Collective Investment Schemes (CIS)
Different classifications for investment funds to be domiciled in Mauritius were introduced in 2008 under the regulation The Securities (collective investment schemes and closed-end funds) 2008. This regulation is to be read in conjunction with the Securities Act 2005.
This regulation facilitates the establishment of different types of investment funds in Mauritius.
A CIS can be constituted as a private limited company or a public company or a protected cell company or a limited partnership. It can take the form of a stand-alone fund, umbrella fund, single-class, multi-class, fund of funds, Protected Cell Company (PCC), Variable Capital Company (VCC), master fund, or feeder fund.
A CIS pooling investors from abroad with the intention of investing outside of Mauritius will be established as a Global Business Corporation (GBC) to then hold a CIS licence according to the fund’s investment objectives, strategy, and other specifications.
The Offering Document
The offering document is the deed which delineates the investment thesis of the fund, identifies the strategy of investment and the terms thereto. It outlines the potential risk factors and summarises the key terms of the participating shares.
FATCA: A CIS may be entitled to benefit from IGA Annex II exemptions subject to satisfying certain conditions.
CRS: CRS is based on residency as opposed to FATCA and all eligible financial institutions are required to report certain information to the MRA.
A CIS may choose to be listed on an Exchange in Mauritius or another jurisdiction. Entities listed on a stock exchange are highly visible. In comparison to unlisted entities, they are perceived as more transparent and adhere to stricter rules of fair practices.
Taxation is usually perceived as tantamount to an extra layer of difficulties. But when judiciously applied, the opportunity offered represents an added-value for domiciling your funds in Mauritius.
Where a CIS is authorised as a Special Purpose Fund (SPF), it benefits from a full exemption on its net income.
Income distributed by a foreign tax transparent entity as from 01 July 2022
- Capital gains distributed by a foreign fiscally transparent entity to a Mauritius resident shall be treated as capital gains in Mauritius.
- Income that is distributed by a foreign fiscally transparent entity to a Mauritius entity shall retain its initial character in the hands of the Mauritius entity.
Foreign Tax Credit
A CIS may claim credit for foreign tax rather than the 80% partial exemption if it has suffered withholding taxes above 12% of its foreign-sourced income.
Partial exemption and foreign tax credit can be claimed on unrelated securities within the same portfolio of a CIS. Hence the opportunity to further reduce the tax rate.
No Capital Gains Tax
The fund will not suffer any capital gains tax in Mauritius.
Avail to tax relief under 44 Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements.
No withholding taxes deducted on distribution of securities in Mauritius.
The Fund Manager
It is essential, not only for the regulators, but from an operational and reputational aspects that a fund be managed by a fund manager that demonstrates relevant expertise, proficiency and experience in managing a licensed fund.
Therefore, a fund in Mauritius is required to appoint a Fund Manager recognised as such only if the fund manager holds a CIS Manager or an equivalent licence or an authorisation in Mauritius or another jurisdiction.
There are instances where companies holding a CIS licence are managed by its board of directors, this is then recognised as a self-managed CIS.
A holder of an investment adviser licence may also seek approval from the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius to be appointed as the CIS Manager of a CIS.