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ESG consulting

The emergence of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting is both an opportunity and a threat for financial institutions and corporates. Investors and regulators increasingly expect to be able to see – and to measure – the ESG value additions that a company offers, using sustainability and non-financial metrics to assess company strategy. Click here for more details!

 

 

Oman ERs

Oman’s VAT executive regulations were released (in Arabic) on 14 March, with the Oman Tax Authority (OTA) releasing an unofficial English translation on 24 March 2021. In this alert, based on the unofficial English translation, we summarise the regulations, arranged on the basis of important VAT concepts and areas often overlooked by taxpayers.

 

AML/CFT for listed businesses

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), as Bahrain’s capital market regulator, requires capital market service providers (CMSPs) to identify and assess money-laundering and financing of terrorism (ML/FT) risks within their businesses and implement anti-money laundering and combatting financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) frameworks. For more information read our brief.

 

Trade-based money laundering

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recognises misuse of trade as one way criminal organisations and terrorist financiers disguise the proceeds of illegal activities, using trade transactions to launder illicit origins or finance activities. Trade-based money laundering (TBML) generally involves the exploitation of complex cross-border financial instruments used to export and import goods and we have more information included in our spotlight.

AUPs for AML/CFT annual reviews

With an increased focus on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) risks in financial institutions, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) requires financial institutions to independently review the quality of their AML/CFT procedures, systems and controls – as well as compliance with the AML law and the CBB’s financial crime (FC) module. Annual reviews must conform with the agreed upon procedures (AUP) template introduced by the CBB.

For more details about Agreed Upon Procedures (AUPs) for AML/CFT annual reviews, please refer to our flyer!

Trade-based money laundering risk indicators

In an effort to strengthen AML controls and overcome the challenges of detecting trade-based money laundering (TBML), FATF and the Egmont group of financial intelligence units has issued trade-based money laundering risk indicators. These indicators are derived from data analysed by FATF and the Egmont group while working on a TBML project.

 

Read more about it in our Financial regulatory compliance update!

VAT & the automotive sector KSA

The automotive sector is a key segment of the Saudi economy. VAT rules are particularly complex for vehicle dealers, with cross-border transactions, third-party payments, rebates and discounts. With VAT now business as usual, our brief focuses on key issues for the kingdom’s automotive dealers, including VAT complications from discounts and rebates and the profit margin scheme.

VAT survey

Value-added tax (VAT) has been ‘business as usual’ in the GCC since 1 January 2018 – with three of the six GCC countries having implemented VAT so far and one (Oman) in the process of doing so.

Keypoint has developed a VAT benchmark survey to measure how VAT is impacting businesses operating in the GCC. The survey identifies the common challenges faced by taxpayers in VAT implementation and compliance.

You can access the full report here.