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Investment Guide & Business Directory | 2016-2017 edition

Capital Markets • Funds & Asset Management • Insurance & Reinsuranc • International Pensions • Securitisation • Wealth Management • Famil Offices • Trusts & Foundations • Global Citizenship & Residency Plannin • Foreign Exchange Trading • Islamic Finance • Maritime & Yachting • viation • Payments Industry • Shared Services & Outsourcing • Fintec Capital Markets • Funds & Asset Management • Insurance & Reinsuranc • International Pensions • Securitisation • Wealth Management • Famil Offices • Trusts & Foundations • Global Citizenship & Residency Plannin • Foreign Exchange Trading • Islamic Finance • Maritime & Yachting • viation • Payments Industry • Shared Services & Outsourcing • Fintec

Malta as an International Finance Centre European with a Global Outlook

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Why Malta?

A land of inspiring potential and great business opportunities. Throughout its rich and cultured history, Malta has distinguished itself across a range of industries, including financial services, knowledge-based sectors, high-end manufacturing, maritime and aircraft maintenance. High levels of education and a skilled workforce have helped Malta develop into a centre of excellence, positioning itself as a perfect international hub for business. Meantime, as Malta increasingly becomes a globally recognised player in the logistics sector, we at HSBC appreciate that international connections will be vital to Malta’s future economic growth. Through initiatives such as Malta Trade for Growth, global connectivity and invaluable market insight across continents, HSBC Malta is best placed to help Maltese businesses to access opportunities across the globe that previously were out of reach.

As we look to encourage overseas companies to invest in Malta and take advantage of its unique, strategic location, HSBC has developed an in-depth video that highlights the benefits of doing business in Malta. The video demonstrates the island`s business attributes and why Malta is a great place to live and work. HSBC has a wealth of financial sector expertise that provides a one-stop solution for those seeking to locate their business in Malta. HSBC can provide you with a real local insight and understanding to help you set up orexpand your business in Malta. The ‘Why Malta?’ production is available on USB or online through business.hsbc.com.mt. Speak to us now for more information.

Call 2380 8000 Click business.hsbc.com.mt Approved and issued by HSBC Bank Malta plc 116, Archbishop Street, Valletta VLT1444 which is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority.


Building relationships. Creating value. Working with our clients and communities to build trust in society and solve important problems.

Our ambition is to deliver real value for our clients. And we know that value means different things to different people. That’s why we’ll work with you to understand what’s important to you. Find out more about us at www.pwc.com/mt

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www.pwc.com/mt Š 2016 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.


At BDO, nothing matters to us more than our clients. We partner with you to help you achieve greater, more meaningful success. We have a real understanding of the Maltese and foreign environment and we are able to provide a one-stop shop for all your financial services needs. We deliver the personal attention and local market knowledge that our clients want, backed by a leading international network of expertise, knowledge and advice. Because of this, we are able to supply the solutions that help you grow your business. We offer the following services: Audit and Assurance Tax Compliance and Consulting VAT Compliance and Consulting Full Outsourcing Services Legal and Consulting Services Fiduciary Services Banking Incorporation/Formation of Companies Correspondence and Administrative Services Directorship and Company Secretarial Licensed agents for the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) Yachting and Marine Services Formation of Trusts and Foundations Securitisation Vehicle and Funds Setup

www.bdo.com.mt Tower Gate Place, Tal-Qroqq Street, Msida, MSD 1703 Telephone: 2131 3060 Email: info@bdo.com.mt 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 member firms. BDO Consult Limited and BDO Services Limited are companies registered in Malta and form part of the BDO Malta group. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO member firms.

Define your Future

The Concessionaire for the Malta Individual Investor Programme Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, with over 20 years’ experience in both designing immigration programs for governments, as well as helping clients in gaining new residence and citizenships.

Selected by the Government of Malta, under a Public Services Concession, Henley & Partners was chosen as the Concessionaire for the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP). We were instrumental in developing and launching the MIIP as the most advanced, secure and aspirational program in the world. It is also the only citizenship-by-investment program, globally, to have been sanctioned by the European Union. Having designed the application process for the MIIP, Henley & Partners is best suited to support you and your clients through these important stages in delivering the best possible chance of achieving citizenship. Please contact us to discover more about giving both you and your clients the highest chance of achieving success:

Key contact Stuart MacFeeters IMCM Henley & Partners Malta Aragon House, Dragonara Road, St. Julian’s STJ 3140 T +356 2138 7400 malta@henleyglobal.com

Antigua · Australia · Austria · Canada · Croatia · Cyprus · Dubai · Grenada · Hong Kong · Jersey Latvia · Lebanon · Malaysia · Malta · Philippines · Portugal · Singapore · South Africa South Korea · St.Kitts · Switzerland · Turkey · United Kingdom · Vietnam




Capital Markets • Funds & Asset Management • Insurance & Reinsurance • International Pensions • Securitisation • Wealth Management • Family Offices • Trusts & Foundations • Global Citizenship & Residency Planning • Foreign Exchange Trading • Islamic Finance • Maritime & Yachting • Aviation • Payments Industry • Shared Services & Outsourcing • Fintech Capital Markets • Funds & Asset Management • Insurance & Reinsurance • International Pensions • Securitisation • Wealth Management • Family Offices • Trusts & Foundations • Global Citizenship & Residency Planning • Foreign Exchange Trading • Islamic Finance • Maritime & Yachting • Aviation • Payments Industry • Shared Services & Outsourcing • Fintech

Garvan Keating Chief Executive Officer keating@countryprofiler.com


Publication Date July 2016

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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 2, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1642 - Malta T: (+356) 2034 2034

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E: info@countryprofiler.com • W: www.countryprofiler.com Photography Alan Carville / Department of Information – Malta / Chris Sant Fournier / Michael Jurick / Fritz Grimm / viewingmalta.com Art Director Ramon Micallef / ram@box-design.net Printing Gutenberg Press, Malta

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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 Office Manager puglisevich@countryprofiler.com

Recommending Talent

Castille is a professional network of recommended talent. We work hard to gain a unique insight into our professional network and provide our client businesses with recommended talent. This is based on our expert knowledge in our specialist disciplines and on our experience of the businesses and industries we service.

www.castilleresources.com Audit, Tax & Advisory I Legal & Compliance I Financial Services Accountancy I Tech I Digital Media & Marketing I Executive Search Casa Leone, Triq l-Imhazen, Pjazza Robert Samut, Floriana, Malta

(+356) 20 933 000 support@castilleresources.com







IFC Profile Key Facts & Figures....................................................................... 16 International Finance Centre Overview.................................... 20 Country Profile Country Overview......................................................................... 30 Interview with the Prime Minister............................................. 40 FinanceMalta About FinanceMalta ..................................................................... 45 Interview with the FinanceMalta Chairman............................. 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 Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime & Services Economy....................... 62 Interview with the Chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority........................................ 64 Finance Industry Roundup.......................................................... 66 Sector Profiles Banking........................................................................................... 74 Capital Markets.............................................................................. 82 Funds & Asset Management........................................................ 87 Insurance & Reinsurance............................................................. 96 International Pensions ............................................................... 102 Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions .................. 108 Global & European Corporate Headquarters......................... 116


Securitisation................................................................................ 120 Wealth Management................................................................... 124 Family Offices............................................................................... 130 Trusts & Foundations.................................................................. 135 Global Citizenship & Residency Planning.............................. 140 Corporate Treasury..................................................................... 146 Foreign Exchange Trading......................................................... 149 Islamic Finance............................................................................ 154 Intellectual Property.................................................................... 160 Arbitration.................................................................................... 163 Maritime & Yachting................................................................... 167 Aviation......................................................................................... 173 Payments Industry....................................................................... 180 Shared Services & Outsourcing................................................. 184 Fintech........................................................................................... 188 Legal Environment Legislation & Regulation............................................................ 193 Corporate Business Structures.................................................. 198 Taxation......................................................................................... 204 Business Operating Environment Malta Director’s Guide................................................................ 212 Travel & Living in Malta Conference & Incentive Travel.................................................. 222 The Essential Expat Guide.......................................................... 226 Company Profiles Business Directory: Who’s Who................................................ 241


Reach your destination 100% Dedicated sector specialists with industry experience *KPMG has met or exceeded our clients’ expectations

Close co-operation with International Network


We integrate innovative approaches and deep expertise to deliver real results

*Client Satisfaction Survey 2015

*Quality above everything else

Contact Us: Tonio Zarb E: toniozarb@kpmg.com.mt

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© 2016 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.

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10,000 Employees

Double taxation treaties

Malta Financial Services Authority

Accounting standards

Corporate tax However, through Malta’s full imputation system, shareholders can claim a tax credit for the tax paid by the company

Contribution to GDP


(MFSA) Regulator




Registered Companies

Active Companies

In total


2 Retirement Funds 36 Retirement Schemes

7Insurance Captive

27 Payment Institutions



12 Protected

INVESTMENT FUNDS Recognised Fund Administrators


14 Retirement Schemes

11 Electronic Money Institutions


Company Services Providers



41, including



New Companies Annually

5 Recognised Incorporated

Cell Companies


with Incorporated Cells

Cell Companies


31 Cells 14 Insurance Managers

152 Trustees,

Fiduciary Service Providers & Foundation Administrators

40 Standalone insurers 59

Insurance Companies

Graphics by Peter Winfield

The Experts in Wealth and Asset Management

We are an independent Asset Manager owned and managed by the founders of Horus Partners Wealth Management Group. We provide portfolio management services to private clients and institutions both on an advisory and discretionary basis, tailor made to each client’s individual needs.

INVESTMENT ADVICE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT RISK MANAGEMENT We have the experience, the know-how and the discipline to support you in navigating markets, protecting your financial assets and balancing your risk appetite and expectations with appropriate strategies and asset allocations. Moreover, we partner with several established global depository banks with established reputations and track records.


Our philiosophy is simple and rooted in the core principles of trust, professionalism, transparency and accountability, which underpin all our relationships with our business partners and clients.

HORUS MALTA LTD Aragon House - Business Centre - Dragonara Road, St. Julian’s STJ 3140 - Malta Phone: +356 21 383 844 • Fax: +356 21 383 845 H o r u s M a l t a L i m i t e d i s l i c e n s e d b y t h e M a l t a F i n a n c i a l S e r v i c e s A u t h o r i t y.

giLLeS fARRUgiA Ceo


International Finance Centre Overview

International Finance Centre Overview

The Rising Star of Global Finance Malta’s expanding financial services sector is not only diversifying but also internationalising like never before.

International Finance Centre Overview


alta has solidified its place among Europe’s finance centres, and its global appeal continues to grow. Viewed by industry players, investors and regulators as a particularly business-friendly location, the Mediterranean island has been
a favoured entry point to the European Union because of its robust, EU-compliant regulatory framework, diverse financial ecosystem and deep talent pool. Over the years, financial services have become one of the country’s world-class export industries, registering impressive year-onyear growth. Malta as an International Finance Centre (IFC) has championed financial innovation and has been quick in reacting to, and capitalising on, new trends and market demands.


International Finance Centre Overview

A desire to tap markets beyond the EU sets the scene for the future. While Maltese financial firms are ‘going global’ in ever-increasing frequency, international companies are moving into Malta’s finance centre, effectively opening up access to many new clients. With enhanced credentials and credibility, Malta stands to develop new competencies in a range of sectors such as securitisation, payments and Islamic finance, to name but a few. The Malta Stock Exchange is also poised for growth as it strengthens its position as a gateway for businesses targeting the EU capital market.


Malta’s finance sector annual growth accounting for


of the Country’s GDP providing jobs for almost 10,000 people

Onshore Restructuring Malta’s development as an International Financial Centre has its foundations in sound economic principles, a pro-business environment, as well as forward-looking and responsive regulations. In 1988, Malta passed legislation 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 Malta 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 supervisory framework as well as a competitive, transparent 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. Growing in Importance Over the years, Malta has accelerated its efforts to increase the depth and breadth of its finance industry. The finance sector has expanded by around 25% annually in recent years
and accounts for 13% of the country’s GDP, providing almost 10,000 jobs. The scale of this transformation has been enough to help Malta be seen as an alternative to established European finance hubs such as Dublin, London and Luxembourg. The sector has also been given a clean bill of health by rating agencies, the EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The government believes there is still scope for expansion and has made prudently managed growth of the sector a top priority.



International Finance Centre Overview

Financial DNA 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. Today, close to 30 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 experienced an upsurge due to the presence of expert insurance management services and EU passporting rights, and Malta is now regarded as one of the leading 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 and more recently Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). While there are currently almost 600 funds domiciled in Malta, the country is also increasingly attracting larger fund platforms, best-in-class service providers and sophisticated asset management activities. Corporate formation is another important area of activity, and the company register today lists around 70,000 companies. Malta has also developed into an important wealth management location. High-net-worth individuals, wealth managers and family offices increasingly avail of the country’s wide range of investment vehicles including trusts and foundations. Tailored Operations & Multinationals Malta 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. However, as Malta’s status as a financial centre has grown, the island has also attracted international credit institutions such as HSBC, Banif Bank and trade finance specialist FIMBank. Today, Malta hosts nearly 30 fund administrators and 60 insurance companies, ranging from well-known international names to smaller, niche establishments. Fund administrators such as Apex, TMF and Citco all have a presence in Malta, along with insurance specialists such as Munich Re, Aon and Marsh. In addition, multinationals such as BMW, Peugeot, Citroën and Vodafone have set up captives on the island. Malta also boasts considerable expertise in the field of trusts and foundations, including many legal firms with in-house trust companies along with international organisations.

International Finance Centre Overview

Regulation for Growth Its strong regulatory framework has long been the finance centre’s most important calling card. The country has gained a reputation for striking a good commercial balance, providing an appropriate legal framework without over-regulating in a way that might inhibit growth and innovation. While financial services legislation is drawn up by the Ministry for Finance, all financial services are overseen by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). This means 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 – a level of access which is rare in other finance centres. Over the years, the MFSA has also worked together with the industry in developing the required capabilities, capacity and regulatory frameworks to move into new areas of business. The authorities also stress that regulation should never be seen as the antithesis of innovation, and Malta’s track record to date proves this.

€2.82 Billion, written in Gross Premiums in recent years

Sector Performance Practitioners in Malta emphasise the link between the strong performance of the insurance and investment fund sectors, and the country’s carefully crafted, and continuously developed, regulatory frameworks. Insurance premiums have reached a new high in recent years, with €2.82 billion written in gross premiums. It is argued that Malta’s Protected Cell Company (PCC) regime offers a cost-effective way of managing the higher capital and compliance requirements of Solvency II. In the past two years, Malta has also experienced an influx of asset managers and fund service providers following the introduction of the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (AIFMD) that regulates alternative fund managers and the promotion of alternative funds. To cement its position as a top domicile for the industry, Malta recently launched a new framework for the notification of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), known as Notified AIFs, as well as rules for the establishment of loan funds. Renewed focus on the wealth management sector has also paid off. Malta has updated its trust law, bringing it in line with the latest international developments, while the introduction of a citizenship-by-investment and new residency programmes helped promote Malta as a holistic lifestyle and wealth management location. Other sectors are also gaining importance. Malta has the largest shipping registry in Europe and is in the



International Finance Centre Overview

process of building up a diversified aviation cluster. Due to its strategic location, the country is also increasingly attracting the regional headquarters of businesses with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. Worth a Career Move To guarantee a pipeline of talent and labour certainty for corporations, Malta has invested heavily in building up the competencies of its financial sector workforce. From homegrown talent to experienced international financial sector professionals, Malta today offers a diverse talent pool. A high proportion (60%) of Maltese students continue to third-level education, with law, accountancy and management among the most popular subjects. In addition, industry-specific training is offered by a number of institutes. While the surge of growth in business has left a shortage of specialised skills in certain segments, the country has introduced tax incentives for highly qualified foreign professionals working in the finance centre, who can benefit from a flat income tax rate of just 15%. Its Mediterranean island flair, coupled with opportunities for career progression, mean Malta is becoming an exciting destination for people considering a move abroad. 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. A Global View Much of Malta’s success can be credited to its central location. EU membership has provided firms with access to the union’s massive internal market of over 500 million people, and unsurprisingly, Malta’s most important commercial relationship is with the European Union. However, the island has also sought to promote itself in overseas and developing markets, with special attention being paid to other financial hubs such as New York and Dubai. In addition, Malta has negotiated favourable tax treaties with powerhouse growth markets such as China, India, Hong Kong and the US, with some 70 tax treaties in total. Its 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.

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


International Finance Centre Overview

Support Network Companies setting up in Malta
find many helping hands. FinanceMalta, a non-profit public-private initiative set up
to promote the financial sector, 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 ‘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 are also obliged to register with the authorities. Pensions, Payments
and Securitisation
 With a track record of outstanding recent achievements, Malta has ambitious plans for the future. The country is expanding its portfolio into profitable niche areas such as pensions and payments. Malta is emerging as a base
for international retirement operators, and there are close to 40 pension schemes licensed on the island. In the area of payments, Malta is attracting growing numbers of e-money institutions and payment processors. Securitisation has also been singled out as a future growth area, and Malta developed platform structures for securitisation transactions, introducing the Securitisation Cell Company (SCC). 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 Sharia-compliant structures. Malta’s capital markets are also eyeing growth in Islamic finance, and the country’s stock exchange has launched a Sharia-compliant equity index, in addition to offering opportunities for small- and medium cap companies from Europe and beyond. Service & Product Innovation Going forward, service innovation has become the new mantra of Malta’s finance industry. All stakeholders, financial service companies, support service providers and the regulator, are aware that speed to market is crucial these days. Traditionally, Malta has also enjoyed strong cost advantages. However, additional regulatory and compliance requirements are driving up service providers’ fees and Malta is becoming more expensive.

60% Percentage of Maltese students continuing to thirdlevel education

International Finance Centre Overview

However, the country’s cost base is still very competitive, with operational costs and salaries being 20 to 30% cheaper than in more established centres. Malta is also keen on finding new niches for which it can develop the necessary regulation to attract business. The close collaboration between industry and regulatory authorities is a key strength of, and augurs well for, the future of Malta as an IFC. Malta’s greatest challenge is maintaining its reputation as a robust yet benign jurisdiction in the face of events such as the Panama Papers revelations and the LuxLeaks scandal that have affected and shaken the reputation of the global finance sector in general. However, throughout the years Malta has carefully protected its reputation. In fact, Malta has seen a flight of quality companies and tier-1 operators setting up on the island because of its status as a serious and well-regulated EU finance centre and the low reputational risk associated with it. Keeping the Momentum Pragmatic regulation, creative innovation and service diversification are just some
of the strings in Malta’s bow, which have helped financial services become one of the country’s most important economic generators. These features will help Malta to reinforce its position in the years ahead. The country is also determined to provide leadership in ongoing international discussions on financial regulation. Malta’s government emphasises that it will make Malta’s voice heard on issues such as tax harmonisation, while striving to achieve a balance between enhanced financial stability and a competitive tax and regulatory framework that will make the finance centre’s future even brighter than its past. n




Country Overview

Welcome to the New Malta Distinguished in the region by its strong economic performance, Malta’s probusiness attitude, state-of-the-art infrastructure and modest operating costs have helped it become the go-to country for growth-minded entrepreneurs. The Mediterranean nation now confidently charts its path to the future.



conomic activity is abuzz in tiny Malta, which has seen a remarkable turnaround since the 1950s when a lack of opportunity at home caused many Maltese to move away. To lessen the economic distress, the country actively encouraged its population to look elsewhere for employment and better quality of life. Today, the situation couldn’t be more different. Its well-diversified economy proves alluring to foreign companies, and Malta is placing more emphasis than ever on human capital seeking to attract professionals from abroad to support its booming economy. Saying that Malta’s success is a result of the can-do attitude of its people and the international outlook of its businesses sounds like a cliché, but it is true, and it reflects the country’s extraordinary strengths. Home
to a population of 421,000 people and being resource-poor, Malta has created a viable and powerful marketplace for industries such as financial services, ICT, advanced manufacturing, maritime and life sciences.

Malta’s position on the map has also played a defining role in its growth as its leaders understood that the country’s location at the centre of the Mediterranean could be used to take advantage of the opportunities offered by global trade, long before the term globalisation became the new economic mantra. Today, Malta prides itself on boasting one
of the bestperforming Eurozone economies, registering low unemployment and economic growth. And in spite of its modest size and numbers, Malta has emerged as one of Europe’s leading financial centres.




Mediterranean Island Located at the southern tip of Italy and just over 316 square kilometres in area, the Maltese Islands lie virtually midway between Europe and North Africa, some 90 kilometres south of Sicily and 290 kilometres north of Libya. The archipelago comprises Malta, Gozo and Comino. The main island, Malta, is 27 kilometres long and measures 14.5 kilometres at its widest point. It takes just 45 minutes to cross Malta, reducing commuting times and increasing leisure time. The official languages are Maltese and English, with 90% of Maltese being completely bilingual. A rocky Mediterranean island with dry and often windy conditions, Malta enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with the average temperature ranging from 12 degrees in winter to 30 degrees in summer. The capital city Valletta is both the administrative and business centre of the country. Other main towns include: the popular sea-side towns of Sliema and St. Julian’s on the west coast; the inland towns of Mosta
and Birkirkara, situated in
the centre of the island; and Paola in the south. There are also numerous small villages that still evoke the traditional Mediterranean rural way of life, although some 90% of Maltese live in urban settings, and the overall vibe of Malta is modern. Colourful History 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 millennia. 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 the only Semitic language to be written in Latin script. International People Descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians, with strong elements of Italian and other Mediterranean stock, the Maltese are truly an international people. With a history that has seen a succession of foreign rulers, the islanders have acquired an ability to adapt to new ideas and adopt them to


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



their advantage. Generally well-educated and qualified, 90% of Maltese are bilingual in English and Maltese, and many also speak a third language, usually Italian, German or French. Malta is also home to a growing expat population, attracted by strong economic growth and career prospects. The country’s population is also one of the
most politically active in Europe, with elections seeing voter turnout regularly exceeding 90%. Today, Malta 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 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 that had been in power for 15 years. In April 2014, Malta also elected a new president, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta’s second female president. The next parliament election is due in 2018. Strong Performance Gaining independence from Britain in
1964, the country’s decisions to join the EU in 2004, and the Eurozone in 2008, were integral to the expansion of its horizons and bolstered its status as a key business hub in the Euro-Mediterranean region. There is no doubt that Malta leads the region in many economic indicators. Its small, open economy has proven to be remarkably resilient in the face of the global economic downturn. Malta has posted positive growth figures over the past five years and has regularly been among the best-performing economies in the EU. In 2015, the economy grew by an impressive 6.3%, while unemployment remained below the 5.5% mark. The International Monetary Fund recently said that Malta’s outlook is strong and that growth is expected to remain solid in 2016 and 2017, highlighting that Malta’s diversified economy has helped preserve stability. The European Commission predicts a 4.1% GDP increase for 2016 and 3.5% for 2017. Diversified Economy Famous for its 7,000-year history and 300 days of sunshine, Malta has become a top destination for tourists. In 2015, close to 1.8 million tourists visited Malta – more than ever before. Tourism today accounts for some 28% of the country’s GDP. Rivalling tourism’s importance and growing in tandem over the last few years has been Malta’s financial services sector,

In 2015, the economy grew by an impressive

6.3% 5.5%

while unemployment remained below

Global strength, local delivery Our local and worldwide based professionals offer a cross-border, holistic approach to issues related to tax, audit, financial advisory, enterprise risk, consulting and information technology. We make an impact that matters on our clients by offering world class capabilities and deep expertise to help them succeed wherever they operate in the world. Find out more about Deloitte Malta at www.deloitte.com/mt

Š 2016. For information, contact Deloitte Malta.



which now accounts for 13% of GDP. Life sciences and digital media are joining the traditional economic generators and creating a solid base of diverse operations from which Malta is competing on an international level. The maritime industry is one
of the oldest, and today Malta is home to the largest ship register in Europe and is one of the major logistics providers in the Mediterranean. The country now aims to replicate this success in the aviation sector and has introduced new legislation to help achieve this. Malta is also on the fast track to becoming a hub for education, healthcare and energy – sectors that are poised to become the country’s next success stories. With the help of foreign investment, Malta is seeking to add those economic activities to its list of exportable services. FDI Attractions Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has helped to push Malta’s economic performance throughout the years. Providing access to the EU’s single market, Malta’s proximity to, and cultural links with, North African and Middle Eastern countries are particularly attractive to companies that use the country as a stepping stone 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, Betfair, Cardinal Health and Lufthansa Technik. In June 2015, the stock position of FDI in Malta amounted to €148.2 billion, an increase of €11.8 billion over the corresponding month a year before. With 97.9% of

Key Moments in Malta’s History


First human settlers


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.


Byzantine Rule


Arab Rule


Norman Rule


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.


French Rule


FDI stocks, the financial services sector is the dominant recipient of foreign investment. In addition to the historical and strong commercial links with Italy and the UK, Malta also enjoys healthy trade with France, Germany and the Netherlands. Malta’s exposure to international commerce is one of the highest worldwide, and the country’s leaders are constantly working on developing new ties with foreign governments in order
to facilitate worldwide market access for all industries. For instance, trade with Asia, mainly China and India, is increasing. High Levels of Competitiveness 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 built up modern telecommunications and international transport links, while a full package of incentives that range from fiscal benefits to the provision of custom-built production facilities is available to investors. With great attention being paid to the next generation of its workforce, the country continues to invest heavily in education, and each year Malta sees 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.


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.


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


Malta becomes a republic.


Malta joins the European Union.


Malta adopts the euro currency.




Adaptable Malta Malta has attracted admirers for its success in transforming itself from a British military outpost into a well-functioning economy. The country now pushes itself towards a more innovation-driven economy, as there is increasing awareness that raising productivity and increasing efficiency are critical if growth is to be sustained. Businesses also often cite a lack of human resources as a major impediment to growth, but the government is committed to addressing any shortcomings in this area. The country’s expanding economy is also putting pressure on its road network that has failed to keep pace with this growth. Keen to see the sector heading in a new direction, the Maltese authorities are implementing novel concepts and are willing to partner with global innovators to create a better connected and more efficient transport system. Human capital investment is also on Malta’s priority list, while the country not only remains open and welcoming towards, but also actively encourages, foreign professionals to come and work in Malta. The Voice of Malta Strong economic growth has transformed Malta into a confident nation which is now seeking to strengthen its position on the global stage. After heading the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November 2015, the country looks forward to holding its first presidency of the European Union in 2017. This will give Malta an opportunity to influence key EU decisions and set the agenda of the 28nation bloc. While the EU, and the Eurozone, will remain the main focus of its foreign policy, Malta has a vocation to serve as a natural bridge between the European Union and North Africa and is committed to establishing stability in the region. However, the Maltese government seeks to raise its voice not only in political matters but is also making its presence felt on the fiscal front, where the government emphasises that it will stand its ground on issues such as tax harmonisation. Moving Forward Malta’s economic diversity strategy of recent years has paid off in spades,
but analysts and international institutions all agree that the country’s investment appeal has been crucial in unlocking its full potential. Its world-class business environment, cutting-edge technology, competitive labour costs, highly educated workforce and gateway position to European and African markets helped Malta attract companies and capital from Europe, Asia and the US. Investment, across all sectors,


will remain a key driver for future growth and is seen as important to raise living standards even further. There is also a lot of enthusiasm to improve Malta’s built environment, as well as to develop a more efficient infrastructure, that can cater for the needs of modern Malta and that mirrors and supports the country’s strong economy. Although critics say the government needs to pay closer attention to threats and challenges that new developments and economic growth can pose to the environment, Maltese businesses are optimistic about the country’s future and are moving forward with confidence in helping realise this vision. n




Photo: DOI


Attracting the Best Interview with the Prime Minister of Malta, Dr Joseph Muscat

While some of the most well-known financial services firms are already calling Malta home, the country is pushing ahead to attract the investment and talent it needs to take its finance centre to the next level, says Malta’s Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat.




u The Economist recently hailed Malta’s economic achievements. Could you give us a brief overview of your country’s economic performance? The past years were not easy ones: we were surrounded by economic and political instability both in the north and south. However, Malta is an optimistic country, and we moved forward. The Maltese economy continued on its expansion path. Growth accelerated to 6.3% in 2016, and our unemployment rate is the third lowest in the EU and the lowest in Maltese history. The budget deficit has been shrinking gradually, and has been reduced to 1.5% of GDP in 2015. We have much to be proud of.

u What do you believe have been the key drivers for Malta’s economic success? We have created employment opportunities and through the introduction of familyfriendly measures increased the female participation rate in the labour market. We also attracted unprecedented tourist arrivals and reformed crucial sectors, including education, health and energy. Looking at our past and current success, I would also say that the key driving force has been that we are open for business. We attract entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. They come because Malta is a fantastic place to grow a business. We have a skilled workforce, firstclass technology and communications, the English language and a pro-business environment. For a small island state, our economy is also unusually diversified. We retained our strong manufacturing base and developed into a state-of-the-art financial services centre and Europe’s top remote gaming base. All economic sectors contribute to our growth, and we are keen to diversify further. Currently, we are investing heavily in education and health, also with a view to make them exportable services industries.

GDP growth in 2015


u In particular, Malta as an International Finance Centre has flourished in recent years. What are the main reasons for this growth? This is true. Financial services today account for 13% of our GDP. One of the main reasons for our success is that we have solid, responsible regulation. That’s the bedrock of good finance, but we don’t stifle the sector with bureaucracy. Responsible regulation allows the sector to flourish. The reputation of the financial services sector was actually reinforced because of the resilience and stability it showed during the financial crisis. We also provide an environment conducive to business, offering investors stability and transparency in terms of corporate taxation and regulatory processes.

We believe that tax policy must remain the sole domain of individual governments in the European Union.

u With the EU and the OECD calling for greater tax harmonisation, where does Malta stand on the issue? We believe that tax policy must remain the sole domain of individual governments in the European Union. It is important to state that Malta has its tax regiment approved by both the EU and the OECD. While we are fully in support of a fair and ethical marketplace and have signed all exchange of information agreements, we do not think Europe should adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. Not all countries in the EU face the same economic realities. We obviously support all efforts in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. Malta has also taken clear commitments at the UK’s Anti-Corruption Summit. We also believe that taxation is an important policy tool to direct economic activity and as such should remain an area of national competence.




u Rivalry and competition among finance centres and the demand for qualified employees continues to grow. What is Malta doing to attract the best companies and the brightest talent?

u What is your strategy to grow the financial services sector further?

Our sound financial services regulation provides a solid base for growth. I believe we have not yet exploited our full potential, although we do not want to see the financial sector Malta owes much of its success to its openness dominate our economy. We want it to grow in terms of welcoming foreign firms and proin tandem with our other economic pillars. fessionals. Malta is a fantastic place to live and We have very high standards, and we do not invest in, offering the sea and the sun, culture believe we should lower or undermine them and history, business and investment. Foreign to accommodate operators. Our due investors always comment favourably on diligence on companies, promoters our business environment and the and senior officials of companies efficient service they receive. is rigorous and extensive. We Financial services providers We do not just want to do not just want to attract benefit from streamlined attract business, but rather procedures, as well as lower the right type of business. We business, but rather the right type of business. We demand fees and compliance costs are a reputable jurisdiction within the EU, and we will that operators are of a certain than elsewhere. However, keep it that way. quality and good reputation. we need to invest more time We are a reputable jurisdiction and money in education. It is within the EU, and we will keep no secret that HR is becoming it that way. This approach has been a challenge for many sectors. While key to attracting world-class companies to we are encouraging students to take up our shores, and I am sure it will help the sector finance-related subjects, we have also introgrow in the future. duced tax incentives to attract foreign talent that ensure that our flourishing financial seru What message would you like to vices, aviation and gaming sectors have adsend to the international community equate pools of highly qualified professionals about Malta and its people? to choose from. My government is committed to providing the best possible operating enviMalta is a unique country, where both the ronment for financial institutions that come English and the Mediterranean influence can to Malta. be felt. We recently celebrated our 50th anniversary of independence and the 40th anniversary of being a republic, as well as 10 years of EU membership. All these events have made Malta and the Maltese people what they are today – a Mediterranean country founded on European values and a hard-working, modern population that meets and defeats challenges as they arise. n


Promoting & Fostering

Malta as aN INTERNATIONAL Finance Centre

FinanceMalta, Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT1063 - Malta General Mail: info@financemalta.org • Tel: +356 2122 4525 Fax: +356 2144 9212 • Website: financemalta.org








About FinanceMalta Malta is internationally recognised as a brand denoting excellence in financial services. It offers an attractive cost- and tax-efficient base for financial services operators looking for a European Union-compliant, yet flexible, domicile.


inanceMalta, a non-profit public-private foundation, was set up to promote Malta as a 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 Stockbroking Firms, the Malta Bankers’ Association, the Malta Insurance Association, the Association of Insurance Brokers, the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners, and the 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.

Board of Governors

Kenneth Farrugia (Chairman)

Joe V. Bannister (Vice-Chairman)

Andrew C Beane

Mario Mallia

Dr Matthew Bianchi

In their Words


“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 toprated financial services firms.”

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

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

Kenneth Farrugia Chairman

Dr Bernice Buttigieg Head of Administration

Ivan Grech Head of Business Development




John Tortell

Juanita Bencini

Dr Annalise Micallef

John Huber

Dr Andre Borg

Dr. Bernice Buttigieg (Secretary to the Board)





Service Innovation Drives Growth


Malta has diversified its finance sector tremendously in recent years. Could you describe the current level of activity in the industry? Malta has significantly strengthened its profile as an International Financial Centre. There is a positive outlook for the industry overall, and through speaking with various practitioners and operators in the industry, it is apparent that there is a healthy conduit of business across the key financial sectors. For example, in the asset management sector, we are experiencing the onset of an increased number of fund managers, establishing their operations in Malta. Equally so, fund administrators have seen their business expand significantly as they are increasingly servicing fund clients not only domiciled in Malta but also funds

domiciled in other EU and non-EU jurisdictions. The same goes for our insurance sector where insurance companies have experienced strong growth in the overall level of gross premiums written. All this activity also had a positive impact on the wealth management sector where service providers are experiencing increased interest from high-networth individuals, wealth managers and family offices. All these developments confirm that Malta’s financial services sector is not only diversifying itself but also internationalising at a very fast pace which bodes well for the future.


What is behind the growth in new sectors such as pensions and fintech operations that Malta is experiencing at the moment? And are you seeing growth in any other sectors?

Pensions business, securitisations and fintech operations are emerging to be important new sectors. There has been a marked increase in pensions operators, while pension assets have well exceeded the €5 billion mark. The foundation for this growth can be attributed to the success in the asset management sector, where Malta has built up a wealth of expertise. With regards to payments, we have seen an increase in financial institutions registering under the Financial Institutions Act, with this figure more than doubling in three years. The global payments sector is going through significant changes driven by fintech operators, and Malta is emerging as a good base for e-money institutions and payment processors. We are also seeing growth in the area of securitisation as it opens up certain assets


Interview with Kenneth Farrugia, Chairman of FinanceMalta

for investment strategies, which normally wouldn’t be available, as well as new funding options. Recent statistics show an increase in securitisation vehicles in Malta.


How does Malta attempt to distinguish itself from other European finance centres? We are constantly seeking to innovate – on a product and on a service level. This is not always an easy task. EU directives are inducing harmonisation across the European financial services landscape, however there is always scope for innovation. Examples are our Securitisation Act and the recent launch of the Notified Alternative Investment Funds. At the moment we are also focusing on service

innovation. Speed to market is crucial these days, and the more efficient we are in servicing our clients, the more competitive we can become. It is important for the industry to act as the catalyst of innovation where this is not only embraced but also enabled.


One of FinanceMalta’s objectives was to strengthen the relevance of Malta as a finance centre beyond the realms of Europe. How has this played out so far? Events in the EU remained an integral part of our programme in 2015; however, going forward we have initiated the process of launching marketing initiatives beyond Europe, particularly in the US and the Gulf Region. Looking ahead, we have events planned in New York,

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Zurich, Geneva and London. We usually focus on three main areas: insurance, asset management and private wealth. We feel that Malta has a strong proposition in these regards.


What are FinanceMalta’s plans for the future?

We are committed to sustaining the visibility of Malta in mainland Europe and at the same time reaching out to new markets. There are clearly opportunities in the aforementioned markets as well as in others such as South and West Africa, South America and India, which we hope to be able to reach out to in the coming years. Our target is to showcase Malta to businesses where we feel there is a strong and relevant value proposition. n




JOIN Membership FinanceMalta offers two types of membership: Corporate and Affiliate. Corporate Membership is open to entities operating within the financial services industry, 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, but not limited to, 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. Selected Benefits of FinanceMalta Membership: → Company profile with logo in the FinanceMalta online membership directory, including a link to own website. → 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 (some events are 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 at certain events. → Attend the annual FinanceMalta conference at a discounted rate. → Opportunity to publish white papers and articles on FinanceMalta’s website and to take part in topical webcast series. Corporate membership fee: €250 - €600 per annum (depending on the applicant entity’s headcount). Fees for new members will be calculated on a pro-rata basis. Affiliate membership fee: €300 per annum. Fees for new members will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Corporate Membership 2016 3a Accountants A3E Capital SICAV p.l.c. Abacus Corporate Services Limited Abalone Asset Management Ltd ACT Advisory Services Limited Active Services (Malta) Ltd Acumum Legal & Advisory Group Advocate Magro Axelsson & Associates Advocates Primei Aequitas Legal Affinity Management Services (Malta) Limited AgriBank AlleyBe Ltd Altarius Asset Management Alter Domus (Services) Malta Limited 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 Aqua Trust Services Malta Limited Areti Fiduciary Services Ltd Argentarius ETI Management Ltd ARQ Group Artex Risk Solutions (Malta) Limited Atlas Insurance PCC Ltd Audentia Capital Group Avanzia Taxand Ltd Baker Tilly Sant Banif Bank (Malta) plc Bank Of Valletta plc BDO Consult Ltd Be. Legal Advocates Bee Insurance Management Ltd Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited Boston Trust Limited Calamatta Cuschieri & Co Ltd Camilleri Cassar Advocates Camilleri Galea Ltd


Corporate Membership 2016

Camilleri Preziosi Castlegate Fund Services Ltd Charts Investment Management Service Ltd Chetcuti Cauchi Advisors Ltd Citadel Insurance plc Citco (Malta) Ltd Citco Custody Limited Citco Fund Services (Malta) Limited ClearStream Banking Cordium Corporate Solution Limited Corrieri Cilia Legal Credal International Ltd Credence Corporate & Advisory Services Limited CreditInfo Malta Ltd Credorax Bank Ltd CSB Group Curmi and Partners Ltd Custom House Global Fund Services Ltd DARAG Group Ltd David Griscti & Associates David Zahra & Associates Advocates Deloitte Demetra Corporate Advisors DF Advocates DFK Malta Dingli & Dingli Law Firm Directors Chambers Ltd DNT Fiduciary Limited Dohle Services (Malta) Limited Dr Kresse International Law firm ECCM Bank plc Ecovis (Malta) Consultants Ltd EJZ Comprehensive Business Services Ltd Elmo Insurance Ltd e-Management EMD EPG Financial Limited Equinoxe Alternative Investment Services Equiom (Malta) Limited EY

e-Volve Consultancy Limited Exante Limited Exco Services Limited FACT Group Fairwinds Management Limited Falcon Asset Management Ltd Fenech & Fenech Advocates Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal Fenlex Corporate Services Ltd Fexserv Financial Services Ltd Fides Corporate Services Ltd Fidgen Malta Ltd FIMBANK Financial Planning Services Ltd Finanz-Audit Limited Finco Trust Services Ltd Finisterre Malta Ltd FMG (Malta) Limited Framont & Partners Management Ltd Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Ltd Galea Salomone & Associates Gamma Capital Markets Ltd Ganado Advocates Gasan Mamo Insurance Gatt Tufigno Gauci Advocates GM Corporate & Fiduciary Services Ltd Go Beyond Limited Gonzi and Associates Advocates Grand Harbour Trustees Limited Grant Thornton Griffiths & Associates GVZH Advocates H & P Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd Harbour Pensions Limited HBM Malta Ltd HBM Trustees Ltd Heritage International Fund Managers (Malta) Ltd HSBC Bank Malta plc HSBC Global Asset Management (Malta) Ltd HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Ltd IDS Fund Services Malta Ltd




Corporate Membership 2016

IFINA group IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd Integra Private Wealth Ltd Integrated - Capabilities (Malta) Ltd Integritas Trustees Ltd International Management Services Ltd Investment Migration Council Island Insurance Brokers Limited Izola Bank Limited Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors Limited John Huber & Associates JTC (Malta) Ltd Justin Cutajar CPA Kamber Consultancy AG KNG Securities KPMG Ksi Malta lecocqassociate ltd Linear Asset Management Ltd Lombard Bank Malta plc Lombard Odier & Cie (Gibraltar) Limited MAG Fund Solutions RICC Ltd Maitland Malta Limited Malta Stock Exchange plc Mamo TCV Advocates MAPFRE MiddleSea Insurance plc Marsh Management Services Malta Ltd Mazars Malta Mediterranean Bank plc Mediterranean Insurance Brokers (Malta) Ltd Mercieca, Azzopardi & Co MFC Merchant Bank Ltd Micallef & Associates Michael Grech Financial Investments Services Ltd Middle East Business Council - Malta Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates MJM Europe Limited MPL Asset Management Ltd Money+Card Payment Institution Ltd Moore Stephens

MSV Life p.l.c Munich Re of Malta plc Muscat Azzopardi and Associates Advocates Muscat Mizzi Advocates MZ Investment Services Ltd NBG Bank Malta Ltd Newco Corporate Services Ltd Nexia BT Nicolai Xuereb - NX Legal Novofina Ltd Octave Corporate Services Limited OpenFunds Investment Services Osiris Trust Ltd P & C Consulting Ltd Paladin Securities Ltd Papilio Services Ltd PayMix Limited Pilatus Bank Ltd PiscoPartners PKF (Malta) Plethora Trust & Fiduciaries Ltd Portcullis Asset Management Ltd Portman International Ltd Portmann Capital Management Ltd Portsea AIFM Malta Ltd Praxis Fund Services (Malta) Ltd PraxisIFM Trust Limited Premier Fiduciary & Trusts Ltd Prestige Capital Management Limited PwC QGen Refalo & Zammit Pace Advocates Reyl & Cie (Malta) Ltd RiskCap International Limited Rizzo Farrugia & Co (Stockbrokers) Ltd RSM Malta Rutter Giappone & Associates Scandinavian Business Forum Malta SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) Ltd Simon Tortell & Associates South Risk Partners



Affiliate Membership 2016 Sovereign Pension Services Limited Sovereign Trust (Malta) Sparkasse Bank Malta plc Stivala & Stivala Corporate Management Ltd STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd Summa Fiduciary Services Ltd Swissquote Financial Services (Malta) Ltd Tanti Dougall & Associates, Advocates Taxways Group (Invest Group Ltd) Templar European Investment Services Temple Asset Management Limited The Malta Institute of Accountants Timeless Asset Management Ltd Trident Fund Services (Malta) Ltd Trident Trust Company (Malta) Ltd TMF Management and Administrative Services (Malta) Limited Tri-Mer Services Ltd Trireme Pension Services (Malta) Ltd Tromino Financial Services (Malta) Ltd Trustmoore Malta Limited UHY Business Advisory Services Unifin Services Limited Untours Insurance Agents Ltd USA Risk Group (Malta) Ltd Valletta Commercial Services Ltd Valletta Fund Management Valletta Fund Services Valletta Legal Virtus Advisors Ltd Vistra Malta Ltd War Chest Fiduciary Services Limited WDM International Ltd WH Partners White November Corporate Services (Malta) Ltd WTP Advisors Malta Zarattini International Ltd Zerafa Advocates Zeta

Ascent Software Azure Rock Partners Ltd Babel Marketing Group Limited BelAir Real Estate BMIT Ltd Boston Link Business Office Services International (Malta) Ltd C & C Express Ltd CDDS Mediterranean Ltd Castille Resources Ltd Computime Software CountryProfiler Malta Limited Dmax & Associates Ltd Equinox Ventures Ltd Frank Salt Real Estate Ltd Hilton Malta ICT Ltd Konnekt Search & Selection Linedata Melita plc MISCO Nicholls Moisa Pender Ville Ltd Powerhouse Ltd Reed Specialist Recruitment Malta Regus Serviced Offices SmartCity Malta Systec Ltd The Richard Clarke Academy The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux The Westin Dragonara Resort Tristar Travel Vianet Limited Vodafone


Finance Industry Stakeholders

Finance Industry Stakeholders Ministry for Finance www.mfin.gov.mt Prof. Edward Scicluna Minister for Finance

Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business www.economy.gov.mt Dr Christian Cardona Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business

Dr Emmanuel Mallia Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy

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

Central Bank of Malta www.centralbankmalta.org

FinanceMalta www.financemalta.org

Malta Stock Exchange www.borzamalta.com.mt

Prof. Joe Bannister Chairman

Dr Mario Vella Governer

Kenneth Farrugia Chairman

Joseph Portelli Chairman

Additional Resources

Malta Institute of Taxation www.maintax.org

Malta Chamber of Commerce www.maltachamber.org.mt

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

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

Malta Institute of Management (MIM) www.maltamanagement.com

Malta Enterprise www.maltaenterprise.com

College of Stockbroking Firms

Malta Chamber of Advocates www.avukati.org

Finance Industry Stakeholders

Finance Industry Associations

Malta Association for Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP)

Malta Bankers Association (MBA)

Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA)

Chairman: Bethell Codrington

Chairman: Mario Mallia

Chairman: Kenneth Farrugia



Malta Insurance Association (MIA)

Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA)

Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP)

President: Julian Mamo

Chairman: John Tortell

President: Juanita Bencini




Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB)

Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) Malta

Malta Association of Risk Management (MARM)

Chairman: Mark Spiteri

Branch Chair: Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

President: Ian-Edward Stafrace







SECTOR Guide Series

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No place for Financial Secrecy


Malta has risen as one of the strongest economies in the EU. Could you give us a brief overview of the country’s headline economic indicators? We have experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. In 2015, our GDP grew by a record 6.3%, the second highest in Europe. Unemployment is at a historical low, sitting at 5.4%, while we also recorded the highest employment growth in the EU for the third consecutive year. We cut income tax rates to make it more attractive for people to work, while offering incentives for more women to join, and for people reaching retirement age to remain in, the workforce. We are also on a gradual

decline every year in terms of deficit, which dropped down to 1.5% of GDP in 2015.


What are the reasons for Malta’s exceptional economic performance? Our priority was to stimulate growth. Economics and finance can be very complicated, but essentially they are quite simple. It is like baking a cake. If you want your cake to be big, you need to increase your ingredients, for instance human capital, skills and investment. So we widened our labour pool – also by offering incentives to women and foreign professionals to join Malta’s labour market – in addition to embarking on a dual strategy of controlling expenditure while assisting the business community to expand.


What have you set as the most important policy objectives for the development of Malta’s finance sector? Malta’s finance sector has evolved considerably in recent years. The strength and stability of Malta’s financial services industry has been a particular positive. We have ensured strong regulatory measures are in place to minimise risk, and we are constantly adapting these in order to remain a stable and innovative jurisdiction. This is not about to change, and we always aim to do better. Once we reach a certain level, we endeavour to use it as a springboard for further growth. Malta today excels in professions such as law, IT and accounting. This


Interview with Professor Edward Scicluna, Minister for Finance

helps us in attracting other high-calibre companies because they know they can tap into Malta’s expertise.


What challenges is Malta’s finance sector facing at the moment? Success does not come without its drawbacks. Despite our efforts, at times companies have difficulties finding the right talent. With labour shortages, comes wage inflation, and this can have a negative effect on competitiveness. However, we are open for people coming from other EU countries, and increasingly from non-EU countries, as we have realised how important this is. We are also aware of competition. For instance,

Portugal and Ireland have become more costcompetitive as a result of the recession and its aftermath. But we are not resting on our laurels, and are focusing on other important areas, such as reducing bureaucracy, to attract companies and capital.


How do you believe Malta’s finance sector should deal with, or react to, the changing global taxation landscape and initiatives such as OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)? We need to distinguish between anti-tax avoidance and tax harmonisation. We are against tax

harmonisation, but we are in favour of anti-tax avoidance measures. Malta is no place for financial secrecy. We stand ready to work with any initiatives seeking to reduce tax avoidance by big companies. BEPS offers several ways of achieving this. However, the problem lies in shortcircuiting the solution of tax avoidance through tax harmonisation. Tax rates are a measure to stimulate growth and attract investment, and hence they should be set on a national level. Countries in the EU do not face the same economic realities, nor do they have the same resources. This is why we are not ready to accept a one-size-fitsall approach when it comes to taxation. n





Shifting the Focus to the East


How important is the financial services sector to Malta’s economy, and how has the sector performed to date? The financial services sector in Malta has managed to weather the global economic turmoil and has proven its resilience. Financial services have become a significant player in Malta’s economy; the sector contributes around 13% to our GDP. Malta is also attracting ever increasing international attention from investors across the world, and financial intermediation accounts for 98% of Malta’s foreign direct investment (FDI). The sector employs 10,000 workers, and there are 5,000 licensed investment services firms operating across the insurance, pensions, asset management, trusts and other related sectors.


A recent survey found that back-office operations and headquarters will draw in most foreign direct investment in the coming years. What advantages does Malta offer financial services companies setting up in Malta? Malta scores high when it comes to economic stability. This is of utmost importance because it is a key criteria for many investors when choosing a country over another. In the increasingly homogenous finance industry constant innovation is also crucial. We do not shy away from amending, changing and improving our legislative and regulatory framework for it to meet the needs of the business community. As a country, we are aware that nothing comes easy and you have to work for it. We have a high

standard of education, and boast highly qualified specialist professionals from all fields, as well as strong operational and IT infrastructure. The ease of access to a single regulatory body, the Malta Financial Services Authority, is another important competitive advantage we offer. Due to Malta’s status as an EU member state, companies 
in Malta can also offer their services throughout the 28nation bloc. We do our best to create a proactive business environment, and make Malta a location of choice for foreign direct investment and international trade.


Looking across the entire financial services industry, what segments could be developed further in Malta? Malta has established robust banking, insurance, investment funds and wealth management


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

sectors, and we are seeing growth in areas such as foreign exchange trading, payments and intellectual property. There is also room for expansion in international pensions and securitisation business, while we are observing opportunities emerging for the setting up of Shariacompliant investments. We are also very keen on maintaining the growth in the number of investment services providers setting up operations in Malta.


How do you view the development of the financial services industry given the increased efforts for tax harmonisation? Malta’s position on tax matters is quite clear: we see this as a sovereign state issue. Companies established in Malta benefit from an attractive tax environment, a

full imputation system and a wide network of double taxation treaties. Malta’s tax regime, coupled with the country’s extensive network of bilateral and multilateral agreements, helps investors achieve high levels of tax efficiency. Nonetheless, Malta’s value proposition is underpinned by a number of other success factors, which are not at all tax-related, including an accessible and pro-business regulatory body, the availability of a highly skilled workforce and a sound operational infrastructure. These make us competitive and have helped establishing Malta as an internationally recognised financial services hub.


What is your vision for the future development of the finance services industry in Malta?

We are blessed with an excellent geographic location. Malta can act as a strong conduit to the North African market and vice versa to the European market. We are an ideal entry point to Europe for operators based in the southern and south-eastern Mediterranean region. I believe we can also extend the reach of Malta’s financial centre to new markets such as the US, the Gulf and Asia. The world’s economic centre of gravity is shifting east, and Asia is becoming the world’s largest trading partner. The Middle East will become a gateway to Asia. Hence, increased economic ties with Middle Eastern countries should be pursued further. The financial services sector is one of the key economic enablers for our country. Its future potential is great. In fact, we expect the contribution to our GDP to double in the next decade. n





Embracing New Opportunities


Given the increased competition by financial centres to attract capital and talent, what is Malta doing to provide a cutting-edge operating environment?

We are currently looking at refining the Insolvency Act, while strengthening the arbitration system. We are also considering the reintroduction of commercial courts comprising expert judges with specialist knowledge Malta offers foreign financial firms a number of advantages. that is often required to deal with cases of a The Malta Financial Services Authority is a robust regulator, commercial and increasingly international nature. while operational costs are on average 20 to 30% cheaper Financial centres in Malta when compared such as New to other European financial York, London and centres. Operators have Singapore have started also set up in Malta due to taking bold steps to the attractive regulatory engage in fintech. How framework for financial does Malta seek to attract services. Our Englishinnovative financial speaking workforce and companies and start-ups? strategic location offer easy access to a number of markets. We are also constantly seeking We have been successful in attracting fintech to improve our operating companies, for instance in environment. For instance, the payments sector, due to we are aware that an efficient competitive factors which judicial system plays an include the low operational important role in attracting costs and strong telecoms foreign investment, and are infrastructure. These actively addressing possible companies fall under the shortcomings in this area.


scope of our Financial Institutions Act, but we intend to develop this niche further. We are actively exploring the possibility of developing a dedicated regulatory framework for fintech companies, including cryptocurrencies. Digital currencies will soon be the order of the day; and technology will dictate the markets of tomorrow. We need to embrace these changes and take advantage of the opportunities they offer. For example, blockchain technology can become a useful tool in preventing money laundering due to its transparent nature. If we succeed in creating a regulatory framework, Malta could play a key role in developing innovative applications while enhancing consumer trust in this new technology.


Reputation can make or break a finance centre’s success. How are you working to ensure Malta’s reputation remains intact? Throughout the years Malta has always been watchful and diligent in protecting its reputation, and


Interview with Dr Emmanuel Mallia, Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime & Services Economy

Malta as a finance centre has greatly benefited from political and economic stability. In fact, investors consider Malta as a base for various financial services, including insurance, banking and high-net-worth residence schemes. Malta has always been a pioneer in developing regulatory frameworks promoting stability and transparency. I am proud to state that there is no political divide in Malta when it comes to the development of the financial services industry. On an international level, Malta is quick in transposing EU directives and has notable credibility when it comes to transparency and the exchange of information in regards to tax matters. This will remain the same in the future.


Malta has a very strong skills base with thousands of professionals working in the financial services sector. We have consistently invested in training, through the national higher educational institutions, such as the University of Malta and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, and also private institutions. However, there is a challenge with economies of scale, and thus we consistently encounter difficulties to match the demand resulting from the strong growth of the industry. Hence, to fill positions that require specialised knowledge that cannot be found locally, we have introduced special tax incentives for foreign professionals to take up jobs in our financial services industry.

Malta’s finance sector is seeing some gaps In terms of a global in terms of skilled finance centre professionals. What can map, where would be done to strengthen you like to see Malta Malta’s human capital? positioned in the next two to three years?


Our vision is to go global. We are determined to develop this sector further, and various initiatives are being considered in an effort to achieve this objective. We are focusing on promoting Malta in other financial centres such as New York, Dubai and Hong Kong. We intend to transform Malta from a regional financial services hub into a truly international finance centre. We have already established a proven track record for financial services innovation, and in many fields – just take our protected cell company legislation which is being mirrored by other European finance centres – Malta has become a role model. It is our intention to strengthen our court and arbitral system to position Malta as a dispute resolution hub for the Mediterranean region and beyond. I am personally committed to this vision and intend to do what is necessary for Malta to achieve this status in the coming years. n





One Step Ahead


What were the most important regulatory developments and innovations in Malta’s finance centre in the past two years? The past two years were characterised by the legislative and regulatory changes introduced by the EU to strengthen the financial system, which the MFSA implemented. Certainly the biggest change was brought about by the introduction of the Single Supervisory Mechanism under the European Central Bank; however, there were also a number of other regulatory developments. For instance, the insurance sector was very much at the centre of our attention due to Solvency II, but we also introduced reinsurance special purpose vehicles. In addition, amendments to our Trusts and Trustees Act introduced the concept of a family trust, while the

Retirement Pensions Act came into force in 2015. It specifically makes reference to schemes set up as personal retirement schemes and is attracting new business to our shores. The MFSA has been very active in seeking ways to sustain dynamism in the funds sector. One important development was the publication of the Loan Fund Rules in April 2014, which have been revised recently, placing Malta at the forefront of this growing market. In early 2016, we also launched a new framework for socalled notified Alternative Investment Funds, which can be promoted to qualifying or professional investors.


How would you describe the transition to Solvency II, and what have been the main issues? The Directive was transposed into Maltese law in a timely manner by the end of

2015. This gave legal clarity to insurance companies as to the requirements being placed upon them from the beginning of 2016. Although we can only reach a conclusion on the transition when the companies start filing in their financial submissions throughout the year, we have received encouraging feedback and deem the majority of firms ready for the change. Clearly, teething issues remain, particularly on the extensive reporting requirements introduced by Solvency II, but we are positive that overall the transition will be considered successful.


You have been quoted saying that the Capital Markets Union (CMU) is one of the single most important initiatives the EU has ever promoted. How do you seek to position Malta to take full advantage of the CMU? The EU process to unlock investment by updating


Interview with Professor Joe Bannister, Chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)

regulatory frameworks and tapping innovation to revitalise capital markets in Europe is a wide ranging and ambitious exercise. Malta’s regulatory development agenda is already very much aligned with key initiatives that are driving the implementation of the CMU. Recent initiatives such as the introduction of regulatory frameworks for loan funds, reinsurance special purpose vehicles and securitisation cell structures will find greater scope within the CMU. We also monitor the potential impact of the CMU on the wholesale and institutional markets and internet-based investment intermediation to determine how best to reposition ourselves in this respect.


What would you highlight as the main challenges that the MFSA is facing at the moment, and how do you plan to address them?

The financial crisis has radically changed the sector, but it has not stopped its growth. Growth in itself brings challenges and everybody – the industry, regulator and stakeholders – needs to respond to these challenges. This is a highly mobile sector, and now more than ever we have to anticipate change in order to protect our competitive advantages. We will therefore keep looking at how to achieve further growth, which niches to tap, and how we can continue to assist existing firms in expanding their operations in Malta.


What is on the MFSA’s agenda for 2016 and 2017, and which areas do you plan to place a greater strategic focus on? We seek to continue identifying niches for growth – whether its new

products or services, for which we can develop the necessary regulation to attract business. While banking, investment and insurance services are well established, over the past years we have seen developments such as the setting up of occupational pensions and pension fund administrators. Creating a diversified sector is healthy for Malta, and we will keep moving forward on this path. We also expect to see further investment as Malta consolidates its position as a European financial centre that increasingly finds opportunities in global markets. We will prepare ourselves for this future by strengthening our human resources base. Moreover, in the second half of 2016, we will review all our processes and activities. This should lead to a radical redesign and modernisation of the MFSA aimed at improving productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. n




The big debates Regulation and Innovation Why Malta A Changing Global Tax Landscape

Malta’s finance industry associations share their insights, thoughts and opinions on the big debates


& THE BIG ISSUES Maintaining Competitiveness

The War for Talent

and discuss the big issues that are currently shaping the financial landscape globally and in Malta.




A Changing Global Tax Landscape


alta has always been in favour of transparency, exchange of information and cooperation between tax authorities, but considers taxation as a matter of member state competence. “Malta’s position insofar as tax matters are concerned has always been driven by the need for improved coordination and not by harmonisation due to the different economic realities of EU member states,” Kenneth Farrugia says. “Coordination also extends itself to concrete efforts aimed at combatting tax fraud and tax evasion which will surely be supported by all EU member states, Malta included.” Juanita Bencini says that initiatives such as the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) and the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) are not without their challenges for Malta. “They need to be evaluated in detail and with the necessary amount of discussion in order to assess the impact that each measure can have on the economy, as well as on the competitiveness of the European Union visà-vis third countries.” She explains that Malta is monitoring the changing taxation landscape very closely and is making sure that its voice is being heard at all levels. “It also appears that a lot of other countries are like-minded,” she adds. Malta is committed to implementing initiatives such as BEPS, while keeping its competitive interests in the foreground, Jean-Philippe Chetcuti remarks. “A balance should be struck between combating aggressive tax planning and sustaining Malta’s flourishing financial sector.” The Maltese regulator rightly does not tolerate brass-plate companies without substance, and this is in line with G20 and OECD expectations, Ian-Edward Stafrace comments. “Malta should remain supportive of measures aimed at transparency and preventing corporate tax avoidance while lobbying against EU tax harmonisation elements that go beyond what is necessary to prevent abuse and achieve this objective. Small economies need to maintain flexibility in tax policies as they do not face the same economic realities as the larger countries.”

Kenneth Farrugia, Chairman of FinanceMalta and Chairman of the Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA)

Juanita Bencini, President of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP)


The War for Talent


Ian-Edward Stafrace, President of the Malta Association of Risk Management (MARM)

ompetition for talent in financial centres around the world has intensified, and Malta sees education as a top priority, Ian-Edward Stafrace says, highlighting that Malta provides free further and higher education and additional financial incentives to students particularly in courses developed in response to specific industry needs. “Malta is also eager to attract and retain women in the labour market. One of the many measures taken was to provide free childcare for working parents.” In recent years, educational initiatives targeting the financial services sector have also been rolled out. “At a national level, the University of Malta and other professional bodies have introduced degree-level programmes related to various financial services in order to steer talented individuals into targeted segments of the industry,” James Bonello explains. Nonetheless, the industry agrees that these measures are not sufficient. There are signs of strain on the local resource pool, Julian Mamo says, although Malta has been very successful in getting onto people’s radar as a great place to work and to live. “There has been a significant swell in the numbers of expats taking positions in Malta’s International Finance Centre.” It is a reality today that where necessary, specialised skills need to be sourced from abroad, James Bonello agrees. “Government has supported this knowledge-transfer process by enacting the ‘Highly Qualified Persons Rules’, which offer attractive tax breaks aimed at attracting such persons to Malta,” he explains. Malta provides a very good opportunity for foreigners to work in view of its tax framework and double taxation agreements with a vast number of countries, Mark Spiteri also confirms. “In addition, foreigners in Malta can enjoy high standards of living, education and health services”, he says. Kenneth Farrugia emphasises that while Malta actively encourages professionals from other EU member states to work in Malta, it is more difficult to recruit talent from outside the EU. “This needs to be addressed,” he says. According to Juanita Bencini, Malta also needs to ensure that it has sufficient numbers of graduates coming through its educational system to be able to service the business of tomorrow. “The IFSP sits on the Education Council and participates in discussions on how to attract youngsters to the industry. There are several projects in the pipeline which are currently being discussed with the authorities.”




Maintaining Competitiveness


alta’s competitive cost base has often given it an edge over rival finance centres, and keeping costs in check remains one of Malta’s main challenges. “We are currently feeling inflationary pressures which are a natural bi-product of Malta’s recent success,” Julian Mamo says. Bethell Codrington agrees, saying that “as the demand for experienced financial sector employees increases, so does the pressure on wage growth. Malta needs to increase the talent pool to keep this in check.” According to John Tortell, Malta should also increase its efforts to widen the local labour pool by training its young. James Bonello shares a more balanced view: “I believe that nonetheless a competitive gap has been maintained, with overall costs in Malta remaining measurably lower than in other competing centres.” Malta’s lower cost base is also coupled with a relatively low inflation rate, good infrastructure, a vast number of professional practitioners, a very good workforce and a stable political and economic climate, Mark Spiteri remarks. He adds: “However, the government needs to work more to improve efficiency and reduce bureaucracy.” Competitiveness is also supported by the way Malta uses regulation to introduce innovations to the industry, all finance professionals agree. Malta has successfully introduced a number of innovative offerings, such as the Protected Cell Company. Innovation remains a critical success factor because “it helps to lower costs for investors,” Ian-Edward Stafrace says. According to him, the skills and expertise available in Malta’s finance centre are high, providing international businesses with unparalleled value and personal service for the money invested. In this area, complacency is also enemy number one, Julian Mamo says. “In order to retain its competitive advantage, innovation is key. Malta must retain what is working well, discard what is not and create new avenues for growth. So far this has been Malta’s strength, however this must be maintained.”

James Bonello, Secretary General of the Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA)

Julian Mamo, President of the Malta Insurance Association (MIA)


Regulation and Innovation

T Jean-Philipppe Chetcuti, Chairman of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Malta

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

oday’s finance centres need to strike the right balance between light touch regulation, which many believe to be the key contributing factor to the financial crisis, and prescriptive rules and regulations that might stifle innovation. However, finding the ideal level of regulation or the ‘right balance’ is not an easy task. Regulators, practitioners and service providers must work hand in hand towards a common goal by understanding and acknowledging each other’s perspective, John Tortell says. “In Malta, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is known to have a ‘firm but flexible’ approach to regulation – it encourages informal discussion at all levels with company stakeholders, sponsors, managers, applicants and other interested parties to ensure that both the interests of the business and compliance with all regulatory standards are met.” James Bonello agrees when highlighting that the effects of the EU-led regulatory reform are somewhat mitigated in Malta through the accessibility of the MFSA. “Most of the regulation coming out of Europe also allows some latitude by national regulators based on the principle of proportionality,” Juanita Bencini highlights. “This means that the national regulator can, in certain cases, apply a rule proportionately depending on the nature, size and complexity of the entity. This is not light touch regulation but sensible regulation based on a reasoned approach.” For Jean-Philippe Chetcuti it is all about proportionality, too. He says it is important to achieve a balance between following strict rules to ensure the wellbeing of investors while taking into account different business models, industry sectors, risks and sizes.




Why Malt a


here are some 70 finance centres in the world, and according to the Global Financial Centres Index a number of new cities are likely to become more significant in the next few years. However, Malta’s finance industry is confident that Malta will continue on its growth path. “The demand for financial products will continue increasing as people across the globe become more affluent and live longer. There is therefore the need for many finance centres, and the number per se is not one that should concern us,” Juanita Bencini says, adding that Malta should continue taking advantage of its small size, as well as remaining agile, nimble and innovative. Malta has also proven that it can deliver, Ian-Edward Stafrace says. “Malta manages its risks through diversification and innovation, maintaining growth and low unemployment throughout the past financial crisis. It is not only resilient when challenged, it is known to turn such challenges into opportunities.” In fact, Julian Mamo emphasises, Malta’s recent growth has also created its own snowball effect. “The list of blue chip names domiciled in Malta grows ever longer, and the ingredients for continued success are all in place. I would advise investors not to commit in terms of domicile until they have looked at Malta as an option.” The industry also agrees that the high level of local expertise available, the use of the English language, a legal and tax system based on UK principles and approved by the EU, innovative regulatory features such as its various protected cell structures, and a strong yet open regulator, gives investors peace of mind. “In addition, Malta, unlike many other centres, is an EU member state,” says James Bonello. “This offers companies access to EU markets through passporting arrangements.”

Mark Spiteri, Chairman of the Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB)

John Tortell, Chairman of the Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA)

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A Blueprint for Banking While Malta’s banking industry has recently seen mergers and acquisitions and the exit and entry of players, the sector – the foundation of Malta’s International Finance Centre – remains strong and sound.



s technology and regulation are reshaping the global banking industry, Malta is emerging as a forwardlooking banking centre that has attracted international and regional players as well as smaller, innovative institutions who have established operations in the country. Maltese banks are ranked among the safest and best-run credit institutions in the EU, and the sector suffered no systemic shocks or banking failures. There is a clear divide between the local retail banks and the internationally focused, specialised foreign banks that have been set up in Malta and which have almost no interaction with the domestic economy. Structural separation aside, Malta is feeling the effects of the new global banking landscape currently in the making. While the industry has recently been witnessing various foreign banks consolidating and scaling down their operations in the country, Malta is receiving a boom in interest from specialist and niche institutions disrupting traditional business models and penetrating new markets with highly targeted products and services.

15th Soundest Banking System 2015-2016 Competitiveness Index, World Economic Forum

Financial Backbone Malta has a small domestic market, and its banks’ strategies have traditionally been tied to the local economy. The two largest retail banks, 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 country as a platform for business. Today, close to 30 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. A Stable Base Employing some 4,000 people, the banking sector is today the envy of many of its European peers, leaving Europe’s powerhouses such as Germany, the UK and France – and even banking centres like Switzerland – behind in international rankings. The World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness




Index 2015-2016 rates it as the 15th soundest banking system in the world, while institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and credit rating agencies 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. Maltese banks practice a prudent business model and remain well capitalised, with ample liquidity and well-diversified portfolios. Banking Clusters The total assets of the banking sector contracted from 648% in 2014 to 537% of GDP during 2015, mainly due to group consolidation by a number of international banks. Nonetheless, Malta’s financial system seems large when compared to its economy. However, the defining factor of the banking sector is that it is sharply segmented and essentially divided into three clusters. The assets of the core banks, which have strong links with Malta’s economy, amount to 235% of GDP, which is below the EU average of around 350% of GDP. These banks have extensive links with the Maltese economy and are thus systemically relevant. The remaining assets are held by banks with limited links to the domestic market, as well as by international banks with no links to the domestic economy. They do not take local deposits, but rather focus on business with nonresidents 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 Dynamic Sector BOV and HSBC are the largest players in the local retail sector. APS Bank, Lombard Bank and Banif Bank are also considered as core domestic banks as are Mediterranean Bank and its subsidiary, Mediterranean Corporate Bank. The local banks are retail-deposit funded, and their loan portfolios are diversified in different sectors of the economy. Some of longest established international banks in Malta are branches of Turkey’s Akbank and Garanti Bank. They use Malta as a booking centre for foreign-exchange loans. Malta also proved to be fertile ground for specialised banks, niche players or institutions targeting regional markets. Trade-finance 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

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.

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founded in Malta in 1994 and has set up offices in major cities across the world. For many years, Malta has also been playing host to a number of Austrian banks, however, these banks have recently seen changes in their ownership structure. Bawag Malta Bank has been acquired by a Canadian finance and supply chain group and has been renamed to MFC Merchant Bank Ltd, while Austrian Volksbank has been acquired by Mediterranean Bank who established Mediterranean Corporate Bank. Other leading banking groups with a presence in Malta are IIG Bank, NBG Bank and CommBank. Deutsche Bank also had a presence in Malta, however, the bank is in the process of closing its operations in Malta as part of a decision to cut down overseas activities. Healthy Ratios 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 banks have stuck to this conventional banking approach. The country’s banks maintain substantial liquidity, adequate capital and prudent lending policies. The total capital ratio stood at around 14.5% for core domestic banks, 22.6% for non-core domestic banks and 42.5% for international banks in September 2015. These levels were significantly above the minimum regulatory requirements. In 2015, growth was mainly fuelled by the flow of customer deposits, which resulted in abundant liquidity levels for banks. In fact, the average loan-to-deposit ratio decreased from 66% in 2014 to reach 58.2% in December 2015, which is substantially lower than the EU average of 101.3%. Recourse to other sources, such as interbank and eurosystem funding, remained modest during the year. According to the Central Bank of Malta, there is no evidence of an aggressive search-for-yield behaviour, despite the context of low yields and ample liquidity. In February 2016, Malta’s sector held deposits of some €41.3 billion, with resident deposits accounting for €16.1 billion and foreign deposits for some €25.2 billion. While the low interest environment presents an ongoing challenge for banks abroad and in Malta, the profitability of Malta’s banking sector is above the euro area average. Credit institutions benefit from Malta’s growing international finance centre and the high demand for specialised, sector-specific banking solutions that come with it. Figures for the entire banking sector in 2015 show that the return on assets and return on equity of the banking sector in Malta stood at 0.8% and

% 14.5%

Total Capital Ratio of Core Domestic Banks


Loan-to-deposit Ratio


5.7% respectively. The return on assets for the core domestic banks was 0.7%, with the return on equity standing at 9.9%.

While the MFSA is cautiously selecting and screening new applicants, Malta is keen to attract more banks. Malta’s constantly expanding international finance sector offers plenty of growth opportunities in areas such as ship finance, investment banking and custody services and demand for banking solutions is high.

Accessible Regulator 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. Changes introduced by the EU’s Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) came into effect in November 2014, transferring the supervision of the Eurozone’s largest banks to the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt. In Malta, HSBC Bank Malta, BOV and the Mediterranean Bank Group fall in this category. While the MFSA is cautiously selecting and screening new applicants, Malta is keen to attract more banks. Malta’s constantly expanding international finance sector offers plenty of growth opportunities in areas such as ship finance, investment banking and custody services, and demand for banking solutions is high. The island 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 are in need of 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 fintech companies to the island and promote Malta as a location from where to service customers across the globe. Fintech as an Opportunity With technology playing a key role in banking these days, Malta has already attracted a significant number of financial institutions focusing on digital services and is home to more than 40 financial institutions. Credit card companies, payment service providers, payment gateways, card issuers and eWallets are licensed as financial institutions in Malta. Analysts agree that financial innovation will rise in importance in the coming years and that it may not be long before fintech companies enter the banking sector in a more decisive way. While most start-ups have business models that do not require them




to hold a banking licence and follow the strict rules of deposit-taking institutions, a fully-fledged banking licence has the potential to strengthen their operations once they evolve and outgrow the start-up stage. The industry believes there is scope to attract more online banks and digital solution providers to the island in times when traditional banking models are challenged like never before and the global banking industry seeks to catch up with the digital age. Welcoming Environment 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. Malta also has a state-of-the-art telecoms infrastructure, a crucial factor for companies offering or developing digital banking solutions. Future Outlook In the face of the financial and the European debt crises it has become apparent that the true value of Malta’s banking industry lies in a robust regulatory regime, as well as the sound policies and practices of all stakeholders. Nonetheless, key industry figures warn that challenging times lie ahead, highlighting that the banking industry has been hammered by a tsunami of additional capital requirements. Moreover, at the beginning of 2016 the authorities introduced two extra capital buffers – the counter-cyclical capital buffer and a buffer applied to Systemically Important Institutions, with the latter to be phased in over a four-year period. While the tightening of the global regulatory environment has been a positive development from a financial stability point of view, the pace and extent of regulatory change will continue to prove demanding for the sector for the foreseeable future, as does the continuation of a negative interest rate environment. In this scenario, say professionals, the trend for banks to consolidate and streamline their operations is likely to prevail for some time to come. However, new opportunities are also springing up in the wake of a changing global banking landscape, and Malta is offering niche and specialist players a chance to enter the market. n

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Capital Markets

The Global SME Finance Centre The Malta Stock Exchange is targeting international small cap companies with growth potential to drive its expansion plans.


016 is poised to be a very special year
for the Malta Stock Exchange (MSE). Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Exchange is seeking to position itself as the preferred international market of choice for smaller, growing companies as well as for well-established, mature businesses seeking to expand. Internationally recognised technologies have been adopted in order to improve the MSE’s appeal as a listing venue. In addition, new products are set to increase international market access and help the MSE compete with other European exchanges, including those of Luxembourg and Ireland. Highly Networked Infrastructure 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.


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.

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. Significant investments in infrastructure over the past years have paved the way for the MSE
to realise its international ambitions. The Exchange now uses Deutsche Börse’s Xetra trading platform, currently connecting over 4,000 traders in 16 different countries. On the settlement and custodial side, linking up with Clearstream, Deutsche Börse’s liquidity provider, has removed barriers between Malta and the world’s trading centres. The Central Securities Depository (CSD) has also continued to expand its range of services that are
on offer for listed and unlisted companies across Europe. Market Activity Although the MSE is small by global comparisons, the last 25 years have seen the listing of over 40 companies and the issuance of over €15 billion in equity, corporate and government bonds and treasury bills. In 2015, the MSE index finished at 4430, an increase of 33% compared to the previous year, making it one of the world’s best performing stock indices. Trading activity also improved with equity and corporate bond trading volumes up 61% and 38% respectively. The market capitalisation reached €11.4 billion, an increase of over €1 billion compared to 2014. The investment in technology has continued over the past year as the MSE moved towards integration with Target 2-Securities, the pan-European Security Settlement System developed by the European Central Bank, to which the Exchange migrated in June 2015. The Exchange’s credible track record has enabled it to obtain 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. Listing Solution The MSE is presenting itself as an ideal place to accommodate specialist services and small and medium-cap companies, and is aiming to become one of the top three European stock exchanges catering for SMEs by the end of the decade. The MSE




currently operates three 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. These firms can benefit from EU passporting rights and besides the MSE’s trading platform, they also have the option to have their instruments traded on another EU market of their choice. To expand its services, the MSE has created a new SMEoriented market called Prospects that provides an opportunity for SMEs from Malta and elsewhere to raise capital. Prospects’ rules have been designed to offer a lighter regulatory regime compared to the
Exchange’s other markets,
while providing robust
investor protection and
transparency through the
requirement to appoint
a corporate advisor. The
MSE is convinced that this
new market has the potential
to become a major pillar in
the provision of capital financing to SMEs and will help Malta
attract international business
from countries such as China,
Turkey, Italy, Spain, Eastern
Europe and the Middle East. The ambitions of the MSE also go beyond small cap companies, and the Exchange is marketing itself to larger cap companies as a gateway to European investors. These companies
can look to Malta as a first step towards an eventual listing on the main European exchanges. A Professional Environment What differentiates the Malta Stock Exchange is its very high standard of personal service, which provides a lot more support in the preparation for an initial public offering (IPO) than on a larger exchange. In addition, costs and fees remain competitive while those making primary and secondary applications can expect a swift, well-organised process. Both local and foreign companies can also benefit from ancillary services ranging from admission and trading to depository and custodial services. The MSE also highlights that support services provided by accountants, audit firms and lawyers are priced at up to 40% less in Malta than in other EU countries, while offering the same high level of service that market participants expect. A Market for Debt Securities Following its vision of becoming an international player, the MSE has also created a market for debt securities in cooperation with the Irish Stock Exchange. The European Wholesale

The Exchange now uses Deutsche Bõrse’s Xetra trading platform, currently connecting over 4,000 traders in 16 different countries. On the settlement and custodial side, linking up with Clearstrea m, Deutsche Bõrse’s liquidity provider, has removed barriers between Malta and the world’s trading centres.


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. In 2013, the market welcomed its first listing when Grand Harbour, an issuer registered in the Netherlands, listed seven classes of securities, while in July 2014, Argentarius ETI Management issued the first Exchange Traded Instrument (ETI) under the Malta Securitisation Act on the EWSM. Up till today, there were 15 issues on the EWSM.


Market Capitalisation

Tapping Islamic Finance Another strategic move by the Exchange was the introduction of a Sharia Equity Index in January 2016. This new index has been certified Sharia compliant by Dubai’s Islamic finance consultancy firm Dar Al Sharia. Every quarter, Dar Al Sharia will screen the equities traded on the MSE for possible inclusion with the index, while ensuring that the equities listed continuously comply with Sharia principles. This new MSE Sharia Equity Index is seen as the first step towards establishing Malta as a centre for Islamic finance products, with a view to attracting the Sharia-compliant equities and Sukuk instruments that could be listed and traded on the MSE. The MSE hopes that the index will generate interest from Sharia-compliant fund managers in addition to Muslim investor communities all over the world, increase business for the Exchange, as well as raise awareness amongst Muslim companies interested in accessing the European capital markets through the MSE. Reaching Out The Exchange has always been at the forefront of initiatives to help develop Malta into an international financial centre. Despite its size, the MSE offers all the benefits of a well-regulated, transparent marketplace, with the added advantage of providing a personalised and swift service. Malta’s stable economic and political climate provides potential issuers and investors with peace of mind when conducting business with the MSE. Going forward, co-opetition will be a major theme for the Exchange, who is looking to develop its relationships with major global stock exchanges outside of Europe. The aim is to provide foreign exchanges with a white label solution, which they could offer to companies within their home markets who wish to have a listing in the European Union. n


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Funds & Asset Management

Funds & Asset Management

Start-up Star Comes of Age

Malta has become a hotspot for fund managers and other service providers using the country as a cost-effective operating base.


alta’s investment fund sector is expected to enter a period of fast-forward growth after the global asset management landscape adjusted to the new regulatory reality. While the number of funds domiciled in Malta has remained relatively flat, an influx of asset managers and service providers has changed the face of Malta’s fund sector tremendously in recent years, providing new impetus for growth. The industry is convinced that now that managers are getting to grips with the EU’s regulatory framework for alternative funds, the expansion of the sector will accelerate. Traditionally a profitable base for smaller funds and startup managers, Malta is increasingly attracting larger fund platforms, best-in-class service providers and sophisticated asset management activities. A new framework for the notification of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), known as Notified AIFs, as well as rules for the establishment of loan funds have been launched. This is fuelling highly positive prospects that Malta will sustain the growth of the funds industry, cementing its position as an up and coming European fund domicile.



Funds & Asset Management

Small & Large There is no doubt that, to date, Malta’s growth story has largely been affected by how successful the country has been in attracting start-up fund managers. Most funds launched from Malta are in the $20 to $50 million range, however funds in the region of $100 to $200 million are becoming more common in recent months. Asset managers report that today many of their clients are at least semi-institutional investors. Following the introduction of the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), more and more asset management companies have set up in Malta to tap EU markets. Seasoned asset managers, in particular from offshore European jurisdictions such as the UK, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, have opened offices in Malta. According to the regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority, the number of asset management companies applying for licences has grown from a handful of firms to 15 per year. They are keen to join Malta’s community of some 80 fund managers, which includes a number of renowned operators.

35.5% Managed from outside Malta

31.8% Managed in Malta

32.7% Self Managed

Management of locally based investment funds (December 2015)

Journey to Growth Malta’s accession to the EU marked its journey towards becoming a world-class fund domicile. In the years that followed, the sector has grown at a much faster rate than many professionals had anticipated. Passporting rights for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) were introduced, and Malta experienced phenomenal growth in the field of alternative funds with its specialised regime for Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) targeting 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 some 600 today, which have a combined net asset value hovering around the €10 billion-mark.

Administration of locally based investment funds (December 2015)

Funds & Asset Management


Administered from outside Malta


Administered in Malta (other than Self Administered)

Malta also hosts 27 fund administrators such as Apex Fund Services, Citco, Custom House, Praxis and Valletta Fund Services. The strength of Malta’s fund sector is evident in the fact that a high number of Maltese funds choose to work with local service providers. For example, in the field of fund administration over 80% of the funds domiciled in Malta use local administrators. In addition, the country was voted as the most favoured European fund domicile in Hedge Fund Review’s 2013 and 2014 Service Provider Rankings. Fund Structures Malta was one of the first countries to bring its regulatory regime in line with the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), however the island decided to retain its PIF regime. This means promoters of alternative funds can choose between the island’s PIF regime alongside the AIF regime that allows managers to launch AIFs targeting professional investors under the AIFMD and the recent launch of the Notified AIF. Where the assets under management exceed the thresholds established by the AIFMD, the scheme would have to be set up as an AIF. Where the assets fall within the de minimis thresholds of the AIFMD, the scheme can be set up either as an AIF, or as a PIF. PIF managers can market their funds in the EU under the private placement regimes where these are allowed by the national regulators, while the AIF regime ticks all the right boxes for managers who want to take advantage of passporting opportunities. However, Malta’s fund industry reports that many start-up managers, despite being de minimis, are still opting to be regulated under the AIFMD. They believe that this will provide them with a seal of quality and opening access to institutional investors. Moreover, while traditionally not being perceived as a UCITS jurisdiction, Malta is also experiencing growth traction in the UCITS space, with some 70 UCITS now domiciled on the island.



Funds & Asset Management

Regulatory Innovation The authorities are making extensive efforts to ensure that Malta’s regulatory framework strikes the right balance between providing effective regulation and straightforward licensing procedures. The MFSA performs its regulatory function in a constructive and helpful manner. Operators based in Malta cite the licensing process with the MFSA as being quick, thorough and efficient. 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 face-to-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 enacted 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 cell 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. In addition, Malta developed platform structures for securitisation transactions, introducing the Securitisation Cell Company (SCC). The SCC offers interesting structuring possibilities because it allows managers to package certain assets, such as real estate and other alternative investments, into book-entry securities that can be held in a fund portfolio. The MFSA has also issued rules for the establishment of loan funds. Many in the industry believe that this could help in attracting real estate and private equity managers. In addition, in 2016, the MFSA introduced Notified AIFs, which full-scope AIF managers can promote to qualifying or professional investors. This new structure has been designed to speed up time-to-market, similar to Luxembourg’s Reserved Alternative Investment Fund given that Notified AIFs do not need to be authorised by the MFSA. Initiatives such as these add to Malta’s business-friendly regulatory and operating environment.

In 2016, the MFSA introduced Notified AIFs, which full-scope AIF managers can promote to qualifying or professional investors. This new structure has been designed to speed up time-tomarket, similar to Luxembourg’s reserved alternative investment fund given that Notified AIFs do not need to be authorised by the MFSA.

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Timeless Asset Management Ltd 6, Third Floor, Suite 1, Market Street, Floriana FRN 1082 Malta Phone: +356 2703 4821 Mob: +356 7979 0091 / +356 9979 0092 Email: info@timeless-funds.com Web: www.timeless-funds.com DISCLAIMER:This advert is issued by Timeless Asset Management Ltd having its registered address at 6, Third Floor, Suite 1, Market Street, Floriana, Malta, which is licensed and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to conduct investment services in Malta. The Timeless Uranium Fund SICAV Plc is a licensed and regulated retail non-UCITS investment scheme by the MFSA. The value of the investment may go up as well as down and the capital is not guaranteed. Forecasts cannot be guaranteed. The investment is concentrated in the uranium industry which may result in significant losses and volatility especially if the uranium or nuclear industry suffer losses. Before making an investment decision, a potential investor should read the prospectus which is available for free from www.timeless-funds.com or by contacting the investment manager. For fees and expenses please consult the prospectus or contact the investment manager. The above advert should not be taken as financial advice.


Funds & Asset Management

Operational Advantages Funds and fund managers in Malta have long been benefitting from a fiscally efficient tax framework. While many other international centres have become expensive, Malta offers various other cost advantages: the cost of staff and office space is still 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. If a client wants to plug into an already established investment platform, the fees are in the region of €10,000. 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 to Malta, making it relatively easy for firms to fill positions. The Custody Challenge Fund custody though is one area that needs to see substantial growth, with only a handful of firms offering custody services. The MFSA has negotiated a derogation from the EU requirement of AIFs to appoint a local custodian until July 2017. However, from then onwards AIFMs in Malta are required to use a local custodian, but Malta is working hard to address this challenge. It has introduced a ‘depository lite’ regime, and in certain instances, the MFSA allows recognised fund administrators, investment firms, as well as licensed custodians to carry out depository functions, without being subject to the strict requirements of the AIFMD. At EU level, Malta is lobbying for the lifting of the requirement, arguing that member states should be granted the right to decide whether a custodian can be based abroad or not. In the meantime, local custodians are keen to enter into sub-custody agreements with the world’s largest custodians.

Funds & Asset Management

Looking Further Afield For the time being, there is also little evidence that the custody challenge is draining any significant amounts of business away from the island. Now that the full extent of the AIFM Directive is known and established, Malta hopes that the migration of funds and service providers continues. Malta’s fund sector is also eyeing the growing wealth in the Arab countries of North Africa, and Sharia-compliant funds can generally be set up in Malta. Based on its vast network of some 70 double taxation treaties in addition to agreements with foreign regulators that ensure a smooth trading environment, Malta provides distribution opportunities to countries in the Americas, the Middle East and Asia where in particular UCITS are welcome. While it remains to be seen how this segment of Malta’s fund industry will develop in the future, stricter requirements on depositories and remuneration principles for UCITS fund managers brought about by the UCITS V Directive mean investors can now benefit from a higher level of protection. This is expected to increase the marketability of UCITS, within and beyond Europe.

1st place

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

On Target for Growth Effective regulation and a highly personalised approach have helped Malta to establish itself as a fund domicile of international repute. While the country’s innovative approach to regulation has in many ways secured the survival of the startup fund, Malta’s asset management landscape is experiencing the next steps in its evolution. Fund platforms, which thus far service mostly smaller and larger funds respectively, are joining forces to pave the way for fund managers outgrowing the start-up stage. Malta’s support industry, including lawyers, accountants, administrators, consultants and the regulator, has also gained the necessary experience and expertise to meet the requirements of more demanding, larger fund sector participants. n



Insurance & Reinsurance

Insurance & Reinsurance

Taking Cell Structures to New Heights Malta has established a foothold in the European insurance market. Its up-to-date legislation and its ability to provide cost-effective and tailor-made solutions have made the country a top domicile option.


alta’s international insurance sector is poised to take market share from its on- and offshore rivals as the island is emerging as the top European Union domicile. Its proven and tested cell company legislation offers struggling small and medium insurers, reinsurers and captives a strategy for survival in the post-Solvency II regulatory landscape, while new business is also expected to be driven by insurance-linked securities. US and Asian market players, keen to sell insurance to European clients, have shown increased interest in what the country has to offer and are set to join the list of international companies and ‘blue-chip’ corporations that have already turned to Malta to insure traditional but also emerging risks such as cyber, environmental and employee benefit risks.

Insurance & Reinsurance




1.9 bn 1.8 bn 1.7 bn 1.6 bn 1.4 bn


2009 2008

1.2 bn 1.0 bn 0.8 bn

2007 0.6 bn


0.4 bn

2005 0.2 bn

2004 0.0 bn

Total Gross Premium Written


Insurance Market Growth Malta’s insurance sector has long been open to foreign investment. Private and commercial insurance was first developed between the two World Wars when a number of underwriting agencies representing British insurance companies set up on the island. Following major consolidation in the UK market 2.8 bn during the 1990s, many of the British insurers exited Malta’s small market, cre2.7 bn ating the opportunity for local agencies 2.6 bn to convert into independent insurance companies. But it was Malta’s entry into 2.5 bn the EU in 2004 that truly transformed the insurance landscape, with EU regu2.4 bn lations enabling foreign companies to insure assets and risks anywhere within 2.3 bn the Union. This attracted insurers seeking a more cost-effective jurisdiction, as well 2.2 bn as non-EU insurance companies or intermediaries seeking to tap into the EU 2.1 bn insurance market. They are allowed to write directly into Europe, thus avoiding 2.0 bn the need to engage additional, and often expensive, fronting insurers. A Diverse Industry Today, Malta’s insurance sector boasts a workforce of more than 1,200 people, and at end of March of 2016, 59 insurance companies were based in the finance centre. These were made up of 43 licensed non-life insurance companies, seven life insurance firms, two composite and seven reinsurance enterprises. Most of these companies sell insurance to clients outside of Malta. The insurance management community, consisting of 14 insurance managers, has greatly helped the sector to grow and develop. International insurance managers such as AON, Marsh and Willis have established operations on the island. Reinsurance provider Munich Re also has a presence on the island, while global corporations such as BMW, Peugeot, Citroën, Volkswagen, Vodafone



Insurance & Reinsurance

and RWE have set up captive insurance companies. In fact, corporations from across the world are being serviced from Malta, including businesses from other sectors that are using Malta’s Protected Cell Company legislation to offer insurance to third parties to cover risks in areas such as travel and property. In addition to this international insurance business, Malta also has a competitive local industry. Companies that are primarily active on the local market include Mapfre Middlesea, Atlas Insurance, GasanMamo Insurance, Citadel Insurance, Elmo Insurance and HSBC Life Assurance. These companies service some 85% of the local personal and commercial market, while the two major life insurance companies, Middlesea’s MSV Life and HSBC, handle some 90% of the life market. Record Gross Written Premiums The combination of a local and an international market has led to record growth. In 2014, companies wrote €2.82 billion in gross premiums, up from €2.58 billion in 2013 and €2.31 billion in 2012. Premiums relating to risks or commitments based outside Malta have rocketed from €1.2 billion in 2010 to close to €2.5 billion by the end of 2014. International insurance business now accounts for some 85% of the total gross written premium. Local premiums also increased. In the general business sector, gross written premiums in relation to risks situated in Malta reached €0.11 billion in 2014, an increase of almost 3% when compared to 2013. In the long-term insurance sector, gross written premiums grew by 17.7%, mainly due to an increase in life insurance premiums on the back of a growing property market. Malta’s insurance penetration rate stands at 5 %, below the EU average of 7.6%, with spending significantly lower than the EU average. Regulatory Efficiency & Cost Effectiveness Insurance business is licensed and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). The MFSA stresses that it is committed to prudent regulatory oversight but also to innovation, efficiency and cost effectiveness that allows companies to flourish and meet changing consumer needs. The country has enacted legislation that allows the set-up of captives, while Malta has also championed the introduction of Protected Cell Companies (PCC) and Incorporated Cell Companies (ICC) in the European Union. 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 Insurance Penetration Rate stands at

5% below the EU average of 7.6%

Insurance & Reinsurance

Malta already hosts 12 insurance PCCs with more than 30 cells, which are owned by companies such as Swarovski, Amplifon, Travelodge, Ocado and TUI.

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 has enacted legislation allowing for the formation of Reinsurance Special Purpose Vehicles (RSPVs) and Securitisation Cell Companies (SCCs). 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. Onshore Cell Success The sector is set for a period of growth – Solvency II has finally been implemented and the uncertainty surrounding its introduction has vanished. In this new reality, Malta’s insurance professionals agree that Malta’s legal framework – and specifically the PCC structure – is the island’s main selling point. Malta already hosts 12 insurance PCCs with more than 30 cells, which are owned by companies such as Swarovski, Amplifon, Travelodge, Ocado and TUI. The PCC regime is well placed to provide insurers with a cost-effective way to manage the higher capital and compliance requirements under Solvency II. The structure offers economies of scale, cost burden sharing and



Insurance & Reinsurance

provides the cell with access to knowledge and management expertise pooled within the core of the PCC. It is also seen as the ideal structure for start-ups, which otherwise might struggle to comply with the new requirements. Insurance managers and brokers can also benefit from this structure. For instance, foreign consultants, brokers or managers could create their own cells in local insurance broker or management PCCs, through which they can service their clients across the EU, with less capital and costs than setting up stand-alone licensed companies. Future growth is also expected to be driven by securitisation, either through the use of RSPVs or SCCs, another innovative vehicle that is only available in Malta. A SCC is a single legal entity that can establish one or more segregated cells for the purpose of entering into securitisation transactions, including insurance-linked securities transactions such as catastrophe bond 
issuances, longevity risk transfer transactions, collateralised reinsurance transactions and cell sidecars. The main benefit of SCCs lies in their application as a platform structure, for instance if repeat transactions are envisaged, offering lower costs and quicker set-up time for each transaction. A Competitive Domicile Foreign companies often choose Malta because it is an EU member state with dedicated cell legislation; however, they soon realise that there are several other advantages such as highly qualified insurance professionals and a business-friendly environment. This makes the country an attractive outsourcing destination for foreign insurance companies, managers, brokers and other intermediaries. Functions such as claims administration, analytics, customer care, policy administration, sales and distribution can be outsourced to Malta with a view to reducing costs. 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 third-party business, solutions to reinsurance issues or want to tap the capital markets. 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. In addition, insurance companies are 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.

Future growth is also expected to be driven by securitisation, either through the use of Reinsurance Special Purpose Vehicles (RSPVs) or Securitisation Cell Companies (SCCs), another innovative vehicle that is only available in Malta.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Support Network Insurance companies in Malta can rely on a wide support network, including four associations: the Malta Insurance Association (MIA), the Malta Insurance Management Association (MIMA), the Association of Insurance Brokers (AIB) as well as the newly setup Malta Association of Risk Management (MARM). 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. Growth Potential Malta has become an important player in the global insurance market, and the fact that the island opened up to the insurance-linked securities market bodes well for the future. There is widespread agreement that other European domiciles considering introducing similar concepts such as Luxembourg are not a threat to Malta but will rather help promote the PCC concept across Continental Europe. Offering EU passporting rights, a fiscally beneficial environment and competitive operating costs, the island is expected to remain a hotspot for EU and non-EU direct insurers seeking a costeffective location. It will be a magnet, too, for multinationals looking for reinsurance solutions and service providers with an international client base eager to tap into the EU insurance market. To exploit its full growth potential, Malta only needs to ensure that it continues to offer innovative solutions, sustains a low cost base and maintains an efficient operating environment. n

Industry Growth 2005-2016 Number of Insurance Companies 60 50 40

43 - Non-Life

30 20 10 0























2015 3/2016

7 - Life 2 - Composite



International Pensions

International Pensions

EU Pension Leader Malta has become one of the most popular destinations for British expats to transfer their pensions to, and the country is now targeting the wider European pensions market.


alta has cemented its position as the go-to place for international pension management. The industry, which was non-existent in Malta until a few years ago, has developed into a flourishing segment of Malta’s finance sector as it offers 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, the country’s professionals believe that the sector can grow further by building on the finance centre’s vast experience in asset management.

International Pensions

Malta licensed its first six pension schemes in 2010, but since then the a mount of schemes available has accelerated year-on-year. By the year 2012 Malta was home to 17 different pension schemes, while currently there are 36 schemes established.

QROPS Destination 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. 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). Money transferred into these schemes is free from UK inheritance tax. Malta is also making a name for itself in relation to Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs). 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 country’s professionals believe that Malta is the ideal base for operators of such schemes. Expanding Segment Malta licensed its first six pension schemes in 2010, but since then the amount of schemes available has accelerated year-onyear. By the year 2012 Malta was home to 17 different pension schemes, while currently there are 36 schemes established. These year-on-year increases are representative of the rapid growth that the sector is experiencing due, in part, to the appeal of Maltese policies when it comes to the regulation and taxation of international pensions. The surge in pension schemes licensed in Malta can also be partially explained by the fact that changes to the QROPS legislation meant that more and more jurisdictions, such as Hong Kong, Guernsey, Cyprus and New Zealand, failed to comply and were forced to de-list a large proportion of



International Pensions

their schemes, with some operators relocating to Malta. Today, industry professional say, Malta’s appeal is stronger than ever because as an EU member state Malta was able to mirror the UK’s rules in terms of pension flexibility which were introduced in 2015. Clients can now withdraw a 25% initial commutation lump sum followed by up to 75% of the fund taken as advanced income, while greater flexibilities have been introduced in case of death, including the potential for a full payment of the value of the pension to the beneficiaries. 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. International pensions are governed by the Retirement Pensions Act (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. Over the years, Malta has fine-tuned its regulatory framework and built up a wealth of industry experience, while the regulator has also expanded its capacity to service and supervise this segment. Under Malta’s regulation, pension schemes are also fully reconciled and audited right up from member level to the overall scheme operation. This is something that does not happen to such a degree in other countries and gives great comfort to pension holders. Attracting Investors 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. The EU member state 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 country’s double taxation agreement with the US – and the industry

Companies can benefit from operating costs, which are

20-30% lower than in most other EU countries.

International Pensions

Rapid rise in Retirement Schemes

2010 2015











believes this market could be exploited further. There is also scope for more Europe-focused business as most of Malta’s tax treaties are with EU countries. While Malta has seen the breakthrough in the international pension sector due to its attractiveness for QROPS and QNUPS, it does not exclude coming to similar agreements with other countries. Mobile workers across the European Union are said to account for 5 to 10% 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

Competitive Costs Malta’s competitive cost base offers advantages to both pension providers and policyholders. Companies can benefit from operating costs, which are 20 to 30% 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. Towards the Future 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, Malta will have had the optimal amount of time to sharpen its services and build up an enviable track record, ideally suited to serve the pension requirements of the wider market. n

Under Malta’s regulation, pension schemes are also fully reconciled and audited right up from member level to the overall scheme operation. This is something that does not happen to such a degree in other countries and gives great comfort to pension holders.


........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................... DF Groupthe comprises the firm DFthe Advocates various companies, DF Group comprises law DFfirm Group DF law comprises Advocates and law various firm and Malta DF Advocates basedMalta companies, and based various Malta based compan providing multiple professional services localservices and international clients assistingclients and assisting a providing multiple professional providing services multiple to local professional and to international clients to local assisting and international and advising them on Malta as Malta well asbased cross-border projects and transactions involving advising them on Malta based advising as wellbased them as cross-border on projects as well andas transactions cross-border involving projects and transactions involv multitude issues spanning various industries. multitude issues spanning various multitude industries. issues spanning various industries. ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................... Il Piazzetta, A, Suite 41, Tower Road, Sliema, SLM 1607, Malta. Il Piazzetta, A, Suite 41, Tower Il Piazzetta, Road, Sliema, A, Suite SLM41, 1607, Tower Malta. Road, Sliema, SLM 1607, Malta. +356 F: 2131 3930 F:0916 +356 2134 0916 E: info@dfgroup.com T: +356 2131T:3930 +356 2134 T: +356 2131E: 3930 info@dfgroup.com F: +356 2134 0916 E: info@dfgroup.com



Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions

Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions

Heeding the Winds of Change As substance has become the buzzword of the day, Malta is flexible and nimble enough to adjust to this new reality, and continues to attract serious companies to do business in or from Malta.Â

Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions



Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions


ccountability and transparency have long been the hallmarks of Malta’s International Finance Centre, and these traits are today strengthening the country’s status as an attractive location for corporate structuring as well as for mergers and acquisitions. In times when regulatory changes on an EU and OECD level are set to reshape the international business landscape like never before, Malta, as a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, provides global corporations with fully EU-compliant legislation, low cost structures, an excellent professional services infrastructure and a respected, well-regulated finance centre. Malta’s strengths have already attracted the attention of ‘blue chip’ corporations and corporate planners who use Malta for international transactions and investments into Europe, as well as into the world’s leading emerging markets. While establishing substance and physical presence are today an increasingly important aspect for business, Malta stands out as a location where this can easily be achieved.

Quality Jurisdiction The last few years have seen a wave of companies being structured from Malta, but the jurisidction has been a valuable base for companies for far longer. 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 Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004, the country’s tax regime – which had been in place since 1948 – was approved by the European Commission. Malta operates a full imputation tax system under which companies are taxed at a rate of 35%. However, shareholders are entitled to refunds for the tax paid by the company. This system meets international tax standards, and Malta is included in the so-called ‘white list’ set out by the 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. Popular Vehicles 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 70,000 companies. The most commonly used vehicle for international busi-

As the international trend clearly shows that more and more corporations seek to establish companies with substance and shift away from brassplate practices, Malt a shines as a cost-effective EU jurisdiction with a well-educated workforce that is able to deliver innovative solutions to complex transactions.

70,000+ Companies are registered in Malta

Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions

ness 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 Cell Companies (PCC), Incorporated Cell Companies (ICC) and Securtisation Cell Companies (SCC). Cell companies are used in the insurance and fund sector, and Malta is currently the only full EU member state to offer these 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 other 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. 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 attention to what Malta can offer them. Incorporation & Relocation The incorporation of companies and the structuring of deals through Malta have steadily increased in recent years. In 2015, the Registry of Companies registered more than 5,400 companies compared to some 5,060 in 2014. But it is not only new incorporations that are highlighting Malta’s credentials in this sector. 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 management and effective control of companies to Malta. With new regulation such as the OECD Common Reporting Standard coming into play, the substance requirement has become an extremely important issue, and Malta is seeing companies and their intermediaries establishing a stronger physical presence. Professionals and advisors highlight that tax is not the only reason why companies should look at Malta. There are a number of reasons, including the country’s labour force, economic and political stability, the way of life, the professional attitude of the service providers and English as an official language



Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions Malta is also being used as a platform for M&A transactions. Foreign companies are setting 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. 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 European, but there is increased interest from outside the EU, including America and Asia. Rule of Law Malta’s position as a top international business hub is solidly underpinned by a regulatory framework aimed at attracting reputable players, 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 English law. While it is based on the civil law pattern of continental Europe, most administrative and fiscal legislation is constructed on the

Corporate Structuring / Mergers & Acquisitions

English model. Malta’s unique legal and regulatory framework also gives it 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 UK legal frameworks. Maltese legislation also allows foreign companies to change their domicile to Malta, without the need of winding 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 straightforward process.

Malta’s position as a top international business hub is solidly underpinned by a regulatory fra mework aimed at attracting reputable players, and fuelled by the relentless commitment of the MFSA, and practitioners alike, to retain a quality service and high standards of business regulation.

Savvy 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. The Malta Solution While taxation and corporate structuring of multinationals and high-net-worth individuals have become matters 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. As the international trend clearly shows that more and more corporations seek to establish companies with substance and shift away from brass-plate practices, Malta shines as a cost-effective EU jurisdiction with a well-educated workforce that is able to deliver innovative solutions to complex transactions. n


everything you need to do business in malta



you need to do business in malta

MaltaProfile.info Country & Government | Economy & Business | Industries & Sectors | Doing Business | Travel & Living | News & Insights | Who’s Who


Global & European Corporate Headquarters

Global & European Corporate Headquarters

A Stage for Global Companies As companies around the world are preparing themselves for a changing tax and regulatory landscape, Malta is increasingly ranked on decision makers’ shortlists when it comes to choosing the location of their international and regional headquarters.


alta is gaining ground as a location for international and regional headquarters. The combination of its central Mediterranean location, highly skilled international workforce and high quality of life not only make Malta an attractive choice for European companies, but also a destination of choice for multinationals looking for a location from where they can oversee investment in the developed and emerging countries of the region. Malta is often regarded as the hub linking the EU’s market of 500 million people and the rapidly evolving markets of Africa. Coupled with a network of double tax treaties, English-speaking staff and strong cultural ties, the country is positioning itself as an international management centre and an ideal hub to enter neighbouring markets.

Global & European Corporate Headquarters

Central Location 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. Malta has long enjoyed close cultural and business relationships with countries such as Libya, Algeria and Tunisia. the country’s entry into the EU in 2004 was widely welcomed by the international business community, which 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 2015 Open Market Index published by the International Chamber of Commerce, Malta has the 13th most open economy in its league table of 75 nations.

Malta has the


most open economy in its league table of 75 nations.

Leading Companies Increasing numbers of companies from all economic sectors are looking to Malta and are locating 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 Malta. 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 has 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, while Austrian private jet company VistaJet relocated its headquarters to Malta in 2016. 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. In addition, in the IT and iGaming sector, some of the biggest names in the business have set up shop on the island. Generally, Malta is a top location to carry out functions such as strategic planning, the management and supervision of subsidiaries, mergers & acquisitions, the management of Intellectual Property, corporate finance, trade finance, risk management, research and development, logistics, as well as ICT and data centre operations.



Global & European Corporate Headquarters

Rewarding Environment Doing business in and from Malta is easy. As home to a major international financial services sector, the country has a highly developed business infrastructure, 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 both attractive and safe. In addition, Malta’s drive to become a major international financial services centre has helped generate around 10,000 jobs in this sector. With 60% of Maltese students going on to further education, Malta has a highly educated and multilingual pool of talent from which to hire. A New Reality Malta’s business community believes the opportunity has never been greater to attract global companies, and there is optimism in Malta that the country’s importance as a management centre is set to grow. Since the OECD presented their action plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), the importance of substance has significantly increased. Professional services firms report that many clients are currently assessing that their set-ups are in alignment with the changing rules, acknowledging that company structures that are in line with the substance requirements will stand the test of time. Malta 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, the country 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% 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.

Since the OECD presented their action plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), the importance of substance has significantly increased. Professional services firms report that many clients are currently assessing that their set-ups are in alignment with the changing rules, acknowledging that company structures that are in line with the substance requirements will stand the test of time.

Global & European Corporate Headquarters

Accessing Emerging Markets 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 increasingly important. 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. The business community believes Malta is well suited to be a base for the sale and distribution of a vast range of consumer goods into African markets. 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. 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 transhipment hub connected to more than 100 ports worldwide. 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. Malta’s low crime rate, Mediterranean climate, competitive personal tax rates, as well as its good educational and healthcare systems also make it an easy sell for American, Asian or European expatriate executives, particularly those with families. A Magnet for Foreign Companies Malta may not be the most obvious location as either the European or global headquarters of a firm, but it is improving its competitive position steadily. In the long term, the prospects are good that Malta will benefit from growth in the region and become an increasingly popular choice for the location of international and regional headquarters. n





A New Lending Channel Malta’s regime allows for an extensive range of assets to be securitised and places the country in prime position to make the most of new opportunities as the global securitisation sector recovers.


s securitisation is back in the market, Malta is set to rival Luxembourg and Ireland in meeting the growing European demand for securitisation products. The Mediterranean country is the only EU member – besides Luxembourg – with dedicated securitisation legislation and has become one of the fastest growing securitisation centres in the EU. Approximately €0.5 billion of assets are reported to have been securitised through Maltese vehicles in 2015 across a variety of asset classes including lease and other receivables, various categories of loans and financial instruments and even container vessels. Malta has much to offer to the securitisation market: its Securitisation Act provides a robust creditor-friendly framework that provides greater certainty for many of the legal challenges that investors are typically faced with in any securitisation transaction, while the recently introduced Securitisation Cell Company offers an innovative vehicle for platform and programme structures. Malta is indeed the first EU member state to legislate for the use of segregated cell companies, which are already popular in the insurance and funds sectors, for securitisation transactions. As part of Malta’s holistic offering, securitisation products can also be listed on the European Wholesale Securities Market (EWSM), an EU-regulated market for wholesale debt, asset-backed and derivative securities.


Global Securitisation Revival Malta’s Securitisation Act dates back to 2006, although it was not until recently that Maltese securitisation structures began gaining traction in tandem with the recovery of the global securitisation market following its collapse as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. Securitisation is experiencing a comeback, and most commentators believe that securitisation is here to stay as an efficient and effective financing tool. By transforming illiquid assets into tradable securities, securitisation can help channel cash flow to borrowers and fund significant economic development, while helping issuers and investors diversify risk across asset classes and across the globe. Reviving securitisation is also part of the EU’s Capital Markets Union project, which is being designed to encourage capital markets financing and reduce companies’ reliance on bank funding.

€0.5bn Approximate value of assets that have been securitised through Maltese vehicles in 2015

Malta’s Appeal While the securitisation market has not regained its former size and stature – in 2008 more than €800 billion were securitised in Europe alone, while this figure was €213.7 billion in 2015 – initiatives such as the EU Capital Markets Union have sparked renewed enthusiasm for securitisation. In this climate, Malta is positioned to become a leading hub for onshore securitisation structures. A strong legal framework, which provides for statutory bankruptcy remoteness and true sale, among other benefits, and tailored rules on tax neutrality, together with the solid foundations that have already helped the country become a leading European financial centre, are expected to contribute to Malta’s growth in this area. Maltese securitisation vehicles do not require authorisation unless they issue securities to the public on a continuous basis or undertake the business of reinsurance special purpose vehicles in the context of insurancelinked securities transactions and are, instead, merely required to notify the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) of their intention to commence securitisation activities prior to actual commencement. Securitisation Cell Companies The Securitisation Cell Company (SCC) is a single legal entity that can establish one or more segregated cells for the purpose of entering into securitisation transactions, with the assets and liabilities attributable to each cell constituting a separate patrimony of the SCC that are segregated from the assets and liabilities of other cells and from the non-cellular patrimony of the SCC. Assets attributable to a particular securitisation




cell are therefore only available to investors and other creditors transacting with that cell. SCCs are the ideal vehicle for programme or platform structures, offering cost efficiency and quicker set-up time for each cell while ensuring robust legal segregation between transactions. Opportunities in Shipping & Aviation It is fast becoming evident that Malta can be the jurisdiction of choice for the securitisation of transport-related assets. Maltese vehicles have recently been utilised for the securitisation of container vessels and their bareboat charter party receivables. While securitisation is not a financing technique typically employed by ship owners, it could prove to be a useful means of securing alternative funding as traditional sources of financing are becoming increasingly limited or expensive. While capitalising on Malta’s securitisation regime, securitisation transactions involving ships are also able to take advantage of the benefits offered by Malta’s tried and tested shipping regime, such as efficiency and certainty of enforcement of a mortgagee in an event of default as well as the automatic stay on insolvency proceedings of the vehicle pending the outcome of the enforcement proceedings on the vessel. Malta’s more recently introduced aviation legislation, established in part on the jurisdiction’s well-established shipping framework and in part on international benchmarks such as the Cape Town Convention, similarly offers an interesting proposition for the securitisation of aircraft when considered together with the Maltese securitisation regime. Insurance-Linked Securitisation Among the extensive list of asset-classes that can be securitised, Maltese securitisation vehicles, or cells in an SCC, can be used for the assumption of risk in insurance-linked securities transactions such as catastrophe bond issuances, longevity risk transfer transactions, collateralised reinsurance transactions and cell sidecars, provided they obtain the prior authorisation of the MFSA. As the global reinsurance market evolves, with increasing numbers of reinsurers tapping the capital markets and seeking alternative risk management vehicles, Malta offers a secure solution for European insurers looking for Solvency II compliant reinsurance securitisation structures. Malta’s proposition can therefore also prove useful to insurance companies and asset managers, whether they are looking to increase their insurance capacity or invest in alternative and non-correlated asset classes.


Access to Capital Markets Malta’s growth as a securitisation location is also being supported by the establishment of the EWSM, an EU regulated market domiciled in Malta. Accordingly, securities listed on the EWSM will meet the restrictive eligible asset criteria and investment parameters of many institutional investors. As a joint venture between the Malta Stock Exchange and the Irish Stock Exchange, the EWSM combines the strengths of two reputable European exchanges. Due to pricing and focus on efficiency of processes, primarily a result of the quick turnaround times to which the MFSA as the listing authority has committed when it comes to the review of documentation, the EWSM is an attractive listing venue for issuers of all forms of asset backed securities, irrespective of the nature of the securitisation transaction or the underlying asset class. Another benefit of Malta is the English language, which gives the country an advantage over other popular securitisation locations. As one of the country’s official languages, the vast majority of the Maltese workforce speaks English fluently, while legislation and regulations are also published in English. There are also a number of legal, accountancy and audit firms with significant experience in securitisation present in Malta.

While securitisation is not a financing technique typically employed by ship owners, it could prove to be a useful means of securing alternative funding as traditional sources of financing are becoming increasingly limited or expensive.

It’s about the Investors Industry professionals expect securitisation to grow in Malta, and it was welcome news when in January 2016, the German Derivatives Association ranked Maltese Securitisation Companies Top 5 at Deutsche Boerse. Any remaining reservations or misgivings regarding securitisation do not invalidate its economic rationale, and the opportunities for securitisation in Malta have never been more abundant. Malta’s securitisation framework is specifically designed to protect the interests of investors. This is one of the reasons why Malta is becoming a preferred jurisdiction for the structuring of securitisation vehicles at a time of investor-centric international regulatory initiatives, such as the EU’s proposal for a simple, transparent and standardised securitisation framework, which are expected to help improve perceptions of securitisation as an effective means of alternative financing and increase global demand for securitised products. n



Wealth Management

Wealth Management

A Growing Community Malta has emerged as a premier wealth management hub that represents quality, trust and confidence to asset owners and financial advisors.


ealth management has taken centre stage in Malta’s International Finance Centre and got out of the shadow of its big brothers, the investment funds and the insurance industry. The country has developed a world-class platform for the private wealth and asset management industry, and its wealth managers are increasingly targeting clients from wealth hubs in Asia and the Gulf region without neglecting the European wealth management market. Malta is a welcoming place for high-net-worth individuals due to its mixture of innovative products, experienced professionals, strong and transparent regulatory framework, as well as personal and cost-effective services. It offers all the favourite investment vehicles of wealthy clients, while allowing investors to protect their assets through the establishment of trusts and foundations. Malta now eyes an even greater presence in the wealth management sector and is distinguishing itself from traditional wealth management hubs by branding itself as a holistic lifestyle and residency destination for affluent foreigners.

Wealth Management

An Onshore Approach Malta has created a finely tuned regulatory regime that provides confidence in the quality of supervision while ensuring that the demands of the investment community are met. In recent years, the country has honed its expertise in many areas of finance, including banking, investment funds and corporate structuring. The high standards of its service providers and its diversified economy have served to shield 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 a shift to new technologies, Malta believes it can enlarge its market share and attract larger volumes of client assets while still ensuring regulatory compliance. And indeed, the country’s stable economic climate, business friendly regulatory practices and experience in running a financial centre, place Malta in an advantageous position in terms of wealth management. Malta’s wealth management industry is built on a strong foundation of transparency and accountability, and the country’s approach of offering an attractive advisory and product portfolio – as opposed to models focused on secrecy – have helped Malta to successfully compete with offshore jurisdictions.

The country has also attracted a nu mber of fa mily offices, which are finding it a compelling alternative to traditional wealth management centres and have transferred all or part of their operations to Malta.

Holistic Services 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. Bankers and asset managers cater for all levels of wealth from the mass affluent to the ultra-high-net-worth individual. A wide range of investment vehicles are available – from simple structures and arrangements for families, to high value and more complex set-ups involving trusts, companies, investment funds and foundations for affluent clients. The country’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, Malta has an excellent legal infrastructure, which is supported by experienced professionals who can combine all the separate strands into a unified and comprehensive wealth management offering.


Wealth Management

A Range of Service Providers In recent years, Malta 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 private wealth management, while a large number of banks provide professional financial advice and products to highnet-worth, corporate and institutional clients. The country 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 Malta. With some 150 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.

With some

150 120

trustees and

investment services firms registered in Malta, the sector is rapidly evolving.

A Stable Centre High-net-worth individuals appreciate the security that the county’s regulatory system provides and emphasise that the true value of Malta’s wealth management industry lies in the finance centre’s reputation as stable and sound. Malta offers an OECD and EU-approved 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. Malta’s banks are well capitalised, and the sector has been ranked as the 15th soundest banking sector in the world by the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2015-2016. Investment Tools Malta offers 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 EU member state is one of the few jurisdictions where both trusts and foundations can be set up. Both structures 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 has recently updated its legislation to bring it in line with the latest trends and to ensure that Malta maintains



Wealth Management

its competitive position. The updated law also Wealth Management brought about the introduction of the Private Trust Company (PTC) which offers interesting opportunities to high-net-worth individuEU and Eurozone location als and families who prefer tailor-made trust solutions. Multi-disciplined advisors that are able As more high-net-worth investors and to adapt to the changing needs of highfamily offices are warming up to investing in net-worth individuals and their families private equity and hedge funds, Malta’s repuSound and sophisticated banking system tation as an investment fund domicile is rising fast. With some 600 funds established in Fast-track authorisation for Malta, the country’s fund administrators and Professional Investor Funds managers have a solid track record in setting up and managing different investment vehiFlexible investment structures cles for institutional and individual investors. (SICAVs, trusts, partnerships, etc.) Asset management companies in Malta have One of the few civil law jurisdictions launched fund platforms which are exclusivethat have developed a trust concept by ly open to family offices and third-party manintegrating it with Roman law sources agers to provide them with an efficient and cost-effective solution to enter the market. A reputable stock exchange Investors preferring physical assets are increasingly looking at Malta, too. Already a Recognition of foreign trusts strategic port of call for superyachts crossing Offering the set-up of both the Mediterranean, there has been a growing trusts and foundations demand from high-net-worth individuals for private yacht and aircraft solutions. The introLegislation published in English duction of extensive VAT incentives for the registration of yachts under the country’s flag A stable macroeconomic environment and the excellent infrastructure of the country’s marinas make Malta a logical choice to base a yacht. Malta also offers attractive solutions to purchase and manage aircraft and has developed a strong legislative framework that has paved the way for the easy registration of private jets. There are many reasons why an individual may wish to establish corporate entities 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.


Global Outlook 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 taxa-

Wealth Management

tion treaties with high-growth economies in Asia and Latin America, Malta began 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. In addition, the country is positioning itself as an attractive place for high-net-worth individuals to reside in an effort to create an international lifestyle hub. Malta has recently introduced a host of residence programmes, with some programmes offering foreigners a tax rate of 15% on foreign income if they satisfy the prerequisites of the programmes. The country has also enacted legislation allowing foreigners the possibility to obtain Maltese citizenship through the Individual Investor Programme. A New Era By 2020, a new breed of asset managers is expected to emerge. Due to the introduction of new regulations and related cost increases, a greater focus will be placed on cost effectiveness, while technology will become mission critical to drive customer engagement, collect data on clients and potential clients, portfolio handling as well as regulatory and tax reporting. In this climate, Malta seeks to attract fintech companies and technology-driven businesses providing wealth management solutions, as well as wealth planners and advisors looking for a cost-effective operational base. Salaries and other operational costs are 20 to 30% lower in Malta 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. Expansion Course The landscape for international wealth management has changed over the past 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, as well as legal and financial advisors are highly valued now, and are expected to pull a lot of clients to the island’s shores. Continuous initiatives to update the country’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. n



Family Offices

Family Offices

All the Building Blocks for the Family Office Malta is becoming a natural destination for wealth management firms, and more and more family offices are opening their doors to manage the affairs of ultra-wealthy families.


s the global ultra-high-net-worth population is rising to record highs, with nearly 200,000 individuals collectively worth US$28 trillion, Malta’s finance centre moves into the global spotlight as an attractive family office location. Affluent families and their wealth managers are increasingly turning to Malta, and firms are seeing client interest in topics such as family decision-making, wealth structuring and the setting up of family office structures. The financial crisis has brought down the level of trust and confidence in large banks, and 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 fully embrace the family office model.

Family Offices

Proliferation of a Service The roots of Malta’s family office sector can be traced back to the country’s onset as a financial centre. 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 country’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. Malta is increasingly being seen as an alternative to the traditional family office locations of the US, UK and Switzerland, and is attracting money-managers from the world’s banking centres to establish fully-fledged offices on the island. High-End Financial Services 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. In Malta, they can 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. Typically, 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 low administrative costs, simple licensing arrangements and an effective regulator in the form of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).





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Family Offices

A Variety of Options 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. Malta has world-class regulatory frameworks for holding companies, investment funds and fund platforms, as well as for trusts and foundations. The country is also constantly developing new solutions that can be used in a family office setting, including a citizenship-by-investment programme, as well as a number of residency programmes. The trust law has also just been updated, and the new version includes 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 while also allowing better tailor-made solutions to reflect particular family needs. Malta Facts Family offices traditionally offer a complete outsourced solution to managing finances and investment and invest heavily in consultants, databases and analytical tools to optimise a portfolio. 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 single regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). New and foreign companies are able to benefit from streamlined licensing procedures, lower regulatory fees and reduced bureaucracy when compared to other IFCs. 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 for services in the financial sector. 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 ensuring that the human resources are available to sustain the growth.



Family Offices

Cost Efficiency It is estimated that there are around 6,000 family offices worldwide, and the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (those with at least US$30 million in net assets) is set to grow. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020 the billionaire population alone will grow by 80%, an increase of 1,700 billionaires. 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 more competitive fee and salary structure, expects to welcome more family offices in the near future. The country’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. Evolving & Expanding With a growing number of high-net-worth families seeking new, more secure alternatives to traditional investment banking as a result of the financial crisis, the demand for independent assistance and advice will continue to grow. Malta’s strategic position in the Mediterranean, sound legal framework and operational advantages are expected to help family office services to expand. Industry players also say they expect more family offices to be set up by newly wealthy families from emerging economies of the region. Despite challenges and competition from some of the more established locations, the country is gaining prominence as a professional and attentive centre for affluent families, wealth managers and high-net-worth individuals. n

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 fa mily.

Trusts & Foundations

Trusts & Foundations

A Wealth of Experience In a competitive industry, Malta has a track record to be proud of while demand for trusts and foundations continue to grow.


alta has maintained its rank among the premier league of trust jurisdictions and has worked up a fairly robust reputation as a domicile for foundations in just a few years. While the country has been a prominent player in administering private wealth structures for over 20 years, the latest legislative update of its Trusts and Trustees Act brings the country into line with international trends and rival trust jurisdictions, ensuring that Malta remains one of the ‘go-to’ names for those in search of wealth management solutions. The introduction of private foundations in 2008 has complemented the offering, making the country one of the few places in the EU catering for both trusts and foundations. This ‘marketable advantage’ has attracted some 150 service providers, including large banks, independently owned trust companies and smaller niche providers to the Mediterranean island.



Trusts & Foundations

A Long Tradition Trusts were originally developed in England in the 12th century. 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 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 country 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 private foundation even more attractive for foreign clients. An Instrument of Choice Whether for estate planning, or protection of assets or both, trusts and foundations are becoming the vehicle of choice for high-net-worth individuals. The recent banking failures, financial crises and economic recessions have also made asset protection a priority for those of more modest means. 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, 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 whilst having separate legal personality. Tailored Products 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

Trusts and Foundations A civil law jurisdiction that has developed a trust concept by integrating it with old Roman law sources Recognition of 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 Fast-track authorisation for trustees licensed in other (approved) jurisdictions English-speaking country with a probusiness government

Trusts & Foundations

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 converted into a foundation 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. Top Trust and Legal Professionals 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. Some 150 service providers operate in and from Malta. This yields a highly competitive landscape for clients who are spoilt for choice when choosing a service provider. In addition, 35 companies in Malta are authorised to act as foundation administrators. Updated Legislation Trusts and foundations have been set up in Malta to safeguard everything from heirlooms, to stocks, bonds, art and real estate. The 2014 changes to the Trusts & Trustees Act have made Malta an even more attractive destination for wealth management. The period of trusts has been extended by 25 years up to 125 years. The other key change concerns settlor powers. Typically, a trust may be invalid if the person establishing it retains control over the assets, however, the updated law introduced specific circumstances when a settlor may reserve powers under the terms of a trust without the trust being considered a sham. Another major amendment is the introduction of family trusts and Private Trust Companies (PTCs). A family trust can 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. A minimum share capital requirement of â‚Ź15,000 has also been introduced for trustees in addition to a number of other amendments.

Trusts and foundations have been set up in Malta to safeguard everything from heirlooms, to stocks, bonds, art and real estate.

A Clean Reputation 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 underes-



Trusts & Foundations

timated. Malta’s fiscally efficient tax framework 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 tax to be paid 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. Resources & Support 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. Legal and administrative support ranges from small boutique practices to the global ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms with Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG all having branches in Malta. 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. Enjoying Cost Benefits 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 other countries. Legal costs, management fees and auditing rates are all lower than in the majority of European jurisdictions due to the fact that well-educated staff can be sourced at two-thirds of the labour costs found in other Western European nations. Future Outlook The outlook for the future of Malta’s fiduciary industry is bright, with the country thriving from a growing international reputation. A Maltese trust or foundation offers security, assurance and flexibility in an EU-regulated environment, while maintaining the principle of confidentiality that clients expect. The sector boasts unique legislation that allows the individual requirements of each client and company to be met. Further, Malta is one of the few southern European countries enjoying a stable political and economic environment, and more and more clients are finding Malta trusts and foundations as their preferred vehicles for managing their wealth. n

A Maltese trust or foundation offers security, assurance and flexibility in an EU-regulated environment, while maintaining the principle of confidentiality that clients expect.

Differences between Malta Trusts and Foundations Trusts


Do not have a separate legal personality

Have a separate legal personality

Defined in terms of relationship

Defined in terms of the assets making up the foundation

Trustee is the legal owner of the assets

Foundation is the legal owner of its own assets


Global Citizenship & Residency Planning

Global Citizenship & Residency Planning

A Home Away from Home

Malta’s Mediterranean charms are fascinating growing numbers of affluent foreigners, expats and globetrotting professionals looking for a permanent or temporary home.


alta’s wealth-based immigration programmes are gaining increased interest from global citizens. As high-net-worth investors and entrepreneurs from around the world are often conducting business on an international scale, a second residence or citizenship has become an appealing option for many to diversify not only their assets but also their lifestyle options and geographical ties. Seeking to attract highly skilled and networked people from around the world, Malta has introduced a citizenship-by-investment programme in addition to a set of residency programmes, which make relocating to the island an easy affair. 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 country to work, live and invest in includes individuals and families from South Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.

Global Citizenship & Residency Planning

An Economic Tool With Malta’s warm and sunny weather, historic charms and Mediterranean bliss, it is easy to see why the island has become one of Europe’s top expatriate destinations. As a small country, Malta has long considered wealth migration vehicles as an important economic tool to attract foreign investment and high-calibre people to its shores. In fact, the first measures to attract foreigners came into place following independence from Britain in 1964, when a fiscal strategy was implemented offering a special tax rate to foreign residents that had an above-average income at their disposal. At that time, most individuals who relocated to Malta were British. Further residency programmes were introduced in 1972 and 1988, which built on this idea, offering foreign nationals a 15% flat tax rate and attracting expats from all parts of the world. While this programme has been updated throughout the years, Malta has also widened its residence and citizenship portfolio for highnet-worth individuals. Investment Migration The global citizenship-by-investment industry has gained prominence in recent years as affluent entrepreneurs and investors are seeking easier travel options and safe residency locations in the context of a deteriorating geopolitical climate. Wealth management firms are today increasingly catering to migrating millionaires considering an alternative passport as a hedge against political risks and market volatilities in their home countries or in pursuit of new business or lifestyle opportunities for their families. Malta’s Individual Investor Programme (IIP), which offers foreign nationals the possibility to obtain Maltese citizenship, is the only one of its kind endorsed by the European Commission. A Maltese passport gives visa-free access to more than 165 countries, and as an economically and politically stable country, Malta is being seen as a safe haven for individuals, families, business owners and investors. The IIP requires an investor to pay €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, in addition to investing €150,000 in government-approved financial instruments. Malta is aware that citizenship is a very complex and sensitive matter, and therefore has developed a four-tier due diligence system to ensure that applicants are bona fide and worthy of Maltese citizenship. Given that investment migration is exclu-



Global Citizenship & Residency Planning

sively the domain of high-net-worth individuals and business persons with substantial personal assets, Malta sees its IIP as an opportunity to attract highly talented people to the island. A ‘Golden Visa’ Programme With similar intentions in mind, Malta launched the Malta Residency and Visa Programme (MRVP) in 2016. The MRVP grants international investors residency in Malta and a visa by which they can access the Schengen area. Through this programme, Malta effectively acts as a gateway to Europe, which is an attractive feature for nationals coming from South Africa, Russia and China to name but a few. It should also prove attractive to nationals of countries that do not allow dual citizenship and hence cannot apply for citizenship-by-investment programmes. Applicants cannot be citizens of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland and are required to
invest in property on the Maltese Islands. If purchased, the property needs to have a minimum value of €270,000
in Gozo or the South of Malta, or
of €320,000 elsewhere in Malta.
Renting property is an alternative; the annual lease must be
between €10,000 and €12,000. Applicants must also commit to
invest €250,000 in Government bonds, and this investment must be held for a minimum period of five years. In addition, the applicant needs to declare either an annual income of not less than €100,000 arising outside Malta or capital of not less than €500,000. Identity Malta The Identity Malta Agency is responsible for the administration of the MRVP and the IIP programmes. However, potential applicants need to make use of the services of accredited agents who are authorised and trained to guide them through the whole application process. Contact details of these agents can be found on the website of Identity Malta (www.identitymalta.com). Tax Residency in Malta While the high financial benchmark and investment of these two programmes might not appeal to those of more modest means, Malta offers a number of other residency options. Non-EU foreigners can take advantage of the country’s Global Residence Programme, which offers a 15% 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

Global Citizenship & Residency Planning

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, the Residence Programme, is also in place, offering individuals from those countries the same tax status.

A Maltese passport gives visa-free access to more than

165 countries.

Retirement Hotspot Pensioners can benefit from the Malta Retirement Programme, which has been designed to attract nationals of the EU, EEA and Switzerland, offering a 15% 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% if they apply for the Malta Retirement Programme. Applications for the Global Residence Programme, Residence Programme and the Malta Retirement Programme 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). Working Professionals Malta’s 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. To fill gaps in its labour market, Malta introduced a scheme that offers highly qualified professionals in a range of executive positions and sectors a flat tax rate of 15%, provided they have an annual income of at least €81,457 (basis year 2015). 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 professionals working in Europe, Africa or Asia.



Global Citizenship & Residency Planning

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 are always new experiences to be enjoyed from scuba diving and jet skiing to exploring Malta’s vast and engrossing history first-hand in its preserved medieval cities. 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 citizenship and residency programmes 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.

Global Citizenship & Residency Planning

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 schooling for children to help foreigners settle in to life on the island. The Investment Migration Council Additionally, as a testament to Malta’s business-friendly framework and world-class citizenship programme, the Swiss-based world governing body of investor migration – the Investment Migration Council (IMC) has chosen Malta to host its Secretariat. The IMC helps to improve public understanding of the issues faced by clients and governments in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members.


flat tax rate offered by Malta’s Global Residence Programme

A Win-Win Situation A country full of history, passionate people, excellent weather and crystal clear seas, Malta is a place that expats like to call home. While the country’s residency and citizenship programmes provide additional income for the country, which in turn can be used for economic development purposes, foreign nationals can benefit from improved quality of life in a Mediterranean island setting. Depending on someone’s current location and nationality, relocating to Malta can also offer the added benefit of international tax planning opportunities, better education for children, visa-free travel and much more. n



Corporate Treasury

Corporate Treasury

Pooling Efforts for Growth Liquidity management is a key function for corporations, and the benefits of Malta as a treasury location are being recognised by companies of all sizes and regions.


alta is following in the footsteps of Luxembourg, Switzerland and Singapore by establishing itself as an international treasury centre. Increased volatility in the global economy and the growing complexity of international markets are driving companies to seek improved control, efficiency and transparency in their cash management, and renowned groups have chosen Malta to set up regional or worldwide treasury operations. With lower costs than the established centres, coupled with sophisticated banking solutions and a strong regulatory framework, Malta is quickly becoming the preferred European location for treasurers and CFOs.

Corporate Treasury

Cash Management Hub Malta has developed strong skills in finance, accounting and banking, as well as in back and middle office activities. The country’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 centre. In particular, the country won international acclaim for its solid banking system, which is the 15th-soundest in the world according to the World Economic Forum’s 2015-2016 Competitiveness Index. This has allowed Malta to move up the value chain in financial services provision, with a focus on front office activities, complex transactions and highlevel 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 Malta an interesting alternative to other European treasury locations. Centralised & Shared Services 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. The country’s economic soundness and political stability also make Malta 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. Good communication is also a vital characteristic for any corporate entity seeking to



Corporate Treasury

exercise control over their cash and assets. Malta has a strong telecoms network, providing efficient links to Europe via four submarine cables. Ongoing regulatory changes, many of which affect 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. Malta’s very competitive cost-base, which is 20 to 30% lower than those of other Western European locations, has also opened the door for it to become a major player in the treasury sector. Its location between Europe and North Africa 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. Gaining Attention Whether on a regional or global basis, a number of companies already use Malta to efficiently centralise their treasury operations. Although many believe that the country 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 bonus of lower operating costs and less bureaucracy. n

Foreign Exchange Trading

Foreign Exchange Trading

FXMalta: the New Trading Strategy With currency trading booming, Malta has become a centre for online foreign exchange companies servicing the US$5.3 trillion-a-day market.


oreign Exchange trading, also referred to as FX or forex, has grown rapidly over the last few years. The mass-entry of retail investors has significantly transformed market activity and has helped Malta to develop into a currency trading hub in the Mediterranean. Capitalising on its growing financial centre and its telecoms infrastructure, Malta has succeeded in the global race to gain a slice of this lucrative market. The country’s EU-compliant regulatory framework has also been a great attraction to forex companies, as today’s traders demand to do business with sound financial institutions that offer transparency across each transaction. Participation in the largest of all financial markets comes with its fair share of challenges, and traders view a licence from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as a seal of quality. Tighter checks on systems and risk controls, as well as tougher capital requirements for forex companies, have been introduced in the summer of 2015, and are seen as important measures to retain investor trust as the forex industry enters the next phase of its evolution.



Foreign Exchange Trading

The Rise of Forex The forex industry and its followers can still be called pioneers given the age of the industry. FX was traditionally the exclusive preserve of the high-flying financial elite. The proliferation of retail-oriented platforms with easy-to-use technology has opened the market to more users than ever before. The democratisation of information, which began with the internet revolution, also means that retail investors today have on-demand access to analysis and financial data. Individuals and small businesses that once would have left forex to large banks and institutional users are now participating and trading directly. Currency trading has developed into one of the world’s largest and most liquid financial markets. US$5.3 trillion changes hands every day, according to the 2013 survey of the Bank for International Settlements. Volumes have shown exceptional growth in recent years, as trading activity has risen from US$ 4 trillion in 2010 and US$ 3.3 trillion in 2007. One of the drivers of this turnover growth was increased interest in FX as an asset class. Traditionally, FX was used as a hedging mechanism, but the desire for portfolio diversification has strengthened its role as a primary investment tool. The growing interest in forex went hand in hand with a rise in online trading, which now accounts for more than 70% of all trading in FX globally. While London, New York and Hong Kong have long been the international centres of global currency trading and investing in foreign exchange, the rise in eForex has also led to the emergence of alternative trading hubs. 6,000


4.0 3.3





Global Foreign Exchange Average Daily Volumes

1.9 1.2 2001





Volume in trillions of USD


Foreign Exchange Trading

While the increase in the nu mber 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.

Popular Malta In challenging the captains of the finance world, Malta 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. Malta’s sophisticated IT and telecoms infrastructure, along with cost effectiveness, has also helped the country to gain a foothold in this global market. A wide range of market participants, including fullyfledged market makers, platform providers, brokers and fund managers focusing on forex as an asset class, have opened offices on the island. The Advantage of 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 an attractive base for non-EU companies wishing to expand their operations, using the island as a launch pad into Europe. Investor Protection Malta’s regulator, the MFSA, has built a reputation in international circles as being very accessible and promoting transparency, 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



Foreign Exchange Trading

adopt. Since the introduction of new criteria for the licensing of forex entities, the MFSA closely examines the shareholding structure and the corporate governance set up of companies operating from Malta and has established higher capital requirements for companies engaging in certain activities. Amongst other measures, forex companies are also required to appoint a locally based risk manager. These elements mean that Malta’s framework places great emphasis on investor protection and the handling of clients’ funds. Forex companies licensed in Malta are also required to participate in the local investor compensation scheme. Growing Strength 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 iGaming companies. Thus, the technical infrastructure that forex companies require is already established. 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 via submarine fibreoptic 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. 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 low overhead expenses when compared to the larger currency trading hubs. In general, all-round costs are well below European averages, with licensing and professional fees of lawyers, accountants and technology providers being very competitive. Emerging Business The appetite for forex is expected to increase in the coming years, but there are also other forms of trading beginning to rival the traditional FX market. Binary options, for instance, are becoming increasingly popular. With only two investment possibilities to choose from – up or down – a profitable trade

Foreign Exchange Trading

only requires the minimal increment in price movement in the selected direction. Binary options are also regulated by the MFSA in Malta. High frequency and algorithmic trading have also entered the market and are being highlighted as future growth sectors. In addition, Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are expected to grow in the coming years. They are agreements between two parties to exchange the opening price and the closing price of a contract. The main difference between CFD trading and forex trading is that CFD trading involves different types of contracts covering a diverse set of markets, such as indices, energy, and metals, whereas forex offers pure currency trading.

Many forex companies consider being regulated in a respected jurisdiction with a stable and proven track record such as Malta, crucial in building up a loyal clients base.

A Changing Industry The global forex market has recently seen the return of volatility. Exchange rates are experiencing greater fluctuations, which means potentially higher returns for investors but it also increases the risk of runaway losses for small traders. This means that many forex companies consider being regulated in a respected jurisdiction with a stable and proven track record such as Malta, crucial in building up a loyal clients base. While additional regulation and compliance costs are driving up expenses and reducing brokers’ margins, they are widely seen as an added advantage in winning the confidence of retail clients in times when the protection of investors’ money is as important as returns. Future growth, says the forex industry, depends on the sector’s ability to create an environment of transparency and efficiency. As a country with an EU-compliant regulatory framework and competitive operating costs, Malta is positioned at the heart of this change. n



Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance

An Open Door for Sharia Investment Global Islamic finance investments are forecast to surpass US$2.6 trillion by 2017. Malta is keen to play a role in this expansion, building on its EU membership, strategic geographic location, flexible regulation and cost effectiveness.

Islamic Finance


alta is a relative newcomer to the Islamic finance industry but is increasingly marketing Islamic finance as part of its product offering. There has been growing momentum to adopt and set up Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and Malta trusts for Sharia-compliant transactions, as well as Sharia-compliant investment funds and insurance, which could appeal to customers in the EU and North African markets. The Malta Stock Exchange is also keen to become a key player in Islamic finance capital markets and has launched a Sharia Equity Index in January 2016. This new index has been certified Sharia compliant by Dubai’s Islamic finance consultancy firm Dar Al Sharia and is seen as a step towards exploring further opportunities within Islamic Finance. On a Global Scale Globally, the Islamic finance industry is seeing steady growth and is encompassing new products, involving new markets and attracting many new customers. Islamic financial assets have soared from less than US$600 billion in 2007 to more than US$2 trillion in 2014. Most assets are concentrated in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, but the industry will need to expand considerably to have a significant impact on global finance markets. The sector seeks to move beyond its traditional strongholds and now appears poised to enter Western markets and to complement conventional financing. As an alternative form of finance, which prohibits interest on loans and generates profits in a socially responsible manner, Islamic finance products are becoming increasingly popular outside the Islamic world. Investments are also expected to reflect real trade and business. It is this combination that makes Malta, one of Europe’s key International Finance Centres, an interesting new jurisdiction for institutions looking to set up Islamic financial instruments.



Islamic Finance

Unlocking Malta’s Potential Malta’s interest in Islamic finance began in 2008, when the then-administration stated their objective of developing Malta as a Mediterranean Islamic finance hub. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) then analysed the island’s regulatory framework and issued guidance notes on Sharia-compliant investment funds in 2010. The current administration also seeks to make Malta Islamic finance ready by diversifying its financial product offering and building on its geographical location. 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. Sharia 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, while Sharia-compliant equity funds can be set up as Maltese UCITS schemes or as PIFs. Considering the restrictions that apply to UCITS funds, Islamic funds may face particular challenges in operating under the UCITS framework, and industry experts believe that Malta’s framework for PIFs provides a more attractive environment for Sharia funds to work in. Capital Markets The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) is also pursuing initiatives to open up Malta as a safe, financial services centre for Islamic finance. With the launch of the Islamic Equity Index, the MSE aims to attract business from Middle Eastern firms. In addition to the equities that have already been certified to be Sharia

Islamic financial assets have soared from less than US$600 billion in 2007 to more than

US$2 trillion in 2014.

Islamic Finance

Top Islamic Finance Markets (by size):

Top Potential Islamic Markets (by size):



Saudi Arabia



Saudi Arabia





compliant, the MSE hopes to attract international Halal companies that have not previously listed with the Exchange. The Exchange has entered into an agreement with a Sharia advisor and its scholars to ensure the continued compliance of the companies within the Sharia Index, as well as to ensure compliance of new companies coming to the market. It is hoped that this move will facilitate the launch of other financial products that follow Islamic law, including the issuance of Malta’s own sukuk. This has been on the agenda for quite some time, and the Maltese government has displayed a keen interest in tapping the international sukuk market, which is expected to grow to US$900 billion in 2017. Sukuk issuance would send a strong signal that Malta is in favour of these type of instruments and mirror developments in other European finance centres such as London and Luxembourg. 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 an 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. The concept of a trust is very similar to the Islamic waqf. Malta trusts are effective and reliable, and can offer customised solutions for wealth management as well as succession planning. In the trust deed settlors can define how assets are distributed to the beneficiaries so that they are in accordance with Islamic rules of succession. SPVs and trusts are regularly used for Islamic finance transactions through Malta. As the island develops its Islamic finance infrastructure and expertise further, other vehicles of Malta’s International Finance Centre can be adapted to the Islamic moral order that governs finance.



Islamic Finance

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, offering 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. Building on its attractiveness as a re-insurance and captive domicile, there are also opportunities for the set up of re-takaful structures in Malta. Banking & Payments Although barriers for Islamic retail banking exist in Malta because banks are only allowed to own property up to a certain percentage of their total assets, Sharia-compliant investment banking, project and trade finance could be offered to neighbouring countries from Malta. The rising demand for Islamic banking products and services is creating significant opportunities for Sharia-compliant card products, including debit cards, charge cards and credit cards offering new ways of how credit is structured and marketed to consumers with risks and profits shared among all parties involved. A strong and innovative regulatory framework, state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure capable of hosting and delivering round-the-clock connectivity to mainland Europe, and Malta’s accessibility and lower costs could turn out to be a major draw to payment providers seeking a secure environment to offer Sharia-compliant transaction channels. Educational Hub With Islamic finance estimated to grow up to 20% annually, the need for specialised human capital in the industry is higher than ever. There is currently a shortage of staff with extensive experience in Islamic markets, and this issue needs to be ad-

The rising demand for Isla mic banking products and services is creating significant opportunities for Sharia-compliant card products, including debit cards, charge cards and credit cards offering new ways of how credit is structured and marketed to consu mers with risks and profits shared a mong all parties involved.

Islamic Finance

dressed with the industry’s rapid growth. With English as one of its official languages and building on its international reputation as a centre for learning and training, Malta is well placed to host Islamic finance training institutions. Winning Islamic Business 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. As a politically stable financial centre in the European Union and 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. Sharia-compliant products structured in Malta could appeal to customers in the nearby EU and North African markets. 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 noninterest-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. Gathering Momentum 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 Sharia law. The knowledge that investments are held in Malta, a European financial centre of repute, may comfort Islamic and Western investors alike. While Malta has been eyeing opportunities in Islamic finance for a number of years now, recent initiatives, in particular in the capital markets sector, show that Malta is open for Islamic finance business. n



Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Discovering a New Value In a world where control of markets and materials is as important as control of rights to new ideas and innovations, Malta has put the management of intellectual property at the core of its financial sector.


alta is providing corporations and individuals with superb opportunities to exploit their Intellectual Property (IP). Whether referring to patents, trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, designs or even domain names, all of the various assets share one common characteristic: They have a value and have become important growth factors for companies. Building on its experience in corporate structuring and tax planning, Malta’s vision for the future is to become a trusted platform for international IP transactions offering support across the entire IP value chain, including protecting, managing and commercialising ideas and innovations.

Intellectual Property

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 Malta as well as in other countries. Being a European Union member state also ensures that Maltese law is harmonised with EU standards. IP rights can be filed in, or through, Malta, but due to the market size, the registration of some types of IP rights, such as patents, on the island is relatively low. Despite this, 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.


Maximising IP Asset Value Separating the core business from the holding and management of IP rights has become increasingly popular in order to fully exploit IP assets. 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 copyright, brand-names, patents, and designs. Other assets, such as trade secrets, know-how and domain names can also be owned by a Malta company in order to enjoy the same benefits. The company can enter into licence and franchise agreements with other persons 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-holding company can benefit from Malta’s competitive tax regime and will have access to the country’s wide network of double taxation treaties. IP Support Services 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, the grant of transfers, licences and acquisitions, 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



Intellectual Property

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. Innovation as a Priority Currently, an effort is underway to introduce amendments to the IP landscape, which do not solely focus on tax-related incentives for companies to bring their IP to Malta. The vision is for Malta to become a place where entrepreneurs and innovators can develop their ideas – in a safe, secure and profitable way. This also includes creating the right environment for them to register the IP, raise capital through IP securitisation and exploit the IP. Moreover, Malta is fostering the growth of sectors such as life sciences, ICT and the creative industries, including the construction of industry and design clusters as well as dedicated infrastructure that facilitates research and innovation. Offering companies a favourable location for the protection and management of their intellectual property, Malta 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. n Signatory to International Conventions 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 Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Right (TRIPs agreement); • WIPO Copyright Treaty; • WIPO Performances and 
Phonograms Treaty; • World Trade Organisation 
(WTO) agreement; • European Patent 
Convention (EPC); • Patent Co-Operation Treaty (PCT); • Unitary Patent Agreement.

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 CoOperation Treaty (PCT). It is also a member of the Agreement for the creation of a Unitary Patent. As a result, applications for patents under these regional and international 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 Industrial Property Registrations Directorate. European trademark and design registrations can be obtained from the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).



A Strategic Choice Malta is not short of experience in spotting global trends and is seeking to strengthen its position as a dispute resolution hub for the Mediterranean region and beyond.


alta is flaunting its arbitration credentials and is eager to tap the multi-billion-dollar arbitration market. The country is interested in joining forces with the private sector to push arbitration to the next level and to become a preferred hub for international arbitration. As businesses around the world are increasingly reverting to alternative methods for the resolution of commercial conflicts, Malta has already made great strides in creating a neutral and welcoming environment for arbitration. A central location with links to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, high professional standards in the legal and technological fields, along with the support offered by the Malta Arbitration Centre (MAC), have helped arbitration gaining traction, albeit most cases being handled thus far are of a local nature. Forming a strategic alliance, as considered by the Maltese government, would enable Malta to deal with a greater number of, as well as more complex, arbitrations involving foreign parties. The Right Credentials 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. In more modern times, Malta has increased its appeal as the go-to hub for cor-




porations seeking to solve commercial disputes of all kinds within the maritime, aviation, gaming, energy and construction industries to name just a few. 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 that gives parties all the necessary flexibility for arbitral proceedings, acting as a precursor for the establishment of the MAC which started its operations in March 2000. Swing Towards Arbitration The stage is set for Malta to grow as an arbitration hub. 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’, an arbitrator, 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. Wealth of Experience All arbitrations in Malta have to be carried out under the auspices of the MAC, which manages over 450 arbitrations a year, a fact that clearly demonstrates that the local arbitrators have become very experienced in this field. However, the majority of disputes being referred to the MAC are between Maltese parties. This is due to the introduction of mandatory arbitrations in 2004, where certain disputes, such as motor traffic claims, amongst other classes of disputes, are by law referred to arbitration. Malta has an average of five international cases in a year, where at least one party is foreign, while also providing for some 40 commercial disputes between local companies in a year. In fact, many firms repeatedly use the Centre’s ser-


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


vices and appreciate the confidentiality of the proceedings. The high percentage of local arbitration is unusual when compared to other countries, where the courts traditionally 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 in various areas, including insurance, construction, taxation, maritime, finance and accountancy. 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. Time, date, deadlines and location are 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, and following amendments to the Arbitration Act, awards delivered in mandatory arbitrations can be appealed against both on points of law as well as on points of fact. 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 on 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 addition, the entire process is underpinned by an efficient 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. Each year a number of foreign international arbitration awards are registered by the MAC on the request of the interested party in order to be enforced in Malta through the Maltese courts. The Future of Arbitration 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. Professionals are also pointing out the benefits of arbitration to a wider audience, including international firms operating from Malta in the maritime, aviation and gaming sector, who thus far have been slow to enter into arbitration in Malta. However, ultimately, Malta needs to overcome the challenge of attracting cases between non-Maltese parties to really establish itself as a credible international hub. The Maltese government believes that much more can be done to promote Malta, in particular as a cost-competitive location for arbitration of disputes arising in the markets of North Africa. Efforts are also underway to find a private partner with a proven track record in cross-border disputes for the management of Malta’s international arbitration business. While other locations may have a stronger track record in handling international arbitrations, with support from the government and the right partner it may not long before Malta will see an increase in the number, size and complexity of cases and might be viewed as the destination of choice for disputing parties. n

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.

Maritime & Yachting

Maritime & Yachting

Europe’s Capital for Shipping A significant percentage of the world’s shipping fleet is controlled from Malta, while the island has successfully honed its image as a premium location for the wider maritime industry.


alta is challenging the world’s maritime hubs as its centuries-old shipping sector is experiencing a 360degree boom. The country has maintained its dominance as the flag-ship register of European vessels, hosting Europe’s largest shipping register. Concurrently, Malta has become a world leader in yacht and superyacht registration and maintenance thanks to its legal and regulatory framework that has made Malta a safe, efficient and profitable location in which to do business. Not only is there a full complement of ship owning companies and maritime service providers, Malta also has the third largest Mediterranean transhipment port including services such as cargo handling and freight forwarding. The island is now beginning to display its versatility in terms



Maritime & Yachting

of maritime financial services. Business streams such as ship finance are being explored, while Malta seeks to become a centre for maritime litigation, with the setting up of a maritime court and the strengthening of arbitration services. A Maritime Nation Marine and maritime activities have long provided great economic value to the country’s well being. 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. Valletta’s Grand Harbour area has been 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 it is estimated that Malta’s maritime cluster contributes to the employment of more than 20,000 people, with a value added benefit to the national GDP of Malta of approximately 11%. Record Figures Global shipowners increasingly turn to the Malta flag, and ship registration has become the number one activity of Malta’s maritime centre. In 2015, Malta’s shipping register grew by some 14% over the previous year, with the registered gross tonnage reaching 66.2 million gross tons at the end of last year. This is a new record for the Malta Flag and it means Malta has a powerful voice in the international maritime fora, representing owners from all corners of the world. Over 900 ships were registered during the year. This means that Malta continued to consolidate its position as the leading European ship register and the 6th largest in the world. Malta’s register ranges from LNG carriers to cruise ships, from bulk carriers to RORO ships and from oil tankers to superyachts (yachts of over 24 metres in length). In particular, the number of high-end vessels on Malta’s register is constantly on the increase. Over the past 10 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. Despite the current financial situation worldwide, in 2015 Malta recorded an increase of 10.8% in superyacht registrations compared to the previous year. There are now more than 500 yachts registered on the island. However, there is much more to the country’s


million gross tons registered at the end of 2015

Maritime & Yachting

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. This is in addition to a wide range of finance, law, insurance and management facilities. A Practical Approach Malta has successfully attracted professional companies to its shipping sector because it has struck the balance between serious regulation and an industry-friendly approach. 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 shipping industry. As one of only two open registers in the EU, registration is available to vessels owned by Maltese and nonMaltese persons, and in practice any kind of vessel may be registered, including one under construction. Attracted by minimal bureaucracy and efficient customer service, shipowners appreciate that Transport Malta, the regulator of all maritime activities, is on call 24/7 to deal with problems. In addition, documentation can be lodged outside normal Central European working hours – a service which is important for shipowners and financiers coming from the Americas or the Far East.

14% 6.7

years Rate by which Malta’s shipping register grew in 2015 over Average age the previous of vesselsyear at registration

Robust Regulatory Structure The main reason that so many vessels choose to fly the Maltese flag can be found in favourable legislation and regulations, offering shipowners substantial cost-savings. Registration costs and the fees of service providers have remained 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 Maltaflagged 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 not accepted on the register. The island now has one of the youngest fleets in the world. The average age of merchant ships registered under the Merchant Shipping Act during 2015 was of 6.7 years, thus decreasing the average age of all the registered



Maritime & Yachting

merchant fleet to 12 years. A key reason for the flag’s success is also that Maltese law offers a huge degree of protection to the financier. Today, banks will only give money to vessels registered in jurisdictions where if any difficulties arise they will be secure, and Maltese law offers significant protection. Incentives for Yacht Owners The island’s regulations are also attractive 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. 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% 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. New Growth Areas While the international shipping community is still facing some headwinds with reduced trade volumes and freight rates near historically low levels, Malta’s shipping sector is expanding. The development of
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. Specialist lawyers from the island today also handle a wide selection of maritime disputes in both the so-called wet and dry sectors. Maritime litigation is also a key growth area for the future. The Maltese government has announced its intention to set up a maritime court and to overhaul the maritime legal framework with a vice-admiralty court and a revamped International Arbitration Centre. Initiatives such as these are aimed at positioning Malta as a maritime hub providing all-embracing maritime legal and corporate services. With a

Maritime & Yachting

It is expected that Malta’s maritime sector will soon make up in excess of 14% of Malta’s total GDP, driven by growth in both traditional and emerging sectors.

growing international finance sector, Malta is also destined to see future opportunities arising in banking and insurance, while Malta’s maritime community is also convinced that it can compete with European ship management jurisdictions by developing and offering a greater level of sophisticated ship management activities. Epicentre of Maritime Expertise It is expected that Malta’s maritime sector will soon make up in excess of 14% of Malta’s total GDP, driven by growth in both traditional and emerging sectors. The island also hosts various specialist companies that make up the rest of the maritime cluster. This includes 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, while a maritime services park spanning 172,000 square metre will be constructed in the near future. The sheer volume of facilities makes for a competitive and productive environment. Progress Drivers 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 a competitive alternative to other registers. Industry analysts keeping track of Malta’s maritime sector are certain that a promising future lies ahead if the island continues on its path of making consistent, steady progress. n


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Aircraft Finance to Take Off Malta’s aviation sector is flourishing, and the country has built up a cluster of highly respected and wellrecognised companies in a short space of time.


alta is keen to play a significant role in the global resurgence in aircraft finance, particularly on the back of its securitisation law. Huge investments over the past years and a new legislative framework have already turned Malta into a recognised address for the registration of both private and corporate jets. The country is also an onshore leader in a broad range of other aviation services: it is 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 communication. With the worldwide aviation industry growing at a rapid pace, Malta is set to expand its already impressive aviation cluster by attracting more aircraft leasing, finance and charter companies.




Creating a Sector The history of Malta’s aviation cluster can be traced back to Malta’s strong position in the maintenance and repair field. Companies such as Medavia and Aeromaritime have been operating in the country for a long time; and upon the arrival of aircraft servicing company Lufthansa Technik in the early 2000s, other companies chose to explore the opportunities available on the island. Malta’s growing International Finance Centre then triggered the desire to expand the industry and to update the country’s aircraft registration and finance laws. 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. The introduction of a new Aircraft Registration Act in 2010 changed all this and helped develop Malta into an aviation hub in the Mediterranean. Over the years, aviation has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country. It currently provides 2.5% of Malta’s GDP and supports over 5,000 jobs. A Record Year Malta’s aviation sector today aspires to follow in the successful footsteps of the country’s long-established maritime industry, which retains the largest shipping register in Europe. The country’s expanding aviation register is generally regarded as a key driver behind the growth of the industry. 2015 has been a record year for Malta’s aviation registry. Transport Malta, the regulator, registered a total of 61 new aircraft. Amongst others, Transport Malta registered two Airbus A340 and a Sukhoi Superjet 100, the latter being the first ever model of its type to be registered in the European Union. In addition, six new air operators were certified, while the number of pilot and engineer licences also increased. There are now more than 210 aircraft and some 30 operators listed in the  Maltese aviation registry.  Attracting Global Companies While Luxembourg and Ireland have traditionally been Europe’s aviation hubs, key players in the global aviation industry are increasingly touching down in Malta. Corporate charter airlines such as Comlux, Orion Malta and Carre have all registered aircraft in the country. Aircraft management companies DC Aviation and Hangar 8 also established operations on the island, while in 2016, Austrian private jet company VistaJet relocated


its headquarters and registered 50 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. But it is not only European companies setting up shop in Malta, the country equally augurs interest from companies from the US and the Far East who are keen to access Europe and Africa.

There are now more than

210 30

aircraft and some

operators listed in the Maltese aviation registry. 

Regulatory Advantages 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. Transport Malta 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). The Civil Aviation Directorate of Transport Malta also provides an attentive, personal service to companies setting up in Malta. Finance Focus As well as developing cutting-edge legislation, Malta has recently sought to position itself at the forefront of aircraft finance transactions. The country has long ratified the Cape Town Convention, which is widely recognised as the market standard in aircraft finance. The Convention provides certainty to investors in the event of 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 on the aircraft, and collecting or receiving any income or profits arising from the management or use of the aircraft. Malta is also well placed for the structuring of air finance deals through various methods, such as syndicated loans and securitisation. A wide variety of asset classes can be securitised under Malta’s Securitisation Act, including lease/charter payments for aircrafts. The regulator has also developed a procedure for aircraft leasing 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.




Leasing Business Today, 40% of the world’s aircraft are leased, and this percentage is set to increase in the coming years. Aircraft leasing offers tremendous opportunities for Malta to position itself as a Mediterranean hub alongside established or emerging leasing centres. 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 industry 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. Aviation Ecosystem Emerging business streams in aircraft leasing and finance are strongly supported by investment in physical infrastructure, such as the €17 million, 200,000-square metre Safi Aviation Park, which hosts a number of business aircraft operators and MRO facilities. The government sees this development as instrumental in attracting larger aircraft-leasing and charter companies, thus sustaining the industry’s upward trajectory. In addition, law and accountancy firms provide a growing number of ancillary services and 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. 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 taxfriendly 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. 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.

21 3

201 5




155 2012

128 1 201

3 0 1


Growth in Aircraft registrations 2011-2015

Capitalising on Malta 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 nearly every corner of the world. Due to its lower cost base and competitive fiscal 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, while the Aircraft Registration Act is currently being refined. The new version is expected to include targeted incentives to make Malta even more attractive to companies offering aviation-related services. 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 success of Malta’s maritime industry and build up the critical mass to reinforce its position. n



....... That’s the Speed of Yellow. www.dhl.com/express


Payments Industry

Payments Industry

At the Heart of a Revolution As payments companies see a future that promises to transform how we move money like never before, Malta is emerging as a preferred location for the processing of online and mobile payments for customers from across the globe.


alta is increasingly playing a role in the fast-developing payments industry and is going all-out to capture a slice of this global trillion-dollar market. In a competitive market environment, where payment processing is well on its way to becoming a commodity, the country is emerging as a cost-effective location for start-ups and companies offering new payment channels. Malta’s advanced digital infrastructure capable of hosting and delivering round the clock connectivity to mainland Europe and its strong regulatory framework offering legal security and predictability have greatly helped in attracting international payment providers. The island now looks forward to seeing many more innovative projects coming on-board and is putting in every effort to grow a smart financial centre that supports the development of new technologies.

Payments Industry

Payment Evolution The global payment industry is no stranger to change. Up until the 1960s cash and cheques were the main payment options, but then credit and debit cards, electronic payments, and online banking were thrown into the mix. More recently, the rapid rise of eCommerce has fuelled the development of new payment channels, including e-wallets, mobile payments, einvoices and transfers, as well as digital currencies. The first payment service providers, card issuers, payment gateways and e-wallets to set up on the island were attracted by Malta’s role as a hub for ICT firms. They started servicing and supporting the growing number (270+ and counting) of iGaming companies that flocked to the island. Malta’s growing role as an international financial centre, coupled with steady investment in IT infrastructure, then helped to develop payments into an independent industry and one of the key sources of new business flowing into Malta’s finance sector. Payment Hub Malta’s payments industry today reflects almost the entire spectrum of payment solutions that are available. The island has attracted 40 financial institutions, including more than 25 payment providers and 10 electronic money institutions. Card issuers and ‘quasi-banks’ have become key players in Malta’s payments sector as prepaid products and online-only accounts entered the mainstream. Driven by consumer demand for fast and convenient payment options, mobile and online payment providers are also developing fast, and a growing number of companies find Malta to be a profitable base. 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% of their business being generated by the online gaming industry that operates out of Malta. Security and Data Protection With safety and security being an obvious 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 in all 28 countries of 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.



Payments Industry

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. Industry participants setting up in Malta can 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 minimum capital requirement (€350,000) when compared to a full banking licence (€1 million). Technology-Driven Business 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 Italy. Malta also boasts a number of specialist firms offering services 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 payment businesses. More to Come The payments industry is currently undergoing a revolutionary journey as the widespread adoption of new technologies and devices opens up exciting opportunities for innovation. Malta’s professionals believe that potential exists to attract more payment business given the overall growth of the industry. The presence of a large number of financial services, iGaming 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. Passporting rights offer access to European markets, making Malta a convenient location for the European headquarters of American and Asian financial institutions wanting to enter the EU market. Malta’s geographical location also 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

The island has attracted

40 25 10

financial institutions, including more than

payment providers and

electronic money institutions.

Payments Industry

have played a big role in financial inclusion in Africa where the population embraces new payment options due to a lack of traditional infrastructure, such as credit cards and banks. A significant portion of the global payments sector is also made up of small technology start-ups. Malta’s lower costs give these companies significantly more runway, while they could also test their products, such as payments apps and technologies for contactless in-store payments, on the small but diverse market. Reputation is Everything While industry experts believe that the sector will continue on its path of growth, it has become a crowded market, which has also seen telecoms providers, eCommerce players and retailers entering the market. Notable examples include Apple, Samsung and Google, while retailers such as Walmart, Target and CVS, have also rolled out their own solutions. For payment providers this does not come without its challenges. Competition in the industry will become increasingly fierce in the coming years. This means 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 fiscally attractive environment, 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. A High-Tech Finance Centre Innovative offerings in the payment acquisition space are flourishing and are driving strong growth in electronic and mobile payments usage and prepaid cards. In Europe, the share of alternative payments is forecast to reach up to 20% of the total payments market by 2020, while another survey estimates mobile payments alone will account for more than US$1.3 trillion annually by 2017. Crypto-currencies are also expected to gain importance in the near future, while payments are set to redefine not only retail, but also wholesale and corporate payments. Malta is well placed to play a leading role in this development. Its financial services sector embraces innovation and the application of new technologies, and its authorities are committed to realising their vision of a high-tech financial centre. n



Shared Services & Outsourcing

Shared Services & Outsourcing

The New Face of Right-Shoring Evolving with the times, Malta is broadening its outsourcing offering for higher value functions.

Shared Services & Outsourcing


alta has established itself as a powerful outsourcing partner that is increasingly winning high-value deals and offering knowledge-based solutions. Once known only as a call centre location, Malta is becoming a hotspot for the outsourcing of back- and middle-office functions and is finding its role in financial services, IT and software development. The island has benefitted from recent ‘nearshoring’ and ‘rightshoring’ trends of businesses westwards from Asia – with the search for higher quality eroding the traditional global offshore dominance of India, the Philippines and China. Companies are no longer looking only at the cost factor – quality services are equally important. The question today is not simply whether to outsource or not, but rather which activities to place in which location. Banks, professional services companies and global conglomerates are currently rethinking their operating models to improve efficiency and their bottom lines, and are keen to move more tasks out of their head offices. They are attracted to Malta’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry that offers high-end customer care and sophisticated services in an EU and Eurozone location. A Journey to Quality 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 as an international business and finance centre has encouraged companies to offer their services as independent outsourcers. The island also proves fertile ground for shared services centres that are responsible for the handling of specific functions and supporting a group’s global operations in areas such as HR, finance and IT. The Right Location The shift to higher-value services has greatly benefitted Malta. Many Maltese firms now offer so-called Knowledge Process



Shared Services & Outsourcing

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. 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 the island has to offer. Research has revealed that the drivers motivating companies to outsource are changing fast: while cutting costs is still important, accessing new digital technologies and improving the end-customer experience are becoming equally important. Accounting & Administrative Services 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. 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 differentiating itself from traditional outsourcing locations by viewing shared services as a high-performance business, and many entities are now expanding to deliver highvalue services, including business analysis, risk management and decision support to their parent companies, in areas such as finance and accounting, IT, HR, customer service, procurement, payroll, real estate and marketing. Delving Deeper 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 analytical services, as most organisations today are outsourcing not only business processes but also knowledge ones, including market research and financial analysis.

Shared Services & Outsourcing

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. With the global outsourcing market expected to grow by 5 % 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. Competitive Skills & Costs 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. 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.

Malta not only offers a gateway to the European Union, but is equipped to provide both basic business support and bestof-breed services for knowledgeintensive functions.

Outsourcing 3.0 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 not only offers a gateway to the European Union, but is equipped to provide both basic business support and best-of-breed services for knowledge-intensive functions. Malta’s 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 will offer clients an attractive package: industry expertise and insight, analytics and innovation – at a competitive price. Any company looking at outsourcing mission-critical functions or projects that involve sensitive data can rest assured that they will receive service of the highest quality. n





Digital Disruption A community of innovators is developing in Malta as the finance industry joins the world of technology.


alta’s financial services industry is going digital. The sector is not only being transformed by disruptive technologies that enter the market with a promise of both better and cheaper service, but Malta is also keen to attract start-ups and foreign players to base their innovation labs on the island. Global investment in financial technology (fintech) ventures is said to have reached US$20 billion in 2015, up from US$14 billion the year before. As the financial services industry follows the pharma path, with bigger companies investing in and collaborating with agile start-ups, the opportunity for tech innovators and smaller companies has never been greater.


In positioning itself as a safe space for fintech, Malta has a lot of things going for it. With its cheaper cost base than Europe’s number one fintech location London, Malta is worth looking at. The island offers financial software entrepreneurs the opportunity to be located in one of Europe’s fastest-growing finance centres, in close proximity to potential employers, contractors and investors. Companies are also using Malta as a springboard to nearby markets, in particular those of Africa, which is increasingly becoming a testing ground for new financial technologies such as bitcoin and blockchain technology. In fact, the blockchain could become a useful tool in preventing money laundering because it creates a centralised log of information, offering the possibility to lower the cost of compliance. Fintech companies disrupting sectors such as payments, insurance as well as risk capital and investment management currently fall under Malta’s Financial Institutions Act. However, going forward, the Maltese Government seeks to take the sector further by developing a dedicated regulatory framework for fintech companies including cryptocurrencies. Digital Economy While finance technology is currently reshaping the sector, Malta has already built up an enviable reputation as an ICT hub. The first industries to take advantage of what Malta has to offer, such as fiscal benefits, a strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean and cultural proximity to Europe, were iGaming and eCommerce. Malta’s ICT industry has expanded considerably beyond its humble beginnings, now employing around 7,000 people and boasting a vibrant software development industry. It is constantly evolving, with growth being driven by a wide array of segments, such as cloud computing, mobile platforms and applications, social networking and digital gaming. Malta has now become one of Europe’s favoured destinations for foreign direct investment within the ICT industry. The island has attracted not only global brands but also smaller, more specialised software developers. Today, several hundred ICT companies operate in, or from, Malta. The majority of these are micro-enterprises, but high-profile names have also 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 Outfits As an industry traditionally comprising banks, insurers and asset managers, Malta’s finance sector has recently seen new operators entering the market. New regulatory challenges in the post-crisis financial market landscape, pressure on banks and other financial services companies to cut costs, and changing market dynamics driven by technology-savvy consumers have created a fertile environment for fintech. There are already fintech companies based in Malta tackling regulatory and compliance issues, platform and API-driven propositions in areas such as payments and risk management. They have been drawn to Malta because it provides a wealth of talent, both tech and finance. 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 due to an incentive programme for foreign workers. 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. International connectivity is also 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. Startup in Malta Malta’s small size 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 individuals. The centre places Malta at the forefront of new technologies, such as cloud computing, and provides facilities that help tech startups to develop their products and overcome initial hurdles in 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 buildings in this self-sustained township already host a number of ICT, gaming and financial services companies, with full completion scheduled for 2021. Start-ups will also find help and

The centre places Malta at the forefront of new technologies, such as cloud computing, and provides facilities that help tech startups to develop their products and overcome initial hurdles in commercialising ideas.



support at TAKEOFF, Malta’s first technology business incubator, which is based at the University of Malta, while the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) also runs an innovation hub at SmartCityMalta. Efforts are also underway to attract an accelerator to Malta. With over 25 banks, 60 insurance companies and over 70 fund managers, in addition to many other financial services companies, Malta as an 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. Malta is also keen to provide a home for fintech companies targeting the African market, where large banks are now investing in digital currency outfits after leaving the market mostly to telcos. US$ 10 billion league The newspaper ‘The Economist’ predicts a bright future for fintech companies, forecasting that the biggest fintech outfits will do business in the tens of billions of dollars soon. Financial services companies in Malta and elsewhere have recognised that disruption is not a one-time event but rather a continuous pressure to innovate. Companies are now looking into more innovative and economical solutions and are ready to partner and collaborate with new players. In this context, Malta’s regulatory framework must remain flexible and agile to be able to react to shifting market demands as the country is promoting itself as a base for innovative entrepreneurs, technology companies at a start-up stage and firms seeking a headquarters for their regional operations. n

With over

25 60 70 banks,

insurance companies and over

fund managers, in addition to many other financial services companies, Malta as an IFC offers software developers a large potential client base on their doorstep.

Legislation & Regulation

Legislation & Regulation

A Formula for Financial Innovation The most important factor behind Malta’s success as a finance centre is regulation. While adhering to international best practice, the island’s approach to regulation remains flexible and versatile.



Legislation & Regulation


hroughout its short history as a financial centre, Malta’s regulatory framework has been the foundation upon which the country has developed into a world-class base for financial services firms. Today, Malta is not only following international standards but is enriching the global dialogue on best practices and has become a trusted partner for the OECD, the EU and the Commonwealth. At the heart of Malta as an IFC is an independent risk-based regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which grants licences and regulates financial activities. As a pragmatic jurisdiction there have been numerous amendments to the country’s legislation to ensure it remains up to date with changing market requirements. 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. 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 1 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 also benefit from a number of other advantages, including the EU’s single passport regime and the ability to offer EU-wide accepted products. In addition, although Malta’s framework conforms to EU rules, there are still regulatory structures that are unique to the country.

The Malta Financial Services Authority One important milestone in Malta’s development as a financial centre was the establishment of a single regulator for all financial services, the MFSA (www.mfsa.com.mt), 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. Today, the MFSA licenses, regulates and supervises investment funds, banking and insurance businesses, 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.

Legislation & Regulation

The MFSA’s approach to regulation and supervision is based on clear principles 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 with the regulator prior to application to discuss the regulations. This process promotes mutual understanding. 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. 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 pursuing 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. 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 MFSA have also established a joint financial stability board to strengthen



Legislation & Regulation

the resilience of the financial system and to mitigate the buildup of systemic risk. Transport Malta As the authority responsible for regulating all modes of transport, Transport Malta (www.transport.gov.mt) operates the country’s shipping and aircraft registers and is actively involved in the management and promotion of Malta’s maritime affairs and its expanding aviation sector. 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. All legislation and regulations are published in English and Maltese, though the interpretation of the English text prevails. The country’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. 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, including Alternative Investment Funds under the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (AIFMD) and for Professional Investor Funds, as well as 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 the application procedure and highlight the standard licence conditions that will be applied to a licensed entity. 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,

Legislation & Regulation

by the transposition of the EU Electronic Money Institutions Directive regulating Electronic Money Institutions. In 2014, the MFSA became part of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), the European system of bank regulation, which falls under the responsibility of the European Central Bank. 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 captives, Protected Cell Companies, Incorporated Cell Companies, reinsurers and insurance intermediaries can be set up under Malta’s laws. 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.

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 fra mework.

Trusts & Foundations The Trusts and Trustees Act, which has recently been updated to cater for today’s market demands, regulates the setting up of trusts in Malta. 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. 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. Maltese legislation allows re-domiciliation from all EU, EEA and OECD countries, as well as from most offshore centres. n



Corporate Business Structures

Corporate Business Structures

High Standards for Corporate Success As good governance is emerging as a vital ingredient for success, the underlying theme of Malta’s International Finance Centre is internationally recognised best practice in corporate structuring.


alta’s comprehensive and accommodating regulatory framework makes corporate structuring available to prospective investors from all corners of the world. Progressively developing as a quality jurisdiction, companies are being attracted to Malta largely on the basis of a proactive 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, taxefficient 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 (SICAV), as well as in a number of cell company structures. 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. As the trader engages in trade in his own name, thus not benefitting from separate legal personality, he is therefore personally responsible for all trading obligations. Furthermore, tax liability is calculated on the individual tax rates of the proprietor.

Corporate Business Structures

Partnership Almost any form of business may be carried out in Malta in a form of 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 at least five members (persons or entities). A cooperative is a legal entity in its own right, and its income is exempt from Malta tax (though a percentage of its surplus must be contributed to a reserve fund and to a Central Cooperative Fund.

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, registration may take as little as


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. Every company registered in Malta must have a registered office in the country. Companies and other forms of partnerships are required to submit a valid Memorandum and Articles of Association, or deed of association in the latter case, 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 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, registration 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 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 required to set up a private company is â‚Ź1,164.69, with 20% 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 however, the minimum share capital requirement is â‚Ź46,587.47, with 25% 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


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Corporate Business Structures

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 including 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. However, 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 such cellular assets pertaining to the company. A cell is not bestowed with separate legal personality. 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



Corporate Business Structures

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 The Recognised Incorporated Cell Company (RICC) is another structure in Malta’s repertoire of cellular vehicles. The RICC 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. Securitisation Cell Company Malta has recently continued to build on its ‘protected cell’ concept by introducing Securitisation Cell Company (SCC) legislation. An SCC is a single legal entity that can establish one or more segregated cells for the purpose of entering into securitisation transactions. The main benefit of SCCs lies in their application as programme or platform structures, for instance, if repeat transactions are envisaged, offering lower costs and quicker set-up time for each transaction. Maltese law states that assets and liabilities attributable to each cell established by a securitisation cell company constitute a separate patrimony of the securitisation cell company. Assets attributable to a particular securitisation cell are only available to creditors transacting with that cell. 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, used by mutual funds. Alternatively, Collective Investment Schemes may take the form of a limited

Corporate Business Structures

Malta has recently continued to build on its ‘p rotected cell’ concept by introducing Securitisation Cell Company (SCC) legislation. An SCC is a single legal entity that can establish one or more segregated cells for the purpose of entering into securitisation transactions.

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. Maltadomiciled 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 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 to almost 70 double tax treaties that may apply in certain 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 deed of foundation 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. n





The Benefits of Transparency Fiscal stability, predictability and competitiveness have seen Malta beating off stiff competition from European investment destinations, without disregarding the need for transparent legislation.



alta is 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 country’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 Cooperation 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 latest review in 2013. CORPORATE TAXATION

Income Tax 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%. There is no separate corporation tax. Under Malta’s tax system, upon a distribution of profits, non-resident shareholders are entitled to claim a refund of tax paid at the corporate level to avoid any double taxation of corporate profits. The refund may be equivalent to either 2/3 (when double taxation relief is claimed), 5/7 (in the case of passive interest and royalties) or 6/7 (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% of the equity shares of a non-resident 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 neither 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. Double Taxation Treaties Malta-based entities are also allowed to benefit from the country’s wide network of double-taxation treaties, 70 of which are 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. Malta’s key double-taxation partners include:


Hong Kong




South Africa





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 https://customs. gov.mt/customs. 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%, and a 5% rate applies to the supply of electricity, printed matter, digital and confectionery. The VAT rate on holiday accommodation and sports activities is 7%. 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. VAT registration is mandatory for any person who carries out an economic activity (which may be a part-time activity), irrespective of the yearly turnover, unless such person’s income is generated from exempt without credit supplies. Under normal circumstances, a person is required to register for VAT under article 10 of the VAT Act. This means VAT-registrants are required to charge VAT on their taxable supplies made in Malta and have a right of input VAT recovery. On the other hand, persons whose annual turnover does not exceed certain prescribed thresholds, ranging from €14,000 to €35,000, depending on the type of activity undertaken by such persons, need to register under Article 11. Such persons do not charge VAT and cannot recover VAT on their expenses but are still required to have a VAT number (without the MT prefix), issue fiscal receipts and submit a declaration (simplified tax return) at the end of each calendar year which must be submitted by the 15th March of the following year. Social Security Malta has a comprehensive ‘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% 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% of the gross salary, with a minimum of €6.62 per week and a maximum of €42.57 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. Selfemployed persons pay contributions at 15% of their profits, subject to a minimum and a maximum. Payments by selfemployed persons are made to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue every three months in arrears. Maternity Fund Contributions All employers are obliged to pay Maternity  Fund  Contribut ions  for all their employees. By means of this fund, employers in the private sector are entitled to a reimbursement of the salary of the 14 weeks maternity leave paid to their employees. Contributions are generally computed at 0.3% of the basic salary of each employee – subject to a maximum of €65 per annum per employee. Special rates of contribution apply in particular situations as set out in the Tenth Schedule to the Social Security Act. Personal Taxation Individuals are charged on their income at progressive tax rates up to a maximum rate of 35%. 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 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. Tax Rates

(Basis Year 2016)


Single Joint Parental Computation (€) Computation (€) Computation (€)

0% 0-9,100



15% 9,101-14,500 12,701-21,200 10,501-15,800 25% 14,501-60,000 21,201-60,000 15,801-60,000 35% 60,001+ 60,001+ 60,001+

Expatriate 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% 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 €81,457 per year (basis year 2015), among other criteria. EU nationals can benefit from the reduced tax rate for an unlimited period, EEA and Swiss nationals for a period of ten 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 15% flat tax rate and a residence permit. A similar programme for EU nationals, the Residence Programme, was introduced in the summer of 2014. Part-time Income Employees, pensioners and students engaged in part-time work may benefit from a special tax rate. Income derived from parttime employment is taxed at a flat rate of 15%, which is withheld at source by the employer. Employees who carry on a part-time self-employment may also benefit from this reduced tax rate. 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% of the market value of the immovable property. Investment Income Resident individuals may opt to pay a 15% 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. 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%, but is increased to 5% in the case of shares in property companies. A Duty on Documents and Transfers tax amounting to 5% 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% on the first ₏150,000. Until 31st December 2016, 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% in the case of real estate and at the rate of 2% 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 aligns with the calendar year. Malta operates a self-assessment 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. n



Business Operating Environment

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 8.30 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday until 12.30 pm. Most shops open from 9 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday, while some close for lunch between 1 pm and 4 pm. Most retail and commercial shops are closed on Sunday.

Business Operating Environment

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 public-private foundation 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. FinanceMalta organises regularly information, networking and training sessions. Other finance industry associations in Malta are: Malta Association for Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP) Malta Association of Risk Management (MARM) 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 College of Stockbroking Firms



We make it simple As an independent corporate services provider with 25 years’ experience in supporting the implementation of complex international operations, we provide clear, timely and objective advice that enables our clients to secure the best opportunities the Maltese business environment and tax regime have to offer.

We make it happen We offer full-service support to companies or individuals setting up in Malta, be it company incorporation and management, legal, financial, tax and accounting advice, or relocation formalities and procedures.

We make it grow While our clients focus on making their international business grow, we ensure that their operation in Malta runs smoothly and complies with all the legal, financial and accounting rules and regulations.

NEWCO. We know how. Contact us to learn more: NEWCO Corporate Services info@newco.pro | tel.: +356 21 223 120 89, St. John Street - Valletta VLT1165 – Malta


Business Operating Environment

Malta Enterprise (www.maltaentreprise.com) is the investment promotion agency. It guides companies setting up through the entire process, from coordinating incentives and organising premises, to facilitating contacts with other institutions. Malta also offers ‘Business First’ (www.businessfirst.com.mt), a onestop-shop for local businesses and foreign investors wishing to establish operations on the island. 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. Some 30 retail, 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 150 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.



Business Operating Environment

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 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. 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. At present, Malta is connected to 95 airports in 86 cities. Malta is also being 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.

Top 10 Passenger Airlines out of Malta International Airport (2015) 1.










Business Operating Environment

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 an intensive programme of repair and upgrading is underway. The public transport system offers connections to all localities in Malta and Gozo. Utilities Enemalta is the main provider of electricity generation and distribution services in the Maltese Islands. Electricity 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. 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. 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. 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. MaltaPost is the main postal



Business Operating Environment

service provider. Delivery is efficient and reliable, with a threeday 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% 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. Jobsplus 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. Malta’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.

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

Labour Costs Malta ranks very favourably as a value-for-money location in which to do business. Salaries are on average 20 to 30% 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. Indicative Range of Annual Gross Basic Salaries (€) CEO

€90,000 €150,000


€70,000 €120,000




Financial Controller



Part Qualified Accountant



Newly Warranted Accountant



Branch Manager



Treasury Senior Manager



Fund Accountant



Fund Clerk



Trust manager



Compliance Manager



Compliance Officer



Technical Architect



Business Intelligence Specialist



Software Development Team Lead



Software Developer



Software Tester



Source: Castille Resources 2015

Business Operating Environment

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. Costs of Commercial Space Type of

Approx. Rental Prices

Approx. Sale Prices

Office Space

in € /m2 per annum

in € /m2












Conference & Incentive Travel

Conference & Incentive Travel

Malta - an Excellent Host Malta is home to world-class venues, destinations and experiences that can’t be rivalled by many other destinations.


alta is emerging as a Mediterranean financial services convention hub attracting a broad cross-section of the global finance community and speakers of international repute. Some recent events have addressed challenges and opportunities in areas such as risk management, insurance and investment funds, welcoming and inspiring hundreds of professionals.

Conference & Incentive Travel

Undoubtedly, there is no better place to hold a conference or an event than Malta. With around 80,000 delegates visiting the island each year, along with some of the biggest companies in the world such as The Economist, Microsoft, Sony, IBM and Coca-Cola hosting events on the island, it is no surprise that Malta’s popularity as an ideal destination for business events is rising. With hundreds of years of experience as a meeting venue, Malta comprises everything you need and more. Historic venues, open-air locations and large, fully equipped conference rooms are just some of the ingredients available. Renowned for its high quality venues for seminars, workshops and conferences, Malta also offers some of the most luxurious yet affordable accommodation. The country’s compact size also allows for groups and delegates to enjoy leisure and team building activities such as biking, rock climbing, diving or sailing during a visit. All trips can be organised by one of the many destination management companies available on the island, to ensure a smooth, enjoyable and fun packed stay. Big & Boutique 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 eightstrong 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 and notable events include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Valletta Summit both held in 2015. Some of the biggest 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 to Remember 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 a hospital during the era of the Knights of St John and can host 1,500 guests at gala dinners or 4,000 visitors at



Conference & Incentive Travel

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. 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-to-date 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. Well Connected 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.

Conference & Incentive Travel

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 first-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. n



Travel & Living

Travel & Living

The Essential Expat Guide Small but Mighty Malta

Travel & Living


nce a hidden gem in the Mediterranean, Malta is now the word on everybody’s lips. The island has been hitting the headlines recently as its popularity booms as an ideal destination for expatriates and holiday-makers alike. Listed 3rd in the New York Times “Top 52 Places to visit in 2016”, ranked 30th happiest country in the world according to a UN survey and voted 3rd best place to live as an expatriate, there are a number of reasons for Malta’s increasing appeal. What makes Malta truly extraordinary is not only its idyllic beaches, magnificent architecture or enviable climate, but also its unique, inspiring people. Bursting at the seams with the best of all things, Malta encapsulates the heart of the Mediterranean. History and beauty can be found wherever you go on the island. Fast-paced city streets and office complexes are located within minutes of picturesque bays, medieval forts and tiny fishing villages. With its economy booming, low unemployment, a relaxed way of life and no shortages of things to do and see, the opportunities are endless. The chance to do so in a climate that has been voted the best in the world, and 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 archaeologi-



Travel & Living

cal sites pre-date Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids by more than 1,000 years, and the Neolithic temples are the oldest free-standing constructions in the world. Modern Malta was founded in 1964 following independence from Great Britain. The island became a republic in 1974. Climate A rocky Mediterranean island with a dry and sometimes windy climate, Malta enjoys around 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

Travel & Living





France, Austrian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Ryanair, EasyJet, WizzAir 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. 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; and 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. With such an eclectic mix of culture and a diverse population, it does not take long to feel at home here. Christianity plays a major role in the Maltese culture with each town and village celebrating the feast day of its patron saint. Leisure Activities 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 region. With warm temperatures and clear waters around the coast you will certainly enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean – to



Travel & Living

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 energy levels. You can also head to Gozo, Malta’s smaller sister island 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 a colourful blend of local and international events, entertainment and exhibitions – from the 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 early October and the magic of Valletta’s Notte Bianca. The Malta Tourism Authority have compiled a calendar containing over 250 events taking place throughout the year, with something to suit everyone. 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 10 am to 7 pm, although some close for lunch between 1 pm and 4 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 like 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 dive sites can be found around the northern coast of Malta and Gozo.

Travel & Living

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 pigeon shooting and football. Once a year the Rolex Middle Sea Race, a highly rated offshore classic, starts and ends in Malta, attracting some 80 participating yachts. Cuisine Maltese cuisine features 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 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 or 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% 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% 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.



Travel & Living

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. There are different types of taxis: the white taxis are fitted with meters and charge government-controlled prices – you can flag these down in the street; alternatively, there are taxis owned by private companies that charge a set price depending on the location. 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. Cost of Living The cost of living in Malta is one of the lowest in Europe and ranks somewhere in the middle in terms of a global league table. On average, the cost is one third of that in the world’s most expensive cities. Every day groceries are on average more expensive in Malta than in Eastern European countries, however they are cheaper than in most Western countries and global and business finance centres. Average rent for a onebedroom apartment in the more popular Sliema/St.Julian’s area is around €650 per month, while in other localities it can be as low as €450. Banking, taxation, insurance, social security, utilities and communications services are sophisticated, pro-

Average Costs of Selected Goods and Services in Malta Loaf of bread:


One bottle of table wine:


One litre petrol (unleaded):


Local beer in a bar (pint)*:


Cup of black coffee*:


Cinema ticket*:


One litre of fresh milk:


Bus day ticket (standard fare):


Leading local daily newspaper (weekdays):


One night in a five-star hotel*:


*The indicated rates are approximate values.

Travel & Living

fessional 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. 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 and 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.


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Travel & Living

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 state-run 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% 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. Pets If you want to bring your ‘best friend’, you need to ensure that your pet is micro-chipped, vaccinated against rabies and blood tested. Malta is a member of the Pet Travel Scheme which allows pets from any of the countries covered by the arrangement to enter Malta without quarantine six months after a satisfactory blood test. There is also a wide variety of private vets, kennels and catteries. 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 in the mornings from Monday to Saturday, with some branches offering late opening hours on certain days.



Travel & Living

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 easily purchased. 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. There are a number of English-language music stations. The recent introduction of digital radio is now providing an even greater choice. 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 sockets accept the three-pronged British plug model. Crime & Corruption Few locations in the world can offer the same high standard of transparency, security and stability that Malta does. Crime is very low when compared to other major cities, and there is a general level of all-round safety. Visas and 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 Maltese Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security. 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.

Travel & Living

Residency and Citizenship Malta welcomes foreigners and has launched a number of programmes to encourage foreign nationals to move to the island. One such programme is the Malta residency and visa programme. The programme offers non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals and their dependents the opportunity to reside in Malta indefinitely and travel within the Schengen area without the need for a visa. 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. It is relatively easy to obtain everything you need to begin work as an EU national; social security numbers can now be obtained online. This, along with a promise of employment letter from your prospective employer and your passport are all you need to retrieve a tax number in order to commence employment. A short trip to Floriana will guarantee you have your tax number within one to two weeks. 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. n





MALTA BUSINESS PROFILES Connect with Malta’s major Legal and Accounting Firms, Professional Advisors and the Finance Centre’s most influential executives.






Accounting & Auditing Baker Tilly Malta.............................................249 Camilleri Galea Limited................................251 Charles Scerri & Associates...........................252 Deloitte.............................................................255 DFK Malta.......................................................256 EY......................................................................257 Grant Thornton...............................................261 Griffiths + Associates Limited......................261 KPMG...............................................................266 M.Meilak & Associates..................................266 Mazars Malta...................................................269 Nexia BT...........................................................271 PKF Malta........................................................272 PwC...................................................................273 Banking Services APS Bank Limited..........................................247 Bank Of Valletta p.l.c......................................249 HSBC Bank Malta P.l.c. Commercial Banking.................................263 HSBC Bank Malta P.l.c. Global Banking Client Manager..............263 HSBC Bank Malta P.l.c. Global Markets.....263 HSBC Bank Malta P.l.c. International Banking Centre..................264 HSBC Bank Malta P.l.c. Trade and Receivables Finance................264 IIG Bank (Malta) Limited.............................265


MFC Merchant Bank Limited......................270 NBG Bank Malta Limited.............................270 Pilatus Bank.....................................................271 Reyl & Cie (Malta) Limited...........................274 Satabank p.l.c...................................................274 Sparkasse Bank Malta p.l.c............................275 Zarattini International Limited....................278 Capital Markets Argentarius ETI Management Limited......248 Malta Stock Exchange p.l.c............................267 Corporate Services Abacus ............................................................245 Amicorp Services Limited.............................247 Athos Family & Business Services...............248 Avanzia Taxand...............................................248 Bastille Trustees Malta Limited....................249 BDO Malta.......................................................250 CSB Group.......................................................253 e-Management Limited.................................257 Fenlex Group...................................................258 Finanz-Audit Limited....................................259 Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Limited.....259 HBM Malta Limited.......................................261 Maitland...........................................................267 NEWCO Corporate Services Limited.........271 PiscoPartners Limited....................................272 Premier Fiduciary & Trust Ltd.....................272

RiskCap International Limited.....................274 STM Malta Trust and Company Management Ltd......................275 Unifin Services Limited.................................276 ZETA.................................................................278 Courier Services DHL Malta.......................................................256 Fund Administration Amicorp Fund Services Malta Limited.......246 Apex Fund Services (Malta) Limited...........247 Calamatta Cuschieri Fund Services Limited...............................251 Castlegate Fund Services Limited................252 Custom House Global Fund Services..........254 Finanz-Fund Services Limited.....................259 IDS Fund Services Malta Limited................264 SGGG Fexserv Fund Services (Malta) Limited...........................275 Valletta Fund Services Limited.....................277 Fund Management Timeless Asset Management Ltd..................276 Government Agency Transport Malta..............................................276






Hr & Recruitment Castille .............................................................252 VacancyCentre................................................277

Media Services CountryProfiler Malta Limited....................253 Office & Business Park Business Office Services International (Malta).................................251 Regus Serviced Offices...................................273

Insurance Services Abacus Risk Management Services Pcc Limited..................................245 DARAG Group Limited................................254 GasanMamo Insurance Limited...................260 Marsh Management Services Malta Limited..............................................268 Munich Re of Malta p.l.c...............................270

Payment Solutions Em@ney p.l.c...................................................256

Investment Services Altarius Asset Management Limited (Malta)...........................................246 Horus Malta Limited......................................262 Integra Private Wealth Limited....................265 Managing Partners Group.............................268 Mediterrania Capital Partners......................269

Real Estate Malta Sotheby's International Realty...........267

Legal Services Acumum - Legal & Advisory........................245 Aequitas Legal.................................................246 Chetcuti Cauchi..............................................253 David Griscti & Associates............................255 Df Advocates...................................................255 Fenech & Fenech Advocates.........................257 Ganado Advocates....................................260 Gonzi and Associates Advocates..................260 Mamo TCV Advocates..................................268 Refalo & Zammit Pace Advocates................273 WH Partners....................................................278

Professional Association Investment Migration Council.....................265 Promotional Agency FinanceMalta...................................................258

Residency & Citizenship Henley & Partners Malta Limited................262 Risk & Compliance DAIS Software Limited..................................254 Telecom & Internet BMIT Limited.................................................250 Melita Limited.................................................269 Vodafone..........................................................277 Travel & Leisure La Valette Club................................................266 Trust Services Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited......................250 HBM Trustees Limited..................................262


Business Directory

ABACUS As an independent and privately owned group of companies based in Malta and the Isle of Man, Abacus provide premier onshore and offshore solutions to an international client base, delivered by an experienced and technically competent team of multidisciplined and multi-lingual professionals. Whether an investment portfolio, a trading company, property, luxury yacht or business jet, we establish effective structures and offer administration services and back office support which is tailored to each individual client. Through comprehensive understanding of the planning behind each structure, we ensure it is the optimum solution in each instance to ensure that the services we provide meet the objectives of the client. PAUL WATTERSON CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


Level 3, Gasan Centre, Mriehel Bypass, Mriehel BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2065 0500 • E: enquiries@abacusmalta.com • W: www.abacusmalta.com Contact: Samantha Snow - Client Services Manager

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, taxefficient and compliant European jurisdiction. Abacus, the Insurance Manager of choice for Malta, the domicile of choice. BAUDOUIN DESCHAMPS DIRECTOR & INSURANCE MANAGER

Abacus Risk Management Services PCC Ltd.


LF3 GasanMamo Head Office, Msida Road, Gżira GZR 1405 - Malta T: (+32) 4754 60500 • E: bdeschamps@abacus.com.mt • W: www.abacus.com.mt Contact: Baudouin Deschamps - Director & Insurance Manager

ACUMUM – LEGAL & ADVISORY Acumum’s senior management of lawyers, accountants and tax advisers provides expert, trusted, cost efficient and bespoke services to an international clientele: individuals, family offices, corporations, Governments & other service providers. Believing in long-term relationships, we provide holistic, sustainable and practical solutions to clients, whilst being committed to a superb level of client service. Centrally managed in the fiscally efficient European jurisdiction of Malta, Acumum’s operations are overseen by Geraldine Noel, a UK barrister registered in Malta, with over 25 years international legal experience. Specialisms: Aviation, Banking & Financial Services, Fiduciary – Trusts & Foundations, Gaming, Intellectual Property, Insurance, Maritime, Personal & Corporate Tax Structuring, Wealth & Estate Planning.


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



Business Directory

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



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

ALTARIUS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Altarius Asset Management Limited (Malta) is part of the Altarius Group, which specialises in on-boarding Investment Managers and Financial Advisors seeking to partner with a European regulated asset manager. Using our fund platform, a dedicated SICAV or a managed account, we cover all regulatory and commercial requirements to assist our clients in building a solid and long-term European-based business.


Cornerstone Complex, Suite A, Level 1, 16th September Square, Mosta MST 1180 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 2540 • E: info@altariusam.com • W: www.altariusam.com Contact: Peter Mitterlehner - Managing Director



AMICORP FUND SERVICES MALTA LIMITED Amicorp Fund Services is part of Amicorp Group. Working as a global team across more than 41 offices in over 30 countries, each of Amicorp’s 900 specialists contributes their individual talents to Amicorp’s broad range of expertise and experience. Amicorp Fund Services is recognized by the MFSA to provide administration services to investment funds, including alternative and traditional funds on a global scale. Our core business includes NAV calculation; Investor and shareholder services; tax compliance and preparation of financial statements; and; corporate management. Furthermore we offer a full range of FATCA compliance services and assist clients with AIFMD reporting. We distinguish ourselves by ensuring the highest level of accuracy of our end product, and by committing to a timely delivery of our services.


Level 1, Blue Harbour Business Centre, Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina, Ta’ Xbiex XBX1027 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 4700 • E: a.sammut@amicorp.com • W: www.amicorp-funds.com Contact: Aaron Sammut - Director


Business Directory

AMICORP SERVICES LIMITED Amicorp Services Limited is part of Amicorp Group. Working as a global team across more than 41 offices in over 30 countries, each of Amicorp’s 900 specialists contributes their individual talents to Amicorp’s broad range of expertise and experience. The Company is a licensed corporate service provider assisting international clients with tailored cross-jurisdictional solutions including but not limited to company set-up and on-going maintenance, company secretarial services, accounting and financial reporting services, tax and regulatory compliance services. Amicorp is licensed to assist foreign nationals and their dependents with acquiring Maltese residence and/or with acquiring a certification of naturalization as citizens of Malta. Its related entity, Amicorp Malta Limited is licensed to act as a trustee and administer trusts and foundations and provide fiduciary services. Additionally the group provides banking facilities to its international clients through its licensed bank.



Level 1, Blue Harbour Business Centre, Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina, Ta’ Xbiex XBX1027 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 4700 • E: c.chetcuti@amicorp.com • W: www.amicorp.com/index.php Contact: Clint Chetcuti - Managing Director

APEX FUND SERVICES (MALTA) LIMITED Apex Fund Services (Malta) Limited is part of one of the world’s largest specialist fund administration and middle office solutions providers. Apex is dedicated to serving successful fund managers and has continually improved and evolved its product suite by surrounding these core services with additional value products; from information delivery and regulatory products to capital introductions. The globally distributed service model spanning 26 jurisdictions is delivered by over 600 staff and has been developed to meet the changing demands of managers across all asset classes. Apex now administers the investments of some of the largest funds and institutional investors in the world. PAULIANNE NWOKO MANAGING DIRECTOR


Central North Business Centre, Level 1, Sqaq il-Fawwara, Sliema SLM1670 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 1330 • E: paulianne@apexfunds.com.mt • W: www.apexfundservices.com Contact: Paulianne Nwoko - Managing Director

APS BANK LTD APS Bank is one of the oldest banks in Malta and a leading provider of financial services ranging from personal to business to investments. Its retail and commercial distribution channels consist of a network of branches and ATMs across the Maltese Islands complemented by a versatile internet banking platform. Wealth management services are also offered through the APS Bank subsidiary companies. For over 100 years, APS Bank has been a trusted partner to its clients assisting with both their economic and social development. As much as its ethical values are rooted in the traditional model of a service-orientated bank, they are equally reflected in its modern commitment towards sustainable financing practices. MARCEL CASSAR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

APS Centre, Tower Street, Birkirkara BKR 4012 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 6644 • E: ceo@apsbank.com.mt • W: www.apsbank.com.mt Contact: Marcel Cassar - Chief Executive Officer



Business Directory

ARGENTARIUS ETI MANAGEMENT LTD Argentarius is a management company for the set up and management of European securitisation companies as well as calculation agent and listing agent for structured financial instruments. Argentarius focuses on the securitisation of alternative investments into ETIs - Exchange Traded Instruments. Argentarius is one of the few European private label service providers for securitisations of alternative investments. In particular, managers of hedge funds, asset managers and managers of structured UCITS Funds are our customers.



66A, The Strand, Sliema - Malta T: (+356) 2016 7300 • E: solutions@argentarius-group.com • W: argentarius-group.com Contact: Andreas Wölfl - Chairman

ATHOS FAMILY & BUSINESS SERVICES (MALTA) LTD Athos Family & Business Services (Malta) Ltd is part of the Athos Group, an international trust boutique. The Athos 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. Athos 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

Whitehall Mansions - Level 2, Ta’ Xbiex Seafront, Ta’ Xbiex XBX1026 - Malta T: (+356) 2099 6099 • E: barry.woestenburg@athos-group.com • W: www.athos-group.com Contact: Barry Woestenburg – Managing Director



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

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


Business Directory

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 141 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


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

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


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

BASTILLE TRUSTEES MALTA LIMITED Bastille Malta Trustees limited is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to offer trust and fiduciary services. Having been licensed since 2005, Bastille has become one of the leading trust and fiduciary service providers in Malta, offering its services to both local and international clients. Bastille has continued to enhance its expertise in trust formation, administration, management and consultancy services providing tailormade Trust and Estate plans in accordance with the specific plans of our clients. Taking advantage of the stable economy, Bastille has expanded its operations and continued to invest in a professional and highly qualified team. Skilled staff that service our clients are continuously attracting foreign investment to Malta. JOSEPH CORDINA DIRECTOR

The Penthouse, Carolina Court, Giuseppe Calì Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1425 - Malta T: (+356) 7955 9999 • E: info@jcordina-andco.com • W: www.bastillemalta.com Contact: Joseph Cordina - Director



Business Directory

BDO MALTA Established in 1978, BDO Malta continues to grow successfully allowing us the ability to fully service our foreign and Maltese clients with all their financial services needs. Our team evolved in its present form through the engagement of specialists who have excelled in their various fields, mainly being: Audit and Assurance, Tax and VAT Compliance and Consulting, Outsourcing Services, Legal and Consulting Services, Fiduciary Services, Banking, Incorporation/Formation of Companies, Correspondence and Administrative Services, Directorship and Company Secretarial, Yachting and Marine Services, Formation of Trusts and Foundations, Securitisation Vehicle and Funds Setup. We are also licensed agents for the Individual Investor Programme. Looking to the future, we will continue to strengthen our service keeping in mind five key components: client needs, communication, commitment, people and value.



Tower Gate Place, Tal-Qroqq Street, Msida MSD 1703 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 3060 • E: info@bdo.com.mt • W: www.bdo.com.mt Contact: Mark Attard - Chief Executive Officer

BENTLEY TRUST (MALTA) LIMITED Bentley Trust (Malta) Limited is part of the Bentley Reid Group providing trustee services, 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

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



BMIT LIMITED 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 Gaming operators. BMIT’s suite of solutions includes: Access to multiple data centres in Malta, Italy and Germany, an exclusive 40Gbps private network for clients with advanced multi-layered DDoS protection, Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Services, Managed IT Services & Disaster Recovery Solutions. All our services operate from ISO 27001 and PCI DSS certified data centres, 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) 2258 8200 • E: marketing@bmit.com.mt • W: www.bmit.com.mt Contact: Jack Mizzi - Chief Marketing & BD Officer


Business Directory

BUSINESS OFFICE SERVICES INTERNATIONAL (MALTA) Business Office Services offers fully furnished, high-quality, plug-and-play offices at their newly inaugurated Business Centre in Mrieħel. Besides office space, we offer our clients a full suite of associated business services tailored to their individual requirements. Following the overwhelming take-up since the launch of the business centre in July 2015, we are increasing our office space to 2,000sqm. Organisations ranging from start-ups, requiring a minimal amount of space to larger companies requiring a larger footprint, now have the opportunity to relocate to our business office conveniently located close to the Mrieħel bypass. Our services allow you to focus on what is important to you – your business, whilst our team of highly trained professionals support your day-to-day operation. On-site private parking facilities are also available.



Vision Exchange Building, Territorials Street, Mrieħel, Birkirkara BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356 ) 2014 5300 • E : Amanda.balzan@boservices.com.mt • W: www.bos-international.com Contact: Amanda Balzan - Office Manager, Malta

CALAMATTA CUSCHIERI FUND SERVICES LIMITED Calamatta Cuschieri Fund Services Limited is a leading fund administration company based in Malta. Forming part of the CC Group and boasting investment management experience dating back to 1972, we provide an all-inclusive service from the setting up and launching of a fund, to accounting and investor services as well as ongoing corporate support for funds domiciled both in Malta as well as overseas. We are able to combine our technology and industry expertise to deliver a customised package of services to our clients which allows them to focus on taking their businesses forward.



5th Floor, Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta VLT 1103 - Malta T: (+356) 2568 8688 • E: ccfs@cc.com.mt • W: www.cc.com.mt Contact: Michael Galea - Managing Director

CAMILLERI GALEA LTD Camilleri Galea Ltd., Certified Public Accountants provide timely, high value added and personalised service to international and local corporate and private clients by delivering holistic support through assurance, accountancy, advisory, corporate and tax compliance, company formations, backoffice, payroll and other related services. We have access to international expertise and work with international tax, accounting and legal specialists in their individual jurisdictions and major business centres around the world.


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



Business Directory

CASTILLE Castille is the Specialist Recruitment Agency for Tech, Legal, Finance & Accountancy Jobs in Malta. Years of specialisation have given Castille the possibility to work with leading local and international businesses in Malta. We work hard to gain a unique insight into our professional network and provide our client businesses with recommended talent. This is based on our expert knowledge in our specialist disciplines and on our experience with the businesses and industries we service. Our current areas of expertise are Executive Search, Audit, Tax & Advisory, Accountancy, Legal & Compliance, Financial Services, Tech and Digital Media & Marketing. MATTHEW CAMILLERI MANAGING DIRECTOR


Casa Leone, Triq l-Imhazen, 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 highquality, customer-driven service, with emphasis on responsiveness, attention to detail and competitive pricing. In addition to start-ups, we can also assist funds looking to a 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

6, Third Floor, Market Street, Floriana FRN 1082 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 6608 • E: contact@castlegatefundservices.com • W: www.castlegatefundservices.com Contact: Niall Brooks - Director



CHARLES SCERRI & ASSOCIATES Charles Scerri & Associates (CSA) is an established multi-disciplinary audit firm based in Malta providing accounting, financial advisory, audit and assurance and corporate services. CSA, established in 1995, specialising in taxation and Audit services brings world-class capabilities to its clients, through its membership in IAPA International, having more than 240 offices in 80 jurisdictions. We know our clients and have together built long-standing relationships that enables CSA to anticipate clients needs in times of growth and development. We take pride in our clients’ success and combine professional knowledge, integrity and an entrepreneurial approach when responding to client needs. This enables us to provide tailor-made solutions to individual business needs, through our professional and qualified staff.


The Penthouse, Carolina Court, Giuseppe Calì Street, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1425 - Malta T: (+356) 2137 4747 • E: charles@charlesscerri.com • W: www.charlesscerri.com Contact: Charles Scerri – Managing Partner


Business Directory

CHETCUTI CAUCHI ADVOCATES Main jurisdictions: Malta, Cyprus Representative Offices: London, Zurich Services: Investment Funds Licensing, Fintech Licensing, Investment Services Licensing, AML & Regulatory Compliance, International Tax, Company Formation & Management, Trusts & Foundations, Online Gaming Licensing, Intellectual Property, European Residency & Citizenship, Aircraft & Yacht Ownership Structures




120, St Ursula Street, Valletta VLT 1236 - Malta T :(+356) 2205 6200 • E: info@ccmalta.com • W: www.ccmalta.com Contact: Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti – Managing Partner

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


64, St Anne Court, Flat 2, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1642 - Malta T: (+356) 2034 2034 • E: puglisevich@countryprofiler.com • W: www.countryprofiler.com Contact: Melissa Puglisevich - Office Manager

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 setup or relocate their business to Malta. CSB’s areas of specialisation today are: Corporate & Trust; Advisory; Legal; Tax; 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; Payroll & Tax Administration; Regulatory & Legal Consultancy; Licensing of Payment Services Providers (PSPs) & Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs); iGaming Licencing; Investment Fund Registration & Administration; Ship, Yacht & Aircraft Registration; HR Consultancy; Citizenship & Residence Permits & Serviced Office Space.


The Penthouse, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2557 2557 • E: info@csbgroup.com • W: www.csbgroup.com Contact: Michael J. Zammit - Group Chief Executive Officer



Business Directory

CUSTOM HOUSE GLOBAL FUND SERVICES As an independent fund administrator, Custom House Global Fund Services combines 25 years of experience administering alternative investment funds of all sizes and strategies, with an innovative, entrepreneurial, technology-driven service model that puts our clients first. We are a global leader in the financial services and fund administration business, offering a full suite of services from our offices in Chicago, Dublin, Geneva, Guernsey, Hong Kong, London, Malta, New York, Rotterdam, Singapore, Sofia and Sydney.Custom House is fully regulated, as required, in each jurisiction.



SmartCity Malta SCM 01, Level 4, Ricasoli, Kalkara SCM 1001 - Malta T: (+356) 2258 2100 • E: kevin.caruana@mt.customhousegroup.com • w ww.customhousegroup.com Contact: Kevin Caruana - Managing Director

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


64, St Anne Court, Suite 2, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1642 - Malta T: (+356) 2034 2037 • E: support@dais.com.mt • W: www.dais.com.mt Contact: Savas Manyasli - Founder, solution architect



DARAG GROUP LTD DARAG is a specialist insurer in the fastest-growing segment of the insurance industry: run-off – with a market potential of more than €240 billion in Europe. DARAG conclusively relieves ceding companies from old risks, enables them to release capital, and guarantees professional settlement of claims. The focus of our business offering, and hence our sole product, is “technical finality”, which we achieve through three alternative transaction instruments: transfer of insurance portfolios, acquisitions of independent entities and structured reinsurance solutions. DARAG Group Ltd. is the new European entity originating from the German DARAG Deutsche Versicherungs- und Rückversicherungs-AG in 2015. Since 2009, DARAG has signed 22 run-off transactions in 12 countries with a volume of over €650 million.


Aragon House Business Centre, Dragonara Road, St.Julian’s STJ 3140 - Malta T: (+356) 2137 8349 • E: info@darag.eu • W: www.darag.eu Contact: Arndt Gossmann - Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

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 services 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 back-office administrative services. DR DAVID GRISCTI SENIOR PARTNER


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

DELOITTE Deloitte Malta is a multidisciplinary firm, which offers a wide range of professional services. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories, Deloitte brings together world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients. Deloitte has the largest international tax practice in Malta, a dedicated financial services practice, an experienced audit team, a financial advisory arm and a growing consulting practice - all servicing a vast range of national and international Logo sizes There are two size variants of the logo: companies, together with private and high-net-worth individuals. Standard size: for all applications requiring a logo 30mm and above in length. Small size: for all applications requiring a logo smaller than 30mm. This logo has been optimized to reproduce well at small sizes: the ‘counter space’ within the letter ‘e’ has been opened up to stop the ink filling in, as well as opening up the space between the letters to achieve the right appearance at small sizes.


NB The shortest length the logo can be is 15mm in printed applications, or 80 pixels wide for onscreen applications.

100mm Deloitte Place, Mriehel Bypass, Mriehel BKR3000 - Malta Standard size logo is for applications requiring a logo over 30mm in length T: (+356) 2343 2000 • E: info@deloitte.com.mt • W: www.deloitte.com/mt Contact: Malcom Booker - Chief Executive Officer 30mm


Small use logo is for applications requiring a logo less than 30mm in length

DF ADVOCATES DF Advocates is a Malta based law firm. We advise international and local businesses 15mm or 80px and on local and cross-border transactions involving complex legal issues Minimumentrepreneurs size for logo usage in print is 15mm wide, or 80 pixels 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 Clearspace Services, weisare authorised by Malta Financial Services Authority to provide fiduciary Always make sure there sufficient clearspace around the logothe to maintain its impact and integrity. The minimum clearspace rule is equal to the height of one ‘D’. No and trust services, whilst through DF Marine Consultancy, we operate our maritime law other graphic element may appear within this area. Always allow for more clearspace wherever possible. division and provide related advisory and back office services. DR KEVIN DEGUARA MANAGING PARTNER

Il Piazzetta A Suite 41 Level 4 Tower Road, Sliema SLM 1607 - Malta T: (+356) 2131 3930 • E: kevin.deguara@dfadvocates.com • W: www.dfadvocates.com 3 Contact: Dr Kevin Deguara – Managing Partner


Master logo Users guide




Business Directory

DFK MALTA DFK Malta is a member of DFK International, a worldwide association of independent accounting firms and business advisers. Thanks to the experience and technical expertise of the partners, directors and staff and the excellent ties that it enjoys with the other network firms around the globe, DFK Malta provides various services to a broad range of clients in all major sectors. The firm provides Audit and Assurance services, whereas through our affiliate entity DFK Malta Tax & Consultancy Limited, we also provide Tax services, Business Advisory, Accountancy and Consultancy and Residence Advisory services. Our other affiliate entity, DFK Malta Corporate Services Limited, provides Fiduciary Services and Corporate Advisory and Support services. EMANUEL FARRUGIA MANAGING PARTNER


36/2, Manol Mansion, De Paule Avenue, Balzan BZN 9022 - Malta T: (+356) 2144 4962 • E: info@dfkmalta.com • W: www.dfkmalta.com Contact: Emanuel Farrugia - Managing Partner

DHL DHL is the global market leader in the industry and “The Logistics Company for the World”. Our popular International Express door-to-door delivery service is available when you’re sending document or non-document shipments anywhere around the world. In Malta it was the first company to establish itself, and DHL Express remains a pioneer, constantly providing new solutions for its customers, solutions that make it the market leader. While maintaining the largest market share, DHL sets very high levels of service and always seeks to serve the customer in the best possible way. Having a constant presence in the Maltese market since 1983, DHL has acquired a deep knowledge of critical shipments as well as unparalleled experience in the specialised handling of express deliveries for each industry sector.


MIA Cargo Village, Luqa, LQA 3290 - Malta T: (+356) 2180 0148 • E: Charles.schiavone@dhl.com • W: www.dhl.com.mt Contact: Charles Schiavone - Country Manager



EM@NEY PLC Founded in 2011, the company is involved in electronic money issuing and payment services, payment circuits and customised internet banking solutions. In 2015, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) licensed Em@ney as a Financial Institution. The Em@ney platform has been designed to innovate and optimise the experience for micro-payments, client fidelization and transaction tracking. The platform guarantees transactions without threats of money laundering and Financing of Terrorism due to the absence of anonymous users in the network and the utilisation of sophisticated security tools. A highly professional team, specialised in both the financial and technological fields, allows the company to offer advanced bank and payment technology as well as secure, fast and tailor-made services.


Regent House 4/45, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM1640 - Malta T: (+356) 2733 9910 • E: em@emoney.com.mt • W: www.emoney.com.mt Contact: Konstantin Balassopulos - Director of International Relations


Business Directory

E-MANAGEMENT LIMITED e-Management, a dedicated business division of HBM Group is a leading specialised turnkey provider of Business Support & Corporate Services to the Online Gaming Industry. We focus on establishing and managing internationally engaged e-Gaming Companies based out of Curaçao and Malta. With almost two decades of experience in assisting major software providers and operators with their corporate and licensing requirements in both Curacao and Malta, we were amongst the first Corporate Services Providers in 1997 to enter the Online Gaming Industry. e-Management offers innovative services by assisting all e-Gaming (related) businesses to efficiently and effectively structure their enterprise in an ever-changing and challenging business environment without borders. e-Management, via HBM Group, provides its Business Support & Corporate Services in 13 jurisdictions worldwide.



28, Cathedral Street, Sliema SLM1525 - Malta T: (+356) 2132 3626 • E: sarah.borg@emanagement-group.com • W: www.emanagement-group.com Contact: Sarah Borg - Director

EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 190,000 people in member firms in more than 150 countries are united by a common purpose − building a better working world. The firm has been operating locally since the late 1990s and employs over 200 people. Our diverse client base consists of prestigious local and international companies, and most public sector organisations.



Regional Business Centre, Achille Ferris Street, Msida MSD1751 - Malta T: (+356) 21342134 • E: ey.malta@mt.ey.com • W: www.ey.com/MT Contact: Annabel Gauci - Brand, Marketing and Communications Manager

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 firm’s largely international clientele is serviced by a team of over 95 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 provide 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 • E: f.f@fenechlaw.com • W: www.fenechlaw.com Contact: Dr Ann Fenech - Managing Partner



Business Directory

FENLEX GROUP As a leading management and corporate services provider, the Fenlex group caters to a large international client base. Fenlex provides a wide range of services including company incorporation and maintenance, tax and VAT compliance, accountancy, payroll, bank account administration, directorship services, trusts & foundations, recruitment as well as operational assistance. The group has been active in servicing the international business sector since the 1980s and its clients are serviced by a multi-disciplinary team organised into the Corporate Services, Accounts, Tax Compliance, Banking and Operations departments. Fenlex is closely associated with Fenech & Fenech Advocates, a leading law firm. KARL DIACONO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


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

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 • E: chairman@financemalta.org • W: www.financemalta.org Contact: Kenneth Farrugia - Chairman



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 • E: ivan.grech@financemalta.org • W: www.financemalta.org Contact: Ivan Grech - Head of Business Development


Business Directory

FINANZ-AUDIT LIMITED Finanz-Audit Limited provides audit, tax and advisory services to a broad range of business from sole entrepreneur to the large multinational corporation spanning multiple industries. Finanz–Audit Limited is committed to providing quality client service with professional objectivity while preserving the trust of clients by offering personalised attention to each client. The foundation of our success lies in the expertise of our ‘high-calibre’ staff. Their skills, knowledge, professionalism and energy enable us to provide prompt, efficient and high-quality services.



Level 1, Somnium, Tower Road, Swatar, Birkirkara BKR4012 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 8080 • E:info@finanz-audit.com • W: www.finanz-audit.com Contact: Cosmas Cosma - Director

FINANZ-FUND SERVICES LTD Finanz-Fund Services was incorporated in 2015 following a collaboration between CSB Group (Malta) and Treppides Fund Services (Cyprus) Ltd. Finanz offers a wide range of fund services to our client base ranging from hedge funds, retail funds, funds of funds, private equity funds, venture capitals and real estate funds. Through our expertise, we can project-manage the life-cycle of the fund ranging from Advice, Application & Incorporation, NAV & Investor Services, Accounting, Audit, Directorship, Company Secretarial, Compliance, MLRO and required Regulatory reporting. Finanz-Fund Services is an authorised fund administrator by the Malta Financial Services Authority. BJORN GRECH HEAD OF OPERATIONS


Somnium, Level 2, Tower Road, Swatar BKR 4012 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 8060 • E: bgrech@finanz-fundservices.com • W: www.finanz-fundservices.com Contact: Bjorn Grech - Head of Operations

FRANCIS J. VASSALLO & ASSOCIATES LIMITED Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Limited was established in 1998 by Francis J. Vassallo, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Malta. Its team of lawyers, accountants and support professionals delivers a broad spectrum of bespoke services to a global client portfolio. This one-stop-shop boutique firm provides a personalized 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, Investment Funds, Shipping and Aviation, Trusts, VAT, Residency & Related services, and back-office Support Services. FRANCIS J. VASSALLO PRESIDENT

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



Business Directory

GANADO ADVOCATES GANADO Advocates is a leading full service business law firm based in Malta, widely recognised for its business and commercial law practices. Consistently ranked by clients, peers and independent directories alike as a top-tier law firm in all its core sectors, the firm aims to provide its clients with sound yet practical legal advice based on unparalleled experience and industry insight. GANADO Advocates has, 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. Today, the firm continues to provide high standards of legal advisory service to support and enhance Malta’s offering. DR LOUIS CASSAR PULLICINO MANAGING PARTNER


171, Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1455 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 5406 • E: lawfirm@ganadoadvocates.com • W: www.ganadoadvocates.com Contact: Dr Louis Cassar Pullicino - Managing Partner

GASANMAMO INSURANCE LTD GasanMamo is one of Malta’s leading insurers, providing excellent value insurance products for both personal and commercial clients. We believe in lasting relationships built on trust and value. Our customers are at the very heart of all we strive to do. Our proven track record dating back to 1947 positions us confidently on our patch going forward. Professional, friendly and helpful service is how we like to be seen.


Head Office, Msida Road, Gżira GZR 1405 - Malta T: (+356) 2349 0501 • E: jmamo@gasanmamo.com • W: www.gasanmamo.com Contact: Julian J Mamo - Managing Director



GONZI & 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 VLT 1515 - Malta T: (+356) 2015 7000 • E: info@gonzi.com.mt • W: www.gonzi.com.mt Contact: Tiziana Calleja – Corporate Services Manager


Business Directory

GRANT THORNTON As a member firm of Grant Thornton International we offer clients a flexible, responsive service with the breadth and depth of skills to appeal to a variety of markets and with the experience, knowledge and expertise to undertake specialised, sector-specific work. Our clients can access the knowledge and experience of more than 42,000 people in over 130 countries and consistently receive a distinctive, high quality and boutique service wherever they choose to do business. With over 40 years of industry experience, we focus on providing a full range of services including assurance, tax, advisory, specialist financial services, corporate and outsourcing services to clients ranging from public companies, multi-nationals and government agencies to entrepreneurial businesses across a broad spectrum of industries.



Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2132 0134 • E: grantthornton@mt.gt.com.mt • W: www.grantthornton.com.mt Contact: Wayne Pisani - Partner, Tax and Regulatory

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



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

HBM MALTA LIMITED HBM Group (est. 1991) is the leading independent financial services provider. We assist in the formation and management of international companies for businesses and individuals, ensuring compliance with international legislation. Our team of professionals, with over a decade of experience, offers premier and personalised service to each client. We understand each client is unique. By building on our tradition of excellence, and protecting the integrity and reputation of our clients, we are committed to providing our clients with all the necessary services for economic success. HBM Group can guarantee the highest standard of business ethics, the utmost confidentiality, and state-of-the-art technology. SARAH BORG DIRECTOR

28, Cathedral Street, Sliema SLM1525 - Malta T: (+356) 2132 3626 • E: sarah.borg@hbmgroup.com • W: www.hbmgroup.com Contact: Sarah Borg - Director



Business Directory

HBM TRUSTEES LIMITED HBM Trustees is a dedicated business division of HBM Group (est. 1991), with offices in reputable Trust Jurisdictions worldwide. We are a leading dedicated niche provider of Business Support & Corporate Services to HNW Individuals and Business Owners of successful closely held companies. As a professional, client-oriented service provider of fiduciary services, we focus on establishing, managing and administering Trusts and Private Foundations based out of Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Malta, Nevis, Panama, and St. Maarten. With more than two and a half decades of experience in assisting HNW Individuals and Business Owners with their wealth management and corporate structuring worldwide, HBM Trustees is your International Entrusted Solutions partner in business in today’s ever-changing and challenging regulatory environment.



28, Cathedral Street, Sliema SLM1525 - Malta T: (+356) 2132 3626 • E: sarah.borg@hbmgroup.com • W: www.hbmgroup.com Contact: Sarah Borg - Director

HENLEY & PARTNERS MALTA LTD Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship planning. Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals, families and their advisors rely on our expertise and experience in this area. Henley & Partners was awarded a Public Services Concession in 2013 by competitive tender with regard to the design, implementation and international promotion of the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP). Henley & Partners Malta, having designed the application processes for the MIIP, can deliver the best possible chance of achieving successful citizenship applications.


Aragon House, Dragonara Road, St Julians STJ 3140 - Malta T: (+356) 2138 7400 • E: stuart.macfeeters@henleyglobal.com • W: www.henleyglobal.com Contact: Stuart MacFeeters - Managing Director



HORUS MALTA LTD Horus Malta Ltd. is an Independent Asset Manager owned and managed by the founders of Horus Partners Wealth Management Group SA. Horus Malta Ltd works for a select group of private clients, and takes a global perspective of their needs far beyond the limits of conventional wealth management and thus provides highly customised solutions to meet client requirements and objectives and exceed expectations. The services provided include: investment advice, investment management and risk management. We aim to deliver value to our clients through a family-style office and prioritise excellent service levels over rapid business expansion. SALVINO BUSUTTIL CHAIRMAN

HORUS MALTA LTD Aragon House – Business Centre, Dragonara Road, St.Julian’s STJ 3140 - Malta T: (+356) 2138 3844 • E: diandra.muscat@hpwmg.com.mt Contact: Diandra Muscat – Deputy Chief Executive Officer

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Business Directory

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 solutions are available to meet the diverse needs of the business community, including Loans & Overdrafts, Trade and Receivables Finance, Payments and Cash Management, Foreign Exchange as well as Internet Banking to meet the needs of business customers. We are an international bank with local expertise supporting all business segments in Malta.



Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 4832 • E: michelcordina@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: Michel Cordina - Head of Commercial Banking

HSBC BANK MALTA PLC GLOBAL BANKING CLIENT MANAGER 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. WAYNE SPITERI ASSOCIATED DIRECTOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS GROUP GLOBAL BANKING & MARKETS


1st Floor, Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 2280 • E: wayne.spiteri@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: Wayne Spiteri - Associated Director Financial Institutions Group Global Banking & Markets

HSBC BANK MALTA PLC GLOBAL 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.


1st Floor, Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 2280 • E: wayne.spiteri@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: Wayne Spiteri - Head - GBM Business Management



Business Directory

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, as well as Trade and Payments through its award winning HSBCnet cross-border internet platform. HSBC Group’s rating of AA- is an additional level of comfort for the bank’s customers. STEVE ZARB HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS


Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM 3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 1724 • E: stevezarb@hsbc.com • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: Steve Zarb - 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 transactions 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 amongst other awards in 2015.


Business Banking Centre, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2380 1828 • E: gaetanosammut@hsbc.com.mt • W: www.hsbc.com.mt Contact: Gaetano Sammut - Senior Trade and Supply Chain Manager



IDS FUND SERVICES MALTA LTD The IDS Group is an independent fund administration group founded in 2002, specialising in the provision of back office services to alternative asset managers including hedge funds, funds of hedge funds and private equity funds. The IDS Group is the largest fund administrator in Africa with assets under administration of approximately $10bn with a presence in Cape Town, Malta and Mauritius. IDS Fund Services Malta Ltd (“IDS Malta”), a subsidiary of the IDS Group, was set up in Malta in April of 2010 and since incorporation has experienced steady growth. Our clients trade all investment strategies, and we pride ourselves in partnering with them and providing a tailored solution to meet their differing requirements. MICHAEL KEYROUZ MANAGING DIRECTOR

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


Business Directory

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


Level 20, Portomaso Business Tower, St. Julians STJ 4011 - Malta T: (+356) 2248 4510 • E: raymond.busuttil@iigbank-malta.com • W: www.iigbank-malta.com Contact: Raymond Busuttil - Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

INTEGRA PRIVATE WEALTH LTD Integra Private Wealth is a privately owned financial services company set up in 2009. The Company operates under various authorisations issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority including MiFID services, De Minimis AIF Manager, Corporate Services Provider and Listing Agent on the EWSM. The Company’s boutique approach allows for the provision of a complete wealth management service to private international highnet-worth clients and institutional counterparties which includes management on a wide ranging portfolio of professional investor funds across different investment strategies and asset classes. This is achieved through a strong network of international professional partners as well as the support offices located in Italy, Switzerland and Urguay. ALISTAIR MUSCAT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


228, Tower Road, Sliema SLM 1601 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 8831 • E: info@integra-pw.com • W: www.integra-pw.com Contact: Alistair Muscat – Chief Executive Officer

INVESTMENT MIGRATION COUNCIL The IMC is the worldwide association for professionals dealing with investor migration and citizenship-by-investment, bringing together the leading stakeholders in the field and giving the industry a voice. The IMC sets the standards on a global level and interacts with other professional associations, governments and international organisations in relation to investor migration. The IMC helps to improve public understanding of the issues faced by clients and governments in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members. The IMC is constituted as a not-for-profit association under Swiss law. Based in Geneva, it has representative offices in New York, London, Dubai and Hong Kong. The Governing Board and non-executive Advisory Committee, are represented by the most important industry stakeholders.


16 rue Maunoir, 1211 Geneva - Switzerland T: (+41) 22 533 1333 • E: info@investmentmigration.org • W: www.investmentmigration.org Contact: Bruno L’ecuyer - Chief Executive Officer



Business Directory

KPMG With a staff compliment of over 280, including 29 principals, KPMG in Malta is one of the leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services. Our vision is to be the clear choice for our clients, our people and our community. We are committed to working shoulderto-shoulder with our clients by adopting a client-centric approach that integrates innovative approaches and deep expertise to deliver real results. This commitment translates into a high level of client satisfaction – 100 per cent of our surveyed clients confirmed that we met or exceeded their expectations. Following the acquisition of Crimsonwing plc, rebranded KPMG Crimsonwing, by a joint venture between the UK, Malta and Dutch practices, KPMG is today the largest professional services provider in Malta with a staff compliment of over 500 professionals.



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

LA VALETTE CLUB La Valette Club at Malta International Airport has been perfecting its VIP services for the past 22 years, with an aim to provide exceptional value to its guests’ airport experience. La Valette Club offers a variety of membership options, giving members access to the airport lounges, privileges such as complimentary parking and chauffeur and porterage services. Whether a frequent flyer or a business traveller, La Valette Club services are tailored to help guests save precious time and unwind before proceeding with their journey. The La Valette Club also operates Malta International Airport’s VIP Terminal, which rolled out its red carpet just over a year ago for guests seeking a more exclusive travel experience. GEORGE MALLIA HEAD RETAIL AND PROPERTY

c/o Malta International Airport, Luqa LQA 4000 - Malta T: (+356) 2369 6516 • E: george.mallia@maltairport.com • W: www.lavaletteclub.com Contact: George Mallia - Head Retail and Property



M. MEILAK & ASSOCIATES M. Meilak & Associates is an award-winning tax advisory and accountancy firm serving international and local businesses. 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 company formation, corporate services, direct and indirect tax advice, accountancy services and immigration and residence advice.


Arch P. Pace Street, Victoria VCT 2504 - Gozo, Malta T: (+356) 2156 1216 • E: malcolm@mmtaxadvisors.com • W: www.mmtaxadvisors.com Contact: Malcolm Meilak - Managing Director


Business Directory

MAITLAND Whether you are a private or corporate client, Maitland can assist you. Maitland was founded in Luxembourg in 1976 and now employs over 1200 people in 15 offices across 12 countries. The firm is a global provider of multi-jurisdictional legal, tax, fiduciary, investment advisory and fund administration services. 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. We are also able to offer advice on the local residence and citizenship schemes. Our team in Malta is able to draw on Maitland’s cross-border expertise and knowledge of multiple jurisdictions in providing clients with optimal solutions.



4th Floor, Avantech Building, St Julian’s Road, San Gwann SGN 2805 - Malta T: (+356) 2144 6377 • E: mel.roberts@maitlandgroup.com • W: www.maitlandgroup.com Contact: Mel Roberts - Head of Maitland Malta Office

MALTA SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY Malta Sotheby’s International Realty aims to serve the high-end residential and commercial real estate market, representing lifestyle properties of exceptional quality and unique characteristics. A brand that represents quality and luxury, its presence in Malta serves international clients looking for high-end real estate investment in Malta and Gozo, and local clients seeking real estate investment opportunities worldwide through our international network. Services include: Residential Sales & Letting, Commercial Sales & Letting, Property Management and Relocation & Residency.



199-200, Tower Road Sliema SLM 1602 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 8070 • E: info@maltasothebysrealty.com • W: www.maltasothebysrealty.com Contact: Miguel Bonello - General Manager

MALTA STOCK EXCHANGE PLC The Malta Stock 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. Furthermore, it offers SMEs access to the capital market through Prospects, which operates under an MTF structure. The Malta Stock Exchange also offers a comprehensive range of back-office services, including maintenance of share and bond registers, clearing and settlement as well as custody services through its in-house Central Securities Depository. The Exchange enjoys international accessibility, both through its relationship with Clearstream Banking in Frankfurt, Germany and in Luxembourg, as well as through the use of the XETRA trading platform, operated by Deutsche Bourse in Frankfurt.


Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta VLT 1063 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 4051 • E: jportelli@borzamalta.com.mt • W: www.borzamalta.com.mt Contact: Joseph Portelli - Chairman



Business Directory

MAMO TCV ADVOCATES Mamo TCV Advocates is a Maltese tier-one law firm with a strong international practice and actively involved in all practice areas of commercial law, with a particular focus on corporate and financial services. The firm is committed to providing bespoke legal solutions to a number of companies and groups, funds, investment firms, family offices and other entities and individuals in the relevant sectors and industries. Our mission is to deliver high-quality services in structuring and implementing business and investment proposals in a pro-active, efficient and timely fashion, and to foster our local and international network to offer comprehensive and integrated services to clients. PROF. ANDREW MUSCAT MANAGING PARTNER


Palazzo Pietro Stiges, 103, Strait Street, Valletta VLT 1436 - Malta T: (+356) 21232271 • E: andrew.muscat@mamotcv.com • W: www.mamotcv.com Contact: Prof. Andrew Muscat – Managing Partner

MANAGING PARTNERS GROUP Managing Partners Group (MPG) is an asset management group that specialises in structuring, managing and administering mutual funds, securitisations and collective investment schemes. We offer a wide range of investment vehicles that invest in specific asset classes, including property, life settlements and hedge funds. Our securitisations may be listed on a bourse to become transferable securities. At the core of MPG’s proposition is its shrewd and rigorous approach to managing money. The Senior Management Team has over 100 years of collective experience in managing assets. This strength in depth has enabled MPG to give investors steady, incremental returns, despite some of the harshest conditions financial markets have experienced in recent years.


Level 6, The Hedge Business Centre, Triq ir-Rampa ta’ San Giljan, Balluta Bay, St. Julian’s STJ 1062 - Malta T: (+356) 2786 3100 • E: info@managingpartnersgroup.com • W: www.managingpartnersgroup.com Contact: Jeremy Leach – Chief Executive Officer



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. STEPHEN PORTELLI HEAD OF OFFICE

The Hedge Business Centre, Level 3, Triq ir-Rampa ta’ San Giljan, Balluta Bay, St Julians, STJ1062 - Malta T: (+356) 2342 3000 • E: stephen.portelli@marsh.com • W: www.marshcaptivesolutions.com Contact: Stephen Portelli – Head of Office


Business Directory

MAZARS MALTA Mazars Malta is today one of Malta’s top ten multi-disciplinary audit and advisory firms. It is committed to giving its clients an efficient and value for money service, assuring a high level of commitment and quality. Owing to its size, it is in a strategic position to offer its clients a wide range of specialised services whilst retaining a close direct personal touch. Our service portfolio includes company formation, accounting, payroll services, VAT advisory and compliance services, corporate and personal tax planning, and auditing. As an integrated member firm of Mazars, it is in a position to draw experience and resources from Mazars worldwide. ANTHONY ATTARD MANAGING PARTNER


32, Sovereign Building, Zaghfran Road, Attard ATD 9012 - Malta T: (+356) 2134 5760 • E: anthony.attard@mazars.com.mt • W: www.mazars.com.mt Contact: Anthony Attard - Managing Partner

MEDITERRANIA CAPITAL PARTNERS Mediterrania Capital Partners is a dedicated private equity firm which focuses on growth investments of SMEs and mid-cap companies in North Africa and Sub-Saharan countries. Operating through offices in Malta, Barcelona, Casablanca, Tunis and Algiers, Mediterrania Capital Partners manages two investment funds and has a strong approach to Value Creation. The company’s mission is to make portfolio companies successful and strong in the long-run while giving superior returns to its investors, and having a social and economic impact in the Africa region. Mediterrania Capital Partners is a regulated financial investment manager licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). ALBERT ALSINA FOUNDER, CEO AND MANAGING PARTNER


B2, Industry Street, Qormi QRM 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 9914 7237 • E: communications@mcapitalp.com • W: www.mcapitalp.com Contact: Montserrat Petit - Communications Manager

MELITA LTD Melita is Malta’s leading provider of next generation broadband, fixed and wireless connectivity services, and owns and operates Malta’s largest data centre facility built to Tier 3 specifications. Through its advanced converged nationwide network reaching over 99% of dwellings in Malta, Melita serves the growing telecommunication needs of small and large businesses along with leading positions in the broadband, pay-tv and mobile consumer markets. Through redundant submarine fibre cables connecting Malta to mainland Europe, Melita provides high quality connectivity to Malta’s growing financial, online and technology service provider sectors through its Milan based peering capabilities to the world’s leading connectivity providers. MALCOLM BRIFFA DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS SERVICES

Birkirkara Bypass, Mriehel, BKR 3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2727 3535 • E: corporate.sales@melitaltd.com • W: datacentre.melita.com Contact: Malcolm Briffa - Director of Business Services



Business Directory

MFC MERCHANT BANK LTD MFC Merchant Bank is a 100% subsidiary of MFC Bancorp Ltd. The bank specialises in a range of structured finance solutions, including factoring, forfaiting, inventory finance, trade finance, bank guarantees and other services to international finance and supply chain customers and suppliers. These banking services strategically supplement the MFC Group’s core franchise in the international supply chain business, which includes structuring of cross-border transactions, logistics, risk management and strategic consulting.



The Plaza Commercial Centre, Level 4, Suite 7, Bisazza Street, Sliema SLM 1640 - Malta T: (+356) 2328 6000 • E: info@mfc-bank.com • W: www.mfcmerchantbank.com Contact: Dr Otto Karasek- 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% subsidiary of Munich Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurers which stands for exceptional solutionbased 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.


Level 4, Whitehall Mansions, Ta’ Xbiex Seafront, Ta’ Xbiex XBX 1026 - Malta T: (+356) 2248 0821 • E: info@munichremalta.com • W: www.munichre.com Contact: Peter Miehle - Chief Executive Officer



NBG BANK MALTA LTD 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 (Ex. Foreign Exchange and Derivative products) and provides custodian services for its clients. CENK KAHRAMAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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


Business Directory

NEWCO CORPORATE SERVICES LTD 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 25 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 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 and assistance to high-net worth individuals in Malta. FREDERICO GOUVEIA E SILVA MANAGING PARTNER


89, St. John Street, Valletta VLT 1165 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 3120 • 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 ranging from company incorporation and compliance, to specialised advisory services, audit and assurance, tax advisory and accounting, for particular sectors such as financial services, international trade, remote gaming, investment funds, maritime and aviation. We equally offer international support including back office operations and advisory services, in a responsive, proficient and professional manner. Our International Client Services Department specialises in offering tailor-made and holistic business solutions to individuals wishing to relocate to Malta under the various citizenship and residence programmes available. The firm is a member of Nexia International, a top worldwide network of independent accounting and consulting firms with offices in over 120 countries.



The Penthouse, Suite 2, Capital Business Centre, Entrance C, Triq taz-Zwejt, San Gwann SGN3000 - Malta T: (+356) 2163 7778 • E: info@nexiabt.com • W: www.nexiabt.com Contact: Karl Cini – Partner - Tax and International Client Services

PILATUS BANK Pilatus Bank is a European-regulated bank that provides private and commercial banking services to high-net-worth individuals and financial institutions mainly in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The bank also provides its clients with customised private banking and wealth management services through advisory and discretionary mandates as part of Investment Services. Pilatus Bank utilises today’s modern software applications to bring its core banking system with its extensive capabilities to its clients’ place of choice. The bank’s dedicated team of professionals and its investment in technology help address the clients’ financial aspirations by providing expertise through the consolidation of all their banking requirements, ranging from corporate facilities to personal wealth management. As a modern private bank, Pilatus Bank distinguishes itself through enhanced customer service and modern banking solutions.

Whitehall Mansions, Level 2, Ta’ Xbiex Wharf, Ta’ Xbiex XBX1026 - Malta T: (+356) 2779 9999 • E: info@pilatusbank.com • W: www.pilatusbank.com Contact: Hamidreza Ghanbari - Chief Executive Officer




Business Directory

PISCOPARTNERS LTD PiscoPartners is a Specialist Tax and Financial Services Law Firm based in Malta and Switzerland with a unique global approach. We are a team of highly qualified lawyers with experience from Malta, Switzerland and the Netherlands. It is our business to find constructive solutions for our clients’ international commercial needs.



51, Ta Xbiex Seafront, Ta Xbiex XBX 1020 - Malta T: (+356) 2010 5799 • E: ramona@piscopartners.com Contact: Dr Ramona Piscopo - Tax Partner

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, a network of independent firms of accountant and business advisors with more than 440 offices in over 100 countries. As a member of PKF we provide services to a list of prestigious clients and have always enjoyed an excellent reputation which stems from our dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm to serve our clients. PKF Malta is committed to providing you with quality assurance and advice. Services such as audit, financial reporting and risk management advice give your business the stability you need to manage effectively and achieve your objectives. GEORGE MANGION SENIOR PARTNER

35, Mannarino Road, Birkirkara BKR 9080 - Malta T: (+356) 2133 5715 • E: pierre@pkfmalta.com • W: www.pkfmalta.com Contact: Pierre Mangion – Partner



PREMIER FIDUCIARY AND TRUSTS LIMITED Premier Fiduciary and Trusts Limited is a Maltese company, licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Our services include the incorporation and administration of trusts and foundations, as well as nominee services. Our solutions are always built around each client’s personal needs and priorities.


43A/1 Saint Paul’s Buildings, West Street, Valletta VLT 1532 - Malta T: (+356) 2011 9797 • E: info@premier-fiduciary.com.mt • W: www.premier-fiduciary.com.mt Contact: Michelle Oakes - Head Client Management & Business Development


Business Directory

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 208,000 people in 157 countries share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. The firm is responsible for serving a large and diverse client portfolio comprising some of Malta’s top organisations. Its client list includes a number of public companies and institutions, private companies both large and small, foreign and local, and Government-related companies. The firm’s total full-time staff complement is around 530 people. KEVIN VALENZIA TERRITORY SENIOR PARTNER


78, Mill Street, Qormi QRM3101 - Malta T: (+356) 2124 7000 • E: info@mt.pwc.com • W: www.pwc.com/mt Contact: Kevin Valenzia - Territory Senior Partner

REFALO & ZAMMIT PACE ADVOCATES Refalo & Zammit Pace is a full service law firm. Our Corporate & Finance Practice Group advises clients on company law, mergers, acquisitions and capital market transactions. We advise banking, insurance and asset management clients and act for lenders and borrowers on financing transactions including project and asset finance. The Commercial Practice Group advises on matters across the commercial law spectrum including shipping and transport, real estate, competition, procurement, joint ventures, intellectual property, franchising, agency and distribution agreements. Our Dispute Resolution Practice Group represents clients in domestic and cross-border litigation before the Courts of Malta, the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, administrative tribunals and in domestic and international arbitrations.



61, St Paul Street, Valletta VLT 1212 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 6268 • E: Roderick.zammitpace@bar.com.mt • W: www.bar.com.mt Contact: Dr Roderick Zammit Pace – Partner, Corporate & Finance Practice

REGUS SERVICED OFFICES Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions, with a network of over 2,800 locations across 106 countries and 977 cities, serving 2.3m members. Our customers include some of the most successful entrepreneurs, individuals and multibillion dollar corporations. Through our range of office formats, as well as our growing mobile, virtual office, and workplace recovery businesses, we enable people and businesses to work where they want, when they want, how they want, and at a range of price points. Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. ANDREW GRECH GENERAL MANAGER

Tower Business Centre, 2nd Floor, Tower Street, Swatar BKR 4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2546 6666 • E: andrew.grech@regus.com • W: www.regus.com.mt Contact: Andrew Grech - General Manager



Business Directory

REYL & CIE (MALTA) LTD REYL & Cie (Malta) Ltd is a category 4A MFSA licensed entity dedicated to Fund Depositary/Custodian. It is a 100%-owned subsidiary of REYL & Cie Ltd, an independent banking group with offices worldwide. Developing an innovative approach to banking, the Group serves international entrepreneurs and institutional investors through its Wealth Management, Asset Management, Corporate & Family Governance, Corporate Advisory & Structuring and Asset Services business lines. Founded in 1973, REYL & Cie Ltd is licensed as a bank in Switzerland and performs its activities under the direct control of the FINMA and the SNB. The Group manages assets of over CHF 11 billion and employs 199 people (2015). NATACHA EBENER CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER


Swiss Urban Factory, Office no.5, 5 St Frederick Street, Valletta, VLT 1470 - Malta T: (+356) 2248 2951 • E: ne@reyl.com • W: www.reyl.com Contact: Natacha Ebener - Chief Operations Officer

RISKCAP INTERNATIONAL LTD RiskCap International Ltd was established in 2013 to provide governance, risk management and compliance solutions to the finance industry. Our clients include investment managers and funds (with €2 billion under management), banks, insurance firms and brokerage firms. RiskCap’s team, has an optimal mix of experience and academic background (including, two PhDs and other postgraduates) that enables RiskCap to commit to innovative thinking, professionalism and a strong governance, risk management and compliance culture. Our services range from outsourcing to secondment, reporting and advisory services. DR PAUL MAGRO CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR

Airways House, 6th Floor, Gaiety Lane, Sliema, SLM1549 - Malta T: (+356) 2733 3179 • E: pmagro@riskcap.com • W: www.riskcap.com Contact: Dr Paul Magro – Co-Founder & Managing Director



SATABANK PLC Satabank p.l.c. offers a comprehensive range of banking solutions tailored to the needs of personal, high-net-worth business and corporate customers, including traditional bank accounts, e-money accounts, debit cards, global payment services, as well as card acquiring services including POS, retail ATMs and e-commerce. Our objective is to become a leading player in the provision of innovative banking services through the use of state-of-the art technology and alternative delivery channels. Satabank forms part of a larger financial services group comprising a Payment Financial Institution and Card and Payment Institution offering issuing, acquiring and processing services holding a principle licence from Visa, Master and JCB, as well as an Asset Manager in Switzerland.


Aragon Business Centre, Dragonara Road, St Julians STJ 3140 - Malta T: (+356) 2247 7900 • E: info@sata.bank • W: www.sata.bank Contect: Mario Gauci – Chief Executive Officer


Business Directory

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



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

SPARKASSE BANK MALTA PLC The bank forms part of the Sparkasse Schwaz Savings Bank structure in Austria. From Malta, the bank provides private banking, wealth management, custody and depositary solutions. Fund custody is a core business for the bank and its experience in the field allows for flexible and practical workable solutions. The bank provides custody services to UCITS, AIFs and PIFs offering a personal, tailored and seamless banking, execution and settlement solution.



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

STM MALTA TRUST AND COMPANY MANAGEMENT LTD STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd forms part of STM Group Plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange with offices in Gibraltar, Spain and Jersey. STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to act as Trustees and registered to act as Administrators of Trusts, Foundations and Retirement Schemes, providing these services to a growing international client base. Our dedicated staff aim to provide a powerful combination of innovation and experience which has helped the business grow to become one of the largest providers in offering retirement schemes recognised as QROPS, EURBS and QNUPS. Complementing these services, STM Malta Trust & Company Management Ltd has a wealth of invaluable knowledge, experience and the expertise to set up and manage companies, both in Malta and overseas.


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




Business Directory

TIMELESS ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Timeless Asset Management is an alternative investment fund manager with a category II AIFM de-minimis license issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority. The company is run by a team of professionals backed up by years of experience and expertise in the industry. It currently manages four SICAVs specialising in precious metals, energy sector and the US Market. The company offers professional investment management services to third parties which would like to have their fund managed in Malta.



6, Third Floor, Suite 1, Market Street, Floriana - Malta T: (+356) 2703 4821 • E: Info@timeless-funds.com • W: www.timeless-funds.com Contact: John Mark Caruana – Managing Director

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.


Malta Transport Centre, Marsa MRS 1917 - Malta T: (+356) 2122 2203 • E: info.tm@transport.gov.mt • W: www.transport.gov.mt Contact: James Piscopo - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer



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.


37 Apt R Dolphin Court, Embassy Way, Ta’Xbiex XBX 1073 – Malta T: (+356) 2133 3554 • E: admin@unifin.com.mt • W: www.unifin.com.mt Contact: Albert Muscat - Managing Director


Business Directory

VACANCYCENTRE VacancyCentre (operated by CSB Group) is a specialist recruitment agency that is committed to working very closely with candidates, providing them with exceptionally relevant opportunities through a careful process of evaluation, taking time to match their career aspirations to some of the best opportunities in Malta. VacancyCentre has an extensive network of talented candidates whose background is within the Financial, Legal & Compliance, Gaming & IT, and Admininistration, Sales & Marketing sectors, and has a very successful track record of delivering good talent to clients within these sector. JOHN DIMECH GENERAL MANAGER


Suite 2, Ground Floor, Tower Business Centre, Tower Street, Swatar BKR4013 - Malta T: (+356) 2123 2224 • E: johnd@vacancycentre.com • W: www.vacancycentre.com Contact: John Dimech - General Manager

VALLETTA FUND SERVICES LTD Valletta Fund Services Limited (VFS) was incorporated in 2006 as a fully owned subsidiary of Bank of Valletta plc, Malta’s largest banking group, to provide the fund management industry with a comprehensive and integrated range of high-quality fund administration solutions. Through the dedication of its highly qualified and professional human resources as well as the significant investment in state-of-the-art technology, VFS has positioned itself as Malta’s leading fund administrator. As at March 2016, VFS was servicing over 125 investment funds representing €3.6 billion worth of assets, in excess of 25% of the local market. VFS is recognised to provide fund administration services by the Malta Financial Services Authority. JOSEPH M CAMILLERI CHIEF OFFICER


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

VODAFONE MALTA LIMITED Vodafone is Malta’s leading telecommunications company for converged services. These include Mobile and Fixed voice together with Ethernet, IP-VPN and IP International Connectivity enterprise solutions operating out of PCI-DSS compliant Data Centres. Through its resilient connectivity to mainland Europe with two diverse sub-sea cables and multiple wavelengths to its PoPs in Milan, Vodafone serves many of the leading companies in the various business verticals on the island for whom up-time and low latency are critical to their business continuity. We make you a Ready Business by confidently connecting your voice and data needs across the world. Entrusting your business to Vodafone Malta means entrusting your business to a reputable, local company with a global presence.


Level 6, SkyParks Business Centre, Malta International Airport, Luqa LQA 4000 - Malta. T: (+356) 9991 6230 • E: business.solutions.mt@vodafone.com • W: www.vodafone.com.mt/solutions Contact: Robert Ellul Micallef - Enterprise Manager, Solutions, Innovation and Strategy



Business Directory

WH PARTNERS WH Partners, a Malta-based business law firm with focus, has a sound reputation for its work in corporate finance, M&A, taxation, investment funds, fund management and administration, real estate, asset and wealth management as well as gaming and gambling, e-commerce, e-payments, telecoms, digital content, privacy and data protection and IPR. The firm’s lawyers are amongst the strongest in Malta and are well regarded by regulators and clients alike for their thoroughness, efficiency and knowledge of the relevant sectors. The firm is ranked by the foremost independent legal directories and has received several acclaimed international awards for its service levels. WH Partners is the Malta exclusive member in the International Alliance of Law Firms and in Ally Law.



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

ZARATTINI INTERNATIONAL LTD Zarattini International brings together innovation, alliance and proficiency to offer high value added custody services in Malta. We remain at the forefront of innovation while keeping in touch with our roots. We dare to push boundaries but never lose sight of our responsibilities. We combine the highest standards with the deepest dedication to our clients’ needs. Integrity, transparency and resourcefulness are the pillars of our organisation. Part of a Swiss financial group with activities in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Malta, we have built our strong reputation upon reliability, excellent professional competence and transparency. We have a long history of providing reliable local and global custody services to a variety of clients, including asset managers and private and institutional investors.


Europa Centre, 56 Saint Anne Street, Floriana FRN 9011 - Malta T: (+356) 2779 1100 • E: malta@zarattini.com.mt • W: www.bancazarattini.ch Contact: Francesco Scotto – Chief Executive Officer



ZETA Zeta is a privately held independent group of companies offering targeted services which include, but are not limited to; Multi-Family Office; Advisory and Structuring; Fiduciary; Company Formation and Management; Corporate; Financial; Fund Formation and Management; Due Diligence. Zeta is committed to exceeding client expectations and building a satisfying long-term relationship while retaining its primary focus, your business and family success.


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

Business Directory



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FinanceMalta Investment Guide and Business Directory 2016  

FinanceMalta Investment Guide and Business Directory 2016