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Legal Updates

Legal Updates for February 2019

PCC Adjusts Thresholds for Compulsory M&A Notifications
On 21 February 2019, the Philippine Competition Commission ("PCC") has adjusted the thresholds for compulsory notifications of mergers and acquisitions ("M&As"). The new thresholds will apply from 1st March 2019. This Update provides detail of the revised notification thresholds which businesses intending to enter into M&A transactions in the Philippines should take note of to determine whether their transaction will need to be notified to the PCC.

European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement – 2019 Ratification and Opportunities
The European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement ("EUSFTA") is the first free trade agreement between the European Union ("EU") and an ASEAN country. When it comes into force, it will likely produce an increase in volume of trading opportunities between the EU and Singapore due to tariff elimination and reduced non-tariff barriers. Amongst other things, this Update outlines the impact of the EUSFTA on businesses' exports to the EU. The EUSFTA, which was approved by the EU Parliament on 13 February 2019, is anticipated to be ratified in 2019.

Key Legislative and Regulatory Developments in Singapore for the Year 2018
This Update provides a brief summary of the key statutory and regulatory developments in Singapore for the year 2018.

Court Rules Online Gambling Offence to be Deserving of Harsher Punishment than Offence under Common Gaming Houses Act
On 24 January 2019, District Judge Kenneth Yap handed down sentences to an accused person who had pleaded guilty to operating a common gaming house and to providing a Singapore-based remote gambling service. This judgment is noteworthy for the significantly harsher penalty that was meted out to the accused for his transgressions under the Remote Gambling Act, compared to his similar offence under the Common Gaming Houses Act, due to the judge’s view of that online gambling posed a much greater threat to Singapore society compared to gambling which takes place in a physical environment, given the pervasiveness of the former and the difficulty of its detection.

Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers Revised to Clarify its Application to Dual Class Share Structures
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued a revised Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers to clarify its application to companies with a dual class share structure with a primary listing on the Singapore Exchange.

The revisions took effect from 25 January 2019. This update takes a look at the key changes made to the Code.

Can an Arbitral Award be Issued Against Minors?
In BAZ v BBA and others [2018] SGHC 275, the Singapore High Court was faced with a S$720 million arbitral award which had been issued against – amongst others – a number of minors. The Court considered the public policy issues behind enforcing an award against minors, and ultimately decided to set aside the award as against the minors. The minors were successfully represented by Lee Eng Beng S.C., Kelvin Poon, Alyssa Leong and Matthew Koh of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

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