The invention of a revolutionary encoding or cryptographic technology known as ‘blockchain’ is already central to a significant proportion of business-to business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce, legal products and processes. From online purchasing to medical data and prescription management, data sharing of cross-jurisdictional criminal records, to possibly even management of entire countries’ registers and notarisations, this technology has huge potential. But with this potential to develop in as yet undefined ways and into various unregulated areas, one may argue that there is also the risk that ethical boundaries defining our basic rights to ownership, privacy and access to justice may be crossed.
Earlier this year, the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”) announced the launch of an innovative new breed of investment fund regime for Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”), namely the Notified AIF.
An article written by our Managing Partner, Dr Richard Bernard, for the Malta 2016 special report published by the prestigious HFMWeek and which focusses on the regulatory innovation that underpins Malta’s role as a European hedge fund domicile of choice.
Recent months have seen a notable increase in enquiries and overall interest in Malta as a preferred European domicile of choice for e-money institutions (EMIs).
In an interview conducted by AirMalta’s popular in-flight magazine, ‘Il-Bizzilla’, our Managing Partner, Dr Richard Bernard, discusses Malta’s ‘coming of age’ as a European financial services centre and explains what makes Malta so attractive to financial services operators.
An overview of Malta’s Recognised Incorporated Cell Companies (RICC) regulatory regime which effectively extended the ‘cellular’ concept to the world of hedge funds by introducing a ‘platform’ type of model comprising a RICC providing standardised administrative services to any number of incorporated cells (IC), each duly licensed as a collective investment scheme or fund, which administrative services largely consist of routine contractual matters and start-up support.
An overview of the key features of the Malta Trust and the various trust typologies accommodated by Maltese law – 2015
The extent and sophistication of modern-day organised crime has led criminal entrepreneurs to devise highly innovative and complex methods to launder their profits. Money laundering is the process of disguising the existence, illegal source or illegal application of the proceeds of crime with a view to transforming criminal income into ostensibly legitimate money or other assets. Simply put, it is the ‘legitimising’ of illegitimately generated capital.
A company incorporated in Malta is considered to be ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta and is therefore subject to Malta tax on its world-wide income at the standard rate of 35%. Since the 35% tax rate to which a Maltese company is subject is equivalent to the maximum progressive rate of tax applicable to its shareholders, a dividend distribution would typically result in no further tax payable at shareholder level. Moreover, the 35% tax rate is heavily reduced by application of Malta’s refundable tax credit system explained further below.
Malta’s investment services legislation was enacted back in 1994 as part of the jurisdiction’s initiative to bolster its legal and regulatory framework in anticipation of its application for EU membership. Indeed the island’s accession to the European Union in May, 2004 proved to be the primary catalyst for the exponential growth of its financial services industry, thrusting the jurisdiction onto the world map by coupling an ‘onshore’ robust and comprehensive regulatory and legislative framework which inspires confidence with a Europe-wide ‘passporting’ system and effectively crystallising Malta’s role as a European hub for financial services.