“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.
The M&A market in 2020 has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest quarterly M&A overview prepared by CzechInvest, the leading agency supporting business and investments in the Czech Republic, “in a very short period of time and on a large scale, many companies have had to close down or limit their operations, dismiss stuff members, and disrupt supply chains.” Although there has been some recovery since May, the situation remains unpredictable. The second and next presumed waves will likely bring even more uncertainty.
The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) has recently published its Draft Communiqué on Commitments Offered During Preliminary Investigations and Investigations on Restrictive Agreements, Concerted Practices, Decisions and Abuse of Dominance (“Draft Communiqué”) which has introduced a new commitment mechanism to Turkish competition law enforcement. This mechanism makes it possible for the undertakings and trade associations to offer commitments during an ongoing preliminary investigation or a full-fledged investigation process, in order to eliminate potential competition concerns under Articles 4 and 6 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”) that prohibit restrictive agreements and abuse of dominance.