Asia

Lim Oon Kuin, the founder of collapsed oil trading firm Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, is expected to face another 23 charges of forgery-related offences soon, Singapore’s prosecution said, Reuters reported. The 23 charges are expected to be tendered on April 8, Deputy Public Prosecutor Navin Naidu told a Singapore court on Monday. The Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers confirmed the prosecutor’s comments. Last year, Singapore police charged the 78-year-old former oil tycoon, better known as O.K. Lim, with two counts of abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating. Owned by O.K.
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Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. joined a growing list of global financial firms to take a hit from the forced unwinding of bets by Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management in one of the biggest margin calls of all time, Bloomberg News reported. Japan’s largest bank warned of a potential $300 million loss related to a U.S. client, a hit that’s linked to Archegos. Lenders are just starting to tally the carnage stemming from the liquidation of more than $20 billion of positions linked to Hwang’s New York-based family office, which has roiled stocks from Baidu Inc. to ViacomCBS Inc.
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Indian shares rose on Tuesday, lifted by gains in bank shares after steel conglomerate JSW Steel completed an insolvency process, allowing lenders to recover some of their bad loans, Reuters reported. JSW Steel said on Friday that it completed a resolution plan for Bhushan Steel and Power, including a payment of 193.50 billion rupees ($2.66 billion) to financial creditors. “The JSW Steel resolution has given impetus to the banks as many of them were lenders to the bankrupt company,” said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets.
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Pakistan is selling a $2.5 billion dollar bond that will be a key test of investor sentiment after the resumption of a $6 billion bailout program with the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg News reported. The South Asian nation is offering the notes in three parts, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about it. The debt deal comes amid a flurry of developments in recent days, as Pakistan’s economy grapples with continued fallout from the pandemic.
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Turkey is re-introducing weekend lockdowns in most of its provinces and will also impose restrictions over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan following a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, the Associated Press reported. Infections in Turkey have soared less than a month after authorities divided the 81 provinces into four color-coded categories and relaxed restrictions in some provinces under a “controlled normalization” effort. The number of infections hit a record on Tuesday, with the Health Ministry confirming 37,303 new cases in the past 24 hours.

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AirAsia Group Bhd. posted a record loss in the fourth quarter and said revenue plunged 92% from a year earlier as coronavirus restrictions affected travel demand internationally and in Malaysia, Bloomberg News reported. The airline, a low-cost pioneer in Asia, posted a net loss of 2.4 billion ringgit ($590 million) for the three months through December, taking its loss for the year to 5.1 billion ringgit. “While international borders remained closed, the group focused on resuming limited domestic operations in the areas we operate,” the company said in a statement Monday.
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Nomura and Credit Suisse warned on Monday they were facing big losses after a U.S. hedge fund, named by sources as Archegos Capital, defaulted on margin calls, putting investors on edge about who else had been caught out, Reuters reported. Losses at Archegos Capital Management, run by former Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang, had triggered a fire sale of stocks on Friday. Nomura said it faced a possible $2 billion loss due to transactions with a U.S.
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Chinese lending to African governments dropped by nearly a third in 2019 -- and probably continued to fall last year -- as a rising threat of defaults stemmed a deluge of credit from the country in the past decade, Bloomberg News reported. A study by Johns Hopkins University’s China-Africa Research Initiative showed that Chinese financing to Africa fell below $9 billion for the first time in nearly a decade in 2019, with Beijing refraining or reducing the size of loans to major borrowers such as Angola and Ethiopia.
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India allowed the resumption of bankruptcy filings, ending a year-old suspension created to protect firms from the impact of the virus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported. The law is in operation after an executive order halting bankruptcy proceedings expired on March 25, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is not public. The move follows a court ruling earlier this week that mandated banks to resume classifying bad debt, unwinding another pandemic-era measure.
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Authorities in India believe that a new breed of lender, its technique sharpened in China, has been preying on working-class and rural people who have been devastated by the impact of the coronavirus on the Indian economy, the New York Times reported. These lenders don’t require credit scores or visits to a bank. But they charge high costs over a brief period. They also require access to a borrower’s phone, siphoning up contacts, photos, text messages, even battery percentage.
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