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Insights June 2022

“Buy Now, Pay Later” solutions on the rise – regulatory aspects in Bulgaria

The rapid growth of online shopping as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for different payment options for consumers at the checkout. One such option that is increasingly popular with consumers is the “buy now, pay later” (“BNPL”) solution. The hot trend in consumer credit BNPL allows consumers to defer the payment of the product and repay the purchase price in several instalments over a certain period of time, usually at no interest. BNPL is also a palatable option for merchants, as it gives them another avenue to generate sales by providing consumers an accessible opportunity to acquire products on credit. Such manageable payment options are also likely to strengthen consumer

News June 2022

Kinstellar promotes Mert Elçin to Counsel in Istanbul

Kinstellar is delighted to announce the promotion of Mert Elçin to Counsel in our Istanbul office. Mert has more than 10 years of experience in corporate, M&A and banking and finance transactions as well as regulatory matters and has represented clients from a wide range of sectors, in particular banks, brokers, insurers, asset managers, investment funds and other market participants from the financial services industry, venture capital firms, founders, angel and private equity investors, and companies focusing on life sciences and healthcare, technology, media and telecommunications, retail and manufacturing. He is also experienced handling international arbitration. Mert joined Kinstellar in 2019 as

Insights May 2022

Kinstellar’s Banking & Finance team in Budapest contributes to ICLG Project Finance 2022

Kinstellar’s Banking & Finance team in Budapest is honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute the chapter on Hungary to this year’s International Comparative Legal Guide to Project Finance.  The Q&A-style chapter provides an overview of the main legislative considerations—including security, bankruptcy, restrictions, insurance and arbitration—that should be taken into account by lenders and equity investors when participating in project finance transactions in Hungary.  We also address the trends and recent developments in project finance in the country.  You can read our chapter, coordinated by Csilla Andrékó, Partner, Budapest and Head of the firm-wide Banking & Finance and Restructuring

Insights April 2022

National Bank of Ukraine imposes restrictions on the purchase of cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets

The war in Ukraine is being felt across many industries, and the virtual assets market is no exception. In order to prevent a negative outflow of capital, the National Bank of Ukraine (“NBU”) has indirectly prohibited the purchase of cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets using bank accounts denominated in Ukrainian hryvnia (“UAH”). In recently adopted Regulation No. 78 dated 20 April 2022 “On Amendments to the Regulation of the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine dated 24 February 2022 No.18”, the NBU has set a prohibition on the use of UAH for settlements under so-called “quasi cash” transactions. Despite the ban, “quasi cash” transactions in foreign currencies are still permitted, up to the foreign

News April 2022

Kinstellar partners Csilla Andrékó, Diana Dimova, Nina Tsifudina named among IFLR1000 Women Leaders in 2022

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that Csilla Andrékó (Partner in the Budapest office, and head of the firm-wide Banking & Finance service), Diana Dimova (Managing Partner of the Sofia office), and Nina Tsifudina (Partner in the Sofia office) have been recognised among the most prominent women lawyers across the world by the prestigious IFLR1000 “Women Leaders” 2022 ranking. Csilla, Diana and Nina were selected for their outstanding reputations within their markets, impressive track records working on complex deals, the quality of their advice and service, and their leadership roles with their practices. It is the third consecutive year for Diana, the fifth for Csilla, and the first that Nina has received this

Insights February 2022

Open Banking in Europe in Light of PSD2 Review

Open banking is changing the way people use banking services in the modern world. Europe prides itself on being the cradle of the open banking revolution, with the EU’s Payment Services Directive[1] (PSD2) being one of the first regulatory initiatives to open up bank-held account data. PSD2 has been in force now for more than four years and has already reshaped the European payments sector. The ongoing review of PSD2 brings an opportunity to assess the current status of open banking in Europe as well as the impact of the directive on the sector. Open banking is the practice of enabling secure interoperability in the banking industry by allowing third-party providers (TPPs) to access payment transactions and other data

Insights February 2022

Overview of virtual asset regulation in Ukraine

The crypto business has grown exponentially in recent years. Ukraine is no exception to this global trend, as local businesses are also at the forefront of crypto products and innovations (DeFi, NFTs, the metaverse and Web 3.0). However, legal uncertainty in Ukraine has created risks for the sustainable development of the local crypto industry and the investments of conventional business in digital assets.  This legal uncertainty has been addressed by the recently adopted legislation, which sets out a regulatory framework to minimise the risk and exposure of digital businesses in Ukraine. Although some provisions are framework in nature and secondary legislation is required, we believe that this new legislation will

Insights February 2022

The Serbian Financial Collateral Act: Love at Second Sight?

The adoption of the Financial Collateral Act (FCA) in 2018 was widely regarded as a great addition to Serbia’s financial law infrastructure. Nevertheless, more than three years later, the FCA's full potential has largely remained untapped. The key reason lies in its narrow scope in terms of covered counterparties and eligible transactions. Although the FCA delivered adequate protections for close-out netting in financial transactions among eligible counterparties (i.e., mostly sovereign and financial sector entities), it still does not protect close-out netting in transactions that involve corporate counterparties. Perhaps the time has come for the Serbian legislature to consider suggested updates to the FCA so that market

Deals December 2021

Kinstellar advises the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank on a guarantee programme supporting SMEs in Bulgaria  

Kinstellar has advised the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) on its “Framework Agreement for Pandemic Crisis Response Programme” that will be implemented together with the National Guarantee Fund (NGF). Тhe risk-sharing portfolio guarantee programme is expected to promote up to EUR 75 million of new financing and help about 250 local SMEs to offset the negative impact of COVID-19 in Bulgaria. The programme will offer guarantees to Bulgarian commercial banks, facilitating access to finance and improving financing conditions for final borrowers.  Kinstellar assisted the BSTDB with both the English law and Bulgarian law aspects of the programme, including the drafting and negotiation of the Guarantee

Insights December 2021

New law on payment services will change the rules of the game for payment services in Ukraine

At the end of June 2021, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine "On Payment Services" (the "Law"), which aims to modernise the payment infrastructure in Ukraine, make the payment services market more transparent and open to new players, expand the range of payment solutions, and improve the quality of payment services. With the exception of certain provisions, the Law enters into force on 1 August 2022. The Law primarily establishes the basic requirements for the operations of payment service providers in Ukraine and determines the general parameters for the provision of the relevant services, while leaving a wide range of issues to the discretion of and further regulation by the state regulator, i.e., the

News December 2021

Renowned Capital Markets expert Müfit Arapoglu joins Gen Temizer Özer, Kinstellar’s office in Istanbul, as Partner

Kinstellar is pleased to announce that Müfit Arapoğlu has joined the Istanbul office as a Partner and Head of the local Capital Markets practice. Müfit Arapoğlu is a widely recognised capital markets and corporate lawyer in Turkey. He advises issuers and underwriters and both local and international companies in equity and debt capital market transactions, including equity public offerings, debt instruments offerings, private placements and sales to qualified investors, voluntary mandatory tender offers, sukuk issuances and structured debt issuances. In addition, Müfit has represented a large number of Turkish and international clients in various M&A transactions, particularly on the sale and purchase

Deals November 2021

Kinstellar advises the joint-lead managers on the USD 700 million debut Eurobond of Uzbekneftegaz

Kinstellar is pleased to announce that our team in Taskent has advised the joint-lead managers—Bank GPB, Citi, J.P. Morgan and MUFG—on the debut USD-denominated Eurobond, with a tenor of seven years, of the Uzbek state-owned oil and gas producer Uzbekneftegaz. The proceeds will be used by Uzbekneftegaz to refinance existing indebtedness and for several proposed large-scale investment projects in the country. The Kinstellar team was led by Joel Benjamin (Partner) and Muborak Kambarova (Counsel), with assistance of Associates Iroda Sadikova, Kamilla Ubaydullaeva and Legal Assistant Sabina Sharipova.