Asia

A group of Indian state-run banks want Jet Airways’ embattled founder and Chairman Naresh Goyal to reduce his stake in the carrier to 10 percent, news channel CNBC-TV18 reported on Thursday, quoting sources, Reuters reported. “Banks want Goyal to bring his stake down to 10 percent, below the 17 percent envisaged in the bank-led provisional resolution plan (BLPRP),” sources told CNBC-TV18. The state-run banks are also pushing Goyal to step down, CNBC-TV18 added.

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When India’s shadow lenders sneeze, lots of others catch a cold. Debt concerns have pushed funding costs for non-bank financing companies to multi-year highs in recent weeks, Bloomberg News reported. That’s bad news for all the borrowers who rely on the lenders in the world’s fastest-growing major economy -- from poor entrepreneurs getting micro loans for food delivery businesses to property tycoons looking to roll over debt that fueled a construction boom. Read more on that here.

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The financial woes of Dogus Holding AS are only getting worse even as the Turkish owner of the Salt Bae steakhouse chain goes on a selling spree to help restructure debt, Bloomberg News reported. The Istanbul-based investment-holding group, controlled by Turkish billionaire Ferit Sahenk, has been disposing mainly of hotels over the past year as part of a December agreement with lenders to renegotiate the terms on $2.5 billion of debt.

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An economic slowdown and extremely tight credit conditions pushed corporate debt to a record high in China last year, according to experts, CNBC reported. Defaults for Chinese corporate bonds — issued in both U.S. dollars and the Chinese yuan — soared last year, according to numbers from two banks. Yuan-denominated debt rose to an “unprecedented” 119.6 billion yuan ($17.8 billion) — four times more than 2017, according to a February report by Singapore bank DBS.

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State Bank of India’s (SBI) chairman said on Wednesday that putting Jet Airways into bankruptcy is the “last option” and that its lenders are making every effort to keep the airline flying, Gulf News reported. “We believe that it is in everybody’s interest that Jet Airways continues to fly,” SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar told reporters after a meeting with government officials, adding that placing Jet into bankruptcy would mean grounding the airline.

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Listed Chinese banks will need to raise about $260bn in fresh capital over the next three years as regulations force shadow-bank loans back on to balance sheets and global rules on systemically important groups impose extra requirements on the largest lenders, the Financial Times reported. A recent lending surge by Chinese banks in response to monetary stimulus designed to support China’s slowing economy is also adding to the banks’ capital needs, by accelerating the expansion of their balance sheets. China’s bank regulator has forcefully implemented the global Basel III rules on ban

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In a related story, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story that India's government has asked state-run banks to rescue privately held Jet Airways without pushing it into bankruptcy, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to avert thousands of job losses weeks before a general election, two people within the administration told Reuters. The finance ministry has in the past year sought regular updates from the banks, led by State Bank of India (SBI), on Jet's financial health, the people said.

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Jet Airways India Ltd., once India’s second-biggest airline, is flying just about a third of its fleet because its inability to pay lessors is grounding aircraft, Bloomberg News reported. The number may drop further, the nation’s airline regulator said. The company has 41 planes available, according to a statement released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation after it reviewed Jet Air’s performance in New Delhi Tuesday. The beleaguered airline, which has a fleet of 119 as per its website, has been forced to ground planes as it awaits restructuring of its debt.

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Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has helped his younger brother avert a stint in jail, stepping in to make an $80 million payment for his sibling whose telecom-to-infrastructure empire is struggling with debt, Bloomberg News reported. The embattled former billionaire, Anil Ambani, thanked his brother Mukesh and sister-in-law after Anil’s Reliance Communications Ltd. completed the required 5.5 billion rupee ($80 million) payment to a local unit of Ericsson AB for past maintenance services provided to his group.

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