Europe

Bankruptcies fell 40 percent last year in France and Britain, and were down 25 percent on average in the European Union, the New York Times reported. By contrast, chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in the U.S. rose in the third quarter to the highest level since the 2010 financial crisis, a trend that is expected to continue in 2021, according to an index compiled by the U.S. law firm Polsinelli. The difference is the enormous sums European countries are spending to keep businesses afloat. But some worry they’ve gone too far; bankruptcies are plunging to levels not seen in decades.

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The European Union granted equivalence to a set of U.S. clearinghouses, easing their access to its financial markets, Bloomberg News reported. The decision, which allows U.S. central counterparties to provide clearing services in the European Union, is conditional and applies to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-regulated firms, according to a statement Wednesday. Clearinghouses stand between the two sides of a derivatives trade and hold collateral, also known as margin, from both in case a member defaults.

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The German economy will likely grow 3% this year despite the impact of COVID-19, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Wednesday, Politico reported. "The good news is that the upswing that has been observed since September and October 2020 will continue in 2021, albeit with less momentum than we had hoped," Altmaier said while presenting the government's Annual Economic Report, at a press conference in Berlin. "That means we have to do everything we can to sustain this upswing," he added.

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Silverstone-based exhaust technology manufacturer Baumot UK has been placed into administration by its German parent company, the Business Desk reported. The firm has appointed Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery after the Baumot Group filed for insolvency after its core markets of the UK, Israel and Italy were affected by lockdown brought on by the Covid pandemic. The company’s UK arm specialised in fitting buses and other vehicles to with catalytic reduction systems to reduce tailpipe emissions.

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World leaders promised more support to protect vulnerable countries from the ravages of climate change at a global online summit on Monday — but a growing COVID-19 debt crisis threatens to sweep those efforts away, Politico reported. At the meeting convened by the Netherlands, leaders of wealthy nations said while cutting emissions remained vital, more must be done to tackle the consequences of global warming, especially in communities with few financial resources. “We have to show ...

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Football club FC Barcelona Barça is on the verge of bankruptcy its total debt right now stands at 1,173 million euros, of which 730 are short-term, El Mundo reported. Nearly 266 million euros owed to banks comes due for the club before June 30 with 90 million of that figured owed to Goldman Sachs. The total wage bill for professional athletes currently stands at 74% of income . It should be remembered that the League regulations significantly penalize the fact of exceeding the 70% limit in the case of footballers.

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The world economy is gearing up for a strong recovery from the pandemic in 2021 after shrinking considerably less than initially feared last year, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday, though it warned that the outlook is subject to exceptional uncertainty, the Wall Street Journal reported. Global output is projected to grow 5.5% this year, up from the IMF’s October forecast of a 5.2% increase. Last year’s estimated contraction of 3.5% was smaller than October’s forecast for a 4.4% contraction.

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One in five German companies is facing a liquidity squeeze amid a second lockdown that has seen most stores and schools shuttered since mid-December, a survey of 18,000 businesses by the DIHK chambers of commerce showed, Reuters reported. That figure is down from 27% in November but shows that government aid is proving insufficient to fully compensate for lost revenues. Some 5% of companies that participated in the DIHK study said they faced the threat of insolvency, down from around 9% in November, according to a summary of the survey published Tuesday.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff proposed temporarily allowing expanded debt spending by Germany’s federal government, prompting a swift rejection from officials in his own party, Bloomberg News reported. Helge Braun, Merkel’s chancellery minister, wrote in Tuesday’s Handelsblatt newspaper that the country’s so-called debt brake, which is enshrined in the constitution, should be altered to allow more borrowing to help offset the impact of the coronavirus on Europe’s biggest economy.
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Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that the government is in talks with potential investors for the sale of insolvent glassmaker Srpska Fabrika Stakla (SFS), SeeNews.com reported. "We are in talks with potential investors, they are conducting a due diligence, an analysis of the financial situation and the potential of the factory," Brnabic said as seen in a video file posted on the website of Tanjug news agency on Saturday.

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