Asia

The World Bank said yesterday that East Asia and Pacific region's recovery has been undermined by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, which is likely slowing economic growth and increasing inequality in the region, Reuters reported. Economic activity began to slow in the second quarter of 2021, and growth forecasts have been downgraded for most countries in the region, according to the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Fall 2021 Economic Update.
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One of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges said it would close all user accounts in mainland China by the end of the year, days after the country’s central bank declared all crypto-related transactions illegal, the Wall Street Journal reported. Huobi Global, which was founded in 2013 and currently operates from offices in Singapore, South Korea, the U.S. and other countries, over the weekend said it stopped allowing new customers in mainland China to register accounts.
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Zambia may owe Chinese creditors almost double the amount the government has previously disclosed, complicating restructuring negotiations, a study found, Bloomberg News reported. The Johns Hopkins’ China Africa Research Initiative estimates the nation’s total liabilities to Chinese lenders at $6.6 billion and spread across at least 18 creditors, according to a report published on Tuesday. That compares with an official figure of $3.4 billion.
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Personal and corporate bankruptcies in South Korea increased by more than 10 percent last year, data showed Monday, reflecting the economic impact of COVID-19 on both businesses and households, the Korea Herald reported. According to the report released by the National Court Administration, the number of personal bankruptcies filed in 2020 rose by 10.4 percent from the previous year, from 45,654 cases to 50,379 cases. Last year’s tally was the biggest figure since 2015.

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Malaysia saw 1,246 companies forced to wind down while 10,317 individuals filed for bankruptcy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to July 2021, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob said, The Edge Markets reported. Of the forced winding-down incidents, some 497 cases or 39.89% were companies registered in the federal territories, followed by Selangor with 273 cases or 21.91%.

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Boeing’s 737 MAX jetliner is set to fly again in India after two-and-a-half years, with SpiceJet NSE 1.51% planning to resume operations of the aircraft from October 5, The Economic Times reported. The no-frills airline’s pilots are currently being retrained on these planes, which were banned for flying by several countries, including India, in 2019 following two crashes blamed on computer glitches. Regulators have now started allowing resumption of operations with the narrow-body aircraft.

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Shares of China Evergrande’s electric car unit plunged as much as 26 percent on Monday after it warned it faced an uncertain future unless it got a swift injection of cash and after it said it will not proceed with plans to issue yuan-denominated shares, Al Jazeera reported. The warning by China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group after the market closed on Friday was the clearest sign yet that the embattled property developer’s liquidity crisis is worsening in other parts of its business.

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Bankrupt Chinese conglomerate HNA Group moved a step forward in its restructuring process on Monday with a plan to inject fresh capital into its core airline subsidiary, Nikkei Asia reported. Investors in Hainan Airlines Holding agreed to a plan to double the capital base and allot new shares to a designated strategic investor and a certain group of creditors who will be compensated in stock, according to an announcement.

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DS Kulkarni Developers Ltd. owners are accused of cheating more than 30,000 investors of more than ₹2,000 crore, the Hindustan Times reported. The case is being investigated by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Pune police. Pune Investors in the DS Kulkarni group of companies have demanded that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigate alleged payments made by DSK firms to various money lenders and brokers. A consortium comprised of Ashdan Properties, Classic Promoters and Builders and Atul Builders will take over the debt-ridden group through the insolvency process.

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If the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) finds evidence of criminal irregularities, it will approach the special courts, set up under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013, to punish the guilty, the Financial Express reported. Amid clamour for a greater scrutiny of the conduct of lenders, the IBBI is set to oversee complaints against members of the committee of creditors (CoC) if they fail to comply with a proposed code of conduct while resolving toxic assets.

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