Qatar Financial Centre widens platform for investment clubs and foundations
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has announced the introduction of a legislation to allow Investment Clubs and Foundations to be set-up under its umbrella.
The initiatives aim to contribute to the CEO Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida’s recent announcement of the QFC’s five-year roadmap that aims to attract 1,000 firms and create 10,000 jobs by 2022.
Commenting on the recent additions, Nasser Al-Taweel, QFC Authority Chief Legal Officer said, “Allowing Investment Clubs and Foundations to be licenced under the QFC Authority is proof of our continuous efforts to widen our platform to appeal to a broader range of activities and legal entities. It is also consistent with our mandate of contributing to Qatar’s drive toward economic development and diversification in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. The initiatives are expected to contribute to increased savings and investments in Qatar.”
The two new structures are QFC’s latest addition to its broad range of permitted activities and are particularly designed to facilitate the high net-worth segment of the market.
Foundations will be established under QFC Foundation Regulations and Rules, and will have the capacity rights and privileges of a natural person. The Foundation structure is extremely flexible and can be used for succession planning, asset protection and even employee share plans. The constitution of a Foundation needs to be provided to the QFC Authority but remains a confidential document.
Investment Clubs on the other hand, will be companies limited by shares, incorporated under the QFC Investment Clubs Regulations and Rules. As long as the business of the Investment Club is not carried on “by way of business”, it will not be a business requiring authorisation from the QFC Regulatory Authority. The main activities of an investment club are for the pooling of funds by up to 15 members and investing in a portfolio of assets and securities. In certain circumstances, a member can exit by selling his shares back to the Investment Club. The regulations also provide for a method to value the assets of the Investment Club and for resolving disputes over valuations.
Foundations and Investment Clubs set-up under the QFC—like all other QFC licenced entities—can be 100 per cent foreign owned and can trade in the currency of their choice. They may also benefit from unlimited repatriation of profits.
“I am confident that both activities will be well received locally and regionally. We are already in discussions with parties that are interested in setting up at the QFC to benefit from these attractive initiatives,” Nasser added.