France to create legal framework for cryptocurrency offerings

An Initial Coin Offering involves a company raising funds by offering investors tokens in return for their cash or cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, as opposed to obtaining shares in the company from a traditional offering. (Reuters)
Updated 22 March 2018
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France to create legal framework for cryptocurrency offerings

PARIS: France plans to create a legal framework for raising funds via cryptocurrencies and aims to become a leading center for offerings in bitcoin-style digital currencies, its finance minister wrote on a news website.
In an opinion piece on French website Numerama, Bruno Le Maire wrote that he had asked former central bank official Jean-Pierre Landau to draft a proposal for a legislative framework for digital currencies.
“France has every interest in becoming the first major financial center to propose an ad-hoc legislative framework for companies making an Initial Coin Offering,” Le Maire wrote.
An ICO involves a company raising funds by offering investors tokens in return for their cash or cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, as opposed to obtaining shares in the company from a traditional offering.
Le Maire said that an action plan to be presented to the French government in a few weeks will propose giving French market regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) the option to authorize companies to issue “tokens” to raise funds, as long as they respect certain criteria to protect investors.
“This ‘white list’ will provide a precious reference for investors who want to finance serious projects,” he wrote.
Le Maire said that blockchain will offer unprecedented opportunities for French startups to raise funds by issuing tokens in Initial Coin Offerings.
“This promises to create a network of confidence without intermediaries, offers increased traceability and will boost economic efficiency,” Le Maire wrote.
Le Maire said France has a tradition of financial innovation and had created a legal framework for crowdfunding in 2014, had become a leader in green finance and had legalized the use of blockchain for the transfer of securities in December last year.
“Our target is simple: enter into the world of finance of the 21st century by guaranteeing all players the necessary security for their development ... we should not miss out on the blockchain revolution,” Le Maire wrote.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 largest economies meeting in Buenos Aires this week asked regulators to monitor cryptocurrencies but stopped short of proposing any specific action.


Industry-specific ban on expats in Oman likely to remain, despite reaching recruitment target

Updated 22 min 15 sec ago
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Industry-specific ban on expats in Oman likely to remain, despite reaching recruitment target

  • The Oman government imposed a recruitment ban on expats for 87 different lines of work in January
  • The initial target of recruiting 25,000 Omanis by May is almost reached, not the government is likely to double that number

DUBAI: Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has pledged to continue in its push to recruit locals over expats even after its target was reached, the Times of Oman has reported.

The government set itself a deadline of May, but it was already just 55 jobs shy of the 25,000 target, the report added, predicting that the remaining people would be appointed before the week was over.

Now the government is looking to double the target to 50,000 Omanis.

More than half of those recruited are men, according to government data, with male appointments accounting for 16,884, while 8,061 women were recruited during the same period. 

A ban on hiring expats in 87 professions was implemented in January as the Gulf country continued in its Omanization project, aimed at tackling high levels of unemployment among locals. 

And now the ministry has said Omanis should always be given priority over expats, when it came to hiring – adding that the ban would stay in force as long as there were Omanis suited to the positions.

Those people employed so far were appointed to private sector positions between December 2017 and April 2018, the report added.

 

 

The construction industry accounts for 32.4 percent of those recruited, with 14.5 percent going into the retail sector, 13.5 percent in manufacturing and 7.1 percent working in transportation.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower said: “Most Omanis were hired in the construction sector as it has lots of job vacancies especially in the engineering, technical and administration fields.”

The push in Oman to recruit more locals is in line with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries which are following similar projects, not least in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

 

 

Decoder

An extension to the expat recruitment ban?

Not only is Oman’s Ministry of Manpower considering extending the current recruitment ban on expats for 87 professions, but also adding other lines of work to the list.

FACTOID

In numbers

The most recent census in 2016 put the Oman population at: 4,550,538. But expats account for nearly half at 2.082 million. There are 2.463 million Omanis