Asia

Thai Airways International Pcl, the nation’s flag carrier in the middle of a debt restructuring, reported a record loss last year after the coronavirus outbreak ground most of its services to a halt, Bloomberg News reported. The net loss widened to 141.2 billion baht ($4.7 billion), or 64.68 baht a share, from 12 billion baht, or 5.51 baht a share in 2019, Thai Airways said in an exchange filing Thursday. The annual loss was the largest ever for a Thai company, according to data compiled by the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Revenue slumped 73.8% to 48.3 billion baht.
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Turkey’s small businesses warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that ending pandemic support could deliver a severe drop in income for workers and major job losses if firms go bankrupt, Bloomberg News reported. Erdogan said last week that government payments to employees whose place of work has been partially or fully shut by the health emergency will be given “for the last time at the end of March.” A ban on redundancies will be retained, but the changes set alarm bells ringing for the small and medium-sized firms which employ nearly 74% of Turkey’s total workforce.
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Rich countries’ governments borrowed $18 trillion from bond markets in 2020—more than ever before—but their borrowing costs hit a record low, due to a big rise in bond purchases by central banks, as well as a lack of concern about public debt levels among private investors, the Wall Street Journal reported. The jump in government bond sales during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic was almost twice that recorded when the global financial crisis struck, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development research body.
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Member countries of the World Trade Organization are aiming to resurrect a dormant system for resolving trade disputes that has been a point of friction between the U.S. and other nations, the Wall Street Journal reported. The WTO’s Appellate Body, the apex of the Geneva-based group’s dispute-settlement system, has been effectively shut down since 2019 after the Trump administration blocked the appointment of new judges. U.S. complaints about the system, which predate the Trump presidency, center on Appellate Body rulings against tariffs and other remedies, limiting what U.S.

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The National Company Law Tribunal has rejected applications of Jet Airways (India) Ltd.’s workers unions seeking a copy of the resolution plan submitted by a consortium led by Dubai-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan and Kalrock Capital. A bench comprising Janab Mohammed Ajmal and V Nallasenapathy, who heard the case through video conferencing, observed that a resolution plan can only be presented to the creditors’ committee or the adjudicating authority for its approval.
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Chinese bondholders are gaining more power in the corporate restructuring process, underscoring a renewed push by authorities to reform the nation’s $5.2 trillion credit market, Bloomberg News reported. Following a slew of defaults late last year that rattled markets, disgruntled creditors have successfully pushed for borrower concessions that would have seemed out of reach in China only a year ago.
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Sovereign wealth funds pulled $16.3 billion from public market investment strategies, largely equities, in the fourth quarter, the most in almost four years, driven largely by redemptions, according to data and research firm eVestment, Reuters reported. The move followed a year in which some funds, including those from Norway, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, planned withdrawals to help their governments cope with the coronavirus crisis. Net outflows from equity strategies managed by third-party fund managers reached $18.5 billion in the final three months of 2020, eVestment data showed.
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The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has admitted insolvency proceedings against Topsgrup Services and Solutions, popularly known as Tops Security, the Economic Times reported. The bench has also appointed chartered accountant Rajendra Karanmal Bhuta as interim resolution professional (IRP) to oversee the company’s day-to-day affairs and revival plans.
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China’s banking regulator formalized rules that will force Ant Group Co. and other online lenders to have more skin in the game when they make loans with banks, dealing a blow to a burgeoning business that helped drive Chinese consumer spending in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Starting in 2022, internet-lending platforms in the country will have to fund at least 30% of every loan they make jointly with commercial lenders, which include banks, trust companies, and finance companies.
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