Asia

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.

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AirAsia Group Bhd., hit by the coronavirus pandemic that’s decimated passenger demand, is selling its 32.7% stake in AirAsia India Ltd. to its partner Tata Sons Ltd. for about $38 million, Bloomberg News reported. The Malaysian low-cost carrier entered into an agreement with Tata Sons, which already owns 51% of the venture, according to an exchange filing on Tuesday. AirAsia Group last month said that it was reviewing investment in its cash-strapped Indian affiliate, hours after its Japan unit filed for bankruptcy.
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Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian parent of South Korean SUV maker SsangYong Motor Co (SYMC), issued corporate guarantees earlier this year to some of its global creditors, such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and BNP Paribas, to safeguard their exposure once SYMC was on the brink of bankruptcy, the Economic Times reported. For others like Citibank, the Indian conglomerate’s corporate guarantee was not enough. So, M&M had to issue an indemnity letter in favour of the U.S. bank’s Indian arm.
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Countries that once avoided upsetting Beijing are moving closer to the U.S.’s harder and largely bipartisan stance—to curb Chinese access to customers, technology and sensitive infrastructure, the Wall Street Journal reported. Australia, economically dependent on China, became one of the first countries to block Huawei Technology Co. on its soil, and led global calls for an investigation into China’s initial handling of the coronavirus. India, once a pillar of the world’s nonaligned movement, is expanding military cooperation with the U.S.
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A unit of Vedanta Resources will issue $400 million in notes to an entity under Oaktree Capital Group, as the mining conglomerate looks to meet liquidity needs, Bloomberg News reported. The notes will be partly secured by shares in Mumbai-listed unit Vedanta Ltd., according to separate exchange filings from Vedanta and the U.S. hedge fund. India’s macroeconomic troubles have attracted a wave of global investors betting they can eke out profits from the rising number of capital-starved businesses struggling to stay afloat.
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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.

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The dedicated bankruptcy court has admitted the insolvency resolution petition against listed textile firm Bansal Multiflex Ltd for the default on its operational debt of about Rs 28 lakh, the The Economic Times (India) reported. The Ahmadabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has admitted the petition filed by Jodhpur-based Vardhman Textiles has argued in its petition that the company had supplied various raw materials to the company between July 2017 to January 2019.
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Chinese banks are expected to face headwinds raising funds next year as profit-conscious investors cling to the sidelines, expecting a wave of bad loans to hammer the sector and erode already slimming margins, Reuters reported. The sector is ending its worst annual performance in years after putting aside record provisions due to COVID-19 while Beijing urged banks to sacrifice profits to help the economy.
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Chinese financial regulators moved to rein in Ant Group Co., the financial-technology giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, telling it to switch its focus back to its mainstay payments business and rectify problems in faster-growing areas such as personal lending, insurance and wealth management, the Wall Street Journal reported. China’s central bank on Sunday criticized Ant for its behavior toward competitors and consumers, and what regulators said was problematic corporate governance.
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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.

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