Asia

India’s bankruptcy court on Friday approved global steel giant ArcelorMittal SA’s bid for debt-ridden Essar Steel, potentially ending months of court battles and opening the country’s steel industry to outsiders, Reuters reported. ArcelorMittal confirmed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had approved the takeover of the 10 million tonne steel plant of Essar Steel by itself and Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, paving the way for the first major foreign participation in India’s steel sector.

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Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor chairman facing charges of financial wrongdoing in Japan, was released on bail on Wednesday after being held in a Tokyo jail since late November, the International New York Times reported. A judge approved Mr. Ghosn’s release on bail of 1 billion yen, or almost $9 million, on Tuesday, and rejected an appeal by prosecutors to keep him detained until trial. Mr. Ghosn paid in cash on Wednesday and walked out surrounded by police guards in the late afternoon. Mr.

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Turkey’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate on hold on Wednesday, sticking to a promise to stand firm on inflation even as the economy suffers a sharp slowdown in growth, the Financial Times reported. In its final meeting before critical local elections at the end of March, the bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) said that its one-week rate repo rate would remain at 24 per cent. Turkey has struggled with sky-high inflation following a meltdown in the lira, which wiped almost 30 per cent off the currency versus the dollar last year.

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Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. has been on an expansion kick in the debt market. But its first attempt as a sole underwriter on a dollar high-yield bond sale didn’t go so well. The bank’s securities unit bought $500 million of bonds directly from oil and gas exploration firm CNX Resources Corp., with plans to parcel them off to investors later. Its decision to essentially guarantee the deal’s price allowed it to beat out Credit Suisse Group AG, which had already started gauging investor interest in the company, people familiar with the matter said.

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China’s premier said today that his government would respond to an economic slowdown by cutting taxes, easing burdens on the private sector and giving markets a bigger role, Keith Bradsher and Chris Buckley of the NYT write. 2019 is a “crucial year” for China’s economy, Premier Li Keqiang, the second-ranking official in the country after President Xi Jinping, said at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing this morning.

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Market Regulator SEBI on Friday came out with rules for providing exemption from open offer requirements for corporate debt restructuring, which will now be restricted to scheduled commercial banks and all-India financial institutions, Moneylife reported. The decision could help the cash-strapped Jet Airways which is looking for investment from lenders. The market watchdog met in Delhi on Friday and decided that "such exemptions will not be available for acquisition of shares by persons other than lenders by way of allotment by the target company or purchase from lenders".

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Probably the single biggest geopolitical issue for the EU right now, and especially for Germany, is future relations with China, the Financial Times reported. The two countries do have a lot in common. Both are export-driven economies with large external savings surpluses. But Germany’s economic strategy is not nearly as consistent. The German political preference is to reduce public debt. Yet the country’s biggest problem is falling behind in the technological race.

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Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is considering to tighten the takeover rules that are applicable to firms undergoing bankruptcy proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Business Standard reported, citing sources. According to the BS report, the sources said that the regulator is planning to do away with the provision that lets a ‘competent authority’ to exempt an acquirer from the open offer requirement, CNBC reported on a Business Standard story.

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The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal today asked the Ahmedabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal to pass its final order in the Rs 42,000-crore resolution plan submitted by ArcelorMittal for the insolvent Essar Steel by March 8, BloombergQuint reported. Earlier, the NCLAT had given time till Feb. 28 for the NCLT to deliver its final order in the case, stating that the appellate tribunal would take over from March 1. In October 2018, the committee of creditors for Essar Steel had selected the Lakshmi Mittal-owned company as the winning bidder for the insolvent steelmaker.

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