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Turkey’s main regulation regarding advertisements, the Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices (“Regulation”) was amended with another regulation published on the Official Gazette of 4 January 2017, effective immediately. Those who advertise their products and services, advertisement agencies and the media that publishes such advertisement should abide by the Regulation. 

The General Annunciation on Law on Restructuring of Some Receivables numbered 6736 Serial No: 1 has explained the article 7 titled “Acquiring Some Assets to National Economy” of “Law on Restructuring of Some Receivables” (“Law”).

The Serbian Parliament has recently adopted amendments to the Criminal Code. The amendments include a significant overhaul of the legal framework for white collar crimes, touching upon the rules relevant for antitrust enforcement as well.

The new Serbian Housing Act is a long-awaited codification of all the statutes pertaining to housing. The Building Maintenance Act and Housing Act were passed in its original texts more than two decades ago, and were rendered obsolete by the changes in society and economics climate. But the big question is – will there be enough funds for carrying out all the ideas laid out by the legislators?

The Hungarian Parliament has recently adopted an amendment to the Hungarian Competition Act and to the Hungarian Consumer Protection Act. The amendment implements the rules of Directive 2014/104/EU issued by the European Parliament and the Council, which includes the rules of the actions for damages arising from infringements of the competition law provisions.

Effective 1 January 2017, higher fines will be imposed for certain violations of Law No. 6502 on Protection of Consumers (the "Consumer Protection Law"). Fines will increase by 3.83 percent compared to 2016.

A Government decree has been published recently on the compulsory professional liability insurance of designers and contractors relating to the construction of buildings under 300 sqm subject to simple notification.

The Turkish Constitutional Court recently decided that the right to privacy can be violated on the Internet.  

Prime Ministry Circular No. 2016/27 on Trade Facilitation Board ("Circular") has been published with the Official Gazette dated 03.12.2016. The Circular stipulates a process involving many public institutions and establishments with regard to the adoption of measures to enhance the competitiveness by improving the international trade infrastructure.

The aspect of the choice of law governing an agreement in view of mandatory rules of a jurisdiction other than that of the governing law but to which a transaction is somehow connected has become relevant in a number of pending derivatives litigation cases across various European jurisdictions.

After years of continued negative trend, Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) recorded a positive turnover of 75% in 2016. As this is the second straight year in which BELEX recorded a growth, it is valid to claim that a new era for BELEX is around the corner.

Based on the experience of the past years, as of 1 December 2016 the Company Registry Service of the Hungarian Ministry of Justice introduced a new electronic system to facilitate the submission of the financial reporting.

In 2016, the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has continued to harmonize the standards of integrity, transparency, and prudent management applicable to all the entities under its supervision: capital market entities (i.e., investment firms, asset management companies, undertakings for collective investment, central depositories, market operators, clearing houses, and central counterparties), insurance/reinsurance companies, and private pension fund managers.

Over the counter (OTC) derivative transactions – mainly plain vanilla FX and interest rates derivatives and to a lesser extent commodity derivatives – are becoming increasingly popular on the Bulgarian market.

There are different ways to acquire a majority stake in a joint stock company, and each of them has its particularities, pros and cons. However, notwithstanding the specific acquisition method, each process requires the undergoing of stringent procedures by the acquirer, which can often be lengthy and complicated, involving dealing with various minority shareholder issues and rigid supervision by regulators.

Technological innovation in financial markets continues its inexorable advance. Alternative payment methods (such as e-money and peer-to-peer payment), alternative finance (such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding), blockchain-based clearing and settlement, new insurance models, and virtual currency exchanges are only a few of the recent developments endeavoring to make the financial system more efficient.

Following the relative stabilization of economic conditions globally (especially in terms of the price of oil) and in Russia (the ruble exchange rate) the Russian capital markets have shown signs of recovery. This article focuses on a couple of key aspects of the Russian equity capital markets’ development this year, such as privatization and the increased participation of non-state domestic pension funds in equity transactions. 

In August 2016, the Russian Ministry of Finance issued additional explanations on the taxation of Eurobond transactions.

In 2016 the Polish capital markets have been influenced by two major factors: last year’s parliamentary elections, which brought the Law and Justice Party to power, and the effects of the reform of open-end pension funds (OFEs), which resulted in a reduction of the capital that OFEs could allocate to investments in shares listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE).

In Croatia, acquiring a company’s own shares is often a useful tool for the implementation of management and employee reward plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), and various bonus policies of joint stock companies. The company would normally acquire a desired number of its own shares and distribute them to selected employees according to a reward program. EU legislation describes these programs as “buy-back programs.”

Sector Changes

Banks are normally associated with activities like executing payments and issuing payment cards, along with other payment services.

Contrary to initial negative expectations, the post-Brexit shockwaves hardly brushed upon the Slovenian capital markets, which seem to be slowly gaining momentum.

The capital market in Latvia is rather small, with limited capitalization in both the stock and bond markets. As of December 31, 2015, 26 Latvian companies’ equity securities, 42 corporate debt securities, 12 Government Treasury bill and bond issues, and 5 investment funds were listed on the only licensed stock exchange in Latvia – Nasdaq Riga.

Following the global financial crisis of 2008, the Government of Lithuania started considering measures that would create effective alternatives to banking financing. This was crucial to small and medium businesses, to which banking financing quite often was not available. One of these measures was the promotion of special collective investment undertakings (private capital, alternative, real estate, etc.), designated for professional and well-informed investors (the “Specialized CIUs”).