Steady growth makes Malta a jurisdiction of choice for investors

In this latest in our series looking at Malta, our local Head of Accounting explores its attraction to investors.

Malta has a booming financial services industry which is experiencing a steady growth. The International Monetary Fund published a report in April 2014 showing predictions of a steady growth and low unemployment for Malta through 2014 and 2015.

The IMF identified that the real GDP grew by 2.4% in 2013 compared with 0.6% in 2012. In 2014 the Maltese economy is expected to register a similar level of growth as that achieved in 2013. The IMF also reported that Malta’s financial sector remained sound and resilient during 2013. The core domestic banks registered a strong profit performance which contributed to a further strengthening of their capital ratios. Liquidity in the banking market also remained stable. 

In 2011 the Central Bank of Malta and the Malta Financial Services Authority set up a Joint Financial Stability Board (JFSB) to regularly discuss matters related to financial stability. The JFSB implemented measures aimed at tightening the rules of banks’ provisioning practices, ensuring a sustainable contribution of the financial sector to economic growth.

Malta has a robust and single regulator for financial services. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is an autonomous public institution which allows investors the flexibility to operate keeping very minimal if any prescriptive regulations; it offers a risk-based supervision and regulation is proportionate to the size and nature of the business. It also offers direct contact with all license holders and provides on and off-site supervision.

Corporates matter in Malta

Malta has a double taxation treaty with 27 EU countries, 13 other European countries and 27 countries from rest of the world. 

Malta's double tax treaties

EU countries

Other European countries

Rest of the world

Signed but not yet in force

Awaiting signature or under negotiation

Austria Ireland Albania Australia Libya Belgium (protocol) Armenia
Belgium Italy Georgia Bahrain Morocco India (new treaty) Azerbaijan
Bulgaria Latvia Guernsey Barbados Pakistan Liechtenstein Bosnia & Herzegovina
Croatia Lithuania Iceland Canada Qatar Mexico Curacao
Cyprus Luxembourg Isle of Man China Saudi Arabia Russia Moldova
Czech Republic The Netherlands Jersey Egypt Singapore Ukraine Oman
Denmark Poland Montenegro Hong Kong South Africa Thailand
Estonia Portugal Norway India Syria Vietnam
Finland Romania San Marino Israel Tunisia
France Slovakia Serbia Jordan United Arab Emirates
Germany Slovenia Switzerland Korea (Republic of) United States
Greece Spain Turkey Kuwait Uruguay
Hungary Sweden Lebanon

United Kingdom

In 2013 there was a record of new company registrations. The total number of companies on the Register amounted to 63,605 Maltese registered companies.

December 2009 December 2010 December 2011 December 2012 December 2013
New registrations 2,678 3,130 3,458 4,016 4,540
Companies on the register 48,520 51,650 55,150 59,098 63,605

Malta: A high-profile business centre

Stability, flexibility, market growth and availability of professional service providers are among the driving factors making investors feel particularly comfortable and secure when doing business in Malta.

Malta’s reputation as a flexible and reliable centre for business has a proven track record for such success...

  • First EU Member state to introduce the legislation on remote gaming
  • One of the largest ship and yacht registries in the world
  • One of the most competitive fiscal regimes in the European Union
  • An extensive network of 67 double taxation treaties, all of which are based on the OECD model
  • The lowest effective tax rate in the EU
  • 100% tax refund once the Participation Holding exemption criteria is satisfied
  • Intellectual Property (IP) holding companies benefit from tax exemption on income derived from qualifying patents and income derived from qualifying  copyright and trademarks
  • No capital taxes
  • No controlled foreign company (CFC) legislation
  • No thin capitalisation legislation
  • No withholding taxes on interest, royalties, dividend and proceeds from liquidation
  • No transfer pricing legislation

Find out more about doing business in Malta

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