Asia

India’s Supreme Court rejected petitions by telecom companies seeking a reassessment of how much they owe the government, a two-decade-long dispute that threatens the survival of cash-strapped Vodafone Idea Ltd., Bloomberg News reported. A two-judge panel headed by L. Nageswara Rao on Friday dismissed the petitions by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel Ltd. “All applications are dismissed,” Rao said without without giving reasons. A detailed copy of the order is awaited. During the previous hearing, judges referred to a verdict last year that said no recalculation would be allowed.
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The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has revised the eligibility requirements of insolvency professionals hired to run companies undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, Mint reported. Insolvency professionals are required to have experience in any of the professional fields such as management, law, chartered accountancy, company secretaryship, or cost accounting. The new changes give more flexibility to professionals given that some of the professionals may have experience in more than one discipline.
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The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has completed five years, and critics have focused mainly on two issues: large write-offs of loans by the banks and undue losses to stakeholders like employees and minority shareholders, The Print reported. On both these issues, fears and allegations that the IBC has been a failure are not supported by facts or rationale. Let us see why these are misplaced beliefs. The job of creditors is to generate a return in exchange for the risk arising from the disbursement of loans. So, unless it is too high, loss on loans is not an unusual incident.
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Tsinghua Unigroup, a Chinese state-backed chip maker, said that it received court notice that one of its creditors had initiated bankruptcy proceedings for the group, The Epoch Times reported. Tsinghua Unigroup is a commercial arm of China’s Tsinghua University and an integral part of Chinese Leader Xi Jinping’s semiconductor self-reliance dream. One of its creditors had requested the court to initiate bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings due to Tsinghua Unigroup’s failure to repay debts and its glaring insolvency. The company is a key member of China’s microchip national team.

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Stressed steel plants, acquired under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) resolution process, are seeing faster returns, Swarajya reported. Despite pandemic-linked blips, domestic demand outlook remains strong, which has helped acquirers ramp up utilization levels. The ongoing steel upcycle will also mean stronger-than-expected realizations over the medium term. Consequently, acquirers may see 20 per cent faster payback and are well set to tap the brownfield potential housed under these assets.
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Indian farmers, protesting against new agriculture laws they say threaten their livelihoods, started a sit-in near parliament in the capital, renewing a push for a repeal of the laws, Reuters reported. In the longest-running growers' protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, tens of thousands of farmers have camped out on major highways leading to New Delhi for more than seven months.

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The Olympics have long been an almost ideal forum for companies looking to promote themselves, with plenty of opportunities for brands to nestle ads among the pageantry and feel-good stories about athletes overcoming adversity — all for less than the price of a Super Bowl commercial, the New York Times reported. But now, as roughly 11,000 competitors from more than 200 countries convene in Tokyo as the coronavirus pandemic lingers, Olympic advertisers are feeling anxious about the more than $1 billion they have spent to run ads on NBC and its Peacock streaming platform.

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The Biden administration’s business advisory on Hong Kong has generated more heat and light than appears justified by its contents, according to a Bloomberg Opinion. The fireworks may be a sign that the U.S. and China are content to let hostilities play out as diplomatic theater, and are reluctant to raise confrontation to a level that would meaningfully challenge the functioning of a key global financial center.

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Asian stock markets were mixed after Wall Street rebounded and Japanese exports surged as investors tried to figure out how rising coronavirus infections will affect the global economy, the Associated Press reported. Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney advanced, while Hong Kong and Seoul declined. Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained 1.5%, recovering much of the previous day’s loss. Japan’s government reported that June exports jumped 48.5% over a year earlier, beating forecasts.

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The daughter of former Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said her father left behind mountains of debt because he gave away the family fortune to various organizations, including women's groups, before he died last year, UPI reported. Jung Chul-seung, the family's legal counsel, said that the statement from the woman, who remains unidentified, was part of a recent conversation, Dong-A Ilbo and Asia Business reported.

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