B.C.'s forest industry has the potential to thrive in the long-term, but the federal government needs to take the lead to address major obstacles facing the sector, says the president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. More federal government effort is required immediately to help stanch mill closures and economic losses in the country's forest sector, Dave Coles said at a meeting with the Times Colonist editorial board. CEP members have occupied federal government offices to make their point. "We are not going to back off," said Coles. The union is calling for federal loan guarantees -- not subsidies -- at commercial market rates. That would minimize risk and help the industry refinance its debt and reinvest. Companies are currently paying interest rates of 14 to 17 per cent, Coles said. The creation of a national investment pension-plan fund to protect workers whose plans are threatened by companies facing bankruptcy is also a key part of the CEP's agenda. Read more.
Daily Insolvency News Headlines
Fri., July 10, 2009
Households across Europe anticipate saving a lot less than they did over the past year, and many are more inclined to deposit such savings at a bank, not to boost exposure to stocks, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted in March, is one of the first to document the effect on savings and investing activity by individuals as many stock markets world-wide were continuing to fall, but poised for rebounds that have taken them significantly off their lows. It was conducted by Brussels-based GfK Custom Research Worldwide for The Wall Street Journal Europe, with 12,060 people interviewed in 10 European countries, the U.S. and India. Read more. (Subscription required.)
Oil prices sank below $60 a barrel on Friday, poised for their biggest weekly fall since January, as traders focused on economic uncertainty, Reuters reported. The latest report from the International Energy Agency predicted an increase in oil consumption in 2010, but expected it to stay negative in 2009 and saw limited demand for OPEC crude. Oil rose to more than $73 at the end of June, its highest level this year, but since then the market has dropped more than $10 as expectations of a swift economic recovery faded. Although the IEA predicted world oil use would grow in 2010, it added that depended on expected economy recovery materializing. Prices briefly edged higher immediately after the agency's report, but then resumed their slide. Read more.
The business empire of Australian IT entrepreneur Daniel Tzvetkoff lies in ruins after his main holding company, BT Projects, was placed in liquidation after crumbling under a reported $80 million of debt, Smart Company reported. The collapse comes nine months after Tzvetkoff and his business partner, Sam Sciacca were valued at $120 million on BRW's Young Rich List. The pair's main business was Intabill, an online payments company. Exactly how much is owed by Intabill, which had a strong presence in the online gambling sector and had expertise in "high-risk sectors", is unclear. Unsecured creditors are owed around $55 million, with the bulk of this owed to four online poker companies that used Intabill's services: Kolyma (which owns the Full Tilt Poker site), Poker Stars, Absolute Poker and Golden Poker. In June, Kolyma launched legal action against Intabill in the Queensland Supreme Court, seeking the payment of a debt of $52 million. Kolyma claimed payments collected by Intabill on behalf of Kolyma had not been passed on to the poker company. Liquidator John Park of KordaMentha told the Gold Coast Bulletin that Tzvetkoff had signed personal guarantees to many creditors. Read more.
The soaring number of corporate insolvencies has driven up full-year profits at the restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor, it revealed yesterday, saying that it had not yet seen "any green shoots" of economic recovery, The Independent reported. Revenues at its insolvency unit grew by 30 per cent and its staff increased by 22 per cent to 427 in the year to 30 April. The division, which accounts for 80 per cent of the group's total revenues, plans to recruit a further 50 staff this year to deal with the extra workload. Begbies Traynor's performance demonstrates how restructuring companies are prospering in the recession as businesses buckle under financial pressures and falling demand for their services. Ric Traynor, the co-founder and executive chairman of Begbies Traynor, said it had far more insolvency cases to deal with at the start of the current financial year than it did at the same time last year. He expects total UK corporate insolvencies – which rose 37 per cent to 22,000 in 2008 – to be "significantly above" the peak levels of the last downturn in 1992, when they nearly hit 30,000. Read more.
Canwest, the debt-riddled controlling shareholder of Australia's Ten television network, watched its stockmarket value collapse to record lows Friday amid rising speculation that the Canadian group is on the brink of bankruptcy, The Australian reported. The latest attack on Canwest Global Communications shares has focused attention on the future of its 56.6 per cent stake in Ten Network Holdings, the listed vehicle that owns the Australian TV operations. A halving of Canwest shares early Friday meant that the company was valued by the market at just $C14 million ($15.5 million) by the close of trade compared with more than $C2 billion at the height of the boom. In the company's heaviest day of trading since late 2001, its share price crashed C7.5 cents to C6.5 cents. Two months ago Canwest's share price was C42 cents, despite fears about its future because of its $C4 billion debt. The share price sell-off came just a day before the company was expected to report its third-quarter results, due overnight. Analysts believe the company, which has won repeated debt extensions from its lenders, could use the results to make an announcement about its future. There was strong speculation the share price drop meant Canwest was on the verge of a restructure with creditor protection, under a law that virtually replicates the US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection legislation. Canwest could not be contacted for comment Friday. Read more.