Author

Mazen Boustany

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The most noticeable development in the Gulf region has been the issuance of new commercial companies laws in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which prompted the market regulators in both these countries to issue new regulations to comply with the new laws.

The UAE new commercial companies law, which has been expected for at least 10 years, has come into force on 1 July 2015. It has brought some important new developments in relation to capital markets as it lowered the free float to 30% (versus 55% previously). It also introduced concepts such as of employee stock ownership plans, strategic shareholders, conversion of debts into shares, underwriters, bookbuilding, electronic subscription and others.