The International Monetary Fund has found that government support is keeping roughly one in ten German companies afloat that would otherwise have gone bust during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. In a report that on Tuesday laid bare the scale of economic damage masked by state aid, the Fund also warned that, once support was unwound, bankruptcy could soar, potentially weakening Germany’s banks. The analysis said the pandemic impact was worst for hotels and restaurants, where almost a third of loans could have gone unpaid without state relief.
Tunisian youths clashed with security forces in cities across this North African nation for a fourth night on Monday, burning tires and hurling gasoline bombs to protest worsening economic problems, police violence and poor government services, the Washington Post reported. Security forces have retaliated with tear gas and water cannons to disperse the hundreds of teenagers. While scenes of mayhem and chaos captured in videos zipped across social media, there were also peaceful demonstrations.
A federal judge ordered that Venezuela’s stake in oil refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp. be put up for sale to satisfy creditors, calling the country’s nonpayment an affront while acknowledging that no auction can occur under current U.S. sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reported. Judge Leonard Stark of the U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., said that Venezuela’s shares in Citgo’s parent company should be positioned for sale “to the extent possible.” No such sale can occur under rules promulgated by the Trump administration that restrict transfers of Venezuelan state property.
The Bank of England’s chief economist said the government can afford to end its furlough plan before the U.K.’s recovery is fully complete, Bloomberg News reported. Andy Haldane, who has been the most publicly optimistic of the central bank’s rate-setting committee, said the economy may be growing quickly enough by the second quarter to absorb the 1 million people who lost their jobs in the coronaviurus crisis.
One thing is missing from China’s otherwise remarkable economic recovery: a strong rebound in consumer spending, the Wall Street Journal reported. Even though China was the only major economy to expand during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, its growth remains highly unbalanced, relying heavily on exports of manufactured goods to the U.S. and elsewhere. Domestic consumption has lagged, with retail sales shrinking 3.9% in 2020 from the previous year and demand for imported goods falling slightly. There are many reasons for the weakness.
The European Union and the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden should suspend a trade dispute to give themselves time to find common ground, France’s foreign minister said, Reuters reported. “The issue that’s poisoning everyone is that of the price escalation and taxes on steel, digital technology, Airbus and more particularly our wine sector,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview. He said he hoped the sides could find a way to settle the dispute. “It may take time, but in the meantime, we can always order a moratorium,” he added.
Beijing’s bar against Australian coal imports is upending global flows of the energy commodity, leaving dozens of loaded ships stranded off the Chinese coast and reshaping the direction of the seaborne trade, the Wall Street Journal reported. The flotilla of coal carriers sitting outside Chinese ports has grown to some 65 vessels, according to ship brokers in Singapore and London. Ship operators and coal suppliers unable to find new buyers for their cargo are waiting out a trade dispute that has lasted several months.
European airports have called on the EU to loosen state aid rules as the outlook for travel darkens amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases, the Irish Times reported. The demand came as the airports industry warned it saw “no realistic prospect” of an improvement in travel in the coming months and cut its forecast for passenger numbers this year.
India’s troubled shadow banks face mounting challenges to a nascent recovery from the pandemic, with their asset quality set to deteriorate further as flagged recently by the financial regulator, Bloomberg News reported. Non-performing assets already swelled in the most recent data to the highest in at least five years, at 6.3% as of March 2020 even before the worst of the pandemic impact, the Reserve Bank of India said in a report last week. That’s up 100 basis points from the year earlier, and the RBI forecasts it’s headed higher.
In the 99 years since it was founded to pump the oil fields of Patagonia, Argentine energy driller YPF SA has been whipsawed by countless booms and busts. If global oil markets weren’t collapsing, it seemed, then Argentina was mired in a debt crisis that was wreaking havoc on the whole nation’s finances. Never, though, had the company been pushed into a large-scale default of any kind, Bloomberg News reported. Until, it would appear, now. Word of this came in an odd way: Officials at state-run YPF sent a press release laying out a plan to saddle creditors with losses in a debt exchange.
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: