Daily Insolvency News Headlines

Tue., September 23, 2014

Tue., September 23, 2014

Argentina’s battle with holdout creditors is taking on ever-broader dimensions as Cristina Fernández, the president, appeals for support from the UN this week after meeting billionaire George Soros and Pope Francis, the Financial Times reported. In New York, Ms Fernández hopes to recruit Mr Soros in her fight against the holdouts. His Quantum hedge fund holds a 3.5 per cent, or $450m stake, in YPF, the national oil company that would benefit from renewed access to international credit. She also hopes to build on a rhetorical victory won this month when the UN agreed on a non-binding vote to launch a multilateral framework for sovereign debt restructurings. Yet analysts increasingly fear Buenos Aires does not have a strategy to solve its mounting economic problems at home, and is simply stumbling from one problem to the next. Read more. (Subscription required.)

Tue., September 23, 2014

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, gave a more pessimistic view of the eurozone economy on Monday than he did just a few weeks ago, in a statement that could encourage speculation that a stronger stimulus plan is in the works, the International New York Times reported. “The economic recovery in the euro area is losing momentum,” Mr. Draghi said in an appearance before a committeeof the European Parliament in Brussels. That was a blunter and glummer view than he gave at a news conference on Sept. 4, when he spoke of a “loss in cyclical growth momentum,” but said it was still “consistent with a modest expansion.” He dropped that note of optimism Monday. Instead, he said that the numbers over the summer were weaker than expected and “have given no indication that the sharp decline registered in August has stopped.” Read more. (Subscription required.)

Tue., September 23, 2014

Air France pilots rejected a proposal from management on Monday and vowed to extend indefinitely a strike that has grounded tens of thousands of passengers over the last week and threatens to wipe out tens of millions of dollars in revenue, the International New York Times reported. In a statement, the Air France branch of the French National Union of Airline Pilots dismissed an offer by the management of Air France-KLM, the French-Dutch group, to postpone the implementation of a new European strategy until the end of this year as “unacceptable.” The union, which represents 80 percent of Air France’s 3,800 pilots, called the company’s latest proposal a “smoke screen” that offered no new guarantees and failed to address pilots’ concerns that their jobs risked being outsourced to lower-wage countries in Europe. Acknowledging that the daily cost of the strike, which began on Sept. 15, had now reached as much as 20 million euros, or $26 million, Air France-KLM outlined what it called its final offer on Monday: a three-month delay to a plan to add new European bases outside France and the Netherlands for its low-cost subsidiary, Transavia. Read more.

Tue., September 23, 2014

China’s four biggest banks may ease mortgage lending, the latest in a series of policy steps aimed at supporting the country’s sliding property market, the 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday, Bloomberg News reported. Criteria for loans to first-home buyers may be eased and people who have paid outstanding mortgages may be considered eligible for first-home status, the Guangzhou-based newspaper said, citing unidentified people at Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (601398) and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. Executives at Bank of China Ltd., China’s fourth-largest lender, met yesterday to discuss adjusting mortgage policies, according to the report, which cited an unidentified person. Tight credit is damping housing demand even after the central bank on May 13 called on the biggest lenders to accelerate the granting of mortgages. While 37 of the 46 cities that imposed limits on home ownership since 2010 had removed or eased such restrictions as of Sept. 3 to stem the decline in sales, many homebuyers still have a wait-and-see attitude, according to Centaline Group, parent of China’s biggest property agency. Read more.

Tue., September 23, 2014

The official in charge of Sean Dunne’s bankruptcy has launched High Court proceedings aimed at setting aside the bankrupt businessman’s transfer of an interest in a €17-€18 million South African hotel to his wife Gayle, the Irish Times reported. The court heard today that Chris Lehane, the official assignee administering Mr Dunne’s bankruptcy, wants to set aside 2005 and 2008 transactions between the Dunnes in respect of the Lagoon Beach Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa. Mr Lehane told the court he had significant concerns about the agreements which he believed had been conducted when Mr Dunne was unable to pay his debts as they fell due. In particular the 2008 transfer had been done at a time when he had very significant liabilities in Ireland. Mr Lehane said he believed the transactions had been entered into with the intention of hindering, defeating or delaying Mr Dunne’s creditors. In proceedings against Mrs Gayle Dunne, Mr Lehane said he wanted the transfers declared null and void by the Irish High Court so that the assets could be realised for the benefit of Mr Dunne’s creditors in Ireland. He estimated the hotel is worth between €17 million to €18 million subject to a secured creditors interest of €6 million. Read more.

Tue., September 23, 2014

Forty-one public companies at risk of insolvency in Angola are being evaluated by the Economy Ministry and some may be terminated to avoid continued waste of public resources, the secretary of State of Economy said in Luanda., Macauhub reported. Laura Alcântara Monteiro, who spoke at the end of the meeting of the Committee for the Real Economy of the Council of Ministers, said the extinction of some of these units should be one of the solutions but that analysis work was still underway and should be completed in the coming weeks. The Secretary of State said that the work included resolving legal and employment issues, after which the government will “deal with the companies that need to be restructured, re-sized and privatised.” The discussion of the state of public companies at risk of insolvency is still not complete and will, therefore, be up for discussion again by the Committee for the Real Economy in upcoming meetings. Read more.

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