LATEST ARTICLES

United Kingdom: Updated OECD guidance on tax treaties and COVID-19

0
On 21 January 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) published updated guidance on tax treaties and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, originally issued by the Secretariat in April 2020. The OECD's guidance reflects the Secretariat's views on the interpretations of the tax treaties and the general approach being taken by member jurisdictions, and illustrates how certain jurisdictions have addressed the impact of the pandemic on the tax situations of individuals and employers. The OECD states that the updated guidance is intended to provide greater certainty to taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

United States and United Kingdom: What will Biden’s presidency mean for...

0
Biden has indicated prioritizing climate change - and he moved fast by signing an executive order to have the US re-enter the Paris climate accord on the day of his inauguration. He has stated that such prioritisation is also about creating new jobs and spurring economic growth. He has plans to push through major infrastructure projects, boost the auto industry in its quest to build low-emissions vehicles, help move the power sector toward renewables, and encourage innovation in energy technologies. The expectation is that there will be climate change regulatory initiatives and expanded ESG reporting and disclosure efforts that may affect the direction and pace of the US energy transition. In this session, our panel shared their insights on what this might mean for business both in the US and more globally as Biden seeks to have the United States re-engage on the world stage. We were joined by Global Torch Light.

United Kingdom: Tougher UK Pensions Regulator powers a step closer as...

0
The Pension Schemes Bill ("Bill") has completed all its parliamentary stages and its provisions are now final.  A date for royal assent (the point at which it will become law) is still awaited.  The Bill will make important changes to the UK pensions landscape in a number of areas and will be relevant to sponsoring employers and trustees of both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes. Certain aspects of the Bill will have wider implications outside the day-to-day operation of pension schemes, such as the increased powers that will be given to the UK Pensions Regulator ("Regulator"), which include the introduction of new criminal penalties. 

FInsight: The Global Financial Institutions Industry Podcast

0
Episode 9: Financial Institutions in Post-COVID Africa This episode puts the spotlight on Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Wildu...

International: Long-awaited changes to the US futures trading regime take effect...

0
Starting in March, both multinational companies and asset managers that trade US futures and certain other derivatives will face new, but long-awaited, position limit rules. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or "Commission") recently amended its rules ("Final Rule") limiting speculative positions that market participants may take in certain commodities contracts. While the US position limit regime is intended to limit speculation on commodities, the Final Rule covers derivatives commonly used by companies to manage agricultural, energy and other commodity risks. The Final Rule expands the scope of the US position limit regime to include not only specified futures but also swaps that are economically equivalent to those futures.  

Financial Regulatory and Enforcement Content Hub

0
Join Baker McKenzie regulatory and enforcement practitioners as we navigate this uncertain time and work together through the challenges ahead. We offer practical advice...

Baker McKenzie’s Demystifying ESG Webinar Series – SFDR and ESG regulation...

0
With less than three months to go before the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) comes into force on 10 March 2021, this recorded webinar covers the practical steps that firms should be taking now to comply, with a focus on how UK and other non-EU firms can navigate scope issues and the expectations of EU-based clients, investors, and regulators. It focuses in particular on the governance, documentation and data collation steps that firms should be taking now, and the way in which we expect market approach to develop over the next 12-24 months. We also cover the direction of travel in the UK and Switzerland in relation to ESG, green taxonomies, and TCFD compliance. We are joined on this webinar by ECO:FACT, a data-driven ESG advisory firm that has been helping clients understand environmental and human rights risk since 1998

Vietnam: New draft decision on the future Solar Auction Program

0
On 21 January 2021, the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority of Vietnam (EREA) submitted Report No. 20/BC-DL to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade in charge. The report requests the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)'s internal approval of the draft of the Prime Minister's decision on the selection of investors for grid-connected solar power projects in Vietnam (“Draft Decision”).This Draft Decision would apply the selection mechanism on a long-term basis. Bidding rounds will be conducted based on a so-called Renewable Energy Development Plan formulated by the MOIT for each five-year period. A more specific plan will be circulated on a biannual basis.

Venezuela: The Securities Authority authorizes the decentralized stock exchange based on...

0
The Office of the National Superintendent of Securities (SUNAVAL) has authorized the Decentralized Stock Exchange of Venezuela, S.A. (BDVE) to act as a decentralized stock exchange as of 19 January 2021 ("Guidelines"),1 after the trial period of 90 days under Guidelines No. 146.

Venezuela: Banking authority prohibits credit operations from using foreign currency without...

0
On 21 January 2021, the Office of the National Superintendent for Banking Sector Institutions (SUDEBAN) issued a notice that prohibits banking institutions from carrying out credit operations using foreign currency, without prior authorization from SUDEBAN and the Central Bank of Venezuela ("BCV") ("Notice").1