Our team of expert banking and finance lawyers offers comprehensive advice on the scope and implementation of regulations across various financial services areas. We work closely with monetary authorities and regulators at the federal, local, and free zone levels to ensure our clients' needs are met.
Our law firm in Dubai has built a reputation for providing specialized guidance on banking and finance law, and our lawyers are equipped to handle a range of common and uncommon legal issues related to these fields. Whether you require assistance with regulatory compliance, transactional matters, or dispute resolution, our team has the knowledge and experience to provide effective solutions.
Alketbi’s litigation team regularly assists clients who face contentious claims in different facets of banking and financial services litigation. We have represented banks, financial institutions, credit card issuers, mortgage lenders and other participants in matters involving unfair practices, lender liability, debt recovery, breach of contract, breach of trust, disclosure violations, and disclosure practices.
Alketbi's litigation team includes senior attorneys recognized as top lawyers in UAE. We are committed to resolving conflicts as smoothly as practicable and aim to offer practical, timely and result-oriented services. We recognize the importance and value of forensic accounting in banking litigation and damage experts and fraud investigators' role in providing specialized services.
Besides traditional banking litigation, our lawyers advise banks on technical and commercial matters such as information technology contracts and contract interpretation and provide legal opinions on the appropriate venue for dispute resolution and other business litigation matters. We act for and represent banks, financial institutions and other players on regulatory investigations, lender action, bankruptcy, mortgage enforcement, credit issues, and privacy issues. With laws and regulations constantly evolving in the banking and financial industry, our team closely monitor changes and new trends in law, regulatory and compliance areas to provide the most updated and cogent legal advice.Read More
Alketbi is a team of finance experts with extensive experience advising local and international banks, finance providers, corporate and sovereign entities, and other regional market participants.
Our comprehensive range of services covers all aspects of banking and finance, including financial regulation, product development, cross-border finance transactions, structured finance, securitizations, debt capital markets, and economic restructuring. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in assisting prominent financial institutions, borrowers, and sponsors across our regional network. Our services encompass the entire spectrum of financial transactions, from structuring and negotiation to documentation. With our unparalleled breadth of experience, we are dedicated to providing our clients with tailored solutions that meet their unique needs and goals. Trust us to help you navigate the complex world of finance and achieve your financial objectives.Read More
For many years, our team has been offering expert advice to clients regarding the regulatory obstacles they may encounter when launching, operating, and commercializing their fintech businesses.
Our clients range from financial institutions and global fintech operators with operations across multiple jurisdictions to emerging companies launching firms in a single jurisdiction, venture capital or private equity funds seeking to invest in the fintech category, and issuers and advisers working in the emerging asset classes of crypto and blockchain domains. We possess an unparalleled combination of skill sets that enable us to support our clients in determining the viability and risk profile of fintech businesses. This expertise allows us to provide our clients with the information they need to make informed investment decisions and assess valuations. Whether you are seeking to raise capital or deploy funds in the fintech industry, we can help you navigate the complex regulatory landscape and provide reliable answers to any questions about local laws. Trust us to help you overcome regulatory obstacles and achieve your business goals in the ever-evolving fintech industry.Read More
Sanabil Investments (Sanabil) is dedicated to discovering, funding, and translating revolutionary concepts into tangible realities. Since its establishment in 2009 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), it started with $8 billion in capital. Sanabil has witnessed firsthand-the disruptive potential of bold ideas that challenge conventional business models reflecting the Kingdom’s vision. These ideas pave the way for innovative approaches to production, consumption, and the overall human experience. Riyadh: Sanabil Investments choose to collaborate—entrepreneurs who leverage their ingenuity and resources to address significant societal needs in ways that are both scalable and sustainable.Sanabil is a financial investment firm that annually commits circa $3 billion as capital to private investments, including Venture Capitals and small buyout assets. Sanabil Investments offer patient capital to its partners, enabling them to invest at various stages of funding and granting access to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ecosystem.SANABIL INVESTMENTS- ASSETS UNDER MANGMENTSaudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has publicly revealed its private equity and venture capital investments for the first time. The disclosure came from PIF's Sanabil investment division, which allocates approximately $3 billion annually to private markets. Boasting a staggering $620 billion in assets under management (AUM), PIF ranks among the globe's largest sovereign wealth funds. We will explore some of the highly prosperous private equity and venture capital firms that PIF has invested in through Sanabil.Below some of the investments in top PE and VC firms as invested in by PIF’s Sanabil Investment arm without being exhaustive as further investments are made under the PIF’s large portfolio. Blackstone, KKR, Hellman & Friedman, Silver Lake, Dragoneer Investment Group, Coatue, Vista Equity Partners, Techstars, Apollo Global Management, Inc., Brookfield Asset Management, CVC Capital Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, General Atlantic, ICONIQ Capital, Thoma Bravo, Insight PartnersThe substantial Assets Under Management (AUM) held by PIF provide it with considerable financial strength, and its selection of investment firms is noteworthy. This suggests that PIF's investments transcend regional boundaries, encompassing global opportunities. Notably, PIF's investment in Techstars, a startup accelerator, underscores its keenness for early-stage enterprises. With its substantial AUM, PIF possesses the capacity to invest in both fledgling startups and established corporations.PIF's revelation of its private equity and venture capital portfolio carries significant weight. It offers a glimpse into the investment strategies of Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds and how they navigate the financial landscape. The fact that PIF is engaging with well-established firms like Blackstone and KKR illustrates its inclination toward global investments, extending beyond local markets. Concurrently, its investment in Techstars underscores a distinct interest in nurturing nascent businesses. As PIF and other Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds continue to expand, the evolution of their investment approaches will be of considerable interest.IN CONCLUSIONThe collective assets of the top 10 Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds surpass an impressive $3.8 trillion, pointing toward promising prospects for the region's economies. PIF has set its sights on reaching $1 trillion in assets under management by 2025. Consequently, a substantial pool of untapped capital is poised for deployment by these funds. What's intriguing is that PIF is not the sole participant in private market investments. Other Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), have also ventured into the realm of private equity and venture capital. ALKETBI TOUCH: Our team frequently extends its legal expertise and advice for investors looking to diversify their investment strategies, or for corporates contemplating mergers and acquisitions and private placements. Let us analyze the complexities of your protection and safe investments exits and entry along with the best corporate structuring available to maximize your profits.
The United Arab Emirates has enacted various laws and regulations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Any violation of these laws may generate into heavy fines and other serious legal consequences. Dubai: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken significant steps to combat money laundering through a robust legal framework. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of UAE's anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Federal Decree Law No. (20) of 2018: The FoundationThe cornerstone of AML regulations in the UAE is Federal Decree Law No. (20) of 2018. This law, which has seen amendments, addresses money laundering, the financing of terrorism, and the funding of illegal organizations. Cabinet Resolution No. (10) of 2019: Implementation Guidelines Cabinet Resolution No. (10) of 2019 complements the AML Law by providing essential implementing regulations. Together, these documents form the backbone of AML compliance in the country.Federal Penal Law No. 31 of 2021: Legal FrameworkFederal Penal Law No. 31 of 2021, also known as the Penal Code, adds further legal weight to the UAE's efforts against money laundering. It works in harmony with the AML laws to deter and penalize financial crimesTo establish a criminal violation of money laundering, the government must prove that an individual knowingly engages in specific acts involving funds derived from a predicate offense. These acts include: Transferring or moving proceeds with the intent to conceal their illicit source. Concealing the true nature, source, or location of proceeds. Acquiring, possessing, or using the proceeds. Assisting the perpetrator of the predicate offense in avoiding punishment. The term "funds" encompasses various assets and economic resources, whether tangible or intangible, that can be used to obtain goods or services. It includes electronic, digital, and crypto assets.The AML Laws apply when illegal activities are processed to make them appear legitimate. Therefore in order to avoid fines institutions should adhere to the required risk analysis and due diligence policies and procedures as per the regulator. At the federal level, UAE's law enforcement apparatus, comprising the police, public prosecution, and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), collaborates to investigate money laundering crimes. These authorities wield investigatory powers, enabling them to monitor accounts, records, and documents held by third parties, access computer systems, and gather evidence.Individuals found guilty of money laundering may face imprisonment ranging from one to ten years and/or fines ranging from AED100,000 to AED5 million. For companies, fines can range from AED500,000 to AED50 million. Additional penalties may involve suspending a company's operations or revoking its license. Aggravating factors, such as abusing professional influence, committing crimes through non-profit organizations or organized criminal groups, or having a history of offenses, can lead to even more severe penalties. Foreign nationals convicted of money laundering may face deportation, depending on the severity of the offense. Failure to report suspicious transactions or "tipping off" individuals under investigation can result in imprisonment or fines. These measures reinforce the importance of cooperation in combating financial crimes. Upon conviction, the court has the authority to confiscate the funds, proceeds, and assets linked to the crime or an equivalent amount from the perpetrator's assets if the proceeds cannot be directly seized. While UAE's AML laws do not prescribe civil penalties, individuals and entities subject to AML compliance requirements may face civil liability for failing to meet these obligations. Additionally, civil claims for compensation for damages may follow a final and binding criminal judgment. In conclusionThe UAE's stringent AML laws reflect the nation's commitment to combat money laundering effectively. By understanding these regulations, individuals and businesses can navigate the financial landscape with greater awareness and responsibility, contributing to a more secure financial environment in the UAE.Any regulatory misconduct concerning AML and CTF is not and will not be taken lightly by the authorities, therefore we advise you to appoint lawyers and expert consultants to thoroughly review all the systems you have in place in order to ensure that they merge with the regulators transparency and integrity goals. In short your systems must be considered strong enough to pass their audit which will be searching in details for any operation malpractice. ALKETBI TOUCH: ALKETBI team is highly skilled and frequently provides legal assistance specializing in these kinds of money laundering cases in the UAE. The multitude of metrics under which fall the money laundering allegation are well-known to our team. Embezzlement of funds and financial transactions inconsistencies to laundering of money and loan/mortgage fraud, we have been able to guide and support our clients when they were charged by a criminal conviction. Let us know.
Following many cases reported by the police and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, it is clear that counterfeit foreign currencies are being sold online via a wild usage of the social networks. In this article we raise your awareness so that avoid to be hooked to delusional promises. Dubai: Social Media is considered as a great tool to expand your brand, however it is also used by individuals and organizations to attract innocent people. One of these ways is selling fake foreign currencies online at “cheaper rates”. There are two categories of scams. · The first category includes selling fake currencies in exchange of real cash notes · The second category use real money, however the source of this real money is apprehensive it includes an offer more commonly known as “Black Money Scam” which promises you a fatty percentage once the notes are clean from their marks.If you want to purchase foreign currencies, you will definitely search for the rates on the internet; the easiest option is to search for conversion rate and have an indication for a certain currency pair However, you might come across an Advertisement that will offer you a major discount on the conversion rates. Stay Alert! This is a full-fledged SCAM. If the offer is too good to be true, it probably is! Now once you hit the button on that ad, you are redirected to fill in your name and contact number, after which they will contact you, asking you to meet in some place (not an office) and provided you accepted the transaction and received the “CURRENCIES” it is already too late, once you come to understand that these are FAKE. We advise you to avoid pressing on these types of ads especially when you have an indication of the currency paid you wish to exchange, and if yet not convinced, you should be at the time they offered to meet in some random place. You should immediately report the incident to the local police, give the number they called from and most probably help catching these thieves by all means. The other scams are far more dangerous as it is a full-fledged crime! These cons may, by some dubious ways, be able to convince you of a great deal whereby you will be invited to visit some premises, where actually you will test one chunk of money of that currency you are searching for and you will be requested/allowed to use whatever detector you may have. The notes may be real, but you will see it marked and then they will try to convince you to buy certain types of chemicals, which will remove these marks then you will be able to use it. Obviously they will give you more than half of the total amount available. Stay alert and raise the red flag immediately! Given all the above, refuse categorically to deal with any suspicious offering and immediately report to the police, give accurate description of the phone contact number, individuals you met with, their faces, the place, the surroundings, the voices, all what you have noticed, their gender, their age bracket, their nationality, etc… As a final thought, if you need to purchase foreign currencies for whatsoever reason, we urge you to head to any registered exchange house in the UAE, bargain and buy from there. Do not fall a victim of lack of knowledge as the law does not cover ignorance. Stay Safe by solely engaging with licensed institutions!ALKETBI TOUCH: Our team frequently provides legal assistance and advice on criminal cases and has previously on several similar cases. In the event you believe you have been ripped off your money or you became a victim of a similar case, let us know we will be happy to assist.
There are few major regulatory changes that happened in 2023 which aimed to support professionals in their business and daily personal. Oman: On 4 June 2023, the Central Bank of Oman has issued Circular FM 41 allowing all Finance and Leasing Companies (FLCs) to conduct additional business activities and has also amended some existing conditions as applicable to authorized activities as follows: The main changes and or additions to the authorized activities: 1. Exchange Reserve on Foreign Currency Borrowings: FLCs will be exempted to create an exchange reserve of 20%, in the event the foreign currency borrowings - in excess of 40% of net worth - is in United States Dollars (USD) or in any other currency, where the exchange rate risk is hedged. 2. Investments: FLCs are allowed to invest in rated corporate bonds listed in Muscat Stock Exchange, at the condition of a maximum of 10% of its net worth. However, FLCs will not be able to invest in any corporate bonds issued by any related parties or by borrower companies. 3. Working hours: The new CBO allows the FLCs to perform a change in their business hours at their own discretion, without conflict of any instructions under the labor law. The FLC Branches may operate on all calendar days of the year, without applying to receive the CBO’s approval. Some other conditions also applies as mentioned in the Circular. 4. Accepting Deposits: FLCs will be able to accept deposits from corporates only; with a minimum deposit of OMR 5,000; in Omani Riyal; and for a minimum period of three (3) months and maximum period of sixty months and will not be repayable on demand, to include the renewal of deposits, subject to the fact that the total deposits with the FLC will not exceed its net worth and that the liabilities of the depositors, to include the deposits will not exceed five times of the net worth of the corporate; and that the corporate deposits are not being eligible for coverage under the Bank Deposit Insurance Scheme and the same will be notified to the depositors. 5. Lending Scope: The FLC lending activity has broadened under the new Circular as follows: a) Provision of finance to commercial projects and provide loans to the developers for development of real estate projects (inclusive of residential units) at the condition that the total real estate lending will not exceed 50% of the FLC net worth, and without having a centric exposure to a single customer not to exceed 10% of the FLC net worth and their aggregate exposure to the Connected Counterparty and Related Part will not exceed 25% of the FLC net worth; b) Provide unsecured Personal Finance to individuals subject to the following: a. the monthly net salary is less than OMR 1,000 with a maximum Debt Burden Ration of 50% (to these customers who do not have home loans) and 60% (for the clients already having existing home loans); b. maximum tenor of 7 years; c. the purpose of loan should not be linked to a business activity; d. top-up of personal loan will be authorized only after 12 months of satisfactory conduct or after that 50% of the existing loan is settled or if the loan was not fully sanctioned as per its eligibility; and e. the total of FLC personal loan portfolio including both secured and unsecured, will not exceed 50% of the total FLC lending by FLC Both Secured and unsecured Working Capital Facilities will be considered against the FLC own customer deposits, to be subjected solely to the maximum of the deposit amount. ALKETBI TOUCH: Our team frequently provides legal assistance and advice on all GCC regulations, in the event you need to have a deeper understanding and chat about related matters, let us know à
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has clarified the regulations surrounding the issuance of virtual or physical payment cards. According to the DFSA, these activities fall under the category of Providing Money Services and require authorization. Arranging and Advising on Money Services, as outlined in Rule 2.32.1(1) of the DFSA's Rulebook, includes assisting individuals in obtaining debit cards and providing advice on using Money Services providers.Arranging for someone to receive Money Services involves introducing them to Money Services Providers, helping them with application processes, and negotiating terms related to Money Services. This also applies to facilitating the issuance of cards on behalf of external financial institutions.Engaging in these activities without DFSA authorization is a breach of the Financial Services Prohibition and the Financial Promotions Prohibition. Unauthorized firms must cease these activities and obtain proper authorization if they wish to resume them.Consumers are advised to consult the DFSA's public register, which lists regulated firms and authorized individuals. This ensures dealing with legitimate entities.If there are concerns about the authenticity of correspondence or documents purportedly from the DIFC, DFSA, or regulated firms, individuals can contact the DIFC or use the DFSA's complaints function.
The Law No 23 of 2022 (“New Law”) amended some clauses in Central Bank Law No 14 of 2018(“Central Bank Law”). This Amendment come into effect on 2/1/2023. This Law amended the following existing provisions of the law: • Article 69 on Application for license and its extension of its scope and • Article 121 on Protection of customers of licensed financial institutions. This Amendment also added New Articles: • 121 bis on guarantees of credit facilities as well as • 124 bis 1- Application for licensing the financial infrastructure system or expansion of its scope along with • 124 bis 2 which talks about deciding such licensing and expansion of scope. Clause 2 of Article 121 is the most important clause that might have an impact on the civil cases filed by the banks as according to the article, the financial institution must ensure that there are sufficient securities when they provide finance to individuals (natural persons) or sole establishments. A case filed against any individual or sole establishment may be rejected by the court if the financial institution fails to obtain sufficient securities, this is more concerning because the Law, does not define what constitutes as “Sufficient Securities” It is Important for the Banks and the Financial Institutions to adhere to Article 121 Clause 2, as it implies that court can reject a case in case of non-adherence. This is can already be seen in Abu Dhabi court starting from 2nd January 2023, as they have started lifting Travel Ban in execution cases citing the reason that the bank or financial institution failed to obtain “sufficient securities” under Article 121. It will be interesting to see how “Sufficient Funds” will be defined either due to court’s decision or resolutions issued by the ministry.
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