COVID-19: Taxing Times for the Economy

Authors: Luisa Cassar Pullicino
Published on March 20, 2020
Practices: Corporate
Over the last week, many countries have announced a variety of economic measures aimed at relieving the distress many businesses are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Germany has arguable gone the furthest, by promising unlimited liquidity assistance to small and large businesses alike, along with a massive expansion of loans offered by the state development bank (KfW), with shorter application times and rock-bottom interest rates. France has established a solidarity fund and financial assistance for SMEs cutting-back working hours without terminating employment contracts, and the EU has allocated some 37 billion Euros to fight the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus.

COVID-19: MFSA Circular on Contingency Planning for Licence Holders

Authors: Neil Bezzina
Published on March 20, 2020
Practices: Investment Funds
On March 13, 2020, the Malta Financial Services Authority (the “MFSA”), issued a circular indicating that it is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on Investors, Investment Firms, Custodians, Fund Managers and Collective Investment Schemes (the “Licence Holders”) and the need for such Licence Holders to take into consideration the impacts of COVID-19 on their business continuity and contingency plans.

Short-Selling Regulatory Update amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Bettina Gatt
Published on March 18, 2020
Practices: Financial Markets Regulation
The current COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly, already had a negative impact on the financial market within the European Union (“EU”). Both the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) and the National Competent Authorities (“NCA”), including the Malta Financial Services Authority, have hastily began taking measures which attempt to mitigate the repercussions that such pandemic has created and will continue to create on the financial market.

Extension of period for filing FIAU’s Risk Evaluation Questionnaire (REQ)

Authors: Anthony Cremona, Stephanie J. Coppini
Published on March 17, 2020
Practices: Prevention of Money Laundering
As part of the measures that the FIAU has taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, including in order to contribute to national efforts aimed at avoiding its spread, the FIAU has, on the 16 March 2020, announced both an extension (up to 4 May, 2020 at 17:00 hrs) for the filing of the REQ by Subject Persons (that was otherwise due by the end of March 2020) as well as a waiver of the late filing fee of EUR100 (that was otherwise applicable for the entire period from 1 April to 4 May, 2020).

MFSA’s Findings on MAR Compliance in the Local Industry

Authors: Nicholas Curmi, Beppe Degiorgio
Published on March 17, 2020
Practices: Capital Markets
The MFSA has issued a circular on the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), specifically on its findings following several onsite compliance visits which it has been conducting to assess issuers’ compliance with the Regulation. We have prepared a brief summary of the MFSA’s key findings and recommendations, which we set out below.