There was much concern that the Cypriot banking crisis would set off a wave panic selling across the Mediterranean. Malta, in particular, feared that there could be a wave of withdrawals from its banks. But Malta’s economy is structurally very different from its Mediterranean neighbour and, as a recent IMF report suggested, it came through the economic crisis unscathed. The country’s banks have taken a cautious approach to lending and have avoided the liquidity problems that befell Cyprus, Ireland and others.
Over the past 15 years the Maltese Government has pursued a policy of economic liberalisation and privatisation – after many years of heavy state control and intervention in the economy. Its developing role in the fund management industry is an example of this shift of emphasis.
Malta is developing as both an alternative and mainstream fund jurisdiction. Assets of funds based here are approximately $12 bn of which the majority come from Professional Investor Funds, which are predominantly alternative products. These account for about 75% of Malta’s fund assets.
Population (approx): 415,000