The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) clarifies the rules that apply to offerors and intermediaries that distribute so-called alternative investments to retail clients in Belgium. These consist of investments in movable or immovable goods.
The FSMA has observed an increase in the number of offers of alternative investments in Belgium. These consist of direct or indirect investments in movable or immovable goods such as artworks, collectors' items, old manuscripts, alcoholic drinks, old coins, commodities, plantations and real estate located both in Belgium and abroad. These investments are offered to the public as alternatives to classic savings products, which at the moment offer very low returns.
The Belgian legislators have recently decided to extend the provisions of the prospectus legislation to a new category of investment instruments. The reason for this amendment to the legislation is to improve the information provided to retail investors about alternative investments in moveable goods and farming operations.
On the occasion of the entry into force of this new legal provision, the FSMA has published a Communication. The purpose of the Communication is to bring to the attention of offerors and intermediaries distributing alternative investments in movable and immovable goods the financial-legal framework and the resulting obligations that may apply to them as regards the approval of prospectuses and advertisements.
 Article 4, §1, 3°bis of the Law of 16 June 2006 on public offers of investment instruments and admission of investment instruments to trading on a regulated market.