Law on Determining the Origin of Property and the Special Tax, the law which attracts a lot of public attention for two reasons, begins to apply on 12 March. General public attention is attracted given that this law was announced from time to time by various political parties which were in power during the last 20 years, while attention of competent public is attracted given the solutions provided for in the law.
Back in September 2020, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”), following an internal review of the market dynamics and dawn raids at key players, initiated a formal investigation against three major undertakings active in both wholesale and retail of consumer electronics – Roaming Electronics d.o.o., Tehnomanija d.o.o. and Comtrade Distribution d.o.o. The Commission had, per publicly available pricing information and upon review of comparative practice, cited concerns that the undertakings involved were acting in concert, as well by potentially enforcing a resale price maintenance policy.
The consequences of the pandemic are also leaving their mark on Ukraine. Ukraine’s GDP declined by 4.6% in 2020, compared to expected growth of 3.7% before the pandemic. However, unemployment has (officially) only risen from 9.0% to 9.9%, which may be related to the fact that a large proportion of the workers affected by redundancies were in the informal sector, i.e. not officially employed.
After simplifying the procedure for VAT registration in 2020 (i.e. risk analysis by the taxpayer after VAT registration instead of on the submission date of application for VAT registration), the Romanian tax authorities approved another simplification of the VAT registration procedure at the beginning of this week.
How the Covid-19 Pandemic and Technological Innovations affect the insurance and M&A Market. As we are all aware, the last year was challenging for almost all industries, including the insurance companies, which were inevitably affected by both COVID-19 pandemic and technological innovations, and now must face the forthcoming risks and challenges.
Current Law on Health Insurance (Official Gazette of RS no. 25/2019) has been applied since 11 April 2019. The Government of the Republic of Serbia prepared the amendments to this law which are currently in public debate, after which they will enter parliamentary procedure. The draft law stipulates several significant novelties that we will present in this article. If it is adopted, the application of the draft law amending the Law on Health Insurance (“the Law”) will start on 1 June 2021.
In the Czech Republic, persons who undergo Covid-19 vaccination have been given the opportunity to claim financial compensation from the state if the vaccination (or, more precisely, the medicinal product containing a vaccine) causes harm. The Czech Parliament adopted Act No. 569/2020 Sb., on the Distribution of Medicinal Products Containing a Vaccine for Covid-19 Vaccination and on Compensation for Harm Caused to Those Vaccinated by These Medicinal Products (“Act No. 569/2020 Sb.”), which allows such compensation. According to the explanatory memorandum, this measure aims to “facilitate compensation of those who get vaccinated if they are harmed by the vaccination, thereby also indirectly promoting interest in Covid-19 vaccination.”
Good corporate governance contributes significantly to increasing company value and strengthening the confidence of investors. It has been promoted in Ukraine, as across the world, in the past few decades, and in March 2020, the Core Code of Corporate Governance, which was based on the work of over 50 Ukrainian and international experts, was adopted by the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine (NSSMC).
Squeeze-out of minority shareholders is an important concept for joint stock companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In the previous socialist system, many then-state-owned joint stock companies issued employee stocks as a form of partial privatization, leading to some companies having hundreds of minority shareholders with miniscule amounts of shares. This complicated the management of these companies, as majority ownership changed from state to private, since many small shareholders are unreachable, as they may be deceased or have relocated with unknown addresses. This situation often makes squeeze-outs essential for majority shareholders in order to efficiently manage these companies.
In our legal work in Montenegro, CMS has been engaged in a number of major mergers & acquisitions, representing both buyers and sellers, including Monte Rock’s acquisition of HIT Montenegro in connection with the Hotel Maestral in Budva-Przno, the Delhaize Group’s acquisition of food retailer Delta Maxi, KKR’s acquisition of SBB/Telemach Group, and OTP Bank’s acquisition of Societe Generale Montenegro.
Every spring DLA Piper publishes its annual M&A intelligence report. This past spring, we could only speculate on the effects of the pandemic as COVID-19 had just hit Europe. Informed by our experience of the past few months, we have recently published our updated M&A Global Report. Below we highlight a couple of trends that are impacting CEE.