Legal Updates

Legal Updates for Sep - 2016

Recent Legal Developments in Vietnam

This Update provides an update with respect to regulating public-private partnership ("PPP") investments in Vietnam. It sets out the salient features of a Ministry of Investment and Planning-issued Circular for a more comprehensive legal framework for deploying PPP in practice. 

30 Sep 2016 | Vietnam

EU Judgments Enforceable In Singapore With Effect From 1 October 2016
On 14 April 2016, Singapore Parliament enacted the Choice of Court Agreements Act 2016, which provides for the implementation into Singapore law of the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements ("Hague Convention"). Singapore ratified the Hague Convention on 2 June 2016, and it will come into force on 1 October 2016. The European Union, with the exception of Denmark, forms the main bulk of the countries that have ratified the Hague Convention.

The Hague Convention establishes an international legal regime for upholding choice of court agreements in international civil or commercial cases among Contracting States. One of the most significant effects of the Hague Convention is that court judgments emanating from a Contracting State must now be recognised and enforced in another Contracting State, subject to very limited exceptions. This update focuses on this latter enforcement aspect of the Hague Convention.
28 Sep 2016 | Singapore

Do Arbitration Agreements Attach to Bills of Exchange?
Bills of exchange are a vital part of financing in international trade, and are commonly issued to guarantee payment under commercial contracts. They provide a form of security in that they bind a party to payment at a future date, and can also be monetised in the present by transfer to a third party. In Rals International Pte Ltd v Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza SpA [2016] SGCA 53, the Singapore Court of Appeal examined the nature of bills of exchange with respect to arbitration agreements – in this case, whether the indorsee of a promissory note is bound by an arbitration agreement in the underlying contract. The Respondent in this matter was successfully represented by Elaine Tay and Wong Jun Ming from Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
24 Sep 2016 | Singapore

ASAS Publishes Social Media Marketing Guidelines – Influencers to Disclose Sponsorships
On 29 August 2016, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore published its Guidelines on Interactive Marketing Communications & Social Media (the "Guidelines"), which are aimed at setting ethical standards of conduct for digital marketing communications, with a particular focus on social media marketing. This Update looks at the key features of the Guidelines and what they may mean for marketers and media owners.
23 Sep 2016 | Singapore

Cambodia has Acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty as the 151st Member

Since 8 September 2016, Cambodia has acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty ("PCT") and became the 151st member of the PCT. This Update summarises the key points of the PCT.

22 Sep 2016 | Cambodia

MEF Releases New Prakas on Residential Development Business

On 24 August 2016, the Ministry of Economy and Finance issued Prakas No.965 on the Management of Residential Development Business (“Prakas No.965”) to substitute its previous Prakas on Real Estate Development Business - the Prakas No.1222 dated 15 December 2009. This Update summarises the key changes to the residential development business in Cambodia under the Prakas No.965.

22 Sep 2016 | Cambodia

OJK Moves to Support Tax Amnesty by Relaxing Disclosure and Tender Offer Rules

In recognition of the reality that a taxpayer’s disclosures made in the context of the Tax Amnesty could reveal that they are in fact the controlling shareholder of a public company, thus automatically triggering the need for a mandatory tender offer under the provisions of Capital Markets & Financial Institutions Supervisory Board Rule IX.H.1, the Financial Services Authority (“OJK”) has issued a Circular to exempt an amnesty participant from the need to conduct a tender offer in the case of a (de facto) acquisition that becomes apparent as a result of Tax Amnesty disclosures.

Further, a public company that becomes aware that it has a new controlling shareholder as a result of disclosures made under the Tax Amnesty is exempted from the requirement to disclose material information and facts under OJK Regulation No. 31/POJK.04/2015.

22 Sep 2016 | Indonesia

SGX Moves Towards Allowing Dual-Class Shares
The Listings Advisory Committee ("LAC"), established by the Singapore Exchange ("SGX") to supplement its listings regulatory process in reviewing Mainboard listing applications and formulating listing policies, has voted in favour of permitting dual-class share ("DCS") structures to list on SGX. Such listings will be subject to appropriate safeguards to ensure quality listings, and to mitigate entrenchment and expropriation risks associated with DCS structures. SGX's CEO Loh Boon Chye has said that SGX would consider the LAC's advice and seek feedback via a public consultation before any amendment to the Listing Rules is made to allow DCS structures.
22 Sep 2016 | Singapore

Singapore High Court uses Inherent Powers to Stay Proceedings against Hanjin
The financial troubles of container-shipping giant Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd ("Hanjin") have shaken the maritime industry, leading to several claims by concerned creditors across numerous jurisdictions against Hanjin, its subsidiaries and its fleet. In light of its rehabilitation proceedings in the Republic of Korea, Hanjin has been seeking to halt the deluge of actions against it. In Re Taisoo Suk (as foreign representative of Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd) [2016] SGHC 195, the Singapore High Court granted Hanjin's application, approving a temporary stay on all present proceedings and restraint of fresh proceedings against Hanjin. This Update provides a summary of the High Court's decision and what it means for Hanjin and its potential creditors.
21 Sep 2016 | Singapore

Suspicious Transaction Reports and the Indonesia Tax Amnesty
Recent statements by the Monetary Authority of Singapore have cast the spotlight on the need for banks to file a Suspicious Transaction Report ("STR") in respect of clients who participate in the Indonesia tax amnesty programme. In this update, we examine the proposition that an STR is required whenever a client takes part in a tax amnesty scheme.
19 Sep 2016 | Singapore

New Patents Law Enacted by DPR

The House of Representative (“DPR”) passed the Patents Bill into law on 27 July 2016. The new legislation (“2016 Patents Law”) is aimed at stimulating innovation and growth in the number of patents granted to Indonesian inventors from both the public and private sectors, while placing an express obligation on patent holders to use their patented processes or manufacture their patented products in Indonesia. The 2016 Patents Law further streamlines the patenting process and introduces the possibility of engaging independent experts as patent examiners in anticipation of rapid developments in the technological, communications, information and health sectors. As of the time of writing (2 September 2016), the 2016 Patents Law had yet to be gazetted and provided with a reference number.

06 Sep 2016 | Indonesia

Legal Developments in Thailand

This Update provides an overview of the recent key legislative and regulatory developments in Thailand. It also lists down some useful published materials in employment law and international trade law written by Rajah & Tann Thailand partners. 

02 Sep 2016 | Thailand

MAS Seeks Feedback on Proposals for Activity-Based Payments Framework and New National Payments Council
On 19 August 2016, Mr Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") delivered a keynote address on "An Electronic Payments Society", setting out the roadmap for the future electronic payments framework in Singapore.

In his speech, Mr Menon outlined four key strategies to create an e-payments society, namely, streamlined regulation, inclusive governance, inter-operable infrastructure and pervasive digitization. These strategies are aimed at streamlining and strengthening the regulatory framework, establishing a new governance model for payments, and enhancing the adoption of electronic payments.

MAS subsequently published a consultation paper on the "Proposed Activity-Based Payments Framework and Establishment of a National Payments Council". The consultation ends on 31 October 2016.

This Update takes a look at the proposals in the consultation paper.
01 Sep 2016 | Singapore