Asia

SoftBank Group Corp. shares plummeted the most on record, adding to steep declines earlier this month as investors grow concerned about the Japanese company’s debt load and investments with markets in tumult, Bloomberg News reported. The stock dropped 17% Thursday, the worst decline since founder Masayoshi Son first listed his company in 1994. SoftBank has tumbled about 50% in just the past month, erasing as much as $50 billion in market value. The Japanese billionaire is struggling to reassure investors about the stability of his empire amid fallout from the coronavirus.

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Banks from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and India risk losing millions of dollars due to their exposure to Finablr Plc, the foreign-exchange operator that’s preparing for potential insolvency, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg News reported. Qatar National Bank, Doha Bank, National Bank of Fujairah, Commercial Bank International and Bank of Baroda are still owed about $300 million by Finablr’s parent BRS Ventures, which is owned by Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, some of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

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India’s top court ruled out a reassessment of $19 billion in past dues to be paid by telecom companies, a move that could send indebted carrier Vodafone Idea Ltd. into bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported. A three-judge panel, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, said it will consider a proposal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration seeking a 20-year payment plan for dues worth 1.4 trillion rupees. The years-long case centers around the dispute between the government and mobile carriers over how license and spectrum fees are calculated.

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The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Wednesday allowed 90 days' extension for the corporate insolvency resolution process of Jet Airways, Firstpost reported. Jet Airways' resolution professional had last week filed an application in NCLT seeking 90 days' extension for the insolvency process of the grounded airline after it failed to attract any bidder. The NCLT bench, comprising Bhaskara Pantula Mohan and Rajesh Sharma, granted the extension as the Committee of Creditors (CoC) voted for the same, with 70 percent votes in favour.

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The Bank of Thailand has demanded all financial institutions continue providing seven financial services, including deposits, money withdrawals, fund transfers, payments, cash management and settlement systems, in an effort to avoid potential coronavirus-related disruption, the Bangkok Post reported.

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Hong Kong plans to introduce its version of U.S.-style “Chapter 11” bankruptcy provisions, a senior government official said, as the city’s worst economic predicament in decades threatens the viability of many companies, Reuters reported. Hong Kong does not have a formal corporate rescue framework, unlike most other major financial centers including fierce rival Singapore, after previous attempts to introduce one met with resistance from lawmakers and labor representatives who were worried plans did not offer enough protection for workers.

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South Korean structured notes, favored by local retail investors, could face massive losses after European banking shares plunged more than 40% in the past month, Bloomberg News reported. At least four Korean products linked to the Euro Stoxx Banks Index are likely to record losses of more than 50% if the underlying gauge stays at around the current level until their maturity, according to terms compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge has fallen 45% since a mid-February high on disappointment over European Central Bank stimulus measures. Korea Investment & Securities Co.

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Vodafone's Indian joint venture was thrown a potential lifeline on Monday after the government proposed that telecoms groups should be given a period of 20 years to pay about $13bn in retrospective levies and penalties, the Financial Times reported. The application submitted to the Supreme Court comes after it ruled in October that telecoms companies must pay the historic fees within months, in a judgment that threatened the survival of Vodafone Idea and hit foreign investor confidence. It is unclear if the Supreme Court will accept the application when it next meets.

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China’s industrial output contracted at the sharpest pace in 30 years in the first two months of the year as the fast spreading coronavirus and strict containment measures severely disrupted the world’s second-largest economy, data showed on Monday, Reuters reported. Urban investment and retail sales also fell sharply and for the first time on record, reinforcing views that the epidemic may have cut China’s economic growth in half in the first quarter.

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