Daily Insolvency News Headlines

Thu., July 2, 2015

Thu., July 2, 2015

Greece’s prime minister accused Europe’s leaders of attempting to “blackmail” Greek voters, just hours after apparently holding out an olive branch to the country’s creditors by accepting most of the terms of the economic reform plan they had tabled last weekend. Eurozone officials said they were baffled by the mixed messages coming from Greece, which this week missed a €1.5bn payment to the International Monetary Fund and has been forced to impose capital controls to avert a financial meltdown. In a nationally-televised address, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek premier, urged his countrymen to vote No in a referendum on whether they should accept tough terms for bailout aid, and accused EU leaders of threatening to drive Greece out of the euro. He called EU leaders “extremist conservative forces” who had forced the shutdown of Greece’s banks “because the government decided to give people a say”. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Thu., July 2, 2015

The freezing of Greece’s banking system is the most dramatic moment of the country’s five-year debt crisis—and perhaps its most pivotal. Since Monday, Greeks can get only €60 a day at cash machines and can’t transfer money abroad, The Wall Street Journal reported. How long the remaining cash lasts and how unsettled Greeks become will be big factors in Sunday’s referendum on creditors’ demands for more austerity in exchange for more bailout funds. The tighter the squeeze, the more Greeks might vote “yes” to reconcile with creditors, analysts say. As of Wednesday, Greece’s banking system had about €1 billion in cash left, according to a person familiar with the situation. Even with the €60-a-day limit on ATM withdrawals from Greek’s closed banks, “it’s a matter of a few days” until the money runs out, this person said. By Wednesday, many ATMs in central Athens had constant lines of people waiting to withdraw their daily limit. The crunch has suffused the economy. Merchants report lower spending. Wholesalers can’t pay for supplies. Importers’ foreign counterparts won’t trade. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Thu., July 2, 2015

The bankrupt $3.5 billion Baha Mar mega resort in the Bahamas secured up to $30 billion in interim financing on Wednesday, but it was unclear when construction on the stalled project would resume, Reuters reported. The resort, bankrolled and built by the Chinese and described on its website as "the world's glamourous, new playground, is eight to 12 weeks from completion once construction resumes, a lawyer for the resort told a bankruptcy judge. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey approved up to $30 million in interim financing for Baha Mar, one of the biggest commercial construction projects in the Western Hemisphere. Baha Mar's developer, Sarkis Izmirlian, the son of Armenian billionaire Dikran Izmirlian, has agreed to arrange the funding. Thomas Dunlap, a top executive for Baha Mar, declined to comment after the hearing on any timeline for resuming construction.. The interim financing is for the next 30 days to pay salaries, benefits and key suppliers, for example. It does not come with any project milestones. Read more.

Thu., July 2, 2015

In his 50 years at the state farm here, Volodymyr Polutskiy says his work has dwindled from producing silk for Red Army parachutes to eking out a living chopping wood and growing wheat, The Wall Street Journal reported. Now, Ukraine’s government is trying to sell this farm and hundreds of other state-owned enterprises, hoping that private investment and management will revive the mostly unprofitable businesses and bring funds to its recession-hit budget. The privatization drive is central to efforts by the country’s pro-Western government to overhaul the moribund economy, which is forecast to contract 9.5% this year. Officials have listed 342 companies they want to sell this year, including thermal-power plants and a horse-breeding farm. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Thu., July 2, 2015

Insolvent Laricina Energy Ltd. plans to close its Saleski pilot oilsands project by fall to save money, according to a report filed online by its court-appointed monitor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Calgary Herald reported. The report says Laricina has successfully shut down its 100-per-cent-owned Germain commercial demonstration project — as it announced it would in February — and is negotiating with 40 per cent partner Osum Oil Sands Corp. to close Saleski after the gathering of production data is complete in August or, at the latest, in September. Both companies are privately held and based in Calgary. “The monitor understands Laricina has informed Osum that in any event shut-in will occur at the latest by September 2015,” the report dated last Friday reads. “To date, the monitor understands that Osum has not yet agreed to this request.” Osum spokesman Justin Robinson confirmed the talks are ongoing but couldn’t say when a decision will be made, nor would he give his company’s position on the matter. He wouldn’t comment when asked if Osum was contemplating buying out Laricina and taking over the project. Read more.

Thu., July 2, 2015

The trial of three former Anglo Irish Bank officials has been adjourned until Thursday so the defence can examine freshly uncovered documents, the Irish Times reported. The trial was due to resume on Wednesday morning. However Judge Patrick McCartan told the jury of six men and six women documents sought by the defence had only just been discovered by the prosecution and that the defence needed the rest of the day to examine them. The judge apologised for the continuing delays but said “it is important these things are dealt with properly and in good time.” Former company secretary, Bernard Daly (65) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin; former Chief Operations Officer Tiarnan O’Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow and Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven alleged offences committed in 2003 and 2004. The three are accused of trying to delete references to two accounts in the name of John Peter O’Toole, former Anglo chairman Sean Fitzpatrick’s brother-in-law, from Anglo’s Core Banking System (CBS). Read more.

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