Asia

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co is looking to cut sales jobs in Japan in its latest restructuring effort, as it overhauls domestic business following its $59 billion purchase (45.67 billion pounds) of Shire Plc, sources familiar with the company’s plans said, Reuters reported. Major pharma companies in Japan have scaled down their sales forces to cope with a shrinking market and cuts in drug prices imposed by the national health system.

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The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought the Centre’s reply on a plea challenging the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Ordinance which suspended proceedings against defaults arising on or after March 25 for six months in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Hindu reported. A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Ministry of Law and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) seeking their stand by August 31 on the plea, which seeks setting aside of the amendment made in the IBC by the ordinance.

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Nissan Motor Co warned of a record $4.5 billion (3.49 billion pounds) operating loss this year and its lowest sales in a decade as the COVID-19 pandemic hampers its turnaround efforts, Reuters reported. Japan’s No.2 carmaker is battling to recover from a rapid expansion that has left it with dismal margins and an ageing portfolio, as well as revive its alliance with Renault that was rocked by the arrest of long-time boss Carlos Ghosn.

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BDO Unibank Inc., the Philippines’ largest lender by assets, posted its first loss in more than a decade after bolstering provisions for bad loans due to the pandemic, Bloomberg News reported. The bank said its net loss totaled 4.48 billion pesos ($91 million) in the three months ended June, compared with profit of 10.4 billion pesos a year earlier. It booked provisions of 22.4 billion pesos in the first half, in anticipation of potential delinquencies stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bank Indonesia’s unprecedented move to buy about $27 billion in bonds directly from the government may prove to be an exception rather than the norm in emerging markets, Bloomberg News reported. With the world economy in crisis and Modern Monetary Theory gaining attention, governments are being pressured to spend more and turn to their central banks to print money to foot the bill. But when it comes to scooping up that debt, most central banks are doing it in the secondary market. Three weeks on, currency and bond markets appear to have given Indonesia a pass on its direct financing foray.

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Utico FZC, the Middle Eastern suitor of embattled Singaporean water treatment company Hyflux Ltd., said it has submitted a binding offer to restructure the group’s debt, Bloomberg News reported. The move caps a prolonged negotiation for one of the highest-profile restructurings in the city-state, after Hyflux said last year that it had received a non-binding letter of intent. The latest binding offer will remain open for acceptance until July 31, according to a filing Friday with the Singapore Exchange. Hyflux’s collapse has left some 34,000 retail investors in the lurch.

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will pay $2.5 billion to the government of Malaysia for its role in the alleged theft of billions of dollars from a government investment fund, bringing the Wall Street bank close to ending one of the worst scandals in its history, The Wall Street Journal reported. Goldman also guaranteed the recovery of $1.4 billion in assets allegedly stolen from the fund, according to the agreement announced separately by the bank and Malaysia’s Finance Ministry on Friday.

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British Steel’s Chinese owner has had its bid to acquire a factory in France rejected by a court as concerns grow in some European capitals about companies from the Asian superpower snapping up assets, the Financial Times reported. Jingye Group, which saved the UK’s second-largest steelmaker from bankruptcy earlier this year, was attempting to wrest control of a small mill in north-east France that belonged to British Steel.

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The Pacific island nation of Tonga has asked Beijing to restructure its large bilateral debt load, the government said on Thursday, as the pandemic upends the region’s tourism revenues and an onerous Chinese loan repayment schedule looms, Reuters reported. Tonga is one of the biggest Chinese debtors in the South Pacific, with its financial reliance dating back to loans taken more than a decade ago to rebuild its capital, Nuku’alofa, after riots. The small economy, largely dependent on external aid and remittances from Tongans living abroad, has since taken out additional loans.

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Singapore bank OCBC is seeking a court-appointed supervisor to manage shipping firm Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd and four of its subsidiaries, four sources with knowledge of the court filing said, Reuters reported. Xihe Holdings is part of the troubled Lim family business empire, which also includes oil trader Hin Leong Trading and fleet manager Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd, both of which were placed under court-appointed supervisors earlier this year.

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