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Mauritius Assembly Passes Financial Services Bills

By Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

01 August 2007


The Mauritius National Assembly has adopted three financial services bills, establishing the independence of the Financial Services Commission and liberalizing the international 'global business companies' regime.

Introducing the Bills to Parliament, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Rama Sithanen said: “in line with our philosophy to simplify processes and procedures, to remove hurdles to investment, to facilitate delivery of services, and to achieve international standards in every activity so as to be globally competitive, we are improving and modernising the legal framework that govern the non-bank financial services sector.”

The Financial Services Bill will replace the Financial Services Development Act 2001 and provide a common framework for licensing and supervision of all financial services other than banking and for the global business sector.

The new law specifically provides for the independence of the Financial Services Commission as a regulatory body.

The Financial Services Bill redefines the concept of global business. Under the new provisions, all resident companies conducting business outside Mauritius may opt for an alternative legal regime. The former restrictions on activities conducted by Category 1 Global Business Companies are being removed.

The Bill also provides for the designation of industry associations in all financial services sectors as Self Regulatory Organisations.

The Securities (Amendment) Bill extends the scope of “securities” and “exchanges”, thus enabling the Commission to approve the trading of a wider range of instruments and license Commodity and other exchanges.

The Insurance (Amendment) Bill removes certain administrative obligations on branches of foreign insurers operating in Mauritius and provides for greater flexibility in exceptional circumstances.


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