China’s top credit-rating firm was banned from rating new bonds for three months, after an investigation found it ignored red flags at a state-owned coal miner whose default last month rattled the country’s bond market, the Wall Street Journal reported. China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co. had an AAA rating on the miner when it failed to repay the equivalent of $153 million in short-term debt on Nov. 10. The default occurred just weeks after the company, Yongcheng Coal & Electricity Holding Group Co., raised the same amount from a sale of three-year-debt.
Gold sales in Thailand are surging as households reach for a financial lifeline amid the pandemic, a tactic that risks complicating government efforts to tame an export-stifling rally in the nation’s currency, Bloomberg News reported. Exports of the precious metal surged to a record this year as prices climbed and Thais unloaded jewelry, bars and medallions to raise cash for routine expenses. Bullion traders expect the trend to continue into 2021 as the coronavirus drags on tourism and manufacturing, the mainstays of Thailand’s economy.
The drop in the amount of distressed debt across emerging markets has been a barely anticipated bonus for many countries this year. But it’s scant comfort for those nations still struggling with mounting obligations, Bloomberg News reported. The number of emerging- and frontier-market nations with debt trading at distressed levels -- yields more than 10 percentage points above those on U.S. Treasuries -- has tumbled from as many as 19 at the height of the coronavirus selloff in March to about a half-dozen now.