Europe

Loans to Venezuela from President Nicolas Maduro’s allies Russia and China would be renegotiated though the Paris Club if Maduro leaves power, an advisor to the opposition said on Wednesday, responding to concerns about favourable treatment for the two countries, Reuters reported. Ricardo Hausmann, who represents opposition leader Juan Guaido at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), said Guaido’s team has not determined how loans might be restructured under its governance because bilateral debt talks typically take place under the auspices of the Paris Club creditor group.

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Foreign investors have ended their near-boycott of Ukrainian local currency government debt, returning en masse in recent months amid an improving political and economic backdrop, the Financial Times reported. Just 1.6 per cent of Ukraine’s hryvnia-denominated sovereign bonds were held by foreign investors in December, in the wake of a series of calamities that had seen the currency ship 70 per cent of its value against the dollar since the start of 2014.

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The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority have stepped up their rhetoric about the dangers posed by funds offering customers daily redemption rights while investing in stuff that may prove hard to sell when times get tough, a Bloomberg View reported. The problem they and their fellow regulators face is that market liquidity is an elusive, contradictory thing: It can be reliably ever-present when it isn’t needed – only to vanish as soon as it’s desperately desired. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is unequivocal in his condemnation of the status quo.

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Views on the state of the German economy darkened again in July, according to a key survey, as analysts weighed factors including rising tensions in the Gulf, the US-China trade dispute and uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU, the Financial Times reported. The Zew survey of financial market experts indicated deteriorating views on both the current state of and outlook for Europe’s powerhouse industrial economy.

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GAM has drawn a line under a crisis that has engulfed the Swiss asset manager for nearly a year by selling a final tranche of £600m of bonds back to British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, the Financial Times reported. The sale, which was announced on Monday evening, will allow GAM to pay back investors in its Absolute Return Bond Fund range, who have been frozen in the former flagship strategy since it suspended trading last August.

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The extended grounding of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max plane forced Ryanair Holdings Plc to scale back growth plans for next summer, putting the airline industry on notice that the crisis is starting to affect longer-term plans, Bloomberg News reported. With a return date for the Max still uncertain after two fatal crashes, Ryanair is likely to receive barely half of the 58 planes it was expecting for the 2020 peak schedule, the Irish company said Tuesday, estimating that the reduction will wipe 5 million passengers from its full-year tally.

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Sports Direct International Plc shares headed toward a seven-year low after the U.K. sports-apparel retailer delayed publishing its results as auditors increase their scrutiny of its accounting, Bloomberg News reported. The U.K. retailer said Monday it needs more time to compile information as regulators review Grant Thornton’s audit of its fiscal 2018 results, and that the review may affect its financial guidance. The shares fell as much as 14% in morning trading in London.

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Shopping centre and high-street landlords have been asked to lower rents on unprofitable stores as struggling retailers seek ways to keep their businesses afloat and cut costs. But property owners have grown increasingly resistant, prompting some chains to consider an alternative approach, the Financial Times reported. Last month Philip Green was forced to tweak a plan to close or secure significantly lower rents on stores leased by his Arcadia business.

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Investors have poured more than $10bn into junk bond funds since early June, highlighting the intensity of their hunt for yield amid a big rally in the bond market. Net inflows into the asset class registered $2.3bn in the week to Wednesday, according to EPFR data, the Financial Times reported. That brought the boost over the past five weeks to $10.6bn, the largest increase over any such period since 2017.

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