Norway backed Norwegian Air’s survival plan on Thursday as Industry Minister Iselin Nyboe said that the government had no intention of being a shareholder but would stump up cash if private investors did too, Reuters reported. The heavily indebted budget carrier, which has been forced to ground all but six of its 138 aircraft due to the coronavirus crisis, asked the government for help last week. Norwegian was granted bankruptcy protection by courts in Ireland and Norway last year as it seeks to shed much of its debt. It plans to end its long-haul service.
Europe’s downtown office buildings are empty, and malls and main streets are deserted, yet the biggest landlords are staying afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to robust central-bank buying of bonds backed by property debt, the Wall Street Journal reported. Some worry that the policy is obscuring long-term pain should workers and shoppers never return in their pre-coronavirus numbers.
Turkey’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 17% at the first monetary policy meeting of the year, pledging to keep it elevated for an “extended” period, Bloomberg News reported. The lira rose. The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision was in line with the forecasts of most analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The dissenters, including economists at Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale SA, had predicted an increase of 50 to 100 basis points.
Poland’s MBank SA and ING Bank Slaski SA are recognizing potential losses from legal battles over Swiss-franc loans, moving the industry closer to resolving a dispute that has long clouded its prospects, Bloomberg News reported. The unit of Commerzbank AG set aside a record 439.5 million zloty ($118 million) to cover risks from its foreign-currency mortgages in the final three months of 2020, likely putting the lender in red for the quarter.
KLM said that it would cut an additional 1,000 jobs in 2021 and warned on Thursday that government plans to require all passengers and crew to pass a COVID-19 test before flying to the Netherlands would ground its long-haul flights, Reuters reported. KLM, which already cut 5,000 jobs last year, joined other airlines operating in the Netherlands to criticise a proposed requirement for all inbound passengers to show a negative result from a “fast” COVID-19 test taken within four hours of boarding a plane.
Britain’s first weeks of doing business outside of the EU have been mixed, as goods from large companies mainly sail through ports but many small businesses struggle with the new post-Brexit rules, the Wall Street Journal reported. Still, the true test of the U.K.’s new relationship with the EU will come in the next few weeks, say trade experts and companies, as shipment volumes increase and the difference between teething problems and permanent obstacles becomes more apparent at one of the world’s biggest trade borders.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking, supported by law firm Humphries Kerstetter LLP, is to conduct an in-depth investigation into standards in the UK insolvency profession, AccountancyAge.com reported. The APPG on Fair Business Banking is concerned there might be systemic issues with how the corporate insolvency sector is regulated after hearing a number of worrying cases, according to Heather Buchanan, executive director, policy and strategy at the APPG.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday formally revoked the permit needed to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline (KXL), dashing Ottawa’s hopes of salvaging the $8 billion project that the struggling Canadian crude sector has long supported, Reuters reported. The move represents another set-back for the beleaguered Canadian oil industry, in particular its energy heartland Alberta, kills thousands of jobs, and marks an early bump in Biden’s relationship with Canada, a key trading partner.
The biggest labor group at South Africa’s Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. blamed “poor leadership” for ongoing nationwide power cuts, a discordant sign as the utility embarks on a plan to become profitable again, Bloomberg News reported. The National Union of Mineworkers is “very disappointed with the performance” of Eskom Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter and the lack of a plan to prevent outages, it said Thursday in a statement. The group also continues to oppose the use of independent electricity producers, which Eskom is counting on to help increase generation.
Brazilian right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday wrote to newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden that he hoped the two countries would pursue a broad free trade agreement during Biden’s tenure, Reuters reported. The letter is Bolsonaro’s most amicable overture yet to Biden, a Democrat. The Brazilian president was a close ally of former Republican President Donald Trump and refused for weeks to accept the result of the Nov. 3 U.S. election, repeating baseless allegations of fraud. It took him 42 days to recognize Biden’s victory.
Resources by Country & Region
Adjusting a pre-insolvency scheme to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by Nuno Líbano Monteiro and Catarina Guedes de Carvalho
According to the OECD, Portugal is in the top three countries in terms of implementing new measures to face this COVID-19 pandemic. However, regarding the legal framework of insolvency and restructuring, the only direct, exceptional and temporary measure approved by the Portuguese authorities was to suspend the time limit for the debtor itself to petition for insolvency, with effect from 7 April 2020. No pre-insolvency exceptional measures have been adopted.
The Directive (EU) 2019/1023 on preventive restructuring frameworks ("the Directive") was passed on 20 June 2019 bringing about a change of paradigm in corporate restructuring. A change that should allow the States of the European Union to catch up with countries adhering to the Anglo-Saxon model, both in restructuring and insolvency matters and also upstream, in financial matters, due to the influence of the insolvency legislation on the provision of credit ex-ante.
Was court-life across Europe prepared for the COVID-19 crisis? by José CARLES, Laurent Le PAJOLEC and David ORSULA (Co-chairs of the Insolvency Tech & Digital Assets Wing)
COVID-19 and the correspondent lockdown measures have affected our lives in many ways. From a legal perspective, it has proven that jurisdictions that were already adapted to technology have provided a better response in the administration of justice.
In January 2020, the world woke up facing a phenomenon that some had predicted but few wanted to hear about or were prepared for: a global pandemic, now commonly called the COVID-19 crisis. Immediately, many economists were convinced that the world was heading for a stock market crash and an economic crisis. They were right. The stock market sank, and all countries that imposed strict lockdown measures face a significant contraction in their GDP.
The past experience with the European Insolvency Regulation (2000) has shown that even if all the courts in the Member States are only bound by decisions delivered at the EU level by the CJEU, all interested parties involved in an insolvency case (namely courts, insolvency practitioners, chartered accountants, lawyers and even debtors themselves in certain cases) may find it of great interest to look at the decisions made by other courts in other Member States for guidance.
This updated edition describes the framework of the European Insolvency Regulation Recast (adopted in June 2017), reviews its major rules, highlights the differences from the old EIR 2000, and makes references to the most important and recent cases of the Court of Justice of the European Union. An essential guide for non-European judges, practitioners and scholars who are confronted with this domain of law, as well as anyone dealing with EU-related cross-border cases, this book serves as a concise and comprehensive introduction to the EIR Recast.
Chapter 15 for Foreign Debtors covers all aspects of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency as well as chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code, and provides details about the Foreign Representative, avoidance actions, creditor protections, concurrent proceedings, comity and much more. The book also includes an extensive appendix filled with more than 500 pages of sample case documents and forms related to chapter 15 proceedings.
This book is the latest addition to our list of publications and it provides basic information on Islamic finance. It is meant to be a useful reference tool to the majority of insolvency practitioners who do not work in this field. The chapters in this book were selected on the basis that it is expected that most INSOL members currently have very limited understanding of Islamic finance.
The book has 10 chapters, a country study, and an annexure with a glossary of Islamic finance terms. Following the introductory chapter there are chapters on: