The Mauritius Financial Services Commission announced through Government Notice that the Financial Services (Special Purpose Funds) Rules 2013 finally came into operation on the 1st of June 2013. This long awaited Fund structure by the industry and Fund Managers / Promoters will be approved as a collective investment scheme or a closed-end fund and authorized by the Financial Services Commission under section 97 of the Securities Act of Mauritius.
The Special Purpose Fund will in particular provide the flexibility for those investments made in countries where there is no Double Tax Treaty with Mauritius whilst at the same time avoid the maximum 3% tax that normally a Mauritius GBCI company is subjected to. The purpose of the Scheme is to invest mainly in securities whose returns will generally be exempted from taxation and will in particular be useful for investors who are entitled to tax exemption including pension funds.
The advantage of the Mauritius Special Purpose Fund is that it caters for investors requiring a fund vehicle which is tax neutral / transparent whilst it may also be structured with the appropriate underlying corporate vehicles to take advantage of Double Tax Treaties, but remaining tax neutral at the Fund level.
There is no doubt that, given the history and substantial Fund experience that Mauritius has acquired as a Fund jurisdiction, this will give another impetus and boost to the Mauritius jurisdiction as an important Fund domicile allowing it to seriously compete with the likes of the Cayman islands and Guernsey tax exempt funds structures. Both the Mauritius Limited Partnerships and Corporate vehicles may be used to structure the Special Purpose Fund and the flexibility and opportunities for further tax planning and structuring makes Mauritius even more useful for the increasing number of projects going into the African continent and also with Asia.