Norway Regulation. 2.1 Type of funds (Vpfl 1-2) 2.2 Laws

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1 Norway Regulation FUNDS AND FUND MANAGEMENT Type of funds (Vpfl 1-2) In Norway, collective investment funds may be organized as verdipapirfond. A verdipapirfond is a self-contained capital unit. The capital is provided from an undefined number of persons which are given fund shares in return. A verdipapirfond may either be an accumulating or a distributing open-ended mutual fund. Provided certain requirements are met, a verdipapirfond may also be a close-ended fund. A verdipapirfond can invest in a variety of financial instruments. A verdipapirfond that invests in shares (as little as one share) is categorized as aksjefond. A verdipapirfond that does not invest in shares (at all) is categorized as obligasjonsfond. The verdipapirfond is a legal entity and it is a separate taxable entity. 2.2 Laws The creation, organization, investment restrictions, and supervision of collective investment funds are governed by Act No. 52 of 12 June 1981 on collective investment funds (Lov om verdipapirfond, Vpfl). The Act defines a collective investment fund as an independent body of assets essentially comprising financial instruments derived from capital deposits from an indefinite range of participants in return for units in the fund. The Act has been amended to comply with the EU UCITS Directives. 2.3 Managers, trustees, and custodians (Vpfl 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-1 to 2-7, 3-4, 5-1 to 5-3 and Vphl 4-1) A collective investment fund may only be managed by a management company with an authorization issued by the Banking, Insurance, and Securities Commission of Norway (the supervisory authority). The management company must be organized as a joint stock company (AS or ASA), with a liable capital of at least EUR 125,000. The management of funds must be the sole activity of the company. Activity associated with management of funds may be carried out provided the supervisory authority has granted a specific permission. The supervisory authority must approve the Articles of Association before a

2 2 Norway Regulation collective investment fund can be set up. No amendments can be made to the Articles of Association without approval by the supervisory authority. Each collective investment fund may have only one depositary (Depotmottaker). The management company may act as depositary for its own collective investment funds. Generally, only institutions under government supervision or account managers licensed to trade at the Norwegian Central Securities Depository (Verdipapirsentralen), such as, banks, fund brokers and bond-issuing finance institutions, may act as depositaries for collective investment funds. There are no legal limits to the fees that may be charged by a manager or depositary. The size of the fee will vary according to what kind of securities the collective investment fund invests in. 2.4 Investment restrictions (Vpfl 4-5 to 4-9) A collective investment fund may, besides depositing its capital in banks, invest in marketable securities, units in UCITS-funds, money market instruments and contracts for options, forwards and futures with marketable securities as underlying objects. Currency futures and options may be acquired to hedge currency exposure. The financial instruments must be listed (or committed to be listed within one year after subscription) on stock exchanges or other regulated open markets in EEA states or in other collective investment fund. The collective investment fund may also invest in financial instruments listed on stock exchanges or other regulated open markets in non-eea states provided this is declared in the Articles of Association or approved by the supervisory authority. However, up to 10 percent of the capital may be invested in financial instruments not traded on an open market. Generally, a collective investment fund may not invest more than 5 percent of its assets in financial instruments issued by the same issuer or in other collective investment funds. However, up to 10 percent may be invested in financial instruments issued by the same issuer, provided that no more than 40 percent of the collective investment fund assets are engaged in investments exceeding the 5 percent limit. Furthermore, up to 35 percent (100 percent on approval by the supervisory authority) of the assets may be invested in financial instruments issued or guaranteed by an EEA state or government body in an EEA state. In addition, 25 percent of the assets may be invested in bonds issued by the same issuer provided that the bond loans are sufficiently secured under specific rules. A collective investment fund may not purchase shares representing more than 10 percent of the share capital or voting stock of a company, or more than 10percent of the shares in another collective investment fund. Furthermore, a collective investment fund may not purchase more than 10 percent of the bonds issued by the same issuer, unless the bonds are issued or guaranteed by an EEA state or EEA state government body.

3 3 Norway Regulation Upon specific application, a fund may be granted permission to invest in other financial instruments than mentioned above. Such funds are denoted as national funds, and may have terms that deviate from the UCITS-requirements. 2.5 Borrowing (Vpfl 4-11) A collective investment fund is as a starting point not permitted to borrow, or guarantee or pledge its own assets as security for debt. However, it may obtain short-term loans not exceeding 10 percent of the value of its assets, and pledge its own assets as security for fulfillment of contracts for options and futures. 2.6 Accounts and prospectus (Vpfl 7-1 to 7-4) The management company must prepare the collective investment fund accounts for the calendar year, and these must be audited. Furthermore, an interim report on the portfolio of the collective investment fund must be presented to the unitholders at least every six months. A collective investment fund must present a simplified prospectus to the shareholders prior to issuing a unit in the collective investment fund. This should be done without cost for the shareholder. In addition a collective investment fund must present a complete prospectus on the shareholders request. A complete prospectus should state a shareholder s rights and obligations, the collective investment fund s Articles of Association, auditor, fees, and a brief presentation of the tax rules that apply to the collective investment fund and the unitholders. Furthermore, the prospectus must state the management company s date of foundation, address of principal office and paid share capital. Finally, the prospectus must state the depositary s principal office address, main business activity and company organization. Special rules apply for closed-ended funds. 2.7 Supervision The supervisory authority for collective investment funds in Norway is Kredittilsynet - the Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission of Norway, P.O. Box 100 Bryn, N-0611 Norway. 2.8 Fund ownership There are no restrictions on the percentage of units in the collective investment fund that may be held by one person or group of persons.

4 4 Norway Regulation 2.9 Fund structure All collective investment funds must comply with the above-mentioned investment restrictions. Funds of funds and umbrella funds may however be permitted, provided special requirements and application procedures are met. Collective investment funds may lend out listed or publicly traded financial instruments, but not in excess of 50 percent of total assets. Lending agreements must be made with a publicly authorized investment firm or clearing house. The lending policy must be stated in the collective investment fund's Articles of Association Stock exchange Collective investment funds are normally not quoted on the stock exchange Bank secrecy (Vpfl 2-10 and Vphl 3-4) Employees, representatives, commissioned parties, and persons with a decisive influence in a management company have a duty to uphold professional secrecy in regard to information about other persons, unless otherwise specifically provided for by law. The management company is obliged to inform the tax authorities about all capital deposits. If there is reason to suspect a transaction to be connected to a criminal offence, the management company is obliged to make further inquiries to have the suspicion confirmed or disproved. Should the suspicions not be disproved, all information that suggests an offence must be submitted to The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway (ØKOKRIM) Fund set-up Fees for creation of a collective investment fund would differ widely depending upon the circumstances. A useful estimate is therefore not possible Foreign funds (Vphl 9-24 and 9-25 and Vpfl 2-12 and 2-13) EEA-based funds which conform to Council Directive 85/611/EEC (UCITS) and are supervised by the authorities in its home EEA member state may, after notifying the supervisory authority, market their units in Norway. The notification must include a certificate issued by the home state s supervisory

5 5 Norway Regulation authority, Articles of Association, prospectus, latest annual financial statements, latest interim financial statements, marketing plans, and sales strategy, and information on how the fund intends to ensure that all Norwegian unitholders will receive distributions, attain repurchase, and receive all the information to which they are entitled. Furthermore, all information available by the fund under its home state s laws and regulations which it is obliged to disclose to unitholders and the general public, shall likewise be made available in Norway. All information obliged to be submitted to the supervisory authority, the unitholders or the Norwegian public must be in the Norwegian language. The units may be marketed and sold directly from the fund s principal office, or through a sales representative in Norway. Only licensed management companies, credit institutions, insurance companies or fund brokers may act as sales representatives. However, the supervisory authority may upon application grant an exception to these rules. The supervisory authority can also give other foreign funds permission to market their units in Norway directly from their place of business in their country of origin or from a branch in Norway (vpfl. 2-13). The funds must have permission to carry on such business in their country of origin, and be subject to satisfactory supervision there. If the funds carry on their business from their country of origin they have to have a local representative in Norway which can ensure the interest of the investors. Before a fund can start its business in Norway a satisfactory cooperation regarding oversight, between the supervisory authority in the funds country of origin and the supervisory authority in Norway, must be in place. The rules in 2-13 does not limit the access for foreign funds to market share in a mutual fund in Norway under the rules in 6-11 onwards Bearer shares According to Norwegian law bearer shares are not allowed Use of the internet There is an increasing number of management companies that market their collective investment fund over the Internet. These are typically management companies that are owned or connected to other financial institutions, banks, etc. Norway has a very high degree of Internet penetration, and Internet banking is very common. Several banks market both Norwegian and foreign funds on their Web sites.

6 6 Norway Regulation KPMG in Norway Thor Leegaard KPMG Law Advokatfirma DA KPMG Huset - Sørkedalsveien 6 Oslo 0369 Norway Tel Fax The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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