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Mauritius among first to sign MoU with EU securities regulators

Mauritius has lined up with the first few countries to sign a cooperation agreement with EU securities regulators following approval of the memorandum of understanding by the European Securities and Markets Authority at its May 22 2013 meeting. The move makes Mauritius one of the very few African jurisdictions to enter into cooperation arrangement with EU authorities in the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) era. The cooperation agreement will provide the mechanism for exchange of information, mutual assistance and application of the provisions of AIFMD to Mauritius-domiciled alternative investment funds (AIFs).

Cooperation with EU regulators is a key requirement in order for Mauritius AIFs to continue to be marketed in the EU under the private placement regimes after the introduction of the AIFMD on July 22 2013. This remains subject to such AIFs complying with any additional conditions that may be imposed by the EU member states. The memorandum of understanding will apply to Mauritius fund managers that manage or market AIFs in the EU and to EU fund managers that manage or market AIFs in Mauritius. The actual supervision of the managers of AIFs lies with the national securities regulators, and, given that the memorandum is a bilateral agreement, it must now be signed by the Mauritian regulator and each EU securities regulator.

The signing of the memorandum is a first but critical milestone in the convoluted path of AIFMD compliance. By being among the first to position itself on AIFMD, Mauritius authorities seek to send a strong signal to the EU financial markets on its engagement to comply with international best standards on regulation and transparency and re-affirm its position as preferred investment route linking Europe to markets of Africa and Asia.

Javed Niamut, Fazil Hossenkhan, Jean-Eric Sauzier – BLC Chambers

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