Headlines

German energy group Innogy on Thursday said it was continuing to lose clients in Britain, where a price cap has increased pressure on the ‘Big Six’ energy providers, Reuters reported. Npower, Innogy’s British retail unit, lost 261,000 customers during the third quarter, bringing total customer losses to 447,000 so far this year. The division posted a nine-month adjusted operating loss of 167 million euros ($184 million). Npower’s problems will soon be an issue for German utility E.ON.

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Wrightbus, the Ballymena bus builder, owed Bank of Ireland £38.1 million (€44.7 million) on the day it collapsed, and administrators have warned that the bank will not be repaid “in full,” The Irish Times reported. However, Invest NI, the North’s regional business development agency, which was owed £2.5 million, will get back all of the money it lent the business, according to administrators from Deloitte.

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Louis Dreyfus Company is making sweeping cost cuts, starting with travel, entertainment, hiring and salaries, as the 168-year-old agricultural commodities firm tries to revive dwindling profits, Reuters reported. Global trade tensions and the African Swine Fever epidemic in Asia have piled pressure on grain trading firms as they try to emerge from a period of falling margins. Family-owned LDC, known as Dreyfus, is the “D” of the ‘ABCD’ quartet of global traders that also includes Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd and Cargill Inc.

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The Mumbai Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal has directed the Department of Telecommunications not to cancel or terminate the telecom license and spectrum granted to Aircel Ltd, Bloomberg Quint reported. Aircel, which had telecom license and spectrum in nine telecom circles, is undergoing insolvency resolution process. It had filed a voluntary insolvency petition in March 2018 citing operational difficulties and owes around Rs 27,000 crore to its creditors and vendors.

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The owner of Manchester's Trafford Centre has hired advisers to work on a critical restructuring of its balance sheet as it prepares to tap investors for new capital. Sky News has learnt that Intu Properties has drafted in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to work alongside its existing City advisers, Sky News reported. The appointment, which is understood to have been made in the last few days, comes ahead of a crucial Christmas period for Intu and rival shopping centre-owners such as Hammerson.

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The government’s plan to unbundle Eskom into three separate companies focusing on generation, transmission and supply under a holding company, and sell old power stations, does nothing to solve the utility’s main problem, Business Day reported in a commentary. To understand that problem one needs to appreciate the existing electricity market design and government funding of state-owned companies. In SA the electricity market design means power is generated, transmitted and distributed by a vertically integrated monopoly.

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Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez said on Thursday he did not want to fall short on debt obligations even as his government puts a premium on growth. Fernandez, who takes office on Dec. 10, will need to negotiate with creditors including the International Monetary Fund as Argentina buckles under the weight of about $100 billion in sovereign debt, KFGO reported. "I do not want to give haircuts to anybody, I do not want to stop paying what we owe," Fernandez said while speaking at an Argentine industrial chamber event in Buenos Aires.

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Turkey’s BDDK banking watchdog changed loan classification regulations so that banks are able to remove from their books “Group 5” classified non-performing loans (NPL), marking another step to clean up bad debt from last year’s currency crisis, Reuters reported. The regulatory change was published in Turkey’s Official Gazette on Wednesday. The move “allows Turkish banks to remove Group 5 non-performing loans from their NPL books should the borrower default and there be no possibility of recovery for the foreseeable future,” said Seker Invest, an investment firm.

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Greek jeweler Folli Follie has reached a preliminary deal with some of its creditors over a rescue plan for the company, it said late on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Folli has struggled to pay suppliers and workers and keep its business going since a hedge fund report in May last year questioned its accounting. Its shares have since been suspended, and the company has been fined by Greece’s securities watchdog. The firm published delayed audited financial statements for 2017 in July that showed it had overstated annual revenue by more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

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European Union governments reached a deal on Wednesday on new rules to facilitate banks’ recovery of assets from borrowers who default, an EU statement said, Reuters reported. The new rules, which need to be backed by the European Parliament, would introduce a mechanism to favor out-of-court procedures on foreclosures, speeding up banks’ recovery of collateral used by borrowers to obtain loans when they fall behind on their repayment schedule.

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