Asia

In any normal year, a 1% contraction in South Korea’s economy would be disappointing. In 2020, it is a mark of resilience, as strong exports and success in containing Covid-19 buoyed Asian economies against one of the worst global downturns in modern history, the Wall Street Journal reported. The drop in gross domestic product, reported by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday, is expected to be one of the smallest among major economies, according to estimates from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Read more

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice in a petition challenging Section 10A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 insofar as it allows insolvency proceedings against persons and personal guarantors (Getamber Anand vs UOI), the GoaChronicle reported. A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought response from Central government and Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India. The petitioner, Getamber Anand, is the Chairman and Managing Director of the ATS Group, a leading real estate group in the Delhi-NCR area.

Read more

China’s central bank won’t exit “prematurely” from its supportive monetary policies while at the same time keeping debt risks under control, Governor Yi Gang said, Bloomberg News reported. Monetary policy will continue to “prop up the economy,” Yi said on a panel hosted by the World Economic Forum on Tuesday. Officials will remain mindful of risks, such as a rising macro leverage ratio and higher non-performing loans, he said. “Looking forward, I think our monetary policy will continue,” he said.

Read more

When India revamped its bankruptcy code in 2016, some foreign investors were hopeful it would rewrite the rules of capitalism in the country. The big US distressed debt specialist Oaktree Capital was among those that saw opportunities to invest in the country following the attempt to turn one of the slowest insolvency regimes of any large economy into one of the fastest.

Read more

One year after the coronavirus pandemic first disrupted global supply chains by closing Chinese factories, fresh shipping headaches are delaying U.S. farm exports, crimping domestic manufacturing and threatening higher prices for American consumers, the Washington Post reported. The cost of shipping a container of goods has risen by 80 percent since early November and has nearly tripled over the past year, according to the Freightos Baltic Index.

Read more
Shares of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. dropped after investors expressed concerns over the level of bad loans held by India’s third-largest lender by market value, Bloomberg News reported. The bank’s gross bad loan ratio narrowed to 2.26% at the end of December from 2.55% three months earlier, but this ratio would have been 3.27% if India’s court hadn’t barred financiers from marking soured assets, it said in a filing on Monday. A “disproportionate portion” of the additional problem loans, including those that haven’t been marked as bad debt, are in unsecured consumer retail, it said.
Read more

Millions of barrels of Venezuelan heavy crude, embargoed by the U.S., have been surreptitiously going to China, Bloomberg News reported. The cat-and-mouse games that avoid detection and sanctions include ship-to-ship transfers, shell companies and silenced satellite signals. But there’s another aspect to the dodge. It involves “doping” the oil with chemical additives and changing its name in the paperwork so it can be sold as a wholly different crude without a trace of its Venezuelan roots.

Read more

Turkey’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 17% at the first monetary policy meeting of the year, pledging to keep it elevated for an “extended” period, Bloomberg News reported. The lira rose. The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision was in line with the forecasts of most analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The dissenters, including economists at Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale SA, had predicted an increase of 50 to 100 basis points.

Read more

India’s Supreme Court upheld laws that protect new owners of insolvent companies from charges filed against the previous management in a verdict that could pave the way for faster resolution of big bankruptcies, Bloomberg News reported. A bankrupt company and its assets cannot face criminal proceedings once it is sold to new owners, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday while dismissing petitions challenging the rules. The former management can still be prosecuted.

Read more