Abu Dhabi and Dubai have recently issued their first Foreign direct investment licenses allowing foreign investors to own up to 100% of UAE companies engaged in certain types of activities. Abu Dhabi has also recently adopted its own positive list of economic activities eligible for an FDI License in the emirate, featuring a generous total of 1586 activities across the agricultural, industrial and service sectors.

These developments substantively complete the implementation, in the largest two of the UAE’s seven emirates, of the foreign direct investment regime which was first established by a law dated September 2018.

Further, the positive list recently adopted by Abu Dhabi is a corroboration of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and, more generally, delivers on several promises in terms of reinforcing the UAE’s commitment and continued efforts to attract foreign investment and achieve non-oil economic diversification.

This memorandum provides an overview of the Abu Dhabi positive list and outlines the process that foreign investors must follow to obtain an FDI License in the UAE.

Yesterday, President Trump issued an Executive Order[1] that will, following an initial two-month grace period and a further ten-month wind-down period in which only dispositions are permitted, prohibit U.S. persons (including citizens and U.S. legal entities acting outside the United States and foreign citizens and legal entities acting inside the United States)[2] from engaging in any transactions in publicly traded securities (debt or equity) issued by companies that the U.S. government designates as tied to the Chinese military (Designated Entities), as well as in any securities linked (in an undefined manner) to the targeted Chinese securities.  The 31 current Designated Entities are listed at the end of this note.[3] Continue Reading Trump Administration Bans Transactions in Securities of Military-Linked Chinese Companies: Potentially Far-Ranging Consequences Remain Unclear

On November 11, the UK Government proposed a new national security screening regime that would allow the Government to intervene in “potentially hostile” foreign investments that threatened UK national security while “ensuring the UK remains a global champion of free trade and an attractive place to invest.”

If approved by Parliament, the National Security and Investment Bill would introduce a mandatory and suspensory CFIUS-like regime. We expect the new regime will come into force in the first half of 2021, assuming it receives Parliamentary approval. Given its broad scope and retrospective application, foreign investors considering transactions that may raise national security issues should already consider engaging with the Government and taking account of the new regime in deal negotiations and transactional documents.

Please click here to read the full alert memorandum.

This trade summary provides an overview of WTO dispute settlement decisions and panel activities, and EU decisions and measures on commercial policy, customs policy and external relations, for the second quarter of 2020.

If you have any questions regarding the above, do not hesitate to contact fclaprevote@cgsh.com or tmuelleribold@cgsh.com.

The EU Foreign Direct Investment Regulation came into force this week. It establishes a European framework for the screening of foreign investments into the European Union. In this memorandum we provide an overview of the legislation, and its expected practical impact on foreign investment review in the EU.

Please click here to read the full alert memorandum.

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Department of State issued the first of two mandatory reports under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (HKAA), identifying 10 Hong Kong and mainland China officials as materially contributing to the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy (the “Section 5(a) Report”).[1]  Because the same individuals were already designated on the List of Specially Designated and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”) maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) on August 7, 2020,[2] the practical effect of the report is limited to setting a deadline of 30 to 60 days for the U.S. administration to issue the second required report under the HKAA identifying foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct a “significant” transaction with the 10 individuals listed in yesterday’s Section 5(a) Report (the “Section 5(b) Report”).[3]  We discussed the reports required under the HKAA and the potential impact of those reports in our earlier blog post.[4] Continue Reading State Department Releases Hong Kong Autonomy Act Persons Report, Starts the Clock for Foreign Financial Institutions Report

Between July 28, 2020 and September 1, 2020, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) released updates to its model legal documents for use in venture capital financing transactions. This memorandum will explain the changes to these model forms and some of the reasons for, and implications of, such changes.

As background, the NVCA is an organization based in the U.S. whose members include venture capital firms, investors and professionals involved in investing private capital in early-stage companies. In an effort to promote consistent, transparent investment terms and efficient transaction processes, the NVCA has created model legal documents for venture financing transactions, and these models have been widely used in the U.S.

This update to the model forms has been driven by developments in: (i) CFIUS rules and other applicable laws, (ii) market practice in venture capital financing and (iii) “best practices” in the industry.

Please click here to read the full alert memorandum.

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule (the Final Rule) imposing export controls on additional emerging technologies pursuant to the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA).[1]  We previously wrote about the process to identify and impose export controls on emerging and foundational technologies under the ECRA, as well as the steps taken in furtherance of that process to date, here. Continue Reading BIS Imposes Export Controls on Additional Emerging Technologies; Further Defines Scope of CFIUS Mandatory Notification Requirement

In the wake of one of the largest reported medical ransomware attacks in U.S. history,[1] the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued last week a pair of advisories to assist in efforts to combat the increasing threat of ransomware attacks and related sanctions and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance issues.[2]  Like our blog post last month on the same topic, the advisories highlight the importance of considering the legal risks relating to ransomware payments and confirm that OFAC may pursue enforcement actions against ransomware payments that violate U.S. sanctions.[3] Continue Reading OFAC and FinCEN Issue Advisories on Cyber Ransom Payments

On September 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) released for public inspection substantively identical notices[1] specifying the transactions relating to mobile applications TikTok and WeChat to be prohibited pursuant to the executive orders related to both entities issued by President Trump on August 6, 2020 (the TikTok Notice and the WeChat Notice, respectively, and together, the Notices).[2]  Commerce withdrew both Notices before formal publication on September 22, presumably to address uncertainty regarding the effective dates in light of developments in both matters; the TikTok Notice has already been re-issued with revised timing, but negotiations over a possible partial sale of TikTok continue.[3]  The WeChat Notice has yet to be re-issued, possibly as a result of timing uncertainty regarding the preliminary injunction discussed below.[4] Continue Reading Commerce Provides Clarity on the Potential Scope of the TikTok and WeChat Bans; All Else Remains Murky