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Malta

Editorial

Legal market overview

Malta’s reputation as a tax-efficient and commercially viable destination for business is longstanding, and has been augmented in recent years by financial services and relocation-friendly legislation. The country’s adoption of the euro in 2008 and its favourable regulatory regime have made it a natural choice for a range of investment funds, especially hedge funds and UCITS, seeking to take advantage of the beneficial passporting rights and investor protection offered by Maltese registration.

Strength in funds, and banking and finance more generally, is accordingly a core characteristic of the island’s three largest firms – Ganado Advocates, Fenech & Fenech Advocates, and Mamo TCV Advocates – with Ganado Advocates in particular standing out for its City-quality offering.

In a relatively quiet year on the transactional front, the island’s buoyant digital and gaming sectors provided a steady flow of work for most firms and, in the case of specialists such as WH Partners, accounted for the bulk of instructions. The advantages of Maltese registration for aircraft and ships contributed to a typically active year in those sectors.

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Legal Developments in Malta

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  • MFSA ISSUES DISCUSSION PAPER ON INVESTMENT-BASED CROWDFUNDING

    With access to finance becoming more difficult for start-ups and small businesses, the evolution of crowdfunding is becoming an emerging alternative funding source for project owners seeking starting capital.
  • GAPSME: GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

    The EU Single Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU, which repealed the 4th and 7th Accounting Directives on Individual and Consolidated Accounts, introduced a simplified procedure for financial statement reporting. This Directive was transposed into Maltese law via legal notice 289 of 2015 in virtue of the ministerial powers conferred on the Minister of Finance in virtue of the Accountancy Professions Act (Chap. 281 of the Laws of Malta).
  • FRAUD AND INVESTIGATIONS AT THE WORKPLACE

     
  • MFSA ISSUES CIRCULAR TO COMPLIANCE OFFICERS OF INVESTMENT SERVICES LICENCE HOLDERS

    The Securities and Markets Supervision Unit has recently carried out a thematic review consisting of a desk based review of the best execution policies and procedures and an onsite visit at a number of licensed investment firmsin order to access their implemented Best Execution policies and procedures.
  • ESMA – Q&A ON INVESTOR PROTECTION UNDER MIFID II

    Ahead of the deadline for the member states to transpose MIFID II into national legislation which is now set for 3 July 2017 deadline for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (“MiFID II”), the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) published a Questions and Answers document (Q&As) with the aim of promoting common supervisory approaches and practices in the application of MiFID by providing guidance with respect to the following investor protection topics:
  • Putting the R in Regulation

    In the years since the crisis, the  financial services industry  has faced a barrage of new rules - the Market in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR), Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR), European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) to name a few.
  • How Businesses Will Be Affected by the New Cybersecurity Directive

    Cyber security  is a prominent issue on the EU’s digital agenda. Many governments and companies are vulnerable to  cyber security  threats. 
  • ESMA – Opinion to Harmonise Loan Origination by Funds

    On the 11th of April, 2016, ESMA published an opinion addressed to the European Parliament, Council and Commission (“Opinion ”) in which it proposed a common European framework for loan origination by  investment funds  and set out its view on the elements upon which the common European framework is proposed to be built.
  • The Banking of Hours: To Bank or Not to Bank?

    An overview of Maltese law rules governing the banking of work hours
  • A Maltese Solution for Swiss Asset Managers

    Until very recently the Swiss asset management industry relied exclusively on self-regulation and was allowed to operate and develop somewhat independently from European regulation. It is now confronted with major regulatory changes which will align Swiss laws and regulation with AIFMD and MIFID. Gone are the days where Swiss asset managers could be independent and unregulated. Swiss asset managers will now be subject to EU-like forms of authorisations and prudential supervision which will have a transformative impact on the Swiss asset management industry and bring additional costs, most notably compliance and operational costs, which will invariably adversely affect smaller independent asset managers.

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