Headlines

President Alberto Fernandez said he has set a March 31 deadline to renegotiate Argentina’s rampant public debt and that a more “innovative” International Monetary Fund approves of the direction his government is taking, Reuters reported. Argentina is in talks with bondholders and other creditors to restructure about $100 billion in debt, among them the IMF to whom it owes about $44 billion. “I think that from here to March 31 our trajectory is going to be very clear,” Fernandez said in an interview published on Sunday by the online news site El Cohete A La Luna.

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U.K. regional airline Flybe Group Plc is in crunch talks with the British government for emergency financing, less than a year after a group fronted by Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. stepped in to rescue the unprofitable carrier, Sky News reported. EY is on standby to handle any potential liquidation, according to the report, which cited unidentified aviation industry sources, Bloomberg News reported. More than 2,000 jobs are at risk, Sky said. Flybe issued a short statement, saying it remains in business.

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Jörg Jahnke Dachbau, a Berlin roofing company, is facing a new year’s slump with few parallels in its history, the Financial Times reported. “It’s an absolute disaster,” said its managing director, Joachim Meder. “I’ve lost €4.5m in orders. It’s as if someone’s just turned out the lights.” The culprit is the Berlin city government’s plan to freeze rents for five years — a move critics describe as one of the most far-reaching interventions in the capital’s housing market since German reunification.

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Bondholders of Reliance Home Finance Ltd. have petitioned India’s National Company Law Tribunal to recover 35 billion rupees ($495 million) after the firm missed payments, Economic Times reported citing a copy of the application, Bloomberg News reported. IDBI Trusteeship, which represents the bondholders, wants the tribunal to seize Reliance Home Finance’s assets and bar the company from agreeing to any debt resolution deal with other lenders. The petition was under the Companies Act and a bankruptcy application is “not actively under consideration for now,” according to the report.

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Airline shares surged in Europe after Ryanair Holdings Plc said it expects to post a bigger-than-expected full-year profit following a spike in lucrative last-minute bookings over the Christmas and New Year holiday, Bloomberg News reported. Europe’s biggest discount airline now anticipates earnings for the 12 months through March of between 950 million euros ($1.06 billion) and 1.05 billion euros, and most likely in the middle of that range, according to a statement on Friday. It had previously forecast 800 million euros to 900 million euros.

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The chorus of voices warning of risks to Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s balance sheet is growing louder. With a C$360 million loan coming due in August 2021, at least three analysts have cautioned that the pot company may be unable to meet the covenants on that debt, Bloomberg News reported. “With balance sheet risks to remain a core investment thesis in 2020 in our view, and lingering uncertainty especially on financial covenants, we struggle to envision a scenario where shares have sustainable support,” Bank of America analyst Christopher Carey said in a note published Friday.

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China’s offshore corporate bond defaults rose to $3.6 billion in 2019, up from $3.3 billion the year before, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Tewoo’s dollar bonds were restructured with some investors agreeing to be paid just 37 to 67 cents on the dollar, depending on the maturity of the debt, Bloomberg News reported. China Minsheng Investment Group’s $300 million bond was paid by a Chinese bank guarantor. The company unveiled a plan to repay its $500 million note in October.

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The chairman of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. resigned from his post after the South African power utility resumed rolling blackouts earlier than expected in 2020, Bloomberg News reported. Jabu Mabuza tendered his resignation on Friday and “apologized for Eskom’s inability” to meet a commitment it made to President Cyril Ramaphosa to avoid power cuts until Jan. 13, the presidency said in a statement. After implementing the most severe supply reductions to date in December, Eskom pledged at a Dec. 11 meeting to avoid further outages over South Africa’s traditional holiday season.

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Lebanon’s central bank wants local holders of a $1.2 billion Eurobond maturing in March to swap into new notes as part of an effort to manage its debt crisis, Bloomberg News reported. “We are making preemptive proposals that are voluntary” and dependent on the consent of Lebanese banks, Governor Riad Salameh said in an interview in Beirut. “We haven’t taken any decision yet because we don’t have a government.” The plan would help the Arab nation, one of the world’s most indebted, as it struggles with its worst economic crisis in decades.

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The audit watchdog has delayed a decision on whether to bring enforcement action against KPMG over its work on collapsed outsourcing giant Carillion, citing an exceptionally large and complicated investigation, the Financial Times reported. The Financial Reporting Council said it would miss a self-imposed deadline to complete its probe into audit work carried out by KPMG, which was initially due this month. It will instead make a decision on whether to bring disciplinary proceedings against KPMG, which could include a hefty fine, this summer.

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