Guidelines on establishment of Labuan mutual funds including Islamic mutual funds was issued by Labuan Financial Services Authority (“Labuan FSA”) on 1 January 2014 (the “Guidelines”).
The mutual fund or fund sector in Labuan is allowed to be structured as a Labuan company, partnership, protected cell company (“PCC”), foundation or unit trust. You may also set up Labuan Islamic mutual funds operating in compliance with Shariah principles.
Mutual fund activities mean:
- collects and pools funds for the purpose of collective investment with the aim of spreading investment risk; and
- issues interests in a mutual fund which entitles the holder to redeem his investments that is agreed upon by the parties and received an amount computed by reference to the value of a proportionate interest in the whole or part of the net assets of the aforesaid types of entities, as the case may be,
and includes an umbrella fund whose interests in a mutual fund or units are split into a number of different class funds or sub-funds and whose participants are entitled to exchange rights in one part for rights in another.
TYPES OF MUTUAL FUND
- PRIVATE FUND
- PUBLIC FUND
LABUAN PRIVATE FUND
- MAXIMUM 50 INVESTORS
First time investment by each investor is NOT LESS than RM 250,000 (equivalent in Non-Ringgit);
UNLIMITED NUMBER OF INVESTORS
First time investment by each investor is NOT LESS than RM 500,000 (equivalent in Non-Ringgit)
- Not offered to general public
- Fund manager need not be licenced
- No approval required from Labuan FSA
- Notification to Labuan FSA prior to launching of fund by submission of fund offering documents
COMMON TYPES OF FUND VEHICLES
Ordinary shareholder & Preference shareholder(s)
- LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS
General Partner & Limited Partner(s)
- UNIT TRUSTS
Trustee & Unitholder(s)
EXAMPLE OF MUTUAL FUND STRUCTURE
INFORMATION MEMORANDUM OF LABUAN PRIVATE FUND
Information memorandum of Labuan private fund should provide full, true and plain disclosure of all facts and circumstances that would facilitate a reasonable assessment by a prospective investor in determining whether to purchase or subscribe to the private fund and shall contain at least the following disclosures:-
- General Information
- Investment Strategy
- Financial Results
- Redemption Policy
- Material Changes
LABUAN IBFC TAXATION SYSTEM
Labuan Business Activity Tax Act 1990 (“LBATA”) governs the imposition, assessment and collection of tax on a Labuan business activity carried on by a Labuan entity in, from or through Labuan.
Labuan entities that carry on a non-Labuan business activity are subject to the provisions of the Malaysian Income Tax Act, 1967 (ITA).
“Labuan business activity” means:
- a Labuan trading or a Labuan non-trading activity carried on in, from or through Labuan
- excluding any activity which is an offence under any written law
SUBSTANCE REQUIREMENT UNDER LBATA (with effect from 1st January 2019)
> Pursuant to section 2B(1) (b) of LBATA, the Labuan entities shall, for the purpose of the Labuan business activity, have :-
- an adequate number of full time employees in Labuan; and
- an adequate amount of annual operating expenditure in Labuan, as prescribed by the Minister by regulations made under this Act.
> Section 2B (1A) of LBATA provides that a Labuan entity carrying on a Labuan business activity which fails to comply with the substance requirement for a basis period for a year of assessment shall be charged to tax at the rate of twenty four per cent (24%) upon its chargeable profits for that year of assessment.
As the business activity of a Fund is generally involved in either Pure Equity Holding or Non Pure Equity Holding, the Substance Requirements are as follows:
Pure Equity Holding
To comply with management and control requirement in Labuan, the entity is to hold at least a minimum of one board meeting in Labuan for each calendar year and incur a minimum annual operating expenditure of RM20,000 per annum in Labuan.
Non Pure Equity Holding
To comply with minimum of one (1) full time employee in Labuan and a minimum annual operating expenditure of RM20,000 per annum in Labuan.
DEALINGS WITH RESIDENT
All Labuan entities are allowed to conduct transactions with Residents of Malaysia in Ringgit Malaysia subject to the filing of a notification to Labuan FSA within 10 days from the transaction effective date. “Resident” here means:
- in relation to a natural person, a citizen or permanent resident of Malaysia; or
- in relation to any other person, a person who has established a place of business, and is operating in Malaysia.
- and includes person who is declared to be a resident pursuant to s.43 of the Malaysian Exchange Control Act 1953.
The amount of deductions allowed in respect of payments made by Residents to Labuan entities are as follows:-
|> Interest expense||75% deductible|
|> Lease rental||75% deductible|
|> General reinsurance premiums||100% deductible|
|> Other type of payments||3% deductible|
KEY BENEFITS OF MUTUAL FUNDS IN LABUAN
- Flexible structure – in the form of Labuan company, partnership, protected cell company, foundation or unit trust.
- Support multiclass fund – multi currency / asset class.
- Hassle free private fund set-up – no approval required, fund manager need not be licensed.
- Simple tax structure.
- ZERO withholding tax on payments to non-residents.
- No foreign exchange controls.
- No capital gains tax / inheritance tax.
- Strategically situated in the Asia Pacific region and sharing a common time zone with many large Asian cities.
- Double Tax Agreements between Malaysia and over 70 countries.
- 100% exemption for director’s fees received by non-citizen directors of Labuan companies.