Asia

The government plans to give debt waiver for "small distressed borrowers" under the insolvency law framework, according to a senior official. The proposed waiver would be offered as part of 'Fresh Start' provisions under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), TimesNetwork reported. Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said discussions have been held with the microfinance industry regarding criteria for the proposed waiver for small distressed borrowers from the economically weaker section (EWS).

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A rescue deal for British Steel is in sight after a Turkish investment group owned by the country’s military pension fund reached a provisional agreement for a takeover of the stricken company, The Irish Times reported. Under the terms of the agreement announced on Friday, Ataer Holding was named as the preferred bidder for Britain’s second-largest steelmaker. It now has two months to conduct due diligence and complete the paperwork.

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China’s central bank on Saturday unveiled a long-awaited reform to its interest-rate mechanism, a move aimed at reducing financing costs for businesses struggling with a cooling economy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The People’s Bank of China said in a statement Saturday that it would replace existing benchmark interest rates with the Loan Prime Rate, which is based on real-world bank lending prices, as a reference for banks in pricing new loans.

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As China moves toward a more market-based approach to determining the cost of money in its economy, one metric suggests corporate debt is going in the opposite direction, Bloomberg News reported. Some 17% of company bonds in the first half were sold at yields at least 50 basis points below rates in the secondary market, according to data from China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co. That’s a jump from 9.9% in the second half of 2018. Globally, only the most in-demand issuers can raise funds in line with where their existing debt is trading; almost everyone pays a premium.

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Indian shadow bank Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), which collapsed late last year, may not have disclosed bad loans on its books for years despite a big part of its loan book having soured, a report from India’s central bank said, Reuters reported. The Indian government took control of IL&FS late last year after it defaulted on some of its debt, triggering wider concerns about risk in the rest of the country’s financial system. The government also appointed a new board.

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An offer from a potential investor is critical for Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd. to repay lenders and continue as a going concern, its auditor Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP said in a review report Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported. The offer envisages infusion of additional equity in Suzlon and a waiver of some of the amount due to lenders and bond holders. Based on that, a one-time settlement has been proposed to lenders, the auditor said. “Improvement of liquidity condition is contingent upon fructification of the offer,” Deloitte said.

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The frontrunner in the bidding for British Steel is a Turkish investment group owned by the country’s military pension fund, which is chaired by a former two-star army general, the Financial Times reported. Ataer Holding, a wholly owned investment vehicle of the Turkish Armed Forces Assistance Fund, has been in negotiations with the UK government over financial support for a takeover of British Steel, which fell into compulsory liquidation in May.

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Investors are awaiting stimulus measures from the Indian government as a gloomy economic outlook adds to mounting credit market woes and raises fears defaults will spread, Bloomberg News reported. The government is planning measures to boost the economy and may announce some steps this week to help demand for housing, automobiles, and to spur small businesses, an official said on Friday. Credit profiles of the nation’s companies worsened to a 19-month low in July, according to a Care Ratings index that tracks 1,601 local firms.

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Japan’s Topix index slumped, wiping out this year’s advance, after the yen climbed to its highest since March last year on global trade concerns and political uncertainty, Bloomberg News reported. The benchmark measure fell 1.2% Tuesday, resuming trade after a three-day weekend. It is down 0.5% year-to-date and one of the worst performers among the 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. The yen maintained gains after rising 1.1% against the dollar over the past four sessions and is trading around 105.28 to the dollar.

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Monthly sales of new energy vehicles in China fell in July for the first time in over two years, amid a yearlong slowdown in the world’s largest autos market, the Financial Times reported. Sales of NEVs, a category that includes both hybrid and fully electrified cars, declined by 4.7 per cent year-on-year in July to 80,000 vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Monday.

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