North America

El Salvador last week became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, with the aim of reducing costs in sending remittances, attracting foreign investment and boosting domestic consumption, Market Research Telecast reported. It does so after its parliament approved the cryptocurrency legalization, a law that has not been well received by international organizations and agencies.

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The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which is presiding over Aeroméxico's chapter 11 voluntary financial restructuring process, granted the company's request for extensions of the plan exclusivity periods, according to a company press release. The exclusive period for filing a chapter 11 plan now expires on Oct. 8, 2021, subject to further extension as ordered by the court. On Sept. 10, 2021, the company delivered to its DIP Lenders the Final Valuation Materials and the Refinancing Qualification Certificate in accordance with the DIP Credit Agreement.

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U.S. stock markets opened higher on Tuesday, rebounding from their worst day in months on Monday as nerves about the Chinese real estate debt crisis eased, Investing.com reported. Better-than-expected data from the housing market also supported the sentiment. Housing starts and building permits for August both came in above expectations, albeit not by enough to cause any acceleration in the Federal Reserve's timeline for running down its asset purchases or raising interest rates. The Fed's latest two-day policy meeting started Tuesday. By 9:45 a.m.

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The World Bank is cancelling a prominent report on business conditions around the world after investigators found staff members were pressured by the bank’s leaders to alter data about China and some other governments, Aljazeera.com reported. The bank said on Thursday that it would discontinue “Doing Business” following an investigation prompted by internal reports of “data irregularities” in its 2018 and 2020 editions and possible “ethical matters” involving bank staff.

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Mexico's economy expanded by 6.8% in August compared to the same month last year, as the country continued a recovery from a slump induced by the coronavirus pandemic, a preliminary estimate from national statistics agency INEGI showed on Friday, Reuters reported. A breakdown of the agency's initial figures showed that secondary activities, which include manufacturing, increased by 4.1% from August 2020, while tertiary activities, which encompass the service sector, were up by 8.3%. In July, Latin America's no. 2 economy grew by some 9.9% year-on-year, according to a preliminary estimate.

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El Salvador's adoption of bitcoin as legal tender has immediate negative implications for it credit rating S&P Global said on Thursday, Reuters reported. S&P said the main risks were that it could threaten its hopes of securing a support programme with the International Monetary Fund, increase fiscal vulnerabilities and hurt banks by creating currency mismatches when they dish out loans. "The risks associated with the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador seem to outweigh its potential benefits," S&P said. "There are immediate negative implications for (the) credit".
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The prospect of the largest overhaul to the global tax system in a century took a step forward this week as top Democrats introduced a plan to rewrite tax rules for multinational companies in a way that would allow the United States to join the rest of the world in an effort to crack down on tax havens, the New York Times reported. Finance ministers from around the world have been working for months to complete a plan to end what they describe as a race to the bottom on corporate taxation before an October deadline.
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Canada's annual inflation rate accelerated to an 18-year-high in August, driven by broad upward price pressures, data showed on Wednesday, just days before a hotly contested federal election that could see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals ousted, Reuters reported. The rate rose to 4.1% in August, its fastest clip since March 2003, Statistics Canada said, beating analyst estimates and prompting Trudeau's main rival to pounce over the rising cost of living.
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A day after being spurned by Kansas City Southern, Canadian National Railway is facing additional pressure from a major investor who wants CN to abandon its effort to buy the U.S. railroad, the Associated Press reported. The London-based investment firm TCI Fund — which owns about 5% of CN’s stock and about 8% of rival Canadian Pacific’s shares — said Monday that it is calling for a special CN shareholder meeting where it plans to nominate four new directors. TCI has said it thinks CN should overhaul its board, get a new CEO and refocus its efforts on improving its own operations.
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A Cayman Island mutual fund whose manager was charged in a $100 million bait-and-switch scheme filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. to protect its assets from lawsuits by disgruntled investors, Bloomberg News reported. Representatives of the so-called Income Collecting 1-3 Months T-Bills Mutual Fund asked a federal bankruptcy judge in New York on Friday to recognize their efforts to liquidate the company, which they said would include an attempt to pay back investors. Recognition of the foreign liquidation would put a hold on any lawsuits against the fund.
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