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Singapore

Asia PacificCompanies Act amended

The Companies Act has been amended with effect from November 18 1998.

The amendments include the following:

  • to allow the purchase or acquisition by listed and unlisted companies of their own ordinary shares, on or off the stock market, but only out of distributable profits;
  • to amend the definition of 'interest in the shares of a company' to increase the threshold on which a person is deemed to have an interest in a corporate body from 15% to 20% of its voting power, and to restrict its application to not more than one level;
  • to extend the maximum life-span of employee share options from five to 10 years;
  • to remove the restrictions relating to substantial property transactions between companies and their directors, directors of their holding companies or persons connected with the directors;
  • to make clear that a company may purchase insurance for any officer of the company against liability for negligence or breach of duty to the company not occasioned by any wilful act or default on his part; and
  • to exempt a foreign company from being registered in Singapore if it merely establishes a share transfer or share registration office in Singapore to become a listed corporation, or if it merely effects any transaction through its related corporation licensed or approved under any written law by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, under an arrangement approved by the Authority.

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