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In the European Commission’s January 8 Report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries, Ukraine was identified as a Priority 2 country. This category includes countries with systematic problems in the area of intellectual property protection and enforcement, causing significant harm to EU countries.

The Hungarian banking sector enjoyed a banner year in 2019, but still faces challenges. Legislative changes are creating more aggressive competition between banks, which in turn are cutting fees and demanding flexible financing structures in order to survive. Although some banks are unwilling to take part in these practices, one thing is certain: All banks must adapt to the new regulatory environment. I’ve outlined some of the major challenges that Hungarian banks face in the near future.

On September 20 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that BLS had advised Pannonia Bio Zrt. – a company operating a biorefinery in Tolna County, Hungary, that is the largest ethanol plant in Europe – and that CMS Hungary had advised OTP Bank Plc. on Pannonia Bio’s issuance of the first Hungarian forint bond in line with the Central Bank of Hungary’s Bond Funding for Growth Scheme.

Before being elected President of Ukraine last May, Volodymyr Zelensky had virtually no experience in public office. Despite his inexperience – or perhaps because of it – over 73% of the electorate concluded that the comedian and entertainer was the right man to replace Petro Poroshenko, the previous President, and now Zelensky finds himself, at 41, leading an entire nation.

CMS has advised the Bank of Cyprus on Ukrainian law matters following its 2014 sale of the Ukrainian subsidiary of Bank of Cyprus and associated debt to Alfa Group and on the refinancing by the EBRD of a EUR 68 million facility for the construction of the “largest shopping, exhibition, and office centers in Odesa Riviera Property Complex owned by Ukrainian asset holding company Novi Biznes Poglyady."

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What major initiative or new plan does your office (or firm) plan – if any – for 2020?

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