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While not new, AI is one of the key drivers of change and could boost productivity and cut costs. The use of distributed ledger technology is creating new products and services such as central bank digital currencies that could bring the unbanked to the financial mainstream. And the use of biometrics authentication promises to enhance the security available to users. While quantum computing remains beyond the next decade, it could have wide-ranging benefits to financial institutions but also leave the sector exposed to a higher level of cyberattacks.

Further to our January 2024 client alert, the anticipated amendments to the Enforcement Decree of the Financial Services and Capital Markets Act (“FSCMA Enforcement Decree”) have been adopted by the Korean government cabinet on 27 February 2024 and promulgated on 5 March 2024. The amendments to the FSCMA Enforcement Decree are therefore effective as of 5 March 2024.

As of 5 March 2024, domestic employees of multinational companies who have acquired shares under a stock-based compensation program may sell such shares without the involvement of a Korean broker and may deposit proceeds from the sale of shares into an account with an overseas financial institution. For any shares sold/funds deposited prior to this date, the previous restrictions applied and these transactions could therefore remain problematic if they did not comply with the restrictions.

From governments to private investors, big pharma to biotechs, organizations inside and outside the region are reimagining healthcare and life sciences to improve access, outcomes and affordability. This requires capital investment, collaboration and change at levels rarely seen before. In our digital campaign, we explore this dynamic through two main themes and identify six key market opportunities.

Effective on 25 March 2024, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (“SET”) updated the requirements for acquisition, by a listed company or its subsidiaries, of the assets of a non-listed company (“Backdoor Listing”), and the requirements for the listing of securities of a company formed by amalgamation between a listed company and non-listed company (“Relisting”). These revisions aim to strengthen the consideration process and the required qualifications of companies proceeding with Backdoor Listing and Relisting, in order to maintain the same standards comparable to a new listing.

On 12 March 2024, the Cabinet approved in principle the draft Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (No..), B.E. (“New Alcoholic Beverage Bill”) as proposed by the Ministry of Public Health. The New Alcoholic Beverage Bill has now been forwarded to the Office of the Council of State for further consideration.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to boost intra-African trade by more than 81 percent in the next decade. To ensure such advantages are obtained, a number of AfCFTA Protocols have been developed to facilitate sustainable investment and harmonize policy and regulations across African Union member states, including a Protocol on Investment. The Investment Protocol provides the continent with a clear set of guidelines and principles to expedite financing and investment across the continent’s new free trade zone. With trade finance considered a critical enabler of cross-border investment in Africa, the Investment Protocol is also assisting development finance institutions, increasingly important in bridging Africa’s trade finance gap, to more seamlessly support such investment.

On 7 March 2024 at the American Bar Association’s 39th National Institute on White Collar Crime, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced several new initiatives the Department of Justice is implementing to address concerns around the use of AI in federal criminal activity along with potential corporate compliance failures that might facilitate the misuse of AI.

On 25 March 2024, the National Securities Commission (CNV) issued General Resolution No. 994/2024, which regulates the Registry of Virtual Asset Service Providers in line with the provisions of Section 38 of the recently amended Law No. 25246 (“Law”). This Law had incorporated virtual asset service providers (VASPs) as AML/FT-regulated entities.