Brigita, a director at one of China’s largest car dealers, is running out of options. Her firm’s 100 outlets have been closed for about a month because of the coronavirus, cash reserves are dwindling and banks are reluctant to extend deadlines on billions of yuan in debt coming due over the next few months. There are also other creditors to think about, Bloomberg News reported. “If we can’t pay back the bonds, it will be very, very bad,” said Brigita, whose company has 10,000 employees and sells mid- to high-end car brands such as BMWs.
Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said said on Sunday the government would work to reduce public debt and restructure public institutions and companies to bolster the economy, Reuters reported. Haitham, in his second public speech since assuming power in January, said the government would create a national framework to tackle unemployment while addressing strained public finances. “We will direct our financial resources in the best way that will guarantee reducing debt and increasing revenues,” he said in the televised speech.
British Steel’s Chinese bidder has written to the French government in an effort to save its stalling takeover of the collapsed UK manufacturer, the Financial Times reported. With the clock ticking down on a deadline for the deal to be completed, Chinese conglomerate Jingye has sent a letter to the French finance ministry to persuade Paris of the plan’s merits, said people with knowledge of the matter. UK officials agreed a £50m rescue deal with Jingye in November. Under the agreement, Jingye would take control of the group’s plants in Britain, France and the Netherlands.
Hong Kong is being threatened by a “Tsunami-like” cataclysm, the city’s finance chief has warned, as the new coronavirus devastates businesses already hobbled by months of anti-government protests, Bloomberg News reported. The financial hub’s lack of a bankruptcy process will only exacerbate the pain. Unlike in the U.S., Australia and rival Singapore, businesses in Hong Kong don’t have recourse to any corporate rescue procedure when in difficulties.
Europe’s syndicated debt market has become so cheap for leveraged companies that it’s winning back ground lost to alternative lenders in recent years, Bloomberg News reported. Junk-rated firms have obtained ultra-low pricing in debt sales this year amid fierce demand from yield-hungry investors. This is encouraging companies that had opted for private lenders in the past to switch to the public debt market. Chemicals firm Polynt-Reichhold this week turned to the loan market to raise more than 500 million euros ($540 million), after tapping Blackstone Inc.’s credit arm GSO in 2016.
Climate change is creating substantial, unrecognised risk in the financial system as banks are failing to prepare for green regulation and carbon taxes that will have an impact on the companies they lend to, the Financial Times reported. According to a recent analysis by the consultancy Oliver Wyman, oil and gas companies — many of which are already under pressure from low fuel prices — will be two to three times more likely to default on their debt if the countries signed up to the Paris climate accord institute a $50 a tonne carbon tax.
U.S. satellite broadband provider Hughes Network Systems may have to shut its Indian operations due to unpaid levies owed to the government, which could put thousands of banking services at risk, a company letter seen by Reuters showed, Reuters reported. India’s Supreme Court late last year ordered a number of telecom companies, including Hughes and larger firms like Vodafone, to pay billions of dollars owed to the government. Hughes’ India unit provides services to defence, education and banking sectors in the country and told India’s telecoms minister in a letter dated Feb.
Hard-currency bond investors have already downgraded South Africa to junk. The premium investors demand to the country’s dollar debt rather than U.S. Treasuries climbed above the emerging-market average in October, shortly before Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s credit outlook to negative, Bloomberg News reported. It has now been above the mean for the longest period since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 1997. Previously, South Africa’s sovereign spread crossed above the average for brief periods only during times of stress.
In mid-August, Argentina’s farmers, en masse, ran out of patience. They wanted the cash they were owed and wanted it fast, Bloomberg News reported. Days earlier, leftist politician Alberto Fernandez had scored a resounding primary victory that made clear he’d win the October presidential election, and speculation was starting to swirl that he’d impose new taxes. One after another, the farmers called their grains brokers to lock in prices on the soybean cargoes they had already turned over and collect the proceeds.
Lebanon was downgraded deeper into junk by two of the three biggest credit rating companies Friday as the nation’s bondholders braced for a potential default next month, Bloomberg News reported. S&P Global Ratings cut the country’s long-term foreign currency rating to CC, following a similar reduction by Moody’s Investors Service to Ca earlier in the day. That puts Lebanon’s rating below the likes of Argentina, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Resources by Country & Region
The recently adopted Directive on restructuring and insolvency (the ‘Directive’) seems to indicate that IT might help running proceedings more efficiently. For example, in connection with the selection of practitioners, the Directive’s Recital 88 reads:
“Member States should not be prevented from providing for a practitioner to be selected by other methods, such as random selection by a software programme, provided that it is ensured that in using those methods due consideration is given to the practitioner's experience and expertise.”
Belarus: New draft laws on insolvency. The Government of the Republic of Belarus has submitted a new draft law on insolvency to the Parliament. The Resolution No.9 of the Ministry of Economy ‘On electronic bidding for the sale of property in economic insolvency (bankruptcy) proceedings” will come into force on 13 November 2019.
Associations for creditor protection are a central component of the Austrian insolvency landscape. As “privileged associations for creditor protection” legally anchored and equipped with so-called “preferential rights”, they are an inseparable part of all insolvency proceedings conducted in Austria, providing services to creditors, insolvency practitioners and insolvency courts alike.
The acquisition of production units (PU), defined by article 149.4 of the Insolvency Act 22/2003 (IA) as “a set of means organised for the purpose of carrying out an essential or ancillary economic activity”1, can be structured in each of the phases of the Spanish insolvency procedure, i.e.: (i) common phase, (ii) composition phase, (iii) liquidation phase, and (iv) pre-pack process; each of them with the specificities analyzed below
Demystifying offshore: recognition and assistance in overseas territories by Stephen Alexander, Nicholas Fox, Justine Lau and Abel Lyall
In a global financial environment, insolvency office-holders will often need to look beyond their home jurisdictions in order to undertake their principal function of getting in and realising assets.
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: