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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Malta > Legal Developments > Finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Update to the Circular addressed to Credit Institutions on the imposition of negative interest rates

May 2019 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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News Update: Update to the Circular addressed to Credit Institutions on the imposition of negative interest rates on euro denominated deposits

ESMA update in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

May 2019 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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Precautionary Measures Adopted by ESMA and Other EU Securities Regulators in the Case of a No-Deal Brexit Scenario

Malta Gaming Authority launches VFA/DLT Sandbox Environment

March 2019 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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The first phase of the Malta Gaming Authority’s (MGA) sandbox environment was launched on 1 January 2019, for the purpose of accepting virtual financial assets (‘VFA’) and virtual tokens as valid consideration for the participation in licensed games. This test environment, which is intended to attract innovative business models, allowing them to develop in a contained regulatory environment, is expected to remain operative for a minimum period of ten months and can be extended at the discretion of the MGA.

Virtual Financial Assets Act and Innovate Technology Arrangements and Services Act coming into force

October 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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The Maltese Government has published the long-awaited legal notices establishing the 1st November 2018 as the date on which the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA) and the Innovative Technology Arrangements (ITAS) Act will come into force.

The MFSA publishes Financial Instrument Test

October 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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Step aside Howey Test, here comes the Financial Instrument Test!

Consultation Paper on the Virtual Financial Assets Rules for VFA Service Providers

October 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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On Friday 31st August, the MFSA published a consultation document outlining the Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Rules for VFA Service Providers, (which include VFA [Crypto]Exchanges). The document is the third and final Chapter of the “Virtual Financial Assets Rulebook”. The scope of the Consultation is to obtain industry feedback in relation to Chapter 3 of the Virtual Financial Assets Rulebook; and the Authority’s interpretation of the transitory provision provided under Article 62(1)(c) of the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA).

The Financial Instrument Test

August 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

By enacting the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA), the Maltese Government has regulated the Blockchain / ICO / DLT industry. The law appoints the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as the designated authority to oversee this business.

Since this industry has elements of the Financial Service Regulations (namely MiFID), it is important to clearly distinguish one from the other.

In order to ensure a clear difference, the MFSA has sought to further clarify the instances under which the new legislation applies. It has done this by introducing the Financial Instrument Test, which will be analysed below.

MALTA - VIRTUAL FINANCIAL ASSET SERVICES THE NEW LEGISLATION

August 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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A. INTRODUCTION

Blockchain technology has revolutionized the way of doing business globally. In fact, similar to Investment Services, a number of ancillary business activities are now connected to the industry, ejecting the Blockchain technology to endless fields of everyday life.

Instead of shying away from the technological challenge, the Maltese government has adopted legislation that regulates the offering of certain services (known as Virtual Financial Asset Services) to cryptocurrencies, which includes the operation of platforms to exchange such cryptocurrencies, portfolio management and providing investment advice amongst others. This makes Malta a pioneer in this sector and offers legal certainty, to such an extent that following such a commitment from the Government, crypto-giants are already relocating to Malta, seeking to benefit from a regulated environment and a beneficial tax rate.

A holistic approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and virtual financial assets in Malta

July 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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Malta’s Parliament has recently approved three bills surrounding blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. These bills were presented by the government in order to instil legal certainty in the sector as well as to address banks’ concerns in accepting companies working in the industry.

Virtual Currencies & ICOs in Malta – State of Play

July 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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It is fair to say that virtual currencies (“VC”) and initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been all the rage in 2017 and, while many of the more well-renowned VCs have lost more than 50% of their value in the first quarter of 2018, this new digital asset phenomenon has not shown any signs of relenting.

MALTA - ICOs AND DIGITAL INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY - THE IMMINENT REGULATED ENVIRONMENT

June 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Kinanis LLC.

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While jurisdictions and legal systems around the world are expressing concern about cryptocurrencies, Malta is promulgating legislation that should give exchange owners and users certainty about the future. The rules are considered to be a one-stop-shop package that will deal with the establishment of a new authority, regulated exchanges and license Initial Coin Offering (ICO) companies and related business. The main aim is to offer legal certainty to the industry.

Malta Opportunity: Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

May 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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The Future of Maltese Banks is Here

Talking of cryptocurrencies as an opportunity for the Maltese banking sector might sound outlandish, in the context of a highly-regulated banking industry in Malta. However if one follows the rapid developments in cryptocurrencies across the globe, it is clearly inevitable that many industries, including traditional banks, will have to adapt to this highly innovative evolution that is fast permeating many economic sectors.

In this article we explore how the Utility Settlement Coin ("USC"), a cryptocurrency currently being developed by some of the world's largest banks, is set to give the cryptocurrency market a new business angle.

The Cryptocurrency Race Is On! Comparing Leaders In DLT Regulation

April 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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It seems like cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are all anyone can talk about. Regulators have realised that disruptive technologies hold vast potential, but few have taken up the initiative to create a regulatory framework within which FinTech businesses can operate. Countries are classifying cryptocurrencies as assets, commodities and even as currencies – there is no one view that prevails. This article will explore how jurisdictions at the forefront of DLT regulation are moving forward in this race among regulators.

Proposed Regulatory Framework for Virtual Currencies and DLT

April 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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The Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri, unveiled a consultation

document on the establishment of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority ("MDIA" or  "Authority). The Maltese regulator is currently

working on three draft bills that shall set out a regulatory framework for the certification of Distributed Ledger Technology Platforms,

ICOs, Virtual Currencies, Virtual Currency Exchanges and related service providers. With the promulgation of these draft bills, Malta

would offer legal certainty in an area that is currently unregulated and establish itself as one of the top jurisdictions for businesses seeking

to utilise distributed ledger technology.

EU Commission Notices to Stakeholders

April 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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On the 8 February 2018, the EU Commission issued two Notices to Stakeholders in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, titled "Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the Field of Banking and Payment Services" and "Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of Post-Trade Financial Services" respectively.

Lexology Navigator: Secured Lending Trends and Regulatory Climate

February 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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TRENDS AND REGULATORY CLIMATE

TRENDS

What is the current state of the lending market in your jurisdiction and have any new trends emerged over the last 12 months?

The lending market in Malta has traditionally been a conservative one. This factor contributed significantly towards the stability of Maltese credit institutions and debt security issuers during and after the 2008 credit crisis.

Malta opportunity: Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

February 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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The future of Maltese banks is here

Nicholas Warren

Talking of cryptocurrencies as an opportunity for the Maltese banking sector might sound outlandish, in the context of a highly-regulated banking industry in Malta. However if one follows the rapid developments in cryptocurrencies across the globe, it is clearly inevitable that many industries, including traditional banks, will have to adapt to this highly innovative evolution that is fast permeating many economic sectors.

In this article we explore how the Utility Settlement Coin ("USC"), a cryptocurrency currently being developed by some of the world's largest banks, is set to give the cryptocurrency market a new business angle.

MFSA launches Supplementary Licence applicable to Investor Funds investing in Virtual Currencies.

February 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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The Malta Financial Services Authority launches Supplementary Licence Conditions applicable to Professional Investor Funds investing in Virtual Currencies.

The Notified AIF – Malta’s Fast Track Fund

January 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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The Notified AIF is a new fund regime offered by Malta which allows fund promoters to set up a fund within 10 working days from application to the regulator. The application is a notification submitted to the MFSA and which is spearheaded by the investment manager of the Notified AIF. The latter must be a full-compliant AIFMD manager which will be responsible for effective the monitoring of the NAIF.

MFSA - Discussion Paper on Initial Coin Offerings, Virtual Currencies and Related Service Providers

January 2018 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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The Malta Financial Services Authority launches a Discussion Paper on Initial Coin Offerings, Virtual Currencies and Related Service Providers.

EU and Malta Securitisation Market

December 2017 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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Following the US subprime crisis that began in 2007, the notion of securitisation has suffered from bad press that tainted its reputation. However, securitisation is still considered as an essential component to continued economic recovery and for well-functioning financial markets.

Crowdfunding - The Path towards a regulatory Framework

December 2017 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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1.        Recent developments in the market of Crowdfunding in Malta

 The importance and feasibility of crowdfunding platforms is increasing in stature and importance for current and future the entrepreneurs. Malta has recently acceded to the rising trend by creating its first crowdfunding platform, ZAAR, a reward-based crowdfunding platform who has recently been awarded with the first prize in its section at the National Enterprise Support Awards 2016 also as well as being one of the local projects that have represented Malta at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2016, held in Slovakia. Nonetheless start-ups based in Malta with global aspirations often rely on international platforms. An increase in interest has emerged amongst the art and culture community as well in social entrepreneurship projects. Crowdfunding in Malta is still at the early stages of development. Despite this, there are endless opportunities for local entrepreneurs and the local business community. Research has shown that through international crowdfunding platforms, monies have been raised for projects in the field of gaming consoles, apps and software as well as for artistic projects.  Testimony to this is a new game design studio in Malta, that launched its first game, Politicks, raised financing through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.


 

MSE plc obtains regulatory approval to launch the Institutional Financial Securities Market

December 2017 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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Malta Stock Exchange plc. ("MSE") has obtained regulatory approval to launch the Institutional Financial Securities Market ("IFSM"), a securities market intended for issuers seeking to list securities falling within the scope of the Wholesale Securities Market rules, including but not limited to asset-backed and convertible debt securities, derivatives and insurance-linked notes, having a minimum denomination requirement of €100,000 (or its equivalent in any other currency).

Michael Psaila moderates securitisation panel during the launch of the IFSM at the MSE

December 2017 - Finance. Legal Developments by Mamo TCV Advocates.

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Mamo TCV partner Michael Psaila moderated a panel on "Opportunities within the Securitisation Sector" during an event organized by the Malta Stock Exchange on Wednesday 18th October 2017 to launch the Institutional Financial Services Market.

The ECB’s Fitness and Properness Test: The Assessment Process

September 2017 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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In May 2017, the European Central Bank ("ECB") published a list of guidelines which gave a compressive overview of the practices and procedures applied by it when assessing the suitability of members of the management bodies of Significant Institutions ("SIs") as well as trying to harmonize national rules of all Member States in relation to the fit and proper assessment. 

NAIF - an AIFMD-Compliant Fund with quick access to the market

March 2017 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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Since the advent of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (‘AIFMD’), fund managers have been facing a double regulatory burden as a result of having both fund managers and funds subject to prudential regulation which led to overlapping and possibly inconsistent regulatory requirements affecting funds.

Malta Stock Exchange: European capital raising now easier for SMEs

March 2017 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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While larger enterprises often steal the limelight, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), very often being family businesses, make up the very backbone of most economies, with SMEs constituting the vast majority of companies within the EU. In Malta, 99.9% of Maltese companies are classified as SMEs, with 4.8% classified as small to medium enterprises and 95.1% classified as micro organisations.

MFSA ISSUES DISCUSSION PAPER ON INVESTMENT-BASED CROWDFUNDING

December 2016 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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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.

ESMA – Q&A ON INVESTOR PROTECTION UNDER MIFID II

October 2016 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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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

August 2016 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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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.

ESMA – Opinion to Harmonise Loan Origination by Funds

August 2016 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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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.

A Maltese Solution for Swiss Asset Managers

July 2016 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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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.

UCITS V – MFSA Issue Consultation on Transposition

July 2016 - Finance. Legal Developments by GVZH Advocates.

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The MFSA has today launched a consultation process on the transposition into Maltese law of Directive 2014/91/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 which is known as UCITS V.

AIFMD Passport – Extension Denied to the US, Hong Kong and Singapore

August 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Ganado Advocates.

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The AIFMD passport is currently only available to EU AIFMs and EU AIFs. However, AIFMD makes provision for access to the passport rights to be possibly extended to non-EU entities at a future date. Although the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) just recommended this extension to managers and funds established in Jersey, Guernsey and, potentially, Switzerland, investment manager and funds set up in the US, Hong Kong and Singapore will not be granted the same right at the present time.

Core Maltese Legal Concepts for Banks and other Money Lenders

April 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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Over the years Malta has evolved from a traditional, debtor friendly civil law jurisdiction into an increasingly financier friendly jurisdiction that offer many of the flexibilities typically associated with common law jurisdictions. These developments have been spurred by (and have spurred) the growth of the aviation and maritime industries in Malta, as well as the country’s emergence as a reputable financial services centre. This article provides an overview of the core Maltese legal concepts which are of interest to banks and other financial institutions lending money in or from Malta.

Malta Emerges as a Stronger Fund Domicile After AIFMD

April 2015 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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It is fair to say that AIFMD was not very well received by the Maltese burgeoning industry when it was first announced in April 2009. The initial draft appeared to have been drafted hastily and did not take into account certain characteristics of the local regulatory regime (such as the availability of self-managed fund structures) leading many to speculate that the Directive could disrupt the growth of the Maltese funds industry.Another issue that arose during regulatory gestation of the directive was the requirement for full scope AIFMs to appoint a single depositary for each AIF it manages, in the jurisdiction where the AIF is domiciled; a requirement which, due to the, at the time, limited depositary infrastructure could also have dampened growth.

Fund Managers Relocate to Malta

October 2012 - Finance. Legal Developments by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates.

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Introduction: the Maltese Funds Industry

Malta has experienced consistent growth in the funds sector since the jurisdiction's accession to the EU in 2004, such that today it is legitimate to consider the country as a mature, well-established domicile rather than an emerging one. In fact the jurisdiction now hosts around 500 funds pursuing a variety of strategies, as well as a complete ecosystem of support services providers such as fund administrators, law firms and audit firms. The sector has now evolved to the point where managers are not just using the country as a domicile for funds, but are also increasingly looking at the jurisdiction as a domicile for their fund management operations.

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