Asia

The U.S. and China are planning to hold meetings in January to negotiate a broader truce in their trade wars but are unlikely to have any face-to-face contact before then, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Bloomberg News reported. Mnuchin said that the two sides had held several phone conversations in recent weeks and were still in the process of planning further formal discussions. “We’re in the process of confirming the logistics of several meetings and we’re determined to make sure that we use the time wisely, to try to resolve this,” Mnuchin said.

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The new board of the insolvent Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. has put its road assets on sale as part of its debt-resolution plan, BloombergQuint reported. The road assets/businesses, according to a company statement, are classified under the “Domestic Roads Vertical”, and belong to subsidiaries, including IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd. The infrastructure financier, in order to ensure maximisation of sale value, may either sell these assets together or individually, depending upon investors’ interest.
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Since becoming a symbol of Wall Street greed during the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs has tried to recast its image as an investment bank that cares as much about ethics as it does its bottom line, the New York Times reported. Now, that makeover is being undone by the bank’s work for an obscure investment fund in Malaysia, which has entangled it in civil and criminal investigations around the world. Goldman recently received subpoenas from New York regulators, held talks with federal prosecutors and is likely to incur billions of dollars in penalties.
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China’s effort to cut the burden of insolvent companies weighing on its slowing economy has kicked into higher gear, with a slew of bankruptcy filings that’s set to enrich the case history of debt resolutions for bond investors, Bloomberg News reported. Local courts have accepted or plan to accept at least five bankruptcy applications from firms that defaulted on publicly issued bonds since early November. That’s roughly on par with the number seen over the previous four years. The new pace may continue: China’s top planning body called on Dec.
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RattanIndia Power Ltd., a electricity generator backed by hedge fund Farallon Capital Management, is close to restructuring about $500 million of stressed loans, Bloomberg News reported. The company, which is building coal-fired power plants to produce 5,400 megawatt of electricity -- enough to light up 7 million rural homes in India -- has offered to pay banks 52 percent of the obligations of its project in Amravati in Maharashtra state. The talks with creditors are on-going and there’s no certainty they will result in a transaction.

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RattanIndia Power Ltd., a electricity generator backed by hedge fund Farallon Capital Management, is close to restructuring about $500 million of stressed loans, Bloomberg News reported. The company, which is building coal-fired power plants to produce 5,400 megawatt of electricity -- enough to light up 7 million rural homes in India -- has offered to pay banks 52 percent of the obligations of its project in Amravati in Maharashtra state. The talks with creditors are on-going and there’s no certainty they will result in a transaction.

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s credit rating was cut by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited the drugmakers’ ballooning debt level following its $62 billion acquisition of Shire Plc, Bloomberg News reported. Moody’s cut Takeda’s credit rating three notches to Baa2 from A2, according to a statement Monday. That’s still investment grade, and Moody’s said the outlook is stable based on expectations that Takeda will reduce its leverage through cost synergies and growth from key products.
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India’s state-run banks sought an easing of rules related to bad loan recognition in a meeting with newly-appointed central bank Governor Shaktikanta Das, people familiar with the matter said. The heads of seven banks also asked for a liquidity boost for the financial system to help non-bank financiers tide over a cash crunch, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private, Bloomberg News reported. An easing of lending curbs on 11 weak state-run lenders was also discussed, they said. Regulations have limited banks’ ability to extend credit.

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A deluge of misfortunes has left China’s equity investors with their biggest losses in years, wherever you look. Stung by everything from a national vaccine scandal to a decline in consumer spending, the Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese tech and Beijing’s tightening grip on education, gaming and drugs, the country’s stock market has lost $2.1 trillion in value in 2018, Bloomberg News reported.

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Default risk for Chinese companies has climbed to the highest in 13 years as Beijing seeks to rein in its post-crisis construction boom, according to Moody’s Analytics. The research group’s measure of expected default frequency has risen above early-warning levels for about 25 percent of corporate borrowers, Bloomberg News reported. Moody’s Analytics, a separate entity from the ratings agency, uses the gauge to isolate companies and sectors that merit further investigation for financial distress.

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