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Financial Institutions

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Signing of the “Al-Ula Declaration” ending trade and other restrictions against Qatar As reported in our previous client update, on 5 January 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, along with Egypt, signed the “Al-Ula Declaration” at the 41st GCC Summit held in the city of Al-Ula. This marks the end of a three and a half year boycott…

In brief In addition to the comprehensive economic support and stimulus program launched by the UAE Central Bank to curb the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has introduced radical amendments to the UAE Bankruptcy Law, offering distressed debtors with some level of leniency during these times of economic uncertainty and market disruption caused by circumstances outside of their control. Key changes include: adding new provisions to the law related to “emergencies” such…

On 14 October 2020, the UAE Federal Supreme Court passed its judgment on an appeal filed by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in relation to the Court of Appeal’s judgment concerning the imposition of penalties resulting from a voluntary disclosure. The case was handled by a UAE local law firm on behalf one of the UAE’s largest financial institutions. The Court of Appeal’s decision had followed the established position (since the beginning of 2019)…

In brief Following a public consultation period which commenced in December 2019, on 25 August 2020, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Saudi Arabia announced that it had issued amendments to the Securities Business Regulations (SBRs) and the Authorised Persons Regulations (APRs). The ‘new APRs’ are now known as the ‘Capital Market Institutions Regulations’ (CMIRs), following the terminology change from ‘Authorised Persons’ (APs) to ‘Capital Market Institutions’ (CMIs). These amendments represent the first comprehensive revision…

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) recently designated as Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”) a number of entities linked to the Iranian steel, aluminum, and iron sectors that are likely to be of particular interest for companies doing trade in or with the Middle East or financial institutions financing trade and business in the region. This post highlights OFAC’s recent action and outlines some practical considerations.On 25 June 2020, OFAC…