The sustainability of green financing

Maples Group acted for Xiaomi Corporation in connection with Xiaomi’s offering of US$800,000,000 2.875% Senior Bonds Due 2031 and US$400,000,000 4.100% Senior Green Bonds Due 2051 issued by Xiaomi Best Time International Limited, incorporated in Hong Kong and unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Xiaomi Corporation, a company controlled through weighted voting rights and incorporated in the Cayman Islands and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The green bonds offering marked Xiaomi’s initial foray into the world of green financing and more broadly Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). The proceeds of the green bonds are earmarked for ‘Eligible Projects’ within Xiaomi’s finance framework aimed at positive environmental and social benefits. Their framework follows the green bonds and loan guidelines of the International Capital Markets Association.

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Updates to European facilities agent requirements

In July 2019, the European Commission’s new framework for cross-border distributions of investment funds entered into force and will apply in each EU Member state by 2 August 2021. The overall framework represents an overhaul of the current rules on cross-border distribution of both UCITS and alternative investment funds (AIFs).

New Irish legislation on individual accountability

On 27 July 2021, the General Scheme of the Central Bank (Individual Accountability) Bill was published. The bill will introduce a new legislative framework to improve individual accountability in the financial sector, known collectively as the “Individual Accountability Framework”.

European Commission replies on SFDR priority issues

In January of this year, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESA) issued a letter to the European Commission seeking interpretative clarity on certain priority issues of Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on sustainability related disclosures in the financial services sector (SFDR). The European Commission has now published (26 July 2021) its long-awaited reply to the ESA letter in a Q&A format.

New EU rules in force: pre-marketing and de-registration of UCITs and AIFs

From 2 August 2021, a new EU Directive and Regulation on the cross-border distribution of collective investment funds are required to be implemented in EU Member States. Among other things, the new rules amend AIFMD with the objective of harmonising the ability for EU AIFMs to distribute AIFs across the EU, including by introducing a new regime for ‘pre-marketing’.

Cayman Islands: Private Funds Fund Annual Return form released

On 30 June 2021, the Cayman Islands Government published the International Tax Co-operation (Economic Substance) (Amendment of Schedule) Regulations, 20211. The main change to the regulations is the addition of partnerships to the definition of a ‘relevant entity’. The categories of relevant activities and exempted activities remain unchanged.

Latest Briefings

Portugal: Rent updating coefficient to apply in 2022

Under article 24 of Law 6/2006 of 27 February, which approved the New Urban Renting Rules, and article 11(5) of Decree-Law 294/2009 of 13 October, which approved the New Rural Renting Rules, the National Statistics Institute is responsible for calculating the annual rent update coefficient applicable to urban and rural leases. This coefficient must then be published in a notice appearing in the official gazette, Diário da República, no later than 30 October of each year.

How will costs be treated in a no-fault divorce?

At the end of this month, court fees are increasing. The change is the result of a consultation led by the Ministry of Justice earlier in the year which considered whether court fees should be increased by inflation.

Limited network exemption under PSD2 – EBA consults on Draft Guidelines

In summer 2021 the European Banking Authority published Draft Guidelines on the limited network exemption under the Payment Service Directive 2 for consultation. The Draft Guidelines are meant to foster supervisory convergence amongst the EU’s national competent regulators.

Energy Innovators Roundtable series: Reshaping regulation to recognize the imperative for technological change

Whether they like it or not, energy regulators are the new gatekeepers of the technology shift that is needed to meet Canada’s carbon reduction goals. This will require significant and near-term changes to the construct under which Canada’s utilities have traditionally been regulated. Traditional regulation doesn’t incent utilities to retire technology simply because something better has come along. Should regulation transition from “used and useful” to “better”? Join Gowling WLG for the first 2021 roundtable in the Energy Innovators Roundtable series.

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