Apart from collective investment schemes, the Investment Services Act (Chapter 370 of the Laws of Malta), regulates the whole range of investment services in Malta, principally the services covered by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/EC) (“MiFID”) and also other services treated as licensable investment services locally, for example custody of assets and investment services in relation to foreign exchange acquired for investment purposes.


The term “investment services” covers the services listed in the First Schedule to the Act (as reproduced below), when provided in relation to instruments as listed in the Second Schedule to the Act:

  • reception and transmission of orders in relation to one or more instruments;
  • execution of orders on behalf of other persons;
  • dealing on own account;
  • management of instruments or acting as manager to collective investment schemes (whether or not the scheme invests in instruments;
  • trustee, custodian or nominee services;
  • investment advice;
  • underwriting of instruments and, or placing of instruments on a firm commitment basis;
  • placing of instruments without a firm commitment basis;
  • operation of a Multilateral Trading Facility.


The instruments listed in the Second Schedule essentially reproduce the “financial instruments” listed in Section C of Annex 1 of MiFID, with some additional instruments (such as foreign exchange) and includes such instruments, whether or not issued in Malta. These include:

  • Transferable securities, namely shares, bonds and other securities giving the right to acquire such shares or bonds, which are negotiable on the capital market;
  • Money market instruments;
  • Units in collective investment schemes;
  • A whole list of financial derivative instruments (options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts) having specified characteristics or underlying;
  • Rights under a contract for differences or under any other contract the purpose or intended purpose of which is to secure a profit or avoid a loss by reference to fluctuations in the value or price for property of any description or in an index or other factor designated for that purpose in the contract;
  • Certificates or other instruments which confer property rights in respect of any instrument falling within the Second Schedule;
  • Foreign exchange acquired or held for investment purposes.