Asia

Ireland’s High Court cleared the way on Friday for Norwegian Air to raise new capital and emerge from bankruptcy protection in Ireland and Norway in May by approving the airline’s restructuring scheme, Reuters reported. Norwegian’s survival plan, announced last year, puts a definitive end to its long-haul business, leaving a slimmed-down airline focusing on Nordic and European routes. “We can now go forward with the reconstruction in Norway and initiate a capital raise.” Chief Executive Jacob Schram said in a statement following the ruling.

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Widely watched airfares in China are recovering to pre-pandemic levels as domestic tourists lead a patchy air travel recovery, scattering crumbs of hope to a shattered global travel sector, Reuters reported. With international markets like Europe still in partial lockdown, the global tourism industry’s attention is riveted on China’s new travel patterns as it brings COVID-19 under control and lifts curbs on movement. The Chinese domestic market quietly overtook the once-dominant U.S.
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India’s government is considering resuming fresh bankruptcy filings after the current suspension expires on March 25, the Economic Times of India reported. The lifting of the halt would come even as a resurgence in virus cases threatens the nascent economic recovery. It could spark a wave of new insolvencies, pent up from last year when businesses were hurt by India’s first economic contraction in decades. India’s government is considering resuming fresh bankruptcy filings after the current suspension expires on March 25.
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China's small regional banks are fast approaching a surge of nonperforming debt that threatens to undermine the financial health of the vulnerable lenders, Nikkei Asia reported. As part of the country's coronavirus stimulus package, the government allowed small to midsized enterprises to defer principal and interest payments on loans. The extensions were applied to 6.6 trillion yuan ($1 trillion) as of the end of December, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
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Prestige Estates Projects Ltd. will take over a Mumbai housing project from bankrupt Ariisto Developers Pvt. following a court decision on Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported. The Bengaluru-based developer plans to launch the first phase of the project by May and second phase toward the end of the year, Prestige’s Chief Executive Officer Venkat K. Narayana said by phone on Wednesday. He estimates revenues of more than 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) from the 7.5 million square feet under development. “This will be our largest project in Mumbai,” Narayana said.
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Japanese insurer Tokio Marine Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it currently expects no material impact on its results for the fiscal year starting next month as a result of its exposure to the fallout of Greensill Capital’s collapse, Reuters reported. Tokio Marine made the forecast in a statement the day after its shares fell 5.6% following a Bloomberg report that the Japanese insurer faced a larger-than-expected exposure to the insolvent British finance firm.
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India’s Supreme Court allowed lenders to resume classifying delinquent debt as bad loans, reversing a ruling that delayed disclosure of soured credit in an economy already saddled with stressed assets, Bloomberg News reported. A three-judge panel headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan delivered the verdict on Tuesday, supporting a request from the federal government and central bank, which had sought to overturn a September order that barred the categorization of loans as non-performing.
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As Hong Kong residents move overseas to escape China's political crackdown, real estate companies see new opportunities in areas such as assisting with visa applications and brokering property transactions, Nikkei Asia reported. Interest in leaving Hong Kong is the highest since the lead-up to the former British colony's 1997 return to China, said Andrew Lo, a local emigration consultant who has worked in the industry for over three decades. "This is the biggest emigration boom in Hong Kong's history," he said.
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year pushed through new laws that would reduce the government’s role in agriculture, aimed at fixing a system that has led to huge rice surpluses in a country that still grapples with malnutrition, the New York Times reported. But the laws would reduce the role of government-run markets for grain, which the farmers fear would eventually undermine the price subsidies that make their work possible. If that happens, the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on the land could be in jeopardy.
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