Asia

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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Jet Airways Ltd said here on Monday it has grounded four more planes and would delay paying interest on maturing debt in a fresh sign of deepening liquidity crisis engulfing the Indian carrier saddled with over $1 billion debt, Reuters reported. India's second-largest carrier has delayed payments to its pilots, suppliers and lessors for months and defaulted on loans, as it battles intensifying competition, a weak rupee and rising fuel costs. The airline said it will delay paying interest to its debenture holder, due March 19, owing to financial constraints.

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The "grey rhino" risks in China's financial sector are rising and regulators will step up efforts to control them, a senior official at the People's Bank of China said in remarks published on Monday. Chinese policymakers have warned of potential "grey rhino" events - highly obvious yet ignored threats - as the nation faces increasing uncertainties as the economy slows amid a trade war with the United States, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.

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“When it comes to money, we have serious problems,” businessman Mehmet Naci Topsakal confided to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a ceremony to mark the construction of a new Istanbul arts centre in February, the Financial Times reported. Visibly uncomfortable, he blamed the housing agency, the state body that oversees hundreds of projects nationwide, for “ruining us” and asked the Turkish leader for a fuller discussion at a later date.

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As China’s $9.1tn shadow lending industry cools for the first time in a decade, private corporate defaults are on the rise, the Financial Times reported. Shadow banking, an industry of loosely regulated, high-yield lending outside the formal banking sector, has attracted the wrath of the country’s financial watchdogs in recent years. Regulators launched an aggressive campaign against the sector starting in 2017.

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China’s policy makers, faced with a slowing economy and growing pressure on the banking system, have decided it’s time for the nation’s stock and bond markets to play a bigger role in funding companies, Bloomberg News reported. Less than one-quarter of China’s $2.9 trillion of financing last year was from bond and equity issuance, central bank data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s not good enough, according to senior officials, who are looking for ways to improve businesses’ access to cash without adding too much risk to the financial system.

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Some lessors of India’s Jet Airways have begun terminating lease deals over unpaid dues and are preparing to move the leased planes abroad, escalating a crisis for the carrier, five sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Two lessors have applied to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s aviation regulator, to deregister at least five planes leased to cash-strapped Jet, three of the sources said, Reuters reported. Termination of lease agreements normally precedes applications made to the DGCA.

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How far will China’s leaders go to prevent an equity bubble from forming? It’s becoming a key question for investors as mixed signals produce the wildest market in years, Bloomberg News reported. Traders are hanging on every word out of Beijing for clues on how the government may want to manage this year’s world-beating rally. The new securities regulator chairman -- who has played a leading role in stoking risk appetite -- just downplayed the significance of last week’s rating cut, calling it “very normal” even though the market’s reaction showed otherwise.

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Shashikant Rathi, who has dominated India’s local bond underwriting business for over a decade at Axis Bank, says the industry now faces its biggest challenge since the global financial crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Shock defaults since last year by shadow bank IL&FS group and a new electronic bidding platform have disrupted the $108 billion market where underwriters like Rathi help companies raise money by selling debt securities. Sales of rupee corporate bonds that tend to pay the highest fees have fallen this quarter to a 2016 low.

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