Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has announced it is suing NMC Health. The case has been filed with the Emirate’s Attorney General. The case has been filed against various individuals at the hospital operator. They are suing the Bank to protect its commercial interests. ADCB has $981 million exposure to the entity. NMC is $6.6 billion in debt and it share value has fallen by more than 50% since December 2019.
Kuwait’s Commerce and Industry Ministry has announced it will ask Kuwait Municipality to allow some air conditioning outlets to open. The aim is to meet the anticipated demand as temperatures start to rise in the country. If some outlets are opened, the technicians in those outlets will be allowed to work providing the breakdowns are permanent and it would be difficult to postpone the maintenance work. The Ministry has also announced Kuwait Ministerial Decision No. 96/2020 will be extended for another three months. The Ministerial Decision relates to distributing subsidy items for ration card holders and personal identification cards, like civil and security cards. Elsewhere, the Interior Ministry has announced it has asked the Municipality to allow some garages to open to repair police cars.
Oman’s Environment and Climate Affairs Ministry has announced it is investigating a video showing a driver destroying wildlife during a mountain drive. The destruction of the wildlife is a violation of the wildlife rules and the Environmental Protection Law. It was reported on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) in cooperation with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) had arrested a motorist for causing environmental damage. The Ministry has confirmed it will take legal action against anyone who tries to destroy the environment or harm the wildlife and violate Environment Protection Law.
Bahrain’s Supreme Administrative Court has upheld a decision to dismiss a civil servant who had been referred to the criminal court with a charge of receiving a bribe. The civil servant was acquitted of the charge, however, a disciplinary decision was still taken against him. The Supreme Court has said that the decision to acquit the employee in the criminal case did not prevent him from being subject to disciplinary measures and did not lift the suspicion completely. The Supreme Court added disciplinary measures were independent of other cases because each of them had its own legal system. The employee requested the Supreme Court to cancel the decision to dismiss him. He was dismissed because he had requested money from one of the service providers he was working with on some projects for a government ministry.
Following the publication last week of Ministerial Decision No. 279/2020 on employment of non-citizen employees in the private sector during the COVID-19 crisis which changed rules on transfer of employees, salary payments and recruitment, the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has published an addendum to the Decision. This addendum was referred to in Article 5 of Ministerial Decision No. 279/2020. Article 5 says companies looking to reduce the wages of a non-citizen employee temporarily during the relevant period have to conclude a ‘temporary additional appendix’ to the labour contract between the two parties, provided it expires with the expiration of the term of the contract or the period of validity of this Decision, whichever is earlier. It goes on to say the appendix can be renewed with the approval of both parties and two copies must be prepared. Both the employer and employee should keep a copy. The employer will have to submit it to the Human Resources and Emiratisation Ministry when asked to do so.
Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister has announced they have amended the Implementing Regulations of Saudi Arabia Cabinet Decision No. 649/1440. The amendments include is a clause on extraordinary circumstances which include pandemics like Coronavirus. It will ease the procurement process during times like this. They will come into force on 24 April 2020. The amendments include allowing the committee for opening the bids to open the financial bids and allow for confiscating a guarantee and revoking a contract if the contractor left before they signed the contract and following issuing a notice to them. Previously the charter only allowed for cancelling the award decision. Under the amendments, prior qualification procedures can be done for work over 50 million Riyals in value. Previously the charter permitted performing post qualification procedures if a prior one had not been completed.
We have launched a public COVID-19 News Blog, https://www.c19lexismena.com/ which provides free access to the latest legal and tax updates related to COVID-19 in the MENA region in both English and French. It has been produced by Lexis® Middle East and Lexis® Maroc.
The Kuwaiti Central Bank has issued a circular to banks requesting them not to submit their financial data for the first quarter. This circular adds banks to the list of companies that have been exempt from submitting their financial data for the first quarter and postpones it to the second quarter. The Central Bank said that all banks, except the Industrial Bank, will be able to provide their data pursuant to the provisions of Article 82 of Kuwait Law No. 32/1968 on e cash, the central bank of Kuwait, and the regulation of the banking profession and its amendments.
Bahrain’s King has approved amendments to the country’s Commercial Companies Law. Under Bahrain Law No. 6/2020, Article 284(A) of Bahrain Decree-Law No. 21/2001 will be amended to read as follows ‘Each partner shall have the right to attend the meetings of the general assembly either in person or by his proxy, provided that the proxy shall not be from among the members of the control board, the company’s manager or among the company’s employees. The special proxy shall be in writing and prepared by the company for this purpose. Each partner shall have a number of votes equal to the shares he owns in the company’. The Prime Minister and the Ministers will implement the law. It will come into force the day after it is published in the Official Gazette.
Dr Walid Alsamaani, the Justice Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, has issued directives to launch a platform for electronic auctioning which will enables customers to participate in judicial auctions without the need to attend them in person. The platform will be rolled out in Riyadh first then will be expanded to cover i other cities in the kingdom. The platform will enable courts to manage the liquidation of fixed and transferrable assets and offer them for sale electronically. Customers will be to participate in these auction directly which support access to equal opportunities.