The Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance in collaboration with the Financial Services Commission launched a new Special Purpose Fund (SPF) on 9 June to make it more attractive for fund managers and promoters to set up investment funds in Mauritius.
Originally proposed in the 2019/2020 National Budget, the FSC issued the Financial Services (Special Purpose Fund) Rules 2021 with effect from 6 March. Designed to modernise the existing SPF regime to provide further flexibility and ease of access to new markets, they replace the Financial Services (Special Purpose Fund) Rules 2013.
A SPF is a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) or a Closed-End Fund (CEF) that is specifically authorised by the Financial Services Commission as a SPF providing that it meets the following criteria:
- Offer its shares, solely by way of private placements, to investors having competency, significant experience and knowledge of fund investment;
- Have a maximum of 50 investors and a minimum subscription of USD 100,000 per investor;
- At all times, be managed by a CIS manager and administered by a CIS administrator.
A SPF can make investments inside as well as outside Mauritius and will benefit from tax exemptions under the Income Tax Act.
Minister of Financial Services Mahen Kumar Seeruttun said: “Amidst the current pandemic and other challenges shaking economies, the search for a safe harbour for funds has become even more important, and Mauritius is one of those safe harbours”.
FSC Chief Executive Dhanesswurnath Thakoor said the FSC had ensured that the new rules were in accordance with international standards and aimed to protect the interests of investors as well as safeguard the good repute of the Mauritius IFC.
“We are working hard to maintain our competitive edge as an IFC, as there is a necessity to innovate by introducing new products and services, be it in the fund, global business, capital markets, insurance, pensions or fintech sectors,” he said. “We are constantly uplifting our level of service towards our licensees in terms of business facilitation and ease of doing business.”