the island’s finance sector. Malta is promoting itself as a base for innovative entrepreneurs, technology-based companies at a start-up stage and firms seeking a headquarters for their regional operations.


Financial Software Development 200

Serving the Finance Community

New regulatory challenges in the post-crisis financial market landscape, and pressure on banks and other financial services companies to cut costs, have created a fertile environment for Fintech. Companies are now looking into cheaper, better and more innovative solutions to solve their technology problems. With over 25 banks, close to 60 insurance companies and some 70 fund managers, in addition to many other financial services companies, Malta’s IFC offers software developers a large potential client base on their doorstep. The island is also home to a number of eFinancial Services companies, including payment gateways, card issuers, eWallets and online foreign exchange traders. Many of them are showing interest in collaborating with tech start-ups on pilot projects, as well as the testing of software, hardware and applications. Often referred to as a ‘Mediterranean Silicon Valley’, the island is quickly building up a reputation as a paradise for emerging tech firms, coders and programmers. Talent & Technology

International connectivity is pivotal to the further development of this sector and is guaranteed by three operators providing international gateway services via fibre-optic cables to mainland Europe. These services provide considerable security to financial services companies that rely heavily on 24-hour connections. The island’s telecoms operators offer high internet speeds and are developing next-generation networks. Malta’s diverse ICT workforce also strongly supports the growth of the industry. The local labour pool is deep enough to meet the needs of ICT employers across the range of technical and creative skills, while specialist knowledge can easily be sourced from overseas. Salaries are lower than in other Western European IT centres, such as the UK or the Scandinavian countries, thus enabling small and medium-sized companies to develop new products at affordable HR costs. Innovation & Testing

Malta’s small size also makes it the ideal test environment for new technologies and ventures in need of a flying start. Companies can develop and test new products and services on the diverse, yet concentrated, local market before exporting their services and solutions to Europe and further afield. Global giants support the small island nation in its effort to become a centre for tech innovation. The island has partnered with Microsoft to create an innovation centre, offering lab space and mentoring programmes to early-stage companies or individu-


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als. The centre places Malta at the forefront of new technologies, such as cloud computing, and provides facilities that help tech start-ups to develop their products and overcome initial hurdles to commercialising ideas. In addition, a Dubai-style technology park is being built and promises to further enhance the supportive environment for IT companies. SmartCity Malta is funded by Dubai Holding’s Tecom Investments, which initially invested US$300 million in the project in 2009. The first building in this self-sustained township was inaugurated in October 2010, with completion scheduled for 2021. Symbiotic Relationship

Nowadays, the whole range of financial services can be provided online, including electronic banking, the offer and sale of shares, stocks and investment, foreign exchange services, the sale and maintenance of savings products such as pension schemes as well as insurance products. By growing the Fintech sector, Malta will further cement its position as a leader in financial services innovation. Financial institutions and tech companies can also rest assured that they are closely located to the development of new, innovative products, both in the ICT sector and the financial services industry. While New York or London might be the more obvious bases for financial software developers, Malta’s sophisticated ICT infrastructure and affordable business costs, in a Mediterranean island setting, differentiate it from other locations competing to attract new IT talent, and will help the country to develop a burgeoning Fintech scene. ■

DESTINATION SMARTCITY The SmartCity Malta project has gained momentum in recent months. After the inauguration of the first building in 2010, phase two of the development in Kalkara, comprising four more buildings as well as a lagoon and a promenade, is now near completion. With the official launch in the first quarter of 2014,
the area is expected to become a
new hub for business and leisure in the south of Malta, offering a mix of office and retail space. The project is 
a joint venture between the Republic of Malta and SmartCity Dubai, which is the international business parks arm of TECOM Investments.


Legislation & Regulation 204

Legislation & Regulation

Regulating for Sustainability

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any of Malta’s financial segments such as banking, insurance and investment funds have persisted in their success in recent years despite the international financial unrest. These achievements are fortified by a robust regulatory framework, which has remained up to date with changing market requirements. At the heart of Malta’s IFC is an independent risk-based regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which grants licences and regulates financial activities. The island’s legal system is rooted in both the Anglo Saxon common law tradition and the Continental European Napoleonic/Justinian code. Maltese corporate law, however, is very firmly based on British models. It allows for a variety of structures, giving the investor considerable flexibility within a well-regulated framework. All legislation and regulations are published in English and Maltese, though the interpretation of the English text prevails.


Legislation & Regulation 205

Keeping in Line

INSIGHT

Stone Age Legacy Malta’s megalithic temples are the oldest free-standing monuments in the world – older than Stonehenge and even older than the pyramids. Built between 3500 and 2500 BC, the temples were constructed by Stone Age people without metal tools and machinery. Some of the bestpreserved temples are Mjnadra and Hagar Qim in Malta and Gjantija in Gozo.

Originally set up as an offshore financial centre in 1988, Malta moved onshore in the early 1990s, bringing its regulations in line with the EU ahead of becoming a member in 2004. One important exercise was the establishment of the MFSA in 2002. The MFSA took over the supervisory functions previously carried out by the Central Bank, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Malta Financial Services Centre, creating a single regulator and supervisor for financial services. Having joined the European Union in 2004, Malta adheres strictly to EU anti-money laundering, insider dealing and professional secrecy laws, and its frameworks are aimed at attracting only international businesses of repute. Malta’s adoption of the euro on 1st January 2008 has added further stability and increased the ease of doing business across frontiers. Today, business operates confident in the knowledge that Malta has an extensive network of double taxation treaties and applies EU regulations. In fact, Malta is first among member states in the timely transposition of EU directives into national law. Firms operating in Malta may also benefit from a number of business promotional incentives and other advantages, including the EU’s single passport regime and the ability to offer EU-wide accepted products.

REGULATORS AND AUTHORITIES The Malta Financial Services Authority

The MFSA (www.mfsa.gov.mt) is the single regulator of all financial services in Malta. It licenses, regulates and supervises investment funds, banking and insurance business, as well as investment service providers and trustees. In addition, the MFSA manages Malta’s Registry of Companies as well as the Consumer Complaints division and regulates the Malta Stock Exchange. The MFSA premises also house the International Tax Unit of the Inland Revenue Department. Approach to Regulation

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 direct contact with all licensees, which gives the MFSA a good understanding of the soundness of the licence holders. The Authority encourages finance professionals and companies that seek a licence to meet


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with the regulator prior to applying for the licence to discuss the application of regulations. This process ensures that both the interests of the business and compliance with all regulatory standards are met. The MFSA is an independent public body. The Authority is a member of the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The Authority is also a member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) as well as a signatory of the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding with other members of these Institutions. The aim of these agreements is to facilitate the exchange of information and to create a formal framework for regulatory collaboration and cooperation between various regulatory authorities, providing clearer channels for cooperation, the exchange of regulatory and technical information as well as investigative assistance between the signatory financial services regulators. These agreements also facilitate business between financial institutions in the respective countries. Organisational Structure

The MFSA has over 210 employees, consisting of specialist regulators, lawyers, accountants and support staff facilitating the formulation of policy, decision-making, and support for both licence holders and consumers. The organisational structure of the MFSA ensures that the regulatory and operational functions of the Authority are exercised within strict legal demarcations. The board of governors, presided by the chairman, sets out policy and general direction and is assisted by the Legal and International Affairs Unit. A single Authorisation Unit is responsible for the licensing of all financial services entities, handling all applications for authorisation to conduct regulated financial services business in Malta. The Regulatory Development Unit coordinates the development of cross-sector policy initiatives and enables the MFSA to address market and regulatory developments. Three Supervisory Units for banking, insurance and pensions, and securities and markets have a more focused, co-ordinated and risk-based approach to the supervision of the separate sectors. Central Bank

The Central Bank of Malta (www.centralbankmalta.org) was established in 1968 and has contributed to the country’s financial and economic development, particularly by pursu-


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Legislation & Regulation 209

■ The foundation of Malta’s International Finance Centre lies in the legislative and regulatory framework that the country has developed over the past two decades since it set out to create a financial services industry practically from scratch.

ing policies designed to foster exchange rate and price stability within a sound financial system. Prior to 2002, the Central Bank of Malta was the regulator of banks and financial institutions, a role now undertaken by the MFSA. The primary aim of the Central Bank is to maintain price stability. In terms of the Central Bank of Malta Act, the Central Bank may also require credit institutions carrying on the business of banking in Malta to maintain reserve deposits with the Central Bank and to submit information necessary for the Central Bank to discharge its duties under the Act. With Malta’s accession to the European Union in May 2004, the Bank automatically became a member of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). In 2013, the Central Bank and the Malta Financial Services Authority have also established a joint financial stability board to strengthen the resilience of the financial system and to mitigate the build-up of systemic risk. Transport Malta

Transport Malta (www.transport.gov.mt) is the authority responsible for all modes of transport in Malta, including transport by air, rail, road, or sea, within ports and inland waters, and merchant shipping. Transport Malta’s role is to regulate, supervise, promote and develop the transport sector in Malta. The authority is composed of the following directorates: Integrated Transport Strategy Directorate, Ports and Yachting Directorate, Merchant Shipping Directorate, Roads and Infrastructure Directorate, Land Transport Directorate, Civil Aviation Directorate, Enforcement Directorate, Corporate Services Directorate, and the Information and Communication Technology Directorate. Legal Framework of Key Sectors

Malta has developed a comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework to accommodate the financial services sector and to ensure adequate investor protection. Investment Funds

The Investment Services Act (ISA), and its subsidiary legislation, is the principal legislative enactment governing the fund industry in Malta. It provides for the establishment of nonretail funds, the so-called Professional Investor Funds, and for retail UCITS and non-UCITS. It also establishes the legal basis for the licensing and regulation of persons providing investment services or operating collective investment schemes. Additional legislation includes the Investment Services Rules. They further explain the scope and contents of the ISA, set out


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the application procedure and highlight the standard licence conditions that will be applied to a licensed entity. As from the 1st July 2011, the UCITS IV Directive in relation to the marketing of UCITS, the UCITS Management Company Passport, and UCITS mergers were transposed into Maltese law. It is now possible for asset managers in one member state to manage UCITS in another member state on a cross-border basis, to merge UCITS and to set up masterfeeder structures. The EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (AIFMD), regulating alternative fund managers and the promotion of alternative funds within the EU, has also been adopted by Malta, which was one of the first countries to fully transpose the directive into local law. Banking

Banking institutions in Malta are regulated by the Banking Act, which is founded on European Union legislation and is compliant with the Basle Core Principles. The non-bank financial institutions (including eMoney institutions) are regulated by the Financial Institutions Act. In May 2010, the provisions of the Payment Services Directive regulating payment institutions were transposed into Maltese law. This was followed in June 2011 by the transposition of the EU Electronic Money Institutions Directive regulating Electronic Money Institutions. Insurance

The insurance industry in Malta is regulated by two separate but complementary laws: the Insurance Business Act, which provides for the authorisation and supervision of insurance companies by the MFSA; and the Insurance Intermediaries Act, which governs insurance agents, insurance brokers, insurance managers and tied insurance intermediaries. Different types of insurance companies, including companies carrying on affiliated insurance business (captives), Protected Cell Companies, Incorporated Cell Companies, reinsurers and insurance intermediaries can be set up under Malta’s laws. The variety of insurance activities that can be licensed in Malta offers the industry a selection of tools to meet the demands of a highly competitive market. Due to the passporting regime, insurance companies, as well as brokers and other intermediaries, can offer their services in any other EU or EEA member state. The MFSA also closely monitors developments regarding Solvency II in order to ensure that its regime is at all times in line with the new guidelines that are expected to come into force in 2016.

■ Malta’s small size has allowed its regulator to adopt a vigilant, approachable and accommodating service that is now drawing attention the world over.


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Malta Financial Services Authority

Retirement Schemes

Currently, the establishment and operation of retirement schemes in Malta is governed by the Special Funds (Regulation) Act 2002. The law also provides for the establishment of retirement funds which can be used as pension-pooling vehicles. The regulatory framework also requires the registration and ongoing supervision of pension schemes, as well as service providers and scheme administrators, investment managers and custodians through the MFSA. In addition, to further facilitate the provision of cross-border pension schemes, new legislation has been designed. The Retirement Pensions Act, which is intended to regulate retirement schemes, retirement funds and their service providers, will replace the current Special Funds (Regulation) Act. The Act has been approved by the Maltese parliament but is not yet in force at the time of writing. Trusts & Foundations

The setting up of trusts in Malta is regulated by the Trusts and Trustees Act. The Act provides for the creation of trusts and authorisation and supervision of trustees by the MFSA. Within its provisions, the Act incorporates the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition, which Malta has ratified. An updated version of the law is in the process of being prepared. While foundations have been recognised and regulated in Malta for almost 200 years through Maltese case law and doctrinal writings, in 2007 Malta enacted specific legislation to clearly define their legal framework. The law regulating foundations is today found in Act XIII of 2007 which introduced the Second Schedule to the Civil Code (Chapter 16 of the Laws of Malta). The legislation allows for the set-up of two types of foundations: private and purpose foundations. Malta Companies

Companies are regulated by the Companies Act. A Malta company can be used for a multitude of business activities, ranging from holding and trading to eCommerce activities. The Continuation of Companies Regulations provide for the re-domiciliation of a foreign company and for the continuation outside Malta of a company incorporated in Malta. The legislation allows for a seamless transfer of structures in and out of Malta, without the need to wind up operations. Maltese legislation allows re-domiciliation from all EU, EEA and OECD countries, as well as from most offshore centres. ■


Corporate Business Structures 213

Corporate Business Structures

Europe’s Gold Standard

INSIGHT

Baroque Masterpiece Countless silver and gold decorations can be found inside the St John’s CoCathedral – a gem of baroque art and architecture. It was built as the conventual church for the Knights of St John. The Grand Masters and several knights donated gifts of high artistic value and made enormous contributions to enrich it with only the best works of art.

M

alta’s comprehensive and accommodating regulatory framework makes corporate structuring on the island available to prospective investors from all corners of the world. Quietly developing as a quality jurisdiction, the underlying theme of Malta’s International Finance Centre is internationally recognised best practice, rather than being focused on the number of companies. Companies are being attracted to Malta largely on the basis of a pro-active Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which seeks to combine high-standard regulation with an efficient response to industry and consumer needs, reasonable fees and highly trained people. With around 70 double tax treaties under its belt, Malta offers investors an EU-compliant, yet flexible, tax-efficient domicile for business entities or corporate structures. Business may be conducted in Malta in a variety of forms: as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (private or public), a branch of a foreign company, a trust, a cooperative, an investment company with variable capital (SICAVs), a Protected Cell Company or an Incorporated Cell Company.


Corporate Business Structures 214

Sole Proprietorship

There are no particular requirements relating to the registration or organisation of a sole proprietor. The provisions of the Commercial Code as regards commercial records and bankruptcy apply to sole traders. The trader will be trading in his own name, thus not benefitting from separate legal personality and is therefore personally responsible for all the trading obligations. Also tax liability is calculated on the individual tax rates of the proprietor. Partnership

Almost any form of business may be carried out in Malta by a partnership. General Partnerships must be formed by at least two partners, who will be liable jointly and severally for the full debts of the partnership. The formation of a Limited Liability Partnership is also possible. Cooperative

A body of persons may also be incorporated as a Cooperative Society under the Co-operative Societies Act. A Cooperative needs to follow a predefined process of registration and set-up, which requires the involvement of five members (persons or entities). A cooperative is a legal entity in its own right. Limited Liability Company (private & public)

The principal legislation covering companies and partnerships is the Companies Act (1995), modelled on the UK Companies Act and European law, and every company registered in Malta must have a registered oďŹƒce in the country. Companies, and other forms of partnerships, are required to submit a valid memorandum and articles of association, or deed of association normally subscribed by at least two persons. Under certain conditions, it is also possible to register single member companies. Companies and partnerships are registered with the Registry of Companies, which is based at the MFSA. Malta also excels in the speed and efficiency with which investors can set up a company: once the Registrar of Companies has all necessary documentation and information in hand, the process may take as little as 24 hours. Licensing by the MFSA is required for financial services firms before commencement of operations. This process can typically be concluded within a couple of weeks. A Limited Liability Company (a company) is formed by means of subscription to capital divided into shares. The liability of the shareholders is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares held. The minimum share capital re-

â–  Whether potential investors are in the market to set up a new corporate entity, or simply to protect their existing assets, Malta is equipped with the legislation to assist them.


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Corporate Business Structures 216

quired to set up a private company is €1,164.69, with 20 per cent paid up and subscribed to by at least two persons, except in the case of single member companies, with restricted objects. In the case of a public company the minimum share capital requirement is €46,587.47, with 25 per cent paid up and subscribed for by at least two persons. Companies in Malta need to fulfil a number of statutory requirements. A private company requires a company secretary and at least one director who can be either a corporate entity or an individual, Maltese resident or not. In addition, a Maltese company needs to have a registered office in Malta and a minimum of two shareholders. However, exemptions to this rule apply. Due to Malta’s fully-fledged trustee regime, shares may be held by licensed trustees in a fiduciary capacity for, and on behalf of, the ultimate beneficial owners. In order to apply for Malta’s tax refund system and achieve the intended tax results, a company may be required to have additional substance in Malta. Branch of an Overseas Company

All bodies corporate constituted or incorporated outside Malta may establish a place of business in Malta. Overseas companies establishing a place of business in Malta should, within one month of the establishment of the place of business, deliver to the Registrar a number of documents. The documents to be submitted to the Registrar include an authentic copy of the charter of the company, a list of the officers of the company, and the names and addresses of one or more individuals resident in Malta authorised to represent the overseas company in Malta. Branches carrying out operations in, or from, Malta are subject to tax in the same manner as a limited liability company. Protected Cell Companies

Malta’s company framework also allows for the formation of Protected Cell Companies (PCCs). Maltese law introduced regulations which allow the PCC model to be adopted by regular insurance companies, insurance brokers and insurance managers alike. A ‘Cell Company’ is a company constituted or converted into a cell company having within itself one or more ‘cells’ for the purposes of segregating and protecting the cellular assets of the company. A cell company is a single legal person. A ‘cell’ is in turn a class of shares within a cell company designated as a cell and created for the purpose of segregating and protecting cellular assets belonging to the company. A cell is not bestowed with separate legal personality.


Corporate Business Structures 217

■ Malta offers a number of corporate vehicles and structures that provide investors with the right level of sophistication required in international business.

Incorporated Cell Companies

Malta introduced Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs) for the funds and insurance sector in 2011. Similar to a Protected Cell Company, an ICC operates in two parts – the company core and the cells. A cell company can create one or more cells within its company structure. However, distinct from the PCC model, each incorporated cell is a limited liability company endowed with its own legal personality. The cells are independent from each other, and from a legislative point of view, are protected from each other. This is done by the issue of cell shares in respect of each individual cell. For tax purposes each cell is treated as a separate entity. Recognised Incorporated Cell Companies

In April 2012 a new vehicle was added to Malta’s repertoire of cellular vehicles, the Recognised Incorporated Cell Company (RICC). This is a structure which allows the ‘core’ to provide, in exchange for payment of a platform fee, certain administrative services to its Incorporated Cells (ICs). The range of permitted administrative services for RICCs covers the typical platform type services, such as assistance in setting up ICs, assistance in selecting as well as contracting with certain service providers, standardisation of documentation, and many other ancillary services. As the RICC is itself a separate company, its shareholders would be able to benefit from Malta’s tax regime for limited liability companies. SICAV

Under Maltese law, Collective Investment Schemes may be set up as SICAVs (Société d’investissement à capital variable), which is a type of open-ended investment vehicle. The amount of capital in a SICAV varies according to the number of investors. Each individual shareholder is entitled to voting rights and has the right to attend the annual general meetings. A SICAV is formed under the Companies Act (1995), but as a partnership limited by shares, and is used by mutual funds. Alternatively, Collective Investment Schemes may take the form of a limited liability company with fixed share capital, an incorporate cell company, a limited liability partnership or an investment trust. Such schemes may also be set up by private contract. Malta-domiciled funds are, as a general rule, exempt from Maltese income and capital gains tax. Capital gains made by non-Maltese investors when redeeming or transferring their units in a Collective Investment Scheme are not subject to any withholding tax and are automatically exempt from tax. Schemes are not subject to any


Corporate Business Structures 218

duty on the issue of shares. Similarly, share transfers are not subject to any duty. Trusts

The principal Maltese law on trusts is the Trusts and Trustees Act. Malta recognises all forms of trusts one would find in other jurisdictions, such as Discretionary Trusts, Accumulation and Maintenance Trusts, Fixed Interests Trusts, Spendthrift Trusts and Charitable Trusts. Other solutions are now also on offer, such as family trusts, which allow settlors to establish a trustee company in order to manage the family estate under trust for the benefit of family members as opposed to placing assets under the control of professional trustees. These Family Trusts are also eligible for exemption from authorisation, provided the family and its chosen directors fulfil certain conditions dictated by the MFSA. If all the beneficiaries of a trust are non-resident in Malta, and when all income attributable to a trust does not arise in Malta, there is no tax impact under Maltese tax law. Other laws and regulations may have an impact on the taxation treatment of trusts and trustees. Malta is a signatory almost 70 double tax treaties that may apply in some circumstances. Foundations

Maltese legislation allows for the set-up of two types of foundations: private and purpose foundations. A foundation can only be constituted in writing, either by a public deed or by a will. The foundation deed must be registered with the Office of the Registrar of Legal Persons. Foundations are prohibited to trade. However, a foundation may be endowed with commercial property or a shareholding in a company or other asset which gives rise to income, as long as the foundation is only the passive owner of such assets. A foundation may be treated as a company for tax purposes which is both resident and domiciled in Malta and benefit from Malta’s full imputation system. Foundations may also opt to be taxed in the same way as a trust. ■


Interview 219

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Taxation 220

Taxation

The Stability of Transparency M

alta is fast becoming the jurisdiction of choice for companies seeking to relocate their business interests, or who may be looking for an ideal market within the EU. An efficient workforce, English as an official language and a strong, transparent tax system have all contributed to this growth. The island’s tax system was vetted by the European Commission upon Malta’s accession to the EU, and has since been approved as fully compliant with all EU requirements. The tax law finds its origins in the UK tax system and is based on well-established principles, with income tax being levied on income and not on capital. The island operates a full imputation system: a system in which any income tax paid by a company is credited in part, or in full, to the shareholder upon a distribution of profits to avoid any double taxation of corporate profits. This system has been in use in Malta since 1948 and has also been approved by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Malta’s practices are in line with international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes according to the OECD’s 2013 review.


Taxation 221

Corporate Taxation Income Tax

INSIGHT

A Popular Product Lacemaking is an old craft in Malta and Gozo. Dating back to the 16

th

century, ornamental lace was introduced to embellish the clothing of nobles and the aristocracy. Today, Maltese lace is a sought-after hand-made product and often features the Maltese Cross.

The Maltese tax system is the only remaining full imputation system in the EU. This means that tax paid by a company will essentially remain a prepaid tax on behalf of the tax liability of shareholders. All companies resident in Malta are subject to income tax at a rate of 35 per cent. There is no separate corporation tax. Under Malta’s tax system, upon a distribution of proďŹ ts, shareholders are entitled to claim a refund of tax paid at the corporate level to avoid any double taxation of corporate proďŹ ts. The refund may be equivalent to either 2/3rds (when double taxation relief is claimed), 5/7ths (in the case of passive interest and royalties) or 6/7ths (in the case of trading income) of the tax paid at the corporate level. Income and gains from a participating holding (where a company holds directly at least 10 per cent of the equity shares of a nonresident company, or meets certain other criteria set out in the law), are exempt from tax. Alternatively, instead of claiming this exemption, a company can choose to pay tax at the normal rate, and then receive a full refund of the tax paid upon a distribution of dividends. Basis of Taxation

Companies incorporated in Malta are considered to be ordinarily resident in Malta and are subject to tax on their worldwide income and capital gains. Companies incorporated outside Malta are considered residents of Malta if their management and control is exercised in Malta, but as they are not domiciled in Malta, they are subject to tax on income arising in Malta and on foreign income (but not capital gains) that they receive in Malta. Companies that are not incorporated, nor managed or controlled, in Malta are subject to income tax only on income and capital gains arising in Malta. As part of the global fight against tax fraud, the importance of substance and the need for sound commercial drivers when structuring international operations has increased. Although the actual tax impact depends on the specific circumstances, companies are required to show that their Malta operations are genuine and being run from Malta. In broad terms, this means companies must show that the management, control and day-to-day decisions concerning business activity are taken in the country.


Taxation 222

Double Taxation Treaties

Malta-based entities are also allowed to benefit from the country’s wide network of double-taxation treaties, with some 70 currently active and others pending. Malta has succeeded in brokering treaties with China, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, South Africa and the United States of America, as well as most high tax countries.  In addition to this, the Maltese tax system also includes Commonwealth relief, unilateral relief and the flat rate foreign tax credit, thereby ensuring that income arising from overseas is not subject to double taxation, even if there is no double taxation agreement in force.  

Other Taxes Customs & Excise Duties

As an EU member state, Maltese customs regulations follow European Union Customs Procedures. In general, goods from other EU member states are subject to VAT, while goods from outside the EU are subject to Customs and Excise rules. For full information visit the Malta Customs Portal at http://ces. gov.mt/index.jsp VAT

Value-added tax (VAT) applies to supplies of goods and services that take place in Malta, intra-community acquisitions and imports. The standard rate is 18 per cent, and a 5 per cent rate applies to the supply of electricity, printed matter and confectionery. The VAT rate on holiday accommodation is 7 per cent. Zero rating applies to exports and intra-community supplies, international transport, domestic passenger transport, food, pharmaceuticals, and the supply and repair of ships and aircraft. Exemptions from VAT include the sale and leasing of immovable property, banking and insurance services, health, education and broadcasting. In terms of current VAT rules, persons whose annual turnover is less than prescribed thresholds, ranging from €14,000 to €35,000, depending on the type of activity undertaken by such persons, have the option to register with the VAT Department as a small undertaking. Such persons do not charge VAT and cannot recover VAT on their expenses but are still required to issue fiscal receipts and file an annual return with the VAT Department. Persons whose annual turnover does not exceed €7,000 are not required to register for VAT, and thus will not be obliged to issue fiscal receipts or file any returns with the VAT Department.

Quick Facts 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.


Taxation 224

Social Security

Malta has a comprehensive so-called ‘cradle to grave’ social security system. This system is financed through social security contributions paid by each employee and employer. All employed and self-employed persons are required to pay Social Security Contributions (SSCs). The amount of SSCs payable by employees amounts to 10 per cent of the basic wage, subject to a minimum linked to the national minimum wage and a maximum linked to the maximum pensionable income. An equivalent amount is payable by the employer in respect of each employee. The SSC amounts to 10 per cent of the gross salary, with a minimum of €6.62 per week and a maximum of €40.32 euro per week, to be paid by both the employee and the employer. The employer must deduct the employee’s contributions from the wages and must remit the amount due, including the employer’s share, to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue by the end of the month following the month in which the wages or salaries are paid. Self-employed persons pay contributions at 15 per cent of their profits, subject to a minimum and a maximum. Payments by self-employed persons are made to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue every three months in arrears. Personal Taxation

Individuals are charged on their income at progressive tax rates up to a maximum rate of 35 per cent. A person who is ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta is subject to tax on his worldwide income and capital gains. A person who is resident, but not domiciled, in Malta is taxed on income and capital gains arising in Malta and on foreign income (but not foreign capital gains) received in Malta. Non-resident individuals are subject to tax on income and capital gains arising in Malta. Residence will be based on where a person effectively lives and has a home. The Department of Inland Revenue will consider individuals who have spent in aggregate more than 183 days in a tax year in Malta as residents of Malta. Temporary residents, who are not ordinarily residents in Malta but have earned income from Malta, are subject to tax on this income but are not liable to tax on any income arising outside Malta. The income of a married couple is treated as the income of a single person and is to be declared in one tax return. However, the tax is calculated either on the total income at the married couple’s rates or, if the married couple so elects, and subject to certain conditions, on the income of each spouse separately at the single persons’ rates. A separate tax

Malta’s key double-taxation partners include: Canada China Hong Kong India Luxembourg Singapore South Africa United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States of America


Taxation 225

band exists for working parents supporting children up to 18 years old who are not gainfully employed (or 21 year-olds if they continue their studies to tertiary education). These rates may be availed of if the parents do not declare their income jointly. 2014 Tax Rates

■ Malta offers a highly advantageous tax regime that avoids the double taxation of companies and their shareholders and offers special tax rates for professionals in the financial services sector.

Rate

Single

Joint

Parental

Computation (¤)

Computation (¤)

Computation (¤)

0%

0 - 8,500

0 - 11,900

0 - 9,800

15%

8,501 - 14,500

11,901 - 21,200

9,801 - 15,800

25%

14,501 - 19,500

21,201 - 28,700

15,801 - 21,200

29%

19,501 - 60,000

28,701 - 60,000

21,201 - 60,000

35%

60,001+

60,001+

60,001+

Expat Taxation

To attract highly qualified personnel from abroad, Malta has introduced an incentive scheme targeting foreign executives. Professionals in the financial services, gaming and aviation sectors can benefit from a flat personal income-tax rate of 15 per cent on income up to €5 million. Any income over that figure is tax-free. To qualify for this tax incentive, the employee must earn a minimum of €75,000 per year, amongst other criteria. EU nationals can benefit from the reduced tax rate for an unlimited period, EEA and Swiss nationals for a period of five consecutive years, and third-country nationals for four consecutive years. Malta is also an attractive place for high-net-worth individuals and their families to relocate to. While Malta offers a unique lifestyle of unsurpassed quality that combines comfort with luxury, the modern and the traditional, and work with pleasure, the country has introduced a programme which offers foreigners favourable conditions if they purchase or rent property of a certain value in Malta or Gozo. The Global Residence Programme is designed to attract individuals who are not nationals of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland and allows them to benefit from a reduced tax rate and a residence permit. A similar programme for EU nationals is expected to be launched shortly.


Taxation 226

Conditions

Global Residence Programme

Eligibility Criteria

Non-EU Nationals Cannot be an EU national, a national of Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein or Switzerland and must NOT hold dual-citizenship with any of the above jurisdictions. Residents under this programme, and their dependents, have to be covered by health insurance.

Tax Rate

15%. Beneficiaries will need to pay a minimum tax of ¤15,000 annually.

Stay Requirement

Permit holders are required to reside not more than 183 days in any foreign jurisdiction in any year.

Min. Value of Property to be purchased

¤275,000 (Malta) ¤220,000 (South of Malta & Gozo)

Min. rental value per annum

¤9,600 (Malta) ¤8,750 (South of Malta & Gozo)

Long-term residency

Those who have been granted or have applied for long-term resident status may no longer benefit from the tax treatment under the Global Residency Scheme.

Application Procedure

Application must be made to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue through an Authorised Registered Mandatory (for example, practitioners which are members of Malta’s finance institutes, such as the Institute of Accountants, the Institute of Taxation, the Institute of Financial Service Practitioners or legal practitioners, in any case, duly authorised to act as such).

One-time Application Fee

¤6,000 (Malta) ¤5,500 (South of Malta or Gozo)


Taxation 227

Highly Qualified Persons Rules

Malta Retirement Programme

EU and non-EU Nationals

EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals

Individuals having their domicile outside of Malta and who are employed in senior positions with a company that is licensed or recognised by the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and companies holding an Air Operators’ Certificate issued by Transport Malta.

Individual is in receipt of a pension which shall constitute at least 75% of the total income chargeable to tax in Malta.

The employee must earn a minimum of ¤80,100 per year (basis year 2013), amongst other criteria. Only highly qualified persons occupying roles such as CEO, CFO, COO and CTO, as well as employees fulfilling certain core functions within a financial, gaming or aviation company, are eligible. 15%. This flat tax rate applies to income up to ¤5 million. Any income over ¤5 million will be tax-free.

n/a

15%. Beneficiaries will need to pay a minimum tax of ¤7,500 annually and a further ¤500 in respect of every dependent. A married couple must pay ¤8,000. Individuals must not reside in any other single jurisdiction for more than 183 days in any year and must also reside in Malta for a minimum of 90 days a year, averaged over any five-year period.

n/a

¤275,000 (Malta) ¤250,000 (Gozo)

n/a

¤9,600 (Malta) ¤8,750 (Gozo)

n/a

n/a

Application must be made to: • The Malta Financial Services Authority (in the case of financial services professionals) • The Lotteries & Gaming Authority (in the case of gaming professionals) • Transport Malta (in the case of aviation professionals)

Application must be made to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue through an Authorised Registered Mandatory (for example, practitioners which are members of Malta’s finance institutes, such as the Institute of Accountants, the Institute of Taxation, the Institute of Financial Service Practitioners or legal practitioners, in any case, duly authorised to act as such).

n/a

¤2,500


Taxation 228

Other Taxable Income Part-time Income

Employees, pensioners and students engaged in part-time work may benefit from a special rate of tax. Income derived from part-time employment is taxed at a flat rate of 15 per cent, which is withheld at source by the employer. Employees who carry on a part-time self-employment may also benefit from this reduced rate of tax. Wealth Tax or Net Worth Tax

There are no such taxes in Malta. Capital Gains

Tax on capital gains is levied on gains arising from immovable property situated in Malta, rights over securities, business, goodwill, patents, trademarks, trade names and the beneficial interest in a trust. Capital gains are added to all other income earned during the basis year and taxed at normal rates. Property Transfer Tax

Persons who transfer immovable property situated in Malta are liable to pay income tax based upon the sales value. This tax is calculated at the rate of 12 per cent of the market value of the immovable property. Investment Income

Resident individuals may opt to pay a 15 per cent final withholding tax on investment income. Dividend Income

Malta operates a full-imputation system and accordingly tax paid by a company is imputed as a credit against the tax due by the shareholders upon a dividend distribution.


Taxation 229

Directors’ Fees

Fees received, as well as remuneration to persons sitting on boards of directors of a body corporate, are also subject to tax on such income at the normal rates of tax. Duty on Documents (Stamp Duty)

A tax is charged under the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act on the transfer of immovable property and securities. The tax on securities is 2 per cent, but is increased to 5 per cent in the case of shares in property companies. A Duty on Documents and Transfers tax amounting to 5 per cent on the market value of the property is levied on the purchaser when buying real estate in Malta. Residents buying real estate as their first residence will pay duty at the rate of 3.5 per cent on the first €150,000. In 2014, first-time buyers will be exempt from paying this duty. The Act also imposes tax on emphyteutical grants, auction sales, credit cards and insurance policies. Inheritance and Gift Taxes

There is no inheritance or gift tax in Malta. The transmission of property and company shares is, however, subject to tax under the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act. Tax is due by heirs upon inheritance of real estate and shares. Duty will be due at the rate of 5 per cent in the case of real estate and at the rate of 2 per cent in the case of shares. Transfers upon inheritance of residential property, from the deceased to the children, are exempt from duty on documents. Furthermore, first time donations of property from the parents to the children, which will be used by the children as their sole residential property, are exempt from duty on documents on the first €250,000 of the value of the property. Tax returns

The fiscal year is the calendar year. Malta operates a selfassessment system. Taxpayers are required to declare their income and calculate their tax, taking into account payments in advance and any other tax credits. The tax payable must be settled at the time that the self-assessment is filed. For individuals, the deadline is 30th June. For companies, the tax return date is nine months after the financial year end, but not earlier than the 31st March of each year. Tax returns of companies have to be accompanied by an auditor’s certificate. Revenue assessments may be raised when a return is not filed, or where the Commissioner of Inland Revenue disagrees with the selfassessment. ■


Invigorating Investment and Growth www.maltaroundtable.economist.com Silver sponsors

Hilton Malta,


6TH-7TH March 2014 Hilton malta st. julian’s

, St. Julian’s Bronze sponsor

www.hazliseconomist.com


Why people choosE & trust RE/MAX when RElocAting to MAltA RE/MAX is synonymous for service all over the world. From Denver, colorado, UsA, where it was founded in 1973, and throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East the brand has set a strong foundation to be able to support businesses like yours. We focus our attention on educating our associates, investing in state of the art productivity tools and knowing our market to ensure that your service expectations are met with flying colours. if you are looking at the opportunity of doing business in Malta, no other partner can provide you with the required attention for a seamless transition like we can.

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Business Operating Environment 233

Business Operating Environment

Malta Director’s Guide Business Culture

Up until 1964 Malta was a colony of the United Kingdom, and British culture still underpins the Maltese way of doing business. At the same time, meetings are much less formal, and business is conducted in a more leisurely manner than in Northern Europe. However, appointments are necessary and should be made one to two weeks in advance. As in most Mediterranean countries, the concept of time is a little more relaxed than in countries to the north. Nevertheless, punctuality is expected and appreciated. There is no specific protocol for the exchange of business cards, but it typically happens when potential business partners meet for the first time. Business attire should be smart, with conservative suits and ties for men, and suits or dresses for women. Work contacts are usually greeted with their title, if they have one, followed by the surname. However, once a relationship has been established, only first names are used. Language

Most business correspondence is carried out in English, which is one of the country’s two official languages, Maltese being the other. Laws and regulations are published in both languages. Many Maltese also have a good command of Italian, and a sizeable proportion also speak either German or French. Business Hours

Office hours are generally 8.30 am to 1 pm, and 2 pm to 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Some government departments work half days in summer, but many have adapted to ensure offices are manned throughout normal business hours, and the private sector continues to operate normally throughout the year. Factories usually start at 8 am and run to 5 pm. Most banks open from 8 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday, and Saturday until 12 pm. Shops open from 9 am to 7 pm, Monday to Saturday. Most retail and commercial shops are closed on Sunday.


Business Operating Environment 234

FDI Attractions & Incentives

An open economy with a long-established history of trade, Malta has always actively sought foreign direct investment (FDI), both in existing companies and in new ventures. With a well-balanced mix of incentives that support and ensure longterm competitiveness and growth of companies setting up in Malta, the island attracts record levels of foreign investment, amid intensifying global competition. Companies need to apply to Malta Enterprise to determine eligibility, and to access the assistance. Incentives include most of the internationally available investment incentives. Cash grants/incentives Tax exemptions Property assistance / other fiscal incentive Training and labour market assistance Loan guarantees, cheap loans or finance Target sectors Sector specific incentives

Contact Agencies

FinanceMalta (www.financemalta.org) is a non-profit publicprivate foundation set up to promote Malta’s international Business and 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. FinanceMalta regularly organises information, networking and training sessions. Other finance industry associations in Malta are: Malta Association for Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP) Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA) Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA) Malta Insurance Association (MIA) Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA) The Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB) Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Malta

Malta Enterprise (www.maltaentreprise.com) is the investment promotion agency and guides companies setting up in Malta through the entire process, from coordinating incentives and organising premises, to facilitating contacts with other institutions. Malta Enterprise also offers a one-stop-shop for local businesses and foreign investors wishing to establish op-


Business Operating Environment 235

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 fibreoptic 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

erations on the island. ‘Business First’ (www.businessfirst.com. mt), operated by Malta Enterprise, handles over 50 services previously provided by various government departments and entities, including: assistance with company registration, VAT and tax registration, water and electricity applications, staff employment, and visa applications. Companies can contact Business First on their telephone helpline 144. Financial Support Services

Malta boasts a well-developed financial support infrastructure, and the country’s service providers offer access to a full range of banking, insurance and investment products. Five retail banks and more than 20 international commercial and trade banks operate in, or from, the island. HSBC and Bank of Valletta are the leading retail banks. Internet- and telephone-banking are advanced and most banks offer foreign-currency accounts. Insurance companies provide all types of cover, ranging from personal, health, property, auto and travel to liability and employee protection. Investors can find a number of insurance management companies handling cover for large corporations and providing reinsurance solutions. With some 120 licensed investment services firms, corporations seeking assistance in the management of their assets are spoilt for choice. The country’s experienced wealth managers and stockbrokers are well connected and provide access to global capital markets. Professional Services

Malta’s professional service providers attract growing numbers of international clients and are well positioned to offer support and strategic guidance to businesses planning to set up on the island. A large number of law firms operate on the island, most being part of international networks such as Lex Mundi and Lexis Nexis and are regularly ranked on Chambers, Martindale-Hubbell or similar. The international business community is strongly supported by an impressive selection of accounting and auditing practitioners, ranging from small boutique practices to the global ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms. Malta also boasts an array of corporate service providers offering business advisory and back-office support. Professional fees, including legal and accountancy charges, are generally lower than in other Western European locations. Market Access

Malta’s internal market is relatively small and the real opportunity lies in using the country as a stepping stone to markets in Europe or North Africa. Strategically located at the centre of


Business Operating Environment 236

the Mediterranean, between Europe and North Africa, Malta has historically been the link between the two continents. As an EU member state, Malta offers instant access to the EU’s massive single market of over 500 million people. Companies can conduct business freely and sell their products in all EU member states and/or establish a business in another EU country. In addition to its close geographical position, Malta also has strong historical and cultural ties with North Africa, 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.

Top 10 Passenger Airlines out of Malta International Airport (2012) 1. Air Malta 2. Ryanair 3. easyJet 4. Lufthansa 5. Alitalia 6. Emirates 7. Thomas Cook Airlines 8. Vueling Airlines 9. Air Berlin 10. Thomson Airways

Airport & Air links

Malta is connected by air to almost every major city in Europe, and to key destinations in North Africa and the Middle East, most being just a few hours’ flight-time away. Cities such as Frankfurt, London and Paris can be reached in less than three hours, while a flight to Rome takes only one hour. Direct flights are available to around 40 cities in Europe. Malta is also increasingly served by low-cost airlines, and carriers such as Ryanair and EasyJet are adding new routes. Malta International Airport (MIA), the island’s only airport, is centrally located and can be reached within 20 to 40 minutes from all towns and villages. Ports & Shipping

Located uniquely on the main shipping routes, Malta has become a major Mediterranean transshipment hub. It has two main commercial ports: the Port of Valletta, traditionally known as Grand Harbour, and the Malta Freeport, situated at Marsaxlokk Harbour in the south of the island. The latter is one of the largest freeports in the region, handling intercontinental cargo for distribution throughout the Mediterranean basin. Malta’s ports are serviced by many of the world’s major shipping lines, and the Freeport is connected to more than 100 ports worldwide. Regular passenger and cargo ferry services to Italy are also available. Malta’s logistics providers offer a full suite of regular and customised services that range from simple duty-free storage to facilitating customs-cleared, last-minute ordering in European markets.

Transport Rankings out of 148 countries

23 Quality of Air Transport Infrastructure

13 Quality of Port Infrastructure

4 Trade Tariffs, % Duty

34 Burden of Customs Procedures

Local Transport

Daily commuting times within Malta are negligible compared to most similar urban-style areas in continental Europe. The island has a network of some 1,500 kilometres of roads, and

Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, World Economic Forum


Being the largest flag State and one of the leading in the world carries a high responsibility. Our duty is to provide an efficient service throughout, yet always ensuring high standards.

Malta, the flag built on confidence

Operating within a well-established legal regime set to international and European standards, we operate a twenty-four hour service with direct access to the decision makers. Certification by one of the worlds’s leading classification societies, both for the ship and her manager, is one of several important prerequisites for ship registration under the Malta flag. Following initial surveys, the continuous operation of a Maltese ship is closely linked to regular uninterrupted certification and maintenance of international standards. A worldwide network of inspectors assist the Administration in ensuring implementation of rules and regulations through regular spot checks, follow-ups and in the investigation of accidents. The Malta flag enjoys the confidence of the leading international ship owners and operators, classification societies and other shipping industry service providers. Operating within a dynamic industry, the Maltese Administration maintains a continuous dialogue with the industry stakeholders. Maritime safety is our priority.

Transport Malta Merchant Shipping Directorate Malta Transport Centre, Marsa MRS 1917 - Malta

T: + 356 21250360 E: mershipmalta.tm@transport.gov.mt W: www.transport.gov.mt

29858 - TM Ship Shape 213X303mm Ad.indd 1

19/12/2013 16:25


Business Operating Environment 239

ICT Rankings out of 144 countries

4 Government prioritisation of ICT

4 Importance of ICT to government’s vision of the future

14 Impact of ICT on access to basic services

15 Impact of ICT on new services and products

15 Broadband internet subscriptions per 100 population

1 Mobile network coverage rate

9 Secure internet servers

1 Internet & telephony competition Source: The Global Information Technology Report 2013, World Economic Forum

an intensive programme of repair and upgrading is underway. The public transport system offers connections to all localities in Malta and Gozo. Utilities

All electrical power needs in Malta are met by Enemalta Corporation, which operates two power stations. The supply is at 240V, and is reliable. Malta has no natural domestic energy sources and thus far depends entirely on imported oil for electricity generation. However, Malta is planning to shift electricity generation from oil to gas by 2015. The Water Services Corporation produces and distributes potable water throughout the Maltese Islands. Just over half of this is produced at the Corporation’s three reverse-osmosis plants, with the remainder coming from groundwater sources. Electricty tariffs for households will be reduced by 25 per cent, and water tariffs by 5 per cent, from March 2014 onwards, while those for businesses will be reduced in 2015. Petrol, diesel and kerosene are widely available. Malta has a network of independent petrol stations for transport fuels, but others – kerosene and light fuel oil – are delivered to the end-user by licensed distributors. Liquigas (Malta) and Easygas Malta supply LPG in cylinders to domestic consumers and businesses. WasteServ Malta is responsible for waste management. The collection of waste is the responsibility of local councils which engage private contractors to carry out the work – with somewhere between four and six collections a week. Recyclable waste, such as plastic, paper and metal, is usually collected once a week and can also be disposed of at Bring-in Sites found in every locality. Communications

Malta has seen huge public and private sector investment in ICT over the past 15 years, and today boasts a state-of-the-art infrastructure. GO, Melita and Vodafone are the three main telecoms service providers, while Malta hosts more than 200 IT companies, including international giants such as Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco. The island is internationally connected via four submarine fibre-optic links to mainland Europe, two of which are operated by GO, and two by Vodafone and Melita respectively. This system is backed up by two satellite stations. Data centres are operated by the telecoms providers with their own fibre-optic cables, and also by other, smaller telecoms companies. Fixed broadband is available via cable and ADSL, each with national coverage. Postal services are provided by MaltaPost. Delivery is efficient and reliable, with a three-day


Business Operating Environment 240

service to most mainland European cities. Local mail is delivered the following working day. All the main international courier services are represented on the island. Workforce

Diligent, highly educated and multilingual, the Maltese workforce is the country’s most valuable asset. Most Maltese nationals speak at least three languages, Maltese, English and Italian, and some are even conversant in French and German. Some 60 per cent of students (18-24 year-olds) continue their education to the third level, with some 85 or more institutions, including the University of Malta and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), to choose from. Employment Regulation

The Employment & Industrial Relations Act governs the conditions of employment, termination of contracts, and the organisation of workers and employers. Employment may be for a fixed or indefinite term, and on a full-time or part-time basis. The length of the probation period is normally six months. The standard working week is 40 hours. Employees in full-time employment are entitled to 24 days of vacation per year. Maternity leave for female employees in full-time employment is 18 weeks. The law also provides for up to four months’ unpaid parental leave in the case of birth, adoption or legal custody of a minor. The Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) is responsible for providing a public employment service and managing state-financed vocational training schemes, as well as for processing work permits for non-EU nationals. The island’s laws on immigration are in line with the European Union’s visa obligations for foreign nationals. While EU and European Economic Areas (EEA) citizens are free to work and reside in Malta, non-EU nationals must apply for and obtain an Employment Permit, with the granting of the licence subject to a labour market test. Recruitment

Malta has a good stock of specialist recruitment agencies. In addition, staff may be found through the Employment and Training Corporation. The country’s incredible climate and comfortable lifestyle also make it easy to attract foreigners to take up positions in Malta’s finance industry. The tax treatment of financial service professionals under the highly qualified persons scheme (see Taxation) is another incentive for professionals to relocate to Malta.


Business Operating Environment 241

Labour Costs

Malta ranks very favourably as a value-for-money location in which to do business. Salaries are 20 to 30 per cent lower than those in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. When social security costs and other employment taxes are factored in, total labour costs are even competitive when compared to the newer EU member states, and significantly lower than those in other established members of the European Union. Unions

Two major trade unions, the General Workers Union (GWU) and the Malta Workers’ Union (UHM), dominate the labour landscape, alongside a number of smaller sector-specific unions. Collective bargaining is common, and agreements reached between employers and unions are binding in law. Labour disputes are usually resolved quickly; strikes and stoppages are rare occurrences. Average Salaries CEO

(â‚Ź) 96,000

CFO

75,750

COO

60,000

CTO

62,000

Financial Controller

49,000

Management Accountant

32,000

Qualified Accountant

32,500

Financial Analyst

32,500

Accounts Administration

15,000

Senior Branch Manager

41,500

Branch Manager

34,872

Fund Administrator

23,000

Trust Manager

38,550

Trust Administrator

20,500

Senior Compliance Manager

43,129

Compliance Manager

30,242

Senior Insurance Manager

55,000

Insurance Manager

33,368

Commercial Business Clerk

19,000

Senior Software Developer

34,000

Senior System Administrator

36,000

HR Manager

41,500

Mechanical Engineer

23,000

Architect

47,500

Brand Manager

26,000

Sales Manager

25,000

Personal Assistant

23,000

Secretary

15,000

Source: Castille Resources 2012-2013


Business Operating Environment 242

Office Space

Built to the highest standards, and often enjoying magnificent views, Malta offers a wide range of commercial property for rent or purchase. Office space is available in purpose-built office blocks, as well as in converted houses and flats, or within some of the new, large mixed-use developments. Sliema and St. Julian’s are popular locations, with Tigné Point in Sliema and the Portomaso Business Tower in St Julian’s being prime venues. Valletta, the capital, is the administrative centre, offering office space in prestigious townhouses or centuries-old palazzos. A number of business centres in different parts of the island provide fully equipped offices that are available on flexible terms, with meeting rooms and a receptionist service as part of the package. A large number of local and international real-estate agents provide sales and letting services and can assist in locating suitable property.

A Unique Heritage

Costs of Commercial Space

of Malta in Valletta

Type of

Approx. Rental Prices Approx. Sale Prices

houses some of

Office Space

in ¤ /m2 per annum in ¤ /m2

the world’s most

Prestigious

300-450 6000-8500

Professional

180-300 2400-4000

Economical

80-275 1500-2500

Source: Belair Real Estate, 2012

INSIGHT

The National Library

precious books and unique historic documents. Its collection contains manuscripts and books dating from the 12th to the 19th centuries, including the archives of the Knights of St John.


When it comes to Thrust*, we’re second in the world

When it comes to TRUST, we’re second to none We at Express Trailers were trusted to deliver securely important equipment for the famous 1989 Malta summit between Presidents Bush and Gorbachev, which summit ended the Cold War. We were trusted with the delivery of the ultra-high-security carriage of the Euro coins and notes to Malta in 2007. The legacy of delivering trust renews itself everyday, every time our tracked fleet of trailers carry cargo to, through and from Malta, be it delicate pharmaceuticals, priceless cars, high-end fashion wear or temperature-controlled foodstuffs. Whatever it is, whatever the weight, wherever it is located and wherever it is destined, we can transport, we can provide managed warehousing, we can be trusted. We will deliver! Express Trailers - Reliability and Trust for over 50 years

Delivering Trust * Our EVS race truck went down as the second fastest in the world when it clocked a best Quarter Mile of 10.95 secs.


Conference & Incentive Travel 244

Conference & Incentive Travel

Meet

in Malta

A

ttend a conference in a historic venue, enjoy a gala dinner in an outdoor location and discover your team spirit while biking, rock climbing, diving or sailing in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. Malta’s compact size allows groups and delegates to fit business and pleasure activities into a packed itinerary. Its high-standard venues for seminars, workshops and conferences, large number of luxurious four- and five-star hotels to accommodate delegates, excellent destination management companies and its pleasant Mediterranean climate have made


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Malta a key meeting place for corporates and multinational organisations. Around 80,000 delegates visit Malta each year, and some of the biggest companies and organisations in the world have chosen to host events on the island. The EU, the Commonwealth, Microsoft, Sony, IBM, BP, Coca Cola, Toyota, Axa Insurance, Cadbury, Pfizer, HSBC, Lloyds and PwC are just a selection of the household names which have visited in recent years. Big & Boutique

Not many destinations have hundreds of years’ experience as a meeting venue. As early as the 16th century Malta played host to the Knights of Malta, whose architectural legacy has provided the island with unique conference venues, helping the island to become a key destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE). The island caters for anything from an eight-strong board of company directors seeking upscale accommodation and elegant entertainment to a sales meeting for 1,000 company representatives or an annual general meeting of 2,500 people. Some of the most recent events include the 5th European Public Health Conference in 2012, which brought some 1,200 public health professionals from 60 countries to the island, while the Swedish natural cosmetic company Oriflame provided Malta with its biggest conference to date in 2010, hosting some 4,200 representatives. Venues with Wow-Effect

Event organisers can make the most of Malta’s 7,000-year history with its scores of cultural and architectural venues, any of which would be ideal to turn a usually routine occasion into a truly memorable event. A particular favourite is the 16th century Mediterranean Conference Centre, which served as the former hospital of the Knights of St John and can host 1,500 guests at gala dinners or 4,000 visitors at standing receptions. Many of Malta’s magnificent castles, stunning palazzos and impressive forts, some of which have been used as film locations for movies such as ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Gladiator’, make it easy to add a luxurious atmosphere and special accent to any function. For a more contemporary note, available venues include theme parks, marinas, luxury yachts and exclusive sea front properties. Most public spaces can be used for events and launch parties; receptions and dinners have already taken place at beaches, museums and village squares. The Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre (MFCC), located near the ancient walls of Mdina, is by far the country’s largest venue with a capacity of 10,000 people.


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Accommodating Delegates

Many four- and five-star hotels are able to
offer the highest level
of accommodation, facilities and services
to visiting delegates. The country has some 4,000 rooms in five-star hotels alone. Major brands such
as Hilton, Westin, Radisson and Intercontinental
all have
hotels in the beachfront
city of St Julian’s, giving
organisers a choice
of modern amenities
including meeting
 rooms, conference facilities and up-todate
technology. The five-star hotel Xara Palace and the Xara Lodge in Rabat, as well as the hotels of the Corinthia Group, are equally well suited for meetings and smaller conferences. The short distances between localities also means that delegates can be accommodated in different hotels, as travel times between towns rarely exceed 15 minutes. Malta International Airport is located less than 30 minutes away from most hotels. Easy Getaway

Malta is also closer to your home base than you may think. National carrier Air Malta and many other airlines offer direct flights to the island. Just a three-hour plane ride from London and two to two and a half hours from other major European destinations, Malta offers a Mediterranean climate and glorious scenery that allows plenty of outdoor activities. This means conference and meeting delegates will enjoy every moment of their time on the island. They can visit Malta’s several World Heritage Sites, such as megalithic temples and the country’s capital, Valletta, dive in the crystalline waters surrounding the island or take a nature ramble across Malta’s countryside. Options for sport activities and team building exercises are limitless and include tennis, golf and rock climbing, as well as a treasure hunt in the ancient city of Mdina, or a jeep safari on Gozo, Malta’s smaller sister island, which is just a 20-minute ferry trip away.


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Quality Support

Malta’s government actively supports business tourism, and the Malta Tourism Authority offers a variety of services designed to help event organisers, both through its MICE segment and through its dedicated microsite, www.meet-malta.com, which provides specific information on hotels, facilities, service providers and venues, as well as contact details for destination management companies (DMCs), audio visual companies, exhibition stand designers and event organisers. The country’s DMCs are committed to offering excellent services, and the MTA issues quality seals to those companies that excel in quality and professionalism. Malta is also excellent value for money, distinguishing the island from its European neighbours. Most smaller venues, such as palazzos and hotel ballrooms, can be rented for around €2,000 a day, while hotel rates in the off-peak season can be as low as €40 a night. A Packed Programme

While thousands may flock to Malta for its ideal location and excellent conference facilities, they return for so much more. With 300 days of sunshine, limitless leisure opportunities and top-class dining, Malta offers an abundance of attractions that can form a pre- or post-conference programme. A rich historical and cultural environment and the reassurance of a modern infrastructure all combine to cement Malta’s reputation as a choice hub for conferences and seminars: the ideal MICE destination. ■


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Travel & Living in Malta

The Essential Expat Guide

A Slice of Paradise

P

acked with the best of all things Mediterranean – delightful natural scenery, magnificent architecture, and sunshine for most of the year – Malta has attracted people from all over the world: from Australia to America, and from Sweden to South Africa.


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Malta is nothing if not surprising. Although only a small island nation, for several millennia people have found the country an irresistible draw. Coveted for millennia due to its strategic location, Malta has seen its share of rulers, from the Carthaginians to the Knights of St John. Even today, visitors come to the island in their droves and whatever it is they are looking for, they will probably find it in Malta. The astonishing diversity of the country truly is second to none. Fast-paced city streets and office complexes are located within minutes of idyllic bays, medieval forts and tiny fishing villages. Whether visitors arrive on the island for business, pleasure or both; there are endless opportunities to explore. The chance to do so in a climate that has been voted the best in the world, at a reasonable price, is certainly one that should not be missed. Country

Anchored in the crystal clear waters of the central Mediterranean, the Maltese archipelago is situated just 90 kilometres south of Sicily and 300 kilometres north of Africa. Just over 316 square kilometres in area, the Maltese Islands comprise Malta, Gozo and Comino. The main island, Malta, has an area of 246 square kilometres. Popular for decades with tourists, Malta’s proximity to Europe means it is relatively easy to reach. Just an hour away from Rome and three hours from London or Frankfurt, the island offers visitors the chance to get away from it all and experience for themselves the beauty of its languid Mediterranean lifestyle, the charm of its island landscape and the vibrancy of its multi-cultural, multilingual, young and energetic social scene. History

A modern nation with ancient roots, Malta has been home to a wide range of civilisations and people over its 7,000 years of history. The island’s strategic position between Europe and Africa made it a key possession for its many settlers and conquerors: from Neolithic man to the Ancient Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans, the Knights of St John, the French and the British, all of whom have left a wealth of architectural and cultural treasures. The country’s archaeological sites pre-date Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids by more than 1,000 years, and the Neolithic temples are the oldest freestanding constructions in the world. Modern Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, was founded in 1964 following independence from Great Britain.


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Climate

A rocky Mediterranean island with a dry and sometimes windy climate, Malta enjoys about 300 days of sunshine per year. With average summer temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius and winter temperatures ranging from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, Malta’s mild warm climate is considered to be the best in the world. Even in winter Malta enjoys an average of five to six hours of sunshine – and more than 12 hours a day in summer. The annual average rainfall is as low as 600 millimetres, mostly falling between October and March. Language

Despite many strong linguistic influences and the fact that English is one of the two official languages, Malta has kept its own language alive. Maltese is a Semitic language believed to have developed during the Arab occupation of the Islands (870–1090), and it is still the only Semitic one to be written in the Latin script. English is the main language of business, while laws and regulations are published in both languages. Many Maltese are also fluent in Italian and some even speak a fourth language, usually German or French. Time

Malta lies in a convenient time zone for doing business across the world: one hour ahead of GMT, meaning office hours coincide with Asia in the morning, Europe throughout the day and the US in the afternoon. The country observes daylight saving time in summer, with the time shifted forward by one hour on the last Sunday of March, making it two hours ahead of GMT. On the last Sunday of October, the time is shifted back by one hour. Getting There

Malta is positioned as a gateway to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. From most major cities such as London, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome and Istanbul it takes just two to three hours’ flying time to reach Malta International Airport (MIA), the island’s only airport. Regular flights are provided by Air Malta, the national airline, as well as other carriers such as Lufthansa, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Aerosvit, Alitalia, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Ryanair, easyJet and Spanair. Malta is also a short 90-minute trip by catamaran to Sicily, and car ferries operate on the sea routes between the main port of Valletta and mainland Italy and Sicily.


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Hotels

Modern comforts are served up with impeccable style and welcoming hospitality in Malta’s many hotels. Visitors can choose between two- and three-star hotels, or a large range of upmarket ones with four- and five-star status. Sea views are never hard to find wherever you choose to stay. Global brands such as Hilton, Starwood, Radisson and Kempinski all have a presence. One of the largest local players is the Corinthia Group. There are also a number of family-run Maltese hotels such as the Hotel Fortina and the Fortina Spa Resort, in addition to boutique five-star hotels such as the Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux. The island offers something to suit the most discerning of tastes: modern, luxury seaside hotels equipped with spa, private beaches and marinas; magnificent period hotels set in sprawling landscaped gardens; elegant 16th century buildings on the waterfront; or even an exquisite boutique hotel situated within a medieval palace. Culture

Malta has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Successive waves of traders, occupiers and colonisers have left their mark. The Maltese character is imbued with the British legacy of a strong work ethic and powerful ambition, softened by the natural southern Mediterranean temperament. Maltese are very hospitable and helpful people, exuding the traditional warmth and spontaneity of the Mediterranean region. Christianity plays a major role in the Maltese culture, with each town and village celebrating the feast day of its patron saint. Leisure Activities

Malta offer visitors a unique experience packed with the best of all things Mediterranean. Sparkling blue seas, excellent food and a buzzing night life have made it one of Europe’s most popular destinations. The variety of daytime activities available in Malta compares favourably with many destinations around the world, despite the small size of the island. Most of the picture-postcard bays are found in the northern part. With warm temperatures and clear waters around the coast you will certainly enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean – to swim or to explore the thriving marine life. You can also test your endurance rock climbing high above the deep blue sea on the majestic Dingli Cliffs, or wind down with a leisurely round of golf and afternoon tea on the lawns of the Royal Malta Golf Club. Other activities include horse riding, jeep safaris and even sky diving. From autumn to spring Malta turns itself into a green island. A walk through the countryside is perfect for recharging your


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The Essential Expat Guide 254

energy levels. You can also head to Gozo, Malta’s smaller sister island that is only 20 minutes away by ferry. Gozo is an island idyll of hills, valleys and cliffs, where time moves slower and life can be savoured, minute by minute, second by second. Arts & Entertainment

Although Malta is a small country, it has a great variety of world-class attractions. Its stunning historical sites regularly provide the backdrop for events, such as concerts, plays or art exhibitions. Every year promises an eclectic blend of local and international events, entertainment and exhibitions – from the colourful Carnival to May’s celebration of a traditional music and song festival, to the Malta Jazz Festival, the Isle of MTV music event and Malta Arts Festival in summer-to-earlyOctober and the magic of Valletta’s Notte Bianca. During the summer months, a visit to a Maltese ‘festa’ is a must. Between May and September, every Maltese village or town celebrates its parish patron saint with a set of activities involving village decorations and fireworks. An updated calendar of events can be found on www.financemalta.org. Shopping

Malta has a wide array of shops, catering for all tastes and budgets. Most international chains and brands have a presence in the country, as well as a number of exclusive boutiques – not forgetting the traditional markets. If you’re shopping for arts and crafts to take home with you, look out for the renowned Malta lace, delicate silver and gold filigree, or the colourful and creative Malta hand-blown glass. The main shopping districts are Sliema and Valletta, and shops usually open from 9 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 7 pm. Most are closed on Sundays, except for those located inside the BayStreet Shopping Centre in St Julian’s, as well as some outlets in busy tourist resorts such as Bugibba. Sports

Water sports are popular in Malta. The conditions for scuba diving and snorkelling are excellent, with great views of reefs, caves and fish shoals. Also, the sea temperature never drops below 13 degrees Celsius, even in winter. The best sites can be found around the northern coast of Malta and Gozo. Besides diving, the Maltese Islands have other forms of sports to offer such as horse riding, hiking, climbing or sailing. Malta has one golf course, located at the Royal Malta Golf Club. Gyms can be found all over the island, as well as football or water polo clubs. There are also a number of highly popular sports events, including national water polo competitions, horse racing, clay


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pigeon shooting and football. Once a year the Rolex Middle Sea Race, a highly rated offshore classic, starts and ends in Malta, attracting between 25 and 30 yachts. Cuisine

Maltese cuisine will suit most tastes, featuring many of the typical ingredients of the region: aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, onions and garlic, together with freshly caught fish and seafood. Mediterranean herbs such as basil, mint, thyme, oregano and bay leaves are used in abundance, and flavours are enhanced by virgin olive oil. Typical year-round dishes include rabbit and bragioli (beef olives), and every meal is served with the renowned local bread that is made with sourdough and baked in a traditional wood-burning stone oven. Dining Out

Dining out in Malta can be a wonderful experience. There are many restaurants which stay open late to enable you to enjoy a pleasant Mediterranean evening: from smart city restaurants in Baroque palaces to family-run trattoria-style establishments and seafront fish restaurants, the choice is wide. Maltese food is served in most restaurants offering Mediterranean cuisine, but in addition there are numerous ethnic restaurants: Italian, French, Chinese and Indian are the most numerous, but you will also find Greek, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Japanese and many others. Tipping

Gratuity is usually not included in a bill. As in most other European countries, tips in restaurants are usually around 10 to 15 per cent of the total. Tipping at a bar is not expected unless you are served by a waiter/waitress. Tipping is not the norm in taxis; however, you could tip up to 10 per cent of the fare. Public Transport

Being small enough to walk from one side of the island to the other in a day, getting around in Malta is easy. The public transport system is safe and cheap. A network of routes and a fleet of modern buses provide an extensive service across Malta and Gozo. A train service does not exist in Malta. Car Hire & Taxis

Cars can be hired at reasonable rates compared to those in other Western European countries. All the major car rental companies have a presence in Malta. Local firms also offer this service, with or without a chauffeur. Taxis are white and fitted with


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meters, charging government-controlled prices. You can also agree on a fare before starting the journey. Taxis at the airport operate on a different system, with set fares which have to be paid at the taxi ticket booth in the arrivals lounge. Driving

Malta has a road network of 1,500 kilometres – even though it only takes one hour to cross the island. EU nationals (aged 18 and over) are allowed to drive on their existing licences, or exchange them for a Maltese one after having lived in the country for more than six months. Non-EU nationals can drive on their existing valid licences for a maximum of 12 months from the date of their last arrival in Malta. As in the UK, cars drive on the left. Standard of Living

Malta is also one of the easiest places to relocate to and residents enjoy an exceptional standard of living: 10 months of sunshine, an English-speaking population, and a Mediterranean island setting in which it is easy to find one’s way around. Although Malta is a small country, it offers a variety of lifestyle choices that range from urban, cosmopolitan and luxurious to relaxed and rural. Boasting a diverse range of shopping, cultural and leisure activities, all at affordable rates, Malta provides expatriates with a unique opportunity to live every aspect of life to the full.


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Cost of Living

The cost of living in Malta is one of the lowest in Europe. Banking, taxation, insurance, social security, utilities and communications services are sophisticated, professional and reliable, offering exceptional value without compromising on quality. Housing

The island offers a wide range of housing from contemporary high-rise apartments to traditional country houses and villas with a pool, furnished and unfurnished, all at competitive prices – in city, urban or more rural environments, according to lifestyle preferences. Favourite villa areas are Santa Maria Estate in Mellieha, as well as Madliena and High Ridge in the vicinity of St Julians/Sliema. A number of five-star developments have recently been built on the island, including Portomaso and Tigné Point, which offer luxury apartments surrounded by commercial, health, fitness and leisure facilities and command the highest prices and rents. Rents are paid monthly in advance. Utility costs are not included in rental charges and are charged depending on usage. Alternatives to renting a flat are hotel-style serviced apartments. Malta’s small size and excellent public transport facilities mean short commutes to work – no matter where you live.


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Removal / Shipping

There is no shortage of shipping and relocation companies to meet the demands of people intending to relocate to Malta. Sometimes the employer will have an in-house or preferred user who aims to make the move as smooth as possible. Relocation companies also offer assistance with every aspect of the move, ranging from furniture transportation to the sourcing of schools. Education

Malta provides an excellent standard of education. Children can be educated in one of the private international schools, or enrolled in the local state, church or independent schools. All schools use the British model of education, which is compulsory between the ages of five and 16. Third-level education is offered through the University of Malta, as well as other institutes and private colleges. Childcare

Childcare centres are run by the state, the church and private organisations. Some facilities operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Kindergarten is not compulsory in Malta, but Englishspeaking kindergarten and pre-school facilities are widely available. Healthcare

Malta has one of the best health services in the world. The main general hospital is the state-of-the-art Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, while most towns and villages have their own medical clinics. Malta also has several private clinics and hospitals, such as the renowned St James Hospital in Sliema. EU nationals resident in Malta are eligible to receive free medical treatment at public hospitals and clinics, but foreign residents are still advised to take out private medical insurance. EU food and beverage standards are strictly monitored in Malta, but it is still recommended to drink bottled, rather than tap water. Religion

Over 90 per cent of Maltese are Roman Catholic, with Christianity being prevalent since 60 AD when St Paul was shipwrecked on Malta, converting the local population. The Church still plays an important role in most communities, and most Maltese attend Mass on Sundays – there are no fewer than 365 churches on the island. Other Christian denominations present include Anglican, Church of Scotland, Greek Orthodox and Methodist. Malta also hosts Jewish and Muslim communities.


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Pets

If you want to bring your ‘best friend’, you need to ensure that your pet is micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies. Dogs, cats and pet ferrets entering Malta from the EU or from a listed third country are required to wait 21 days after vaccination before entering Malta. They also need to have an EU Pet Passport. Pets entering from a non-listed third country must pass a blood test 30 days after vaccination followed by a threemonth wait. There is a wide variety of private vets, kennels and catteries in Malta. Personal Financial Services

Malta offers a wide choice of banking options, including local, international and private banks. The banks operate a strong network of ATMs and branches across the islands. All major cards are issued and accepted. All banks offer 24-hour telephone and online banking services to conveniently and efficiently manage your financial affairs. A host of insurance companies offer all levels of cover, such as home, motor and health insurance. If you plan to stay in Malta, it is advisable to apply for a Maltese eResidence document before opening a local bank account as this will speed up the process. All banks also offer foreign-currency accounts. Banks in Malta are open from Monday to Saturday, from 8.30 am to 2.00 pm. Home Help

Domestic and home help is relatively common in Malta. Many expatriates find they can afford domestic help that they could not have afforded at home. Most choose to employ a helper for cleaning, cooking, general household chores and child minding. Media & TV

Malta’s bilingual culture is also reflected in the media landscape, with half the newspapers published in English. Foreign newspapers can also be purchased easily. In addition to satellite and cable TV, the high penetration of superfast broadband has resulted in the launch of IPTV services to subscribers of Melita and GO. The content is diverse and international, including Italian, French, British and Russian programming. Radio programmes are primarily in Maltese with a number of English-language music stations. The recent introduction of digital radio is now providing an even greater choice.


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Utilities

Energy and water supplies are stable. Tariffs differ between domestic and residential, with residential being the lower rate. Energy and water requirements are catered for by Enemalta and the Water Services Corporation respectively. Bottled gas is used in most households and can be purchased from delivery vans (in most areas once a week) or from special distribution centres. The electricity is 240 volts AC, 50 Hz, and plug types are the three-pronged British model. Crime & Corruption

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 door unlocked at night. Visas & Embassies

As an EU member state, Malta’s immigration laws are in line with EU policies. The country is part of the Schengen zone. EU nationals are free to live in Malta. Third-country nationals who are family members of EU nationals living in Malta can accompany them. Non-EU citizens can find details about visa-exempt countries and visa application procedures on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.foreign.gov. mt.) Most major countries have an embassy or a consulate in Malta. The full list of foreign representations can also be accessed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Malta also offers foreigners the option to obtain Maltese citizenship through an Individual Investor Programme. Employment

EU nationals can work in Malta without an employment licence. Third-country nationals require work permits, and the granting of these is subject to a labour market test. Permits will be given on a temporary basis and have to be renewed every one-to-three years. The applicant must possess a professional qualification or a high degree of skill or experience. ■

Costs of Selected Goods and Services in Malta Hamburger at McDonald’s: ¤1 One litre petrol (unleaded): ¤1.44 Local beer in a bar (pint)*: ¤2 Cup of black coffee*: ¤1.50 Cinema ticket*: ¤6 One litre of fresh milk: ¤0.83 Bus day ticket (standard fare): ¤2.60 Leading local daily newspaper (week days): ¤0.90 Postage rate for a letter to Europe: ¤0.37 One night in a five-star hotel*: ¤150 *The indicated rates are approximate values.


Make the perfect first impression Meet & Greet / Chauffeur Services Meticulous attention to detail and seamless satisfaction will let you focus on your business interaction and decisions. Next time you have an important visitor coming in on business ensure that they are assisted through all the formalities in luxury, style and comfort.

Malta International Airport plc. Luqa LQA 4000, Malta Tel: (+356) 2369 6292 / 6016 Freephone: 8007 6666 Email: info@lavaletteclub.com

www.lavaletteclub.com


Business Directory 263

WHO’S

WHO IN MALTA MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES Connect with Malta’s major legal firms, executives and professional advisors


Business Directory 264

WHO’S

WHO IN MALTA MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES

Accounting & Auditing Baker Tilly Malta............................................................................................274 Camilleri Galea Ltd......................................................................................277 Capstone Group............................................................................................277 Deloitte............................................................................................................ 283 EY........................................................................................................................287 Griffiths + Associates Ltd..........................................................................292 KPMG................................................................................................................ 298 M. Meilak & Associates.............................................................................. 298 Mazars............................................................................................................... 301 Nexia BT.......................................................................................................... 305 PKF Malta.......................................................................................................306 PwC................................................................................................................... 307 RSM Malta.......................................................................................................309

Banking Services Akbank T.A.S. Malta Branch......................................................................271 APS Bank Ltd.................................................................................................273 Banif Bank (Malta) p.l.c..............................................................................274 Bank of Valletta p.l.c...................................................................................274 Bawag Malta Bank Ltd...............................................................................275 Deutsche Bank (Malta) Limited............................................................ 283 FIMBank p.l.c................................................................................................. 288 HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. Global Banking and Markets................... 293 HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. Commercial Banking.................................. 294 HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. International Banking Centre.................. 294 HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. Trade and Receivables Finance............. 294 HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. Financial Institutions Client Management.................................. 295 IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd................................................................................... 296 Mediterranean Bank p.l.c.......................................................................... 302 NBG Bank Malta Limited..........................................................................304 Sparkasse Bank Malta p.l.c.........................................................................311


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WHO’S

WHO IN MALTA MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES

Corporate Services Alliance Trust Company Limited.............................................................271 Amicorp Malta Limited..............................................................................272 Avanzia Taxand.............................................................................................273 BDO Malta.......................................................................................................275 Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited.................................................................276 Corporate Services Limited.................................................................... 280 CSB Group........................................................................................................281 DF Corporate Services Limited............................................................. 284 DF Marine Consultancy Limited............................................................ 284 ECOVIS Malta.................................................................................................285 EMCS International......................................................................................285 Equinox Advisory Ltd................................................................................ 286 Equiom (Malta) Limited............................................................................ 286 Fenlex Group................................................................................................. 288 Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Limited...........................................290 H&P Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd................................................... 293 Integrated-Capabilities (Malta) Ltd..................................................... 296 International Management Services.....................................................297 IURIS Management Limited.....................................................................297 Maitland........................................................................................................... 299 Mifra Consultants Limited........................................................................ 303 MSS International Services Limited..................................................... 303 NEWCO........................................................................................................... 305 Papilio Services Limited...........................................................................306 People & Co Limited..................................................................................306 Plethora Management Services Ltd.................................................... 307 Premier Fiduciary & Trusts Ltd.............................................................. 307 RiskCap International Limited...............................................................309 Spiteri Bailey & Co.........................................................................................311 STM Malta Trusts and Company Management Ltd.........................312 Taxways Group...............................................................................................312 UHY Pace, Galea MusĂš & Co.....................................................................313 Unifin Services Limited...............................................................................313 United International Management (Malta) Limited....................... 314 Vistra (Malta) Limited................................................................................. 314 ZETA...................................................................................................................315


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WHO’S

WHO IN MALTA MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES

Financial Data Creditinfo Malta Limited........................................................................... 280 SIX Financial Information UK Ltd.......................................................... 310

Financial Markets Malta Stock Exchange p.l.c.....................................................................300

Fund Administration Alter Domus Services Malta Limited....................................................272 Amicorp Funds Services Malta Limited..............................................272 Apex Fund Services (Malta) Limited...................................................273 Castlegate Fund Services Ltd.................................................................278 Custom House Global Fund Services Limited.................................282 IDS Fund Services Malta Ltd.................................................................. 295 Ifina UK Limited........................................................................................... 295 SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) Ltd......................................... 310 Trident Trust....................................................................................................313 Valletta Fund Services Limited............................................................... 314

Government Agency Malta Enterprise........................................................................................... 299 Malta Tourism Authority...........................................................................300 Transport Malta..............................................................................................312

HR & Recruitment Castille Resources........................................................................................278


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WHO’S

WHO IN MALTA MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES

Insurance Services Abacus Risk Management Services PCC Ltd.................................. 270 Bee Insurance Management Limited...................................................275 Citadel Insurance plc..................................................................................279 GasanMamo Insurance Ltd........................................................................291 HighDome PCC Ltd.................................................................................... 293 Marsh Management Services Malta Limited..................................... 301 Middlesea Insurance p.l.c......................................................................... 302 MSV Life p.l.c.................................................................................................304 Munich Re of Malta p.l.c............................................................................304

Investment Services Altarius Asset Management Ltd.............................................................271 Crystal Finance Investments Ltd............................................................281 Curmi & Partners Ltd..................................................................................282 Gamma Capital Markets Limited..........................................................290 Integradvisory Ltd...................................................................................... 296 Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Ltd................................................297 Michael Grech Financial Investment Services Limited................ 302

Legal Services Acumum.......................................................................................................... 270 Aequitas Legal.............................................................................................. 270 Camilleri Preziosi..........................................................................................277 CDF Advocates.............................................................................................278 Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.....................................................................279 CSB Advocates..............................................................................................281 David Griscti & Associates....................................................................... 283 DF Advocates............................................................................................... 284 Dingli & Dingli Law Firm............................................................................285 EMD Advocates............................................................................................ 286 Fenech & Fenech Advocates...................................................................287 Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal................................................................... 288


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WHO’S

WHO IN MALTA MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES

FZD Advocates............................................................................................290 Ganado Advocates.......................................................................................291 Gonzi and Associates, Advocates..........................................................291 GTG Advocates.............................................................................................292 GVTH Advocates..........................................................................................292 Mamo TCV Advocates................................................................................ 301 Simon Tortell & Associates....................................................................... 310

Media Services CountryProfiler Ltd..................................................................................... 280

Outsourcing Services Centrecom Limited......................................................................................279 QGen Limited................................................................................................308

Pension Services Momentum Pensions Malta Ltd............................................................. 303

Postal Services MaltaPost p.l.c............................................................................................... 299

Promotional Agency FinanceMalta................................................................................................. 289

Real Estate


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WHO’S

WHO IN MALTA MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES

Belair Property..............................................................................................276 Malta Sotheby’s International Realty..................................................300 RE/MAX Malta..............................................................................................308 Regus................................................................................................................308 SmartCity Malta..............................................................................................311

Shipping & Maritime Palmali Shipmanagement Ltd................................................................306

Software & IT Dais Software Limited................................................................................282

Storage & Logistics Express Group...............................................................................................287 Salvo Grima Group.....................................................................................309

Telecom & Internet BMIT Ltd...........................................................................................................276 Vodafone Malta Limited.............................................................................315

Travel & Leisure La Valette Club............................................................................................. 298


Business Directory

Insurance Services

270

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 word 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.

Baudoin Deschamps director & insurance manager

Legal Services

LF3 GasanMamo Head Office, Msida Road, Gzira - Malta T: (+32) 4754 60500 • F: (+32) 2706 4760 • E: bdeschamps@abacus.com.mt • W: www.abacus.com.mt Contact: Baudoin Deschamps - Director & Insurance Manager

ACUMUM Uniquely, engaging Maltese, UK & international lawyers, advocates, tax advisors & accountants, Acumum is a multidisciplinary legal & advisory firm providing Maltese focused legal & taxation solutions, as well as back-office, compliance & LPO services. With an associated international Barristers Chambers, we provide advocacy representation before courts & tribunals in Malta, UK, at EU level & in most Commonwealth (offshore) jurisdictions. With cost-effective pricing, superb client service & expert legal knowledge, we represent individuals, family offices, law firms & companies. Specialisms: Arbitration, Aviation, Energy, Financial Services, Gaming, Intellectual Property, Maritime, Personal & Corporate Tax Structuring, Wealth & Estate Planning.

Geraldine Noel managing partner

Legal Services

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

Aequitas Legal Aequitas Legal is a firm with the size and capacity to give total focus and priority to the demands of each business client. We are the Malta office of Multilaw, a network of law firms which draws upon the expertise of 6,000 lawyers in 200 cities. Our regulatory practice has assisted funds, investment advisors and credit institutions. Throughout, we have provided legally effective solutions which correspond to the commercial realities faced by our clients. We offer tax advisory services and a full host of corporate services, including professional directorships in companies and Sicavs, as well as compliance and anti-money laundering support services. We advise major corporations in international tenders, aviation specialists and UCITS platforms.

Dr. Georg Sapiano partner

Æ Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta VLT 1103 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 4085 • F: (+356) 2122 3306 • E: gsapiano@aequitas.com.mt • W: www.aequitas.com.mt Contact: Dr. Georg Sapiano - Partner


Business Directory

Banking Services

271

AKBANK T.A.S. MALTA BRANCH Akbank is “The Most Valuable Banking Brand of Turkey” for the third consecutive time according to Brand Finance. Akbank offers a wide range of consumer, SME, corporate and private banking services as well as foreign trade financing. Non-banking financial services, capital markets and investment services are provided by the bank’s subsidiaries. Akbank conducts overseas operations through subsidiaries in Germany and Dubai along with a branch in Malta. The Malta branch concentrates on corporate banking services, mainly project financing, investment and working capital loans. Akbank’s strong capital base, stable deposit structure, ability to generate low-cost funding and robust growth in total assets have positioned Akbank among the most profitable financial services institutions in Europe.

Seyda San BRANCH MANAGER

Corporate Services

Portomaso Business Tower, Level 6, Portomaso, St. Julians STJ 4011 - Malta T: (+356) 2138 3400 • F: (+356) 2138 3666 • E: seyda.san@akbank.com • W: www.akbank.com Contact: Seyda San - Branch Manager

Alliance Trust Company Limited Alliance Trust Company Limited offers trust, fiduciary and corporate services to a strong and diverse international client-base. Licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority, it accepts fiduciary office, including acting as trustee and administrator of public and private foundations, and provides various administration and management support roles in corporate and trust structures. Its professionals’ approach is relationship-driven, with a long-term focus. It is a member of TAP-K, an alliance of independent centres of professional expertise involved in structure formation and management, legal, accounting and ICT support, facilities management and corporate strategy consulting. Dr. Christian Farrugia DIRECTOR

Investment Services

Tower Business Centre, Level 1, Suite 5, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 – Malta T: (+356) 2549 6000 • F: (+356) 2549 6444 • E: cfarrugia@atcl.com.mt • W: www.atcl.com.mt Contact: Dr. Christian Farrugia – Director

Altarius Asset Management LTD Altarius Asset Management Ltd is an independent Asset Manager based in Malta since 2008 and regulated by the MFSA. Our expertise focuses on establishing, coordinating, re-domiciliating (offshore C onshore) and managing European funds registered in Malta exclusively for third parties. Altarius provides its clients not only with tailored investment solutions but also with global access to investors and distribution partners. They can either plug into our Maltese fund platform or be the owner of a fully segregated and bespoke Maltese SICAV or RICC. We also provide the necessary local resources to obtain and maintain licensed activities in Malta (office space, IT support, staff…). Pierre Maliczak Group Managing Director

Cornerstone Complex, Suite A, Level 1, 16th September Square, Mosta MST 1180 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 2540 • F: (+356) 2123 3340 • E: charmaine.xerri@altariusam.com • W: www.altariusam.com Contact: Charmaine Xerri – Deputy Manager


Business Directory

Fund Administration

272

ALTER DOMUS SERVICES MALTA LIMITED Alter Domus is a provider of Fund and Corporate Services, dedicated to private equity houses, real estate firms, multinationals, private clients and private debt managers. We offer 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 today counts 28 offices and desks across four continents. This international network enables clients to benefit globally from the expertise of more than 650 experienced professionals active in fund administration, corporate secretarial, accounting, consolidation, tax and legal compliance and debt administration services. We are proud to serve 17 of the 30 largest private equity houses and 16 of the 30 largest real estate firms in the world.

Chris Casapinta Managing Director

Fund Administration

Domestica Building, 4th Floor, Msida Valley Road, Msida MSD9020 - Malta T: (+356) 2148 0828 • F: (+356) 2748 0829 • E: chris.casapinta@alterdomus.com • W: www.alterdomus.com Contact: Chris Casapinta - Managing Director

Amicorp FundS Services Malta Limited Amicorp Fund Services is recognised by the MFSA to provide administration services to investment funds on a global scale. Amicorp Fund Services provides fund administration and corporate services to alternative and traditional funds on a global scale. The group operates from its 41 offices situated in 28 countries, leveraging on the capabilities of more than 750 specialists. Our core business includes NAV calculation, investor and shareholder services, and corporate management. We distinguish ourselves by ensuring the highest level of accuracy of our end product, and by committing to a timely delivery of our services. Rudolph Psaila managing director

Corporate Services

Level 1, Blue Harbour Business Centre, Ta Xbiex Yacht Marina, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1027 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 4705 • F: (+356) 2258 4706 • E: r.psaila@amicorp.com • W: www.amicorp-funds.com Contact: Rudolph Psaila - Managing Director

Amicorp Malta Limited Amicorp Malta Limited is part of Amicorp Group. Working as a global team across more than 41 offices in over 28 countries, each of Amicorp’s 750 specialists contributes their individual talents to Amicorp’s broad range of expertise and experience. Amicorp Malta is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to set up and administer trusts and foundations. In addition, we assist international clients with company formation and management, financial reporting services, tax and VAT compliance and payroll services.

Rudolph Psaila managing director

Level 1, Blue Harbour Business Centre, Ta Xbiex Yacht Marina, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1027-Malta T: (+356) 2258 4700 • F: (+356) 2258 4701 • E: r.psaila@amicorp.com • W: www.amicorp.com Contact: Rudolph Psaila - Managing Director


Business Directory

Fund Administration

273

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 personalized services.

Anthony O’Driscoll managing director

Banking Services

6th Floor Airways House, Gaiety Lane, Sliema SLM 1549 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 1330 • F: (+356) 2131 2880 • E: anthony@apexfunds.com.mt • W: www.apexfundserivces.com Contact: Anthony O’ Driscoll - Managing Director

APS Bank Ltd Ever since its inception in 1910, APS Bank has been at the forefront of community involvement. In 1991, it started operating as a commercial bank offering personalised financial solutions. The Bank’s mission focuses on customer satisfaction, employee development, quality and innovation, highlighting its wider stakeholder orientation and social commitment. Its products and services cater for a wide array of individual, business and organisational needs. It operates through a network of branches, ATMs and an online banking system.

Edward Cachia CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Corporate Services

APS Centre, Tower Street, Birkirkara BKR 4012 - Malta T: (+356) 2560 3203 • F: (+356) 2122 6202 • headoffice@apsbank.com.mt • www.apsbank.com.mt Contact: Alexander Camilleri – Senior Manager Operations Division

AVANZIA TAXAND Avanzia Taxand is the Maltese member firm of Taxand, and it is ranked as a Tier Two Firm in Euromoney’s Corporate Tax Handbook. In 2009 and 2013, Avanzia Taxand was named ‘Malta Tax Firm of the Year’ by the International Tax Review, and in 2011 the firm was chosen as the winner of the Corporate International Magazine 2011 Global Award for ‘Tax Firm of the Year in Malta’. Avanzia Taxand offers a comprehensive and integrated range of tax and corporate services, including tax advisory and compliance, company formations, management and administration, back office, indirect taxation, transaction tax, advance revenue rulings, tax litigation, liquidations and redomiciliations. Walter Cutajar managing Director

Blue Harbour Business Centre, Level 1, Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1027 - Malta T: (+356) 2730 0045 • F: (+356) 2730 0049 • E: walter.cutajar@avanzia.com.mt • W: www.avanzia.com.mt Contact: Walter Cutajar - Managing Director


Business Directory

Accounting & Auditing

274

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 131 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. Donald Sant Managing Partner & Head of Audit

Banking Services

Level 5 Rosa Marina Building 216 Marina Seafront Pieta PTA 9041 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 9500 • F: (+356) 2010 9501 • E: contact@bakertillymalta.com • www.bakertillymalta.com Contact: Donald Sant- Managing Partner & Head of Audit

Banif Bank (Malta) plc A core-domestic Maltese bank offering the full range of commercial banking services and products including private and business banking. In its seventh year of operations, Banif is growing its existing retail network of 10 branches, supported by a trading room, internet banking platfrom and ATMs. A key financial institution in the market, Banif distinguishes itself for its fresh ideas, products and approach, complemented by high standards in customer care. Banif has been named ‘Best Banking Group, Malta’ for 2010, 2011 and 2013, by internationally renowned World Finance. Joaquim F. Silva Pinto Chief Executive Officer

Banking Services

203, Level 2, Rue D’Argens, Gzira GZR 1368 - Malta T: (+356) 2260 1000 • F: (+356) 2131 2000 • E: customercare@banif.com.mt • W: www.banif.com.mt Contact: Charles Mizzi - Head of Unit, Marketing & Communications

Bank of Valletta PLC Bank of Valletta is the leading financial services provider in Malta, offering investment banking, private banking, fund management, bancassurance, stockbroking and trustee services. The Bank serves its clients through an extensive network of branches, an International Clients Centre and a Trade Finance Centre, recognised by Global Finance as the Best in Malta for two consecutive years. Business clients access expert advice and specialised service from Corporate and Business Centres. A fully-fledged Wealth Management arm and Investment Centres offer tailor-made investment solutions. Representative Offices in Brussels, Milan, Tripoli and Melbourne assist clients who have interest to grow their business in these countries. Bank of Valletta services are available 24/7 via internet, telephone and mobile.

Charles Borg Chief Executive Officer

BOV Centre, Triq il-Kanun, Santa Venera SVR 9030 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2131 2020 • F: (+356) 2275 3730 • E: customercare@bov.com • W: www.bov.com Contact: Romeo Cutajar - Chief Officer Financial Markets & Investments


Business Directory

Banking Services

275

BAWAG MALTA BANK LTD BAWAG Malta Bank Ltd. is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Austrian Banking Group BAWAG P.S.K. Located in the heart of Sliema, it is the springboard of the group to the Mediterranean and North Africa. In the domestic Maltese market, it is specialised in traditional commercial banking in the upper market and in project finance. With its strong capital base of €500 million, it is also a partner for syndications and structured finance transactions.

Dr. Otto Karasek MANAGING DIRECTOR

Corporate Services

Level 6, Strand Towers, 36 The Strand, Sliema SLM 07 - Malta T: (+356) 2328 6111 • F: (+356) 2131 5147 • E: una.oliva@bawag.com.mt • W: www.bawagpsk.com Contact: Dr. Otto Karasek - Managing Director

BDO Malta BDO Malta forms part of the international BDO network of independent firms. Operating since 1978, our team evolved to its present form through the engagement of specialists who have excelled in their various fields of expertise, mainly being Assurance and Auditing, Internal Auditing, Taxation, Consultancy, Corporate and Trust, Compliance and Outsourcing, Payroll, Back Office Administration and legal services. We offer a tailor-made service as we believe in the importance of close personal relationships and of listening carefully to and working with our clients. Looking into the future, we will continue to strengthen our service, keeping in mind five key components: client needs, communication, commitment, people and value to ensure that our clients’ needs are fulfilled.

John J. Attard managing partner

Insurance Services

Tower Gate Place, Tal-Qroqq Street, Msida MSD1703 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 3060 • F: (+356) 2131 3064 • mark.attard@bdo.com.mt • www.bdo.com.mt Contact: Mark Attard - Partner

Bee Insurance Management Limited With over 15 years of experience in insurance management, Bee has the resources and expertise to provide a comprehensive service from company set up to ongoing management to Direct Insurers, Reinsurers, Captives, PCC’s and ICC’s in the functional areas of: Company Formation and Registration, Underwriting and Claims, Accounting, Banking and Cash Management, Statutory Filings, Company Secretarial and Investment Reporting. We have the flexibility to work with clients in order to provide a bespoke service which is cost effective and efficient. Nigel Rausi general manager

4th Floor Development House, St Anne Street, Floriana FRN 9010 – Malta T: (+356) 2123 5860 • E: nigelr@bee.com.mt • W: www.bee.com.mt Contact: Nigel Rausi – General Manager


Business Directory

Real Estate

276

Belair Property Belair Property is a long-established company and well-known specialist in the real estate field. Over the years, the directors have built long-term relationships with owners and clients alike; respected and trusted for their ability to create value for clients because of their integrity and hard work. Belair Property offers a wide portfolio of residential and commercial properties both for sale or rent. Renowned for their key role in assisting companies and individuals relocating to Malta, Belair Property can also assist clients on tax and legal issues, as well as facilitating their move and integration within the Maltese society. Ian Casolani managing director

Corporate Services

48 Quayside, Msida Road, Gzira GZR1400 - Malta T: (+356) 2011 8000 • F: (+356) 2131 9404 • E: ianc@belair.com.mt • W: www.belair.com.mt Contact: Ian Casolani – Managing Director

Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited provides Trust and Company formation and administration on an international, multi-jurisdictional basis. We specialise in meeting the varied requirements of wealthy individuals and their families, entrepreneurs, corporate executive and charities. We can tailor solutions to address a broad range of client objectives. From our base in Malta and together with your chosen professional advisers, Bentley Trust (Malta) offers a highly personal, discrete service providing flexible, efficient administration of all client assets on a global basis. Bentley Trust (Malta) is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority. Malcolm Becker chief executive officer

Telecom & Internet

Level 7, Portomaso Business Tower, St Julians STJ 4011 - Malta T: (+356) 2137 8828 • F: (+356) 2137 8383 • E: malta@bentleyreid.com • W: www.bentleygroup.com Contact: Malcolm Becker - Chief Executive Officer

BMIT Ltd BMIT is Malta’s leading data centre provider, providing secure facilities and reliable services to a wide range of highly sophisticated industries such as Telecommunications, Financial Services and Online Gaming. Whilst actively working to bring additional services to the market, BMIT’s suite of solutions includes: Access to data centres in Malta and in cities across Europe, with further connectivity through leading pan-European network, Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Services, Data Centre and Managed IT Services & Disaster Recovery Services. All our services operate from ISO 27001 and PCI DSS certified data centres, which are supported by an expert 24x7 team of dedicated professionals. Christian Sammut Chief Executive Officer

54/55, Triq Manuel Borg Gauci, Handaq, Qormi QRM 4000 - Malta T: (+356) 2147 2592 • E: marketing@bmit.com.mt • W: www.bmit.com.mt Contact: Jack Mizzi - Chief Marketing & BD Officer


Business Directory

Accounting & Auditing

277

Camilleri Galea Ltd Camilleri Galea Ltd, Certified Public Accountants deliver assurance, accountancy, advisory, corporate and tax services to a broad range of business, corporate and private clients. Our commitment to excellence is exemplified by the personalised attention we provide our clients; our use of the best professional and high-tech resources available; and our proven ability to provide our clients with timely and affordable professional services. We work with a number of partners to ensure that clients are given the best available advice, and we assist in tax consultancy, company formation, corporate administration, company secretarial, back office, accounting, auditing and payroll services amongst other services. Daniel Camilleri managing director

Legal Services

1st Floor, Suite 3, Central Business Centre, Mdina Road, Zebbug - Malta T: (+356) 2146 0200 • F: (+356) 2540 1170 • E: info@cg.com.mt • W: www.cg.com.mt Contact: Daniel Camilleri – Managing Director

Camilleri Preziosi Camilleri Preziosi commands an outstanding reputation amongst clients and peers as a leading Maltese corporate law firm. We are regularly ranked as a toptier firm by Chambers, IFLR1000 and Legal 500. We retain a strong commitment to deliver a quality service in the practice of law. We do this by combining technical excellence with a solution-driven approach. The close relationships we develop and the keen interest we take in our clients’ businesses enable us to give practical, effective advice and innovative solutions under the most challenging situations. Dr. Louis de Gabriele Partner

Accounting & Auditing

Level 3, Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta VLT 1103 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2123 8989 • Fax: (+356) 2122 3048 E: louis.degabriele@camilleripreziosi.com • W: www.camilleripreziosi.com Contact: Dr. Louis de Gabriele - Partner

Capstone Group The Capstone Group is a well-established firm of professional accountants with significant experience in multiple disciplines. The Group is made up of Capstone Advisory Co. Ltd., providing accounting and tax advisory services, and the independent audit firm, Capstone Assurance Ltd. The latter firm is duly authorised and approved to conduct statutory and non-statutory audits in Malta by the Accountancy Board. Industry-specific high-level business and tax advisory is provided to both local and overseas clients, with special areas of competence within the financial services, remote gaming, pension scheme administration, oil and gas, real estate, tourism and hospitality sectors. David Borg Tax and Advisory Partner

Suite 5, Level 1, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2549 6500 • F: (+356) 2549 6444 • dborg@capstonegroup.com.mt • www.capstonegroup.com.mt Contact: David Borg – Tax and Advisory Partner


Business Directory

HR & Recruitment

278

Castille resources Castille is widely recognised as the leading financial recruitment firm in Malta, boasting an unparalleled track record in the areas of banking, insurance, assurance, fund management, fund administration, FOREX and corporate services. Castille Resources delivers best in class talent through our Permanent Placement, Executive Search, Interim and Coaching services.

Matthew Camilleri managing director

Fund Administration

Casa Leone, Pjazza Robert Samut, Floriana FRN 1200 - Malta T: (+356) 2093 3000 • E: support@castilleresources.com • W: www.castilleresources.com Contact: Matthew Camilleri - Managing Director

Castlegate Fund Services Ltd Castlegate Fund Services Ltd. is a full service fund administrator and provider of independent director services. Through a team of highly qualified and experienced individuals, utilising leading fund administration systems, our aim is to provide a high-quality, customer-driven service, with an emphasis on responsiveness, attention to detail and competitive pricing. In addition to startups, we can also assist funds looking to transition from an existing third party administrator or in house service. Through our affiliate in the British Virgin Islands, Castlegate Investment Services Limited, we can also arrange services within the North American time zone. Niall Brooks director

Legal Services

Daniela House, 1st Floor, 197 Triq-il-Marina, Pieta PTA 9041 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 6608 • F: (+356) 2123 9713 E: contact@castlegatefundservices.com • www.castlegatefundservices.com Contact: Niall Brooks - Director

CDF Advocates CDF Advocates has been active in the Maltese financial services industry since 1994. Our expertise has been recognised by the independent research of IFLR1000 for 11 years running. We can advise on the structuring of regulated funds, fund managers and financial institutions, and through our highly experienced team, we also offer specialised compliance, anti-money laundering and risk management services for UCITS, AIFs, professional investor funds, fund managers, insurance companies, financial institutions and investment services providers. Dr. Frank Chetcuti Dimech Partner

25/23 Vincenti Buildings, Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1432 - Malta T; (+356) 2122 3334 • F: (+356) 2124 8594 • E: fcd@cdf.com.mt • W: www.cdf.com.mt Contact: Dr. Frank Chetcuti Dimech - Partner


Business Directory

Outsourcing Services

279

Centrecom limited Centrecom is a multi-lingual International Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company, offering back and front office services through our Contact Centre based in Luqa, Malta. We know that our clients are unique both in their requirements and objectives, so we create individually tailored solutions. Our contact centre is manned by native English speakers, as well as a multi-national team speaking more than seven languages – so that we can definitely speak your customers’ language.

Dominic Attard Chief Executive Officer

Legal Services

Aviation Centre, First Floor, St. Thomas Street, Luqa - Malta T: (+356) 2364 4000 • F: (+356) 2124 2905 • E: tiago.aprigio@centrecom.eu • W: www.centrecom.eu Contact: Tiago Aprigio - Sales and Marketing Manager

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates With offices in Valletta and London, CCA is a full-service Malta law firm, combining sophisticated legal advice and bespoke tax planning with efficient Malta company formation, investment fund licensing, company administration and support. We deliver these all-round services fully in-house through our unique multi-disciplinary structure with over 60 partners, associates and staff hailing from the legal, tax, accounting and IT professions. Our specialist practice groups in Malta: Trusts, Foundations, Hedge Funds, Forex, Investment Services, IP Law, Aircraft & Yacht Solutions, Shipping, Regulated Internet Gambling & Digital Gaming, Citizenship and Residence. Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti MANAGING Partner

Insurance Services

120, St Ursula Street, Valletta VLT 1122 - Malta T: (+356) 2205 6200 • F: (+356) 2205 6201 • E: jpc@cclex.com • W: www.cclex.com Contact: Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti - Managing Partner

Citadel Insurance plc Established in 1997 as the second indigenous insurance company in Malta, Citadel Insurance plc is a composite insurance company authorised by the MFSA to transact both general and life insurance business. Citadel is a leading player offering a wide and flexible range of products comprising of motor, home, marine, travel, business, professional indemnity and life insurance, including retirement and savings plans, besides other tailor-made products. In October 2011, Citadel has expanded its product portfolio by establishing its subsidiary Citadel Health Insurance Agency Ltd enrolled to transact health insurance intermediary’s activities on behalf of Swiss Life Prévoyance et Santé. Our vision is to keep on expanding our product portfolio through innovative insurance solutions designed around our clients’ needs.

Angela Tabone Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

Casa Borgo, 26 Market Street, Floriana - Malta T: (+356) 2557 9000 • F: (+356) 2557 9550 • E: angtabone@citadelplc.com • W: www.citadelplc.com Contact: Angela Tabone - Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Corporate Services

280

CORPORATE SERVICES LIMITED Corporate Services Limited (CSL) was one of the first financial services providers in Malta. We assist foreign clients to best utilise Malta’s new legislation and the birth of the financial services sector that now contributes significantly to the country’s GDP. We are a one-stop-shop offering comprehensive, professional and personalised services. Our core expertise lies in the provision of company formation, corporate and fiduciary services, shipping, trusts, international tax planning and related advisory services, accountancy and back office/ support services. CSL is licensed under the MFSA to act as trustees. Anton Chetcuti-Ganado managing DIRECTOR

Media Services

5/2 Merchants street, Valletta VLT1171 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 0428 • F: (+356) 2123 4941 • E: Amanda@cslmalta.com • W: www.cslmalta.com Contact: Amanda Chetcuti-Ganado - Director

CountryProfiler LTD 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 bluechip 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

Financial Data

64, St Anne Court, Flat 4, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1642 - Malta T: (+356) 9902 0808 • E: puglisevich@countryprofiler.com • W: www.countryprofiler.com Contact: Melissa Puglisevich - Executive Assistant

Creditinfo Malta Limited Creditinfo Malta, established in 2002, forms part of an international group present in over 18 countries. The company’s aim is to provide local companies with innovative risk and credit management solutions, enabling them to trade in confidence in the domestic and international market place. Creditinfo provides comprehensive and up-to-date information, financial statements and reports that enable companies manage risk more effectively and help make the right decisions. Most of the products and services are provided through a flexible and easy-to-use web-based system providing sophisticated analytics and decision services. Simon Camilleri CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

199, Eucharistic Congress Road, Mosta MST 9036 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 2344 • E: info@creditinfo.com.mt • W: www.creditinfo.com.mt Contact: Simon Camilleri - Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Investment Services

281

CRYSTAL FINANCE INVESTMENTS LTD Crystal Finance Investments Ltd is a leading financial services provider licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority with offices in Valletta, Msida, Mosta, Qormi, Birkirkara, Naxxar and Gozo. Crystal consists of a select group of senior investment professionals and their staff, providing multilevel analyses of the economic and investment environments, including economic growth, interest rates, foreign exchange, credit and the effect of forecasts on market sectors, individual securities and client portfolios. Crystal co-operates with major international banking institutions for search or development of innovative products for personal, corporate and institutional investors. Crystal offers investment advice, trade execution and discretionary portfolio management.

Alfred Mifsud CHAIRMAN

Legal Services

10 City Gate, First Floor, Valletta VLT1010 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 6190 • F: (+356) 2122 6188 • E: info@crystal.com.mt • W: www.crystal.com.mt Contact: Silvan Mifsud – Executive Director Operations

CSB advocates CSB Advocates is a leading Malta law firm active in the areas of Corporate Law; Finance; Financial Services; Trusts and Estate Planning; Tax; Shipping; Yachting; Aviation; Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT); e-Commerce & iGaming; Competition/ Antitrust Regulation; Intellectual Property; Employment and Industrial Relations; Real Estate; Litigation & Arbitration; and Insolvency. The firm is committed to providing its clients with smart and effective legal solutions, based on detailed legal analysis and carefully considered courses of action. This commitment, combined with pragmatism, efficiency and pro-active thinking, has earned CSB Advocates the solid reputation that its clients have come to rely on for all their legal requirements in Malta.

Andrew J. Zammit MANAGING PARTNER

Corporate Services

Level 3, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2557 2300 • F: (+356) 2557 2310 • E: info@csb-advocates.com • W: www.csb-advocates.com Contact: Andrew J. Zammit - Managing Partner

CSB Group CSB Group (est.1987) provides its clients with a spectrum of specialised business and commercial services offering a complete turnkey solution to clients wishing to set up or relocate their business to Malta. CSB’s areas of specialisation today are: Corporate & Trust; Tax; Legal; Accounting; Recruitment & HR; Credit Risk; Relocation & Real Estate services. Furthermore, CSB offers the following services: Incorporation and re-domiciliation of companies; Trust, Fiduciary & Escrow services; Accounting, Payroll & Tax Administration; Regulatory & Legal Consultancy; Licensing of Financial, Investment services & iGaming; Hedge Fund Registration; Ship, Yacht & Aircraft Solutions; Recruitment & HR Consultancy Relocation & Residence Permits; Serviced Office Space & Real Estate Services.

Michael J. Zammit CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

The Penthouse, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2557 2557 • F: (+356) 2557 2558 • E: info@csbgroup.com • W: www.csbgroup.com Contact: Michael J. Zammit – CSB Group Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Investment Services

282

Curmi & Partners Ltd Curmi & Partners Ltd. is the leading wealth manager in Malta. Our investment ideas and solutions, specifically developed for our clients, are the result of innovative thinking and thorough research which have successfully addressed diverse investment mandates. Our clients range from small banks, insurance companies, pension schemes and other corporates, to international family offices and high-net-worth individuals. We feel that individual attention to each of our clients 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. David Curmi managing DIRECTOR

Fund Administration

Finance House, Princess Elizabeth Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1102 - Malta T: (+356) 2134 7331 • F: (+356) 2134 7333 • E: info@curmiandpartners.com • W: www.curmiandpartners.com Contact: David Curmi - Managing Director

Custom House Global Fund Services Limited The Custom House Group of companies, which is a member of the TMF Group, was originally established in Ireland in 1989. After several metamorphoses, the group has now developed into a global hedge fund administration organisation which offers a full 24/5 service through its fully integrated network of offices in Chicago, Dublin, Luxembourg, Malta and Singapore. Custom House has a Guernsey office for servicing Guernsey fund clients and also acts as a licensed Custodian of Funds of Funds in Malta. The parent company, Custom House Global Fund Services Ltd., is based in Malta and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority. Kevin Caruana managing director

Software & IT

Tigne Towers, Tigne Street, Sliema SLM 3172 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 2100 • F: (+356) 2702 2899 E: kevin.caruana@mt.customhousegroup.com • W: www.customhousegroup.com Contact: Kevin Caruana - Managing Director

DAIS Software Limited DAIS tasked itself to present affordable and flexible solutions to its clients. The main strategy behind DAIS is to develop products which will minimise the gap between real-world requirements and IT systems capabilities. DAIS especially focuses of financial sector and compliance solutions. With its new line product, PERSONA, DAIS takes on enhanced KYC and customer due diligence tasks and provides to its clients pre-screening and ongoing monitoring functions reliably and easily.

Savas Manyasli Founder, Solution Architect

Villa Fairholme, Sir Augustus Bartolo Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1095 - Malta E: support@dais.com.mt • W: www.dais.com.mt Contact: Savas Manyasli - Founder, Software Architect


Business Directory

Legal Services

283

David Griscti & Associates David Griscti & Associates is a law firm highly focused on the financial services industry, with a marked emphasis in Funds, Investment Management, Securities, Credit Institutions and other financial institutions. The firm assists and advises banks, asset managers, financial advisors and other financial intermediaries to structure, establish and license AIFs, PIFs and UCITS, AIFMs and UCITS managers, fund administration outfits, credit institutions, other financial institutions and other investment service’ firms. Post licensing, the firm offers full legal, corporate and tax advisory services, compliance and anti-money laundering services, company secretarial and executive board services, as well as other supplementary backoffice administrative services.

Dr. David Griscti senior partner

Accounting & Auditing

168, St Christopher Street, Valletta VLT 1467 - Malta T: (+356) 2569 3000 • F: (+356) 2122 7731 • E: dgriscti@dglawfirm.com • W: dglawfirm.com.mt Contact: Dr. David Griscti - Senior Partner

Deloitte Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. In Malta, Deloitte services large international and national clients as well as smaller owner managed businesses. Over the years, the practice has expanded steadily and is now firmly established as one of Malta’s leading providers of professional services. Deloitte can ensure that you take full advantage of Malta’s skill base, competitive cost base, regulatory environment, EU membership and attractive tax systems in a manner appropriate to your needs.

Malcolm Booker CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Banking Services

Deloitte Place, Mriehel Bypass, Mriehel BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2343 2000 • F: (+356) 21344 443 • E: mbooker@deloitte.com.mt • W: www.deloitte.com/mt Contact: Malcolm Booker - Chief Executive Officer

Deutsche Bank (Malta) Limited Deutsche Bank’s Alternative Fund Services offers a full range of administrative and banking services to hedge funds, fund of funds and other alternative investment vehicles - including private equity funds, infrastructure funds, property and real estate funds, discretionary and private funds, and insurancelinked funds - from start-up through growth to maturity. Services include fund administration, transfer agency services, trustee services, securities custody, cash management and specialist corporate services in a number of tax-neutral locations. The Bank delivers high-quality administration services to support investment managers, financial sponsors and institutional investors all over the world in pursuing their investment objectives.

Reuben Attard chief executive officer

Portomaso Business Tower, St. Julians, STJ4010 - Malta T: (+356) 2137 3666 • F: (+356) 2137 7741 • E: mike.r.hughes@db.com • W: www.db.com Contact: Mike Hughes - Global Co-Head of Alternative Fund Services


Business Directory

Legal Services

284

DF Advocates DF Advocates is a Malta based law firm. We advise international and local businesses and entrepreneurs on local and cross-border transactions involving complex legal issues spanning various industries. Our specific focus is on corporate law, financial services, tax, gaming, maritime and aviation law. We also act for public and private entities on procurement issues and privatisations. Through our affiliated company DF Corporate Services, we are authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide fiduciary and trust services, whilst through DF Marine Consultancy, we operate our maritime law division and provide related advisory and back office services. Dr. Kevin Deguara managing partner

Corporate Services

Il Piazzetta A Suite 41 Level 4 Tower Road Sliema SLM 1607 Malta T: (+356) 2131 3930 • F: (+356) 2134 0916 • E: kevin.deguara@dfadvocates.com • W: www.dfadvocates.com Contact Person: Dr. Kevin Deguara – Managing Partner

DF Corporate Services Limited DF Corporate Services Limited forms part of the DF Group which besides DFCS encapsulates also DF Advocates, DF Marine Consultancy and DF Business Advisory. DFCS is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide trustee and fiduciary services. We also provide directorship and company secretarial services, back office and company administration services. We also assist clients in setting up and operating gaming companies. Our client base spans over a number of EU and non-EU jurisdictions. In servicing our clients’ legal and fiscal needs, DFCS works in tandem with DF Advocates, the law firm within the DF Group. Dr. Edward Saliba director

Corporate Services

Il Piazzetta A Suite 21 Level 2 Tower Road Sliema SLM 1607 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 1040 • F: (+356) 2134 0916 • E: edward.saliba@dfcorporate.com • www.dfcorporate.com Contact Person: Dr. Edward Saliba - Director

DF Marine Consultancy Limited DF Marine Consultancy Services Limited (member of the DF Group) provides advice and assistance relating to yacht acquisitions, sales and construction of new-builds, yacht (both private and commercial) and ship registration, mortgage registration and ship finance transactions in general. We also deal with vessel importations, customs as well as VAT and income tax issues pervading the marine industry, including the setting up and management of yacht leasing arrangements in terms of the Maltese Yacht Leasing guidelines. In servicing our clients’ legal and fiscal needs, we work in tandem with DF Advocates, the law firm within the DF Group. Dr. Anthony Galea director

Il Piazzetta A Suite 21 Level 2 Tower Road Sliema SLM 1607 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 1040 • F: (+356) 2133 2524 E: anthony.galea@dfadvocates.com • www.dfmarineconsultancy.com Contact Person: Dr. Anthony Galea - Director


Business Directory

Legal Services

285

Dingli & Dingli Law Firm Dingli & Dingli Law Firm was established in 1982. It has 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; admiralty, aviation, tax, company formation and administration, financial services and intellectual property law; real estate and residency. Complementary services are rendered by DG Fiduciary Limited, authorised to provide trustee and fiduciary services, and Quorum Corporate Services Ltd. providing accounting services.

Dr. Kevin F. Dingli managing partner

Corporate Services

18/2, South Street, Valletta VLT1102 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 6206 • F: (+356) 2124 0321 • E: info@dingli.com.mt • W: www.dingli.com.mt Contact: Dr. Kevin. F. Dingli - Managing Partner

ECOVIS Malta ECOVIS has established itself as a leading global consulting firm, with over 4,000 people operating in over 50 countries. Its consulting focus and core competencies lie in the areas of tax consultation, accounting, auditing and legal advice. All members of ECOVIS Malta are committed to giving the client personal attention and to providing a one-stop-shop service which also includes GRC services to the fund industry. Our local experience in business, tax and corporate compliance, combined with the international partners’ experience in their respective jurisdictions, provides holistic support to local and international clients, small and medium-sized enterprises. Anthony Vella managing director

Corporate Services

55B Birbal Road, Balzan BZN9017, Malta T: (+356) 2134 1680 • F: (+356) 2134 1681 • E: malta@ecovis.com Contact: Karl Bonanno - Director

EMCS International The EMCS International Group is a professional services firm, offering a onestop-shop to foreigners seeking to do business from, or within, Malta. Services include corporate and tax structuring, back office and accounting, trustee services, financial services advisory, including the setup of professional investor funds and asset management companies. EMCSI is committed towards providing clients constructive assistance and solutions by understanding their clients’ individual needs, drawing on the skills and experience of their tax and legal specialists, accountancy and management consultants. A company within the group is duly licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to carry out Trustee and Fiduciary Services.

Geraldine Schembri MANAGING DIRECTOR

Level 2, Regional Business Centre, University Heights, Msida - Malta T: (+356) 2777 2540 • F: (+356) 2131 8677 • W: www.emcsinternational.com Contact: Geraldine Schembri - Managing Director


Business Directory

Legal Services

286

EMD Advocates EMD Advocates is a leading Malta law firm with a predominantly international clientele. The firm’s main areas of specialisation include financial services (investment services, funds, retirement schemes, insurance, credit and financial institutions), corporate, trust & commercial law, local and international tax advice, iGaming and immigration law. We act for a number of local and international companies, both small and large, as well as established individuals and families, who have placed their trust in the firm. The firm’s ethos is that of adding value to a project or assignment through the ability of its people to think out of the box and provide tailor-made practical solutions backed up by rigorous legal analysis. Dr. Pierre Mifsud Partner

Corporate Services

Vaults 13-16, Valletta Waterfront FRN 1914 - Malta T: (+356) 2203 0000 • F: (+356) 2123 7277 • E: info@emd.com.mt • W: www.emd.com.mt Contact: Dr. Pierre Mifsud - Partner

Equinox Advisory Ltd Equinox Advisory Ltd, established in 2008, offers specialised services in the economics, corporate and technology areas. It also offers a comprehensive suite of legal services under its affiliated law-firm Equinox Legal. Equinox Advisory has provided, and continues to provide, services to governments in the EMEA region and to private-sector clients worldwide. Our core business concept in providing services to the private sector is that of providing all the services that a company relocating to Malta could require under the convenience of one roof. For further information about how we can be of assistance, please visit our website. Bernard Mallia chief executive officer

Corporate Services

19/14, Vincenti Buildings, Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1432 - Malta T: (+356) 2137 6242 • F: (+356) 2137 6242 E: info@EquinoxAdvisory.com • W: www.EquinoxAdvisory.com Contact: Bernard Mallia - Chief Executive Officer and Director for Economics Services

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, with the intention of being the premier manager of these specific asset classes. Equiom proudly manages a large fleet of Superyachts and Business Jets and has also successfully managed numerous licence applications for e-Gaming operators across a broad range of gaming platforms. Annie Sanchez-Talavera director

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


Business Directory

Storage & Logistics

287

Express Group 50 years’ experience has moulded Express Trailers, part of the Express Group, into the leading local transporter and logistics operator in Malta. We service Maltese and foreign companies and transport any type of cargo, ranging from vehicles, heavy machinery and furniture to refrigerated foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals. The company operates a fleet of modern temperature-controlled trailers, all monitored through a state-of-the-art fleet-tracking management system which includes live temperature-reading facilities. This ensures a safe and reliable delivery to and from anywhere in Europe. Express Group also owns and operates climate-controlled warehouses approved by the Malta Medical Authority, positioning the company as a third-party logistics leader.

Franco Azzopardi Chairman & chief executive officer

Accounting & Auditing

Velbro House, Qormi Road, Luqa LQA 9040 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 2311 • F: (+356) 2124 2316 • E: sales@expressgroup.com • W: www.expressgroup.com Contact: David Fleri Soler - Sales & Business Development Manager

EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. We are 175,000 people based in 728 offices in 140 countries, organised into 29 Regions and four Areas. EY is committed to doing its part in building a better working world. 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

Legal Services

Regional Business Centre, Achille Ferris Street, Msida MSD 1751 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2134 2134 • Fax: (+356) 2347 1600 • E: ronald.attard@mt.ey.com • W: www.ey.com Contact Person: Ronald Attard - Country Managing Partner - CSE TAS South Cluster Leader

Fenech & Fenech Advocates Established in 1891, Fenech & Fenech Advocates is a leading law firm in Malta, with a strong commercial, corporate, tax, maritime, ship registration, M&A and financial services practice, and is a recognised pioneer in Maritime, eGaming and ICT law. The largely international client base is serviced by a staff of over 85 people. The firm has advised blue-chip clients in various landmark transactions in Malta and overseas and remains at the forefront of legal developments. Our team’s legal insight and business instinct provides clients with value-driven solutions. The varied tax and aviation practices are also a mainstay of the firm’s international work. Dr. Ann Fenech Managing Partner

198, Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1455 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2124 1232 • Fax: (+356) 2599 0644 • E: f.f@fenechlaw.com • W: www.fenechlaw.com Contact Person: Dr. Ann Fenech - Managing Partner


Business Directory

Legal Services

288

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 fund services, 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. Dr. Tonio Fenech joint managing partner

Corporate Services

Tower Business Centre, 1 Suite 5, Tower Street. Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2549 6400 • F: (+356) 2549 6444 • E: tfenech@fff-legal.com • W: www.fff-legal.com Contact: Dr. Tonio Fenech – Joint Managing Partner

Fenlex Group As a leading management and corporate services provider, Fenlex caters to a large international client base. Fenlex is in the position to provide a wide range of services that include company incorporation and maintenance, tax and VAT compliance, accountancy, payroll, bank account administration, directorship services, recruit and HR Services as well as operational assistance. The company has been active in servicing the international business sector since the 1980s, and its clients are serviced by a multi-disciplinary team organised into three support units: Corporate Services, Accounts and Operations. Fenlex is closely associated with Fenech & Fenech Advocates, a leading law firm. Karl Diacono Chief Executive Officer

Banking Services

85, St. John Street, Valletta VLT 1165 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2124 1817 • Fax: (+356) 2599 9640 • E: karl.diacono@fenlex.com • W: www.fenlex.com Contact Person: Karl Diacono - Chief Executive Officer

FIMBANK PLC FIMBank is an international trade finance specialist, with an established reputation as a dynamic and customer-driven provider of trade finance solutions. The Bank’s comprehensive range of trade finance and banking products include treasury management, structured commodity finance, ship finance, counter/ barter trade facilities, syndications/risk participation, bond & guarantees, letters of credit, international factoring, forfaiting, savings and fixed term deposit accounts. FIMBank is headquartered in Malta and benefits from a growing network of international offices with a physical presence in Singapore, São Paulo, New York, Mumbai, Moscow, London, Istanbul, Dubai, Cairo and Beirut. Margrith Lütschg – Emmenegger PRESIDENT

Mercury Tower, The Exchange Financial & Business Centre, Elia Zammit Street, St Julian’s STJ 3155 - Malta T: (+356) 2132 2100 • F: (+356) 2132 2122 • E: info@fimbank.com • W: www.fimbank.com Contact Person: Margrith Lütschg - Emmenegger – President


Business Directory

Promotional Agency

289

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

Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT1063 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 4525 • F: (+356) 2144 9212 • E: chairman@financemalta.org • W: www.financemalta.org Contact: Kenneth Farrugia - Chairman

Promotional Agency

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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. Ivan Grech Head of Business Development

Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT1063 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 4525 • F: (+356) 2144 9212 • E: ivan.grech@financemalta.org • W: www.financemalta.org Contact: Ivan Grech - Head of Business Development

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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. Dr. Bernice Buttigieg Head of administration

Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT1063 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 4525 • F: (+356) 2144 9212 • E: bernice.buttigieg@financemalta.org • W: www.financemalta.org Contact: Dr. Bernice Buttigieg - Head of Administration

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Business Directory

Corporate Services

290

FRANCIS J. VASSALLO & ASSOCIATES LIMITED Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Limited was established 16 years ago by a former Governor of the Central Bank of Malta. Its team of lawyers, accountants and support professionals deliver a broad spectrum of bespoke services to a global client portfolio. This one-stop-shop boutique firm provides a personalised and holistic approach to address its clients’ business requirements, going that extra mile to offer an efficient, professional and outstanding service. The firm has a proven track record, and its core expertise lies in International Tax Planning and Related Advisory Services, Company Formation, Corporate & Fiduciary Services, Accountancy, Investment Funds, Shipping and Aviation, Trusts, VAT, Residency & Related services, Back-office Support Services.

Francis J. Vassallo PRESIDENT

Legal Services

FJVA Business Centre, Industry Street, Qormi QRM 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2299 3100 • F: (+356) 2299 3101 • E: info@fjvassallo.com • W: www.fjvassallo.com Contact: Adriana Camilleri Vassallo - Director

FZD Advocates FZD Advocates forms part of the FZD Group which has been set up to offer clients a comprehensive service in the corporate and legal field. Be it company formation, the provision of services including directorships, bookkeeping services, secretarial back up, registered office and keeping the company in line with regulatory requirements, FZD Advocates offers what the client needs and requires. Moreover, the Group has a trustee and fiduciary company licensed by MFSA to offer nominee, trust and fiduciary services. Our comprehensive approach includes the provision of fiscal advice, estate handling, setting up of gaming companies, contracting and intellectual property services. Dr. Francis Zammit Dimech chairman

Investment Services

20/1, Republic Street, Valletta VLT1111 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 8340 • F: (+356) 2122 8360 • E: info@fzdadvocates.com • W: www.fzdadvocates.com Contact: Dr. Francis Zammit Dimech - Chairman

Gamma Capital Markets LIMITED Gamma Capital Markets Limited is an independent Investment Management Company which holds a Category 2 licence issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority. The company specialises in providing management and advisory services to Collective Investment Schemes targeting Professional Investor Funds and UCITS Funds. The Company is able to draw on the support of a highly specialised Asset Management and Investment Funds team through its Professional Network. Our tailor-made formation of funds to meet our clients’ requirements not only provides them with the facility to use our various platforms but also offers a cost-efficient solution to their needs. Enzo Filippini chief executive officer

First Floor, Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta - Malta T: (+356) 2248 5200 • F: (+356) 2248 5249 • E: info@gammacm.com.mt • www.gammacm.com.mt Contact: Alexander Vella - Director


Business Directory

Legal Services

291

GANADO Advocates Ganado Advocates is a leading full service business law firm based in Malta. Consistently ranked by clients, peers and independent directories alike as a toptier law firm in all our core sectors, we aim to provide our clients with sound yet practical legal advice based on our unparalleled experience and industry insight. We have, over the past decades, contributed directly towards creating and enhancing Malta’s hard-won reputation as a reliable and effective international centre for financial and maritime services, and we make it our business to continue to provide high standards of legal advisory service to support and enhance Malta’s offering. Dr. Max Ganado managing partner

171, Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1455 - Malta • T: (+356) 2123 5406 • F: (+356) 2122 5908 E: lawfirm@ganadoadvocates.com • W: www.ganadoadvocates.com Contact: Dr. Max Ganado - Managing Partner

Insurance Services

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GasanMamo Insurance Ltd GasanMamo is one of Malta’s leading personal lines insurance companies, providing competitively priced insurance products for both personal and commercial clients. We firmly believe that the only way to build and maintain successful long-term relationships, is to provide helpful and professional service at all times. Our long history, finding its roots in 1947, serves as a solid foundation as we look to the future. At every level, from the Board of Directors to management and staff, we ensure outstanding commitment and competence.

Julian Mamo Managing Director

Legal Services

Head Office, Msida Road, Gzira, GZR 1405 - Malta T: (+356) 2349 0510 • F: (+356) 2133 2820 • E: jmamo@gasanmamo.com • www.gasanmamo.com Contact Person: Julian Mamo – Managing Director

Gonzi and Associates, Advocates Gonzi and Associates, Advocates is an established Maltese law firm specialising in the financial services and corporate sector. We have assisted various companies with acquiring licenses in Malta for investment services, financial institutions, online forex/ binary options, emoney, payment services, funds and collective investment schemes. In addition, we provide a one stop shop for all legal, accounting and business consultancy services required including company incorporation in Malta and corporate services. Contact us for a free initial assessment as to how we can assist you better your business by setting up or licensing in Malta. Dr. David Gonzi partner

115B, Old Mint Street, Valletta VLT1515 - Malta T: (+356) 2015 7000 • F: (+356) 2015 7010 • E: info@gonzi.com.mt • W: www.gonzi.com.mt Contact: Dr. David Gonzi – Partner


Business Directory

Accounting & Auditing

292

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, backoffice 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

Legal Services

Level 1, Casal Naxaro, Labour Avenue, Naxxar NXR 9021 - Malta T: (+356) 2738 3631 • F: (+356) 2738 3633 • E: peter@griffithsassoc.com • W: www.griffithsassoc.com Contact: Peter Griffiths – Managing & Tax Director

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

Legal Services

66, Old Bakery Street, Valletta vlt 1454 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 2713 • F: (+356) 2124 2714 • E: info@gtgadvocates.com • W: www.gtgadvocates.com Contact Person: Dr. Robert Tufigno - Partner

GVTH Advocates GVTH Advocates is one of Malta’s leading law firms, with a strong focus on commercial and corporate affairs, intellectual property and telecoms. The firm services a vast local client base which comprises some of the island’s top companies, as well as a notable list of international clients, including multinational firms.  It regularly acts as a correspondent firm to a number of eminent international law firms, advising on international transactions. GVTH ethos is to provide its clients with a comprehensive and holistic service through its team of specialised and dedicated practitioners. Dr. Joseph J. Vella MANAGING PARTNER

192 Old Bakery Street Valletta VLT 1455 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 8888 • E: info@gvthlaw.com • W: www.gvthlaw.com Contact: Dr. Joseph J. Vella - Managing Partner


Business Directory

Corporate Services

293

H&P Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd H&P Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd. is part of the H&P Trust Group, an international trust boutique. The H&P Trust Group focuses on the implementation and maintenance of global tax planning, estate planning and asset protection structures for corporate clients and (ultra)-high-net-worth individuals and their private and/or family-owned businesses. We work in close cooperation with the client’s own advisors in creating effective tax and legal solutions. The H&P Trust Group is proud to serve reputable families, entrepreneurs and their companies. We believe in top quality services with a personal approach against fair prices. Barry Woestenburg MANAGING director

Insurance Services

4, Independence Square, Valletta VLT 1520 - Malta T: (+356) 2099 6099 • F: (+356) 2122 5260 E: Barry.woestenburg@henleytrust.com • W: www.henleytrust.com Contact: Barry Woestenburg – Managing Director

HighDome PCC Ltd Established in 2011, HighDome PCC Ltd is a protected cell company providing a number of alternative risk financing services, including rent-a-captive, access to reinsurance markets and EU fronting facilities for organisations with offshore captives. With the combined knowledge and experience of the company directors, board committee members and our management team, we can offer feasible and cost-effective solutions. HighDome is a 100 per cent subsidiary of MDS Group (an international player in insurance and reinsurance brokerage and risk consultancy) and a member of the BrokersLink global network. HighDome is authorised to carry on insurance and reinsurance business and is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Paula Rios chief executive officer

Banking Services

Alfred Craig Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1111 - Malta T: (+356) 2343 0251 • F: (+356) 2134 5037 • E: paula.rios@mdsinsure.com • W: www.mdsinsure.com Contact: Paula Rios - Chief Executive Officer

HSBC Bank Malta PLC GLOBAL BANKING AND MARKETS HSBC Global Markets is part of one of the largest of its kind in the world. HSBC typically offers customers access to the local and international markets. We specialise in foreign exchange, structured derivatives, metals trading, capital protected deposits and in assisting clients in raising finance in the capital markets. Through our Foreign Exchange services, we offer spot, forwards and hedging solutions to mitigate market volatility. We can provide clients with tailor-made solutions to manage interest rate exposures. We assist our corporate clients in raising finance in the local capital markets, as well as leverage on the strengths of the HSBC Group, to raise capital from international sources.

James Woodeson Head of Global Banking and Markets

1st Floor, Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 2244 • F: (+356) 2380 2495 • E: James.woodeson@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: James Woodeson - Head of Global Banking and Markets


Business Directory

Banking Services

294

HSBC Bank Malta PLC Commercial Banking HSBC Commercial Banking is a leading provider of business financial services. A purpose-built Business Banking Centre in Qormi brings together under one roof a strong team of specialised relationship managers and business specialists, all trained to service businesses, thus making it a service centre of excellence. A wide range of specifically designed products and services are available to meet the diverse needs of the business community, including Internet Banking, Trade, Invoice Finance, Payments and Cash Management as well as International Banking to meet the needs of International businesses. We are an international bank with local expertise supporting all business segments in Malta.

Michel Cordina Head of commercial banking

Banking Services

Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 4832 • F: (+356) 2380 4532 • E: michelcordina@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: Michel Cordina - Head of Commercial Banking

HSBC Bank Malta PLC International Banking Centre The International Banking Centre is a specialised unit of HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c., with a wealth of experience in providing the necessary banking services to corporate clients registered overseas, locally registered international companies and companies looking at setting up business in Malta. HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. is enhanced by its global reach, expertise and networking capabilities, and has all the necessary functions locally to assist such businesses with their relocation to Malta, their Deposits, as well as Trade and Payments through its award winning HSBC net cross-border internet platform. HSBC Group’s rating of AA- is an additional level of comfort for the bank’s customers.

George Debono Head of international Business

Banking Services

Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM 3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 1724 • F: (+356) 2380 4537 • E: georgedebono@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: George Debono - Head of International Business

HSBC Bank Malta PLC Trade and receivables finance With our extensive experience in international trade, HSBC is ideally placed to support the long-term growth of your business. We combine local service excellence with global reach, supplemented by advanced technology. We have local trade experts available to support you wherever you do your business, helping you make new business connections. Our aim is to ensure that your international trade transactins are financed and managed effortlessly and effectively, providing your business with the best possible opportunities to grow. This has been acknowledged by customers globally as HSBC won the Best Global Trade Finance Bank for the fourth consecutive year.

Gaetano Sammut head of trade and receivables finance

Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 1828 • F: (+356) 2380 4535 • E: gaetanosammut@hsbc.com.mt • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: Gaetano Sammut - Senior Trade and Supply Chain Manager


Business Directory

Banking Services

295

HSBC Bank Malta PLC FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS CLIENT MANAGEMENT HSBC Bank Malta provides tailored solutions to financial institutions through its Global Banking and Markets business, with a dedicated relationship manager assigned to each client. The team draws upon the expertise of multi-disciplinary product specialists from our global businesses, including global markets, investment banking, asset management and financing, to support institutional clients in achieving their overall strategies. Our multinational customers benefit from the global client management approach which ties in relationship managers and product specialists in all the jurisdictions where the client operates. James Woodeson Head of Global Banking and Markets

Fund Administration

1st Floor, Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 2244 • F: (+356) 2380 2495 • E: James.woodeson@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: James Woodeson - 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 focused 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 general manager

Funds Administration

276 Fleur-de-Lys Road, Birkirkara BKR 9067 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 9500 • F: (+356) 2258 9519 E: michael.keyrouz@idsfundservices.com • W: www.idsfundservices.com Contact: Michael Keyrouz – General Manager

Ifina UK Limited International Financial Administration Group Limited, “ifina”, is a multi jurisdictional group of companies, providing investment fund formation and administration as well as valuation services for investment funds, domiciled in all of the major offshore centres, including the United Kingdom, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, USA, Malta, Switzerland, Panama and Hong Kong. ifina currently administers approximately 150 investment funds with an array of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, foreign exchange, derivatives, fund of funds, private equity and real estate. The Group has a licensed and regulated fund administration company in the British Virgin Islands and also provides services in the other offshore jurisdictions.

Derek Adler director

6, The Court, Holywell Business Park, Northfield Road, Southam, Warwickshire CV47 0FS - England T: (+44) 1784 433034 • F: (+44) 1926 810610 • E: dadler@ifina.com • W: www.ifina.com Contact: Derek Adler - Director


Business Directory

Banking Services

296

IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd is an affiliate of the International Investment Group LLC (IIG), an established global trade finance group based in New York specialising in the global commodity export sector with a focus on the emerging markets. Regulated by the MFSA and a member of the Depositor Compensation Scheme, IIG Bank seeks to re-introduce into the market the traditional approach of relationship-based customer service with particular focus on term deposits, offering superior rates of interest. All this is done with a high degree of flexibility while keeping the customer’s particular needs in mind. Raymond Busuttil Managing Director

Investment Services

Level 20, Portomaso Business Tower, St. Julians STJ 4011 - Malta T: (+356) 2248 4510 • F: (+356) 2248 4525 E: Raymond.Busuttil@iigbank-malta.com • W: www.iigbank-malta.com Contact: Raymond Busuttil - Managing Director

Integradvisory Ltd Integradvisory is a specialised boutique investment services company licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority. The company offers its high-networth and institutional client base a range of investment solutions, including financial advisory, discretionary portfolio management and asset management to Collective Investment Schemes (specialising in asset management on Alternative Investment Strategies to Professional Investment Funds). The company draws upon an impressive team of investment service and asset managers, each having investment management experience of over 20 years, and operates from its offices in Malta and its representative offices in Italy, Switzerland and Uruguay. Alistair Muscat Managing Director

Corporate Services

Nº6, 6th Floor, Ohea Building, Sir William Reid Street, Gzira GZR 1038 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 8831 • Fax: (+356) 2131 0452 • E: info@integradvisory.com • W: www.integradvisory.com Contact: Alistair Muscat - Managing Director

Integrated-Capabilities (Malta) Ltd Integrated-Capabilities (Malta) Ltd provides an extensive range of corporate and trust services to a wide variety of clients. We focus on developing long-term client relationships and strive to deliver outstanding levels of service with reasonable fees. Our affiliated company I-Cap Marine Ltd can offer yacht management, planning, registration, crewing, payroll, accounting and VAT, EU imports, finance and compliance. Our sister company Integrated-Capabilities Ltd is licensed by the FSC in the Isle of Man to provide corporate and trust services, and IntegratedCapabilities (Malta) Ltd is authorised by the MFSA to act as a Trustee. Sharon Collier Director

45/13 Strait Street, Valletta, VLT 1434 - Malta T; (+356) 2122 6605 • F: (+356) 2122 6615 • E: sharon@665665.com • www.integrated-capabilities.com Contact: Sharon Collier - Director


Business Directory

Corporate Services

297

International Management Services Established in 1985, IMS provides financial services in general, including the creation of commercial vehicles and structures. It is established with a solid reputation in the provision of fiduciary and trust services as well as extensive centralised back office operations. Through its multi-disciplinary team, IMS handles 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 single high-net worth individuals to quoted companies. Clients are involved in the trading, e-gaming, investment funds, leasing, aviation and maritime sectors amongst others. Gordon Mifsud Managing Director

Corporate Services

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

IURIS management Limited IURIS is an independent Maltese law firm and services provider. The firm is structured and driven to provide a broad range of legal services which meet the highest professional standards. IURIS is a traditional law firm specialising in all areas of law, albeit with a particular focus on financial services, tax, corporate and trust law, commercial, shipping and aviation, intellectual property, civil and family law, European, employment and labour law, criminal law and litigation. The firm is committed to providing its clients with a personalised service of the highest quality and to do so speedily but with due care and diligence. Dr. Jeannine Giglio Managing Partner

Investment Services

36, Archbishop Street, Valletta VLT 1447 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 4327 • F: (+356) 2124 7170 • E: jjgiglio@iurismalta.com • W: www.iurismalta.com Contact Person: Dr. Jeannine Giglio – Managing Partner

Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Ltd Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors deliver a personalised blend of wealth management services for the individual demands of both private and institutional clients. In 2012, the company re-branded itself under a new name - Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors - formerly Atlas JMFS Investment Services. The new brand builds on the experience and heritage of the company, and reflects the core values and strengths of all the partners. The company prides itself in providing tailor-made solutions to suit individual investor circumstances and requirements. The company is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority, is a member firm of the Malta Stock Exchange and a member of the Atlas Group. Jesmond Mizzi Managing Director

67 Level 3 South Street Valletta VLT1105 - Malta T; (+356) 2122 4410 • F: (+356) 2122 3810 • jesmond.mizzi@jesmondmizzi.com • www.jesmondmizzi.com Contact: Jesmond Mizzi – Managing Director


Business Directory

Accounting & Auditing

298

KPMG With a staff compliment of over 250, including 22 principals, KPMG in Malta is one of the leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services. Our vision is to be the best firm for our clients, our people and our community. We are committed to providing quality, value adding services to our clients. This commitment translates into a high level of client satisfaction – 92 per cent of our clients responding to our last client survey confirmed that we exceeded or met their expectations. In addition, our wide financial services and international business client base reflects our commitment to this sector. Tonio Zarb Senior Partner

Travel & Leisure

Portico Building, Marina Street, Pieta’ PTA 9044 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2563 1000 • Fax: (+356) 2566 1000 • E: toniozarb@kpmg.com.mt • W: www.kpmg.com.mt Contact Person: Tonio Zarb - Senior Partner

La Valette Club The La Valette Club at the award-winning Malta International Airport offers travellers a superior airport experience through a number of high-end VIP services for travellers arriving at or departing from the Maltese Islands. All services are aimed at taking care of guests within the Terminal and include assistance at check-in, escort through security procedures, a reserved area in the VIP Lounge (with complimentary snacks, refreshments, Wi-Fi and internet), escort to the boarding gate, as well as chauffeur service to or from the aircraft in an exclusive private vehicle. George Mallia Head Retail and Property

Accounting & Auditing

Malta International Airport, Luqa LQA 4000 - Malta T: (+356) 2369 6292 • F: (+356) 2124 3042 • E: moira.fenech@maltairport.com • W: www.lavaletteclub.com Contact: Moira Fenech - Administration

M. Meilak & Associates M. Meilak & Associates is an award winning accountancy and tax advisory company serving local and international businesses. As a member of the WTP Advisors Alliance of Global Affiliates, we offer the combined experience and resources of experts throughout the world. Through experience, an unrivalled knowledge base and investment in our client centric systems, we provide a unique insight to your business needs and work to help companies and individuals to raise their expectations. Our professional services include preparation of accounts, company formation, corporate finance, tax advice and business management consultation across the diversity of all sectors. Malcolm Meilak Managing Director

Arch P. Pace Street, Victoria - Gozo, Malta T: (+356) 2156 1216 • F: (+356) 2756 1216 • E: info@mmeilak.com • W: www.mmeilak.com Contact: Malcolm Meilak - Managing Director


Business Directory

Corporate Services

299

Maitland Maitland was founded in Luxembourg in 1976, and now employs over 700 people in 13 offices across 12 countries. The firm is a global provider of multijurisdictional legal, tax, fiduciary, investment advisory and fund administration services. We provide the highest levels of expertise and competence, and work in a way that is uniquely personal, proactive, and responsive. Over the years we have added corporate administration to our services, and the Malta office can provide directors, trustees and an entire suite of company secretarial services, including accounting and legal services to local and international families, trusts, and corporate structures. Mel Roberts consultant

Government Agency

4th Floor, Avantech Building, St Julian’s Road, San Gwann SGN 2805 - Malta T: (+356) 2144 6377 • F: (+356) 2144 6330 E: mel.roberts@maitlandgroup.com • W: www.maitlandgroup.com Contact: Mel Roberts - Consultant

Malta Enterprise Malta Enterprise is the government agency responsible for investment promotion and supporting industrial development in Malta. Its mission is to sustain Malta’s overall competitiveness to create the right environment for successful enterprise on the Islands. The agency offers assistance and advice to those who seek to learn more about the multitude of business and investment opportunities available. Malta Enterprise develops and administers a number of incentive measures to support the development and growth of enterprises established here. These measures are designed to address general economic growth without causing any distortion to competition. Mario Galea Chief Officer Investment Promotion

Postal Services

Gwardamangia Hill, Pieta, MEC 0001 - Malta T: (+356) 2542 0000 • E: info@maltaenterprise.com • W: www.maltaenterprise.com Contact: Mario Galea – Chief Officer Investment Promotion

MaltaPost PLC MaltaPost is one of the country’s largest private employers. As the national postal operator, it collects and delivers mail to every address on the Islands, 6-daysa-week and operates through a comprehensive retail network of outlets. It is regulated by the Malta Communications Authority and is listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. MaltaPost is currently developing a state-of-the-art document management centre in Xewkija, Gozo, which is equipped to scan, archive and index information of both electronic or physical formats.

Joseph Gafa’ chief EXECUTIVE officer

305, Qormi Road, Marsa MTP 1001 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 6782 • E: jgafa@maltapost.com • W: www.maltapost.com Contact: Joseph Gafa’ – Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Real Estate

300

Malta Sotheby’s International Realty Malta Sotheby’s International Realty aims to serve the high-end residential and commercial real estate market throughout the island of Malta & Gozo, representing properties of exceptional quality, unique characteristics and good value for money. Described as being a brand that is the pure embodiment of luxury and prestige, the presence of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand in Malta means that its global clientele have access to real estate services in this historic and beautiful country which is Malta. Services include: Residential Sales & Letting, Commercial Sales & Letting, Property Management and Relocation & Residency. Michael J. Zammit director

Financial Markets

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

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.

Eileen V. Muscat CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Government Agency

Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT 1063 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 4051 • F: (+356) 2569 6316 • E: evmuscat@borzamalta.com.mt • W: www.borzamalta.com.mt Contact: Eileen V. Muscat - Chief Executive

Malta Tourism Authority Over the past 20 years Malta has established itself as the destination of choice for discerning conference and incentive visitors. There are hundreds of reasons why a conference, event or incentive in Malta makes most sense. In fact, Malta has retained its long-held position as a favourite short-haul destination for business travel from Europe. Easily accessible, versatile, flexible and dynamic, Malta offers great value of money, high-quality infrastructure, unbeatable locations steeped in history, and an expert network of Quality Assured DMCs and professional suppliers who will turn any event into an unforgettable experience. Nadine Brincat Segment Head- M.I.C.E.

Auberge d’Italie, Merchants Street, Valletta VLT1170 - Malta T: (+356) 2291 5206 • F: (+356) 2291 5398 • E: nadine.brincat@visitmalta.com • W: www.meet-malta.com Contact: Nadine Brincat - Segment Head– M.I.C.E.


Business Directory

Legal Services

301

Mamo TCV Advocates Mamo TCV Advocates, a Maltese tier-one law firm, provides legal services for its clients in all sectors of civil and commercial law, most notably banking and financial services, corporate, communications, media and technology, intellectual property & anti-counterfeiting, shipping & aviation, and litigation services. The firm has a strong international practice and networks which enable it to provide a ‘one-stop’ service to clients. The firm’s mission is to deliver high-quality services through its diverse specialist resources and expertise in a pro-active, efficient and timely fashion, and to foster its local and international network to offer comprehensive and integrated services to clients. Dr. Joseph Saliba Partner

Insurance Services

Palazzo Pietro Stiges, 103, Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1436 - Malta Tel: (+356) 2123 2271 • Fax: (+356) 2123 1298 • E: joseph.saliba@mamotcv.com • W: www.mamotcv.com Contact Person: Dr. Joseph Saliba - 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). We are a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of 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

Accounting & Auditing

Strand Towers, Floor 1, 36 The Strand, Sliema SLM1022 - Malta T: (+356) 23423000 • E: William.thomas-ferrand@marsh.com • W: www.marshcaptivesolutions.com Contact: William Thomas-Ferrand – Head of Office

Mazars Mazars is an international, integrated and independent organisation specialising in audit, accounting, tax and business advisory. The Group has a presence in more than 70 countries worldwide, and draws on the expertise of its 13,500 professional workforce to assist companies, major international groups, SME’s, entrepreneurs and public bodies at every stage in their development. Based on the concept of collective intelligence, our service offering is delivered at the forefront by a partner and is tailored to each client’s needs and requirements. Our service portfolio includes company formation, accounting, payroll services, VAT compliance, corporate and personal tax planning and auditing. Anthony Attard managing PArtner

32, Sovereign Building Zaghfran Road ATD 9012 Attard - Malta T: (+356) 2134 5760 • F: (+356) 2134 5759 • W: www.mazars.com.mt Contact: Anthony Attard – Managing Partner


Business Directory

Banking Services

302

Mediterranean Bank plc Mediterranean Bank plc was established in June 2004 and became a fully licensed Maltese credit institution, regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), as of July 2005. In July 2009, the bank was acquired by new shareholders – AnaCap Financial Partners LLP, a UK private equity firm, and was recapitalised. Today, Mediterranean Bank plc is a specialist bank operating seven branch locations across Malta, with a range of market leading savings products, wealth management and investment solutions offering some of the highest rates on the market for both Corporate and Retail customers. Our modern e-banking system allows for 24/7 secure access to your account, and is further complemented by our friendly and competent Customer Service.

Charles Cini head of corporate banking

Investment Services

10, St Barbara Bastion, Valletta VLT 1961-Malta T: (+356) 2557 4189 • F: (+356) 2557 4902 • E: charles.cini@medbank.com.mt • W: www.medbank.com.mt Contact Person: Charles Cini - Head of Corporate Banking

Michael Grech Financial Investment Services Limited Michael Grech Financial Investment Services Limited (est. 2001) is a leading company licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority. As an independent advisor, the company provides clients with a wide range of products and services offered by many established investment houses and banking institutions. It can give investment advice, trade and execute on behalf of clients any product or instrument on both the local and international markets. Michael Grech Financial operates from its Head Office in Victoria, Gozo, and a branch office in Birkirkara, Malta. Michael Grech, Chairman and Managing Director, has been in the financial services industry since 1978. Michael Grech Chairman and Managing Director

Insurance Services

The Brokerage, Level 0 ‘A’, St Marta Street, Victoria VCT 2551, Gozo - Malta. T: (+356) 2258 7000 • F: (+356) 2155 9199 • E: info@michaelgrechfinancial.com • W: michaelgrechfinancial.com Contact: Michael Grech - Chairman and Managing Director

Middlesea Insurance pLC Middlesea Insurance p.l.c, a composite insurance company listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. Operating since 1981, Middlesea is the leading Maltese insurer, offering an extensive range of quality and flexible insurance products. Middlesea is a member of the MAPFRE Group, one of the leading European Non- Life insurance companies and the leading Non-Life Insurer in Latin America and Spain. In 1994 in partnership with BOV, Middlesea set-up MSV Life p.l.c., the leading provider of life insurance protection. Insurance Captive management services are provided through Bee Insurance Management, a subsidiary company. Middlesea is authorised under the Insurance Business Act, 1998 to carry out long term and general business and is regulated by the MFSA.

Alfredo Munoz President & Chief Executive Officer

Middlesea House, Floriana FRN1442 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 6262 • F: (+356) 2124 8195 • E: alfredom@middlesea.com • W: www.middlesea.com Contact: Alfredo Munoz - President & Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Corporate Services

303

Mifra Consultants Limited Mifra Consultants Limited is an affiliated company of GVTH Advocates, providing a comprehensive scope of fiduciary, trust, fiscal, corporate and management services to a vast array of international clients. Through its dedicated multidisciplinary team, it offers a full spectrum of ancillary services, including registered office, director and company secretary, as well as full range of back office services that include a dedicated accounts department, which enable it to provide a one-stop solution to client requirements.

Sarah Jacobsen Managing director

Pension Services

192, Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1455 – Malta T: (+356) 2122 8888 • F: (+356) 2123 6895 • E: sarah@mifraconsultants.com • W: www.mifraconsultants.com Contact: Sarah Jacobsen - Managing Director

Momentum Pensions Malta Ltd Momentum Pensions specialise in the creation of flexible retirement planning to deliver effective pension arrangements. Our options are tailored to meet the demands of individual clients, from the simplicity and accessibility of our master trust scheme, to the individuality and flexibility of our bespoke pension solutions. Our pension solutions include QROPS, QNUPS, International and Domestic Pension arrangements, designed to enable UK expatriates and other non-UK residents, Isle of Man and Malta residents, and individuals who are about to leave the UK, to benefit from the flexible pensions legislation in both the Isle of Man and Malta. Stewart Davies GROUP chief executive officer

Corporate Services

Ground Floor, Crown Marina, Ta Xbiex Seafront, Ta Xbiex - Malta Tel: (+356) 2787 7677 • E: sdavies@momentumpensions.com • W: www.momentumpensions.com Contact: Stewart Davies – Group Chief Executive Officer

MSS International Services Limited Incorporated in 1995, MSS International Services Limited (MSS) is a company service provider offering a comprehensive range of professional support services, including incorporation of companies, directorships, registered office, secretarial requirements, data processing, accountancy, taxation, VAT, back office support, payroll, restructuring advice, ship registration, taking up Malta residency and / or citizenship. MSS has a proven track record and is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide trust and fiduciary services.

Michael Scerri chief executive officer

Regent House, 52, Fifth Floor, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1640 - Malta T: (+356) 2134 1857 • F: (+356) 2133 6296 • W: michael.scerri@mss.com.mt • W: www.mss.com.mt Contact: Michael Scerri - Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Insurance Services

304

MSV Life pLC Established in 1994, MSV Life p.l.c. (MSV) is the leading provider of life insurance protection, long term savings and retirement planning in Malta. MSV is jointly owned by Bank of Valletta p.l.c. (50 per cent) and Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. (50 per cent). MSV offers a vast product portfolio which ranks amongst the highest in the market in terms of quality, performance and price. Through its Bancassurance partnership with Bank of Valletta p.l.c., MSV has gained access to a formidable sales channel, which together with a strong network of authorised Tied Insurance Intermediaries, has led to MSV operating the strongest distribution network in the market. In 1997, MSV set up Growth Investments Ltd, the exclusive representative of Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

David G. Curmi chief executive officer

Insurance Services

Pjazza Papa Giovanni XXIII, Floriana FRN 1420 - Malta T: (+356) 2590 9000 • F: (+356) 2122 6429 • E: info@msvlife.com • W: www.msvlife.com Contact: David G. Curmi - Chief Executive Officer

Munich Re of Malta plc Munich Re of Malta offers reinsurance solutions in all major lines of business for primary insurers in Malta and selected international markets. It is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Munich Re, one of the world´s leading reinsurers which stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. From its offices in Ta’ Xbiex, Munich Re of Malta services its clients with its team of experts who enjoy the support of the global Munich Re network.

Konstantin von Jagow Chief Executive Officer

Banking Services

Level 4, Whitehall Mansions, Ta’ Xbiex Seafront, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1026 - Malta T: (+356) 2248 0821 • F: (+356) 2248 0889 • E: info@munichremalta.com • W: www.munichre.com Contact: Konstantin von Jagow - Chief Executive Officer

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 high-net-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

302/304, Townsquare, Qui-Si-Sana Place, Sliema SLM 3112 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 8969 • F: (+356) 2132 0991 • E: cenk.kahraman@nbg.com.mt • W: www.nbg.com.mt Contact: Cenk Kahraman- Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Corporate Services

305

NEWCO NEWCO is an independent corporate services provider that, together with its clients’ specialists, has been supporting the structuring of international operations through competitive tax jurisdictions for over 20 years. With wide experience and know-how, which allowed it to successfully support major multinational companies as well as smaller companies and start-ups, mainly from the EU and Latin-American countries, NEWCO’s team of experts provide legal, tax advice and all the professional services involved in the setting up and management of companies, shipping activities and assistance to high-net worth individuals in Malta. Frederico Gouveia e Silva Managing Partner

Accounting & Auditing

89, St. John Street, Valletta VLT1165 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 3120 • F: (+356) 2122 3119 • E: info@newco.pro • W: www.newco.pro Contact: Frederico Gouveia e Silva - Managing Partner

Nexia BT Nexia BT provides a wide range of services including: basic company incorporation and compliance, specialised advisory services, audit, tax and accounting, for sectors such as financial services, international trade, remote gaming, investment funds, shipping and aviation. We offer international support, including back office operations and advisory services, in a responsive, proficient and professional manner. The firm is a member of Nexia International, a top worldwide network of independent accounting and consulting firms with offices in over 105 countries. Our main strength lies in our skilled and highly professional staff providing innovative expertise and problem solving techniques giving our clients a competitive edge.

Karl Cini Tax and International Client Services Partner

Shipping Services

Suite 2, The Penthouse, Capital Business Centre, Entrance C, Triq taz-Zwejt, San Gwann SGN 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2163 7778 • F: (+356) 2163 4383 • E: karl.cini@nexiabt.com • W: www.nexiabt.com Contact Person: Karl Cini - Tax and International Client Services Partner

PALMALI SHIPMANAGEMENT LTD Palmali Shipmanagement Ltd established operations in Malta in 2006 to provide financial, technical, administrative and strategic services to our parent company and third-party ship owners. Palmali Shipmanagement has been established to be a leading provider of shipmanagement and related services to the shipping industry. Our primary objective as a service company is to add value to our clients by delivering quality services in a transparent, cost-effective and consistent way. We pride ourselves on offering a flexible and customised approach to our ship management clients seeking global solutions for all vessel segments. Nigar Aliyeva Keating

Palmali Shipmanagement Ltd

director

Villa Aurora, 14-16, Princess Elizabeth Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1102 - Malta T: (+356) 2138 8344 • F (+356) 2138 8347 • E: secretary@palmalimalta.com • W: palmali.com.tr Contact Person: Nigar Aliyeva Keating - Director


Business Directory

Corporate Services

306

Papilio Services Limited Papilio Services Limited is an independent service provider which operates in the tax and corporate sectors, offering high-quality expertise and complete solutions for international business structures, funds, companies, partnerships, trusts, foundations and individuals. We provide advisory and compliance services for all of Malta’s corporate and commercial fields, from company, trust and foundation formation and administration to book-keeping and accountancy. We also assist with direct and indirect taxation, including income tax, value added tax and capital transfer tax (stamp duty); as well as providing all the other relevant services for individuals taking up residence in Malta. Thomas Jacobsen managing director

Corporate Services

168, St Christopher Street, Valletta - Malta Tel: (+356) 2122 7553 • Fax: (+356) 2122 7667 E: information@papilioservices.com • W: www.papilioservices.com Contact Person: Thomas Jacobsen - Managing Director

PEOPLE & CO LIMITED People & Co Ltd. is a recruitment, development, training and business psychology consulting firm and an IBM Advanced Business Partner, with an international network of professional trainers and associates. Our organisation offers: Recruitment, Temping, Contracting and Outsourcing Services; Training Services; Psychometric & Aptitude Assessment/ Development Centre/ Survey & Opinion research; IBM-Business Analytics – BI, Statistics (SPSS), Data Mining, Predictive Analytics, Text Analytics, Data Collection, Social Media Analytics and Databases. We have 20 years experience in offering discreet local and international professional business services and place great importance on our reputation for honesty and strong business ethics. With us it’s the relationship that matters, not just a transaction.

David Cutajar chief EXECUTIVE officer

Accounting & Auditing

Suite 4, Paolo Court, Giuseppe Cali Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1423 - Malta T: (+356) 2132 2314 • E: dave@people.com.mt • W: www.people.com.mt Contact: David Cutajar - Chief Executive Officer

PKF Malta PKF Malta is a fast growing, progressive firm that will meet the technical standards that your organisation expects. As a member of PKF International (PKFI), providing services to a list of prestigious clients, we enjoy an excellent reputation which stems from our dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm to serve our clients. PKFI has close to 300 member firms and correspondents in 440 locations in around 125 countries providing accounting and business advisory services. PKFI member firms have around 2,270 partners and nearly 22,000 staff. George Mangion Senior Partner

35, Mannarino Road, Birkirkara BKR 9080 - Malta T: (+356) 2148 4373 • F: (+356) 2148 4375 • E: gmm@pkfmalta.com • W: www.pkfmalta.com Contact: George Mangion - Senior Partner


Business Directory

Corporate Services

307

Plethora Management Services Ltd The company was founded in 2009 and is managed by two directors Michael Debono and Etienne Calleja, an accountant and lawyer respectively. It has been licenced by the MFSA to provide fiduciary services and is seeking to be authorised to administer trusts and private foundations. The mission is to provide a bespoke service for choice clientele by engendering a reputably reliant service backed by an efficient professional team. These goals have been attained through Michael’s knowledge in the field of finance and accountancy and Etienne’s proficiency in law, contract drafting and extensive experience in litigation. Etienne A. Calleja DIRECTOR

Corporate Services

8, 2nd floor, Northfields Apartments, Independence Avenue, Mosta MST9928 - Malta T: (+356) 2180 6613 • F: (+356) 2540 1308 • E: info@plethora.com.mt • W: www.plethora.mt.com Contact: Michael Debono - Director

Premier Fiduciary & Trusts Ltd Premier Fiduciary & Trusts Ltd is a Maltese company, licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). At Premier we strive to set the standard in nominee, trusts and foundation services. Thanks to our focus on quality, we aim to exceed our clients’ expectations. Our service is always built around each client’s personal needs and priorities. Whatever we do for you, you can be assured that we always act with uncompromising integrity, quality, personal service and attention to detail.

Dr. George Hyzler executive chairman

Accounting & Auditing

43 A/1, Saint Paul’s Buildings, West street, Valletta VLT 1532 - Malta T: (+356) 2011 9797 • F: (+356) 2010 2970 • E: info@premieradvisory.com.mt • W: www.premieradvisory.com.mt Contact: Dr. George Hyzler – Executive Chairman

PwC PwC is the leading and largest professional services organisation in Malta, providing industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for their clients. The Malta firm forms part of the PwC network where more than 184,000 people in 157 countries share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. See www.pwc.com/mt for more information.

Kevin Valenzia Territory Senior Partner

78, Mill Street, Qormi - Malta T: (+356) 2124 7000 • F: (+356) 2124 4768 • E: kevin.valenzia@mt.pwc.com • W: www.pwc.com/mt Contact: Kevin Valenzia – Territory Senior Partner


Business Directory

Outsourcing Services

308

QGen Limited QGen is a unique Business Process Outsourcer, providing a one stop shop for risk management and back office solutions. QGen’s core services include the first truly global KYC solution by providing electronic and document verification solutions for both individual consumers and corporate clients; a 24/7 fraud monitoring service and full call centre services; chargeback processing; multilingual customer support functions; and a wide range of risk related and payments consultancy services. With an impressive global client list, and with a management team with years of experience in financial services, QGen provides expertise, competency and quality, with a global reach to support your business in customer acquisition and retention.

Damian Mifsud chief executive officer

Real Estate

St Julians Business Centre, Elia Zammit Street, St Julians STJ3151 - Malta T: (+356) 2248 4400 • F: (+356) 2137 1720 • E: Damian.mifsud@qgengroup.com • W: www.qgengroup.com Contact: Damian Mifsud – Chief Executive Officer

RE/MAX Malta RE/MAX Malta is a real estate agency with 14 offices strategically located throughout Malta & Gozo. The company provides a comprehensive service in the form of residential and commercial property sales and letting, as well as ancillary services such as Office Relocation, Hotel Accommodation, Holiday Rentals, Insurance Services, Property Management and Condominium Services. The company has a team of over 150 sales & letting associates that each specialise in different areas of the market. This, paired with one of the largest property databases on the island, certifies that your RE/MAX real estate agent can easily show you almost any property currently available on the market. Kevin Buttigieg chief executive officer & Managing Director

Real Estate

76a, Gorg Borg Olivier Street, St. Julian’s STJ1081 - Malta T: (+356) 2578 0000 • F: (+356) 2138 0444 • E: info@remax-malta.com • W: www.remax-malta.com Contact: Kevin Buttigieg - Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director

Regus Regus is the world’s largest provider of workplace solutions, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the world’s largest network of video communication studios. Regus enables people to work their way, whether it’s from home, on the road or from an office. Customers such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline and Nokia join hundreds of thousands of growing small and medium businesses that benefit from outsourcing their office and workplace needs to Regus, allowing them to focus on their core activities. Jankarl Farrugia general manager

Level 2, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 3013 - Malta T: (+356) 9999 3198 • E: Jankarl.Farrugia@regus.com • W: www.regus.com Contact: Jankarl Farrugia - General Manager


Business Directory

Corporate Services

309

RiskCap International Limited RiskCap International Limited was established in 2013 to provide outsourced risk management solutions to investment funds. It is a local company pioneering risk management services as its core business. RiskCap’s team, which includes two fully qualified PhDs, has a mix of experience and academic background that enables RiskCap to transform data into information, thus promoting a greater understanding of risks and opportunities for investment funds. We provide four service levels: Risk Managers, Risk Officers, Risk Reporting and Risk Advisory Services. In addition, we also provide corporate solutions to investment funds. Dr. Paul Magro Managing Director & Head of Risk Management

Accounting & Auditing

Airways House, Gaiety Lane, Sliema, SLM1549 T: (+356) 2733 3179 • E: pmagro@riskcapltd.com • W: www.riskcapltd.com Contact: Dr. Paul Magro - Managing Director & Head of Risk Management

RSM Malta RSM Malta is a multi-disciplinary firm with a proven track record that provides sound and practical advice to international investors interested to set up business in Malta. We employ various specialists to provide a full range of services, including: tax planning and compliance, company formation, and redomiciliation, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, accounting and payroll, IT and business advisory and audit. Our organisational set-up is such that enables us to provide swift and efficient solutions tailored to client needs and to ensure the highest standard of quality services at all times. The firm forms part of RSM International, a global network of independent accounting and consulting firms.

Maria Micallef Assurance, Risk Management and Business Advisory Partner

Storage & Logistics

Cobalt House, Level 2, Notabile Road, Mriehel BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2149 3313 • F: (+356) 2149 3318 • E: maria.micallef@rsmmalta.com.mt • W: www.rsmmalta.com.mt Contact: Maria Micallef - Assurance, Risk Management and Business Advisory Partner

Salvo Grima Group The Salvo Grima Group was established more than 150 years ago and quickly became the leading ship supplier in Malta. Ship supply is Salvo Grima’s core business to this day, but the Group has diversified into other areas offering comprehensive and flexible solutions for superyachts, logistics, distribution, duty free supplies, relocation of companies and individuals, freezone warehousing and travel retail in Malta. Salvo Grima has a representation office in Tripoli, Libya, and has been actively involved as suppliers to the oil industry in Libya for the past 25 years. Salvo Grima’s highly trained and dedicated staff will always go out of their way to ensure that the customer is satisfied. Robert C. Aquilina Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

187 Pinto House, Wine Pressers Wharf, Marsa MRS 1912 - Malta T: (+356) 2560 7550 • F: (+356) 2560 7147 • E: mclews@sgmlt.com 8 W: www.salvogrima.com Contact: Mike Aquilina Clews - Senior Manager, Group Marketing


Business Directory

Fund Administration

310

SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) Ltd SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) is your administrative partner for all your fund management requirements, bringing 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.

Lawrence Buttigieg Chief Operating Officer

Legal Services

Alpine House, Naxxar Road, San Gwann SGN 9032 - Malta T: (+356) 2576 2121 • F: (+356) 2576 2131 • E: lawrence@sgggfexserv.com • W: www.sgggfexserv.com Contact: Lawrence Buttigieg - Chief Operating Officer

Simon Tortell & Associates Simon Tortell & Associates is a leading boutique Maltese law firm, with a particular focus on financial services and corporate law. Our lawyers are highly skilled and attuned to the individual needs of our clients. The firm is committed to providing practical legal advice, based on detailed analysis and the benefit of significant experience in our areas of practice. We advise a wide spectrum of clients that include leading investment banks, multinationals, government entities, local businesses and individuals. Our strong work ethic and solutiondriven approach has won the firm and its members respect and esteem from our clients. Dr. Katya Tua partner

Financial Data

188, Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1455 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 8862 • F: (+356) 2122 3567 • E: katya@simontortell.com • W: www.simontortell.com Contact: Dr. Katya Tua - Partner

SIX Financial Information UK Ltd SIX Financial Information is one of four business areas of SIX which offers global premium services in securities trading, clearing and settlement, payment transactions, and financial information. SIX is a leading global provider of data services and solutions for financial and insurance firms, and corporations. The data is comprised of corporate actions, pricing, reference and market data for over 12 million instruments and is unique in its depth, breadth and structure. With offices in 23 countries, SIX combines local expertise with global reach to offer comprehensive data services for investment advisory, portfolio management, financial analysis and securities administration professionals. Martin Cole managing director

15 Appold Street, London EC2A 2NE - England T: (+442) 07 550 5000 • F: (+442) 07 550 5000 E: Tamsin.Hobley@six-group.com • W: www.six-financial-information.com Contact: Tamsin Hobley – Sales Manager


Business Directory

Real Estate

311

SmartCity Malta Modelled on the successful business parks of Dubai Internet City, Media City and Knowledge Village, and forming an integral part of a global network of business townships, SmartCity Malta is designed to be the hub for Malta and the region’s knowledge-based economies. As an international work-live-play business park concept, SmartCity Malta aims to host a vibrant community anchored by leading global, regional and local companies, and serves as their strategic launch pad to European, North African and Middle Eastern markets. Opening up a world of opportunities, the project uniquely facilitates success for companies through a world-class intelligent infrastructure designed for assured business continuity, a thoughtful environment and a responsive support system.

Anthony P Tabone Chief Executive Officer

Banking Services

Ricasoli SCM1001 - Malta • T: (+356) 2164 6666 • F: (+356) 2164 6566 E: info@SmartCityMalta.com.mt • W: www.SmartCityMalta.com.mt Contact: Gordon Cachia - Head of Business Development

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 and Fund Custody solutions. As trained Private Bankers, the Bank delivers private, personal and tailored solutions to its customers by offering seamless banking, execution, settlement and custody solutions from one account.

Paul A. Mifsud Managing Director

Corporate Services

101 Townsquare, Ix-Xatt ta’ Qui-si-Sana, Sliema SLM 3112 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 5705 • F: (+356) 2133 5710 E: Paul.mifsud@sparkasse-bank-malta.com • W: www.sparkasse-bank-malta.com Contact: Paul A. Mifsud - Managing Director

Spiteri Bailey & Co Spiteri Bailey & Co is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, the third largest association of independent accounting firms in the world. We have a holistic one-stop-shop approach by offering a multi-disciplinary approach to assist an International Client locating to Malta with all that is required. This would include Company Formation, Company Management, Office Solutions, Human Resources including recruitment, staff management, employment, consultancy, and payroll administration, Accounting, Tax and VAT compliance, Company Secretarial Services, IT Services, Legal Services, Application for Permanent Residence & Work Permits, and all other services to support such International Clients seeking to establish an initial commercial presence in Malta.

William Spiteri Bailey Managing Partner

Triq Dun Karm, Birkirkara By-Pass, Birkirkara BKR 9038 - Malta T: (+356) 2149 9250 • F: (+356) 2144 4815 • E: william@spiteribailey.com • W: www.spiteribailey.com Contact: William Spiteri Bailey - Managing Partner


Business Directory

Corporate Services

312

STM Malta Trust and Company Management Ltd Forming part of STM Group plc, a UK AIM quoted company with offices in Gibraltar, Spain, Cyprus and Jersey, STM Malta Trust and Company Management Limited is authorised by the MFSA to act as Trustees/ Administrators of Trusts, Foundations and Retirement Schemes (QROPS) to a growing international client base. Our dedicated staff provide a powerful combination of innovation and experience and understand the importance of addressing each client’s specific requirements. Complementing these services, STM Malta Insurance Management Limited has a wealth of invaluable knowledge, experience and the expertise to set up and manage insurance companies, both in Malta and overseas.

Deborah Schembri Managing Director

Corporate Services

Tagliaferro Business Centre, Level 2, Gaiety Lane, Sliema - Malta T: (+356) 2133 3210 • F: (+356) 2133 3220 • E: info@stmmalta.com • W: www.stmmalta.com Contact: Deborah Schembri - Managing Director

Taxways Group Invest Group Ltd, a member company of Taxways Group, opened its office in Malta in June 2012 and has expanded rapidly with outstanding results. Invest Group Ltd comprises a dynamic group of diverse professionals providing a comprehensive range of services which include company formation, management and maintenance, domiciliation, due diligence and tax compliance, company secretarial services, bookkeeping and accounting. We also offer a number of other services connected with the management of multi-jurisdictional corporate and trust structures and for individuals seeking assistance with tax residency related issues. Invest Group Ltd delivers tailor-made solutions to both companies and individual clients.

Krzysztof Kubala chief executive officer

Government Agency

Office M/5, Block 12, Tigne Place, Tigne Street, Sliema - Malta T: (+356) 2745 8041 • F: (+356) 2745 8042 • E: malta@taxwaysgroup.com • W: www.taxwaysgroup.com Contact: Dr. Sandra Sant Fournier

TRANSPORT MALTA Transport Malta (TM) is the national Authority responsible for the regulation of all transport in Malta. TM is actively involved in the promotion of Maritime affairs, including the management and operation of the Maltese Register of Shipping and the operational activity within the Maltese inland waters and ports. Transport Malta is also responsible for the building of roads and associated infrastructure, the promotion and regulation of Aviation affairs and the regulation and licensing of vehicles and drivers.

James Piscopo CHAIRMAN & chief executive officer

Malta Transport Centre, Marsa MRS 1917 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 2203 • F: (+356) 2125 0365 • E: info.tm@transport.gov.mt • W: www.transport.gov.mt Contact: James Piscopo - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

Fund Administration

313

Trident Trust Through 34 offices in 24 jurisdictions, Trident Trust has for more than 30 years been a leading provider of corporate and trust services to the financial services sector worldwide working with intermediaries, financial institutions and large international organisations. Trident Fund Services, a dedicated fund services division of Trident Trust, provides cost-effective fund administration services with assets under administration exceeding US$30 billion. Managers select us for our experienced personnel, robust fund administration systems, global reach, reliability and responsiveness. Nissim Ohayon Managing Director

Corporate Services

The Cornerstone Complex, Level 3 Suite 3, 16th September Square, Mosta MST 1180 - Malta T: (+356) 2143 4525 • F: (+356) 2143 4595 • nohayon@tridenttrust.com W: www.tridenttrust.com • www.tridentfundservices.com Contact: Nissim Ohayon - Managing Director

UHY Pace, Galea MusÙ & Co UHY Pace, Galea Musù & Co. provides quality professional services, including audit and assurance, business solutions, corporate finance, corporate governance, local and foreign tax planning, company formation and re-domiciliation, management consulting, payroll bureau, insolvency, accountancy and back office administration customised for its local and foreign clients, operating in a wide range of industries. UHY Pace, Galea Musù & Co. is a member firm of UHY, an international association of independent accounting and consulting firms offering specialist sector and country knowledge based services from 270 offices in 86 countries located in all major international business centres across the globe.

David Pace PARTNER

Corporate Services

Matilda Court, 35/2 Giuseppe Calì Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1423 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 1814 • F: (+356) 2131 0461 • E: djpace@uhymalta.com, pgm@uhymalta.com • W: www.uhymalta.com Contact: Pierre Galea Musù - Partner

Unifin Services Limited Established in 1995, Unifin Services Limited has a wealth of experience as a fiduciary accounting practice in Malta, offering a broad range of corporate, accounting, tax and administration services to international clients. We provide specialist advice in the use of Maltese companies and in international tax planning for companies as well as individuals. Unifin Services Limited is licensed by the MFSA to provide nominee and trust services, and is registered with the authorities as an Authorised Registered Mandatory to submit applications for residence in Malta on behalf of non-EU nationals. Albert Muscat managing director

37 Apt R Dolphin Court, Embassy Way, Ta’Xbiex XBX 1073 – Malta T: (+356) 2133 3554 • F: (+356) 2134 1321 • E: admin@unifin.com.mt • W: www.unifin.com.mt Contact: Albert Muscat – Managing Director


Business Directory

Corporate Services

314

United International Management (Malta) Limited United International Management (Malta) Limited is part of The United Trust and Bank Group, which provides Trust and Banking services to clients internationally. United Trust Group’s offering includes: Corporate Services, Private Wealth Services, Fund Services, Environmental Markets, Risk Management, as well as Marine and Aviation Services. Our mission is to offer knowledge and commitment to clients – in both service and transacting business transparently. For our Malta service offering please visit: http://www.united-itrust.com/Malta

Dennis Bosje director

Fund Administration

The Plaza Commercial Centre, Level 6 – Suite 1, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1640 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 8648 • F: (+356) 2010 8646 E: dennis.bosje@united-itrust.com.mt • W: www.united-itrust.com/Malta Contact: Dennis Bosje - Director

Valletta Fund Services Limited 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 fund administration services. 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 2014, VFS was servicing over 125 investment funds representing US$ 4.1 billion worth of assets. Kenneth Farrugia Chief Officer – Fund Services

Corporate Services

TG Complex, Suite 2, Level 3, Brewery Street, Mriehel, BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 7148 • F: (+356) 2123 4565 • E: infovfs@bov.com • W: www.vfs.com.mt Contact: Joseph Camilleri - Head Business Development Division

Vistra (Malta) Limited Vistra is a leading independent provider of trust, fiduciary, corporate and fund services, delivering personal tailored solutions to international corporations, institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals from around the world. Vistra has an international network spanning 30 offices in 21 jurisdictions throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Vistra (Malta) Limited is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to act as a trustee. Through our multilingual and multidisciplinary staff, we provide a full range of services including: trustee & fiduciary services, company formation, management & domiciliation, accounting services, tax compliance, bank account services and residency services.

Marco Bugelli managing director

114, The Strand, Gzira GZR 1027 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 4259 • F: (+356) 2131 4253 • E: gerard.van.spall@vistra.com • W: www.vistra.com Contact: Gerard Jan Van Spall - Commercial Director


Business Directory

Telecom & Internet

315

Vodafone Malta Limited Vodafone Malta is proud to be the local provider of choice for high-speed bandwidth, co-location services and international private leased lines. With its own submarine cable and a high capacity link on another 3rd party subsea cable, Vodafone provides a resilient connection to mainland Europe where multiple international carriers route all traffic to anywhere around the world. Vodafone Malta also operates a state-of-the-art carrier grade co-location facility serving an ever growing number of mission-critical businesses operating out of Malta. Vodafone guarantees 24x7 technical support, multiple carrier connectivity and an outstanding level of service that is synonymous with the Vodafone brand. Amanda Nelson Chief Executive Officer

Corporate Services

Level 6 SkyParks Business Centre, Malta International Airport, Luqa LQA4000 - Malta E: business.solutions.mt@vodafone.com • W: www.vodafone.com.mt Contact: Amanda Nelson - Chief Executive Officer

ZETA ZETA is a privately held independent group of firms based in Malta offering targeted services which include but are not limited to: Transaction Structuring; Company Incorporation; Corporate Administration & Management; Trusts, Foundations and Nominees; Insurance Advisory, Brokerage & Management. ZETA is committed to exceeding client expectations and building a satisfying long-term relationship while retaining its primary focus, your business and family success. Whether you’re entering or already operating in the European markets or seeking to enhance your family wealth, Malta has a favourable business infrastructure where ZETA can assist you in providing comprehensive solutions to complex and cumbersome issues.

David Zammit managing director

43A/1 St. Paul’s Buildings, West Street, Valletta VLT 1532 - Malta T: (+356) 2011 9700 • F: (+356) 2010 2970 • E: david@zeta-capital.com • W: zeta-holdings.com Contact: David Zammit – Managing Director


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