Headlines

India has proposed a pre-packaged insolvency option that will allow creditors and debtors to work on an informal plan and then submit it for approval even as the nation braces for a spike in bankruptcies once the freeze on filings is lifted, Bloomberg News reported. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has invited comments on the proposal that, if accepted, will become part of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, according to a statement. A sub-committee that suggested the option has recommended to quickly amend the code, preferably by an ordinance, to implement it.
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The number of corporate bankruptcies in Germany experienced a “noticeable” increase compared with pre-pandemic levels at the end of last year, though not as bad as feared, Bloomberg News reported. It’s the first snapshot of the country’s regular insolvency trends following a temporary suspension of filing requirements as part of Germany’s pandemic support measures. In December, 921 partnerships and corporations in the country were reported as bankrupt, just under 30% higher than in the previous three months, according to a report by the IWH Halle Institute for Economic Research.

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The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said on Sunday that it was responding with urgency to a breach of one of its data systems, Reuters reported. A third-party file-sharing service used by the central bank to share and store some sensitive information was illegally accessed, the bank said in a statement. RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr said that the breach had been contained but added it would take time to understand the full implications of this breach. n August, the operator of New Zealand’s stock exchange was hit by cyberattacks.

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British retailer Marks & Spencer warned on Friday its popular Percy Pig sweets could be hit by tariffs if it re-exports the product to European Union countries, including Ireland, Reuters reported. Chief Executive Steve Rowe said that the pink sweets, along with about a third of the products in M&S’s food business, are subject to very complex “rules of origin” regulations that form part of Britain’s trade deal with the EU struck on Christmas Eve. The rules relate to the composition of individual products and how much of it has been altered in the United Kingdom.

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Just a week into the job, Commerzbank’s new chief executive on Friday made a 1.5 billion euro ($1.84 billion)goodwill write-off at the German bank and raised risk provisions relating to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. Shares in Germany’s second largest bank fell 3% after the announcement by new chief executive Manfred Knof, which was seen as an indication that Commerzbank will post a larger loss than analysts had been expecting.
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Severe coronavirus restrictions around the world to contain surging infection rates weighed on fuel sales, weakening the prospect of energy demand recovery in the first half of 2021, Reuters reported. Most of Europe is now under the strictest restrictions, according to the Oxford stringency index, which assesses indicators such as travel bans and the closure of schools and workplaces. The United Kingdom’s new national lockdown is expected to last until mid-February at least.

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India’s key money-market rates and yields on short-term debt are set to rise after the central bank took its first small step to unwind emergency pandemic measures, Bloomberg News reported. The Reserve Bank of India will aim to drain 2 trillion rupees ($27.3 billion) of banking funds via a 14-day reverse repo operation on Jan. 15, the central bank said in a statement late Friday. This is the first move in a phased normalization of the central bank’s liquidity operations, it said.

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Adani, Tata, Brookfield and JSPL have said they won’t submit financial bids for KSK Mahanadi Power’s ultra-mega power plant unless its water and railway infrastructure are included in the sale, according to people aware of the matter, creating a hurdle in the company’s insolvency process, the Economic Times (India) reported. The four bidders were among seven applicants that had expressed interest in acquiring the power company that owns a 3,600 MW thermal power plant in Chhattisgarh.

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The Panamanian attorney general’s office will ask a judge to order Odebrecht to pay fines due in 2019 and 2020 after the corruption-ensnared Brazilian conglomerate failed to pay, prosecutor Anilu Batista said on Friday, Reuters reported. Panamanian authorities fined Odebrecht in 2017 for paying bribes in exchange for construction contracts in the Central American country. The company owes more than $35.5 million, a judicial source at the attorney general’s office said. Odebrecht did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The International Monetary Fund said that China urgently needs to take steps to contain financial stability risks as the economy’s recovery takes hold, Bloomberg News reported. Virus relief measures that are “potentially distortionary” should be gradually phased out, the Washington-based lender said in its annual Article IV report released on Friday.

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