1. AIFMD

a) Co-Operation Agreements

On 18 February 2015, ESMA published an updated table of signed cooperation agreements under the AIFMD 2011/61/EU.  

Please click here for further details.

b) Implementation Update:

Norway

All market participants governed by the Norwegian AIFM Act which entered into force on 1 July 2014 and transposes AIFMD in Norway, were required to comply with the new regime by 1 January 2015.

Portugal

On 25 February 2015, the Portuguese transposition of AIFMD, Decree No. 20/2015, was published in the official journal.  Certain provisions entered into force 30 days after enactment, while others are being phased in.

Italy

On 8 January 2015, Consob and the Bank of Italy approved amendments to the Consob regulations for intermediaries and issuers under Resolution No. 19094 of 8 January 2015.

On 19 January 2015, Consob and the Bank of Italy approved amendments made to the Bank of Italy and Consob Regulation of 29 October 2007 for intermediaries under Bank of Italy/Consob Measure of 19 January 2015.

The above amendments were made in agreement with Consob, the Bank of Italy and the Ministry for the Economy and Finance and were submitted for public consultation in June 2014.   The amendments are necessary for the Italian transposition of AIFMD.

Please click here for further details.

Spain

On 13 February 2015, the Spanish transposition of AIFMD, Law 22/2014 entered into force. 

Lithuania

On 1 January 2015, AIFMD came into force in Lithuania under the Law on Management Companies of Investment Undertakings for Professional Investors.

c) ESMA AIFMD reporting Q&A

On 26 March 2015, ESMA published an updated Q&A document on the application of AIFMD.

Most notable updates are as follows:

ESMA has previously confirmed that a non-EU AIFM that markets its AIFs in several Member States is required to calculate a unique reporting frequency for all Member States in which it markets its AIFs (taking into account all the AIFs it markets in the EU) and apply the same reporting frequency to all Member States where it markets its AIFs.  ESMA further confirms that the assets under management referred to in questions 33 and 34 of ESMA's consolidated reporting template ("Reporting Template") for AIFM-specific information, should be based on all the AIFs marketed in the EU by a non-EU AIFM.  It should not be based on the AIFs marketed by a non-EU AIFM in any particular Member State.  

ESMA confirms that AIFMs are required to report information on long and short value of exposures for all the sub-assets referred to in questions 122 to 124 of the reporting template and provide the information in the AIF's base currency.  Therefore, the sum of the short and long value of exposures required under questions 129 and 130 should equal the sum of questions 122 to 124.  

When reporting the results of stress tests, non-EU AIFMs marketing their AIFs in the EU under Article 42 of AIFMD should report on these as so far as required by the National Private Placement Rules of the member states where they market their AIFs or if the non-EU AIFMs have carried out such stress tests.

When calculating the exposure of an AIF in accordance with the gross method under Article 7(a) of the AIFMD Level 2 Regulation, an AIFM should exclude the value of all cash held in the base currency of the AIF.

When calculating additional own funds under Article 9(3) of AIFMD, AIFMs should exclude investments by AIFs in other AIFs which they manage.   However, when calculating additional own funds to cover potential liability risks arising from professional negligence under Article 9(7) of AIFMD, AIFMs should not exclude investments by AIFs in other AIFs which they manage since investments in other AIFs managed by the same AIFM increase the operational risk.

Please click here for a copy of the updated Q&A.

2. Europe

Belgium and Luxembourg: Change to Annex IV reporting for the master fund

For filings made by a non-EU AIFMs from Q1 of 2015, the FSMA and CSSF have respectively confirmed that Annex IV reports are now required to be made in respect of the master fund if one or more of that master fund's feeder funds are marketed in Belgium and Luxembourg respectively.  Previously, the AIFM was required to report to the respective regulators in respect of the feeder fund only.

United Kingdom: FCA consults on Handbook changes 

On 6 March 2015, the FCA published Consultation Paper 15/8: Quarterly Consultation No.8, which invites comments on proposed amendments to changes impacting AIFMs and AIF depositaries.  The FCA is consulting, amongst other things, on changes to make non-EEA AIFMs and small registered UK AIFMs subject to the same administrative fee that applies to full-scope UK AIFMs and small authorised UK AIFMs. The deadline for comments is 5 May 2015.

Please click here for further details.

Finland: Reporting obligations of AIFMs

On 16 January 2015, the Finland FSA published information on the reporting obligations of AIFMs to the FSA under Act 162/2014 and the Ministry of Finance Decree 226/2014.  The information includes new details on the procedure for electronic AIFMD reporting.

Please click here for further details.

Germany: Update to Guidance Notice on Annex IV reporting obligations 

On 4 February  2015, BaFin issued an update to its Guidance Notice on Annex IV reporting obligations for AIFMs and AIFs pursuant to section 35(1), (2), and (4) of the German Investment Code (Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch).

Germany: Annex IV reporting date extension

On 5 March 2015, BaFin postponed the first Annex IV reporting date for AIFs and AIFMs due to technical difficulties with the ESMA system.  The first reporting date is now expected to be in May 2015.

Germany: New Investment Ordinance

The revised Investment Ordinance (Anlageverordnung) entered into force on 7 March 2015, after being adopted by the German Federal Cabinet on 25 February 2015.  The Ordinance is of particular importance to insurance companies, pension funds and professional pension funds, which are subject to the investment restrictions set out therein.

As part of the implementation of AIFMD since July 2013, the Ordinance updates the law on traditional and alternative fund investments.  It introduces a new asset class for AIFs launched in the EU and prescribes related requirements.  It also restricts the choice of management companies for certain AIFs seeking a full AIFMD licence to EU-AIFMs only. The amendments include necessary updates due to the replacement of the German Investment Act by the German Capital Investment Code.

It is expected that BaFin will update its circular 2/2011 on the provisions of the Investment Ordinance in due course.

For further details, please contact a member of the Maples Global Registration Services ("Maples GRS") team.

Luxembourg:  CSSF AIFMD Annex IV reporting document

On 10 February 2015, the CSSF published a document providing information on the first Annex IV AIFMD reporting in Luxembourg.  It describes the various feedback files that the senders of AIFMD reporting are receiving.  It also describes the controls that the CSSF performs on reporting files.

Please click here for a copy of the document.

Malta: Guidelines on AIFMD Annex IV reporting

On 20 January 2015, the MFSA published guidelines on the Annex IV reporting obligations applicable to AIFMs.  The guidelines clarify the reporting obligations of AIFMs which fall within the scope of Article 4 of AIFMD.

Please click here for further information.

Spain:  CNMV Fees

On 1 January 2015, the Ministry of Economy and Finance approved the Representation Agreement for Purposes of CNMV Fees form for the payment of a flat regulatory fee to the CNMV under Law 16/2014 of 1 October 2014.

Please click here for a copy of the form.

Switzerland: Distribution rules deadline

As reported in a previous edition, funds which are distributed in Switzerland to qualified and non-qualified investors were required to organise themselves to appoint a Swiss representative and Swiss paying agent before 1 March 2015.

Switzerland: SFAMA New model annex 

On 17 March 2015, the SFAMA-Model Annex "Additional information for investors in Switzerland" for Prospectuses of Foreign Collective Investment schemes distributed in Switzerland was issued.  The Annex clarifies that the categorisation of a payment as a retrocession (as referred to in the SFAMA-Guidelines on Duties Regarding the Charging and Use of Fees and Costs dated 1 July 2014) prevails even if such payment is ultimately forwarded by the recipient to end-investors.  The Annex also provides model wordings for certain disclosures required for the payment of retrocessions and rebates.

Where a collective investment scheme is approved for distribution to non-qualified investors in or from Switzerland, the deadline for the implementation of the Annex into its prospectus is 31 August 2015. Where a collective investment scheme is not so approved, there is no given deadline.

Please click here for further details.

3. ASIA PACIFIC

Australia – Revised Investor Manager Regime

On 12 March 2015, issued revised draft legislation implementing Element 3 of the Investment Manager Regime ("IMR").  The reform removes tax impediments to investing in Australia in order to attract foreign investment to Australia and promote the use of Australian fund managers.  The reform extends the IMR concession to cover investments in Australian assets (excluding real property) that are of a portfolio nature.  Foreign entities will be eligible for IMR concession if they directly invest in Australia or invest via an Australian fund manager.

Please click here for a copy of the draft.

Hong Kong: Supplemental Circular issued to Management Companies of SFC authorised ETFs and Unlisted Index Funds 

On 16 December 2014, the SFC issued a supplemental circular to the 4 July 2014 circular on the disclosure requirements of tracking difference and tracking error.  These requirements are applicable to all SFC-authorised ETFs.  

Please click here for further details.

Singapore: Proposed Guidelines to use plain English in prospectuses and response to feedback on the facilitation of better understanding of prospectuses

On 5 February 2015, the MAS issued a consultation paper on proposed drafting guidelines on good drafting practices for prospectuses.  The guidelines encourage the use of plain English and the presentation of information in prospectuses in a clear, concise and logical manner, and they include information on the Product Highlights Sheet.

On 5 February 2015, the MAS also issued its response to feedback received during its public consultation on proposals to improve the readability of prospectus and help investors better understand key information presented therein.

Please click here for a copy of the response.

Singapore: Two factor authentication ("2FA") access for CISNet

On 29 March 2015, the MAS implemented a 2FA system to strengthen security for the access to CISNet. The new system introduces additional security measures applied to a director of a Responsible Person or his/her agent when preparing and/or accessing a CISNet notification.