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The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar (the “MoCI”) has recently issued a new circular regarding public and private shareholding companies. Circular No. 1 of 2022 dated 1 February 2022 (the “Circular”) regulates the mechanism and methods of publishing the annual financial statements of public and private shareholding companies.
We set out below some highlights from the circular for your information.
Under Circular No. 1 of 2022, the MoCI has interpreted and simplified the rules concerning the publication of the annual financial statements of public and private shareholding companies. Article 126 of the Commercial Companies Law No. 11 of 2015 (as amended by Law No. 8 of 2021) (the “Commercial Companies Law”), provides that “The chairman of the board of directors must publish the balance sheet, profit and loss accounts, a sufficient summary of the board of directors’ report and the complete text of the auditors’ report in two daily local newspapers at least one of which shall be in Arabic and on the company’s website (if available), at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the annual general assembly meeting. A copy of such documents shall be submitted to the relevant department at MoCI prior to publication to determine the publication mechanism and manner.”
In light of Article 126 of the Commercial Companies Law, the MoCI has issued the Circular to determine the publication mechanism and manner and provided for the following rules (amongst others):
1- The chairman of the board of directors or his deputy or any of the members of the board of directors or one of the members of the senior executive management authorized by the board of directors must submit a copy of the following documents to the relevant department at MoCI before publication: (i) the annual budget and profit and loss account approved by the chairman of the board of directors or one of the members and from the company’s auditor; (ii) an adequate summary of the board of directors’ report approved by the chairman or his deputy; (iii) the full text of the auditors’ report for the ended financial year before publication, certified by the company’s auditor.
2- The chairman of the board of directors, his deputy, or any authorized person by the board of directors must send a copy of the publication to the relevant department at MoCI at the same time as it is shared with the newspapers.
3- The publication must clearly state the name of the company, its legal form, its number in the commercial register, and the respective financial year, and such documents should be clearly titled.
4- Subject to the provisions of Articles 120 and 121 of the Commercial Companies Law, publication must be made in two local daily newspapers, at least one of them in the Arabic language.
Although not covered under the Circular, it is worth mentioning that Article 184 of the Commercial Companies Law also obliges shareholding companies to publish their biannual financial reports.
Al Tamimi & Company has an unrivalled experience in the Middle East and North Africa region advising local and international companies in terms of compliance with local laws and regulations as well as on dealing with local authorities.
If you require further information, please feel free to contact us.