Asia

Two large Chinese borrowers missed payment deadlines this month, underscoring the risks piling up in a credit market that’s witnessing the most company failures on record, Bloomberg News reported. China Minsheng Investment Group Corp., a private investment group with interests in renewable energy and real estate, hasn’t returned money to bondholders that it had pledged to repay on Feb. 1, according to people familiar with the matter. And Wintime Energy Co., which defaulted last year, didn’t honor part of a restructured debt repayment plan last week, separate people said.

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The laundry list of allegations against Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak for his role in 1MDB points to a lengthy road ahead as his trial begins on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported. The 42 counts of corruption and money laundering charges offer a window into the complex web of transactions surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the state fund that lies at the center of globe-spanning investigations involving about $4.5 billion of allegedly misappropriated funds. The probes have led to dozens of allegations against Najib, who has pleaded not guilty, while ensnaring Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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The Ruia family, mounting one legal battle after another to thwart Essar Steel Ltd.’s insolvency resolution, faces a fresh setback. Lenders to the Essar Group’s power companies have filed recovery cases to invoke personal guarantees provided by the promoters, two people aware of the development told BloombergQuint. Private lender ICICI Bank Ltd., and state-run IDBI Bank Ltd. moved various benches of the debt recovery tribunal, the people said without willing to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media. ICICI Bank Ltd.

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Turkish banks have not been receiving compensation since August for non-performing loans made to companies covered by guarantees from the state Credit Guarantee Fund (KGF), five sources familiar with the matter said. The KGF is designed to stimulate the economy by guaranteeing loans to small- and medium-sized firms that could not otherwise obtain credit, Reuters reported. Such loans were widely used in 2017 to boost the economy, prompting the biggest credit growth in recent years.

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The benchmark equity gauge of India’s 50 biggest companies reclaimed the 11,000 level after four months on Wednesday, but not all investors are celebrating. Only a handful of stocks, including Reliance Industries Ltd. and software exporters Infosys Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. have driven the gains in the NSE Nifty 50 Index since the year started, Bloomberg News reported. What’s more, about 40 percent of the gauge’s members are trading below their prices from three months ago, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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Prayers for a sudden return to dovish monetary policies have been answered, and now investors are living with the aftermath: a world awash with $8.6 trillion in negative-yielding debt, Bloomberg News reported. That’s one reason money managers are wading once more into the fringes of fixed-income markets across the globe. Consider the action over the past week: Serial defaulter Ecuador managed to sell $1 billion in new bonds even as the government is in talks for International Monetary Fund financing.

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The Next Shadow-Banking Crisis in India

Just a year ago, India’s third-largest mortgage lender was bragging about how it had shrunk its financing costs by replacing bank loans with market borrowings, a Bloomberg View reported. Now, Dewan Housing Finance Corp. is confronting the fallout of that seemingly clever strategy, one that many of its peers face as well: a dangerously high exposure to India’s struggling developers. At the end of March 2018, Dewan had brought its cost of funds down to 8.4 percent, a reduction of almost 2 percentage points in three years.

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Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd shares rose on Monday following five consecutive sessions of decline, after the Indian home loan provider said it was keen to sell assets and some of its businesses to improve liquidity, Reuters reported. The stock rose as management tried to assuage liquidity concerns on a conference call with investors, media and analysts. The stock was trading 5.9 percent higher at 117.70 rupees at 0745 GMT on Monday.

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India’s Reliance Communications Ltd on Monday moved the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to withdraw its appeal in a dispute with Ericsson as it seeks to pursue a debt resolution plan through the country’s bankruptcy court, Reuters reported. Mumbai-based RCom, controlled by Anil Ambani, said on Friday it will seek fast-track resolution of its debt through the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the country’s court that deals with bankruptcy cases. The NCLAT on Monday asked Ericsson to file a response by Feb. 8 and scheduled a hearing for Feb. 12.

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