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The Ukrainian Parliament recently approved the first reading of the draft Law on Joint Stock Companies. Among its many proposed measures are changes affecting minimum share capital requirements, calling and voting in shareholders' meetings, the powers of managing bodies and procedures for dividend payments.

Ukraine has acceded to the Unidroit Conventions on International Financial Leasing and International Factoring, which will apply to international factoring and financial leasing transactions involving Ukrainian companies. The move is expected to boost the country's investment market, which relies heavily on foreign capital investment, and increase the turnover of high-tech products with foreign countries.

Provisions relating to the limitation periods which apply to contractual relations can be found in Ukraine's Civil and Commercial Codes, as well as in other legislation, such as the Code of Commercial Navigation and the Labour Code. Legal theory and practice distinguish between the three-year general limitation period and the specific limitation periods applicable to certain types of contract.

Recently introduced legislation clarifies civil relations - particularly commercial contracts - in circumstances where at least one party is connected to a foreign jurisdiction. The International Private Law Act covers issues relating to conflicts and choices of jurisdiction and the form and content of business contracts.

Ukrainian commercial legislation includes several provisions which regulate the procedure for the sale of shares by shareholders. However, there has been some confusion over the conditions governing a shareholder's right to sell shares in a closed joint stock company. A recent Constitutional Court ruling establishes that the right to sell such shares is not unconditional.

In the wake of recent political developments in Ukraine arising from the presidential elections, the National Bank of Ukraine has adopted three new resolutions to keep the investment climate stable. Some of the changes affect the establishment of new companies in Ukraine by foreign founders, as well as increases in the share capital of existing companies with foreign shareholders.

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