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We are excited to share the latest edition of the Law Update, beautifully and appropriately titled “Sustainable Horizons: The Saudi Arabian Vision.” Giving special honor to the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, this update focuses on a collection of both informative and inspiring articles.
For those in construction, you can learn about how the tendering environment impacts risk-pricing for contractors, the updates on the legal framework of the construction industry and how contractors can protect themselves against financial difficulties.
There is good news too from the kingdom’s banking sector, from which the practice of “Open Banking” is being pushed for! But what is open banking? We’re answering that too.
Also . . . Are there any women trail blazers in Saudi Arabia you can name? We’ll help you with that. We cover how the Middle East has been making strides in empowering women in the entrepreneurial space,most notably in STEM fields.Read the full edition
Arif Mawany - Head of Corporate Commercial - Oman - Commercial / Corporate / Mergers and Acquisitions / Capital Markets
Key issues arising under the new law
The key provisions of the new law require that all Omani companies which have been granted licences to conduct pharmaceutical activities must now restructure to include an Omani pharmacist into their shareholder structure. The consequence of this legislative requirement is that existing foreign owned Omani pharmacies may need to either reduce the equity held by the non-Gulf Corporation Council (‘GCC’) national shareholder or their current Omani sponsor. Applications to open new pharmacies must comply with this rule immediately, whereas existing pharmacies have a short period of time to comply.
Other notable issues
Other areas covered by the law, which will affect the larger pharmacy chains in Oman, are as follows:
The law is likely to have a greater effect on businesses that hold doctors’ practices, hospitals, and pharmacies under one Omani company. In this situation, a new company should be created to hold the pharmaceutical business separately from the other businesses. It will be necessary to move existing pharmacy branch registrations over to the new company. This will delay new pharmacy registrations but the process of transferring branches can usually be carried out in a short period of time, minimising the delay.
Businesses can also benefit from new Ministry of Commerce practice that no longer requires investors to produce physical evidence of the availability of the start up share capital in an Omani bank account. While the capital will eventually need to be deposited into the new company, the new practice means the capital obligation is spread out over the first financial year.
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