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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2023

Ambareen Beebeejaun and Pramod Kumar Bissessur

Shareholder activism is gaining popularity across the globe especially in today’s context where the option of giving up and selling shares to exit the company has become obsolete…

Abstract

Purpose

Shareholder activism is gaining popularity across the globe especially in today’s context where the option of giving up and selling shares to exit the company has become obsolete. Hence, the purpose of this research paper is two-fold, firstly, to investigate the extent to which the minority shareholders of companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius adopt and make use of the various tools of activism; and secondly, to compare the UK laws on shareholder activism with that of Mauritius.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve these objectives, this study adopted the qualitative research method. Primary data was collected by conducting a survey on minority shareholders of Mauritian listed companies to figure out the extent to which they resort to activism tools, while secondary data was collected through a qualitative legal, document and content analysis to scrutinise regulatory provisions and existing literature on the researched topic.

Findings

The results show a moderate implementation level of shareholder activism by the minority investors in Mauritius although it was noted that minority shareholders are more likely to resort to the internal tools of activism rather than external methods. Further to the comparative study conducted, this research recommends a more active participation of the Mauritian regulatory bodies, amendments to the Mauritius Code of Corporate Governance and Mauritius Companies Act and the establishment of a commission responsible for overseeing the exercise of shareholders’ powers and promoting derivative lawsuits among minority shareholders.

Originality/value

Few researchers like Beebeejaun and Koobloll (2018) analysed shareholder activism through the lens of corporate governance with the view of providing recommendations to bring amendments in the Mauritian corporate law landscape. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no research has yet been effectuated on the extent to which shareholder activism is practised by the minority investors in developing countries, for which this existing study aims at filling in the research gap.

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2023

Ambareen Beebeejaun

Numerous policies are established in Mauritius to attract foreign direct investment, but at the same time, severe concerns were raised concerning the erosion of Mauritian tax…

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous policies are established in Mauritius to attract foreign direct investment, but at the same time, severe concerns were raised concerning the erosion of Mauritian tax base, which is witnessed by the decrease in the percentage of tax revenue to gross domestic product in recent years. To avoid these issues, in 2019, the Mauritian legislator has domesticated the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) BEPS 2013 Action 3 on controlled foreign company (CFC) in its income tax legislation. As such, the purpose of this study is to critically assess the implications of CFC rules of Mauritius to reduce tax avoidance in the light of international tax competition.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the research objective, this study will adopt a black letter approach by analysing the rules and regulations of various jurisdiction as well as international standards on CFCs and other tax avoidance legal provisions. A comparative analysis will be conducted between Mauritian laws on CFCs and the corresponding legislation of the UK and the USA, which are selected to assess the developed world’s position on strict CFC rules.

Findings

A hasty implementation of CFC rules leads to various complexities like interpretation issues and diminishing the competitiveness of the country to multinationals. In this respect, there is the risk of a trade-off between tax collected and foreign direct investment in the country. Consequently, the research recommends that Mauritius reforms its CFC legislation by extending the scope of tax exemptions for intra-group financing income, for the first year of CFC’s operation with the possibility of offsetting foreign taxes and for the Mauritius Revenue Authority to establish detailed guidelines on the determination of CFC income and its attribution for tax purposes in Mauritius.

Originality/value

Existing literature has to a great extent focused on the role of CFC rules as a tax avoidance measure and on the divergence or convergence between domestic CFC legislation against the OECD recommendations (Dourado, 2015; Xu, 2018; Beebeejaun et al., 2023). However, limited literature is available on the evaluation of the purpose of CFC rules enacted by a developing country being Mauritius in the context of the global competitive market, to which this research aims at filling the gap.

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Ambareen Beebeejaun

While Mauritius is ranked as the fastest growing financial centre in Africa and the second-fastest-growing offshore financial centre (OFC) in the word by the New World Health in…

Abstract

Purpose

While Mauritius is ranked as the fastest growing financial centre in Africa and the second-fastest-growing offshore financial centre (OFC) in the word by the New World Health in 2019, the country is facing severe allegations that it is progressing at the expense of other developing countries. In this respect, this paper aims to assess the contribution of the Mauritius OFC, the robustness of tax avoidance and evasion laws, the endeavours undertaken by the Mauritius Government to promote Mauritius OFC and the alleged classification of Mauritius as a tax haven.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the above research objectives, this paper will adopt the black letter approach. That is, the relevant legislation and case laws will be scrutinised. Also, books, journal articles, newspaper articles, reports from international bodies amongst others will be used. The research methodology also comprising a critical analysis which implies that existing studies conducted on the subject matter of this research will be assessed and the extent to which the researcher agrees with the existing work will be weighed.

Findings

Based on the critical analysis, this paper recommends that the Mauritius Income Tax Act be amended to provide for punitive and corrective actions for those engaged in impermissible tax avoidance. Additionally, for transparency and clarity, it is suggested that the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) clarifies in a practice note the factors that it considers when determining the tax liability that should have been payable or when detecting tax avoidance cases. Similarly, to discourage tax evasion, the fines and penalties for tax-evading offences should be more strict and a regulatory framework for tax practitioners need to be set up.

Originality/value

To the author’s knowledge, this paper is amongst the first academic research that emphasises the position of Mauritius as an OFC and critically analysed the related laws relating to the financial world.

Article
Publication date: 20 February 2024

Ambareen Beebeejaun and Teekshna Maharoo

Financial institutions, including banks, have their responsibilities to contribute towards the preservation of the environment. Green banking is an emerging concept that involves…

Abstract

Purpose

Financial institutions, including banks, have their responsibilities to contribute towards the preservation of the environment. Green banking is an emerging concept that involves eco-friendly initiatives by banks and although Mauritius lacks a comprehensive regulatory framework for green banking, there exists a few green regulations and guidelines. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to critically analyse the existing legal and regulatory framework on green banking in Mauritius. It is expected that this study will showcase the need for some more robust and proper green banking legal and regulatory framework in Mauritius.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the research objective, a black-letter analysis is used to analyse the existing regulatory framework in Mauritius. Moreover, a comparative analysis of the current legal frameworks on green banking in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and the UK is carried out.

Findings

This study recommends the establishment of a guideline or legal framework for green banking, a Sustainable Finance Policy, a legal binding framework for issuance of bonds, adoption of a Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure guideline, compulsory environmental reporting and disclosures and a green standard rating.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research is among the first literature on green banking laws, especially in the context of a developing country being Mauritius, and it is anticipated that the findings are of use not only to academics but also to the wider community in general.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 66 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2023

Ambareen Beebeejaun and Bhavna Mahadew

Due to their particular nature, virtual assets (VA) are vulnerable to financial crimes such as money laundering and if the appropriate legal mechanisms are not established, this…

Abstract

Purpose

Due to their particular nature, virtual assets (VA) are vulnerable to financial crimes such as money laundering and if the appropriate legal mechanisms are not established, this may result in the financial collapse of various economies. To this effect, best practices and standards have been published by some international organisations such as the Financial Action Task Force and IMF which are now domesticated in the national laws of several countries. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to analyse the anti-money laundering (AML) legislative framework in the context of VA in three countries, namely, Mauritius, Japan and South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the research objective, the Mauritian AML laws in the context of VA were compared with the corresponding laws of some other countries, namely, Japan and South Africa. As such, a qualitative research method was adopted. In particular, the black letter approach was used to examine the relevant laws of these countries. A comparative analysis was conducted concerning the relevance of AML laws for each country when dealing with VA with the view of suggesting recommendations for Mauritian stakeholders to adopt to enhance the existing AML legal and regulatory framework.

Findings

The comparative study conducted has revealed that there are both similarities and divergences among the AML framework of the three countries further to which this research recommends that the Mauritian laws must be amended concerning the duration of information storage on VA, the definition of VA, advertisement by VA service providers and the electronic submission of annual reports. The Mauritian regulatory bodies also need to play a more active role in their joint collaboration to monitor suspicious VA transactions to combat money laundering.

Originality/value

At present, this study will be among the first academic writings on the efficiency of AML laws in the context of VA in Mauritius and also, because existing literature is quite scarce on assessing the adequacy of AML legislation in developing countries, this research aims at filling in the gap in literature. This study is carried out with the aim of combining a large amount of empirical, theoretical and factual information that can be of use to various stakeholders and not only to academics.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2023

Ambareen Beebeejaun

Irrespective of various forms of language existent worldwide, it is still imperative that recipients of professional legal advice be communicated in clear terms to avoid a chaotic…

Abstract

Purpose

Irrespective of various forms of language existent worldwide, it is still imperative that recipients of professional legal advice be communicated in clear terms to avoid a chaotic situation and to better fulfil obligations and enjoy the rights to which they are entitled to appropriately. As such, the objectives of this paper are twofold: firstly, this paper aims to assess the extent to which clients of the legal profession prefer plain over traditional legal language in Mauritius, a country using a myriad of languages, and secondly, to suggest recommendations for the legal stakeholders in Mauritius regarding guidelines and mechanisms on plain language provisions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study will use a desk-based research methodology by analysing existing literature on the importance of plain language in legal writing. In addition, an empirical study will be conducted to gather information on clients’ preferences in legal communication.

Findings

The responses were received on a complete anonymous basis, and it was found that in general, clients of the legal profession in Mauritius are more at ease when law practitioners use simple, direct and straightforward terms, sentences structured in active voice rather than passive voice or the use of legal jargons or complicated words. These clients also prefer when their legal advisers explain the legal meaning or interpretation in a document or agreement even if these advices may be longer than shorter sentences with only the legal jargons.

Originality/value

At present, there are few literature on the researched topic and this study will be among the first academic writings on the effectiveness of using plain language in legal documentation in Mauritius. The study is carried out with the aim of combining a large amount of empirical, theoretical and factual information that can be of use to various stakeholders and not only to academics.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 65 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 May 2023

Ambareen Beebeejaun

The phenomenal proliferation of crowdfunding platforms raises concerns on the heightened occurrence of financial crimes since billions of funds are exchanged through these online…

Abstract

Purpose

The phenomenal proliferation of crowdfunding platforms raises concerns on the heightened occurrence of financial crimes since billions of funds are exchanged through these online systems frequently. Accordingly, some countries have implemented legislative responses to address these risks, although each countries’ laws have varying degrees of severity. Hence, the purpose of this study is to assess the efficiency and robustness of Mauritian laws to combat financial crimes that may arise from a crowdfunding transaction with a particular emphasis on money laundering and tax evasion.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this research objective, the black letter approach was used to analyse Mauritian rules and regulations on the researched topic and a comparative analysis was carried out against the corresponding laws on crowdfunding in some other jurisdictions, notably the UK and the USA with the view of suggesting the policy recommendations to Mauritian authorities.

Findings

It was found that there is still scope for improving the existing legal and regulatory framework on crowdfunding in Mauritius to prevent instances of money laundering and tax evasion. The paper suggests that a crowdfunding operator must be categorised as a reporting person and must carry out regular due diligence checks. There must also be more collaboration in terms of information exchanges and training sessions among the tax authority of Mauritius, crowdfunding operators, fund seekers and investors to shed light on the tax treatment of income and deductions to avoid issues of tax evasion.

Originality/value

At present, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is amongst the first academic writings on the efficiency of Mauritian laws in dealing with the risk of financial crimes through crowdfunding, and also, because existing literature is quite scarce on assessing the adequacy of crowdfunding rules in developing countries, this research aims at filling in the gap in literature. The study is carried out with the aim of combining a large amount of empirical, theoretical and factual information that can be of use to various stakeholders and not only to academics.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 January 2023

Ambareen Beebeejaun

The rise in business activities coupled with free trade liberalisation across countries has entailed an increase in securities transaction as well as insider trading (IT). In…

Abstract

Purpose

The rise in business activities coupled with free trade liberalisation across countries has entailed an increase in securities transaction as well as insider trading (IT). In fact, IT is characterised by the influence and usage of some prior knowledge concerning sensitive information of a corporate body which results in a financial benefit to the insider trader. The practice of IT is not only unethical but also illegal and this statement is witnessed by the mushrooming of laws across the globe categorising IT as an offence. However, the type of punishment varies in different countries depending on various factors. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to assess the adequacy and efficiency of IT laws in the context of a developing country being Mauritius.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the research objective, the Mauritian laws on IT were compared with the corresponding laws of some developed countries like the USA and the UK. As such, a qualitative research method was adopted. In particular, the black letter approach was used to examine the relevant laws of Mauritius, UK and USA on IT. A comparative analysis was conducted concerning IT laws for each country with the view of suggesting recommendations for Mauritian stakeholders to adopt to enhance the existing legal and regulatory framework on IT.

Findings

It was found that Mauritian IT laws are largely inspired from both the US and UK corresponding legislation. However, Mauritian laws need to be strengthened by imposing some more severe penalties in terms of fines and terms of imprisonment like the USA has established. The Mauritian Financial Services Commission as the regulator also needs to play a more active role in disseminating particularities of IT laws, offences and penalties to the civil society at large.

Originality/value

At present, this study will be among the first academic writings on the efficiency of IT laws in Mauritius and also, because existing literature is quite scarce on assessing the adequacy of IT legislation in developing countries, this research aims at filling in the gap in literature. The study is carried out with the aim of combining a large amount of empirical, theoretical and factual information that can be of use to various stakeholders and not only to academics.

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2022

Ambareen Beebeejaun

The official authorities have established several action plans including fiscal support measures to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) counter the negative…

Abstract

Purpose

The official authorities have established several action plans including fiscal support measures to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) counter the negative repercussions of COVID-19. In this regard, the purpose of this research is to critically assess the recent fiscal policies endeavoured by the Mauritian authorities in response to COVID-19, to assess the awareness and perception of some local MSMEs of these initiatives, to investigate the extent to which these MSMEs have benefited from them and also, to suggest recommendations to the Mauritian authorities on how to enhance the existing framework to ensure sustainable and equitable development.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has adopted both the quantitative and qualitative research methods. Primary data were obtained by conducting a survey of some Mauritian MSMEs, and secondary data were obtained by referring to laws and policy papers on the research topic. Some statistical tests were performed using SPSS software on the primary data to illustrate the research findings.

Findings

Despite the laudable initiatives, the survey conducted for this research demonstrates that MSMEs in Mauritius have a moderate awareness of these fiscal support measures. Furthermore, upon being asked whether they have availed of these tax incentives, again a moderate mean average was derived which implies that not all MSMEs have fully benefited from fiscal support to help them in countering the negative effects of COVID-19.

Originality/value

At present, this study will be amongst the first academic writings on the effectiveness of the fiscal measures undertaken by the Mauritian authorities to deal with issues entailed by the COVID-19. The study is carried out with the aim of combining a large amount of empirical, theoretical, and factual information that can be of use to various stakeholders and not only to academics.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, vol. 11 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-2101

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Ambareen Beebeejaun

A taxpayer who gets caught under Part VII of the Mauritius Income Tax Act is subjected to a corrective measure only in the form of payment of the amount of tax that would have…

Abstract

Purpose

A taxpayer who gets caught under Part VII of the Mauritius Income Tax Act is subjected to a corrective measure only in the form of payment of the amount of tax that would have been due in the absence of the avoidance arrangement, but the consequences set out in the same section do not result in any disincentive to the taxpayer that would ensure the prevention of the occurrence of such type of anti-avoidance practices in the future. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of the anti-avoidance provisions in the Mauritius legislation as a weapon against impermissible tax avoidance, and the study also intends to critically analyse the remedies available against taxpayers who enter into impermissible tax avoidance transactions.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology adopted for this qualitative study consists of a critical analysis and comparative legal review of the relevant legislation, case laws and literature. The anti-avoidance provisions of the Mauritius legislation will be compared with similar provisions of legislations of countries that have rigid preventive rules for anti-avoidance practices, and the selected countries are the UK and Australia because each country has been successful in diminishing the tax avoidances practices further to the imposition of penalties for impermissible tax avoidance. The black letter approach will also be used through which existing legal provisions, judicial doctrines, scholar articles and budget speeches governing anti-avoidance provisions for each country identified will be analysed.

Findings

Further to an analysis of the substantial differences between Mauritius anti-avoidance legal provisions and those of the UK and Australia, it is found that the backing of corrective actions by penalties act as a disincentive to prohibit impermissible anti-avoidance practices. The study concludes that, where there is abuse of law, the law needs to provide for penalties that must be suffered by the abuser, and hence, the study calls for an amendment in the Mauritius Income Tax Act to strengthen anti-avoidance provisions, by adopting similar provisions of the laws of Australia and the UK.

Originality/value

At present, there is no Mauritius literature on the researched topic, and this study will be one of the first academic writings on the subject of penalties for impermissible tax avoidance in Mauritius. The study is a new and unique topic in Mauritius, and for that reason, the study will largely rely on foreign sources that deal with penalties for impermissible tax avoidance, and this will include the Australian Taxation Administrative Act 1953, Australian case laws and the UK Finance Act 2016. This study is being carried out with the view to provide insightful recommendations to the stakeholders concerned in Mauritius to enhance the revenue collection avenues and methodologies for the Mauritius revenue authorities.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 60 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

Keywords

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