The Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, in collaboration with the Financial Services Commission (FSC), launched the New Special Purpose Fund (SPF), this morning, at FSC House in Ebène. The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, was present on that occasion. The financial services sector will, through the new SPF, contribute to enhance the positioning of Mauritius as an innovative and competitive jurisdiction for cross-border investments between Africa and the rest of the world.
In his keynote address, the Minister congratulated the FSC team for this initiative which is essential to pursue product diversification so as to further consolidate our country’s position as a jurisdiction of choice.
Challenges, both internationally and at the domestic level, compounded by a sanitary crisis of epic proportions, have hastened the need to transform and reinvent businesses so that we can emerge stronger in the future and be a viable competitor in the league of Financial Centres, he emphasised.
Mr Seeruttun reiterated the commitment of the Ministry in promoting as well as introducing new financial services’ products. In this context, the Minister announced that a Delivery Unit for the implementation of the Financial Sector Blueprint recommendations has been set up within his Ministry, complemented by the Project Office team of the FSC. The Ministry is working closely with the Expert Group set up by the Financial Services Consultative Council on a prioritised action plan, he added.
Furthermore, he highlighted that Mauritius is well-known among promoters and institutional investors as a domicile for structuring funds as the Mauritius Brand is synonymous to the rule of law; to clarity and consistency in our laws and regulations; to rigour in our supervisory process and; to adherence with international good practices and covenants.
With the introduction of the SPF, Minister Seeruttun underscored that the financial services sector will help, namely in: meeting the needs of international fund promoters; renewing interest from investors; and strengthening economic substance for Mauritius. The sector will also work to reinforce the position of Mauritius as a fund destination of choice and; broaden our offering to international investors looking for an investment hub that adheres to best international practices and the highest levels of transparency.
As regards being placed on the unfavourable lists of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the European Union, Mr Seeruttun underlined that he is satisfied of the substantial progress that Mauritius has made in line with the expectations of the Joint Group Reviewers.
He pointed out that last year, the FSC issued 1,990 new licences at a time when Mauritius shut down for a long lockdown and 641 new licences were issued this year with many more applications in process. This in itself is an indication that business and investor confidence is still very much alive and that the financial services sector of our country is doing quite well, he concluded.
The New Special Purpose Fund
The Budget 2020-2021 made provision for the modernisation of the existing SPF regime so as to provide further flexibility and ease access to new markets. In line with this measure and its object to study new avenues for the development of the financial services sector, the FSC had issued the Financial Services (Special Purpose Fund) Rules 2021 to govern SPF, effective as from 06 March 2021. These new Rules have replaced the Financial Services (Special Purpose Fund) Rules 2013.