Mauritius to grant umbrella licence to wealth management providers

Pedro Gonçalves
Mauritius to grant umbrella licence to wealth management providers

Mauritius has announced a raft of  key measures to further promote the island as an international financial centre, including an umbrella licence for the wealth management providers, promotion of REITs and boosting the fintech environment.

The Indian Ocean island, which markets itself as a link between Africa and Asia, is striving to move from an economy mostly focused on sugar, textiles and tourism towards offshore banking, business outsourcing and luxury real estate.

An umbrella license will be granted to the service providers offering wealth management services, the island's finance minister revealed in his annual budget speech.  The Mauritius Financial Services Commission will enter into an agreement with the Gujarat International Finance Tec City in India to recognise Mauritian licensed funds and management companies as being qualified to operate in the Gujarat jurisdiction as well and there are also changes to drive fintech investment.

As Mauritius aims to become a regional fintech hub, the government is proposing: 

- to establish a regime of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled financial advisory services;
- to introduce a new license for fintech service providers;
- to encourage self-regulation for fintech activities in consultation with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime;
- to introduce the use of e-signatures and e-licenses on a pilot basis; and
- to create crowdfunding as a new licensable activity.

The budget also contained new rules topromote the development of REITs, and attractive tax regimes will be introduced to further that goal. A new scheme for the head quartering of e-commerce activities will be set up to promote the carrying out of such activities from Mauritius.

Mauritius expects its economy will expand by 4.1% next year up from 3.9% this year, while the fiscal deficit will remain flat in the fiscal year beginning July from the previous period, according to the finance minister.

The fiscal deficit in the fiscal year from July would be unchanged at 3.2% of GDP from the previous year. 


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