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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

Uzbekistan liberalizes regulatory framework for mining of crypto-assets

On 27 April 2022, the President of Uzbekistan signed decree No. UP-121 (the “Decree”), which (i) reorganized the National Agency for Project Management into the National Agency of Perspective Projects (the “Agency”) and authorizing it to regulate circulation of crypto-assets in Uzbekistan (covering issuance, registration, and circulation of crypto-assets by residents of Uzbekistan), and (ii) established a special regulatory regime in the sphere of crypto-asset circulation. According to the Decree, only legal entities are entitled to engage in mining[1] of crypto-assets[2] in Uzbekistan, following compulsory e-registration with the Agency. Mining of crypto-assets does not require obtaining a license. The Decree

Deals April 2022

Kinstellar advises NN Group on the acquisition of a majority share in Finportal

Kinstellar’s Bratislava office has recently advised NN Group (‘NN’), a group of financial services companies providing insurance, retirement services, pensions, banking and investments in 11 countries, on the acquisition of a majority share in Finportal, the number-three financial intermediation service provider in Slovakia in terms of turnover. Companies associated under the NN brand manage pension savings and life insurance for almost one million Slovaks. Finportal brings together more than two thousand intermediaries offering comprehensive financial advice under its own name and brand. Through its investment, NN intends to further strengthen its long-term cooperation with Finportal and is seeking areas for the

Insights March 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. Download in English: Download in Ukrainian:

Deals March 2022

Kinstellar advises Earlybird Digital East on their participation in the additional USD 100 million funding of Payhawk

Kinstellar has successfully advised Earlybird Digital East, one of the top venture capital firms in Europe, on an additional USD 100 million extension to the Series B funding round for fintech start-up Payhawk, the all-in-one spend management platform. This latest round of investment increases Payhawk’s Series B round to USD 215 million. Our team has advised Earlybird Digital East since the initial seed funding of Payhawk in March 2020.Payhawk has now reached a valuation of USD 1 billion, becoming the first Bulgarian unicorn. The company will use the Series B funds to further grow its product team, double its efforts to build best-in-class enterprise features, and expand its sales and marketing team for new market penetration

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

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

Insights January 2022

Insurance market in Ukraine: New regulation and what to expect

In line with the best international and European practices, the National Bank of Ukraine initiated a new Law on Insurance, which was adopted and took effect in late 2021. The Law replaces the current outdated insurance regulation, while providing new and more comprehensive legislation, with certain aspects to be regulated in the future. Please refer to the infographics below for details about the new regulation, requirements and other novelties introduced by the new laws.   Download infographics in English: Download infographics in Ukrainian: For more information, please contact:

Deals November 2021

Kinstellar advises KBC Bank on the EUR 1 billion acquisition of Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria

Kinstellar Sofia has acted as lead counsel to KBC Bank NV on an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD, comprising the Bulgarian banking operations of Raiffeisen Bank International, for EUR 1,015 million. The transaction also includes Raiffeisen Leasing Bulgaria, Raiffeisen Asset Management, Raiffeisen Insurance Broker and Raiffeisen Service. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected by mid-2022. Kinstellar’s team was led by partner Diana Dimova, counsel Nina Tsifudina (Corporate/M&A) and counsel Svilen Issaev (Banking & Finance) and included Mladen Minev (Counsel), Dessislava Fessenko (Of Counsel), Georgi Kanev (Senior Associate)

Deals November 2021

Kinstellar advises Komercijalna Banka a.d., Beograd on the sale of Komercijalna Banka a.d., Banja Luka

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that on 27 October 2021, our client, Komercijalna Banka a.d., Beograd (“KB”), and Banka Poštanska Štedionica a.d., Beograd (“BPŠ’’) executed a Sale and Purchase Agreement for the sale of 100% ordinary shares of Komercijalna Banka a.d., Banja Luka. The completion of the sale is envisaged by 31 March 2022, subject to receipt of requisite regulatory approvals.   Kinstellar congratulates both KB and BPŠ on this regional transaction and looks forward to continued successful cooperation with both parties!  The Kinstellar team was led by Denise R Hamer, Head of C/SEE Asset Solutions / Co-Head of C/SEE Restructuring & Insolvency, and Branislav Marić, Belgrade

News October 2021

Kinstellar strengthens its team in Uzbekistan with the appointment of Sherzod Yunusov as Partner

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that Sherzod Yunusov has joined the firm’s Tashkent office as Partner. His joining the firm bolsters our team’s capabilities in Uzbekistan and particularly our expertise in the energy and infrastructure sectors and project finance. Sherzod Yunusov has expertise and an established track record handling a wide array of matters related to oil and gas transactions (including exploration and gas production; production sharing agreements; development of fields; design and construction of infrastructure projects; gas transportation and processing; plant operation; sales of gas; and project finance), renewables (solar and wind), and infrastructure projects. He also advises on restructurings

Deals August 2021

Kinstellar advises Raiffeisen Bank International AG on the first derivatives transaction under 2002 ISDA master documentation in Ukraine

Kinstellar’s Kyiv office has acted as legal advisor to Vienna-based Raiffeisen Bank International AG on the enforceability under Ukrainian law of netting derivative transactions with VF Ukraine PRJSC (Vodafone Ukraine) documented under the 2002 ISDA Master Agreement (English-law governed). Kinstellar’s team was led by Counsel Dmytro Pshenychniuk and Banking & Finance Partner Oleksandr Kurdydyk, with key support from Viktoriia Luganska and Junior Associate Kateryna Lahodivets The team provided structuring advice, assisted the client with drafting the ISDA master documentation, and advised on the close-out netting arrangements with Vodafone Ukraine.  Kinstellar has been at the forefront of major developments