November 24, 2020

Fund Structures in Mauritius at a Glance

Mauritius is known as one of the preferred platforms for investors and investment managers to route investments into Africa and Asia, among others. Varied types of business structures are proposed for this purpose which include companies, limited partnerships, protected cell companies (PCC) and trusts.

 

A Fund can be set up in the form of any of the above structures and thereafter categorized as a Closed End Fund (CEF) or Collective Investment Scheme (CIS). A CIS would typically be formed as a company, a PCC or a unit trust. A CEF would usually be structured as a company or limited partnership. A Fund having the primary objective to invest outside Mauritius and which is ultimately owned by non-citizens would need to apply for a Global Business Company (GBC) licence from the Financial Services Commission along with a special licence to operate as a Fund.

 

The regulatory framework in Mauritius caters for both retail and alternative investment funds (AIF). Retail funds are offered to the public and are regulated as open-ended (collective investment schemes) or closed-ended funds. An AIF, on the other hand, can further be classified as an expert fund or a professional collective investments scheme. The AIF is restricted to sophisticated and expert investors and high net worth persons. In comparison with a retail fund, an AIF is exempt from the stricter regulations that govern the retail funds. A Fund is principally regulated by the Securities Act 2005 and Securities (Collective Investment Schemes and Closed-end funds) Regulations 2008 in Mauritius.

 

In respect of the type of investors, nature of investments and regulatory requirements, a CIS can be classified as follows:

 

  • A Retail scheme which involves capital invested primarily by individual investors such as mutual funds, exchange traded funds.
  • A Global Scheme which is a CIS which also holds a GBC licence with the purpose of streamlining its operations outside Mauritius.
  • A Professional CIS which involves issuance of shares solely to Sophisticated Investors or via private placements. Subject to the conditions of the authorities, lighter requirements may apply.
  • A Specialised CIS which invests in high risk or illiquid assets such as real estate and derivatives.
  • An Expert Fund which is restricted to Expert Investors or Sophisticated Investors. Subject to the conditions of the authorities, lighter requirements may apply.

 

In respect of the type of investors, nature of investments and regulatory requirements, a CEF can be classified as follows:

 

  • CEF (Reporting Issuer).
  • Professional CIS

 

The Financial Services Commission may also, on application, authorize a CIS of CEF to operate as a Special Purpose Fund (SPF). The purpose of the SPF is to conduct investments in countries which do not have a tax treaty with Mauritius and returns to the securities shall be tax exempt. An SPF is subject to both the CIS laws and regulations and also the Financial Services (Special Purpose Fund) Rules 2013.

 

Some of the main functionaries of a Fund are CIS Manager, Company Secretary, CIS Administrator, Registry, Custodian.

 

Contact details :

MITCO has a dedicated unit empowered to assist its existing and prospective clients on the set up and the administration of Funds. Feel free to contact your relationship manager or the business development team on bd@mitcoworld.com for a detailed presentation, tailor made structure or the set-up of your Fund.



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