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    ALFI Newsflash february 17, 2011    
          in this edition      
    1. Headlines
2. News from ALFI's Representative Office in Asia
3. ALFI past events
4. ALFI events
5. LFF events
6. Other events
     
 
 

1.

Headlines

European Commission progress report: “Regulating financial services for sustainable growth”

The European Commission has published a progress report entitled “Regulating financial services for sustainable growth” which provides an overview of the Commission’s legislative initiatives for counteracting the roots of the financial crisis. In this report the Commission has stated that, where possible, new legislation will be directly applicable (i.e. in the form of Regulation rather than Directive). This will eliminate the need for transposition time and the risk of inconsistencies in national transposition. The Commission expects that all texts of the reform will be adopted by the Commission by the end of 2011.

Some of the legislative measures proposed along with indicative timing:

  • Directive on credit mortgage (March 2011);
  • Securities Law Directive (May 2011);
  • Revision of the Market Abuse Directive (May 2011);
  • Review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (May 2011);
  • Revision of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD4) (Q2 2011);
  • Revision to the Directive on Packaged Retail Investment Products (PRIPs) (Q2 2011);
  • Implementing measures for Solvency II (level 2) (Q3 2011);
  • Legislation on corporate governance in financial institutions (June 2011); and
  • Crisis management legislative proposal (June 2011).

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/barnier/docs/110209_progress_report_financial_issues_en.pdf

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German draft laws concerning investor information

The German legislator is about to adopt two laws, which may have an impact on the distribution of foreign funds to Germany, namely in the context of investor information. Knowing that the legislative process regarding both bills is still ongoing, the following statements cannot yet be considered as final or confirmed.

The German draft law implementing the UCITS IV Directive into national law(as at 24 January 2011) will introduce for German UCITS the obligation to produce a Key Investor Information Document (KID) already from 1 July 2011. In contrast, foreign UCITS distributing their shares/units to Germany and benefitting pursuant to their domestic law from a transitional period of e.g. one year – as it is the case for Luxembourg domiciled funds – will be allowed to continue to use the simplified prospectus by 30 June 2012 at the latest.

For both domestic and foreign non-UCITS, the draft law requires the production of a KID from 1 July 2011. Apart from a general reference in this regard to the provisions of the KID Regulation (EU) n° 583/2010, it includes specific rules for property funds, infrastructures funds, (funds of) hedge funds and regarding the risk profile of the aforementioned types of funds.

Next, the German Ministry of Finance will hold a public hearing on the UCITS IV implementing law on 23 February 2011.

The second law aiming at strengthening investor protection(dated 8 November 2010) was adopted by the German Parliament on 11 February 2011, namely as amended by the Finance Committee. By including changes to the Securities Transaction Act (“Wertpapierhandelsgesetz”), it will introduce the general obligation to provide customers prior to the conclusion of a business transaction with a short and easy to understand information sheet (called “Produktinformationsblatt” or abbreviated “PIB”) on any financial instrument linked to a buy recommendation made. The PIB‘s content will be defined later by national regulation and will probably be similar to the KID, but not identical with it.

The amendments introduced by the Finance Committee refer for both domestic and foreign funds explicitly to the relevant KID rules, which will be implemented by the draft law implementing the UCITS IV Directive into national law (see above). This means that neither UCITS nor non-UCITS will have to produce a PIB for their investors, even if the second draft law is implemented before the adoption of the UCITS IV law.

Following the adoption in Parliament, it is now up to the Federal Council (“Bundesrat”) to approve the law, which will have to be published in the official gazette (“Bundesgesetzblatt”) to enter into force.

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CSSF circular 11/498 on the transposition of the UCITS IV Directive into Luxembourg law

On 10 January 2011, the Luxembourg supervisory authority CSSF published a circular regarding the entry into force of the Law of 17 December 2010 on undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS).

It summarises the structure of the new law and its main innovations. Reference is made to further EU regulations from the Commission and guidelines from the Committee of European Securities Regulators.

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German UCITS IV implementation Law – tax provisions

With letter dated 9th February 2011 the BUNDESVERBAND INVESTMENT UND ASSET MANAGEMENT E. V.(BVI) and ALFI have jointly commented on the tax provisions foreseen in the draft UCITS IV implementation law. Please click here to view the letter.

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German Investment Tax Act - Update

The German Ministry of Finance grants some transitory exemptions for the implementations of the annual tax act 2010.
Please click here to view the letter. 
 

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Affidavit (declaration of domicile) / Circular no. 24 in respect of collective investment schemes as the subject of Swiss federa

On 28th December 2010 the Swiss Bankers Association and the Swiss Fund Association published a circular regarding Affidavit (declaration of domicile). Please click here for the english, french and german version

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ESCA publishes draft decisions on investment funds and regulating investment management activity

The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) has published for consultation: (1) a draft decision on investment funds (the ‘Investment Funds Regulation’); and (2) a draft decision on regulating investment management activity (the ‘Investment Management Activity Regulation’).

The Investment Funds Regulation applies to all matters relating to local investment funds and to the promotion of foreign funds in the UAE. For the purposes of the Investment Funds Regulation, a local investment fund is an investment fund established in the UAE and licensed by ESCA. Funds established in any of the UAE free zones such as the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) are considered to be foreign funds. The Investment Funds Regulation prohibits an entity from establishing a local investment fund without first obtaining a licence from ESCA. Furthermore, ESCA’s prior approval is required prior to any investment fund being promoted within the UAE.

The Investment Management Activity Regulation prohibits a person from undertaking investment management activity for securities in the UAE without first obtaining a licence from ESCA. Investment management comprises management of securities portfolios for others or the management of investment funds in accordance with defined objectives and policy.

Draft decision on investment funds: http://www.sca.ae/English/Documents/Investment_Fund_Regulation_EN.pdf

Draft decision on regulating investment management activity: http://www.sca.ae/English/Documents/Decision_on_Investment_Management_Regulation_EN.pdf

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ALFI Annual General Meeting

We remind you that the ALFI Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, 09 June 2011 at 9:00am at the Chambre de Commerce (7, rue Alcide de Gasperi, L-2981 Luxembourg-Kirchberg).

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NEW ALFI PUBLICATION

 

 

Luxembourg, the centre of excellence for Carbon Investment Vehicles: please click here

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New edition of the LFF Mediawatch

Please find hereafter the link to the new edition of the Luxembourg for Finance (LFF) Mediawatch:

http://www.lff.lu/fileadmin/redaction/documents/Media_Watch/2011/LFF_Mediawatch_010211-150211.pdf

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2.

News from ALFI's Representative Office in Asia

Potential changes in Taiwan to impact foreign funds

The FSC,Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission, is considering to reducing subsequent registration applications to 1 sub-fund only.

SITCA, the Securities Investment Trust & Consulting Association of R.O.C., has communicated publicly that FSC is considering reducing the subsequent registration applications to 1 sub-fund only. Currently, FSC is encouraging master agents to register 1 sub-fund at a time only, whereas the registration of a maximum of 3 sub-funds (at a time) is still legal and valid.

This could greatly restrict certain foreign umbrella funds that tend to launch multiple new sub-funds.

Presently, this new restriction is not yet in force, but could be introduced at any time.

Further information will be provided at a later stage.

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Hong Kong SFC clarifies Product Key Facts Statement (KFS) issues

The SFC, Securities and Futures Commision, issued a circular on 16 December 2010 to provide guidance and clarification to the industry on the implementation arrangements to the Code of Unit Trusts and Mutual Funds in respect of the production of a product key facts statement (“KFS”) and revisions to the offering documents as required under the new regulatory regime. 

In addition, the SFC has issued two Frequently Asked Questions on the transitional arrangements for implementing the new regulatory regime to provide further guidance and clarification to the industry.

Please refer to the link below for the circular:

http://www.sfc.hk/sfcRegulatoryHandbook/EN/displayFileServlet?docno=H613

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Mainland China to launch a trial for mini-QFII scheme

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) announced during the Asian Financial Forum on January 18 that Mainland is ready to launch a trial for the qualified foreign institutional investor scheme, or mini-QFII scheme, allowing domestic brokerages and fund houses to raise offshore Yuan, located in Hong Kong, to invest in Mainland China’s A-shares market. This scheme is expected to shift 50 billion Yuan of overseas capital to the Mainland’s bond and stock markets.

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3.

ALFI past events

ABBL and ALFI Depositary Bank Forum Breakfast Seminar

ABBL and ALFI organised jointly the second Depositary Bank Forum Breakfast Seminar which was held on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 at the Chamber of Commerce. The breakfast seminar found great interest amongst professionals of the Luxembourg financial centre and attracted over 300 guests. The seminar paid tribute to current the consultations launched by ESMA and the European Commission and updates and insights on the regulatory changes currently occupying the world of depositary banks were given. The AIFM Directive and the forthcoming new legislations on the UCITS depositary function will be an integral part of the future framework of European supervision. The new legislative proposals in this area will certainly be some of the most difficult to draft in order to achieve an enhanced investor protection while at the same time avoiding negative impacts on the UCITS product and the fund industry in general. Both will be a challenge for depositaries and boost transparency, investor protection and the single market.

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LFF roadshow to the Middle East

ALFI participated in the LFF roadshow to the Middle East from February 7 to 10. The 80-people strong delegation was led by the Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and the Minister of Finance Luc Frieden. Seminars were organized in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Beirut. The Abu Dhabi and Riyadh seminars each featured a panel on investment funds and the Beirut seminar a high level roundtable which included ALFI’s chairman as a panellist.

In addition, a joint meeting of the ALFI-Dubai working group was held in Dubai. This was on occasion for participants from the delegation and the local members of the working group to get together and exchange views on recent developments.

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4.

ALFI events

2011 Confirmed Event Dates

 15 March

 ALFI Gala Dinner

 15 & 16 March

 17 March

 ALFI Spring Conference

 ALFI Microfinance Conference in association with  LuxFlag

 31 March

 ALFI PRiM & Risk Management Conference

 19 May

 ALFI Seminar London

 9 June

 ALFI Annual General Meeting

 15 & 16 June (tbc)

 ALFI Roadshow to Switzerland (Zurich & Geneva)

 26 September

 ALFI Golf Tournament

 27 & 28 September

 ALFI Global Fund Distribution Conference

 4 - 7 October

 ALFI Roadshow to Toronto & USA

 22 & 23 November

 ALFI European Alternative Investment Funds Conference

 

ALFI events calendar 2011 - please click here

ALFI endorsed events 2011 - please click here

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15 & 16 March 2011: ALFI Spring Conference

"better regulation - clearer information - more protection"

exhibition space - fully booked

Registration: book your place by Friday 25th February in order to have your name appear on the delegate list. Please click here.

read more

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15 March 2011: ALFI Fund Industry Gala Dinner at the Philharmonie

Once again ALFI organizes a Gala dinner on the evening of the first day of the Spring conference, on Tuesday 15th March 2011. This event offers unrivalled networking opportunities and takes place at the beautiful Luxembourg Philharmonie Concert hall.

click here to register

If you would like to reserve a table of 10, please contact us

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17 March 2011: ALFI Microfinance Conference in association with LuxFlag

"Responsive Microfinance - Microfinance current trends, threats and opportunities - impact financing"

programme online!

Please click here for fees and to register

read more

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31 March 2011: ALFI & PRiM Risk Management Conference

Programme online

Please click here for fees and to register. Early bird deadline 25th February - only € 250 for ALFI & PRiM members.

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4 May 2011: N°3 in ALFI Leading Edge Conference Series - "AIFMD"

Sponsorship opportunity and programme available soon! Please contact us

Watch this link for more information.

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

Soon open for sponsorship to ALFI members.

Watch this link for more information.

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5.

LFF events

4 March: London - Insights into Microfinance

Luxembourg for Finance is pleased to sponsor the "Insights into Microfinance" event, which takes place on March 4, 2011, in London. The conference is made up of two parts: the first one consists of three consecutive panel discussions amongst practitioners in the field of Microfinance. The second part is dedicated to students, and focuses on the question of how best to link motivated students to microfinance.

Read more

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8-11 March: Become an Official Partner of the Luxembourg Pavilion at MIPIM 2011

From the 8th to the 11th of March 2011, the Chamber of Commerce organises a Luxembourg Pavilion at MIPIM, the world’s largest real estate business platform, which will be held for the 22nd time in Cannes, France.

Read more

Invitation from the Chambre de Commerce.

Registration form.

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20 - 24 March: LFF Economic and financial mission to Turkey

The Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade in close cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and the Agencies Luxembourg for Business and Luxembourg for Finance will organise an economic and financial mission to Turkey. H.R.H. Prince Guillaume, Crown Prince of Luxembourg and H.E.Mr Jeannot Krecké, Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade, will lead the delegation from 20 to 24 March, 2011 to Istanbul where an economic and a financial seminar will be organised. Depending on the interest shown by the participants, the mission will continue to Eskisehir. B2b meetings can be arranged in both cities on demand.

Read more.

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4 - 5 April: Roadshow to Madrid

Luxembourg for Finance, in collaboration with the Foro Económico Hispano-Luxemburgués (F.E.H.L.), the Madrid Centro Financiero and the Cámara de Comercio de Madrid, will organise a road show to Madrid from 4th to 5th April 2011.

Read more

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6.

Other events

4 - 6 May: ICI General Membership Meeting 2011

The General Membership Meeting of the Investment Company Institute (ICI) will take place from 4th to 6th May 2011at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC

website

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14 - 19 may: Trade mission to Japan and South Korea/ Luxembourg for Business

A trade mission to Japan and South Korea with the presence of  HRH Hereditary Grand Duke and the Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade Jeannot Krecké will take place from May 14 to 19, 2011.

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