New MFSA NAIF Rulebook Improves Efficiency of Malta Funds’ Regime.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (‘MFSA’) has published a new rulebook dedicated to Notified Alternative Investment Funds (‘NAIFs’) with effect from the 24th June 2021. In terms of the new rules, the MFSA has made a number of key changes to further enhance the effectiveness of the structure, in particular:

  • Shorter processing timeframes. The MFSA shall now review changes to the prospectus within five working days (previously ten), as well as selected pre-notification changes (such as changes to the AIFM’s investment management and valuation functions) within three weeks (previously two months).
  • It is now possible to request the conversion of a licensed collective investment scheme into a NAIF.
  • Reduction of restrictive asset class policy. NAIFs are now able to invest in any type of asset, including through the acquisition of loans (subject to certain requirements). The investment through loan origination remains excluded.

The NAIF regime continues to offer a number of benefits such as a short time-to-market (ten working days from the submission of a complete notification pack to MFSA) and passporting to other EU/EEA jurisdictions.

The MFSA requires AIFMs of existing NAIFs to undertake an impact assessment of the revised rules against their current operations. Any potential issues arising as a result of the revised rules shall be addressed by no later than the 31st December 2021.

DF has assisted a number of AIFMs pursuant to the NAIF regime since its inception in 2016, and may also assist in the conduct of the abovementioned impact assessment. Should you require further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our financial services team at dfcs@dfadvocates.com .