Oman has recently issued a number of new laws including a new Commercial Companies Law. Oman American Business Centre hosted an event in Muscat on 20 March 2019 to highlight and discuss the main changes and expected impact of these new laws. The event was hosted in collaboration with Clyde & Co and KPMG.
The new Commercial Companies Law, which will become effective by mid April 2019, implements a number of key changes with a focus on:
(a) improving the corporate governance requirements and standards in relation to limited liability companies and closed joint stock companies, in particular by specifying that authorised managers will have liabilities and obligations similar to those of directors;
(b) increasing transparency, for example, by requiring companies to publish their Articles of Association on their websites;
(c) enhancing the protections and rights available to minority shareholders by reducing the thresholds for requesting general meetings, adding agenda items and granting access to the financial documents of the company; and
(d) generally improving the ease of doing business by reducing the notice period requirements for various corporate steps, clarifying process for contributing in-kind capital and for the appointment of temporary directors.
Legal experts of Clyde & Co offered detailed presentations on recent changes to legislation in Oman. Taimur Malik, Regional Partner, together with Associates Fatma Makki and Zahir Al Sulaimani, discussed the newly adopted 2019 Oman Commercial Companies Law. Marla Valdez, Board Member of the OABC and Managing Partner at Clyde & Co Oman, covered details of the Minerals Wealth Law. Executive Regulations to the Tax Law were presented by Ashok Hariharan, Partner and Head of Tax at KPMG Lower Gulf, and Meenakshi Sundaram, Tax Director of KPMG in Oman. ... Marla Valdez, Managing Partner at Clyde & Co in Muscat, said: "The recent adoption of the new laws demonstrates the Government's understanding that Oman's legal and regulatory framework needs to evolve in order to attract new investments, while also protecting the public's interest. Investments need certainty, and the mining industry for instance had somewhat stalled while investors waited for the new law to be adopted. This is a welcome development and we expect to see further announcements on the regulatory front to support Oman's Vision 2040."