Headlines

South Africa’s Department of Public Enterprises announced its withdrawal from a panel that was established to facilitate talks with the troubled national airline’s workers about its planned overhaul, accusing three labor unions of undermining its work and putting jobs at risk, Bloomberg News reported. South African Airways was placed into a form of bankruptcy protection six months ago after a succession of managers failed to restore it to profitability and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni urged an end to repeated bailouts.

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At the airport of Tarbes in France, row upon row of empty jets in liveries from Asia to Africa sit nose to tail on the tarmac, waiting out the coronavirus crisis in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Reuters reported. Air travel has tumbled to a fraction of normal levels due to the pandemic, grounding about two thirds of the world’s fleet and stretching Europe’s largest aircraft storage company. “Today there’s no (travel) demand. That is why we have more than 200 aircraft on our sites,” said Patrick Lecer, chief executive of TARMAC Aerosave, headquartered at Tarbes.

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However much Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will be able to arrange a trade deal with the European Union by the year-end, firms in Britain are already bracing themselves for the possibility he won’t, Bloomberg News reported. Renold Plc, a Manchester-based maker of vehicle chains and gearboxes, is among them. It’s planning to fast-track deliveries to customers in the coming months to ensure they aren’t caught up in any potential border disruption due to Brexit in January, according to Chief Executive Officer Robert Purcell.

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Russia’s $1.6 trillion economy is going to be dealt another blow when a moratorium is lifted on companies filing for bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported. The measure, which was a condition of government pandemic support, helped protect healthy businesses from creditors but left those that won’t survive limping along as zombies. It expires in October. “It’s like a life-support machine for companies -- if there isn’t treatment, they will just die when it’s switched off,” said Yuriy Khalimovsky, a director at Deloitte’s legal service in St. Petersburg.

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India’s Bank of Baroda expects to step up bad loan recoveries this financial year despite the temporary relief on repayments imposed by the central bank during the lockdown on the economy, Bloomberg News reported. That will help the country’s third-largest state-run bank improve its capital ratios and boost new lending, according to Executive Director Shanti Lal Jain. “We will be focusing on all avenues to recover bad loans including asset sales, one-time settlements,” said Jain, who heads Bank of Baroda’s stressed assets management and credit monitoring.

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UK shopping centre owner Intu has entered administration, becoming the latest casualty of a coronavirus pandemic that has inflicted severe pain on the country’s struggling retail sector, the Financial Times reported. The company, whose malls include the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Lakeside in Essex, had sought breathing space on its debts from lenders but said in a statement on Friday that “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved on such terms”. KPMG has been appointed to oversee the administration.

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Europe’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is well under way, according to sentiment indicators, high-frequency measures and hard data — but activity remains far below normal levels, suggesting that the recovery from recession will be a struggle, the Financial Times reported. The continent’s workers and consumers began to return to work, shopping and dining out from last month onwards, generating an initial post-lockdown rebound.

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Deutsche Lufthansa AG dodged insolvency. Now Europe’s biggest airline faces the arduous task of transforming itself into a leaner carrier to compete in an air-travel market hamstrung by the coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported. The approval of a 9 billion-euro ($10.1 billion) German bailout concludes weeks of sometimes rancorous negotiations with the government and follows frenzied speculation in recent days over whether billionaire Heinz Hermann Thiele, Lufthansa’s largest shareholder, would scupper the deal. Instead, he backed it.

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The German government plans to terminate its contract with the country’s accounting watchdog after payments company Wirecard filed for insolvency last week in one of Germany’s biggest fraud scandals, a government official said on Sunday, Reuters reported. Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported earlier on Sunday that the Justice and Finance Ministries would on Monday cut ties with the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP), a quasi-private entity that supervises the financial statements of listed firms.

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Thailand’s long haul low cost carrier NokScoot Airlines will enter liquidation as the coronavirus pandemic worsened conditions for the struggling airline, its parent company Nok Airlines PCL said on Friday, Reuters reported. NokScoot, a joint venture between Thailand’s Nok Air and Singapore Airlines’ owned Scoot, wrestled to grow its network in a highly competitive sector for years and was yet to record a profit since formation in 2014.

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