Europe

Scandinavian carrier SAS AB has secured enough backing from bondholders for a debt-to-equity plan that it says is needed to stave off bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported. At a crunch meeting in Stockholm on Wednesday, an overwhelming majority of creditors voted in favor of the proposals to convert their holdings into equity and new notes, according to Lars Lonnquist, a portfolio manager at Spiltan Fonder AB and acting chairman of a committee of SAS noteholders.

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Israeli-Russian businessman David Sapir has offered to buy joint control of financially strapped El Al Israel Airlines, promising to use his business ties to return Israel’s flag carrier to profitability, Reuters reported. Sapir, whose businesses include infrastructure, telecoms and tourism, has offered to pay $51 million for 190 million new shares in El Al, which is the same amount of shares held by controlling shareholder Knafaim Holdings (KNFM.TA), and a 20% premium to El Al’s closing share price on Tuesday in Tel Aviv.

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Europe will create thousands of “zombie companies” and lose competitiveness against the US and other countries if it keeps extending state aid to shield the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, Deutsche Bank’s chief has warned, The Irish Times reported. Christian Sewing told a conference in Frankfurt on Wednesday that “Europe threatens to suffer again from its greatest weakness. We are relatively good at counteracting the symptoms of a crisis.

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While the new board of IL&FS and the directors appointed by it on the subsidiaries of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) have immunity from prosecution in India for the actions of the group in the past, they may not have the same protection in cases filed against the group firms outside the country, The Indian Express reported.

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The eurozone slid into deflation for the first time in four years, heaping pressure on the European Central Bank to increase its support for the bloc’s faltering economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported. Headline consumer price inflation was minus 0.2 per cent in August, down from an increase of 0.4 per cent the previous month, according to data released by Eurostat on Tuesday, ahead of the ECB’s policy meeting next week.

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Factories across Europe, Asia and North America continued to shake off the coronavirus gloom in August as the global economy emerged from a downturn triggered by the health crisis, thanks in part to massive fiscal and monetary stimulus programmes, Reuters reported. Surveys showing an expansion in manufacturing activity may reduce pressure on policymakers to take bolder steps to avert a deeper recession. J.P. Morgan’s measure of global manufacturing activity rose to a 21-month high of 51.8 in August from 50.6 in July, the second straight month above the neutral reading of 50.

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Insolvencies in the UK are forecast to jump by 27% this year, slightly higher than the global average rise of 26%, reveals a new economic research report by top trade credit insurer Atradius, ResponseSource reported. The latest Atradius Insolvency Report analyses the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the knock-on effect on insolvencies. Every major economy, except for China, is expected to enter recession this year with global GDP forecast to contract by 4.5%, making this recession more acute in magnitude than the Great Recession of 2009.

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Swissport is getting new owners in a debt-for-equity swap that includes a 500 million euros ($595.20 million) long-term debt facility and a 300 million euros interim facility to help keep it afloat, the airport services company said on Monday, Reuters reported. Senior secured creditors including SVP Global, Apollo Global Management, TowerBrook Capital Partners, Ares Management, Barclays Bank PLC, Cross Ocean Partners and King Street Capital Management will take ownership.

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A dip in economic sentiment in Spain this month indicates that the recent rise in Covid-19 infections is taking its toll on the nascent recovery under way in the eurozone, the Financial Times reported. The European Commission’s monthly survey of economic sentiment across the eurozone rose to 87.7 in August from 82.3 in the previous month. However, economists looked with concern at the fall in sentiment in Spain, where the number of new infections has risen the most in the region. The country’s economic sentiment indicator fell to 88.1 in August from 90.6 in the previous month.

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