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Insights January 2023

Amended FDI rules in Hungary

On 23 December 2022 the Hungarian Government adopted a New FDI Government Decree. The main changes as well as other several technical clarifications and modifications are set out in our overview below written by Péter Vörös (Partner) and László Palócz (Senior Associate). Click on the image below to read the whole newsletter.

News January 2023

Kinstellar announces new promotions in Kazakhstan

Kinstellar is delighted to announce the promotion to Managing Associate of Yerlan Akhmetov (Banking & Finance, Corporate), Dina Berkalieva (Dispute Resolution) and Assel Mussina (Corporate, Real Estate) in our Almaty office.  In addition, Anna Kornilova, a Senior Associate in the Almaty office, will become Head of Competition for Central Asia. These promotions are in recognition of their importance to our firm and its future and to their commitment to delivering exceptional value to our clients.   Yerlan Akhmetov has over 10 years of experience in capital markets, banking and finance and M&A. He has taken the lead on numerous complicated financing transactions, and has been involved in high-profile M&A

Insights January 2023

Hungarian Competition Act amended effective the start of January  

The Hungarian Competition Act (Act LVII of 1996 on the Prohibition of Unfair Market Conduct and Restriction of Competition) was amended effective 1 January. Below we provide a brief summary of the most significant changes. Increased merger control thresholds The Competition Act sets a dual turnover threshold to determine which transactions must be notified. These have all been increased, and from 1 January, only those concentrations must be notified where, in the last financial year for which a financial statement has been approved, the combined net turnover of all the groups of undertakings concerned (and their joint ventures, proportionately) exceeds HUF 20 billion (EUR 50 million) instead of HUF

Deals December 2022

Kinstellar advises OTP Bank on the successful acquisition of Ipoteka Bank in Uzbekistan

Kinstellar is proud to have advised OTP Bank, Hungary’s largest commercial bank and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe, on the successful acquisition of Uzbekistan’s fifth-largest bank, Ipoteka Bank, with an 8.5% market share, more than 1.6 million retail customers and a significant roster of corporate clientele. Having worked together previously on several successful transactions in Hungary and in the CEE region, OTP mandated Kinstellar to handle its first acquisition in Central Asia. The deal involved four Kinstellar offices: Hungary, Uzbekistan, Serbia and Ukraine. According to the sale and purchase agreement signed on 12 December 2022, OTP Bank will

Insights November 2022

Focus on Merger Control in the Balkans: Kosovo

A new Competition Act entered into force in Kosovo in summer 2022. The most important change introduced by the new Competition Act is the change of the merger control threshold. Click on the link and image below to read more.  Kinstellar Kosovo Merger Control

News October 2022

Kinstellar bolsters its competition & compliance practice in Belgrade with new hires

Kinstellar, Emerging Europe and Central Asia’s leading independent law firm, is delighted to announce the appointment of Olga Šipka as a Special Counsel in the Belgrade office and the head of the local Competition and Compliance service line. Olga Šipka is a highly regarded and experienced lawyer in the Serbian and regional (ex-Yugoslavia) markets. Olga’s core practices include competition and antitrust, regulatory and compliance. She boasts significant, broad-based experience advising and representing leading Serbian and international companies on numerous competition, corporate, data protection, regulatory and M&A projects covering Serbia and the Western Balkans. Her experience extends across a wide range of

Insights June 2022

Romanian government adopts law sanctioning speculative actions during times of crisis and regulating the abuse of superior bargaining position

In the context of a looming post-COVID-19 financial crisis, exacerbated by the Russian intervention in Ukraine, soaring energy and fuel prices, and rapidly rising inflation, the Romanian government has recently adopted Government Emergency Ordinance 84/2022 on combating speculative actions and amending and supplementing certain normative acts (the “GEO”). The GEO was published in the Official Gazette on 20 June 2022 and will enter into force fully in 30 days from publication.   The GEO amends Law no. 11/1991 on unfair competition (the “Unfair Competition Law”) and introduces major changes to the legal framework of unfair competition rules in Romania. The GEO provides for, inter alia, sanctions for speculative actions

Insights June 2022

Merger and concerted action controls in Ukraine: Usual norms are resumed

Starting from 20 June 2022, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) will resume merger and concerted action controls in Ukraine as usual, which means that standard merger and concerted action control rules and timelines will apply during the martial law in Ukraine and afterwards. Until then, the AMC᾿s earlier Guidelines on the filing and consideration of applications for merger clearances and concerted actions during martial law (Guidelines) shall apply to all merger and concerted action applications submitted to the authority during 30 March 2022 – 17 June 2022 (inclusive). The AMC also renews consideration of all earlier postponed applications. All those applied to the AMC under special regime provided by the Guidelines

Insights April 2022

Merger and concerted action controls in Ukraine during martial law

Due to the introduction of martial law in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the operations of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) have been adjusted or suspended in a number of ways. As a result, on 30 March 2022 the AMC adopted Guidelines on the filing and consideration of applications for merger clearances and concerted actions during martial law (Guidelines). To remind, Ukrainian competition legislation has exterritorial effect, meaning that concentrations finalised outside Ukraine may require approval from the AMC, if the financial thresholds provided under Ukrainian law are exceeded. Below we provide important highlights from the Guidelines with respect to merger and concerted action controls during martial

Insights December 2021

Czech Republic: Czech Government extends “Antivirus” programme offering employer financial aid

The Government of the Czech Republic has extended its “Antivirus” programme, offering employment protections for businesses affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Antivirus provides a partial reimbursement of employee remuneration costs incurred as result of an inability to allocate work due to certain so-called barriers on the part of the employer or the employee. On 29 November 2021, the Czech government extended both Antivirus programme regimes (A and B) until 28 February 2022. Regime A had previously been set to expire by the end of 2021, while Regime B expired on 31 May 2021. Regime A assists employers whose employees have been ordered into quarantine or isolation due to a positive Covid-19 status.

Insights November 2021

Czech Republic: New rules on regional investment aid enter into force on 1 January 2022

In April 2021, the European Commission approved the revised Regional Aid Guidelines (“RAG”). The purpose of the new rules is to enable EU Member States to support the least favoured regions and to address disparities in economic wellbeing, income and unemployment. In July 2021, the European Commission approved a Czech regional aid map for 2022-2027, which specifically names the regions eligible for regional investment aid and establishes the maximum permitted aid intensity (expressed as a percentage of eligible investment costs). The rules were further implemented at a national level via Czech government decree No. 428/2021 Coll., and will be in force between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2027. Below we provide

News September 2021

Kinstellar strengthens its Energy and Natural Resources team in Kazakhstan with appointment of Anna Kornilova as a Senior Associate

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that Anna Kornilova has joined our team in Kazakhstan as a Senior Associate.  At Kinstellar, Anna’s practice will focus on Competition and Antitrust Matters. In addition, Anna will be involved in our Energy and Natural Resources team and our Corporate and M&A practices. Anna graduated with LL.B. from the Almaty Academy of Law of the Kazakh Humanitarian Law University, international law faculty in 2007 and completed one year of studies in Washington, DC in 2002. She is a member of the Kazakhstan Bar Association, the Kazakhstan Alliance of Antitrust Experts and Eurasian Association of Antimonopoly Experts. Prior to joining Kinstellar, Anna Kornilova was a Senior Associate