Latest updates

COVID-19 Weekly Report (18-24 May 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 25 May 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Debt buyback and liability management considerations
Shearman & Sterling LLP
  • USA
  • 19 May 2020

As the markets continue to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trading prices of many corporate loans and bonds have fallen dramatically. As a result, many companies (or their private equity sponsors) are looking at repurchasing their debt at a discount. In addition, many companies are concerned that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will result in covenant breaches or other defaults and are engaging in discussions with their lenders and investors to obtain needed modifications to their debt agreements.

Essential considerations for Cayman funds in challenging times
Ogier
  • Cayman Islands
  • 19 May 2020

To help Cayman hedge funds navigate the myriad issues brought about by COVID-19, this article offers a high-level checklist for fund directors and investment managers to consider. The checklist covers operational issues, issues around liquidity and possible termination and communication and reporting considerations. Each of these topics is considered in turn in relation to a typical standalone corporate open-ended Cayman fund. That said, most of the checks can be applied using a variety of Cayman vehicles.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (11-17 May 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 18 May 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Extension of filing deadlines for disclosure documents in response to COVID-19 outbreak
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 12 May 2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Financial Services Agency has announced an extension of the deadlines to file certain mandatory disclosure documents, including annual securities reports. This article explains this unprecedented measure taken in recognition of issuers' difficulties in preparing their disclosure documents in light of the current COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (20-26 April 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 27 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Cornerstone investments in UK initial public offerings
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 April 2020

As issuers and selling shareholders seek to de-risk initial public offerings (IPOs) in the United Kingdom, it is likely that there will be further cornerstone investments when the IPO market returns. Further, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both the capital markets and the economy more generally may well mean that cornerstone investments become even more critical to the successful execution of IPOs.

Jersey public investment funds – regulatory options
Ogier
  • Jersey
  • 24 March 2020

Jersey is long established as a primary centre for the establishment of offshore funds and has been at the forefront of international developments, which have attracted international sponsors, promoters, fund managers, advisers and investors. One of the key features of Jersey's fund industry is the flexibility and range of structures and corresponding regulatory and commercial approaches that can be used for funds.

2019 SEC regulatory summary: advisers and funds
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 28 January 2020

To mark the new year, registered investment advisers and funds should take a look back at the activity undertaken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its staff during 2019 and carefully consider steps to be taken to implement new and amended regulations adopted by the SEC throughout the year. The start of a new year is also a good time to evaluate what remains on the SEC's regulatory agenda.

FINRA: suitability and sales practices remain an issue
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 21 January 2020

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released its 2019 Report on Examination Findings and Observations. The report intends to reflect key findings and observations identified in FINRA's recent examinations of broker-dealers. The report also describes practices that FINRA has deemed to be effective and that could help firms to improve their compliance and risk management programmes.

SEC charges Switzerland-based dealer for selling US investors unregistered SBS for bitcoins
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 14 January 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a Switzerland-based securities dealer for offering and selling unregistered security-based swaps to US investors using bitcoins and for failing to transact its swaps on a registered national exchange. This case illustrates that the use of new technology and terminology does not exempt investment-product dealers from having to comply with US federal securities laws.

Does Interest Rate Restriction Act apply to corporate bonds?
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 10 December 2019

Interest rates applicable to loans made in Japan are subject to the Interest Rate Restriction Act, which is Japan's usury law. For decades, legal experts and others questioned whether this regulation also applied to corporate bonds, thereby affording bond issuers the same protections against high interest rates as those enjoyed by borrowers. This longstanding question appears to have been resolved by a recent Tokyo District Court judgment.

Supreme Court will decide courts' authority to order disgorgement in SEC enforcement cases
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 03 December 2019

The Supreme Court recently granted a writ of certiorari to address whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may obtain disgorgement in civil injunctive actions filed in the federal courts. How the court resolves this question may have a significant impact not only on the SEC's enforcement programme, but also on a wide array of other federal regulators that rely on courts invoking similar equitable authority to fashion remedies.

FINRA fines broker-dealer for unsuitable sale of complex securities
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 19 November 2019

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recently censured and fined a Florida-based broker-dealer, including for failing to reasonably supervise sales of complex securities such as structured products and leveraged, inverse and inverse-leveraged exchange-traded funds. This case illustrates the need for broker-dealers to establish and enforce proper surveillance systems and written procedures to ensure the suitability of their sale recommendations.

NASAA issues report on broker-dealer policies and procedures for leveraged or inverse ETFs
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 12 November 2019

The North American Securities Administrators Association recently issued a report that provided a warning as to the risks of leveraged or inverse exchange-traded funds. The report urges broker-dealers to tailor their supervisory procedures if they allow exchange-traded fund (ETF) transactions in these products. Among other things, the report concludes that broker-dealers should carefully consider whether to permit purchases of leveraged or inverse ETFs in retail customer accounts.

Public consultation on appropriate choice and use of Japanese yen interest rate benchmarks
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 29 October 2019

To address the risk that the London Interbank Offered Rate may be discontinued, the Cross-Industry Committee on Japanese Yen Interest Rate Benchmarks was established to recommend the appropriate choice and use of Japanese yen interest rate benchmarks depending on the type of financial transaction involved and develop transition plans for a new framework enabling the use of Japanese yen interest rate benchmarks. The committee recently published a consultation paper in this regard.

Bond issuers will retain quick access to Swiss debt capital market under new regime
  • Switzerland
  • 22 October 2019

As part of its effort to meet EU-equivalent standards, Switzerland is in the process of implementing a comprehensive reform package which will fundamentally change the Swiss financial market regulatory framework and introduce the country's first harmonised and coherent prospectus regulation. The new regime will ensure that bond issuers will continue to have efficient and quick access to the Swiss debt capital market – one of the legislature's key goals.

SEC proposes changes to business, legal proceeding and risk factor disclosure requirements
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 10 September 2019

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed amendments to the description of business, legal proceeding and risk factor disclosures that are required pursuant to Regulation S-K. While the SEC's concept release dealt with a wide variety of topics, these latest proposals represent a more measured approach towards modernising and simplifying such disclosure requirements.

Union Budget 2019: key capital markets highlights
  • India
  • 06 August 2019

On the back of its new electoral mandate, the Modi Sarkar 2.0 government recently presented its first budget. The budget focuses primarily on infrastructure spending and boosting investment from private and foreign investors, with the government forecasting that the Indian economy will grow to $5 trillion by 2025. Following the budget announcement, a slew of reforms and policies are expected in the coming months. This article highlights some of the key capital market-related amendments.

First token offering qualified by SEC under Regulation A
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • USA
  • 30 July 2019

Blockstack Token LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delaware public benefit corporation Blockstack PBC, recently became the first company to have an offering of digital assets qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission under Regulation A. Although Blockstack's is the first Regulation A token offering to be qualified, it demonstrates the potential for other blockchain-based companies to use Regulation A as a viable capital-raising tool.

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