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    ALFI NewsDigest april 7, 2011    
          in this edition      
    1. Headlines
2. News from ALFI's Representative Office in Asia
3. ALFI new brochures & publications
4. ALFI past events
5. ALFI events
     
 
 

1.

Headlines

Luxembourg removed from Brazilian list of preferential tax regimes

On March 28, 2011 the Brazilian tax authorities announced that Luxembourg has been removed from the list of preferential tax regimes (Ato Declaratório Executivo RFB nº 3, de 25 de março de 2011).  Luxembourg has been put on this list in June 2010 (Normative Instruction No. 1,037/2010) due to the holding 1929 regime. The Brazilian authorities have now accepted to remove Luxembourg from the list as the holding 1929 regime has been phased out. It is effective from the date of publication (i.e. March 28)

The official announcement can be found here (in Portuguese only):

http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/legislacao/atosexecutivos/2011/RFB/ADRFB003.htm

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CSSF press release regarding Key Investor Information Document

On 1 April 2011, the Luxembourg regulator CSSF has published a press release including clarification on the handling of the Key Investor Information Document (KID), which are prepared and published under the responsibility of the directors of the investment company and management company respectively.

The CSSF confirmed that KIDs won’t be visa stamped. The regulator added that KIDs which replace the simplified prospectus of an existing UCITS won’t be approved by the CSSF, but will nevertheless have to be submitted to the CSSF with regard to Art. 163 of the Law of 17 December 2010.

KIDs of newly created funds under the Law of 2010 will be integrated in the approval process before they can be provided to the investors.

The CSSF will check the KIDs’ compliance with the existing legal rules and has the power to require the withdrawal of a KID in case of non-compliance.

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ALFI KID implementation project - 6th issue of Q&A Document

ALFI’s KID working group has published issue 6 of its Q&A Document with questions and proposed answers about KID implementation. It particularly includes on page 36 a table considering the implementation of Art 80 of the UCITS Directive concerning the question of who must deliver the KID to an investor. Changes compared to the previous issue are shown in mark-up.

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IOSCO consultation on suspension of CIS redemptions

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a consultation report on Principles on Suspensions of Redemptions in Collective Investment Schemes.

In light of recent developments, where some open-ended collective investment schemes (CIS) or CIS management companies were unable to meet redemption requirements, the report analyses how different jurisdictions’ regulatory regimes address the suspension of redemptions by open-ended collective investment schemes and proposes principles which provide general standards for how regulatory regimes should approach and oversee suspension of redemptions.

The principles are structured according to the time frame of a suspension. Thus, the Principles Chapter starts with principles on procedures for liquidity management that should be implemented in order to avoid suspensions. The following sections of the chapter cover principles with regard to suspension events and the process for the decision to suspend; principles that address the time during the suspension (once decided) and its ending; and examples of alternative measures used in certain jurisdictions to deal with illiquidity.

Implementation of the principles may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, depending on local conditions and circumstances.

The consultation period is open for comments until 30 May 2011.

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European Commission proposal concerning a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)

On 16 March 2011, the European Commission published its proposal for a Council Directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), which aims to remove corporate tax obstacles to the Single Market by offering companies one single set of corporate tax base rules to follow and the possibility of filing a single, consolidated tax return with one administration for their entire activity in the EU. On the basis of this single tax return, the company's tax base would be shared out amongst the Member States in which it is active (according to a specific formula taking into account sales, labour and assets) and taxed at the relevant Member States' corporate tax rates.

The regime is optional for all EU companies and the EU activities of qualifying non-EU companies with branches or subsidiaries in a Member State.

As with all tax measures, the CCCTB proposal needs to be adopted unanimously at Council level. However, the CCCTB proposal could also be taken forward under the EU's enhanced cooperation procedure which would permit a minimum of 9 Member States to adopt the proposed Directive.

Please click here for the summary of the impact assessment.

Further details are available by clicking on this link.

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ESMA: Public statement of consultation practices

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a statement establishing its consultation practices.

For significant issues, ESMA will generally apply a three month consultation period as a standard, unless an external timetable is imposed or the measure requires urgent action to ensure the smooth functioning of the markets. For ‘Calls for Evidence’, the minimum period of generally one month will be applied.

A diagrammatic representation of the consultation process is set out in Annex II.

ESMA recently published its work programme for 2011.

In addition to its public consultations, ESMA has a number of groups and networks it uses to consult, namely: the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group, Consultative Working Groups and a Retail Investor Network.

Further founding texts have recently been adopted and are available at ESMA’s website.

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IOSCO report on protection, distribution and/or transfer of client assets

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a final report on Survey of Regimes for the Protection, Distribution and/or Transfer of Client Assets.

In 1996, IOSCO published a report on Client Asset Protection (the 1996 Report). Read more

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EFRP paper: Towards more funded pensions

You will find here the EFRP position paper "Towards more funded pensions".
The paper calls for further development of funded pensions to protect citizens' old age income and to spur growth. The paper comments on the Pact for the Euro.

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EFAMA’s updated framework for fund processing best practices

EFAMA published new recommendations to increase efficiency in the processing of fund orders. The report was prepared by EFAMA’s Fund Processing Standardization Group (FPSG). It consolidates the recommendations that were published in 2005 and updated in 2008, and extends the recommendations in two key areas:

  • Transfers. Transfers to units between two accounts recorded in the legal register of fund holders are generally instructed using physical documents and faxes. As such, they require manual intervention, which makes them resource intensive and exposes them to the risk of human error. Moreover, their processing is usually not time-critical, leading to delays that can have a knock-on impact on a custodian’s ability to service their client effectively. The report makes concrete recommendations to improve communication between the actors involved, shorten processing timelines, thereby reducing the risk of human error.
  • Corporate actions. The report discusses various aspects in relation to events that arise from or have an impact upon holdings of units in an investment fund. These events include fund reorganizations, income entitlements, unitholder meetings and other investor notifications. The recommendations aim at improving communication with the wider market in order that underlying investors and their services agents are able to receive and process the information in a timely fashion.

Please click here for the press release and here for the report.

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CSSF Website: electronic procedure for applications

On 28 February 2011, the CSSF introduced on its website a directory dedicated to Luxembourg-based investment funds. For more information, please click here.

For a view of the new directory or to become acquainted with the new procedural requirements, please visit: 

http://www.cssf.lu/en/investment-funds/setting-up-luxembourg-uci-or-additional-subfund/

For press release please click here.

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Memoranda of understanding between supervisory authorities

The list of memoranda of understanding signed between the CSSF and foreign authorities is now being published on the CSSF’s website (http://www.cssf.lu/fileadmin/files/CSSF/liste_MOU_310311.pdf).

These MoUs lay down the principles and terms relating to the co-operation between authorities on issues relating to prudential supervision.

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European Commission consults on taxation of the financial sector

The European Commission has launched a consultation on the taxation of the financial sector. The Commission is seeking views from market participants, regulators, social partners, NGOs and other stakeholders on the impact and feasibility of the different policy options, the potential design of the tax and possible problems. Two particular ideas are being considered: a financial transactions tax and a financial activities tax. The responses to this consultation will be used in shaping the proposals on the taxation of the financial sector expected to be published by summer 2011.

For the consultation paper click here.

For the webpage click here.

For the press release click here.

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MiFID review – European Commission publishes responses

The European Commission has published the responses received to its consultation on changes to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). The consultation sought the views of market participants, regulators and other stakeholders on possible changes to the regulatory framework established by MiFID in the area of investment services and activities, as well as markets in financial instruments. The Commission expects to publish a formal legislative proposal in May 2011.
http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/markt/markt_consultations/library?l=/financial_services/mifid_instruments&vm=detailed&sb=Title

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Public consultation on UCITS V

The European Commission has held a public consultation to review the current framework applicable to the UCITS depositaries and to introduce provisions on remuneration for UCITS managers.

Read more.

Press Release:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/docs/2010/ucits/summary_of_responses_en.pdf

Consultation and Contributions:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2010/ucits_en.htm

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Compromise proposal for a regulation on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union has published a compromise proposal (dated 21 February 2011) on the proposed Regulation on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps.

http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/11/st06/st06823.en11.pdf

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UK: Draft amendments to the Offshore Funds (Tax) Regulations 2009

Further to the announcement on 20 December 2010 (of proposals to make amendments to the Offshore Funds (Tax) Regulations 2009 and the publication of the draft legislative material), HMRC is now publishing, for industry comment, a full draft of proposed amendments to The Offshore Funds (Tax) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/3001 as amended). Read more.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/drafts/draft-equalisation.htm#

Draft Regulation:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/si/draft-si-offshore-funds-tax.pdf

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German Investment Tax Act - Update

The German Ministry of Finance published on Thursday, 3 March 2011 a letter regarding capital gains tax on short selling of shares or fund units over the dividend ex-date ("Kapitalertragsteuer bei Leerverkäufen von Aktien oder Investmentanteilen über den Dividendenstichtag").

Please click here to view the letter.

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Austrian withholding tax refunds to non-Austrian investment funds

The Local Tax Office Bruck Eisenstadt Oberwart has released per Email Message, dated 08.-10.02.2011, a form for the purpose of the reclaim of Austrian dividend withholding tax for non-Austrian investment funds. Read more.

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Germany: WM-Daten - Income adjustment procedure

WM-Daten has added a new field “IP925” to the list of existing fields in order to comply with the regulatory requirements. The new field has been activated on 21 February 2011 and can be delivered with codes 1 or 2 or a new attribute in line with the investment company’s notification. As of 1 April 2011, the new field is mandatory field. Read more.

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2.

News from ALFI's Representative Office in Asia

Hong Kong enlarges the list of specified stock & futures exchanges

With the aim of reinforcing the status of Hong Kong as an international financial centre, the Government of Hong Kong SAR has issued consultation papers on 22 February 2011 on the matter of expanding tax exemptions to offshore funds engaged in futures trading contained in Schedule 1 to the Securities & Futures Ordinance (SFO).

Adding certain Brazilian, Indian and Chinese exchanges to the list would enhance the ambition of Hong Kong as being an international finance centre in general and an asset management centre in particular.

Exchanges will be attributed with the “specified” status when served certain purposes in link with licensing, recognized counterparty status, disclosure of interests and price stabilizing.

The SFC press release can be found at following link:

http://www.sfc.hk/sfcPressRelease/EN/sfcOpenDocServlet?docno=11PR15

Written comments can be sent to the SFC via email (specifiedexchangesconsult@sfc.hk), by post or by fax (+852 2521 7884) before 21 April 2011.

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Taiwan eases investment restrictions into and from China

Taiwan's regulator FSC announced on 22 February 2011 that restrictions on investments into China will be eased for local fund managers.

So far, both local and offshore funds registered with the FSC for public distribution in Taiwan were prohibited from investing more than 10% (lifted from 0.4% in 2008) of the fund's assets into securities listed on mainland China securities exchanges (Shanghai & Shenzhen).

Under the new rules, local fund managers may invest up to 30% and in case of ETFs, 100%, of the net assets into China equity.

The question remains on whether these rules would become applicable for offshore funds as easing the restrictions for offshore funds would mean higher flexibility for foreign promoters distributing cross-border into Taiwan.

In parallel, Taiwanese regulators have also agreed for the first time to allow Chinese investors to invest in its leading and vaunted sector, technology companies. Under this change, Chinese investment firms would gain access to some of Taiwan's most successful companies. Chinese investment in Taiwan was barred until 2009, and even then the access was limited to 99 sectors, excluding Taiwan technology sector.

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3.

ALFI new brochures & publications

ALFI Newsletter Spring 2011

Download the ALFI Spring Conference newsletter by clicking here.

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Luxembourg Regulated Investment Vehicles

ALFI is pleased to introduce the new edition of the Luxembourg Regulated Investment Vehicles brochure, incorporating the recent changes in the legal and regulatory environment. The purpose of the brochure is to provide an overview of the various vehicles that may be set up in Luxembourg covering the complete spectrum of the Fund industry. The overview covers the following aspects:
-    Legal and regulatory requirements
-    Shareholding
-    Reporting requirements
-    Approval and supervision
-    Taxation

Luxembourg Regulated Investment Vehicles (PDF, 611.12 KB)

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ALFI Risk Management guidelines

In the present guidance paper, we hereby present the first results of some of ALFI working groups (market risk, liquidity risk, credit and counterparty risk as well as operational risk). We attached a special focus on the key risk topics that are newly addressed by UCITS IV. It is the intention of this publication to assist the market players in the pragmatic operational implementation of these regulations.

ALFI Risk Management brochure (PDF, 1.37 MB)

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ALFI’s Updated technical guide: Swing Pricing

In spring 2010 the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) reconvened a swing pricing working group.

This group was formed from various ALFI members over a broad spectrum of disciplines including fund auditors, fund promoters, asset managers, legal representatives and third party administrators.

The primary goal set by the chairman was to review, and if necessary update, guidance previously issued by ALFI in late 2006. In order to facilitate these objectives a survey was commissioned to research what has happened in the industry since the publication of the original brochure Have a look at the brochure.

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4.

ALFI past events

31 March: ALFI & PRiM Risk Management Conference

PRiM and ALFI teamed up to organise the 2nd edition of the ALFI & PRiM Risk Management Conference. The risk management conference was held on Thursday, 31 March 2011 and it proved very popular with professionals in Luxembourg, attracting over 230 experts.

It was stated that effective risk management is more important than it has ever been. A broad range of risk management topics, including:

  • Fund risk management
  • Liquidity risk management
  • Credit/collateral risk management
  • Risk management of outsourcing

haven been discussed. The panel discussions on UCITS IV bringing new risks, and How the Fund Industry undergoes another experience of “Stress Testing” caused by Regulatory Innovation as well as a regulatory update on Risk Management under UCITS IV and AIFMD and the use of Derivative Instruments demonstrated that besides fostering a risk awareness culture and a holistic approach to risk management as such, it has become apparent that risk governance is paramount to the successful business conduct.

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17 March: ALFI Microfinance Conference

This year’s conference was attended by more than 160 delegates. We had the pleasure and honor to welcome the Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, who did actively participate in the morning sessions.  Minister Marie-Josée Jacobs, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs covered in her speech some very interesting ideas regarding Microfinance as a development tool.

The conference focused on the perspectives and critical challenges of the microfinance industry. Social performance of the MIVs and the need for an increased transparency in this sector were other heavily debated topics.

You can see the pictures here.

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15 & 16 March: ALFI Spring Conference

ALFI's Spring Conference focusing on "better regulation – clearer information – more protection" attracted a record 830 attendees over the two days with some 50 exhibition stands. Click on this link to see the conference blog (until today more then 45.000 visits) and film.

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15 March: ALFI Gala Dinner

Over 410 people attended this industry dinner that took place after the first day of the conference. Click here to see the gala on film.

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5.

ALFI events

2011 Confirmed Events Dates

19 MayALFI Conference London
9 JuneALFI Annual General Meeting
15 & 16 JuneALFI Roadshow to Switzerland (Zurich & Geneva)
26 SeptemberALFI Golf Tournament
27 & 28 SeptemberALFI Global Fund Distribution Conference
4 - 7 OctoberALFI Roadshow to Toronto & USA
22 & 23 NovemberALFI European Alternative Investment Funds Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALFI events calendar 2011 - please click here.

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19 May: ALFI Conference London

Programme and Registration coming soon.

Click here for the conference website.

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15 & 16 June: ALFI Roadshow to Switzerland (Zurich & Geneva)

Programme and registration coming soon.

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27 & 28 September: ALFI Global Distribution Conference in association with NICSA & HKIFA

Programme, Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities coming soon.

Click here for the conference website.

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