Daily Insolvency News Headlines

Belarus (1)
China (1)
Europe (1)
Greece (1)
Ireland (1)
Venezuela (1)

Fri., January 30, 2015

Fri., January 30, 2015

Greek bank stocks rebounded as the government moved to contain the fallout from pledges made by its ministers, seeking to downplay the prospect of an imminent clash with creditors. Within 48 hours of the appointment of an anti-bailout cabinet under prime minister Alex Tsipras, stocks in Athens fell to lows not seen since the peak of the debt crisis, with banks, in which Greek taxpayers are the biggest shareholders, losing about $11 billion of their value, the Irish Times reported. The selloff followed statements by new ministers including a pledge to increase the minimum wage and to halt privatisations. Deputy prime minister Yiannis Dragassakis said the initial comments were due to inexperience. “We have new ministers who are assuming such duties for the first time, and a society where a dynamic of such expectations has been created,” Mr Dragassakis said late on Wednesday. Read more.

Fri., January 30, 2015

Venezuelans have put up with shortages and long lines for years. But as the price of oil, the country’s main export, has plunged, the situation has grown so dire that the government has sent troops to patrol huge lines snaking for blocks. Some states have barred people from waiting outside stores overnight, and government officials are posted near entrances, ready to arrest shoppers who cheat the rationing system, the International New York Times reported. Because Venezuela is so dependent on oil sales to buy imports of food, medicine and many other basics, the drop in oil prices means that there is even less hard currency to buy what the country needs. Even before oil prices tumbled, Venezuela was in the throes of a deep recession, with one of the world’s highest inflation rates and chronic shortages of basic items. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Fri., January 30, 2015

Reforms to break up Europe’s big banks are on course to be weakened by pressure from France and Britain for maximum national leeway, the Financial Times reported. The European Commission has faced a wall of opposition from some EU member states and the banking industry since it made proposals last year to force some banks to hive off risky trading activities. Resistance is coalescing around options to defang the regulation. Officials from five of the most sceptical countries — France, the UK, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands — meet in Riga on Friday to discuss potential compromises. Advocates of structural reforms, including the European Central Bank, are alarmed by ideas to change the blueprint from an EU regulation to a directive, which offers member states more room to interpret the measures in national law. Neither the commission nor the ECB were invited to Friday’s talks arranged by Latvia, holder of the EU’s rotating presidency. Vitor Constâncio, an ECB executive director, has warned that a “patchwork of inconsistent national frameworks” would “increase financial fragmentation across the single market and carry a risk of regulatory arbitrage”, according to EU officials. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Fri., January 30, 2015

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko spooked bond markets on Thursday by speaking of a possible restructuring of $4 billion of Belarussian foreign debt falling due this year, then softened his comments to refer only to refinancing, Reuters reported. During a marathon news conference the veteran Belarussian leader made the bombshell comment that Belarus might hold talks to restructure its debts if it was struggling to repay them. That triggered a fall of 27 cents to the dollar in the value of Belarussian sovereign bonds. But part way through his seven-hour press conference he changed his script. With a sell-off still underway in Belarus's foreign debt, he sought to reassure bondholders and spoke only of a possible "refinancing". Belarus's finance ministry also hurriedly stepped in to say that the country had enough resources to fulfill its debt obligations in 2015 and that it was not considering restructuring. The Minsk government was working with the National Bank to attract resources for refinancing part of the debt, it said in a statement. Refinancing means borrowing on the market to meet debt obligations; restructuring means re-negotiating the terms, rates and conditionality of a debt. Read more.

Fri., January 30, 2015

Bonds of troubled China property developer Kaisa Group jumped by as much as four points after rival Sunac China Holdings, which has been named in media reports as a potential buyer of its assets, announced a trading suspension, Reuters reported. Kaisa is struggling after a string of senior executives left unexpectedly, authorities blocked sales at some of its projects in Shenzhen late last year and it missed a coupon payment on one of its bonds. Since these troubles began last month, Kaisa's bonds have lost as much as two-thirds of their value. In recent sessions there has been a recovery though amid reports there could be a buyer of the company's assets. Earlier this week, financial news website Tencent Finance reported that Sunac, which last month terminated a deal to acquire a majority stake in developer Greentown China Holdings , is in talks to buy part of Kaisa. Read more.

Fri., January 30, 2015

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has asked a US court for more time to outline his reasons why it should overturn a bankruptcy judge’s ruling blocking a write-off of his debts, the Irish Times reported. Mr Drumm lodged papers in the US District Court in Massachusetts saying that a February 9th deadline was too soon to file an opening brief outlining why he is seeking to overturn the ruling by bankruptcy judge Frank Bailey denying him a discharge. Lawyers for Mr Drumm told the court that he was appealing a 122-page ruling following a lengthy bankruptcy trial that involved more than 200 exhibits of evidence and “complex legal and factual issues”. Under these circumstances, a period of two weeks to prepare his opening brief was “insufficient,” his lawyers told the court. They argued that the date was also premature and that he should have been given 30 days to file. His lawyers said the briefing order setting the date was issued late on Monday, on the eve of a snowstorm. Mr Drumm asked to be allowed to make oral arguments if Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo, and the bankruptcy trustee oppose his application to delay the filing of his opening brief. Read more.

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