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Solution spotlight – Sale & lease-back of real estate

At a time when key decision makers may have cash-flow concerns, one type of asset that businesses may not be optimally leveraging is their real estate. Many businesses across the GCC own, rather than lease, their premises. This may be an appropriate time to release some of that value. Keypoint, as an independent professional services firm with deep knowledge of, and experience in, finance structuring, is well-placed to advise key decision makers on the most appropriate options for sale and lease back transactions. Our team identify potential amounts that can be raised, recommend terms and highlight various legal structures that can be offered to investors. We can also advise on capital and fund allocation. For more information, please download our flyer on the sale and lease-back of real estate or contact us.

 

Solution spotlight – COVID-19 & AML risks

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a number of different responses, ranging from social assistance and tax relief initiatives to enforced confinement and travel restrictions. Economic and industrial activity has slowed drastically, providing new and unforeseen opportunities for criminals – including terrorists – to generate (and launder) illicit proceeds through the financial system. Financial institutions must refocus on their AML monitoring processes to counter new money laundering challenges.

For more information on how our FRC team can help you deal with the money laundering and terrorism financing threats posed by COVID-19, please download our COVID-19 and AML flyer or contact us.

Tax alert – Saudi customs duties

On 27 May 2020, the General Authority for Saudi Customs announced increased import duty rates for certain goods. Duty rate increases range from half a percentage point to 20 percentage points – a significant increase, and cost to businesses, for some products. Businesses that import goods from overseas should consider the impact of the increased duty rates and ensure goods have been appropriately classified for duty purposes. For more information, please contact our Tax team.

Solution spotlight – Business resilience

In the current environment, businesses are facing an unprecedented number of disruptive events including economic and business trends, diverging customer behaviour, significant supply chain disruptions, rapid technological modifications and geo-political factors – all of which can demand modifications (sometimes quick and relatively straightforward and sometimes requiring significant change) to business models. Our management consulting team, working with professionals from other service lines, help determine the impact of this disruption on business and supply chains – and work with key decision makers to identify mitigants and recommend solutions. Please download our solution spotlight or contact us for more details.

Taxflash 28 May 2020

This week’s TaxFlash includes a technical tip on recovering input VAT, details of an upcoming webinar on the increased VAT rate in Saudi Arabia and an unofficial translation of GAZT’s updated FAQs. For more details, please contact our market-leading tax team.

Anti-money laundering (AML) & combating financing of terrorism (CFT) KPIs

With an increased focus on AML risks in financial institutions, regulators are striving to strengthen AML regimes and correct failures. When implementing an AML framework, each staff member bears a certain responsibility which is why all employees are provided with annual awareness training. A recent development for financial institutions in the Kingdom of Bahrain is the CBB mandating AML key performance indicators for employees, units and departments and linking the KPIs with annual performance evaluations and remuneration. For more details about AML & CFT KPIs.

Keypoint’s financial regulatory compliance team includes seasoned professionals with extensive experience in the financial crime, compliance, AML and risk management fields. For more details on our FRC services or contact Dr Mukund Ballal, Najbeeb Razzaque and Ghada Awdi.

Tax alert – GAZT FAQs

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) section in Arabic, clarifying how the new standard VAT rate of 15% will apply to various transactions straddling 1 July 2020. Keypoint’s tax team have developed an unofficial translation . Please contact a member of the team to discuss how these transitional rules will impact your business.

Taxflash 21 May 2020

The General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) has published a transitional VAT guide in Arabic, clarifying how VAT will apply to contracts straddling the 1 July 2020 effective date of the increased VAT rate. The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) released the VAT Oil & Gas Guide. This week’s TaxFlash summarises the important points in the guide.

Solution spotlight – Liquidity management

Effective budget forecasts help companies monitor, manage and utilise funds over both the shorter and medium term, helping to sustain business operations and avoid liquidity shortages. Working together, our management consulting and accounting solutions functions can help companies – both large and small – across economic sectors develop budget forecasts and models that identify funding gaps and suggest options that support financial and operational strategies. For more details, please download our solution spotlight or contact our management consulting or accounting solutions functions.