Amendments to the law on gas, the corporate legal framework, as well as proposed amendments to the tax code all indicate the existence of a vibrant legislative landscape in Moldova, according to Dolea & Co Partner Sorin Dolea. To top it all off, Moldova also recently registered a financial market milestone: its first corporate bond transaction.
“The recent amendments in Moldova's gas law are intriguing from two perspectives,” Dolea begins. “Firstly, they encourage the storage of natural gas, which is a strategic move towards energy security. However, there are some controversial provisions, such as the 'exit fee' which discourages competition in the gas supply market. Such provisions have sparked debates within the industry,” he explains.
Moving on to specific corporate law matters, Dolea shares more insights into the amendments regarding joint-stock companies and limited liability companies. “The amendments to the law on joint-stock companies and LLCs aim to establish new rules governing relationships between shareholders,” he says. “One noteworthy addition is the specific provision allowing arbitration agreements to be concluded between shareholders, promoting arbitration as a means of resolving corporate disputes. These changes are significant for the business community seeking efficient dispute resolution mechanisms,” he explains. Moreover, he stresses that “the new law on LLCs brings fundamental changes, especially with respect to share structures and distribution of dividends.”
In addition, Dolea also mentions a set of proposed changes to the tax code. “The new tax code, currently in draft form, represents a shift in the approach of Moldovan legislators towards tax law,” he reports. “While I won't delve into specific details, these changes are significant and can have wide-ranging implications for individuals and businesses alike.”
Furthermore, Dolea mentions that Moldova recently saw a milestone: its first-ever transaction involving corporate bonds on the Moldova Stock Exchange. “This was a historic moment for Moldova's financial market,” he says. “This development signals a growing diversification of investment opportunities in the country's markets.”
Finally, speaking of interesting market shake-ups, Dolea turns his attention to the energy sector. “Moldova is undergoing a major transformation, particularly in the realm of renewable energy,” he says. “Although the market tends to liberalize, Moldova still faces a number of challenges throughout this process. One of them is the current ban on the issuance of gas supply and trading licenses, which keeps any new potential gas suppliers and traders away from Moldova. However, the process of transitioning from Eastern to Western energy sources is irreversible, and this is essential for energy security and sustainability.”
In conclusion, Dolea shares that he feels the Moldovan “business community has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability. While these legal changes would once have been considered 'force majeure,' they are becoming part of the new normal.”