The UCITS Directive (Council Directive 85/611/EEC of the 25th December 1985 (as amended), on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) with a view to regulating management companies and simplified prospectuses) is limited in scope to collective investment undertakings which promote the sale of their units to the public in the European Union and whose sole object is the investment in transferable securities (which essentially transferable securities listed on stock exchanges or similar markets.
A number of investment restrictions apply to UCITS, including:
1. Permissible investment instruments: investments of a UCITS Scheme must consist solely of any or all of the following instruments:
(a) transferable securities and money market instruments dealt in on a regulated market, which operates regularly and is recognised and open to the public;
(b) recently issued transferable securities which are due to be admitted to listing in the short term;
(c) deposits with credit institutions which are repayable on demand or have the right to be withdrawn, and maturing in no more than 12 months provided that the credit institution is registered in an EU Member State or, is subject to appropriate prudential rules;
(d) financial derivative instruments;
(e) money market instruments, other than those dealt in on a regulated market, where the issue or issuer of such instruments is itself regulated for the purpose of protecting investors and savings. If formed as an investment company, a UCITS Scheme may acquire movable or immovable property essential for its business, and may also hold ancillary liquid assets.