The three main regulators of mutual funds in the UAE have joined together to launch a fund passport scheme designed to boost the country’s funds industry.
The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) jointly announced the facility.
Under the new passporting regime, which was first put out for public consultation in November 2018, any fund licensed by one of three regulators can be sold across the UAE.
Not only does the launch signify greater cooperation among the UAE’s various regulators, it should also help to encourage more fund promoters to establish their funds in the UAE rather than other domiciles such as Luxembourg, Ireland and Mauritius.
ESCA chairman Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri described the move as “an important step to inspire the development of the mutual funds’ market so as to achieve the goal of having more diversified investment opportunities and products” as well as “enhancing the UAE’s position as an international financial centre”.
His fellow ECSA board member, Dr Obaid Saif Al Zaabi, said that once the passporting agreement is fully implemented, local fund managers and investors should see “an increasing momentum on…financial services and activities related to investment funds such as custody, investment management and promotion”.
Richard Teng, FRSA chief executive added: “The UAE funds market is on the cusp of exponential growth and the new funds passporting regime will stimulate the development of the domestic investment funds industry with a broader variety of funds and enable funds to be supported across the UAE. With the closer cooperation with our regulatory partners, we are able to share pertinent regulatory information and supervisory updates to support licensing of domestic funds.”
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