Headlines

The national company law appellate tribunal (NCLAT) has halted insolvency proceedings of Gurgaon-based Raheja developers after the realtor approached the court claiming it had been fraudulently dragged into bankruptcy by two home buyers, The Economic Times reported. Raheja was admitted for insolvency proceedings in August 2019 by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) which held the company in default of its obligations to two home buyers who at the time had approached the tribunal claiming delay in delivery of flats.

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Lebanon's new government must decide whether to seek help from the International Monetary Fund to help ease its financial crisis, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Any programme is likely to require Lebanon to agree to measures ranging from increasing taxes to fighting corruption. Based mainly on previous IMF recommendations, here are some steps Lebanon might have to take as part of any deal: Draw up a medium-term plan to fill Lebanon's yawning fiscal deficit and bring public debt down to sustainable levels.

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The Chinese group buying British Steel has reached an agreement with trade unions over its rescue of the failed manufacturer, as it races to wrap up a takeover by the end of next month, the Financial Times reported. Executives from Jingye and union officials have reached an understanding for the basis of new employment contracts and other aspects of a turnround plan, three people with knowledge of the discussions said.

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Rethinking Argentina’s Debt

A big question facing Alberto Fernández, Argentina’s new president, is what to do with the country’s debt, the Financial Times reported. Gross government debt is equal to 93 per cent of GDP, its highest level since the 2004 restructuring, while the price of most Argentine sovereign bonds has fallen to less than 50 cents on the dollar. To some, these numbers suggest an over-indebted economy requiring an aggressive debt restructuring imposing significant haircuts on creditors to restore debt sustainability and economic growth. But is this the correct way to look at it? I think not.

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One of the riskiest corners of the European bond market is enjoying its busiest January ever as companies rush to grab ultra-cheap yields and some of the more dubious instruments popular ahead of the financial crisis resurface, Bloomberg News reported. Junk-rated borrowers lined up close to 7 billion euros of issuance into the market this week, with sales nearing the 10 billion euro mark ($11 billion) this month, Bloomberg data show.

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Eurozone bank executives have launched a fresh lobbying push to convince policymakers of the dangers of long-term negative interest rates, warning they will hurt savers and pensioners while fuelling price bubbles in riskier assets, the Financial Times reported. Bank chief executives have spent the past two years trying to force the European Central Bank to reverse its negative interest rates, which were first introduced in 2014. Other European central banks including Switzerland and Denmark also have negative rates.

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Lebanon’s sky-high bond yields and credit default swaps may start to dip if a new government unveiled this week can ease concerns about a sovereign default, Bloomberg News reported. Investors are watching a $1.2 billion Eurobond, payment for which is due on March 9. Its price has risen this week due to the formation of the government, ending a period of caretaker rule since protesters forced the resignation of the prime minister in October. But it’s still trading at just 84 cents on the dollar, equating to an annualized yield of around 170%.

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A judge in London has ordered the former owners of Russia’s Trust Bank and their wives to pay the country’s central bank $900m to compensate for their role in an offshore scheme that led to its collapse, the Financial Times reported. Mr Justice Bryan, a judge in the English High Court, ruled on Thursday that Ilya Yurov, Sergei Belyaev, and Nikolai Fetisov had conspired to “evade banking standards” to falsify Trust’s accounts and use the bank’s 1.5m retail deposit base to help fund companies where they were the ultimate beneficiaries.

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South African Airways said “time is of the essence” for the government to provide a pledged cash injection if the loss-making national carrier is to continue flying, Bloomberg News reported. The National Treasury agreed last month to give the airline 2 billion rand ($140 million) as part of the terms of its bankruptcy protection, but has yet to follow through. SAA canceled 38 flights this week to save money and warned that further cuts may be in the offing.

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Deutsche Bank AG and a Singapore based hedge fund bought more debt of an embattled Indian shadow lender, highlighting the growing foreign interest in the discounted assets of the financier at the center of a credit crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Deutsche Bank has almost doubled the debt it holds of Altico Capital India Ltd. to 3 billion rupees ($42.1 million) in the last four months, while Singapore-based Broad Peak Investment Advisers Ltd. has acquired debt of about 1 billion rupees, people familiar with the matter said.

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