New Zealand Moves For Hedge Fund-Friendly Regs

Dec 16 2010 | 1:08am ET

It may not be the first place—or second or third—that you think of when you hear the words, "Asia-Pacific hedge fund hub." You may not think of it at all, in fact. But New Zealand's prime minister has big ambitions in the alternative investments world for the island nation.

John Key is pushing to have a new financial regulation regime in place by April of next year, one based on the European Union's UCITS III regime. Such rules would allow New Zealand-based hedge funds to meet the EU's strict new standards for offshore funds, HFMWeek reports.

New Zealand has been working on the new system since last year, but has gotten gummed up in the Ministry of Economic Development. That is, it was, until Key stepped in to undo the ministry's "absolute rubbish" approach.

Among the hedge fund-friendly measures in the New Zealand proposals would be no tax for foreign funds that are not invested in the country.

Fund administration costs in New Zealand are also half as much as in Australia, according to HFMWeek.

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