Asia

The Indian economy’s recovery is likely to be shaped like a K rather than a V, as rising inequality is poised to hit consumption and growth prospects, the country’s former central bank governor said, Bloomberg News reported. “An important consequence of the pandemic has been the sharpening of inequalities,” Duvvuri Subbarao said in an April 9 interview. “Growing inequalities are not just a moral issue.
Read more
Retailers, restaurants and theatres in India’s richest state are reeling under the impact of harsh restrictions imposed last week by authorities scrambling to curb a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, Reuters reported. The western state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai, has been the worst hit in the pandemic, accounting for about a quarter of the country’s 13.5 million case load. Last week, the local government shut down restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres and non-essential stores in a blow to businesses that had barely recovered from the nationwide lockdown last year.
Read more
China’s fast-moving campaign to curb the power of internet giants has hit its latest mark: Ant Group, the fintech sister company of the e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, the New York Times reported. Ant announced on Monday that it would undertake a sweeping, government-ordered overhaul of its business to allay regulators’ concerns about the way it competes with rivals, its large-scale collection of user data and the risks its business may pose to the wider financial system.
Read more
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has notified the pre-packaged insolvency resolution process regulations for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on Friday, the Economic Times reported. The norms, effective from Friday, enable the operationalisation of the prepack process, according to a statement from the ministry of corporate affairs. The move comes on the back of the ordinance amending the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to establish the framework for prepacks, promulgated on Wednesday.
Read more
Individual investors in India are rushing to buy corporate bonds from weaker borrowers, taking bigger risks to boost returns in a debt market dominated by institutional investors, Bloomberg News reported. Company note sales to retail investors have more than doubled from a year earlier to 67.2 billion rupees ($899 million) so far in 2021. A further 31 billion rupees of bonds that individuals can buy into are being marketed right now, and another 50 billion rupees of such debt is in the pipeline including a deal from India Grid Trust announced late last week.
Read more
Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, was fined 18.3 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) by Chinese regulators on Saturday for anti-competitive tactics, as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over fast-growing tech industries, the Associated Press reported. Party leaders worry about the dominance of China’s biggest internet companies, which are expanding into finance, health services and other sensitive areas. The party says anti-monopoly enforcement, especially in tech, is a priority this year.
Read more
The number of bankruptcies in Japan’s eatery industry totaled 715 the last fiscal year, the third largest in 20 years, amid the new coronavirus pandemic, a credit research firm said, the Japan Times reported. The dour result for the year ending March 31 reflects 183 failures in the bar and beer hall sector, the highest since fiscal 2000 when comparative data became available, Teikoku Databank said in a recent survey report on firms that went bankrupt with debts of ¥10 million ($91,000) or more.
Read more
China Huarong Asset Management Co. is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reported. The state-owned manager of non-performing loans, which spooked investors this month after delaying its earnings report, has submitted the plan to regulators and received positive initial feedback, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.
Read more
The Indian government does not expect a rush of insolvency cases from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) after it promulgated an ordinance to open a special fast track window for them, the Times of India reported. The ministry of corporate affairs — which will set the floor for initiating cases under “pre-packaged” insolvency — and the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) are expected the notify the regulations for initiating insolvency resolution under the new scheme.
Read more