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Legal market overview
The global crackdown on bank secrecy and tax evasion has had a positive impact on Luxembourg, which is now proving itself as a centre of financial transparency. Its stronghold on the investment funds industry remains tight as investors seek to move funds onshore for greater regulation, aided by the recent enactment of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The appealing tax environment is meanwhile attracting investors from BRIC countries; the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China and most recently China Construction Bank have all chosen Luxembourg as their continental base.
Where clients go, law firms will follow. Hogan Lovells (Luxembourg) LLP is the latest new entrant, stepping into the market with two key partners from NautaDutilh, Jean-Michel Schmit and Pierre Reuter. Other notable lateral moves include Linklaters LLP’s former head of corporate Jean-Paul Spang to Kleyr | Grasso | Associes; Luther’s former head of funds Max Welbes joining MNKS; CMS’ former head of tax Diogo Duarte de Oliveira joining Stibbe; and Allen & Overy Luxembourg’s former head of IT Cyril Pierre-Beausse leaving to establish his own firm.
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As, after more than four years of preparation, the European Union's Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive takes full effect for existing managers, Luxembourg finds itself in the position it wanted to be in - ideally placed to become a domicile and servicing platform for alternative funds distributed across borders in the same way that it has become for traditional retail funds under the UCITS regime.
Arendt & Medernach's teams in Luxembourg, London and Hong Kong have advised Ashmore Investment Management Limited ("Ashmore") throughout the process leading up to the approval from the Luxembourg regulator (the "CSSF") of the first Luxembourg R-QFII UCITS managed by a R-QFII manager based outside Greater China. Earlier this year, Ashmore became the first manager based outside Greater China to be granted a R-QFII license by the authorities of the People's Republic of China ("PRC"). Read more...
The practice consisting in introducing so-called "position or role-based allowances" is one of the elements underlined in the detailed analysis on remuneration practices across a sample of EU banks published last Friday by the European Banking Authority (EBA). Discover our latest newsflash on this subject. Read more...
The directive approved by the parliament in plenary session on April 15 is relatively limited in scope, covering depositary functions, remuneration policies and sanctions. More fundamental changes may come in the future from what will become UCITS VI. This measure, which is still at the preliminary discussion stage, could rethink the expansion of the range of assets eligible for investment by UCITS funds launched by the UCITS III directive in 2002.
This "MiFID II - Key aspects" newsflash reflects the status of MiFID II as of 13 May 2014 and presents the key aspects of MiFID II with respect to credit institutions providing investment services or performing investment activities and investment firms.
Discover our lastest update on the recent developments in remuneration policy for banks and investment firms.
We are pleased to provide you with our June 2014 Legal Update. You will find below the topics covered in this Update. Please do not hesitate to contact the specialists mentioned at the end of each article for any question you may have.
Our quarterly tax update is dedicated to the main changes which have occurred over the last 3 months with regard to Luxembourg and international tax law. tax_update_april_2014
The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued on March 26 technical advice regarding information that must be provided by national regulators on the functioning of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive as a precursor to the potential extension of the AIFMD passport to non-EU managers and funds after July next year.
The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
RESTRUCTURING - COURT PROCEDURES
On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ). This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force. The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million with an interest rate of 4.765 % and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.