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    ALFI News Digest november 28, 2011    
          in this edition      
    1. Headlines
2. News from the EU Representative Office in Brussels
3. ALFI past events
4. ALFI events
5. Other events



Express, the ALFI podcast

ALFI, has launched EXPRESS: The ALFI Podcast, a portal to fund industry insight and expertise. The weekly podcasts, which are only a few minutes long, will offer listeners unique insight from industry leaders on important topics and themes affecting the global fund industry. Please note that the views and opinions expressed are the speakers own and do not reflect necessarily those of ALFI.

Episode 1: Flood of regulation by Rafik Fischer

Episode 2: Success story of the Luxembourg fund industry by Jean Hamilius

Episode 3: Investor's protection by Jella Benner-Heinacher

To subscribe to Express, please send an email to registrations@alfi.lu

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European Commission: Tackling double taxation for a stronger Single Market

On 11th November 2011, the European Commission adopted a communication on double taxation. This Communication highlights where the main double taxation problems lie within the EU, and outlines concrete measures that the Commission will take to address them. In doing so, the Commission seeks to remove real obstacles to a more competitive economy and make the EU easier to invest and do business in.

As an immediate first step to strengthen existing legislation against double taxation, the Commission also adopted today a simultaneous proposal to improve the Interest and Royalties Directive. This aims to reduce the instances of one Member State levying a withholding tax on a payment, while another Member State taxes the same payment. Other areas in which the Commission intends to propose specific solutions to double taxation problems include cross-border inheritance tax in the near future and dividends paid to portfolio investors later on.

With regard to double non-taxation, which causes considerable losses to public revenues, the Commission will launch a consultation to gauge the full scale of the problem. On the basis of this consultation, it will determine the most appropriate and effective measures to prevent double non-taxation and come forward with solutions next year.

Press release

Proposal for a Directive

Impact assessment

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Review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive

The European Commission has published the legislative proposals to revise the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). The proposals consist of a Regulation and a Directive and are designed to make financial markets more efficient, resilient and transparent, as well as to enhance investors’ protection. In addition, the new framework will increase the supervisory powers of regulators and provide clear operating rules for all trading activities.

Please download a note covering the main aspects of the proposed legislative package here.



Press release

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Market Abuse Review

The European Commission has published its legislative proposals which revise the Market Abuse Directive. The proposal consists of a Regulation and a Directive. The new framework is designed, among other things, to:

  • adapt the EU rules to the new market reality, in particular by extending their scope to financial instruments only traded on new platforms and over-the-counter, as well as adapting rules to new technology;
  • clarify that market abuse occurring across both commodity and related derivative markets is prohibited;
  • reinforce cooperation between financial and commodity regulators;
  • introduce tougher and greater harmonisation of sanctions (including possible criminal sanctions); and
  • reduce administrative burdens on small and medium sized issuers.

Proposal of directive on criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation

Proposal of regulation on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse)

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Optional common European sales law

On 11th October 2011, the European Commission proposed an optional Common European Sales Law to help break down certain barriers and give consumers more choice and a high level of protection. It will facilitate trade by offering a single set of rules for cross-border contracts in all 27 EU countries. If traders offer their products on the basis of the Common European Sales law, consumers would have the option of choosing a user-friendly European contract with a high level of protection with just one click of a mouse. The Commission's proposal now needs approval from EU Member States and the European Parliament, which already signalled its overwhelming support in a vote earlier this year.

Please click here for the full press release, here for the communication from the Commission, here for the proposed regulation and here for a document including FAQs on this topic.

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Social Business Initiative

At the end of October, the European Commission issued a communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the social business initiative. This Communication aims  to create a favorable climate for social enterprises, key stakeholders in the social economy and innovation. To read more, please click here.

The Communication was accompanied by a staff working paper regarding the setting–up of a favorable ecosystem to promote social businesses in the social economy and innovation. The document highlights the actions already undertaken by the European Union with regard to social entrepreneurship and outlines the actions of third countries and international organisations. To read more please click here.

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FSB publishes recommendations to strengthen oversight and regulation of shadow banking

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published on 27th October 2011 recommendations to strengthen the oversight and regulation of the shadow banking system, as requested at the November 2010 G20 summit. The report sets out practical recommendations, informed by a detailed monitoring exercise during summer 2011 to review recent trends and developments in the global shadow banking system, as well as a thorough regulatory mapping exercise to take stock of existing national and international initiatives. Five workstreams have been launched to assess the case for further regulatory action.

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Value added tax (VAT): high–level, joint financial and insurance industry comment letter

The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), the European Banking Federation (EBF) and the European Insurance and Reinsurance Federation (CEA) have drafted a high level joint comment letter on the VAT treatment of financial and insurance services. The letter was submitted on 25th October 2011 to the European Commission, the Undersecretary of State of the Polish Ministry of Finance, and Mr Siekierski and Mr Nichczyński of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU.

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ESMA technical advice on possible implementing measures of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD)

On 16th November 2011, ESMA published its advice to the European Commission on the AIFMD delegated and implementing acts.

ESMA will now take forward its work on the other subordinate measures foreseen by the Directive (i.e. regulatory and implementing technical standards), prioritising those measures which should be finalised in parallel with the adoption of the implementing measures by the European Commission. ESMA has also identified a number of areas in which it considers it appropriate to develop guidelines in order to foster a harmonised implementation of the new framework.

Read more (points covered by the advice).

The advice is available here.

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IOSCO publishes recommendations on market integrity

On 20th October 2011, the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published its final report on Regulatory Issues Raised by the Impact of Technological Changes on Market Integrity and Efficiency, containing recommendations aimed at promoting market integrity and efficiency and to mitigate the risks posed to the financial system by the latest technological developments including high frequency and algorithmic trading.

The report analyses the most significant technological developments that have arisen in financial markets in recent years and their impact on market integrity and efficiency, and sets out recommendations to assist securities markets regulators in mitigating these effects. These are designed to:

  • help regulators to identify the practical impact that technological developments have had and the regulatory issues to which they may give rise;
  • promote a consistent approach amongst global regulators to the latest technological developments; and
  • mitigate the risk that technological change may pose to the integrity and efficiency of financial markets.

The recommendations were developed in response to the G20 Leaders request in November 2010. IOSCO will provide an update on the progress of this work in mid-2012.

Click here for the full press release.

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EIOPA launches second consultation on "Draft Response to Call for Advice"

EIOPA invited market participants and occupational pensions stakeholders to participate in the second consultation.

EIOPA welcomes comments from all interested parties on the “Draft Response to Call for Advice”. EIOPA is currently seeking input on all 23 areas of the CfA, including the nine areas that were addressed in the first consultation in July/August.

Download the draft response to Call for Advice.

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LFF Mediawatch

Please see the new LFF Mediawatch, covering the period from 1 to 31 October 2011 and 1 to 15 November 2011.

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News from the EU Representative Office in Brussels

A trend to more detailed and directly applicable EU legislation

In the EU there is a new kid on the block: it is called the “single rulebook” and it takes the shape of more and more detailed regulation.
First mentioned during the negotiations that resulted in the creation of the three new powerful European Supervisory Authorities, it has become more and more part of the legislative reality. Indeed the ESAs like the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) or the European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) have vast powers to draft detailed technical standards. They also give extensive advice to the European Commission in its work to adopt delegated and implementing acts. A first and fine example is the current work on the so-called level 2 measures elaborated after the adoption of the directive on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMD). Similarly the Commission’s proposal on the capital requirements directive provides for 153 measures to be adopted involving EBA in one way or the other.

Read more.

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ALFI past events

24 October: ALFI Roadshow to Frankfurt

This year there was no snow storm and the event programme could be held as planned. More than 320 attendees joined the conference that covered topics such as the status of UCITS IV, V, the AIFM Directive and current Developments in Alternative Investments. Three parallel streams focused on Hedge Funds, the practical impact of the AIFMD and operational aspects.

To see the presentations please click here.

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ALFI events

ALFI confirmed events

ALFI events calendar

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5-8 December: ALFI Roadshow in Asia

Fund Industry Seminars in Taipei and Hong Kong (free of charge).

6 December: W Hotel Taipei, half-day, morning event followed by buffet lunch

7 December: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, full-day event with workshops and lunch

Programme and registration online! Please click here for more information.

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13 December: Leading Edge Conf. n°4: "Identifying and addressing the newest requirements for Luxembourg Management Companies"

The conference will be a unique opportunity to hear from and exchange views with the industry leading experts and ALFI’s specialists on:

  • the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to Luxembourg management companies
  • organisational requirements needs
  • tax challenges for management companies
  • the Luxembourg Management Company Passport
  • a comparative review of the setup alternatives

Combining thorough legal and regulatory analyses, highly topical market research and practical insights, this event is a perfect platform for all industry stakeholders willing to align their ManCo strategy with leading edge industry developments. 

You can register by clicking here.

Late sponsors, contact: events@alfi.lu

The conference will take place at the premises of RBC Dexia in Esch-Alzette.

Draft programme.

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13 March 2012: ALFI Gala Dinner

The 2012 edition of this event will be held at the newly renovated former Cercle Municipal ball room. Due to the smaller, but more prestigious venue, registrations to the dinner are limited and are expected to be quickly booked. ALFI is offering two sponsorship options with priority to ALFI members.

Click here for details on General and Table sponsorship.

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13-14 March 2012: ALFI Spring Conference

Open for sponsorship and exhibition! Click here for all opportunities.

Highlights of the programme include:

  • CEO interviews
  • ESMA representative interview
  • Market Perspective - Fund Managers / Investors view 
  • UCITS IV- 9 months later
  • KIID implementation – the practitioners’ experience
  • ETF and Stuctured Funds- what’s next after the ESMA consultation
  • FATCA – Latest evolution
  • EFAMA’s role in latest regulatory changes and any future changes 
  • Legal & Regulatory update
  • Interview of EU Commission Representative
  • Savings Directive Update
  • EMIR & OTC Derivatives – impact on the Fund Industry

More details will be published on the conference webpage in due course.

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18 April 2012: ALFI & PRiM Risk Management Conference - Save the date!

The conference committee will start working on the programme this month.

For any suggestions on topics please contact events@alfi.lu

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9 & 10 May 2012: SRI / Microfinance conference

Save the date! More information coming soon.

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Other events

29 November: LFF Roadshow in Paris

Luxembourg for Finance in collaboration with Chambre de Commerce Belgo-Luxembourgeoise in Paris organise a financial conference on 29th November 2011 in Paris. For more information and the invitation please click here.

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7 December: Economic & financial seminar and matchmaking event in Brussels

Please find a "save the date" for an economic & financial seminar and matchmaking event that will take place in Brussels, at the "Maison du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, 75 avenue de Cortenbergh B-1000 Brussels" on December 7th 2011.

The event is organized by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Awex (Agence wallonne à l'exportation) , FIT (Flanders Investment & Trade) , BECI (Brussels Entreprise Commerce and Industry), Luxembourg for Finance and the Luxembourg Embassy in Belgium.

For registering your company, please go to  www.belux-matchmaking.lu.

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