Broadening and strengthening banking services and infrastructure is an important element in the government’s drive to facilitate equitable development across the country as well as to facilitate financial mechanisms that can effectively stimulate private and foreign investments in various sectors of the economy.

The expansion of the banking and finance sector is also aimed at filling the gap in areas such as SME and housing finance. Given the commitment for economic decentralization, there are tremendous opportunities for investment banks and credit agencies.

Opportunities for investment

Openings to set-up branches of banks and other financial institutions

Maldives welcomes new reputable conventional and Islamic banks and other financial institutions with good calibre in order to expand and create more competition in the market. A comprehensive guideline on applying for financial institution licence and evaluation process, and the preparation of the business plan, is available on the Maldives Monetary Authority website,

Maldives Fund Management Corporation

Investors can seek to participate in the newly formed Maldives Fund Management Corporation (MFMC)—a 100% state-owned company established by Presidential Decree with the objective of increasing strategic national investments.

The MFMC’s main objective is to seek capital market solutions for strategic investments, while creating opportunities for local and foreign investors to benefit from investments in various sectors of the Maldivian economy.

The main funds to be launched by the MFMC include the Maldives Tourism Development Fund, Maldives Renewable Energy Fund and the Maldives Infrastructure Fund. Additional funds planned to be launched include Maldives Private Equity Fund, Maldives Islamic Venture Capital Fund, Maldives Art and Culture Development Fund and the Maldives SME Development Fund.

Development of an Islamic Finance Hub

Investors in the area of banking and finance can also capitalize on the Maldives’ location in the Indian ocean where Islamic Financing is still in the development phase.

Maldives is an ideal location to establish the leading Islamic Finance Hub in South Asia which can channel savings from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Muslim populations in South Asia.

Financial technology advancements in banking and payment services

MMA is currently in the process of implementing an Instant Payment System under the Maldives Payment System Development (MPSD) project, as part of its efforts to modernize the payment landscape of Maldives.

This system would facilitate innovative, convenient, and affordable access to digital financial services. The system infrastructure is being planned such that all banks and other Payment Service Providers (PSPs) will be linked to a Unified Payment Gateway (UPG) to facilitate real-time, 24/7/365 payments using smart addressing capabilities.

With the implementation of the MPSD project and the Instant Payment System, significant changes are expected in the payments industry as it will provide a new window of opportunity for the potential players to enter the industry offering modern and innovative digital financial solutions.