The global frenzy around cryptocurrencies has seen prices fluctuate dramatically over the past year, leading to a growing interest among Malaysian investors. The Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) has repeatedly maintained its position that digital currencies are not legal tender in Malaysia, and has advised the public to be cautious of the risks that come with them.
What does this mean for investors and firms involved in ICOs?
ICOs come in different sizes and forms. They also offer different risk exposures to different business models across different jurisdictions and their legal systems. The rapid development of ICOs and the rapid expansion of cryptocurrency has caused concern amongst policymakers and supervisors. A key driving force for that concern is that much of the activity lies beyond the existing ‘regulatory perimeter’ and thus presently unregulated or open to market participants who may not be fully cognizant of their regulatory obligations.
Baker McKenzie recently issued this client alert, which provides an overview of ESMA’s two short ICO Warning Statements released on 13 November 2017. It discusses how the two statements fit in to the string of supervisory communications of the national supervisory authorities that make up the EU’s European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS). Finally, it considers the impact on cryptocurrency stakeholders and the future of ICOs.
More information on ESMA’s ICO warnings is available on bakermckenzie.com at this link.
Thailand is experiencing a significant increase in investments made by the corporate venture capital (CVC) arms of leading Thai companies. These companies operate in various sectors including financial institutions, telecommunications, real estate and petrochemicals. Many are large conglomerates.
The dominance of CVCs does not mean that there are no pure venture capital (VC) firms in Thailand. The Thai Venture Capital Association was established in 1994 to support the development of the VC ecosystem in Thailand. Currently, there are a handful of VC firms that are very active in the markets and their investments play an important role in growing Thailand’s VC industry. Aside from investment opportunities and market awareness that drive the growth of the sector, legal and regulatory development (or the lack of it) is also a key deal driver.Read more…
Baker McKenzie’s latest Cross-Border IPO Index shows that there were no cross-border IPOs from African companies in the first six months of 2017, the first time in five years this has happened.
The Index also shows that five companies in Africa have raised a total of USD 512 million so far in 2017 from domestic listings, up from the eight companies that raised USD 492 million in H1 2016, but down from the USD 596 million raised from seven domestic deals in H1 2015. Three of five the companies that went public in H1 2017 are South African, while the remaining two are Egyptian and Tanzanian.