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Newsletter August 2017

Legal Updates

New changes to the tobacco law

On August 3rd, Law no. 63/2017 was passed, bringing a second amendment to the Law no. 37/2007 of August 14th, which approves rules for the protection of citizens from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and establishes measures for the reduction of tobacco demand, related to dependence and cessation of its consumption. With this new amendment, the concept of “smoking” is amplified to include new smokeless tobacco products that produce aerosols, vapors, gases or inhalable particles, and the measures to be applied to these new products in matters of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, advertising and promotion are also strengthened.

With this in mind, for instance, the prohibition on smoking in certain public places has been extended and the same prohibition also now applies to any products which can be used to consume steam by means of a mouthpiece and which contain nicotine or any component thereof. At the same time, the scope of the exceptions to this smoking ban was also amplified, with the discrimination against smokers becoming expressly prohibited in the scope of employment relations, and with this amendment to the Law also including an appeal for the promotion of control and prevention activities and programs at workplaces.

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Regulation for the credit recovery funds

The experience of recent years has made clear the insufficiency of protection mechanisms for unskilled investors, which are unable to alleviate the losses incurred as a result of the acquisition of debt securities. In order to change this scenario, as well as to increase confidence in the financial system, Law no. 69/2017 regulates the creation and operation of the Credit Recovery Funds. Its constitution depends on previous authorisation by the CMVM, and the maximum duration is a of ten years, although it may be extended by one or more times.

Its assets are represented by recovery units, the subscription of which is subject to the assignment by the fund participants of the credits held by them, provided that they meet the characteristics and fulfill the requirements established by law. This patrimony is only liable for the debts of the fund, which can be guaranteed by the State or by a third party.

Finally, it should be noted that the income distributed to the injured investors will not be taxed within Income Tax or Corporate Tax, whichever case, up to the capital threshold originally invested, to avoid double taxation, since they will have already been subject to taxation at the time of investment in commercial paper.

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Business Updates

Nexstep will gather the main it professionals

Following the success of Web Summit, Portugal will receive a new event in September in the same area: NextStep, an annual conference that will gather the main IT professionals. The event, promoted by OutSystems, a leading company on development and low-code platforms, will start in Portugal on September 18th and 19th, moving afterwards to Utrecht (October 10th), and finishing in Chicago (November 1st and 2nd). It will focus mainly on technological transformation, providing an educational base for its participants. NextStep invited various speakers from different fields, including Scott Parazynski, former NASA astronaut, António Felix da Costa, automobiles racing driver, and John Straw, a digital veteran and author of iDisrupted, among many others. The sessions will also feature Forrester and Gartner analysts as well as experts from OutSystems, customers and partners.

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Urban rehabilitation grew by more than 20% in Portugal

Urban rehabilitation registered a 24,1% increase, year-on-year, during the second trimester of 2017, according to a survey of businessmen operating in the urban rehabilitation sector, carried out by AICCOPN (Associação dos Industriais da Construção Civil e Obras Públicas – Association of Civil Construction and Public Works Industrialists), the impact having been felt not only in Lisbon but also Oporto, which, between 2005 and 2015, had an investment of around 1,2 billion euro. According to the survey, there was also a 46,8% increase in the order book during that same period, which means continuous growth in this sector.

This increase verifies the growing investment, national and foreign, in the real estate sector and, specifically, in the urban rehabilitation sector, for home-ownership as well as hotel business or local lodging establishments. The reasons behind the increase in demand within the real estate sector are varied. From the tax system for non habitual residents to the Golden Visa regime.

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