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News February 2024

Kinstellar reinforces its capabilities in Uzbekistan with the appointment of Kamilla Khamraeva as Counsel

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that Kamilla Khamraeva has joined the firm’s Tashkent office as Counsel. Kamilla focuses on Banking & Finance and the Energy and Infrastructure sectors. Kamilla is an experienced lawyer with a strong track record implementing some of the major and most sophisticated projects in Uzbekistan in recent years. She has also been involved in regional initiatives overseeing mandates in Turkmenistan, collaborating with local firms/lawyers on the ground. During her legal career she has advised the IFC, ADB, EBRD, Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit, Credit Suisse, MUFG, SACE and others in various transactions. Kamilla often works closely with lenders on structuring bespoke transactions to

Insights February 2024

Provisional agreement reached on the Ecodesign Regulation and its impact on the fashion sector

As of 5 December 2023, the Council and European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement regarding a „Regulation establishing a Framework for setting ecodesign requirements for sustainable products“. The upcoming EU sustainability legislation is crucial as it affects a substantial part of the Consumer & Retail sector. It is of particular importance in the field of fashion and luxury industry as the points which the provisional agreement addresses have been among the hot topics of recent years in this sector. As we are closely monitoring the legislation process, click here or on the image below to explore the overview of key points of the adopted provisional agreement.

Insights February 2024

A year in review: A brief analysis of the Serbian banking sector in 2023

As of the close of 2022, Serbia's banking sector faced challenges amid global economic conditions. The year 2023 brought its distinct set of obstacles, with a noteworthy slowdown in global inflation compared to the last quarter of 2022. However, the undeniable focal point is the war in Ukraine, triggering a faster inflationary spiral due to increased energy and food prices. Key mergers and acquisitions In 2020, Komercijalna Banka, the largest state-owned Serbian bank, was acquired by Slovenian NLB Banka, leading to the merger of NLB Banka and Komercijalna Banka into NLB Komercijalna Banka. Vojvodjanska Banka was acquired by Hungarian OTP Bank, followed by OTP Bank's acquisition of Societe Generale Bank. In 2021

Insights February 2024

Google ends geofence warrants

Location data has become an integral part of everyday digital life, providing easier navigation through various digital tools, such as maps. Despite the importance of making navigation easier, the need to preserve data privacy, such as location data, has been cast to the shadows. In light of this misuse of our private data, Google is finally set to implement a ground-breaking update for its widely used mapping service, Google Maps. The update relates to a change in the way Google stores data: instead of on the cloud, data will be stored on users’ devices. The anticipated update aims to prevent authorities from accessing users’ location history data through geofence warrants, which have long been considered controversial

Insights February 2024

Significant changes envisaged to grid connection for new power-generation capacities in Romania

The Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (“ANRE”) has announced important amendments to the rules for connecting new power-generation capacities to the public network. On 1 February 2024, ANRE released for public consultation a draft order (“Draft Order”) regarding the approval of the Methodology for capacity allocation of new power-generation capacities (the “Methodology”) as well as other amendments to ANRE Order no. 59/2013 approving the public grid connection regulation (the “Connection Regulation”). Comments to the Draft Order may be submitted to ANRE by 1 March 2024. The main changes introduced under the Draft Order concern (i) a change of the grid connection process applicable to power-generation

Deals February 2024

Kinstellar advises banking consortium on Telekom Srbija’s tower deal

Kinstellar’s team in Serbia, together with global law firm Paul Hastings, has successfully advised Deutsche Bank, Alpha Bank, UniCredit, and UniCredit Bank Serbia on a EUR 205 million financing for global investment firm Actis in relation to their acquisition of a carved-out tower portfolio from Telekom Srbija, a leading telecommunications operator in the Central and Eastern European (“CEE”) region. The carved-out portfolio is comprised of approximately 1,800 macro towers across Serbia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, and Montenegro.   Kinstellar’s team, led by Petar Kojdić (Partner) and Mina Srećković (Managing Associate), played a pivotal role advising on the financing aspects of this transaction. Our

Insights February 2024

Recent regulatory developments regarding the use of body cameras in Hungary

The use of body cameras by law enforcement (both police forces and local government) and private security services started almost two decades ago and has been becoming more and more ubiquitous globally. It is of course a challenge in terms of privacy, as it is not only a relatively new technology where the social discourse has not had the time to form a common societal position, but it is also very invasive as in most cases people interacting with the wearer do not have the choice to use or not use the camera system. National and international authorities are just starting to form their opinion and issue guidelines on the use of body cameras, that is why it is notable that the Hungarian data protection authority

Deals January 2024

Kinstellar’s Kazakhstan office advises Kaspi.kz on historic NASDAQ IPO

Kinstellar's Kazakhstan office, a prominent legal advisor in the region, played a crucial role in guiding Kaspi.kz, a leading financial technology company headquartered in Kazakhstan, through its successful upsized U.S. Initial Public Offering (IPO) on January 23, 2024. The offering, featuring the sale of 11,300,000 American depositary shares (ADSs), raised an impressive USD 1.04 billion. This significant achievement builds upon previous successes in 2020, when the Kinstellar team acted as the Kazakhstan legal counsel involved in the simultaneous Kazakhstan and London dual offering/listing of Kaspi.kz. Kaspi.kz, originally established as a bank in 2008, has evolved into a fintech powerhouse, providing a comprehensive

News January 2024

Kinstellar expands its Corporate M&A practice in Bucharest with a new senior hire

Kinstellar is pleased to announce that Claudia Popescu has joined the firm’s Bucharest office as Special Counsel in its Corporate M&A practice. Claudia will strengthen the office’s capabilities and will generate further support for the team in responding to the growing need for corporate and M&A projects in Romania. Claudia Popescu is specialized in M&A, Corporate and Private Equity and has more than 20 years of experience in strategically advising reputable companies on acquisitions and divestments, mergers, intra-group restructurings, regulatory and commercial matters, public offerings of securities, private equity, privatisations and other investment-related matters, including in regulated sectors.

Deals January 2024

Kinstellar advises Evelixon Trading in two transactions in the Serbian wind power sector

Kinstellar advised Evelixon Trading Limited on the acquisition of a 100% share in the project company Grand Wind Park from Windvision Serbia Holding. The project, known as the WN NBT WIND 1 wind farm, is currently in the early stages of development. Located in the city of Pančevo, the farm is planned to have an installed power capacity of 120 MW. Evelixon Trading Limited has a few projects in their portfolio in Serbia in the early stages of development or nearing "ready-to-build" status. Kinstellar’s team provided comprehensive legal advice throughout the transaction – performing a legal due diligence, drafting the transaction documents - including the SPA, and assisting with the signing and closing processes.

Insights January 2024

Hungarian Government's decree on reducing food inflation to enter into force

The Hungarian government's decree on measures to combat the so-called “shrinkflation” will enter into force on 1 February 2024. “Shrinkflation” refers to the hidden raising of prices by reducing the size of products. The measures apply to pre-packaged products that are sold by retailers in one or more sizes in a uniform appearance. The new measures primarily affect convenience store retailers with a net turnover of more than HUF 1 billion, but also expressly impose obligations on manufacturers. Moreover, the obligations of manufacturers forms the basis of compliance. The manufacturer (or the first distributor/wholesaler in Hungary) is obliged to inform both the retailer and the National Food Chain Safety

Insights January 2024

New legislation in the real estate sector in Hungary

With the adoption in 2023 of Act C on Hungarian Architecture (the "New Legislation"), Hungary’s parliament amended several laws affecting the real estate sector, some of which entered into force on 30 December 2023. At the same time, the New Legislation repeals certain laws, or provisions thereof, including Act LIII on the Acceleration and Simplification of the Implementation of Investments of Special Importance to the National Economy (2006) (the “Previous Legislation”). Among the new changes, special attention should be given to the rules on prioritised investment projects. Below we provide a brief overview of several important provisions. A construction works project and administrative matters relating