Europe

China’s Jingye Group has fuelled hopes of a rescue deal for British Steel with plans to send a delegation to the second-biggest UK steelmaker’s main plant in Scunthorpe, the Financial Times reported. Hebei-based Jingye, which also owns hotels and a medicines business alongside its main steelmaking operations, is due to visit the Lincolnshire steelworks next week.

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It was meant to be a commemorative coin, a reminder in your pocket that the UK had left the EU on October 31. But with the departure set to be delayed once again next week, millions of 50p “Brexit coins” are just one government initiative having to be hastily reconsidered, the Financial Times reported. With scant acknowledgment this week, Boris Johnson broke a commitment to his party and country of quitting the bloc on October 31 “come what may, do or die”.

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Standard & Poor’s raised Greece’s sovereign credit rating by one notch, signaling confidence in the country’s new government and its policies. Coming 16 months after it last upgraded Greece’s rating, S&P said in a statement Friday that it is raising the country’s long-term foreign currency debt to BB- from B+. The ratings agency’s outlook remains positive. Still, the new rating keeps Greece three levels below junk, showing that the country has to do more to regain its investment-grade rating, Bloomberg News reported.

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Italy wants to shield Monte dei Paschi from bad loan losses as it prepares the bailed-out bank for a sale, but faces resistance from European Union competition authorities, two sources close to the matter said, Reuters reported. Italy’s Treasury has a year-end deadline to present an outline of its strategy for getting out of the world’s oldest bank, which was at the forefront of Italy’s banking crisis until a 2017 state bailout was cleared by Brussels.

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Norwegian Air Shuttle has sealed a long-awaited joint venture with one of China’s biggest banks in a deal designed to bolster a balance sheet strained by the low-cost carrier’s breathless pace of expansion, the Financial Times reported. The joint venture, 70 per cent owned by a subsidiary of state-controlled China Construction Bank, will be responsible for financing 27 Airbus A320neo aircraft that Norwegian expects to be delivered in 2020-23.

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Royal Bank of Scotland slumped to a loss in the third quarter after a poor performance from its investment bank compounded a £900m hit from the payment protection insurance scandal, the Financial Times reported. NatWest Markets, the once high-flying investment bank that has been drastically scaled back since the financial crisis, recorded an operating loss of £193m in the quarter after its rates trading business was bruised by a historic rally in government debt.

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FundingSecure, which offered loans against classic cars and Picasso paintings, has become the second British peer-to-peer lender to collapse in six months, the Financial Times reported. The decision to call in administrators at CG Recovery on Wednesday following rising defaults and legal issues leaves about 3,500 investors exposed to potential losses if the debts cannot be recovered. CG said FundingSecure’s outstanding loan book was worth about £80m and that it was too early to predict how much money they would be able to return to creditors and investors.

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KPMG has been paid about £2.3m for its work on winding down Patisserie Valerie, despite being replaced as administrator to the failed bakery chain due to a conflict of interest, the Financial Times reported. The Big Four accounting firm, whose insolvency partners earned £875 an hour for the work according to its latest disclosure to creditors, will cease to be administrator as it cannot pursue legal claims against Patisserie Valerie’s auditor, which is expected to be the next stage in attempting to recoup money for creditors.

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A Czech court ruled that Citibank’s claim to debt worth over 10 billion crowns ($434.10 million) owed by Czech miner OKD was eligible, CTK news agency reported on Wednesday, Reuters reported. CTK reported OKD’s former insolvency administrator and representative of the state, which now owns OKD’s mining operations, both said they would appeal the ruling. OKD filed for insolvency in 2016 while a unit of miner New World Resources, which went into liquidation that year. OKD’s insolvency administrator rejected Citibank’s claim, leaving it out of proceedings.

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