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Liechtenstein Submits Bearer Share Reform To Parliament

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Liecthenstein government has recently submitted to parliament a bill providing for a reform of bearer share provisions, to ensure implementation of the current international standards on combating money laundering.

Determined to align existing provisions with recognized international standards and to avoid abolishing bearer share securities, the government adopted the report and application pertaining to the amendment of the Principality’s Persons and Companies Act (PGR) during its sitting on May 29.

According to the Liechtenstein government, to implement the applicable international standards, together with the various recommendations from the International Monetary Fund and Global Forum Peer Review, Liechtenstein has endeavoured within the framework of the bill to increase transparency and to improve the identification of beneficial owners of bearer shares.

The bill introduces a mandatory obligation to register the transfers of bearer shares in a public register at a company’s registered office. In accordance with the provisions, personal details including name, date of birth and residence must be registered in future.

The government has also proposed introducing a new provision pertaining to nominal shares. In addition to the requirement for legal entities issuing shares to keep a record of shareholders, the government has proposed introducing a mechanism for imposing sanctions for any companies failing to comply with their record-keeping obligations.

The proposed changes were drawn up in consultation and collaboration with the relevant industry associations.