Africa

Daewoo Logistics, a mid-sized South Korean shipping and logistics company, has filed for court receivership after struggling to pay back maturing debts, the Financial Times reported. The filing came after its rescue talks with Posco, the steelmaker, fell through. Daewoo was also hit hard by the failure of its deal to lease a huge tract of farmland in Madagascar, which fell through because of a military coup in the African nation.
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Adaltis Inc, a Canadian medical device maker, said on Friday it was granted protection from its creditors by a Quebec court while it works on a reorganization plan, Reuters reported. Montreal-based Adaltis, which warned earlier this week that it was running out of money, said the Quebec Superior Court approved its application under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada). The court also approved debtor-in-possession financing of up to C$3 million ($2.6 million) through Victoria Square Ventures Inc to fund operations during the reorganization process.
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Zimbabwe’s prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, said Tuesday that an official he had appointed had secured lines of credit worth $950 million from China, President Robert Mugabe’s longtime ally, The New York Times reported. Mr. Mugabe’s party has mocked Mr. Tsvangirai for failing to bring home much aid from his three-week tour of the United States and Europe. Zimbabwe’s government — a virtually bankrupt contraption led by Mr. Mugabe and his rival, Mr. Tsvangirai — needs an estimated $8 billion to rebuild the country’s ruined economy.
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The liquidator of failed whitegoods company Kleenmaid may take legal action against one of the former directors, ABC News reported. The matter involves six Kleenmaid franchises in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Kleenmaid, based on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, went into voluntary administration in April owing about $80 million to creditors. Bradley Young owns Kleenmaid franchises in Jindalee, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast in Queensland, in Warner's Bay in NSW, Mitcham in Victoria, and in Marion in SA.
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Kenya is seeking $500 million in funds to help cushion the economy after the global economic crisis cut exports and foreign investment, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said. The funds are over and above the $200 million loan that Kenya has obtained from the International Monetary Fund, Odinga said in an interview in Cape Town yesterday, where he was attending the World Economic Forum on Africa. The global recession has curbed Kenya’s foreign currency earnings as exports fell and remittances from Kenyans living abroad declined.
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The South African unit of General Motors would not be affected by its parent's bankruptcy filing, a senior official at General Motors South Africa said on Monday, Reuters reported. General Motors Corp filed for bankruptcy on Monday, forcing the 100-year-old automaker once seen as a symbol of American economic might and dynamism into a new and uncertain era of government ownership. Read more.
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Years after graduating from dependence on the International Monetary Fund, many African countries are having to call upon the fund for assistance to cope with a global economic crisis that is not their fault, Reuters reported. The international economic turmoil has been slower to reach Africa because of its limited financial links to the outside world. But now, African economies are struggling against collapsing demand for their products, volatile commodity prices and falling foreign investment.
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The South African economy has gone into recession after official figures showed that it contracted an annualised 6.4% in the first three months of 2009, the BBC reported. Africa's biggest economy shrank 1.8% in the previous three months, compared with the same period a year before. The first-quarter figure was the biggest decline since 1984 and puts South Africa in its first recession since 1992. "It's far worse than we expected," said Elna Moolman, economist at Barnard Jacobs Mellet.
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A High Court judge has allowed financial services provider Asteron Life Ltd to serve a bankruptcy notice on a man in South Africa by email, provided it receives a “read reply,” The National Business Review reported. Asteron, formerly Royal and SunAlliance, had already received judgement against Pieter Anton Franck. Court permission is required to serve bankruptcy papers on a debtor overseas. As Asteron had been frustrated in obtaining an address for service, it asked for permission to serve the overseas notice by email.
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The African Development Bank is seeking to triple its capital base to accommodate surging demand for emergency loans from African states and businesses hit by falling export income and sharp declines in foreign investment and remittances. Donald Kaberuka, the AfDB’s president, will put the plans to the bank’s annual general assembly in Dakar this week in one of the first tests of developed countries’ commitments to financing an economic rescue package for Africa.
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