The Limassol District Court recently concluded that an appeal pending before the English courts does not suspend an order's enforcement or diminish the validity of an arbitral award. The applicants had applied for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award issued in May 2016. The court held that the order was final and that there had been no abuse of process; the respondents' request to set aside the award was therefore rejected.
In a recent Limassol District Court case, the applicants applied for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The respondents had previously applied to the Cypriot courts to set aside and annul the arbitral award pursuant to the International Commercial Arbitration Law. In their objection to the application for the recognition of the award, the respondents advanced additional grounds to those raised in their earlier application to annul the award.
The District Court of Limassol recently issued a judgment in relation to an application filed by the Cooperative Bank of Limassol in 2016. The applicants had sought a court order to cross-examine the affiant on certain paragraphs of his affidavit, which supported a 2014 application for the registration and enforcement of an arbitral award in Cyprus.
The applicant in a recent case applied to the Limassol District Court for the registration and enforcement of an arbitral award which had been issued by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). This case sheds light on the interpretation and application of Article V(1)(c) of the New York Convention and clarifies that an arbitral award, including an award for costs, is registrable before the courts even in cases where the LCIA has no jurisdiction.
In a recent Supreme Court case, the appellants challenged a first-instance court judgment which had refused the registration and execution in Cyprus of a foreign arbitral award issued by the International Commercial Arbitration Court. The appellants claimed that the first-instance judge had erred in concluding that the requirement under Article IV(1)(a) of the New York Convention had not been fulfilled.
Unlike many other popular initial coin offering (ICO) jurisdictions, Cyprus is an EU member state and, as such, founders of ICOs must comply with the panoply of single market regulation. However, as they are largely unregulated at present, the benefits of launching an ICO in Cyprus can be significant. These include an EU base, a central time zone, access to Cyprus's vast array of tax treaties and white-list status among tax authorities globally.
In 2013 Parliament passed the Resolution of Credit and Other Institutions Law to facilitate the restoration of the viability of the Cyprus financial sector. However, this law was enacted before the implementation of the EU Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive. Parliament has now enacted the new Law for the Resolution of Credit Institutions and Investment Companies in order to align Cyprus national law fully with EU provisions.
The most pressing Brexit concern for UK-based credit and financial institutions is the terms on which they will continue to have access to the EU single market and related passporting rights if and when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Cyprus can offer a solution to international firms and institutions seeking certainty over EU single market access.
Recent changes to the law give banks the opportunity to proceed with the securitisation of non-performing loans and make them available to investors. It is now possible for a broad number of legal entities to engage in activities for acquiring credit facilities in Cyprus. This development expands the range of investment possibilities for credit and financial institutions, as well as private companies, subject to prior authorisation from the Central Bank of Cyprus.
The president of Cyprus recently announced that the restrictive measures on the movement of capital relating to transactions and transfers of funds abroad would be completely abolished and as a result the corresponding banking decrees (Decree 35 and Decree 28) would not be renewed. Funds are now freely transferable both within Cyprus and abroad.
The European Securities and Markets Authority recently published a practical guide which provides an overview of each EU member state's national rules for the major holdings notification regime provided under the EU Transparency Directive. The guide clarifies certain key obligations and deadlines which apply under the Cyprus legislation that implemented the EU Transparency Directive and the Transparency Requirements Law.
The government recently enacted the Market Abuse Law (102(I)/2016), which implemented the EU Market Abuse Regulation (596/2016). A provision of the regulation which has generated much discussion relates to persons discharging managerial responsibilities and the obligations of persons closely associated with them regarding transactions conducted on their own account concerning the issuer's shares, debt instruments, derivatives or other linked financial instruments.
Cypriot companies are frequently used in cross-border structures, whereby their securities are listed on a regulated market of another member state. In this regard, Cypriot issuers and holders of securities in cross-border listing structures must consider the often overlooked notification requirements under the EU Transparency Directive.
The European Union recently scaled back sanctions regarding Iran, marking the country's return to international capital markets. Investment in Iran through Cyprus-based companies and institutions offers international investors unparalleled benefits over other models of foreign direct investment. These include the Cyprus-Iran bilateral investment treaty, the Cyprus-Iran double tax treaty and Cyprus alternative investment funds.
EU Directive 2013/50/EC, which amends the EU Transparency Directive, has introduced a number of key changes regarding transparency requirements that will help Cypriot issuers to streamline their reporting requirements and obligations. The clarifications regarding depositary receipts and how an issuer determines its home member state offer issuers a greater level of certainty and flexibility.
Shareholders of a Cyprus company have the right to request that the directors convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), and the directors are legally obliged to do so within a specified time. For the EGM to be legally valid, it must be made only by those who hold at least one-tenth of the company's paid-up share capital and have the right to vote in general meetings. Further, it must be signed and deposited at the company's registered office and must be called within 21 days of the request.
The EU Corporate Social Responsibility Directive regarding the publication of non-financial information by certain groups of large companies was recently transposed into domestic law. Pursuant to the Transposing Law, such companies must publish non-financial reports on how they address environmental protection, social responsibility, human rights, anti-corruption and bribery, and diversity on company boards in terms of age, gender and educational and professional backgrounds.
Shareholders' excitement over a new joint venture can be overshadowed when issues concerning the available options for exit from the investment arise for discussion. It is prudent for shareholders to address the full spectrum of their investment as early as possible, including the start-up stage and the operation of and exit from the investment. Company law and practice provide tools to create the boundaries necessary to protect shareholders' business relationships from third parties and each other.
The third amendment to the Companies Law recently took effect, substantially amending the information which must be included in financial statement reports. The director's report has effectively been replaced by a broader management report, which aligns with the increased transparency required in financial dealings. Failure to comply with the new reporting requirements constitutes a criminal offence and may lead to imprisonment of the company's officers and a fine.
A recent bill submitted to Parliament for review makes directors accountable to the Tax Department for taxes due on company assets. Under the bill, company directors or other persons exercising management and control over a company will be required to submit an annual return listing the company's assets. Further, they will be required to ensure that the company pays all taxes due to the relevant authorities.
The Commission for the Protection of Competition recently announced that it will initiate proceedings against the Mechanical and Electrical Contractors Association for the prima facie infringement of Section 3.1.b of the Protection of Competition Laws of 2008 and 2014. Once the investigation has been completed and the hearing concluded, all oral and written submissions and observations by the parties will be examined and the commission will publish its final decision.
The Commission for the Protection of Competition recently announced investigations into two alleged competition law violations. The first concerns the alleged manipulation of tendering procedures initiated by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works for the supply of ready-mix concrete, while the second relates to an alleged abuse of a dominant position in the valet parking services market at Larnaca International Airport.
The Supreme Court of Cyprus recently provided useful guidance on the definition of 'undertaking' and 'association of undertakings'. The case concerned an administrative recourse against a Commission for the Protection of Competition decision which held that the Limassol Licenced Porters Association had displayed restrictive behaviour and abused its dominant position.
The Commission for the Protection of Competition recently announced that it had issued a statement of objections to the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) for alleged prima facie violations of competition law. The alleged infringements concerned CYTA's dominant position in the retail pay television and retail broadband internet markets through the pricing of its services between 2009 and 2010.
The Commission for the Protection of Competition recently published an interim decision concerning a complaint filed by undertakings that provide valet services against the firm that manages Larnaca International Airport. The complaint concerned alleged price fluctuations and changes to designated parking spaces that the respondent had implemented without consulting the applicants.