Daily Insolvency News Headlines

Wed., August 27, 2014

Wed., August 27, 2014

Argentina retaliated against Bank of New York Mellon on Monday for refusing to make payments to bondholders in compliance with a US court ruling – a move which has also led a group of hedge funds that includes George Soros’ Quantum Partners to sue the US bank, the Financial Times reported. The move by Buenos Aires, which cancels the banking licences of two local bank officials, follows a proposal sent to congress last week by President Cristina Fernández that aims to replace BNY Mellon as its trustee with a local state-run bank. BNY Mellon’s refusal to distribute the funds last month triggered Argentina’s second default in 13 years. BNY Mellon has been caught in the crossfire of an acrimonious dispute between Argentina and so-called holdout creditors, led by US billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. New York’s Judge Thomas Griesa ruled two years ago that the South American nation could not pay the holders of defaulted debt it restructured in 2005 and 2010 without also paying the holdouts. BNY Mellon has said it will comply with US court orders, but as a trustee it also has a responsibility to dispense payments from Argentina to investors. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Wed., August 27, 2014

French wind farm operator Theolia has agreed with its main creditor to restructure its convertible bonds, which it would be unable to cover in full at the next repayment date, it said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Theolia said that investment group Boussard & Gavaudan, which holds 33.35 percent of its of Oceanes 2007 convertible bond, had agreed to extend the conversion schedule in exchange for better conversion terms. In April, Theolia had said that if bondholders were to ask for early repayment by Jan. 1, 2015 of the 126 million euros worth of outstanding convertible bonds, it would not be able to pay this entire amount. Theolia said the Oceanes 2007 bond's exchange ratio and coupon will be increased and the possibility for bondholders to request early repurchase pushed back to January 1, 2020. Read more.

Wed., August 27, 2014

A judgment that may have significant ramifications for the Revenue Commissioners in future company liquidations has been handed down in the High Court by Mr Justice Dan Herbert, the Irish Times reported. The Revenue had asked the court for an order setting aside decisions of the chairperson at a creditors’ meeting of a Tullamore, Co Offaly laundry, Ladaney Limited, in voluntary liquidation, not to exclude invalid proxies of non-connected creditors. It had also sought the setting aside of the chairperson’s decision not to admit a €371,785 company debt claim by Revenue, following an audit, on the basis that it was under appeal by the company to Revenue. The Revenue had also sought an order directing the appointment of Barry Donohue as liquidator in place of Anthony J. Fitzpatrick, the company’s choice of liquidator. Revenue had asked that Mr Donohue be given powers to liquidate the company if necessary under guidance of the court. Judge Herbert said he was satisfied that at the time of the Creditors Meeting, at which Mr Fitzpatrick had been appointed, on July 15th the Revenue debt was unascertained in that it had been under appeal to the Commissioners. He said that until the statutory appeal process had been exhausted or withdrawn the Revenue debt remained unascertained. Read more.

Wed., August 27, 2014

Small base metals miner Mercator Minerals Ltd said on Tuesday it had filed for protection from its creditors in Canada and the United States, and the Toronto Stock Exchange suspended trading of its shares and began a delisting review, Reuters reported. The Vancouver-based company, which was hurt by a 2013 drop in copper and molybdenum prices and problems at its Mineral Park copper mine in Arizona, warned last week that it could be forced to file for creditor protection. On Tuesday, Mercator said it had filed a notice of intention to make a proposal under the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the first stage of a restructuring process that could avert bankruptcy and possibly provide some compensation for creditors. Four subsidiaries have also filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions in the United States. An agreement to sell the company to Intergeo MMC, owned by Russian tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov, fell apart in July after the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Services said it needed more time to review the deal. Read more.

Wed., August 27, 2014

Thailand revealed plans Tuesday to provide $312 million in loans to help its financially strapped farmers, many of whom are in debt to loan sharks, in the latest step by the military junta to help boost the economy, The Wall Street Journal reported. Loan sharks, who charge as much as 60% in interest a year, have thrived amid growing household debt, which rose to 82.3% of gross domestic product this year. Economists are concerned Thailand's high household debt will reduce consumption, a major engine driving the country's economic growth. Thai rice farmers in particular were hurt after a botched rice subsidy program resulted in many not being paid. By extending the loans, the military government hopes to relieve farmers from their deep indebtedness so they can eventually spend more comfortably. Loan-shark debts represent 49.1% of the country's household debt, said Somsak Kangteerawat, a vice president of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, citing the latest survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Wed., August 27, 2014

In the latest sign of Chinese developers’ desperation to unload inventory into a weak property market, China Vanke Co is offering discounts of up to $325,000 to homebuyers who shop on Alibaba’s Taobao, an e-commerce platform, the Financial Times reported. The country’s biggest developer will give discounts that match shoppers’ spending of up to Rmb2m ($325,000) on the eBay-like service. Homes in real estate developments in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing, among other cities, will qualify, according to an advertisement on Taobao’s website. Developers began cutting prices this year but have so far failed to revive flagging volumes. More than 30 cities have also removed purchase restrictions introduced in 2010 to restrain price growth amid public anger over high prices. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Syndicate content