Legal & Regulatory

Singapore Postpones Effective Date of Amendment to its Companies Act

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The government of Singapore has announced that it will postpone the effective date of the amendment to the Companies Act 2014 (the Amendment) and the Business Names Registration Act to the second quarter of 2015, as stated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) earlier this year. An exact date is yet to be announced, but according to ACRA more details will be made public about two months before the changes are due to take place. Agencies and stakeholders likewise will have more time to adapt to the new legislative changes.

Singapore Exchange Releases Comprehensive Guide for Corporate Governance

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The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has released a disclosure guide aimed at aiding companies’ compliance with the country’s corporate governance regulations. The document, structured in a concise question & answer-format, will not only help companies to comply with key aspects of governance, but will also make it easier for investors to assess the companies they might invest in.

Singapore to Become Southeast Asian Legal Hub with Opening of International Commercial Court

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With its newly opened International Commercial Court, Singapore wants to become the alternative location for arbitration in Asia. The country has also made a series of other investments into its legal services sector and has established the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC).

Singapore Parliament Back in Business: Multiple Legal Reforms on the Agenda

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On its first day back in business, January 19, 2015, Singapore’s Parliament has approved the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill and the Pawnbrokers Bill on second readings, and saw the introduction of the Community Disputes, Deep Seabed Mining, Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption), and MediShield Life Scheme Bills.

Letters of Credit Required for Indonesia Commodities Exporters

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A Rule from Indonesia’s Trade Ministry requires commodity exporters to use letters of credit (L/C) in overseas shipments from April 1, 2015. The new rule will effect coal, oil and gas, palm and palm-kernel oil, and minerals including tin. According to the Ministry, these commodities together accounted for over 41 percent of Indonesia’s exports from 2009 to 2013, averaging $US71 billion per year.

OECD and ASEAN Release Investment Policy Review of Myanmar

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On December 9th, the Second ASEAN-OECD Investment Policy Conference was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, to discuss the continued facilitation and promotion of ASEAN investment for regional integration. The event brought together ASEAN investment policy makers, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members, and industry leaders, to showcase ASEAN’s regional investment integration achievements since the first conference in 2010. Included at the conference was the release of the OECD’s Investment Policy Review of Myanmar, which marked the country as one to watch heading into 2015.

ASEAN Tax and Regulatory Update

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In this article we highlight some of the recent tax and regulatory actions taken in the ASEAN region. The importance of ASEAN continues to grow, with 2015 set to see the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The AEC seeks to “transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.” Collectively, ASEAN represents a market of some 600 million people, with a combined GDP of about US$2.5 trillion and upwards of US$1.5 trillion in trade flowing throughout the region.

Singapore: IRAS Consultation on Transfer Pricing Documentation

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On September 1, 2014, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) released a consultation process whereby it has requested comments on proposed changes to the transfer pricing documentation requirements in Singapore.

Singapore Publishes Revised Edition of its Productivity Credit e-Tax Guide

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The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has published a revised edition of its e-tax guide for the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC). The new guide includes the changes made in February’s 2014 Budget Statement.

The Philippines Issues Restraining Order on Investor Disclosure Rules

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On September 9th, the Philippines’ Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which prevented it from enforcing regulations requiring the submission by withholding agents of a list of their investors receiving taxable income. These regulations were laid out in Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 1-2014, which were promulgated earlier this year.

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