The overriding theme of the last 12 months is that of continuing regulatory change in the private wealth arena. A sense of increasing pace and convergence in particular stand out in comparison with earlier years. The pace component is best seen in the introduction of new regimes or the updating of existing rules. The theme of convergence is based upon how centrally significant the concept of ‘beneficial ownership’ is becoming to many of the initiatives. A third strand is an increasing divergence between the European Union and the United States in this arena:
the European Union continues to force the pace on transparency, while the United States proceeds at a much more leisurely speed and gives greater weight to privacy concerns than its European neighbours.
Transfer pricing rules are, of course, a central plank in governments' fight against profit shifting, and the application and evolution of these rules will (rightly) continue to be high up the corporate tax agenda for many years to come.
The global economic upswing, which began in 2016, continues to strengthen with global GDP growth reaching 3.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 and expected to increase further in the second half of 2018. World trade growth accelerated by 4.7 per cent in 2017, following trade growth of only 1.8 per cent in 2016. This is largely driven by cyclical improvements and an increase in investment growth in developed economies.
As we noted in the Preface to last year’s edition of the Banking Litigation Law Review, banks will always be regular litigants – generally as defendants – and this year’s contribution of jurisdiction-specific chapters explains how and why.
This first edition of The Financial Technology Law Review is published at a time when most players in the finance sector are concerned about the new developments that information technology (IT), big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Hence, it is often forgotten that the use of IT in the finance sector is not new and that many applications that would come under fintech are already quite old, at least by today’s standards.
Banking regulation is a never-ending quest to balance the three major policy objectives of financial stability, consumer protection and the needs of developed economies for reliable services involving the provision and intermediation of finance. It is safe to say that the relative importance of these factors to policymakers will never be constant.
The Transport Finance Law Review is intended to provide the industry with a guide to transport finance today, in each of the key jurisdictions globally in which aircraft, rolling stock and ships are financed.
The Initial Public Offerings Law Review seeks to introduce the reader to the global IPO regulatory environment and main stock exchanges in 19 jurisdictions, providing an overview of the IPO process, regulatory and exchange requirements and key offering considerations when taking a company public in these jurisdictions.
Consumer choice for financial products and services is proliferating across global markets. The ability to reach consumers at any time on their mobile phones, tablets or other devices has helped attract substantial capital investment in consumer financial services.
Capital Markets Review addresses the comparative law aspect of our readers’ international capital markets (ICM) workload and equips them with a comparative law reference source. Globalisation and technological change mean that the transactional practice of a capital markets lawyer, wherever based, no longer enjoys the luxury, if ever it did, of focusing solely at home within the confines of a single jurisdiction.
The Islamic Finance and Markets Law Review describes the manner in which Islamic, or shariah-compliant, finance is practised in various jurisdictions throughout the world. Although each country will have variations, one of the most striking features of Islamic finance as a legal discipline is that it includes core concepts and structures that cross jurisdictional boundaries.
The importance of the asset management industry continues to grow. Nowhere is this truer than in the context of pensions, as the global population becomes larger, older and richer, and government initiatives to encourage independent pension provision continue.
The Acquisition and Leveraged Finance Review is intended to serve as a starting point in considering structuring and other issues in acquisition and leveraged finance, both generally but also particularly in cases where more than just an understanding of the reader’s own jurisdiction is necessary.