Europe

The Irish High Court has appointed a provisional liquidator to a shipping company which claims it has become “hopelessly insolvent” due to apparent fraud by its managing director, the Irish Times reported. The order was made in relation to a Co Louth-based freight forwarding business, Fast Shipping Ireland Ltd, which employs nine people. Following an investigation into its financial affairs, the company claims its currently suspended managing director, Simon Mulvany, used its monies for his own benefit, including the purchase of two racehorses.
Read more
London's Court of Appeal will hear a request to revive a 5 billion pound ($6.95 billion) lawsuit against Anglo-Australian mining group BHP (BHPB.L), (BHP.AX) over a 2015 dam failure in Brazil, a court order showed, Reuters reported. Judge Nicholas Underhill has agreed to an oral hearing that could help to overturn a previous Court of Appeal decision which denied a 200,000-strong Brazilian claimant group permission to appeal against a judgment to strike out the landmark case.
Read more
The Bank of England unveiled a much brighter outlook for the British economy on Thursday, saying it would return to its prepandemic levels at the end of this year as lockdowns ended, consumers spent billions of pounds in extra savings and the vaccine rollout reduced public health worries, the New York Times reported. The central bank, in its quarterly monetary report, raised its growth forecasts and slashed its predictions for unemployment. The British economy is now projected to grow 7.25 percent this year, compared to a forecast of 5 percent growth three months ago.
Read more
Air France-KLM sales are showing little sign so far of the travel recovery it still hopes to see by summer, the airline group said on Thursday, as it posted a wider first-quarter operating loss, Reuters reported. The group also confirmed its intention to raise more capital within months - a prospect that has weighed on its shares. The stock fell 1.1% to 4.51 euros at 0850 GMT -- less than half its peak of 9.81 euros early last year before the crisis.
Read more
The European Commission accused the U.K. of breaching the post-Brexit trade deal by introducing conditions to grant licenses to fishing boats, Politico reported. London and Paris are at loggerheads over fishing licensing arrangements for French boats fishing in the Channel Islands, but the tension escalated in the last 24 hours when both sides dispatched patrol vessels to the self-governing island of Jersey, where French fishermen had sailed to in protest. French fishermen are struggling to obtain licenses allowing them to keep working in U.K. waters, including in Jersey.
Read more
Liberty Steel Group said on Wednesday that it had appointed a committee to restructure and refinance the group after Greensill Capital, its biggest lender, filed for insolvency in March, Reuters reported. The move comes after Sanjeev Gupta’s family conglomerate GFG Alliance announced that its Australian unit had agreed terms to refinance its exposure to Greensill. Liberty Steel, which is also under the GFG umbrella, said in a statement that four new board directors would form a Restructuring and Transformation Committee (RTC) to focus on fixing or selling underperforming units.
Read more
The European Union unveiled draft rules on Wednesday aimed at cracking down on state-subsidized foreign companies in Europe, a move that could allow regulators to pursue big Chinese companies in much the same way they have targeted U.S. multinationals such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported. The legislation is the latest sign of Europe’s shifting stance toward China, the bloc’s biggest trading partner for goods and a crucial market for its exporters.
Read more
When Covid-19 first plunged Europe into lockdown last spring, there were plausible predictions of a tidal wave of corporate insolvencies. That hasn’t happened, at least not yet, according to a Bloomberg News commentary. The number of companies declaring bankruptcy declined by about a fifth in the euro area last year, even as economic output contracted more than 6%. Firms were saved by overwhelming government support, including hundreds of billions of euros of public loan guarantees, wage subsidies and loan forbearance by banks.
Read more
The Irish High Court has overturned an order requiring bankrupt businessman Sean Dunne to pay €7,000 a month for the benefit of creditors in his Irish bankruptcy, the Irish Times reported. On the basis of evidence, including that Mr Dunne’s net personal income for a 25-month period is €1,371 monthly, that he cannot access his pension until aged 70, and that the income of his children, of whom he is the sole carer, cannot be treated as his income, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys set aside the Bankruptcy Payment Order (BPO).
Read more