The Financial Services Commission (FSC) has, on 15 June 2020, issued its guidance notes concerning the implementation of a common set of standards for Security Token Offerings (STO) and the licensing of Security Token Trading Systems in Mauritius in an attempt to position Mauritius as a regional hub of sound reputation in the field of Fintech. The guidance notes also highlight the requirements to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws and codes, data protection laws, and implementation of good market practice for an efficient, transparent and integrated financial market.
Why use Security Tokens to raise capital?
STOs are seen as lower risk because the securities laws that security tokens have to comply with often enforce transparency and accountability, compared to an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). A security token will also be backed by a real-world asset, which makes it a lot easier to assess whether or not the token is priced fairly in relation to the underlying asset.
STO is also more cost-effective than Initial Public Offering (IPO). With IPOs, the companies would typically pay high brokerage and investment banking fees to get access to a deeper investor base. STOs would still need to pay lawyers and advisors, but they offer more direct access to the investment market and, therefore, typically will not have to pay large fees to investment banks or brokerages. The post-offering administration for STOs is also less cumbersome and cheaper than with traditional IPOs.
Fractional ownership and the ability to trade 24/7 bring additional liquidity to the market, especially with traditionally illiquid assets, such as scarce paintings, property and collectibles.