The Investment Services Act is the main regulatory framework for investment companies in Malta. This type of companies are the most employed vehicles when registering Maltese collective investment schemes. Investment companies in Malta may take the following forms:
- – investment companies with variable share capital, also known as open-ended schemes or SICAV companies,
- – investment companies with fixed share capital, also known as closed-ended schemes or INVCO companies,
- – partnerships,
- – common contractual funds,
- – Maltese unit trusts.
Among these, the SICAV and INVCO companies are the most employed types of Maltese hedge funds, because they provide separate juridical companies compared to the other types of investment vehicles.
The characteristics of SICAV company in Malta
The Maltese investment company with variable share capital (Société d’Investissement à Capital Variable or SICAV company) is the most employed type of investment vehicle for hedge funds. The shares in Maltese SICAV companies do not have nominal values and the share capital must be equal to the value of the company’s issued share capital, that is what makes this type of company suitable for open-ended funds.
The Maltese Companies Law restricts the object of activity of SICAV companies to collective investment of their funds in securities and movable and immovable property. If taken into consideration the Malta Financial Services Authority’s flexibility regarding Professional Investor Funds (PIFs), the SICAV company becomes a very attractive vehicle providing numerous investment possibilities.
How to incorporate a SICAV company in Malta
Both private and public Maltese companies can be registered as SICAV companies. However, private SICAV companies are restricted to a maximum number of 50 shareholders in Malta. The Maltese legislation also allows SICAV companies to be registered as ‘umbrella’ companies which include sub-funds.
The main advantage of Maltese SICAV companies, as umbrella companies, is that the assets and the liabilities of each sub-fund are separated from each other, thus sub-funds can be treated as patrimony.
All SICAV companies in Malta are required to have a registered office and a company secretary. For company registration, please contact our company incorporation agents in Malta.