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Abu Dhabi Free Zone Improves Beneficial Ownership Oversight

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
19 April, 2018

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the low-tax financial hub, has codified its corporate beneficial ownership and control regulations into a new regime.

The codification is intended to harmonize the approach across all ADGM regulators and to support global efforts to combat financial crime by providing enhanced transparency.

In particular, the new codified regime entrenches the center's compliance with recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, the global anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism standard-setter, and requirements of the EU's 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which focus on maintaining accurate and current information on the beneficial ownership and control of corporate entities.

The new regime includes the creation of a registry that maintains thorough, accurate, and up-to-date information on beneficial ownership. The definition of "beneficial owner" has also been amended to include any person with an interest of 25 percent or more in a company's shares or voting rights. Positive obligations on entities to maintain current information will also be imposed.

ADGM says codification of its beneficial ownership and control regulations make it one of a handful of jurisdictions, along with Guernsey, Jersey, and the UK, to have a single beneficial ownership regime.

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