Asia

Japan's central bank is poised to carry out monetary policy adjustments designed to increase its flexibility and make life easier for financial institutions, sources told Nikkei. During its two-day policy meeting from Thursday, the Bank of Japan will be looking at measures that would allow long-term interest rates to move in a slightly larger range of about 0.25%, plus or minus, versus 0.2% now. The idea is to maintain low interest rates while encouraging the market to function normally, giving financial institutions a chance to increase revenue.
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Malaysia’s high court on Wednesday granted a restraining order for three months on 15 of AirAsia X Bhd.’s creditors over the debt recast talks for the airline, Bloomberg News reported. The order, applied for by AirAsia X to address its obligations in a timely manner, gives the creditors an opportunity for amicable discussions without “extraneous considerations,” according to an exchange filing.
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Pakistan has hired banks for a possible foreign-currency bond offering, Bloomberg News reported. The government has mandated Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG, Standard Chartered Plc and Emirates NBD Bank PJSC. The South Asian nation is looking to raise funds after reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on resumption of a $6 billion bailout program that was secured in 2019 to avoid bankruptcy. Pakistan is also separately planning to issue a $500 million green note in the next few months to help boost its development of hydroelectric power.
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Japan is temporarily raising tariffs on U.S. beef imports as volumes have exceeded levels agreed to between the two nations for the fiscal year ending on March 31, Japan’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. From Thursday, the tariff will rise to 38.5% from 25.8% for 30 days through April 16, marking the first time the safeguard measure has been imposed on U.S. beef imports since August 2017. Japan imported a total of 242,229 tonnes of U.S. beef by early March, exceeding the maximum 242,000 tonnes set under the Japan-.U.S.
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A Chinese court has ruled that HNA Group's corporate management was "highly mixed up" and more than 300 of its affiliates did not function as independent companies, Nikkei Asia reported. The People's High Court of Hainan Province in the civil case involving the once highflying conglomerate also decided to treat the group as a single entity in its bankruptcy proceedings going forward. The court disclosed late on Monday that it would pursue the restructuring procedures by consolidating the parent HNA Group with 320 of its affiliates.
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Chinese economic activity surged in the first two months of 2021 when compared with the same coronavirus-battered period last year, though the picture was less rosy when weighed against growth momentum in the final months of 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported. Economic data released Monday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed industrial production, consumption, investment and home sales in January and February all jumping by more than 30% from the same period a year earlier, when the Chinese economy was largely shut down to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus.

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Anil Agarwal, the billionaire founder of the Vedanta commodities empire, is offering a higher price to repurchase shares of his cash-rich Indian unit that’s key to his debt-repayment plans, Bloomberg News reported. London-based Vedanta Resources Ltd. will now seek to buy 17.51% of Mumbai-listed Vedanta Ltd. at 235 rupees ($3.24) a share, it said in an exchange filing Tuesday. That’s up from the previous 10% at 160 rupees apiece.
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China is stepping up the bankruptcy process of heavily indebted companies as the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party tries to demonstrate its crisis management before the party congress in 2022, Nikkei Asia reported. Travel conglomerate HNA Group and five other major heavily indebted companies with ties with the government have liabilities totaling 1.8 trillion yuan ($277 billion). A high court in Hainan Province announced on Wednesday that more than 300 companies under the wing of HNA will go into a bankruptcy process called "chong zheng,"a type of corporate rehabilitation.
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Chinese regulators attempting to rein in Ant Group Co. and a swelling online-lending industry have a target in their sights: the excessive, debt-fueled lifestyles of the country’s youth, the Wall Street Journal reported. Leading up to last year’s coronavirus pandemic, a new generation of tech-savvy and free-spending citizens helped power rising consumption, a growing driver of China’s economy. Many used short-term loans to pay for expenses such as prestige cosmetics, electronic gadgets and costly restaurant meals.
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