Weekly Client Alert # 7

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BILLS IN PARLIAMENT

 

Securities Data

It has been proposed to provide the RA’s law enforcement agencies, including the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Development and State Revenue Committee, access to the data systems of the depository. In particular, official information, types and statuses of securities accounts, shareholder names and any information available to foreign nominees. The bill has passed the first reading.

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Property of Illegal Origin

From now on, property that is of illegal origin (where the owner of which is not able to prove the legality of its acquisition) will be confiscated by the state. The bill has been fully adopted by Parliament.

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Consumer Credit Sector

It has been proposed that in the case of signing a credit agreement by hand or in the case of signing the electronic agreement by printing electronically, the consumer realizes the amount of the actual annual interest rate stipulated by the agreement.

It is also has been proposed that the Central Bank Council establishes mandatory requirements and conditions for consumer loans for up to three months and up to AMD 300,000, based on the criteria of consumer creditworthiness, the ratio of consumer debt to income and creditworthiness. The bill has been passed the first reading.

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Energy Sector

From January 1, 2021, legal entities operating in the field of energy will be obliged to identify their real owners. The bill has been fully adopted by Parliament.

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GOVERNMENT DECREES

 

The Eleventh Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of Coronavirus

In order to alleviate the social difficulties caused by the spread of coronavirus, the government of Armenia will provide support to those whose natural gas expenses in February 2020 did not exceed 10,000 AMD, and the electricity expenses 5,000 AMD by paying 50% of the

expenses for natural gas and electricity.

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The Twelveth Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of Coronavirus

In order to alleviate the social difficulties caused by the spread of coronavirus, the government of Armenia will provide support to those whose natural gas expenses in February 2020 did not exceed 10,001-30,000 AMD, and the electricity expenses 5,001-10,000 AMD by paying 50% of the expenses for natural gas and electricity.

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The Thirteenth Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of Coronavirus

In order to alleviate the social problems caused by the spread of the coronavirus, the government of Armenia will provide assistance to families entitled to family and social benefits as of April 2020 in the amount of 50% of its allowance.

70% of the support will be provided together with the payment of the allowance in April in cash, and 30% will be transferred to the appropriate authority as a payment for the electricity used.

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Amendments in the Eighth Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of Coronavirus

Per the government’s decision, changes were made to the 8th package of measures implemented to neutralize the economic consequences of coronavirus. As part of this event, a one-time assistance is provided to private entrepreneurs and employees of the affected areas of the private sector. Currently, among the other affected areas, the following will also be included:

  • ground transport activities (route transport)
  • pre-school education (private kindergartens)
  • activities in the field of sports (sports clubs, swimming pools)
  • leisure and rest and other organized activities.

Thus, the assistance currently provided can be used by entrepreneurs and employees working in the areas mentioned above. Find more here and here

 

Amendments in the Ninth Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of Coronavirus

Per the government’s decision, changes were made to the 9th package of measures implemented to neutralize the economic consequences of coronavirus. As part of this event, one-time assistance is provided to families with children under the age of 18 who are facing social problems as a result of difficulties caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

As a result of the changes made, families will be qualified as beneficiaries of the event when a parent with a registered job as of March 12, 2020, was on leave to care for a child under the age of 3.

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Amendments in the Third Package of Measures to Neutralize The Economic Consequences of Coronavirus

Per the government’s decision, changes were made to the 3rd package of measures implemented to neutralize the economic consequences of coronavirus. As part of this event, assistance is provided to economic entities through the Investment Promotion Center (banks and credit institutions operating in the territory of the Republic of Armenia are credit service agents).

As a result of these changes, currently, the beneficiaries of the program are also economic entities

operating in the following areas:

  • pre-school education (private kindergartens),
  • sports and health organizations (sports clubs, pools)
  • leisure activities,
  • construction of buildings, civil engineering, specialized construction activities.

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CHANGES IN THE FINANCIAL SPHERE

 

The Central Bank as a Member of the Platform “Network for Greening Financial System”

Beginning April 15, the Central Bank of Armenia has officially become a rightful member of the reputable international platform “The Network for Greening Financial System.”

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Payment of Coupons in Foreign Currency

A new draft law envisages permitting payment in foreign currency coupons of bonds expressed in foreign currency, as well as transfers associated with repo agreements and derivatives. The Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Currency Regulation and Currency Control was introduced to the National Assembly on April 14.

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Bank Secrets and Other Secret Information

Within the legislative package on confiscation of unlawfully obtained property, financial institutions will be obliged to provide the authorized body, based on a court decision, information comprising bank and insurance secrecy, as well as other confidential information protected by law. The package fully passed the second reading in the Parliament on April 14.

Find more here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here

 

Ratification of Credit Agreement

On April 17, the National Assembly ratified the Credit Agreement named “Second Additional Financing of Road Network of Essential importance” entered between the Republic of Armenia and International Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

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TAX LEGISLATION

 

Setting a New Amortization Period for Fixed Assets

The minimum amortization period for fixed assets imported or purchased by organizations is set to no less than one year. The project proposes to provide this opportunity to all economic entities, but until December 31, 2020, for investment. The draft amendments to the law have not yet been included in the agenda of the National Assembly.

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New Procedure for the Payment of Tax Obligations

It is proposed to make the payment of tax obligations in a sequence that the obligations having the earliest execution date are paid. From the amounts of these tax obligations, the amounts of all taxes and payments are first repaid, then all penalties, and then the amounts of all fines and damages. The draft amendments to the law have not yet been included in the agenda of the National Assembly.

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