Asia

China, Africa’s largest bilateral creditor, is likely to agree to delay but not forgive its $152 billion of loans, an approach at odds with prior forbearance plans from groups including the Paris Club, according to a top Johns Hopkins University researcher, Bloomberg News reported. “The Chinese have always done their lending on the idea that individual projects contribute to structural transformation and economic development,” said Deborah Brautigam, who heads the China Africa Research Initiative at JHU’s School of Advanced International Studies.

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Thailand’s government said on Monday it plans to submit a rehabilitation plan for troubled national carrier Thai Airways International Pcl to a bankruptcy court rather than go ahead with a planned rescue, Reuters reported. “The State-Enterprise Planning Office agreed in principle for the rehabilitation of Thai Airways in court ... the procedure will be submitted to cabinet tomorrow,” government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said.

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Japan’s economy sank last quarter into a recession that’s likely to deepen further as households limit spending to essentials and companies cut investment, production and hiring to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported. Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 3.4% in the three months through March from the previous quarter as exports slid and social distancing crimped consumer spending, Cabinet Office figures showed Monday.

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India said on Sunday it would privatise state-run companies in non-strategic sectors and stop fresh insolvency cases for a year, as the country battles with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. A list of strategic sectors will also be announced in which only one to four public sector enterprises will remain, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, as part of a slew of measures to kickstart the economy. Indian officials said most of the privatisations would happen in the next fiscal year, starting April 2021.

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Months of concern over rising Covid-19 infection levels may be secondary for investors in coming days as market-moving events and policy decisions take center stage, Bloomberg News reported. China’s annual National People’s Congress starting Friday will likely keep volatility suppressed for developing-nation currencies, despite the prospect of another flareup in tensions between Beijing and Washington.

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Japan’s Renown Inc, part of Chinese fashion empire Shandong Ruyi, filed for bankruptcy on Friday with 13.9 billion yen ($130 million) in debt, the country’s highest-profile business to collapse amid the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported. Renown, a century-old textile company which sells clothes under brands such as Arnold Palmer, Hiroko Koshino and D’Urban, confirmed it had filed for bankruptcy protection after a month-long closure of department stores brought the already-struggling business to its knees. It joins a list of global fashion companies, including retailers such as J.

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India’s shadow lenders are facing fresh turmoil after asset manager Franklin Templeton shut funds late last month, prompting other large investors to dump the financiers’ debt, Bloomberg News reported. Mutual funds are big buyers of non-bank financial firms’ bonds and some are struggling to meet redemptions after the biggest-ever forced closure of funds in the country. Spreads on AAA rated five-year bonds of shadow lenders have soared to an eight-year high.

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India’s battle-scarred bankers are hoarding cash and reluctant to lend to smaller firms, forcing the government to ride to the rescue of millions of companies struggling for survival during the nationwide lockdown, Bloomberg News reported. The lenders are accepting penalty rates to keep a record $92 billion a day with the Reserve Bank of India and have shunned a central bank program aimed at credit-starved corporates, choosing safety as the pandemic cripples economic activity. The government responded on Wednesday by offering $62 billion in credit lines and cash injections to the smaller fi

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A Hong Kong-listed oil explorer became the first casualty of the spectacular oil price slump in China’s offshore bond market, after defaulting on a dollar note, Bloomberg News reported. MIE Holdings Corp. failed to deliver an interest repayment of about $17 million for its 13.75% dollar bond due 2022 after a 30-day grace period expired Monday, according to a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. This triggered cross defaults on other loan facilities, it said.

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