Europe

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) is calling for a tax amnesty for hospitality firms to help them survive beyond the expected lifting of restrictions next month, the Irish Independent reported. It comes after insolvency experts predicted that more than 1,000 firms could close their doors from next year, once government supports end and pandemic debts are called in. Retailers and business organisations say small, domestic, independent firms will be worst hit.
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Euro zone companies survived the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic better than expected with fewer insolvencies than feared, euro zone finance ministers are likely to conclude on Monday according to a senior euro zone official, Reuters reported. The official, who asked not to be named, said the better outcome was testament to the effectiveness of the 2.3 trillion euros ($2.64 trillion) of national liquidity support measures taken to keep companies from collapsing under repeated government-imposed pandemic lockdowns and the resilience of the economy.
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Ukrainian sovereign dollar bonds tumbled into distress territory and Russian bonds suffered sharp falls on Monday as fears of another Russian military foray into Ukraine showed no sign of easing, Reuters reported. The premium investors demand to hold Ukraine bonds over safe-haven U.S. Treasuries as measured by the JPMorgan EMBI Global Diversified index surged past 1,000 basis points for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March 2020.
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East Yorkshire contractor PDR Construction, which Construction News revealed on Tuesday had ceased work on its sites across the country, has appointed administrators. The £83m-turnover main contractor had made all its staff redundant ahead of the administration, a statement from Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery has revealed. The statement blamed the impact of the pandemic on contracts, as well as a “significant” recent failed adjudication, which the administrator has not given details of.
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According to Statistics Netherlands, 1,536 companies were declared bankrupt in 2021, the NL Times reported. That number was only slightly lower in 1990 at 1,527. The stats office has been keeping track of this data since 1981. The number of bankruptcies fell in almost all sectors of industry. Most bankruptcies happened in trade, but that is also the sector with the most companies. The number of bankruptcies in the catering industry more than halved last year compared to a year earlier.
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A unit of offshore driller Seadrill Ltd yesterday filed a fast-tracked reorganization plan in Houston bankruptcy court, where it expects to seek approval of the proposal today, Reuters reported. The case comes just a few months after its parent entity emerged from its own bankruptcy proceeding. That reorganization plan is scheduled to go into effect early this year. Seadrill New Finance Ltd’s chapter 11 case is intended to be the “final component” of the entire Seadrill Group’s restructuring efforts, according to a declaration from financial controller Tyson de Souza.
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Germany is telling its banks to rebuild capital buffers that they were allowed to deplete at the onset of the pandemic, joining other European countries in tightening regulations again as lenders take more risk, Bloomberg News reported. The country’s banks have to set aside 22 billion euros ($25 billion) of capital buffers by February next year, the country’s financial authorities said on Wednesday. The vast majority have enough capital on hand to meet the regulatory demands without raising fresh funds, BaFin President Mark Branson told reporters.
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Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday announced a second round of sales tax cuts as part of the right-wing government’s efforts to fight inflation after it reached a 21-year high last month, the Associated Press reported. Morawiecki blamed surging consumer prices on high energy costs, saying they are the result of Russian gas prices and the European Union’s policy on greenhouse gas emissions.
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OneWeb Ltd., a U.K.-backed satellite company, has been sued in the U.S. by a former Donald Trump business partner who claims he wasn’t paid for helping to secure rocket-launch rights in Kazakhstan, Bloomberg News reported. Giorgi Rtskhiladze, a Georgian-American businessman, said he played a role in helping OneWeb connect with business and government figures in Kazakstan, who paved the way for the company to launch satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and to operate a ground station for its internet network, according to the lawsuit.
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Taiwan will set up a $1 billion credit program aimed at funding projects by Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies amid economic pressure from China over an office that the island opened in the European Union country, Lithuanian officials said Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. It follows Taiwan’s announcement last week about creating a $200 million investment fund to help Lithuania amid a diplomatic row with Beijing. American and Lithuanian officials say China has blocked imports from the Baltic nation, a close U.S. ally.
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