Asia

Japan Airlines Corp plans to cut employee pay by 5 percent from April and eliminate bonuses in fiscal 2010 in an attempt to swiftly turn around its business, the Nikkei business daily reported. The proposed wage cuts are the first detailed restructuring plans to come out of JAL since the company filed for bankruptcy in January and was placed under the oversight of the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp. of Japan, the daily reported.
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JSC Alliance Bank, the sixth-largest bank in Kazakhstan by net loans, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy to protect itself from U.S. lawsuits and creditor claims while it reorganizes at home, BusinessWeek reported on a Bloomberg story. The Almaty-based company listed both debt and assets of more than $1 billion in documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. JSC “experienced severe liquidity difficulties” following the worldwide financial crisis, according to the papers.
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Irish software firm First Derivatives has bought Cognotec Holdings Ltd in a deal worth up to $4.7 million (€3.5 million). Cognotec was placed into receivership on January 22nd, The Irish Times reported. The terms of the purchase comprise a cash payment of $4.7 million, $500,000 of which will be held in escrow pending delivery of certain agreements by the receiver following completion. The purchase will be paid for in cash from the company’s existing banking facilities. Cognotec has operations in Dublin, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.
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The European Union is in need of a new economic strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The veracity of that statement might seem indisputable, as various EU countries, led by Greece, struggle to avoid being crushed by their accumulated debts. But in the surreal bureaucratic thinking of the EU, the reason it needs a new economic strategy has as much to do with the fact that its previous one is nearing its expiry date as any desperate need to deal with the current crisis. In March 2000, the EU set out its strategy for the next decade. It wasn't unambitious.
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JAL, Asia's largest carrier by revenue, which filed for bankruptcy protection to pursue turnaround efforts under the auspices of the ETIC, needs around 600 billion yen in bridge loans, the Nikkei said. The business daily said the Development Bank of Japan is expected to extend a total of 300 billion yen in bridge loans, up from the initial estimate of 200 billion yen. The remaining 355 billion yen will be provided by the ETIC.
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Shares of Kumho Industrial Co. will resume trading on the Seoul bourse Tuesday after a one day suspension amid market rumors that the financially embattled company may file for bankruptcy protection, the bourse operator said Monday, the Yonhap News Agency reported. "(Kumho Industrial) has not yet looked into applying for court management," the company said in a regulatory filing. The Korea Exchange called for the construction unit of Kumho Asiana Group to respond to the market speculation by 6:00 p.m. Monday, suspending its share trading before the stock market opened at 9:00 a.m.
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Group of Seven financial leaders agreed on the need to continue supporting their economies until financial recovery takes a firmer hold, but they have yet to reach a consensus on how to overhaul regulation of their financial sectors, The Wall Street Journal reported. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said leaders were unable to make collective decisions on a U.S. proposal to limit proprietary trading at commercial banks, partly because financial institutions in countries including France, Germany and Japan aren't plagued by the same issues as U.S. banks.
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Kingfisher Airlines Ltd has roped in US firm Seabury Aviation and Aerospace to advise on restructuring its operations and help the airline boost performance on the back of a reviving domestic industry, the Economic Times of India reported. Prakash Mirpuri, Vice President, Corporate Communications, told Retuers on Monday that fleet optimisation would be one of the areas the consultancy would advise Kingfisher on. The airline has a fleet size of 66 aircraft. Mirpuri did not say how soon Seabury would come up with its recommendations.
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Non-performing loans in China have risen into the “trillions of renminbi” because of poor lending practices, an insolvency lawyer said, BusinessWeek reported on a Bloomberg story. “We work really closely with SASAC, the state-owned enterprise regulator in China, and there are literally trillions and trillions of renminbi of, frankly, defaulting loans already in China that no one is doing anything about,” Neil McDonald, a Hong Kong-based business restructuring and insolvency partner with Lovells LLP, said at an Asia-Pacific Loan Market Association conference yesterday.
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The Australian sharemarket fell to a five-month low today, taking the market's loss this week to $30.83 billion, The Australian reported. The surprise 268 point plunge on the Dow Jones Index on Wall Street overnight created an instant negative lead for equities markets across the Asia Pacific region. In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 dropped 107.3 points to 4514.3 while the All Ordinaries was down 111.4 points to 4532.7.
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