Malta’s international banking centre has gained considerable ground in establishing itself as a finance hub in the Mediterranean region. Over recent years the sector has transformed itself from one having four retail banks serving the local population, to a reputable international banking centre. This influx, which includes several leading banking groups, has added dynamism to Malta’s thriving financial services industry.
The World Economic Forum rated the island's banking system as the 10th soundest in its 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Index. Institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and international credit rating agencies confirmed the sector's robustness and resilience.
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An overwhelming majority of funds in Malta are Professional Investor Funds (PIFs), which are typically in the form of open-ended public or private limited liability investment companies with variable share capital (SICAVs).
Voted the best European Fund Domicile by Hedge Fund Review in both 2013 and 2014, the island's successful PIF regime will continue to be a popular choice for both EU and non-EU alternative fund managers.
Malta is a relative newcomer to the international insurance market, yet it has made significant strides in attracting word-class companies to its shores, including some of the largest blue-chip corporations in the world.
Malta championed the introduction of innovative structures such as Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) and Reinsurance Special Purpose Vehicles (RSPVs), and has built up a reputation for being a cost-effective EU base for insurance and reinsurance providers and a highly attractive fund domicile.
The dynamic pensions sector is spurring on Malta's ambition to establish itself as a key European hub for pension schemes in Malta. Multinational corporations and individuals alike are increasingly turning their focus to the island in a bid to put their benefit plans on solid ground.
Retirement schemes in Malta have become an important element of investment planning and Malta provides the ideal solution for the setup of international pensions pooling vehicles for high-net-worth individuals, international workers planning for retirement or international corporations seeing to establish and administer pensions schemes for their staff.
Since Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004, Malta has emerged as an attractive jurisdiction for the establishment of international corporate holding structures, to be used in multinational groups, owner-managed companies as well as the holding of assets for high-net-worth individuals.
Malta's strengths as a wealth management centre lie in the foundations of its thriving finance centre - offering a wide range of investment vehicles including investment funds and trust companies, an excellent physical and legal infrastructure, and a widely respected regulatory regime.
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The combination of Malta’s tax system and its extensive double tax treaty network means that, with proper planning and structuring, investors can achieve considerable fiscal efficiency using Malta as a base.
Malta's tax system has been deemed by the European Commission to be compliant with EU non-discrimination principles and has also gained approval from the OECD.
Malta is in an ideal position to make the most out of the growing Islamic Finance sector and become a European centre of Islamic finance. Due to Malta’s strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea it provides a springboard for working with neighbouring economies.
According to Forbes.com, at least $500 billion in assets around the world are managed in accordance with Sharia, or Islamic law, and the sector is growing at 10-15% per year.
Malta has been developing rapidly as a finance centre since joining the European Union in 2004 and adopting the Euro currency in 2008.
It has been widely recognised that the Maltese regulations provide a secure and stable framework for prudential supervision, consumer protection, market surveillance and the prevention of money laundering. Moreover, the country has gained the international reputation for a robust, yet flexible, regime with a highly approachable regulatory authority.
Malta's capital markets are steadily growing in size as well as liquidity and the jurisdiction's financial markets are remarkably sophisticated.
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