Asia Pacific

The bankrupt FTX group of cryptocurrency companies extended the deadlines to bid for its Japan and Europe businesses as administrators strive to raise funds to help pay back creditors, Bloomberg News reported. The preliminary bid deadline is now March 8 and the auction date becomes April 26, according to a court filing on Wednesday. Administrators in December put several FTX units on the auction block, including LedgerX, the Japanese and Singaporean crypto exchanges, and the European digital assets and derivatives business.
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The Paris Club of creditor nations is ready to provide financing assurances to Sri Lanka, a key step needed to unlock a $2.9 billion bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The informal group of bilateral lenders is set to announce its support to the crisis-hit nation on a debt overhaul "soon", said one of the sources, who asked not to be named because the talks are private.
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On the surface, calm has returned to Sri Lanka since the South Asian nation plunged into political chaos and virtual bankruptcy last summer, according to a New York Times analysis. Gone are the fuel lines that snaked for blocks; a seaside expanse that had been the site of a monthslong protest encampment was resplendent over the holidays with Christmas lights and carnival rides. But underneath, the island nation’s economy remains on a ventilator, with the government yet to secure a way out of crushing debt. Many young people are desperately trying to find a way out of the country.
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The flagship company of beleaguered Indian tycoon Gautam Adani pulled a record 200 billion-rupee ($2.4 billion) share sale after a selloff triggered by a US short seller’s report engulfed his group in turmoil, Bloomberg News reported. Adani Enterprises Ltd. decided not to go ahead with its follow-on public offer of shares, according to a statement late on Wednesday. India’s Mint newspaper reported earlier that Adani was considering withdrawing the share sale, even though it was fully subscribed with backing from prominent Indian and Gulf investors.
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Hong Kong is sticking with a plan to become Asia’s digital-asset capital despite the industry’s tarnished reputation, a stance drawing tentative interest from bruised crypto firms looking for paths to recovery, Bloomberg News reported. The city claims it will learn the lessons of a $2 trillion crypto market rout and a spate of global bankruptcies like the collapse of the FTX exchange to create a fresh regulatory framework that can protect investors and encourage growth.
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Pakistan’s moves to loosen its grip on the currency and increase fuel prices indicate that the beleaguered nation is finally taking the unpopular decisions needed to secure the $6.5 billion bailout program from the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg News reported. The rupee fell to as low as 270 per dollar on Monday, according to the foreign-exchange desk at AKD Securities Ltd., as authorities allowed the currency to be more determined by the market, one of the preconditions of the IMF for the loan.
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Major insurers operating in New Zealand including Insurance Australia Group and Suncorp Group have cumulatively received over 9,000 claims so far following severe storms and flooding in and around the biggest city, Auckland, Reuters reported. As of Monday morning, Suncorp's Vero and AA Insurance brands have received about 3,000 claims, while IAG's AMI, State and New Zealand Insurance brands have fielded over 5,000 claims. Tower Ltd on Sunday said it had received over 1,000 claims since Friday, and noted losses were "substantial".
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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said his government will work to gradually lower the nation’s debt and narrow the budget gap, without resorting to raising taxes that hurt the poor, Bloomberg News reported. “We have reached the ceiling and we should gradually go down,” Anwar told Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin in an interview Monday in Singapore. Otherwise it would be irresponsible to the next generation, he said.
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China's central bank said on Sunday it will roll over three lending tools to increase support for targeted sectors of the economy, Reuters reported. The People's Bank of China will roll over a lending tool for supporting carbon emission reduction to the end of 2024, and extend a relending tool for promoting the clean use of coal to the end of 2023, the bank said in a statement on its website. The central bank will also extend a relending tool for the transport and logistics sector to June 2023, it said.
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Debt-stricken Sri Lanka’s Central Bank chief said Wednesday that the country is making good progress in talks with its creditors to obtain financial assurances for debt restructuring, an important step toward finalizing an International Monetary Fund rescue plan, the Associated Press reported. Sri Lanka is bankrupt and has suspended repayment of its $51 billion foreign debt, of which $28 billion must be repaid by 2027. It has reached a preliminary agreement with the IMF for a $2.9 billion rescue package over four years.
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