Offshore

Malta Draws In $521 Million Via Investor Programme

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 19 January 2015

articleimage

Malta’s controversial investor programme, launched a year ago, has so far drawn in more than 400 applicants which, if fully accepted, will create more than €450 million ($521 million) in foreign direct investment into the Mediterranean island, a wealth management firm operating in this sector says.

Malta’s controversial investor programme, launched a year ago, has so far drawn in more than 400 applicants which, if fully accepted, will create more than €450 million ($521 million) in foreign direct investment into the Mediterranean island, a wealth management firm operating in this sector says.

In early 2014, Malta’s newly-elected Labour Party government introduced the Individual Investor Program, a citizenship scheme targeted at ultra high net worth individuals. The Malta scheme has prompted controversy since the idea was floated. Members of the European Parliament, among others, criticised it for being lax and for cheapening EU citizenship. As a result of pressure, the government said applicants must be resident in Malta for at least a year to qualify. Malta, like most of the EU's 28 countries, is in the Schengen zone, where citizens can mostly travel without passport checks. Other countries, such as Spain and the UK, have adopted schemes to encourage high net worth individuals to invest in these countries, usually with the incentive of accelerated citizenship rights. (To view an earlier story about the scheme, click here.)

Henley & Partners, the wealth management and advisory firm working with applicants for the Maltese scheme, said FDI into the island comprises deposits, bonds, and real estate among other elements, and equates to approximately €10 million ($12 million ) per week.

The first letters of citizenship approval-in-principle have been issued, and the first applicants will be issued with their certificates of naturalisation soon after their contribution, investment and residency requirements are fulfilled. There are over 40 nationalities represented among the applicants so far, Henley & Partners said in a statement.

Henley & Partners designed and marketed the scheme for the Maltese government.

 

Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes