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Tallinn Stock Exchange: Closing Date For Share Registration Extended To July 1, 2003

Date 17/12/2002

On December 17, the Estonian Parliament made amendments to the Estonian Central Register of Securities Act and Commercial Code, extending the closing date for registration of public limited companies and alleviated sanctions for not fulfilling the registration requirement in a timely manner.

According to previous wording all public limited companies registered in Estonia were required to register their shares with the central securities register operated by the Estonian CSD (ECSD) not later than by January 1, 2003. New closing date for registration is July 1, 2003.

Unlike previous wording, public limited companies that have not submitted a registration application by July 1, 2003 are not subject to immediate compulsory liquidation. A registrar of the commercial register may impose a fine set by the Commercial Code (up to 400 daily rates) on such companies. Companies that have not submitted a registration application by September 16, 2003 shall be subject to compulsory liquidation.

Additionally, Parliament extended the area of procedures in consequence of which registration of shares shall be voluntary to a given public limited company.

Hence, public limited companies that have been declared bankrupt or undergone compulsory liquidation under other circumstances are exempt from registration requirement. Companies that have submitted not later than 01.07.2003 an application to Commercial Registry for transformation, merger or division pursuant to prerequisites stipulated by law are exempt from registration requirement as well. Companies that have submitted a voluntary liquidation application to Commercial Registry not later than 01.07.2003 are also exempt from registration requirement.

With regard to closing date extension ECSD has proposed changes to price list reducing processing and maintenance fees for companies registered with the registry. Among others, processing fees for companies that have applied registration during December 2002 will be lowered. The new price list shall be published immediately after the Ministry of Finance has approved the document.

The Act enters into force on a day after publishing in "Riigi Teataja". The law must also be proclaimed by the president.

As of December 17th, 4538 public limited companies, amounting to 72% of all active public limited companies in Estonia, have applied for registration of shares in the Estonian central register of securities.