Asia

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has ordered insolvency resolution process against a company, in probably the first such case in India where the petitioner that approached the bankruptcy court alleging payment default is a firm that had earlier provided it services on insolvency resolution, The Economic Times reported.

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Thailand’s central bank will take further steps to ease restrictions on capital outflows in coming months as it tries to curb gains in the baht, Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said, Bloomberg News reported. The Bank of Thailand plans to increase the amount of proceeds exporters can hold overseas, liberalize foreign-currency deposit accounts and take steps to enable insurance companies to invest more abroad, Veerathai said in an interview Wednesday at his Bangkok office.

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A Chinese fertilizer maker is being watched closely after it became a rare state-owned company to initiate a court-led debt restructuring, that could result in losses for some of its onshore creditors, Bloomberg News reported. Qinghai Salt Lake Industry Co. is a state-owned firm located in sparsely-populated province in northwest China that mainly produces potash. A local court in the province threw a lifeline to Qinghai Salt Lake in September by accepting a creditor’s request to restructure the firm amid its financial troubles.

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Religare Finvest Ltd., an Indian financier sanctioned by the nation’s central bank, is “hopeful” of revamping 58.5 billion rupees ($815 million) of debt by March, the shadow lender said, Bloomberg News reported. Religare is in talks with its creditors to retain 51% of the obligations as that can be serviced by the company’s cash flows, while tagging the rest as “unsustainable debt,” the company said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. The firm expects to pay the principal on the “unsustainable” loans over a period of time, Religare said without giving a time frame.

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A ministerial panel headed by home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday approved the drafts of expression of interest (EoI) and share purchase agreement (SPA) for the privatisation of debt-ridden Air India, but analysts were still sceptical about the deal being concluded in the current financial year, The Financial Express reported. The EoI will be issued later this month. The AI Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) headed by Shah also approved a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) as well as another debt restructuring plan for the airline, sources said, without elaborating.

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Chinese property developers kicked off the new year with a strong pipeline of bond issuance, in particular for long-tenor notes, taking advantage of easier regulatory approvals and robust market demand, Reuters reported. Analysts said there were signs of a slight loosening in granting quotas to developers with offshore refinancing needs, but cautioned that credit risks remained with property sales expected to be flat this year.

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Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday approved loan measures worth 260 billion baht (6.54 billion pounds)to help small and medium-size companies, affected by weak exports amid global trade tensions and a strong currency, a finance ministry official said, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. That includes soft loans worth 195 billion baht and 65 billion baht in loan guarantees to be arranged by state banks, Lavaron Sangsnit, head of the finance ministry's fiscal policy office, told a briefing.

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The race to find a rescuer for a struggling Indian shadow bank at the center of an industry crisis has narrowed, Bloomberg News reported. Altico Capital India Ltd. is one of the latest caught up in the nation’s shadow banking crisis that started in 2018, and had been courting suitors. One of them, Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd., won’t make a binding bid for Altico by a Jan. 15 deadline, people familiar with the matter said. In India, non-bank financiers play a crucial role in funding everything from condominium construction to purchases of personal goods like cars and phones.

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Creditors to a struggling Indian shadow financier, once controlled by former billionaires Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, are finalizing a rare debt recast in the sector by writing off almost half of the company’s loans, people familiar with the matter said, Bloomberg News reported. Lenders to Religare Finvest Ltd., including State Bank of India, have agreed to take a 49% haircut on its 58 billion rupees ($808 million) debt, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The restructuring may be implemented as early as the end of January, they said.

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Hundreds of Chinese tech start-ups — including several unicorns — failed in 2019, with many more limping into the new year, as companies burned through cash in the face of growing financial headwinds, the Financial Times reported. According to new data from business information provider ITjuzi, 336 start-ups in the country were forced to cease operations over the course of last year, having collectively raised Rmb17.4bn ($2.5bn) from investors. Among them were companies valued individually at more than $1bn.

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