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While public perception in Serbia on joining the EU has generally been positive, according to Karanovic & Partners Senior Partner Dragan Karanovic, “recent research suggests that the overall enthusiasm of the public has taken a slight decrease, establishing a polarized, almost fifty-fifty view towards EU accession.”

The capital markets in Ukraine have been a sleeping topic until recently. On June 19, 2020, the Ukrainian Parliament has restated the Law of Ukraine on Capital Markets and Organized Commodity Markets (Law). The restated Law became effective in July 2021, introducing a whole new framework for the issue of securities in Ukraine. It implements the most important EU capital markets regulations, including MiFID II, MiFIR, and CRD IV.

Back in 2007, the foundation for sustainable financing was set through the issuance of a green Climate Awareness Bond by the European Investment Bank. This was in part due to the increased awareness of climate change. By June 2022, Austria wants to issue its first Green Bond. Possible investments for the Green Bond are public transport and renewable energy. Aside from bonds, sustainable financing can be concluded in several other product forms, such as guarantee lines, as well as classic bank loans. The volume of sustainable syndicated bank loans reached EUR 200 billion for the first time, last year.

The initially planned major changes to the security interest regime in Lithuania, which would remove notarial certifications of mortgage/pledge, have not materialized. However, certain amendments to Lithuanian laws governing security interests will enter into force from January 1, 2022.

It has been an interesting, fruitful, and innovative year for the Turkish financial sector. Most importantly and possibly surprisingly, the Turkish financial regulatory authorities are at full speed in implementing a legal framework to support a more sustainable Turkey.

Traditional banking dominates the financial system of North Macedonia with a share in the total assets of the financial system of over 80%, according to the statistical data of the National Bank of North Macedonia. The rest of the financial assets are distributed between non-banking financial institutions such as pension and insurance funds, investments funds, and alternative financial services institutions.

Due to its strategic position in the heart of Southeast Europe and it being part of three important European corridors, Serbia can boast excellent connections to both Western Europe and the Middle East, and has a huge potential for public and private investments alike.

The still ongoing pandemic and its impact on the economic environment occupy governments all over the world. In Slovakia, several measures have been adopted by legislative bodies since its outbreak last year mainly in the area of financial aids and business loans. Moratoriums have also impacted the positions of banks and other creditors demanding their claims against debtors.

With a population of approximately 2.8 million inhabitants, Albania’s economy is mostly composed of SMEs. To a large extent the financial sector is driven by commercial banks, however, in recent years, thanks also to extensive regulation by the central bank (Bank of Albania – BoA), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) have picked up a significant portion of the market.

Environmental sustainability is essential to mitigate the risks of climate change. In order to promote this and develop a green economy, it is essential to secure adequate financing from the private sector. To this end, banks have started making available financial products for environmentally sustainable purposes.

Offsetting of claims (compensation) is one of the ways of termination of obligations, regulated by the Law of Contract and Torts. Certain procedural and legal rules, referring to the offsetting objection and the compensatory counter-claim, are also contained in the Law on Civil Procedure. The institution of offsetting claims is especially important when one of the parties in the obligatory relationship is in bankruptcy, in which case the special bankruptcy rules are applied. The importance of this topic is further enhanced by the changed business conditions in the world after the COVID-19 pandemic, with economic entities being increasingly forced to settle their obligations with compensation for the time being, until new sources of growth yield positive effects on liquidity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the business environment in Russia considerably, similar to worldwide tendencies. On the one hand, many of the companies in Russia in various industries have been negatively affected and faced a decrease in revenue and, as a result, do not have enough internal resources for further project financing or for financing current operating costs. On the other hand, the new business circumstances have given way to the development of other companies, including various innovative start-up projects with growth potential that also requires financing at the initial stages of launching the business. In such a situation, foreign companies having Russian subsidiaries, as well as foreign companies interested in investing in start-up projects in Russia, may consider different financing options.

Sustainable finance is at the very heart of the financial system ensuring financial service providers offer green products and push them and the corporate businesses to be greener, to reach a higher level of social and corporate relevance when making investment or financing decisions.

REITs first appeared in the US in the 1960s, and the American REIT market has enjoyed considerable growth over the last quarter of a century. From there, REITs have spread to most developed economies, including many EU member states, and can presently be found in approximately 40 countries. In the US, the total return on investment in REITs making up the FTSE Nareit All Equity REITs Index reached 1,225% over the last 25 years, which translates into an average annual return of 10.9%. This, coupled with the good performance of REITs in other countries, contributes to an increased interest in this type of legal structure in jurisdictions where such solutions have yet to be introduced.

There are specific foreign exchange (FX) restrictions set out in Serbian legislation. The FX rules envisage mandatory requirements with respect to cross-border loans, guarantees, assignment and set-off of cross-border claims and debt, the opening of bank accounts abroad, etc. As FX restrictions affect various aspects of transactions between Serbian residents and foreign parties, they are frequently a tumbling stone in cross-border transactions.

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