Asia

Sudhir Gharpure and his sales team sat chatting at a big Maruti Suzuki dealership on the outskirts of Mumbai some two hours after its doors were opened on a recent Saturday morning - not a single customer was in sight, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. "There used to be close to 15-20 bookings each day, but now we're down to 3-5 on good days," said Gharpure, the general manager at the dealership. Gharpure's experience is not an isolated one.

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The biggest slide in China’s yuan since 2015 threatens to revive concerns about the capital flight back then that helped spur the country to spend $1 trillion of its reserves. For all its perceived success in tightening regulations and strengthening scrutiny of funds moving abroad, the trauma of that period poses a big reason to avoid any continuous depreciation, Bloomberg News reported. An even more-important financial consideration could be the stockpile of Chinese dollar debt, which has more than doubled since the end of 2015 to $729.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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India’s Jet Airways has extended the deadline for initial bids for the bankrupt airline to Aug. 10 from Aug. 3, a statement from the company said on Saturday, Reuters reported. Jet, once ranked among the country’s biggest airlines, was forced to ground all flights in April after running out of money and failing to secure funds, crippled by mounting losses as it attempted to compete with low-cost rivals. The bid submission deadline has been extended at the request of some prospective bidders, it said.

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The resolution plan of one of India’s biggest shadow banking firms, Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL), may be delayed as its creditor DSP Mutual Fund has initiated legal proceedings against it, two banking sources told Reuters. DHFL ran into trouble late last year as cracks in the shadow banking system in India began to emerge after the near collapse of another financial firm, IL&FS, stoking fears of a broader contagion, Reuters reported. In July, DHFL said it was “undergoing substantial financial stress” and may not survive as a going concern.

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Shares of a rating company that failed to foresee signs of stress at the now-bankrupt IL&FS group nosedived after reporting the lowest quarterly profit since its trading debut in 2012, Bloomberg News reported. Care Ratings Ltd. plummeted by 20% to a record low of 486.70 rupees at 12:53 pm trading in Mumbai on Friday, extending a similar-sized drop the previous day. The sharpest drop in the shares on record comes after the company reported its lowest quarterly results since listing in 2012. Care and another Indian rater ICRA Ltd.

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Stock investors have never been so downbeat on the world’s biggest banks. China’s “big four” state-owned lenders, which together control more than $14 trillion of assets, have tumbled to record-low valuations amid mounting concern that Beijing will encourage them to bail out smaller peers, Bloomberg News reported. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by assets, lost $11 billion of market value last week after injecting capital into a troubled regional bank as part of a government-orchestrated rescue.

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Malvern Group has appointed KPMG as an administrator for its travel businesses, including Super Break and LateRooms, a day after shutting them down as one of its main shareholders defaulted on debt repayments, the audit firm said on Friday, Reuters reported. Malvern Group is partly owned by Indian tour operator Cox & Kings Ltd, which is under severe financial stress and has defaulted on debt repayments. Malvern Group’s website said forthcoming bookings had been cancelled, while customers currently on tours may be asked to pay again by the hotels.

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The near-collapse of IL&FS has punctured confidence in India’s shadow banking sector and the recriminations that followed inevitably focused on the capital market fragilities that led India’s largest infrastructure lender to default on part of its $13bn of debt, the Financial Times reported. What has been overshadowed in the wake of IL&FS’s woes is the diminished state of infrastructure lending itself, the foundational brick in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to take the economy a step or two higher and stay there.

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Even before the body of coffee-chain tycoon V.G. Siddhartha was recovered from a river in southern India this week, the financial strains that appear to have led him to take his own life were beginning to emerge, Bloomberg News reported. A letter purportedly written and signed by Siddhartha and sent to senior management of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd. laid out in stark words his struggles with a “serious liquidity crunch” that in turn had led to “tremendous pressure” from lenders and an unnamed private-equity investor. “I would like to say I gave it my all,” Siddhartha wrote.

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Lok Sabha on Thursday passed amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, with the government asserting that the spirit behind the law is not to allow companies to die, India Today reported. Rajya Sabha has already passed the bill and with its passage in the lower house, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is set to be amended. Responding to the debate on the bill, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the liquidation of a company is not the sole agenda of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. As many as seven sections of the Code are to be amended.

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