Asia

Japan’s government in December cut its view on consumption for the first time in three months, and said overall economic conditions were still severe due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. Authorities said the world’s third-largest economy is facing increased risks from a resurgence in COVID-19 cases at home and abroad, leading to an outlook downgrade though those remained underpinned by hopes for an economic rebound.

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China’s central bank will scale back support for the economy in 2021 and cool credit growth, but fears of derailing a recovery from a pandemic-induced slump and debt defaults are likely to prevent it from tightening any time soon, policy sources said, Reuters reported. This expands on a theme recently outlined at China’s annual Central Economic Work Conference to plan for 2021, where leaders said the country would keep its proactive fiscal policy and make monetary policy flexible and targeted.

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Planemaker Airbus has said it stands to lose more than $5 billion worth of orders if AirAsia X Bhd’s (AAX) debt restructuring scheme goes through, court documents showed, joining more than a dozen creditors that have challenged the Malaysian low-budget carrier’s plan, Reuters reported. Airbus’s challenge comes as AAX defends its scheme from claims by key lessor BOC Aviation (BOCA) that it favoured Airbus and lacked a debt-to-equity swap offer for creditors. In a Dec.

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South Korean carmaker Ssangyong Motor has filed for bankruptcy after failing to repay creditors, a move analysts said signals that the government is unlikely to bail out pandemic-hit companies that have foreign backers, the Financial Times reported. Ssangyong, 75 per cent-owned by Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra, has filed for court receivership and warned of massive disruptions to its operations after defaulting on loan payments of about Won60bn ($54.4m).

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the government is planning to extend the suspension of fresh insolvency proceedings for another three months, a move which will provide major relief to corporate borrowers hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Deccan Herald reported. Addressing the Bangalore Chamber Of Industry And Commerce (BCIC), she said the government has taken several measures, including deferment of tax payment date, to help businesses and people.

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On 3 December 2020 the Cyprus Parliament voted for the extension of relevant tax provisions of the Cyprus tax legislation with respect to the debt restructurings, Mondaq reported. The debt restructuring provisions allow for certain tax relief incentives for transactions which involve the transfer of Cyprus immovable property by a borrower (the definition of "borrower" has been extended recently to include any related person to the primary borrower) and/or debtor and/or guarantor to a qualified lender.

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Indian stocks fell, taking a sudden plunge about one hour ahead of the close as investors assessed the latest coronavirus outbreaks as well as a new lockdown in the U.K, Bloomberg News reported. The S&P BSE Sensex closed down 3% to 45,553.96, the biggest decline since May, with all stocks in the red. Reliance Industries and utilities were the biggest contributor to the losses with the oil refiner down 2.6%. Meanwhile, a broader gauge of about 200 stocks that includes mid caps tumbled 3.4%, the most since May.

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Debt-laden Sarawak Cable Bhd (SCable) has struck deals with financial institutions to restructure the loans of its affected subsidiaries, The Star Online reported. SCable said the affected companies (subsidiaries) have entered into the relevant agreements (RAs), including the restructuring agreements, with their respective lenders, with all the agreements having been signed by Dec 11,2020. The parties have agreed to vary the terms and restructure the existing facilities in accordance with the affected companies’ restructuring scheme (RS), the company told Bursa Malaysia on Dec 11.

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OneWeb, the satellite internet group recently rescued from bankruptcy, is expecting to clinch a $400m fundraising next month, its executive chairman said as the company marked a return to business with the launch of 36 satellites, the Financial Times reported. Sunil Bharti Mittal, the Indian telecoms tycoon who with the British government has taken control of OneWeb for $1bn, said two satellite operators and a financial group were in late stage discussions about investing. “We are very close . . . maybe a couple of weeks,” Mr Mittal said.

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