Asia

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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In a bond market where investors once received ham as interest payment, the challenge to rein in unruly borrowers is imaginably tough, Bloomberg News reported. That’s the daunting task Beijing faces now. In response to a surge in bond failures, Chinese regulators have taken unprecedented steps in recent weeks to restore investor confidence via more efficient and transparent handling of defaults.

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A listed Chinese coal conglomerate that defaulted on bonds worth about $2 billion could file for bankruptcy under a restructuring plan proposed by creditors, a document seen by Reuters shows, as record bond defaults push China to improve risk management, Reuters reported. Beijing-based Wintime Energy Co Ltd, saddled with debt worth more than $10 billion, would use a combination of asset disposals, debt-for-equity swaps and extended deadlines to improve its debt structure and ease liquidity stress, according to the plan. The company and a creditor source confirmed the proposal as genuine.

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The Supreme Court has stayed an NCLAT order allowing Anjanee Kumar Lakhotia, the promoter of ailing MBL Infrastructure, to take over the company under a resolution plan submitted under the Insolvency Code despite a specific bar against it in the law, The Economic Times reported. The top court will now examine the issue on February 2, 2020.

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Uco Bank Recovers Rs 900 Crore

Public sector lender Uco Bank has made a recovery of Rs 900 crore from four stressed accounts where a resolution was reached under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code or outside the framework, The Telegraph reported. This puts the bank on track in its pursuit to bring down net non performing assets as a proportion of advances to less than 6 per cent, a key requirement to come out of the Prompt Corrective Action framework of the RBI. The bank’s managing director and CEO A.K.

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