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Three local firms – Christopher Lee & Co, Lee Ong & Kandiah and Kamilah & Chong – merged to form Christopher & Lee Ong in July 2013. The new firm, which has an association with major Singaporean player Rajah & Tann LLP, has strong energy, corporate and shipping capabilities.
Headline transactions in the market included the $3bn merger of Malaysian oil-and-gas players SapuraCrest and Kencana, a deal on which Albar & Partners and Zul Rafique & Partners acted; and the $5.4bn listing of Felda on Bursa Malaysia, wherein Albar & Partners represented the issuer. The insurance market has also been a busy source of M&A.
Malaysian firms have come to accept that foreign firms will be granted rights to practise in the near future. The opening of Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s representative office in Kuala Lumpur in 2012 appears to have made inroads in some areas – particularly in gaining local clients for international Islamic finance deals – and other major international law firms, particularly those which already act on inbound deals into the country, may soon follow.
On the legislative front, developments in 2013 were dominated by the Financial Services Act and Islamic Financial Services Act, the latter of which is partly an attempt by the government of Malaysia to make its shari’ah-compliant financial services market more attractive to investors. Some firms have elected to make the two acts a specialist focus in order to attract enquiries from foreign companies.
Attempts by the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration to make the country a major venue for international disputes have met with varied success. While the country’s reputation for ADR has no doubt improved, few see it as a desirable alternative to the leading Asian arbitration centres of Hong Kong and Singapore.
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(Part 1 of 4) By Gopal Sundaram
(Part 1 of 4) By Gopal Sundaram Jan 2013
Shook Lin & Bok Malaysia Legal Update Issue 1 2012
The Employment (Amendment) Act 2012 received royal assent and became law on 30th January 2012. It has now come into operation since 1st April 2012.
Malaysian companies continue to make waves internationally by acquiring large companies abroad. Leveraging on the European debt crisis and the weak dollar, these companies have boldly made their mark on a global scale with impressive deals. Cross-border acquisitions are increasing trend in the Asian economic hot spots, with companies in China and India spearheading it. The consistently strong uptrend in foreign acquisitions and the increasing success of the same by China and India for the past few years has spurred growing interests of Southeast Asian companies to extend their reach to other continents.
The Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act of Malaysia received royal assent and became law on 18th June 2012.
PRESUMPTION OF GUILT – REMEDY OR JEOPARDY? Netizens in Malaysia now share a common fear and feeling of uneasiness following the swift passing of the Evidence (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2012 in May 2012, which amends the Evidence Act 1950.
Malaysia’s Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (“FGVH”) is a global agricultural and agri-commodities company, with operations in ten countries across the globe. According to Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Sdn Bhd, FGVH is the third largest oil palm plantation operator in the world based on planted hectarage in 2011. FGVH currently operates 343,521 hectares of oil palm plantation estates in Malaysia that produced 5.2 million metric tonne of fresh oil palm fruit bunches in 2011.
The announcement of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS)-AirAsia collaboration on 9 August 2011 was questioned by many quarters.
Money Services Business Act 2011 (the “Act”) is an act to provide for the licensing, regulation and supervision of money services business. The Act defines money services business as money-changing business, remittance business and whole sale currency business.
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.