India’s top court rejected a plea by mobile carriers seeking more time to settle billions of dollars in back-fees, threatening to push Vodafone Group Plc’s beleaguered local venture to the brink weeks after it warned of a potential collapse, Bloomberg News reported. The Supreme Court’s three-judge panel, headed by Arun Mishra, said Friday that operators including Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. -- owing a total of $13 billion in dues for spectrum and licenses -- must deposit the dues by March 17. Shares of Vodafone Idea plunged.
China’s provinces are facing the economic fallout from the coronavirus with depleted ammunition, given they were already bracing for a deterioration in public finances before the outbreak hit, Bloomberg News reported. More than half of mainland provinces expect slower expansion of revenue in 2020 than last year’s average local income growth, according to their budgets published before the disease outbreak became widespread in January. Hubei, the epicenter, was already expecting income to fall.
After a decade of efforts and $18 billion in state bailouts, Kazakhstan’s banking sector is still in a mess. Just ask the country’s president, Bloomberg News reported. “The financial system is sick,” President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told a government meeting last month as he railed against declines in business lending and an increase in loans to consumers with little chance of repaying the money.
A row has broken out between some of Lebanon’s biggest foreign creditors as the country slides towards a restructuring of its enormous debt burden. Ashmore, which has amassed a more than $1bn position in Lebanon’s short-dated bonds, is pushing for Beirut to repay a dollar bond that matures next month, despite the parlous state of the country’s finances, the Financial Times reported. The fund manager’s lobbying has drawn criticism from other big emerging-market investors, which boiled over at a client dinner hosted by Bank of America in London last month.
The rand strengthened the most among emerging-market currencies on Friday as investors assessed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pledges to overhaul South Africa’s electricity industry and curb government spending, Bloomberg News reported. While offering little that is new on the planned restructuring of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., Ramaphosa announced sweeping measures Thursday to address power shortages and reduce dependence on the debt-stricken utility.
A state-owned Chinese aluminum producer’s proposal to settle $850 million of defaulted bonds is meeting strong resistance from investors, throwing in doubt a restructuring plan that entails steep losses for bondholders, Bloomberg News reported. On Friday, offshore creditors of Qinghai Provincial Investment Group Co. published a letter to Chinese government entities including top regulators in a Hong Kong newspaper, calling on the defaulter to withdraw its offer of a debt overhaul.
Dubai will take its port operator private after a dozen years to alleviate its debt burden and avoid a repeat of the economic crisis that forced a bailout of the country in 2009, Bloomberg News reported. As a source of cash for the state, DP World Ltd. is a key asset for the emirate as it endures another year of lower property prices and a struggling retail sector. The country has introduced some counter-measures to revive growth, like easing restrictions on visas and tackling oversupply in the real-estate market.
The International Monetary Fund, as the lender of last resort, won’t offer a haircut on its Argentina loan after Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called on the institution to take a loss, Bloomberg News reported. “Our legal construct is such that we cannot do measures that may be possible for others without this big global responsibility,” Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Sunday in a Bloomberg Television interview in Dubai. An IMF technical mission is in Buenos Aires through Feb. 19 to meet with Argentina officials and assess the country’s debt sustainability.
Sirius Minerals said on Friday talks with a consortium of financial investors on an alternate debt financing proposal to raise $680 million has fallen through, putting the company at the risk of going under administration or liquidation, Reuters reported. “The board confirms that the company has not been able to secure an institutional anchor investor willing to provide sufficient support for the alternative proposal which was part of the consortium’s requirements,” Sirius said in a statement.
An application by two trade unions to block job cuts at struggling state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA) was rejected by the country’s labour court on Friday. SAA is fighting for survival after being placed under a form of bankruptcy protection in December, Reuters reported. The unions argued that SAA’s administrators were planning far-reaching job cuts without holding the proper consultations required by the country’s labour law.
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: