A European auto supplier has been forced to close its main Italian plant due to the country’s coronavirus quarantine, in the clearest evidence so far of the impact that the disease could have on Europe’s domestic industry and economy, the Financial Times reported. Electronics manufacturer MTA said that if its 600 employees in the northern Italian town of Codogno were not allowed to return to work within days, production lines at Fiat Chrysler (FCA) subsidiaries would be brought to a standstill.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is considering a move that could open an avenue for limited fiscal stimulus in Europe’s largest economy, Bloomberg News reported. Scholz wants to temporarily suspend the constitutional mechanism that restricts the country’s debt levels in order to provide relief for indebted regions, according to an official familiar with the plans. The initiative, which is likely to face strong political opposition, would shift borrowings from municipalities to the federal government, giving them more budget space to invest locally.
South Africa’s government has announced plans to slash its public sector wage bill, setting President Cyril Ramaphosa on a collision course with the country’s powerful trade unions as he seeks to fix the biggest ever fiscal deficit in the post-apartheid era and avoid another ratings downgrade, the Financial Times reported. Tito Mboweni, Mr Ramaphosa’s finance minister, said in a budget speech on Wednesday that the state plans to cut 160bn rand ($10.5bn) from civil-servant pay in the next three years in order to halt a rapid rise in public debts between 2020 and 2021.
China’s battered banks are being asked to sacrifice profits to help millions of cash-squeezed companies struggling under the weight of the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg News reported. Now they may finally see some relief for themselves. Liu Guoqiang, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said over the weekend that policy makers are considering lowering their benchmark deposit rate for the first time in five years.
As Argentina descends into a hellscape for creditors, with bond prices taking a fresh leg down as each new development saps spirits, there are a few securities bucking the trend, Bloomberg News reported. Investors are sorting through billions of dollars of Argentine debt, some of it trading at deeply distressed levels below 50 cents on the dollar, in search of bonds that are being unfairly punished for the federal government’s problems.
Lebanon has a lot more than just maturing Eurobonds to worry about. In addition to $31bn of those, the Middle Eastern nation’s central bank has $52.5bn of obligations in the form of foreign-currency deposits and certificates of deposit, according to calculations by Toby Iles and Jan Friederich, Hong Kong-based analysts at Fitch Ratings Ltd, Gulf Business reported. Mostly owed to Lebanese banks, these additional debts compound the country’s woes as it grapples with its deepest economic crisis in decades.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday that banks have informed the Finance Ministry regarding the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) that have been restructured, approached and provided loans to, Republic World reported. The Finance Minister has also directed the banks to clear out all the pending MSMEs by March 15. This comes as FM Sitharaman informed that the Government has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to extend the deadline for restructuring the debt scheme for MSME beyond March 31, 2020.
Koon Holdings on Wednesday said that creditors have approved the scheme of arrangement for its subsidiary Koon Construction & Transport (KCT), as part of the group’s debt restructuring exercise, the Business Times reported. However, Koon Holdings has yet to put its own proposed scheme to a vote, as its creditors’ meeting on Tuesday was adjourned. Before the meeting began, a major creditor had requested the adjournment because it would like to receive more information before committing its vote, Koon Holdings said in a bourse filing.
Latin American and sub-Saharan African countries have taken out at least $152 billion in oil-, mineral- and metal-backed loans from China since 2004, easy money that has contributed to crippling debt levels, an NGO report said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) calculated that, including loans from other countries such as Russia and global commodity traders, the total amounted to $164 billion. Two Chinese state banks, China Development Bank and Eximbank, alone accounted for 77% of the loans, NRGI said in its report.
South Africa almost doubled the level of funding for the national airline to 16.4 billion rand ($1.1 billion), cash that will go toward supporting a restructuring plan for the technically insolvent carrier, Bloomberg News reported. The bailout will be used to service and pay debt previously guaranteed by the state over the “medium term,” Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in his budget speech in Cape Town on Wednesday. The amount compares with 9.2 billion rand earmarked for South African Airways in October.
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: