The FSC of Mauritius has confirmed through its circular letter that as part of the Finance Act 2016 certain amendments have been enacted to allow companies with a GBC 2 category licence to invest in any securities listed on a securities exchange licensed under the Securities Act (the SEM or other exchanges operation in Mauritius). The legislation now permits these companies to open stock brokerage accounts with licensed investments dealers.
Due diligence responsibilities will fall to the licensed investment dealers and their agents for all the Customer Due Diligence requirements as ascribed under the Code on the Prevention of Money laundering and Terrorist Financing issued by the FSC.
The clearing and settlement facilities of the exchange will be required to submit a monthly summary of purchases and sales in terms of number of shares transacted and amount under each security made by the GBC2.
New types of business licenses granted by Mauritius FSC
As part of the Mauritius government’s drive to position the country as the prime investment gateway into Africa and Asia, with the enactment of the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2016, a number of additional licenses are now granted by the FSC.
Part of the incentive to attract certain types of businesses are the special “tax holidays” that are granted for the different types of licences.
A Global Headquarters Administration Licence will be granted an eight-year tax holiday as long as certain employment creation and substance conditions are met. The aim being to attract multinational regional companies to use Mauritius as their main headquarters.
The Global Legal Advisory Services Licence, has been introduced for law firms who wish to set up a local entity to provide legal services in Mauritius pertaining to global business, international arbitration, corporate law, taxation law and international law. These companies will be provided with a 5-year tax holiday.
The Investment Banking Licence is available for the financial services entities involved with investment banking activities and will also receive a 5-year tax holiday. Services that can be provided under this licence include brokerage, underwriting, investment advisory, asset management, distributor and others as may be specified.
The Investment Adviser (Corporate Finance Advisory Licence) as well as the Representative of Investment Adviser License, has been introduced for entities wishing to engage in the provision of advisory services regarding:
Guiding through the various requirements of listing on securities exchanges;
a) Capital raising through stock issue;
b) Corporate structuring including takeovers, mergers and acquisitions;
c) Other matters as provided for by the FSC.
Holders of such type of licences shall be regulated by the FSC and will also enjoy a 5-year tax holiday.
Other introduced licenses also being granted the 5-year tax holiday, according to the Board of Investment, include
- Asset and Fund Managers Licensed by the FSC and managing a minimum asset base of USD 100 million
- Foreign Ultra High Net Worth Individuals investing a minimum of USD 25 million in Mauritius
- ‘Overseas Family Corporation’ licensed by the FSC