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China will step up financial support for industries, firms and people affected by COVID-19 outbreaks, the central bank said on Monday, as part of steps to cushion economic slowdown, Reuters reported. Authorities will guide financial institutions to expand lending and surrender profits to the real economy, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement on its website. Financial institutions should flexibly support COVID-affected individuals by reasonably delaying loan repayments and overdue loans may not be recorded, the central bank banks.
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Sri Lanka is barreling toward a “series of defaults” as it stops paying its foreign debts, Moody’s Investors Service warned in a downgrade of the country’s credit rating, Bloomberg News reported. The first default could come quite soon. The island nation was meant to pay about $78 million in interest to its bondholders on Monday -- until, of course, the government said last week it would halt foreign debt service to preserve cash for food and fuel imports. That has led rating companies to slash Sri Lanka further into junk, with Moody’s on Monday lowering its score to Ca from Caa2.
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When Sri Lankan officials arrive in Washington this week to meet with the International Monetary Fund amid an economic and political crisis, the main question they’ll need to answer is how the country plans to manage its billions in debt, Bloomberg News reported. Sri Lanka is seeking up to $4 billion this year to help it import essentials and pay creditors. To get any of that through the IMF’s various programs, the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa must present a sustainable debt program.
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Nearly half of the 3,247 insolvency cases have been resolved through liquidation, and only a paltry 457 or 14 per cent of them through asset sale as per their lenders-approved resolution plans, a report said on Friday, the Economic Times of India/em> reported. Even the various resolution processes have witnessed the recovery of debt of just 31 per cent on an average, said the data from the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India.
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A Seoul court on Thursday approved a new auction to sell debt-ridden SsangYong Motor Co. following its preferred bidder's payment failure for the carmaker last month, Yonhap News Agency reported. In January, Edison Motors Co. signed a deal to acquire SsangYong for 304.8 billion won (US$249 million). But the deal collapsed as the electric bus maker failed to make the full payment by the March 25 deadline. The Seoul Bankruptcy Court extended the deadline for SsangYong to find a new owner and submit a new restructuring plan by six months until Oct. 15.
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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the central bank's monetary policy is aimed at achieving its 2% inflation target, not at manipulating currency rates, brushing aside the view the country must end an ultra-low interest rate policy to stem sharp yen declines, Reuters reported. Kishida also said the recent rise in domestic inflation was due mostly to a global spike in crude oil and raw material costs, rather than the weak yen.
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The Bank of Japan (BOJ) is likely to raise its inflation forecast for this fiscal year to near 2% at this month's policy meeting as global commodity inflation drives up energy and food costs, Reuters reported. While the upgrade will bring inflation closer to its 2% target, the central bank will stress its resolve to keep monetary policy ultra-loose to underpin a fragile economic recovery.
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Easing property curbs may do little to brighten the outlook for Chinese residential sales as weak home-buyer confidence remains a key hurdle, with Covid’s spread adding extra near-term threats, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. China’s central bank reduced the reserve requirement ratio for most banks by 25 basis points Friday, giving lenders a modest cash boost. It also kept the one-year policy interest rate unchanged, disappointing the majority of economists who predicted a cut.
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Bank of India has filed an insolvency petition against Future Retail Ltd (FRL) at the bankruptcy court for non-payment of dues, the retailer said in a notice issued to stock exchanges on Thursday evening, the Economic Times of India reported. The company said it defaulted on payment of monies due in terms of framework agreement it entered with the bank. The decision of lenders to file an application with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will have a bearing on the Rs 24,713-crore offer that Reliance Industries-linked entities made to acquire Future Group companies in August 2020.
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Nearly 400 million people are estimated to be under some form of lockdown in China as officials try to stop a fast-moving Omicron outbreak that is beginning to weigh on the world’s second-largest economy, the New York Times reported. Hundreds of thousands of people have been sent to isolation facilities in China, and millions more have been told to stay in their homes. Officials in dozens of cities have shut down normal daily life across the country in a race to track and trace the coronavirus and stamp out China’s worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic.
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