Despite the shocking and unanticipated effects of the first pandemic wave in spring 2020, the focus has shifted, now that the second wave is rolling in, from supporting affected individuals with state salary supplements and banking-sector-provided grace periods to the necessity for a more holistic view in order to help affected industries survive.
In February, 2020, the Latvian authorities breathed a sigh of relief after the Financial Action Task Force voted against adding Latvia to the so-called “grey list” of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering deficiencies. Prior to that, MONEYVAL, the permanent monitoring body of the Council of Europe entrusted with the task of assessing compliance with the principal international standards to counter money laundering, found that Latvian financial institutions had failed to introduce sufficient methods to identify suspicious funds primarily associated with clients from the former Soviet bloc countries.
On the 5th of October, the new regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European crowdfunding service providers for business was approved. Although crowdfunding activities are already regulated in Lithuania by national laws, this new regulation represents a real opportunity for Lithuania and Lithuanian crowdfunding service providers.
2020 was a busy year for the legislator in relation to the Turkish Capital Markets. An amendment made in the Turkish Capital Markets Law (CML) at the beginning of 2020 introduced several elements, including a Security Agent, into Turkish law. And then the pandemic hit, making the trust factor in regard to assets even more crucial than it was before. In times of uncertainty, the Security Agent may be invited to play a greater role.
“Today, what we are doing, is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws, and granting banks significant new authority.” President Clinton’s quote is quite relevant nowadays in Albania, where a major overhaul of the financial system’s legal architecture is being implemented. Indeed, in just three weeks, the Albanian Parliament enacted four very important pieces of legislation: the Law on Payment Services, the Law on Capital Markets, the Law on Collective Investment Undertakings, and the Law on Financial Markets Based on Distributed Ledgers Technology.
Looking at the volume of non-performing loans in the balance sheets of the Hungarian banks, it is possible to believe that the situation has never been better. In fact, however, this is primarily due to the general moratorium introduced by the Hungarian government in March 2020, which protected both companies and consumers against insolvency and non-payment. Now, eight months later, financial institutions are preparing for a potentially massive wave of bankruptcies, as they already reserved HUF 250 billion in the first half of this year.
The terms of a loan agreement dictate the circumstances in which a lender can enforce its loan, guarantee, or security interest. In North Macedonia, a lender can usually demand loan acceleration (repayment before a scheduled maturity date) if the borrower defaults under the loan agreement. Security documents state when the lender can enforce the security, usually following a default under the loan agreement or the lender’s demand for repayment when due. A lender can generally demand payment under a guarantee as soon as the borrower fails to pay any guaranteed obligation when due. However, the claim under a guarantee will be limited to the overdue amount. A lender will therefore often need to accelerate the loan before it can make a full claim against a guarantor. Typically, under the finance and the security documents, lenders have the right to accelerate and enforce loans when borrowers become insolvent.
Cash pooling is a convenient tool for optimizing cash management within a group of companies, but its popularity in Russia is limited. One of the reasons for this is the lack of unified legislation on cash pooling. In fact, it is subject to a complex regulatory landscape of civil, tax, banking, currency control, and insolvency law. One resulting difficulty is qualifying the very nature of the cash pooling arrangements. At first glance this may appear a purely academic problem, but in practice it has far-reaching practical implications.
The beginning of Q4 in Serbia is marked by the delayed formation of the new Government. Not much is expected to change in the political course as the ruling progressive party has strengthened its position and the Government will be led by the same Prime Minister. This means continuity and stability, although the new-old Government will not have an easy task, considering global developments with the pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Slovenia swiftly introduced certain measures in the field of banking with the goals of promoting the liquidity of Slovenian businesses and stimulating the banks to support the country’s economic recovery. Such measures included mandatorily available 12-month moratoria on bank loans (further supported by a smaller-sized EUR 200 million state guarantee scheme for the moratoria-affected amounts), and a larger-scale EUR 2 billion state guarantee scheme for certain new bank loans. However, such measures proved less popular that expected.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant uncertainty to the market. In the wake of this highly contagious virus, authorities have issued unprecedented regulations and restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease, accompanied by measures providing help to businesses seeing their economic activities curtailed or suspended. These measures were primarily focused on providing liquidity to the market, but some introduced interesting changes to Polish restructuring law.
Under Bosnia and Herzegovina law, a pledge can be granted solely to a creditor of a claim. This hampers the creation of effective security for securing syndicated facilities (e.g., loans provided to debtor by more than one lender). In practice, this is solved by creating a “parallel debt structure” and appointing a security agent who holds pledges in favor of all lenders. Despite its broad use, this structure has not been tested before local courts. Thus, questions about its validity remain unsettled.
Since the cessation of the widely-used LIBOR benchmark has become a realistic prospect, due to the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s announcements that it will stop supporting this benchmark at the end of 2021, the question of what will take its place has become a hot topic for lenders and lawyers drafting credit agreements.
The economy of Montenegro was severely impacted by the breakup of Yugoslavia into its constituent parts. In order to jump start its economy, calculated and efficient measures had to be undertaken. One of these measures was selecting a stable foreign currency as its own: first the Deutschmark (which was used in parallel with the Yugoslav dinar from 1999 to 2000), then, later, the Euro. This paved the path for economic growth and the creation of an open market, more welcoming to investors.
As of June 19, 2020, Russian arbitrazh (commercial) courts have exclusive jurisdiction to hear certain cases related to “anti-Russian” sanctions. Affected legal entities and individuals may also apply for anti-suit injunctions in an attempt to prevent counterparties from pursuing claims abroad. Recent cases show that these new entitlements are not as favorable as once thought.