The global collapse in coal prices this year has dealt a particularly heavy blow to miners in Indonesia, the top exporter and one of the largest producers of the fuel. Bonds from the country’s financially weak miners have suffered more than peers elsewhere in Asia due to a lack of diversification and state backing that many competitors enjoy, Bloomberg News reported. Prices of thermal coal -- the kind burned by power plants -- have slumped about 33% this year, and at least four U.S. firms have gone bankrupt.
Investors on a call in July with distressed Indonesia textile firm PT Delta Merlin Dunia Tekstil were confounded -- how could the company’s fortunes have turned so fast? They’re still searching for answers, in a case that’s revived concerns about a lack of transparency in corners of Asia’s credit markets, Bloomberg News reported. The saga has also highlighted risks of more scares ahead as the trade war and mounting geopolitical concerns reverse a rally in junk debt.
Questions have emerged over whether one of Indonesia’s wealthiest families has in effect dragged itself into court to prevent a foreign creditor from recovering a loan — a case experts say threatens the credibility of the country’s bankruptcy laws, the Financial Times reported. The case against a subsidiary of Lippo group, which is controlled by Indonesia’s Riady family, comes at a time when defaults are rising in the country. It is expected to spark concerns over powerful local conglomerates forcing out foreign creditors through bankruptcy proceedings.