This Update is produced on a monthly basis. It provides an update on new legislation in certain Middle East countries (Egypt, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates) where Dentons has offices. We also include Lebanon updates from our associate firm in Beirut.

This Update is not an exhaustive list of all new legislation, but a summary of new legislation that we feel may be significant for clients. Should you require further detail on any of the laws referred to in this Update, please contact the relevant managing partner. Please note that, in some jurisdictions, new laws may come into effect which have not been officially published in the publications we have reviewed as mentioned below. Also, some of the official publications in these jurisdictions are not published on a regular basis.

Egypt

New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette.

Law No. 10 of the year 2013

Regarding the issuance of Bonds.

Official Journal, issued and published on 7 May 2013 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.

Decree No. 310 of the year 2013

Concerning the determination of the percentages, commodities and rentals on which the system of addition for account of the tax shall apply in accordance with the provisions of Articles Nos. (59-Bis), (59-Bis-1) and (59-Bis-2) of the Income Tax Law promulgated as per Law No. 91 of 2005 and its amendments.

Law No. 13 of the year 2013

Amends the Trade Union Law No. 35 of the year 1976 by means of extending the term of the trade union session.

Official Journal, issued and published on 30 May 2013 and shall come into force as of its publication date.

Ministry of Finance Decree No. 333 of the year 2013

Amends Article 60 of the Executive Regulation of the Income Tax Law issued as per decree of the Minister of Finance No. 991 of the year 2005 and its amendments.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued and published on 11 June 2013 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.

Decree No. 334 of the year 2013

On determining the value of loan provisions at banks, which are approved as part of the deductible costs in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Law, issued as per Law No. 91 of the year 2005 and its amendments.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued and published on 11 June 2013 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.

Ministry of Finance Decree No. 335 of the year 2013

Amends some provisions of the Executive Regulations of the Stamp Duty Law, issued as per Law No. 111 of the year 1980 and its amending law issued as per decree of the Minister of Finance No. 525 of the year 2006 and its amendments.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued and published on 11 June 2013 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.

Jordan

The Regulation on Profits from Phosphate Mining No. 50 of 2013, issued 2 June 2013

Provides that 5 per cent of the sales of the Jordan Phosphate Company or an amount of 1 Dinar and 420 Fils shall be paid to the Treasury for each ton of phosphate sold, whichever is higher, and whether originating in the Kingdom or sold there or used by the Jordan Phosphate Company in any of its various projects, paid monthly in the month following the month for which such amount is due.

Instructions Amending the Instructions on Dealing with Clients in a Fair and Transparent Manner No. 57 of 2013

Issued on 2 June 2013, and make a number of changes to the Instructions of 2012

Sultanate of Oman

New legislation is published in the Official Gazette.

Amendments to the Executive Regulations of the Capital Market Law

HE The Chairman of the Capital Market Authority issued a decision on 13 May 2013 amending certain provisions of the Executive Regulations of the Capital Market Law promulgated by Capital Market Authority Decision 1/2009.

(1) Amendment to Article 156(1)

Article 156 sets out the rules relating to employees of a company listed on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) trading in securities. The second sentence of Article 156(1) has been removed so that the Article now reads: "Trading shall only be through the company for which the staff is working and shall disclose this account to the company." Previously, Article 156(1) also applied to partners and directors.

The implications of this are a loosening of control regarding the trading activities of partners and directors. Partners and directors of a listed company may now trade securities other than through their company and need not disclose information relating to their trading accounts to the company in the same way that employees are required to do. Despite this, directors may still wish to disclose or keep a record of their trading with the company in the interests of transparency and to prevent any suspicions of dealing in securities based on undisclosed material information.

(2) Amendment to Article 301

Article 301 relates to the periods during which those with inside information (including directors and management) may not trade in the securities of a listed company on the MSM, otherwise known as the "closed period". The words "especially during the following periods" and paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 have been deleted and the final sentence has been amended so that the Article now reads: "Insiders shall not deal in the securities of the Issuer on the basis of undisclosed material information. Insiders shall not allow any other person access to any material information prior to disclosure."

An implication of this change is that there is no longer a closed period prior to disclosure of financial statements. However, the legal liability for trading on the basis of undisclosed material information continues at all times and so those with access to inside information should have uppermost in their mind what amounts to material information for disclosure purposes. Article 291 provides that material information is information that is "price sensitive and that would impact investment decisions of market participants or market trends".

Official Gazette 1015, Sultani Decree No. 36/2013

Establishes the Authority for Developing Small and Medium Enterprises and its Regulations.

Promulgated on 30 May 2013

Effective on promulgation

Official Gazette 1015, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Decision No. 165/2013

Lifts the ban on importing live birds from India according to the annexed conditions.

Promulgated on 23 May 2013

Effective from day following publication

Turkey

New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.

The Law on Payment and Securities Agreements Systems, Payment Services and Electronic Funds Corporations (Official Gazette No. 28690)

Sets out the principles and procedures to be observed in order to obtain an activity permit from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Board to carry out payment services. The Law stipulates that only (i) banks, (ii) electronic funds corporations and (iii) payment agencies may obtain an activity permit. According to the Law, payment services are defined as follows:

  1. all transactions in relation to the operation of accounts payable, including services that allow for depositing and withdrawing funds in accounts payable;
  2. direct promissory transactions that consist of transfer of funds held by the payment services user in an account opened at the payment services provider, transfer of funds by payment cards or a similar medium, including scheduled payment orders;
  3. issuing or accepting a payment instrument;
  4. transfer of funds;
  5. payment transactions where the sender’s payment approval is transmitted through an information technology device or an electronic communications device and where the payment is made to an information technologies or electronic communications operator acting as an intermediary between the payment services user and the provider of services / goods; and
  6. services intended to serve as an intermediary for paying bills.

Promulgated on 2 June 2013

Effective from 27 June 2013

Turkish Petroleum Law (Official Gazette No. 28674)

Sets out the terms and conditions with respect to the petroleum activities and the procedures for investigation, exploration and lease of petroleum in Turkey. The Law replaces the old Petroleum Law, and introduces a new approach to the petroleum exploration and lease in Turkey. The Law outlines the new principles of petroleum business and the details will be regulated further by regulations to be issued by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

The Law stipulates that the surface of the Republic of Turkey be divided into two areas as land and sea whereby the sea area shall consist of inland and external territorial waters

Although the General Directorate of Petroleum Affairs (the GDPA) is authorised to grant the permits and licences regarding petroleum rights, with respect to the external territorial waters, the Council of Ministers grants the investigation permit, exploration licence and petroleum lease.

Promulgated on 11 June 2013

Effective from 11 June 2013

Communiqué on the Sale of Capital Market Instruments (Official Gazette No. 28691)

Redefines the corporate and qualified investor in accordance with European Union regulations and sets out the main principles and procedures for the sale of capital market instruments. Regulates the duration of the issuance and sale of capital market instruments and the principles of withdrawing from the sale.

Promulgated on 28 June 2013

Effective from 28 July 2013

Communique on Time Extension for Adaptation of Articles of Association of Joint Stock and Limited Liability Companies to the Turkish Commercial Code (Official Gazette dated 29 June 2013 and numbered 28692)

Provides that joint stock and limited liability companies can make their Articles of Association in accordance with the new Turkish Commercial Code dated 13 January 2011 and numbered 6102 until 1 July 2014.

Promulgated on 29 June 2013

Effective from 29 June 2013

Elias Chedid, Chedid Law Offices and Galip M. Selçuk, Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership