Central Bank Updates AIF Rulesbook for Loan Origination QIAIFs
The Central Bank released on 14 March an updated AIF Rulebook with amendments in relation to Loan Originating Qualifying Investor Alternative Investment Funds (“L-QIAIFs”) to permit loan origination to be part of investment fund strategies investing in a mix of debt instruments. This development will allow L-QIAIFs to have “broader credit focused strategies” and will make the structuring of L-QIAIFs more straightforward. In many cases, this change will allow multi-credit strategies to use originated debt as a portion of their strategy.
Central Bank Publishes 29th Edition of the AIFMD Q&A
The Central Bank released on 14 March the 29th edition of the AIFMD Q&A. In respect of the amendments to the updated AIF Rulebook the updated AIFMD Q&A provides that an L-QIAIF cannot invest in derivatives other than for hedging purposes. The Central Bank also confirmed that an L-QIAIFs may invest in equity issued by group companies of entities that it has lent to provided that the investments are related to the L-QIAIF’s lending activities.
Central Bank Concludes Review of ESMA Brexit Opinions
The Central Bank has concluded a comprehensive review of the issues raised by ESMA in three opinions published on 13 July 2017 related to the relocation of entities, activities and functions from the United Kingdom. The Central Bank identified process enhancements, related to the authorisation of investment fund managers authorised under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD and investment firms authorised under MiFID to ensure that relevant facts underpinning outcomes are formally documented during the Bank’s authorisation processes. Updates to the Central Bank’s application forms and internal procedures will be made.
Brexit Update from Central Bank
The Central Bank has updated the Brexit section of its website advising firms to accelerate their Brexit preparations in order to prevent a late surge of requests amid concerns about a potential “hard Brexit”. The Central Bank has indicated that “firms are responsible for ensuring that all authorisations required post-March 2019 are in place in a timely manner”. The Central Bank reminds firms that “any […] transition period remains subject to the political negotiations and agreement” and that “until there is legal certainty that a transition period will apply, the Central Bank expects firms to continue to plan for all possible contingencies, including the possibility of a hard Brexit.”
Central Bank to Update Annual Fund Profile Return
The Central Bank has been writing to funds to announce an update to the IF Annual Sub-Fund Profile return, which is applicable to all sub-funds authorised by the Central Bank. The first Fund Profile return is to be prepared for the period up to report date 30 June 2018. Subsequent Fund Profile returns are to be prepared as of the annual calendar year-end.
In 2018 the Fund Profile return will also be required to be submitted for report date 31 December 2018.
Latest Investment Fund Statistics for Ireland
As at 28 February 2018 there are 558 UCITS funds authorised by the Central Bank and 4259 including sub-funds. In respect of AIFs, there are 331 designated investment companies, (1156 including sub-funds), 235 ICAVs (533 including sub-funds) and 139 Unit Trusts (782 including sub-funds) authorised at the same date.
The total number of authorised and registered AIFMs with the Central Bank is 162, there are 649 AIFMs providing services in Ireland on a cross-border basis, and 88 authorised UCITS management companies on 1 March 2018.