The latest statistics released by the Malta Financial Services Authority show that the number of funds domiciled in Malta have continued to register steady growth.
In fact, over the first six months of 2012, the industry has registered a four per cent increase in the number of funds authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority. the first half of 2012. This increase compares very strongly with that registered in other EU jurisdictions which in some cases have experienced negative growth whilst in others, the growth rates have been limited to a maximum of 2% for the same period under review.
Over the past years Malta has established itself as a fund domicile of international repute, serving not only the domestic market but also European and international markets. The Authority has reported that in the first half of 2012, 65 new Collective Investment Scheme licences have been issued of which 59 were Professional Investor Funds, five UCITS funds and one Retail Non-UCITS fund.
A key aspect of the sector’s success is the country’s legislation for Professional Investor Funds (PIFs). In fact, the net asset value of PIFs increased by almost 23 per cent from EUR5.8 billion in December 2011 to EUR7.2 billion in June 2012. The number of Professional Investor Funds likewise increased by almost four per cent over the same period and stood at 460 at the end of June 2012. Registration of UCITS funds is also very encouraging, in fact, the net assets of UCITS funds stood at EUR2.3 billion at the end of June 2012, EUR0.7 billion or 40 per cent higher from end 2011.
Malta is today home to a considerable number of fund managers and administrators. About 40 per cent of Malta-domiciled funds were managed by Malta-based fund managers at the end of June 2012, whilst the percentage number of funds managed from outside Malta was approximately 47 per cent. In addition, about 70 per cent of the funds domiciled in Malta were administered in Malta in June 2012 which is in itself testimony to the high quality fund administration services provided by the malta based administrators.
Kenneth Farrugia, Chairman of the Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA), says: “These results are being driven by a number of key factors which include the high standards of regulatory oversight, the presence of an accessible regulatory body, the availability of highly qualified and multilingual human resources as well as the highly competitive set up and ongoing operational costs.
“The management committee of the Association and its members remain committed to sustain and ensure the future growth of the Industry and clearly the results achieved so far augur well for the continued development of this fast growing sector.”