Headlines

Indiabulls Asset Management and DHFL Pramerica Mutual Fund have seen their assets plunge by more than half in the December quarter. That shows fears of India’s non-bank finance companies still linger, Bloomberg News reported. The dwindling in assets is the most among any mutual-fund company in India during the period, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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The Treasury has gone “Awol” in recent weeks, ignoring banks’ efforts to co-ordinate an emergency funding programme for small businesses in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to senior industry figures. Three senior bankers said the Treasury had ignored requests from banks to provide support for small and medium-sized enterprises, despite fears that a disorderly exit would disrupt SMEs’ cash flow, triggering a sharp increase in loan defaults across the sector, the Financial Times reported.

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Authorities in Lebanon, which has one of the world’s highest debt to GDP ratios, have not asked the International Monetary Fund to provide funding, the IMF’s regional head told Reuters on Monday. Lebanon has some of the world’s worst debt and balance-of-payments ratios and recently spent more than nine months without a government it needed to enact long-overdue reforms, Reuters reported. Concern grew over the state of the economy and government finances as the impasse dragged on. But despite its problems, the government has avoided asking for IMF aid.

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A personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) which involves writing down a €343,785 mortgage debt by more than half has been approved by the High Court for a woman who ran into mortgage arrears due to her husband’s gambling problem, The Irish Times reported. Permanent TSB objected to the arrangement, insisting the proposed write down of some €343,785 to €160,000, the current agreed market value of the woman’s home, was “draconian”.

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Matteo Salvini has raised the possibility of wresting control of Italy’s sizeable gold reserves away from the country’s central bank in the latest in a series of threats to the independence of the Bank of Italy by Rome’s populist coalition, the Financial Times reported. “The gold is the property of the Italian people, not of anyone else,” Mr Salvini, deputy prime minister and leader of the League party, said in comments to reporters on Monday.

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Airopack’s recapitalization plan collapsed as lenders including Apollo Global Management demanded repayment following the discovery of “inadequate sales and accounting practices”, the Swiss aerosol packaging maker said on Monday, Reuters reported. Shares in the company, which makes plastic aerosol dispensers for Procter & Gamble’s Gillette shaving cream, fell as much as 60 percent and have lost almost all their value since hitting 13.5 Swiss francs ($13.46) three years ago.

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Greek lender Alpha Bank is preparing two non-performing loan sales that could remove as much as 3.5 billion euros ($4 billion) of bad debt from its balance sheet, according to two people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg News reported. One of the portfolios, dubbed Neptune, comprises 1.5 billion euros of loans secured against assets of small and medium-sized enterprises, the people said, asking not to be named because the plans aren’t public. The bank is considering securitizing the debt but may also sell the loans outright, one of the people said.

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British retail tycoon Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has withdrawn its offer to buy scandal-hit British cafe chain owner Patisserie Holdings, a source told Reuters on Monday. Sports Direct on Friday offered to buy Patisserie out of administration to enlarge an empire stretching from department stores and sofa shops to lingerie, but wrote to Patisserie administrators KPMG saying it lacked the information required to continue bidding, British media reported on Sunday, Reuters reported. Patisserie Valerie was plunged into crisis in October after its owner uncovered accounting irregularities.

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Deutsche Bank AG is paying some of the highest rates among large banks to raise debt this year, highlighting a key obstacle in the lender’s turnaround effort, Bloomberg News reported. Germany’s biggest bank this week sold $1.25 billion of three-year dollar bonds that pay 255 basis points over benchmark interest rates, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named. That’s almost twice what other European lenders have paid in recent months.

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Two large Chinese borrowers missed payment deadlines this month, underscoring the risks piling up in a credit market that’s witnessing the most company failures on record, Bloomberg News reported. China Minsheng Investment Group Corp., a private investment group with interests in renewable energy and real estate, hasn’t returned money to bondholders that it had pledged to repay on Feb. 1, according to people familiar with the matter. And Wintime Energy Co., which defaulted last year, didn’t honor part of a restructured debt repayment plan last week, separate people said.

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