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Contents

  1. Further extension of alternative arrangements for the conduct of general meetings beyond 30 June 2021
     

  2. Changes to work arrangements for Dependant's Pass holders
     

  3. Setting up a crypto fund in Singapore
     

  4. Non-fungible tokens and their legal implications
     

  5. MAS guidelines on environmental risk management for asset managers
     

  6. SPACs in Singapore
     

  7. CNPLaw's Dispute Resolution team has contributed to the Singapore chapter in The Dispute Resolution Review for the third year

 

Further extension of alternative arrangements for the conduct of general meetings beyond 30 June 2021 

 

On 6 April 2021, the Ministry of Law ("MinLaw") announced that it will be extending the duration of the legislation that enables entities to hold meetings via electronic means ("Virtual Meetings") beyond 30 June 2021. This article discusses the extension in relation to the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings for Companies, Variable Capital Companies, Business Trusts, Unit Trusts and Debenture Holders) Order 2020 ("COVID-19 Order").

Changes to work arrangements for Dependant's Pass holders

 

The Ministry of Manpower ("MOM") announced on 3 March 2021 that for the purposes of aligning the requirements that will allow Dependant’s Pass ("DP") holders to work in Singapore with the requirements that other foreigners have to satisfy in order to work in Singapore, and consistency with the updates made to the work pass framework in Singapore, with effect from 1 May 2021, DP holders who wish to work in Singapore will need to obtain work passes from MOM (instead of the current letters of consent ("LOC")). The exception to this will be if they are business owners who meet the prescribed criteria.

 

Setting up a crypto fund in Singapore

 

Cryptocurrencies have very much come back into the news recently since Bitcoin (the most well-known cryptocurrency) rebounded in its price and subsequently went on another roller coaster ride. Much has been said online and in the press about the "rising" prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum reaching new highs only to fall back dramatically, albeit still far above where they were at the start of the year. More obscure cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin (which began as a joke) attracted substantial flows of funds. Major investors such as Temasek Holdings Ltd, DBS Bank and J.P Morgan have also entered into the digital currency space by announcing their plans to develop Partior, an open industry platform to enable accelerated value movement of payments, trade and foreign exchange settlement, and provide real-time, cross-border multi-currency payments, trade finance, foreign exchange and Delivery-Versus-Payment securities settlements. Partior represents a part of Project Ubin, an initiative by the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") to explore the application of blockchain technology involving multi-currency payments and settlements. Project Ubin is a multi-phase initiative launched by the MAS to build a digital infrastructure in Singapore which include tokenised securities and digital assets as part of Singapore's financial system. This project also reflects Singapore's pro-active stance to foster an enlightened acceptance and adoption of digital technology on a national scale, including in the finance sector. As a ripple effect, other institutional and retail investors have become more invested in the fintech sector and cryptocurrency.

Non-fungible tokens and their legal implications

 

Non-fungible tokens ("NFTs") are unique digital tokens backed by blockchain technology, the same distributed ledger technology supporting well known cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. Despite having been around for a while, NFTs have become quite the rage recently largely due to the popularity of cryptocurrency as well as the infrastructure supporting cryptocurrency, viz. blockchain. Unlike traditional fiat currency, cryptocurrency and other digital payment tokens, where fungibility is a key characteristic, an NFT creates value due to its non-fungible nature, which is intended to create scarcity.

 

A short explanation on what "fungible" means may be helpful. A fungible is an item which does not bear unique characteristics and any one of which is replaceable by another identical item and mutually interchangeable. A good example of a fungible is any fiat currency like the US dollar. Each dollar note is considered alike. Likewise, fungible tokens are completely interchangeable with each other. Contrary to "fungible tokens", NFTs have a unique value proposition. NFTs are unique instances, and every token has a unique ID for easily differentiating from other tokens in the same smart contract for that token. The non-fungible token will have a particular owner, and each NFT's value may differ because of the separate treatment of each token. Certain NFTs can represent unique tributes having provable scarcity.

MAS guidelines on environmental risk management for asset managers

 

On 8 December 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") issued the Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management ("Guidelines on ERM") for asset managers, following a public consultation from June to August 2020. The Guidelines on ERM for Asset Managers set out sound environmental risk management practices that asset managers can adopt to address the impact of environmental risk and support a smooth transition to an environmentally sustainable economy.

SPACs in Singapore

 

These slides seek to give a brief introduction to SPACs, providing a comparison of the distinguishing features of a SPAC IPO and a traditional IPO from a US perspective, as well as a summary of the key suggestions by SGX in its 31 March 2021 consultation paper on SPACs listing in Singapore.

CNPLaw's Dispute Resolution team has contributed to the Singapore chapter in The Dispute Resolution Review for the third year

 

CNPLaw's dispute resolution team authored the Singapore chapter in the 13th edition of the Dispute Resolution Review. This review is published by The Law Reviews and covers an overview of civil court systems of 28 jurisdictions. It provides a guide to those who are faced with disputes across international boundaries.

 

The Singapore chapter touched on issues such as an overview of the dispute resolution framework, the year in review, court procedures, legal practice, documents and the protection of privilege, and alternatives to litigation such as arbitration, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution.