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19 Oct 2009, 12:10 pm

DFSA Seeks Public Comment on Review of Funds Regime in the DIFC

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) released today for public comment the Report of the Market Practitioner Panel (Panel) it appointed in July 2009 to review the DIFC’s Collective Investment Funds regime. The Panel Report contains recommendations relating to 10 Key Issues. In the Panel’s view, these issues need to be addressed in order to support the growth of the funds industry in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The key recommendations of the Panel to the DFSA include the following: • Allowing DIFC-based fund managers to establish funds in other reputable jurisdictions, and also allowing fund managers established in reputable jurisdictions to establish funds in the DIFC;• Expanding the grounds on which Authorised Firms in the DIFC can distribute Units of Foreign Funds; • Reducing licensing and other associated costs of fund managers; • Allowing the protected cell company structure to be used for Umbrella Funds;• Creating an Exempt Funds regime, in addition to the current Public and Private Funds, which is tailored to provide the right level investor protection to high-net worth professional; • Reducing aspects of the current Independent Oversight; • Tailoring Shari’a compliance requirements to suit the nature of the Islamic finance activities of the fund manager and the nature of the Fund; and• Making the DIFC Funds regime more visible to the international fund community. His Excellency Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC and Vice Chairman of UAE Central Bank said, “We are all committed to making the DIFC an international hub for the funds industry, and especially for Islamic funds. The DIFC already offers excellent infrastructure, tax benefits, a central location and a prudent and sound regulator with international expertise. But the landscape of the financial world is changing rapidly, and we need to respond to the needs of the industry in today’s competitive environment. This report will help us to do that, and it demonstrates the transparency and openness that have always been hallmarks of the DIFC.” Paul M Koster, Chief Executive of the DFSA added, “We are very grateful that the group of industry experts who formed the Market Practitioner Panel was able to devise a comprehensive set of pragmatic proposals to make that regime more attractive to the funds industry, without impairing investor protection. The DFSA looks forward to receiving the views of industry participants on the Panel’s recommendations and hope to move quickly to implement changes that are appropriate and necessary to make the DIFC Funds regime more attractive for the international funds industry.” The report is posted on the DFSA website www.dfsa.ae. The deadline for comment is 5 December 2009.

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