On the 6th November 2012, the Malta Designated Financial Instruments Regulations, 2012 (the “Regulations”) were published in the form of Legal Notice 380 of 2012. These regulations essentially serve to revoke the Designated Financial Instruments Regulations, 2009 and to re-designate those instruments which may be issued in dematerliased or uncertificated form.
Dematerliased and uncertificated financial instruments are effectively instruments the title to and rights in respect of which may be issued without the requirement of having any physical paper or certificate to evidence their existence, so that they can exist as simple electronic records.
The Regulations identify the following categories/ classes of financial instruments to be considered as “designated financial instruments” for the purposes of the Financial Markets Act:
- shares in companies and other securities equivalent to shares in companies, partnerships or other entities, and depository receipts in respect of shares;
- bonds or other forms of securitised debt, including depository receipts in respect of such securities and including government stocks;
- treasury bills;
- certificates of deposits; and
- units in collective investment schemes.
Registers of designated financial instruments are invariably maintained by recognised central securities depositories (CSDs), which are regulated entities charged with administering and processing such registers by book entry, and such CSD registers represent an authentic record of members and holders of designated financial instruments and of transactions relating to such instruments.