Event: Hdeel Abdelhady to Speak on Managing Money Laundering, Trade Sanctions, and Corruption Risks

MassPoint’s Founder and Principal, Hdeel Abdelhady, will speak at a program on managing money laundering, trade sanctions, and corruption risks in business. The program, entitled “Know Your Business Partners: A Must to Managing Money Laundering, Trade Sanctions, and Corruption Risks,” will take place on November 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C. at the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Fall 2017 Meeting.      

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World Bank Accountability Act of 2017

World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 Would Condition Certain U.S. Appropriations on World Bank’s Anti-Corruption and Counter-Violent Extremism Performance and Authorize Trump Administration’s Request to Reduce Funding to IDA  On July 25, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee will meet to markup H.R. 3326, the “World Bank Accountability Act of 2017.” H.R. 3326 was introduced in the House on July 20, 2017 by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. To date, the bill has no co-sponsors. The stated purpose of the World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 is to “increase accountability, combat corruption, and strengthen management effectiveness at the World Bank.” Among other… Read More

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Maryland Banking Regulation: Commercial Bank Directors State Residency

Commercial banks in Maryland will soon have an added degree of latitude in selecting their directors. On April 18, 2017, Governor Hogan approved Maryland Senate Bill 206, Financial Institutions – Qualifications of Directors of Commercial Banks – Residency (the “Amendment”). The Amendment, which repeals and reenacts, with amendments, Section 3-403 of the Maryland Code, Financial Institutions Article, provides that “[a]t least 30% of the directors of a commercial bank shall be residents of this State.” The Amendment, which takes effect on October 1, 2017, will decrease, as of its effective date, the percentage of commercial bank directors that must be residents of Maryland. Current law requires that a “majority” of commercial bank directors be… Read More

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State-Owned Enterprises and Anti-Corruption Enforcement

Anti-Corruption Enforcement and State-Owned Enterprises: Understand Unique Risks and Incentivize Compliance State-owned enterprises (SOEs, including sovereign wealth funds) are prominent players in international business. Given their ownership, SOEs have garnered scrutiny for their lack of transparency and heightened anti-corruption and anti-money laundering risk, as have individual SOE executives and other personnel who qualify as Politically Exposed Persons. In connection with commercial activities, SOEs are not protected in most cases by sovereign immunity. Thus, SOEs can, like their privately-owned counterparts, be subject to foreign legal processes. Given the greater scrutiny around SOEs and some of the high profile enforcement actions involving them directly or indirectly (for example, the 1MDB case), anti-corruption… Read More

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Dana Gas Deems its Own Sukuk Unlawful: Parsing the Dana Gas Statement

Dana Gas Declares its Own Sukuk “Unlawful:” Issues, Questions, and Observations [1]   June 18, 2017 | Author: Hdeel Abdelhady* As discussed briefly in this June 16 MassPoint blog post, Dana Gas PJSC, the Sharjah, UAE-based gas producer, has unilaterally declared “unlawful” sukuk[2] instruments issued by the company in 2013 [3] (through, as issuer, Dana Gas Sukuk Limited, a Jersey public company with limited liability). This post discusses some of the Shari’ah, UAE law, and factual issues triggered by the Dana Gas statement on the unlawfulness of its sukuk. Additional commentaries on the Dana Gas sukuk may follow. Parsing Dana Gas’ Statement that Sukuk is “Unlawful”: Shari’ah, UAE Law, and Factual Questions… Read More

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After Election 2016: 5 Legal and Business Issues to Watch in 2017

Download Infographic The dismantling of Obama-era laws and regulations, broader deregulation, and economic and political nationalism were and remain themes of the 2016 U.S. Election and presidential transition period. Donald Trump and members of the incoming Republican-controlled Congress have singled out for repeal or significant modification the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, along with trade, immigration, foreign affairs, and environmental laws, regulations, and policies. If taken, these actions will not only effect legal changes in specific areas, they will create legal and policy voids that may be filled by U.S. states and localities, foreign governments and multilateral and non-governmental organizations,… Read More Continue Reading

New Rules of Business Conduct Regulation Require Fresh Risk and Compliance Thinking

Traditionally businesses have looked to contractual terms, industry groups, legislatures, regulators and other conventional authorities to identify and manage commercial, legal, and compliance requirements and risks. In today’s interconnected, information rich, and reputation-conscious business world, this model is outdated and insufficient. It creates blind spots that can expose businesses to commercial, legal, and compliance risks from sources that traditional models ignore, misunderstand, or underestimate. Democratization of Business Conduct Standards In the same ways that the internet and social media have enabled non- “establishment” actors to communicate and amplify political messages, these and other tools of the information/new media age have enabled non-traditional actors to effectively influence business conduct standards. As… Read More

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Entrepreneurial Governance Creates Value for Emerging Markets Enterprises

Money is Not Enough Emerging Markets Enterprises Need Entrepreneurial Governance to Achieve Strategic Objectives in a Changing Environment Changing Economic and Operating Conditions Compel Strong Governance Absolute and relative economic gains in emerging markets in recent years have propelled many private and state-owned Emerging Markets Enterprises (EMEs) to the forefront of global business. With cash and willingness to spend and take on risk in a financial crisis-stricken world, many EMEs expanded, while many developed economy enterprises retreated.  Today, changing economic conditions—e.g., waning investment in emerging markets, sustained commodities price and demand declines, expected U.S. interest rates rises—may blunt EMEs’ financial edge.  As relative financial strength declines, strong enterprise governance will… Read More Continue Reading