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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: EU Directive refugees - Bright lights of Singapore beckon

Monday, October 05, 2009

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This article was written by Christopher P. Wells and Linda L. Ng. – Christopher P. Wells is a partner and Linda L. Ng is a counsel with White & Case LLP’s Tokyo and Hong Kong/Singapore offices, respectively.

The bright lights and relaxed lifestyle of Singapore beckon to EU fund managers who are contemplating seeking shelter from the proposed EU Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers currently under consideration by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. If the Directive is finalized by the end of this year, Member States may be required to implement it into national legislation by 2011.

On the tropical island of Singapore, fund managers (like many prior generations of “traders”) can escape further persecution from their European homeland regulators and the 50 percent UK tax rate for top earners. Indeed, Singapore will roll out the red carpet for them. A simple, user-friendly regulatory framework allows qualifying fund managers to set up shop in a few weeks. Singapore also offers attractive tax incentives, including tax exemptions for both offshore and onshore funds, a 5 or 10 percent concessionary tax rate for qualifying fund management companies, and a top personal income tax rate of only 20 percent. Moreover, Singapore has been ranked one of the best cities in the world in terms of quality of living. Thus, if you are an EU fund manager thinking of leaving Europe, you may want to check out sunny Singapore.

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