Headlines

The laundry list of allegations against Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak for his role in 1MDB points to a lengthy road ahead as his trial begins on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported. The 42 counts of corruption and money laundering charges offer a window into the complex web of transactions surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the state fund that lies at the center of globe-spanning investigations involving about $4.5 billion of allegedly misappropriated funds. The probes have led to dozens of allegations against Najib, who has pleaded not guilty, while ensnaring Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Read more

QuadrigaCX, the Canadian exchange that claimed insolvency after the death of its founder two months ago, was granted creditor protection and a month-long stay of proceedings, Canadian media reported. With 115,000 traders hurt in the recent insolvency crisis, the company may be attacked by lawsuits, and the court decision is a way to diffuse the tension. QuadrigaCX lawyer Maurice Chiasson described the move as “an attempt to call a time-out.” In the meantime, the Nova Scotia police force has begun investigating the case.

Read more

Despite recent claims that it had filled a €15 million liquidity gap, the privately-owned German airline was forced to file for insolvency late on Monday and stopped flights early yesterday. The move leaves some 1,700 employees, who reportedly have not been paid for January, facing the loss of their jobs. Germania, with a fleet of 37 planes, flew more than four million passengers a year from regional German airports to 60 destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Read more

MPs have accused PwC of “milking the cash cow dry” after it was revealed it is charging £44.2m for one year’s work as special managers on the administration of Carillion. The construction company collapsed last year with £7bn in liabilities. Frank Field, chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, and Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, shared letters they exchanged with the Insolvency Service that revealed the fee total.

Read more

The Ruia family, mounting one legal battle after another to thwart Essar Steel Ltd.’s insolvency resolution, faces a fresh setback. Lenders to the Essar Group’s power companies have filed recovery cases to invoke personal guarantees provided by the promoters, two people aware of the development told BloombergQuint. Private lender ICICI Bank Ltd., and state-run IDBI Bank Ltd. moved various benches of the debt recovery tribunal, the people said without willing to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media. ICICI Bank Ltd.

Read more

For much of the last decade, Canadians have been told their debt levels were unsustainable and that their day of reckoning was fast approaching. Data recently released by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) seem to indicate that day has arrived. According to the data, insolvencies by Canadian consumers were up 9.2 per cent in October 2018, compared to a year earlier, the Financial Post reported in a commentary. To say the least, these results appear alarming. But in light of what we know about homeownership and net worth, we are not so sure.

Read more

Italy’s populist government launched an unprecedented attack on the country’s central bank over the weekend, saying its top brass should be replaced because it had failed to supervise effectively the country’s troubled banking sector, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Read more

The wariness descending over leading central banks is a jarring contrast to the buoyant mood this time last year, the Financial Times reported. At the gathering of business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland in January 2018, optimism was simmering, with one survey of bosses putting confidence at its highest for six years. The IMF hailed the broadest synchronised global upsurge since the start of the decade, with 120 economies enjoying a pick-up in growth. That picture has now darkened.

Read more

Trade unions in South Africa have vowed to oppose the government’s recent decision to split Africa’s largest electricity producer into three separate entities, as part of its plans to turnaround the debt-laden power utility, the Irish Times reported. In his state-of-the-nation address last Thursday South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the state-run business would be broken up into three distinct companies that will focus on power generation, transmission and distribution. The new entities will still be controlled by Eskom Holdings.

Read more

Britain’s Sports Direct Plc has pulled its offer to buy Patisserie Holdings Plc after just two days, the Financial Times reported. In a letter on Sunday, Sports Direct wrote to cafe chain Patisserie Valerie’s administrators, KPMG, complaining it lacked the information required to continue bidding for the group, the FT said.

Read more