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Client updates / Capital Markets Regulation
As part of a broad change led by the Ministry of Finance to increase competition in the banking and financial services market, a memorandum for the Provision of Financial Information Services Law was recently published for public comments.
The ISA's commission for examining the regulation necessary for the advancement of digital markets published a report that focuses on platforms for the issuing, trading, and clearing of securities that make use of blockchain technology.
Regulatory resistance and legal proceedings by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are hindering the realization of one of the greatest promises of blockchain technology – the transfer of cryptographic currencies and assets between users without an intermediary.
The Israel Securities Authority recently published a staff position that has material implications on the hedge fund sector in Israel and on the investor public, including the mode of incorporation of hedge funds and the limit on the number of investors in a fund.
On April 7, 2019, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) published a proposed amendment to the Stock Exchange Regulations, whereby the barriers to the entry of new TASE members will be removed and for the first time Israeli entities will be allowed entry into the stock exchange even if they operate exclusively for nostro.
Applicants who submit a permit application on or before May 30, 2019, may continue to offer brokerage under the previous ISA regime until receiving a decision on their application.
The committee appointed by the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) to examine regulation of cryptocurrency offerings to the public has published the outline of its regulatory policy in a final report submitted to the ISA chairman. The committee recommended focusing on regulatory models that offer structural flexibility.
The Israel Securities Authority published an announcement to investors with various emphases about public companies operating in the medical cannabis market. Its announcement calls investors’ attention to several parameters they should consider when deciding whether to invest in securities of public companies operating, or expecting to begin operating, in the medical cannabis market.
Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the US, received approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to list for trading digital currencies considered to be securities (security tokens). Coinbase has thus become the first US federally-regulated platform for trading security tokens.
This month, an Israeli district court deliberated a motion for an interlocutory order against Bank Hapoalim. The order would obligate the bank to accept the transfer into a customer's account of money that constituted proceeds from a sale of digital coins transacted outside of Israel.
Recently, after initial approval by the Finance Committee, the Knesset has passed a temporary order to the Income Tax Law with regards to deduction of issue expenses. According to the law, the expenses related to issuing the shares of companies and partnership participation units on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) will now be recognized as expenses for tax purposes.
In a precedent-setting ruling handed down recently in the Tel Aviv District Court a motion to certify an action as a class action, which was filed against Tower Semiconductor Ltd. and its officers, was dismissed in limine based on the rationale that US law applies to the company in relation to the matter of liability, since Tower is also listed for trading in the United States.
It is not uncommon for Israeli incorporated companies to seek investments abroad. In many cases, such investments are done through public offerings on international stock exchanges. Securities issued by Israeli companies are traded on the NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange and a variety of other exchanges, including Australia. These situations, which make perfect sense from a business perspective, give rise to interesting and sometimes quite complex legal issues.
An amendment to the Securities Regulations (Periodic and Immediate Reports) was promulgated in March 2017, whereby small reporting corporations shall be able to publish their financial statements on a bi-annual basis, provided that they have not issued bonds that are being held by the public. In this regard, a “small corporation” is defined in the said regulations.
As part of the Israel Security Authority’s (ISA) measures to relax certain existing regulations, it has promulgated the Securities Order (Amendment to the First Addendum to the Law) regarding the definition of a “classified investor.” This amendment will come into effect on March 25, 2016.