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Sunday, April 30, 2017
Domestic and regional investment clubs and foundations have been allowed to be set up under the Qatar Financial Center (QFC), a move that could greatly facilitate the high net-worth segment. The initiatives would support the QFC’s five-year roadmap that aims not only to attract 1,000 firms and create 10,000 jobs but also triple foreign direct investments to more than QR200 billion (US$54.9 billion) by 2022.“I am confident that both activities (investment clubs and foundations) 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,” according to Nasser al-Taweel (pictured), QFC Authority (QFCA) chief legal officer.Foundations and investment clubs set-up under the QFC – like all other QFC licensed entities – can be 100% foreign owned and can trade in the currency of their choice as well as benefit from the unlimited repatriation of profits, he said.Allowing investment clubs and foundations to be licensed under the QFCA is a proof of its continuous efforts to widen the platform to appeal to a broader range of activities and legal entities, he said.“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,” al-Taweel said.Foundations would be established under QFC Foundation Regulations and Rules, and have the capacity rights and privileges of a natural person. Their 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 QFCA but will remain a confidential document, the QFCA stressed.Investment clubs are 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 authorization from the QFC Regulatory Authority.A group of up to 15 members can pool funds under investment club and invest in a portfolio of assets and securities. In certain circumstances, a member can exit by selling his shares back to the club. The regulations also provide for a method to value the assets of the investment club and for resolving disputes over valuations.
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