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PLMJ | April 2006

Dominant companies have special responsibility to ensure that the way they do business doesn’t prevent competition on the merits and does not harm consumers and innovation», said European Competition Commissioner Mário Monti, regarding the Commission’s Microsoft decision dated March 24th, 2004 ...

PLMJ | April 2006

The interoperability information on Microsoft’s decision deserves special attention by the undertakings that have a dominant position in the market. Intellectual property rights, granted as an incentive for the creation of innovation and as a tool to recoup the investments made by companies, used to be understood as providing several rights to its owners ...

Deacons | April 2006

Under the Rules Governing Offshore Funds of August 2005, private placement of offshore funds may only be offered to: a) banks, bills companies, securities companies, trust companies, insurance companies, financial holding companies or other legal entities or organisation approved by the Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC); b) not more than 35 “private investors” ...

Deacons | April 2006

The Law Reform Commission (Commission) published a report on 25 October 2005 recommending proposals to reform the doctrine of privity of contract in Hong Kong. The aim of the reform is to allow a person who is not a party to a contract to enforce the contract if that was the intent of the contracting parties. Under the existing doctrine of privity of contract, a person cannot acquire and enforce rights under a contract to which he is not a party ...

Deacons | April 2006

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) issued the Notice on Relevant Issues in the Foreign Exchange Control over Financing and Round Trip Investment through Special Purpose Companies by Residents Inside China on 21 October 2005 ...

Deacons | April 2006

Investors, investment managers and others with direct or attributed interests of 5% or more of any Hong Kong listed company are subject to Hong Kong’s substantial shareholder disclosure regime. Inadvertent breaches of the regime are common, largely because of its complexity and investors’ misapprehensions of the requirements. A review of enforcement actions over the last year indicates an increasingly aggressive approach by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) ...

Deacons | April 2006

An exemption from “acting in concert” is available under the Hong Kong Codes on Takeovers and Mergers and Share Repurchases (Takeovers Code) to entities within a large financial group which manage investment accounts on a discretionary basis and which maintain acceptable levels of segregation regarding confidential information through Chinese Walls ...

Deacons | April 2006

The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a Feedback Statement on its discussion paper DP05/4 "Hedge funds: A discussion of risk and regulatory engagement" and has urged firms to focus on the risks posed by side letters "which will remain an area of supervisory focus". Side letters have become a common feature for institutional investors investing in hedge funds with the result that such investors receive preferential treatment and more information than other investors ...

Deacons | April 2006

At its Singapore 2006 AGM, ISDA announced the publication of a new set of definitions – the ISDA 2006 Fund Derivative Definitions (Fund Definitions). The Fund Definitions are intended to provide basis terminology for use in confirmations of derivatives transactions linked to interests in various types of pooled investment vehicles, such as hedge funds and mutual funds, for which a liquid secondary market may not exist ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | March 2006

On St Patrick’s Day the Irish Revenue Commissioners issued a communication, through CREST, in relation to CFDs. In the communication the Revenue said they believe the underlying hedging transaction behind a CFD, where the broker acquires Irish shares, may not fall within the relevant stamp duty exemptions that the brokers are claiming. If the Revenue are correct the broker has a 1% stamp duty liability on this hedging transaction ...

Deacons | March 2006

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) recently promulgated Measures for the Administration of Electronic Banking Business (the Measures) and the Guidelines on E-banking Security Evaluation (the Guideline) ...

Deacons | February 2006

China presents enormous opportunities for the wealth management industry. Since the opening up of China’s banking and other financial industries to foreign investments, foreign banks, securities companies, insurers and fund management companies have sought to establish presence in this market through the setting up of representative offices, branches, foreign direct investments and joint venture companies ...

Deacons | February 2006

November and December 2005 saw the Hong Kong real estate investment trust (“REIT”) market burst into life, with the listing of three REITs on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong – The Link REIT (Hong Kong retail and car parks), Prosperity REIT (Hong Kong commercial) and GZI REIT (office buildings in Guangdong, PRC) ...

Deacons | February 2006

In 2006, the SFC plans to conduct another investigation into licensed investment advisers. This follows a report issued in February 2005, in which the SFC noted industry practices that posed “serious regulatory concerns”. It is timely, then, for investment advisers to review their adherence to the standards of conduct expected of them by the SFC. We set out below some of the practices that investment advisers should adopt to ensure regulatory compliance ...

Deacons | February 2006

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”) and State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”) have, in recent months, issued consultation drafts of proposed amendments to the two major regulations governing Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (“QFIIs”): and . According to the draft regulations, certain amendments are to be implemented. Under the existing regulations, QFIIs are subject to relatively long investment lock-up periods ...

Deacons | February 2006

Complaints by foreign businesses regarding protection of intellectual property rights in China have been a consistent feature in media reports since large scale foreign investment commenced some 20 years ago. However, China's economic revolution over the same period means that opinions based on negative experiences in the past must be constantly reassessed ...

As it is considered as of general interest, we would like to mention that on December 30, 2005, the Federal Official Gazette published an executive order amending Article 117 and Article 118 of the Financial Institutions Law ...

Internet telephones are set to take the global communications industry by storm. Big names like Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo! and eBay are piling into the market and former state-run telecoms providers like BT are also investing. The technology was first developed by the US Defense Department as part of a research project on interconnection in the 1970s. But until recently only techno-geeks have had the interest and ability to make any use of it. But times have changed ...

Scottish Enterprise has a number of schemes to make it easier for small to medium-sized businesses to access growth funding, such as a loan, equity finance - where the investors take shares in your company - or a combination of the two ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | January 2006

On 1 May 2004 a new and revised Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation (the TTBER) entered into force - Regulation No. 772/2004. The TTBER will provide block exemptions for IP licensing agreements, ensuring that certain technology transfer agreements are automatically exempt from the application of Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty, which prohibits anti-competitive agreements ...

Haynes and Boone | December 2005

The European Union has recently launched a new ccTLD (country code top level domain). Instead of using the various national European ccTLD's, such as .fr for French companies, .de for German companies, and .co.uk for U.K. companies, the EU has made available the .eu suffix as a Community-wide ccTLD. The new domain extension has already proved widely popular, with more than 100,000 applications for domain names filed thus far ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | December 2005

On Wednesday 21 December, Ms Justice Laffoy issued her long-awaited judgment in Fyffes’ multi-million euro insider dealing action against Jim Flavin and his company Development Capital Corporation plc (DCC) and two of its subsidiaries. The decision follows 87 days of evidence, which closed in July 2005. Ms Justice Laffoy ruled that the defendants were not in possession of price sensitive information at the time they sold their shares in Fyffes and as such, no civil liability to Fyffes arose ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | December 2005

The Government has recently announced changes to the proposed regime of confirmation by directors of compliance by a company with its obligations. This note explains the background to the announcement and comments on the new proposals. Background - 2003 Act From the time that the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act, 2003 was first published there was considerable and widespread concern voiced about the proposed regime for Directors’ Compliance Statements ...

A&L Goodbody LLP | December 2005

Persons responsible for filing annual returns for the following types of companies should be aware of this commencement order: Most private unlimited companies; Private companies not trading for the acquisition of gain by the members; Companies not having a share capital which are formed for an object that is charitable and is under the control of a religion recognised under Article 44 of the Constitution; and Companies which are exempted from certain filing requirements by order of the Co

MinterEllisonRuddWatts | December 2005

The Commerce Commission has recently succeeded in bringing an action against Air New Zealand Limited ("Air NZ") for breaches of the Fair Trading Act 1986 (the "Act") in respect of air travel advertisements. The advertisements (over 300 in total) were published in five major national newspapers from October 2001 through June 2004. The Court assed a representational sample of 20 of the advertisements ...

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