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SME-oriented capital markets platform to be launched soon on the Stock Exchange

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Announcement: Malta Launches new investment structure

The Malta Financial Services Authority [MFSA] announces the launch of a new framework applicable for notification of Alternative Investment Funds.

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Malta Stock Exchange to launch Islamic equity index, eyes sukuk

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2016 Budget | summary

The fourth Budget for this legislature was presented to Parliament by Malta's Minister for Finance this Monday 12 October.

The principal budget measures address:
sustainability and development
supporting families and pensioners
strengthening public finances
supporting growth and investment
backing business and improving productivity

Download the full 2016 Budget highlights.

 
UN Resolutions on Libya 2213 and 2214 of 2015

The UN Security Council has again, by unanimous vote, decided to follow up on the Resolutions passed in the summer of 2014 and has unanimously passed  two further Resolutions on Libya.

These new resolutions draw attention to the fact that travel bans against certain persons remain in place, call for a ceasefire, and draw attention to the growing threat of Islamic extremism.

Resolution 2214 of 2015 outlines and demonstrates the concern that the UN has for the increasing threat posed by ISIL, its supporters and other groups associated with similar terrorist organisations and the probable effect on the future stability of Libya.

The UN Security Council asked the Sanctions Committee (established in 2011) to consider requests for arms and equipment for use by the Libyan Government, (although it does not refer to which of the two current governments this request is designed to support).  It refers to "use by official Armed Forces to combat ISIL and similar organisations".

Resolution 2213 of 2015 also extends the mandate for UNSMIL to focus on supporting the Libyan political process and security in the country including human rights monitoring and reporting.

These Resolutions highlight the increasing concern that the international community has for Libya, an oil rich country on the north coast of Africa and only a 45 minute flight from the EU.  The Resolutions reflect the fact that Libya is being seen as an increasingly lawless country whose security vacuum provides an ideal venue for ISIL to flourish unchallenged.

i.e. Grant Thornton can assist with your requirements in Libya.  For further information contact Grant Thornton (Libya Desk) or by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
UN Resolutions on Libya 2213 and 2214 of 2015

The UN Security Council has again, by unanimous vote, decided to follow up on the Resolutions passed in the summer of 2014 and has unanimously passed  two further Resolutions on Libya.

Read more.

 

 
Budget Highlights 2015

The Minister of Finance presented his budget for the year 2015 on Monday 17 November 2014. Read Budget Highlights 2015.

 
Mondo Alternative highlights Malta selling points

It was focus on Malta for the March edition of Mondo Alternative, a respected Italian financial services journal dealing with asset class alternatives, including hedge funds, real estate, private equity and commodities.

The Malta feature examined the growth the financial services sector has experienced in the past few years and credited same to the accessibility and efficiency of its regulator and to Malta’s competitive cost structures.  The jurisdiction is described as a sophisticated and safe platform to do business not solely in the European continent but around the globe.

The journal notes that prudential supervision is solid, with Malta topping EU charts in terms of implementation of legislative and regulatory developments.  The dossier tackles recent and upcoming changes in legislation, particularly the implementation of the AIFM Directive and Solvency II.  It also delves into the increase and expansion of emerging sectors, particularly alternative funds, over 100 of which were launched last year alone, with a total value exceeding 400 million euro, taking the total net asset value to over 10 billion euro distributed over 600 funds.

A section of the Malta dossier is dedicated to the Retirement Pensions Act, which entered into force in 2015, creating an attractive regulatory system for the setting up and administration of pension schemes.  It also highlights the applicable regulations related to cross border pension funds based in Malta, which have lured many operators in the pensions sector into using Malta as a hub for their schemes.

In conclusion Mondo Alternative highlights that the efficiency and opportunities offered by the regulator are supported by a stable economy, an extensive network of some 70 double tax avoidance treaties and relatively low administrative costs.

 

Source: www.mondoalternative.com

 
Treaty between Malta and Moldova signed

On 10 April 2014, the Malta - Moldova Income Tax Treaty (2014) was signed, in Valletta.

 
UK Pensions Freedom Day…and the Malta Option

New freedoms applying to around half a million persons aged 55 and over were announced in the UK earlier in April.  With effect from 6 April 2015,  savers will no longer be effectively required to use their pension pot to buy an annuity when they come to retire.  Instead, they can access their funds as they wish, taking part or all of their unused defined contributions (“DC”) pension savings as a ‘lump sum’, part of which may be tax free and the balance subject to income tax at their marginal rate in the tax year. The tax charge currently set at 55% on lump sum drawdowns will be abolished when the member dies before the age of 75.

The new ‘21st century pensions system’ means that UK pensioners are now faced with major decisions as to how to invest the funds they have accumulated over the years with property investing, holidays, helping family members and reinvesting the money with financial firms being potential favourite ways people could use their cash.

The reforms are likely to see a boost in property sales in Malta especially since the exchange rate is favourable for the British pound.

The jurisdiction has put in place a very attractive Retirement Programme (MRP), available to EU, EEA (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) or Swiss nationals, whereby beneficiaries are able to benefit from a flat rate of tax of 15 per cent on any income arising outside Malta which is received in Malta.

Retirees taking up this programme are required to either purchase or rent a property in Malta (€275,000 value or €9,600 a year rental) or Gozo (€220,000 value or €8,750 a year rental).

Furthermore, this January Malta introduced amendments to the Retirement Pensions Act intended to provide full safeguards to clients and which require, amongst others, that service providers apply for a new license, even if already registered under the Special Fund (Regulation) Act.

A framework relating to the set-up of retirement schemes has been established and the Retirement scheme definition has been updated. Schemes now have to comprise five or more members with retirement ages from 50 to 75.

New definitions (connected persons, control, programmed withdrawals, sub fund, sufficient retirement income) have been introduced, as have new rules on liability.

The Rules apply to various service providers including Retirement Scheme administrators, those providing custodian or trustee services, investment managers, back office administrators as well as investment advisors.

 
Treaty between Liechtenstein and Malta approved by government of Liechtenstein

According to a press release of 2 April 2014, published by the government of Liechtenstein, the government of Liechtenstein approved the Liechtenstein - Malta Income and Capital Tax Treaty (2013).

The Treaty is based on the OECD Model Convention and reflects the current agreement policies of both treaty states.

 
Treaty between Malta and Russia approved by Russian President

On 2 April 2014, the Russian President signed a law ratifying the Malta - Russia Income Tax Treaty (2013). The Federal law was passed by the State Duma on 21 March 2014 and approved by the Federation Council on 26 March 2014.

 
Treaty between Israel and Malta entered into force

On 8 December 2013, the Israel - Malta Income Tax Treaty (2011) entered into force. The treaty generally applies from 1 January 2014.

 
Grant Thornton named one of the Top 50 most attractive global employers

Grant Thornton ranked 35th in a survey of more than 200,000 business and engineering students from 12 of the world’s largest economies Read more.

Grant Thornton Malta Press

 
Treaty between Malta and Mexico ratified by Malta

On 5 August 2013, Malta ratified the Malta - Mexico Income Tax Treaty (2012), by way of Legal Notice 239 of 2013. Further details will be reported subsequently.

 
Treaty between Azerbaijan and Malta – negotiations at advanced stage

According to a recent update by the Government of Malta, negotiations for a tax treaty between Azerbaijan and Malta are at an advanced stage. The treaty is expected to be signed soon. Further details will be reported shortly.

 
Treaty between Malta and Turkey enters into force

On 13 June 2013, the Malta - Turkey Income Tax Treaty (2011) entered into force. The treaty will apply from 1 January 2014.

 
Global Residents Programme

The new Global Residents Programme is launched to replace a scheme which was introduced a couple of years ago. The new programme introduces more certainty and facilitates the process which existed until today. Read more.

 
Malta and US conclude FATCA negotiations

Malta and the US have concluded negotiations concerning an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) in relation to US FATCA regulations (FATCA). Read full article.

 
Large Bank Sectors in Small Countries Differ From Cyprus
 
Fitch rate Malta 'A+' with a Stable Outlook
 
Banking Crisis, Bailout of Cyprus Unlikely to Be Repeated for Malta
 
Austria, Germany, Malta and Slovakia have seen robust economic momentum in recent years - EEAG Report

The European Economic Advisory Group identified Malta as one of the best four economies in Europe alongside the likes of Austria, Germany and Slovakia in its “Report on the European Economy 2013 – Rebalancing Europe”. These economies reported “far more robust economic momentum in recent years” and “benefitted from the relatively solid condition of their public and private finances, as well as their high level of international competitiveness." Read more.

 
Malta's GDP from financial services almost doubles
 
Inroads in US market boosts cruise passenger traffic

See National Statistics Office release of September 18, 2012.

 
Malta holds at A3 – Moody’s
 
Budget 2012