In recent years, many companies in Kazakhstan are experiencing shrinking asset valuesand increasing debt burdens. Effectively dealing with these issues requires guidance from lawyers who can assist with debt restructuring, insolvency and funding challenges.
Before insolvency proceedings have been initiated against a Kazakh debtor, a Kazakh borrower will normally seek one or a combination of concessions from lenders, depending mainly on their current and projected cash flows. These may include, for example, temporaryrelief from making payments; a postponement of the maturity date; other changes in the payment schedule;forgiveness of part of the indebtedness; debt for equity swaps; waiver of breaches of covenant; releases from certain financial or other covenants; standstill provisions, i.e., creditors’ agreement not to exercise certain rights or remedies; and provision of additional financing.
The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Rehabilitation and Bankruptcy” No. 176-V ЗРК dated 7 March 2014 (the “Bankruptcy Law”) provides for the following three insolvency regimes that may be applied to a Kazakh insolvent debtor if out-of-court workout did not work:
1. accelerated rehabilitation;
2. rehabilitation; and
Accelerated rehabilitation and rehabilitation are intended to rescue the debtor. A final liquidation (i.e., bankruptcy) guillotines the debtor.
Accelerated rehabilitation can be initiated by the debtor in the court proceeding provided that no rehabilitation or bankruptcy proceeding has been initiated against the debtor and the debtor is insolvent or will not be able to meet his or her monetary obligations on the due date within the next 12 months. Under the Bankruptcy Law, the debtor is insolvent if one or more of the following conditions are met: a) non-payment under health or life damage obligations, obligations to its employees, social insurance and pension payments, payments under copyright agreements within three months after they became due for the amount of 100 so-called monthly calculated indexes (approximately US$580); b) non-payment under tax and other budget obligations within four months after they became due for the amount of 150 monthly calculated indexes (approximately US$880); c) non-payment by a debtor – legal entity under any other obligations within three months after they became due for the total amount of 1,000 monthly calculated indexes (approximately US$5,900). Upon introduction of accelerated rehabilitation by the court, the following main legal implications arise:
1. the debtor may not use and realise its property except in the course of regular commercial operations, if provided by the rehabilitation plan or upon consent of the affected creditors;
2. a stay of enforcement of court decisions or arbitration awards issued earlier upon claims of affected creditors;
3. the affected creditors cannot file for bankruptcy of the debtor; and
4. withdrawal of money from the debtor’s account and foreclosure of the debtor’s property is prohibited.
Rehabilitation may be initiated in the court proceeding by either the debtor itself or its creditors. The debtor may file for rehabilitation if he or she is either insolvent or unable to meet his or her monetary obligations on the due date within the next 12 months. Creditors may file for rehabilitation if the debtor is insolvent. Unlike accelerated rehabilitation, within a rehabilitation procedure creditors may decide to deprive existing shareholders and pass management over the debtor to a specially appointed rehabilitation manager. The legal implications of the introduction of rehabilitation by the court are generally the same as for the accelerated rehabilitation discussed above.
Bankruptcy may be initiated in the court proceeding by the debtor itself, creditors, the prosecutor, the rehabilitation manager, or if, in the course of rehabilitation, it turns out that rehabilitation is not possible, the state body responsible for tax and other payments to the budget. Upon resolution of the court on the bankruptcy of the debtor, the bankruptcy manager realises the debtor’s property through public auction and satisfies the claims of the creditors included on the register of creditors’ claims in the prescribed by law order of priority (e.g. secured creditors are second in line of priority).
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Uzbek government continues its strive to transform country's legislation and make Uzbekistan more open to foreign investment and international trade. With the addition modern-thinking specialists to the management in the state authorities, alongside with radical legislative improvements in legislation, directed to full-scale liberalisation, increasing trade turnover and development of local industry, attracting foreign investors, full transfer to market economy and overcoming such obstacles as corruption, restrictions for payment on current international transactions, tariff and non-tariff barriers, the prospects of Uzbekistan are becoming increasingly more attractive for global businesses.
During the Month of January 2018 GRATA International (Russian Federation) generated the most usage from Mondaq users for the category of commercial law.
Yana Dianova, Director of the Corporate and Commercial Law Department (GRATA International, Moscow) and Timur Berekmoinov, a patent attorney (GRATA International, Almaty) took part in the international conference 'Intellectual Property in the New Technological Order'.
In keeping with GRATA’s practice of informing clients of important legal developments that might influence their business, we would like to draw your attention to some important upcoming legislative developments regarding the foreign exchange regulation and foreign exchange control.
Samat Daumov, Managing Partner, GRATA International, shares the firm’s experience in building a regional network of a consulting firm or the largest network of lawyers and litigation attorneys in Kazakhstan.
We are glad to announce that Aidar Sarymsakov and Akhmetzhan Abdullayev, Senior Partners, Saule Akhmetova and Almat Daumov, Partners have been identified as key legal experts in Mining field among 11 legal experts in Kazakhstan in Who's Who Legal: Mining 2018 issue.
On 31 January 2017, the Law Society is hosting a breakfast round table with experts from the region and experienced practitioners to discuss the current business climate, growing business areas, and new investment opportunities for law firms and their clients, in particular in relation to the AIFC.
On 29 November 2017 the deputies of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved in the first reading draft law "On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan Regarding Regulation of Land Relations" (hereinafter referred to as the "Draft Law"), developed following the work of the Commission on Land Reform.
On 1 January 2018 new Tax Code came into force in Kazakhstan. This Tax Code is set to stimulate growth of small and medium-sized businesses and strengthen Kazakhstan’s financial sector. The principle of good faith was also introduced: all the ambiguities and inaccuracies of the Tax Code are interpreted in favour of entrepreneurs.
It has shown a particular interest in the Law of 28 December 2017 No. 128-VI on Introducing Amendments and Additions to some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Information and Communication ('the Law'), which, among other amendments, requires website operators to collect identification data of website users who post comments on such websites.
GRATA International commented on the following questions:
1- What is the background to the Law, and the Kazakh government's reason for introducing it?
2- Which types of companies will be affected by the provisions with regard to i) identifying website users ii) retaining user data? How is this likely to affect the operation of websites, and their users?
On 29 December 2017 the Republic of Kazakhstan has ratified the Convention on avoidance of double taxation with Ireland and the Protocol thereto (hereinafter – the ‘Convention’).
Команда юристов GRATA International в России подготовила обзор наиболее важных изменений в законодательстве Российской Федерации, вступающих в силу в 2018 году.
Belarus adopted the revolutionary legal framework for IT companies and blockchain enthusiasts. The President’s Decree on Digital Economy comes into force on March 28, 2018.
On December 23, 2017 Managing Partner of GRATA International’s Uzbekistan office Bakhodir Jabborov made a presentation at the Shanghai Bar Association
GRATA International contributed to LexisNexis Mergers & Acquisitions Law Guide 2018. Special Focus - One Belt One Road China Investment.
On November 23 the President of the Republic of Belarus has signed Decree No. 7 “On the Development of Entrepreneurship”. The document significantly simplifies business activities in Belarus. Below you can find main innovations for business introduced by the document.
On 15 December 2017, AmCham HR Committee's December Meeting took place in the office of Nobel Oil in Baku.
On 15 December 2017, the Caspian European Club and Caspian Energy Georgia with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Georgia held the Azerbaijani-Georgian business forum and the third CEO of Lunch Tbilisi.
On 5 December 2017, the 23rd Azerbaijan International Telecommunications and Information Technologies Exhibition and Conference took Place in Baku Expo Centre. The exhibition marked the beginning of High Technologies Week. The organiser of the exhibition was the Caspian Event Organisers.
On 7-9 December 2017, Bolormaa Volodya, Partner, and Altanzaya Gunsen, Taxation Counsel of Absolute Advocates LLP, GRATA International's associate office in Mongolia, have attended International Taxation Conference 2017 in Mumbai, India.
GRATA International performed exceptionally well in this year’s rankings as its Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan offices were ranked by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018, confirming GRATA International's dominant position in Central Asia.
During the Month of November 2017 GRATA International (Russian Federation) generated the most usage from Mondaq users for the category of commercial law.
On 30 November 2017 in Bishkek GRATA International organised a practical seminar: Roadmap to Profitable Small Hydro Power Plant Development, together with international engineering firm ILF Consulting Engineers.
On 28 November 2017 in Almaty GRATA International organised a practical seminar: Roadmap to Profitable Small Hydro Power Plant Development, together with international engineering firm ILF Consulting Engineers.
On 7 December 2017, the results of the national law firms rating – ‘Право.ru-300’ were announced.
On 6 December 2017 the drinks reception was held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
On 5 December 2017 the International Conference "PPP Projects in International Context" was held in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany.
Yerzhan spoke on key questions of PPP projects implementation in Kazakhstan, particular issues of national legislation, basis PPP models in Kazakhstan, issues relating to regulation of PPP projects and key trends of development of PPP in the near future.
On November 28th, 2017 Nurlan Kyshtobaev, partner of GRATA International Bishkek office conducted a guest lecture on “concession agreements” and “how law firms operate”. The lecture was read to the students of International Business Law department of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) within the course “Investment Law and Sustainable Development”. Earlier this year, GRATA International in Bishkek signed a MoU with AUCA on cooperation.
4th Downstream Caspian & Central Asia conference was held in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 28.
On 22 November 2017 Dubai Chamber Annual Networking Reception took place in Azerbaijan, Baku with the aim of highlighting achievements, discussing plans, and reward most active companies.
On November 16, 2017, American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan (AmCham Azerbaijan) organized its monthly members’ luncheon.
AmCham Legal and Compliance Working Group hosted its regular meeting on November 1, 2017.
The opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway (BTK) was held on October 30, 2017 in Baku.
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