Europe

An international bail-out of crisis-hit Iceland appeared to be unravelling on Tuesday night as the International Monetary Fund withheld official backing for the $6 billion plan, the Financial Times reported yesterday. Iceland has also been left with a $500 million shortfall in the funds for the plan that it had hoped to raise from other international donors.
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Mail and logistics company Deutsche Post AG said it will cut 9,500 jobs and close all of its DHL express service centers in the U.S. amid heavy losses in the market there, the Wall Street Journal Europe reported today. In a statement released Monday, the German company said that new round of cuts are on top of 4,500 job cuts it already announced and blamed heavy losses at the unit, which competes with rivals UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp.
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NextWave Wireless, Inc. said it initiated bankruptcy liquidation proceedings for three of its network infrastructure units in Israel, Denmark and Canada, and is also looking to sell its IP wireless unit as part of the planned divestiture of its network infrastructure businesses, Reuters reported today. The company, which reported a wider loss for the third quarter ended Sept. 27, said it discontinued the operations of its GO Networks and Cygnus subsidiaries in the quarter as part of the divestiture plans. Read more.
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Latvia's government has decided to take over the nation's No. 2 financial institution after the bank ran into a liquidity crisis, the Associated Press reported yesterday. The government decided late Saturday to take a 51 percent stake in Parex Bank, the Baltic state's second largest bank by total assets, based on data that indicated the bank was headed toward insolvency. The government bought the majority stake in Parex for 2 lats ($3.70). Another 34 percent stake in the bank will be held as collateral by the state-owned Hipoteku Bank.
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Groups related to collapsed Allco Finance Group warned today the failure of Allco may have triggered defaults on debt facilities, The Australian reported today. Real estate managers Rubicon Japan Trust, Rubicon America Trust and Rubicon Europe Trust Group said they were in talks with various lenders about the implications of Allco Finance's situation. All three entities were suspended from trade. Rubicon America Trust said that defaults on two debt facilities may have been triggered by Allco Finance's collapse, although it was not clear in the documentation for the loans.
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Individual bankruptcies in Britain jumped 9.5 percent in the third quarter from last year, while company insolvencies rose 26 percent as the financial crisis hiked the cost of loans, official figures showed Friday. Britain's Office for National Statistics said 17,341 people declared bankruptcy in the three months through September, up from 15,842 in the same quarter of 2007, the Associated Press reported today. The number of bankruptcies was 12 percent higher than it was in the previous quarter.
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The International Monetary Fund has “record levels of liquidity” to combat the global economic crisis and debate over new ways of supplementing its coffers was not “today’s problem”, according to John Lipsky, IMF first deputy director. With the Fund facing unprecedented calls on its resources, some policymakers have raised concerns about its continued capacity to react to demands such as its $16.5 billion loan to Ukraine and $2 billion loan to Iceland, the Financial Times reported yesterday.
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Britain-based porcelain maker Royal Worcester & Spode Ltd. has gone into bankruptcy, the Associated Press reported yesterday. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said it had been appointed to administer the company, which manufactures and sells earthware and china products. The company employs 388 people in Britain and has a site in the U.S. state of New Jersey. PricewaterhouseCoopers said the company's U.S. subsidiary was outside its formal administration regime but that it would coordinate its moves with the American management team.
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Iceland began the early stages of figuring out how to restructure its banks' enormous foreign debts as its economy descends into what its central bank warned Thursday would be a "severe recession," the Wall Street Journal reported today. The IMF board is expected to consider a proposed $2.1 billion loan to Iceland on Friday, part of an effort to shore up several countries caught off guard as liquidity froze amid the financial crisis.
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The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved a $16.5 billion loan program for Ukraine that includes monetary and exchange rate policy shifts to ease strains from the global financial crisis, Reuters reported yesterday. The IMF said it would immediately disburse $4.5 billion to the government under the two-year loan agreement.
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