Bank of China Ltd. is discussing ending a credit facility to Germany’s Wirecard AG, a move that would complicate the beleaguered company’s fight for survival after it was engulfed by a multi-billion-dollar accounting scandal, Bloomberg News reported. China’s fourth-largest lender may write off most of the 80 million euros ($90 million) it’s owed and not extend the credit line, said people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private.
A rally in the debt of Indian banks is running up against concern they’ll need to take on greater risks as world’s worst bad debt pile is set to weaken further, Bloomberg News reported. While average premiums on rupee-denominated Additional Tier 1 bonds of the five biggest Indian banks have fallen to about 200 basis points from the end of April, they are still up some 117 basis points this year. And some investors say the rally has little room to continue amid concerns India companies are getting downgraded like never before.
Volvo owner Geely is set to take over an automaker battered by a prolonged sales decline exacerbated by the impact of the novel coronavirus, said three people with knowledge of the matter, in an indication of how the pandemic is stoking consolidation, Reuters reported. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd plans to become the top shareholder of Chongqing Lifan Holdings Ltd and inject fresh capital into China’s one-time leading motorcycle maker, said two of the people, who declined to be identified as the matter was private.
Thailand’s central bank on Friday introduced additional debt relief measures, including interest rate cuts by 2-4 percentage points for credit cards and personal loans, to help debtors during the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported. The maximum interest rate for credit cards will fall to 16% per year from 18%, while the rates for personal loans will be reduced to 24-25% from 28%, effective from Aug. 1, the central bank said in a statement. The new rates for revolving loans and instalment loans will be 25% and for auto title loans will be 24%.
Bankruptcy filings in Hong Kong rose to a 17-year high, records showed on Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the businesses following months of social unrest, Reuters reported. There were 2,079 petitions presented last month, Official Receiver’s Office said, the highest since May 2003. The figure came as the city’s unemployment rate rose to 5.9% in the March to May period, the highest in more than 15 years. The number of compulsory winding-up filings stood at 68 in May, the highest since July 2009.
The volume of Indian loans subject to moratorium is dropping, suggesting that fears about large-scale defaults on banks’ retail lending books may be overblown, according to analysts at Macquarie Group Ltd, Bloomberg News reported. Based on soundings with home lending specialist Housing Development Finance Corp. and Indian banks, “the unanimous feedback has been that there has been a decline in the total loan book under moratorium from the 25–30% numbers reported as of end-May,” analysts led by Suresh Ganapathy wrote in a note.
African countries may get debt relief from China more easily than private creditors amid a global push to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on poor nations, a Johns Hopkins University study shows, Bloomberg News reported. China has written off $3.4 billion and restructured or refinanced about $15 billion of debt in Africa over the past decade without slapping penalties or seizing assets from borrowers, it said.
Despite trillions of dollars of stimulus sloshing around and credit being funneled into the global economy, the coronavirus is forcing countless businesses into bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported in a commentary. The weak are getting weaker, and the big are thrown lifelines. That divide will only grow wider. The case of Japan, where insolvencies are rising sharply, shows that no matter how much cash you have, size matters more: Micro-enterprises across all sectors account for around 70% of companies going under, despite a large portion having net cash.
Telia Co. AB is in talks to sell its indirect stake in Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone carrier, to the country’s sovereign wealth fund for about $530 million, Bloomberg News reported. Negotiations are still ongoing and are in an advanced stage, but no agreement has yet been reached, Telia said in a statement. Telia is the largest shareholder in Turkcell via the holding company Turkcell Holding AS.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has reconstituted its advisory committee on corporate insolvency resolution and liquidation, Telangana Today reported. The committee headed by Kotak Mahindra Bank CEO Uday Kotak, among other changes, has seen its expansion to 14 members instead of 12. “The committee shall advise and provide professional support, on the request of the board or its own volition, on any matter relating to the corporate insolvency resolution and liquidation dealt with by the board under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016,” said an IBBI order.