MAS Proposes a New Corporate Structure for Investment Funds

Singapore, 23 March 2017... The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today commenced a public consultation on a new corporate structure for investment funds – the Singapore Variable Capital Company (S-VACC).  Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, said at the Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS) 20th Anniversary Conference held today that the the S-VACC structure would offer asset managers greater flexibility and lower costs. 

2   Currently, there are three types of structures used by investment funds in Singapore, namely unit trusts, companies formed under the Companies Act and limited partnerships. The S-VACC seeks to complement these existing structures with one that is tailored for investment funds. With the S-VACC framework, MAS seeks to offer a flexible and efficient platform for fund managers to co-locate fund domiciliation with their substantive fund management activities in Singapore and further deepen the asset servicing ecosystem.

3   The proposed S-VACC framework is intended to cater to both open-ended and closed-end1 investment funds, and allow for segregation of assets and liabilities of sub-funds within an umbrella structure. This will allow asset managers to achieve cost efficiencies by consolidating administrative functions at the umbrella fund level. In addition, S-VACCs would be allowed to maintain their respective registers of shareholders, but would be required to disclose the registers to supervisory and law enforcement agencies where necessary.

4   The S-VACC is proposed to be limited to investment fund purposes only, and would be required to have a fund manager which is regulated by MAS. Shares of the S-VACC would generally be issued and redeemed at net asset value to ensure accountability and transparency for creditors.

5   MAS further proposes that the incorporation of S-VACCs be governed by a new Act, under which the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) would act as the registrar of S-VACCs, while MAS would oversee the anti-money laundering obligations of S-VACCs2.

6   The public consultation will end on 24 April 2017. More details can be found on the MAS website.

***

1 An open-ended fund allows investors to redeem their investments at their discretion, while a closed-end fund does not permit investors to do so. Closed-end funds also have a fixed number of shares and do not allow new subscriptions after the offer period closes, while open-ended funds accept new subscriptions by new investors anytime.

2 The S-VACC framework would not affect investors as existing fund authorisation and disclosure requirements under the Securities and Futures Act apply regardless of the fund’s legal structure.
Last Modified on 23/03/2017