North America

Mexico’s finance ministry and banking regulator extended tools to allow banks and financial intermediaries to restructure loans and other credits to clients, senior officials said Wednesday, in the government’s latest push to help an ailing economy, Reuters reported. The measures will extend until next year several temporary rules designed to avoid defaults and loss of collateral, in what Finance Minister Arturo said was a recognition that the economy will remain fragile for some time.

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In an attempt to help its battered economy recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Mexico’s central bank said on Tuesday that it has extended measures designed to strengthen credit channels and provide liquidity in the financial system, Reuters reported. Banxico said liquidity facilities first announced in April will be extended until the end of February 2021, while a government securities repurchase window is being increased by a further 50 billion pesos ($2.37 billion). So far, Banxico said, the measures have been successful.

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Bonds sold to finance a $13 billion airport in Mexico City that was ultimately scrapped are among the region’s worst performers as investors question the revenue stream that backs them, Bloomberg News reported. Notes due in 2047 from the Mexico City Airport Trust had a volatile first half and are now poised for their fourth straight weekly decline. Their drop to 86 cents on the dollar from above par at the beginning of the year is the seventh-worst performance in the Bloomberg Barclays Latin America Bond Index. The notes have a tumultuous history.

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Mexico’s finance ministry is considering extending relaxed banking credit rules to help its battered economy recover, a top official said on Wednesday, after it presented an austere 2021 budget that leaves little room to maneuver, Reuters reported. Deputy Finance Minister Gabriel Yorio said the ministry was in talks with the banking industry and the central bank about the possible extension until next year of the temporary measures designed to avoid defaults and loss of collateral.

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Factories across Europe, Asia and North America continued to shake off the coronavirus gloom in August as the global economy emerged from a downturn triggered by the health crisis, thanks in part to massive fiscal and monetary stimulus programmes, Reuters reported. Surveys showing an expansion in manufacturing activity may reduce pressure on policymakers to take bolder steps to avert a deeper recession. J.P. Morgan’s measure of global manufacturing activity rose to a 21-month high of 51.8 in August from 50.6 in July, the second straight month above the neutral reading of 50.

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Offshore drilling rig contractor Seadrill said on Monday it has proposed to creditors to turn over its stakes in oil services firms Archer and Seadrill Seabras to redeem its outstanding secured notes, Reuters reported. The company controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen has been in talks with creditors since the end of last year over new debt restructuring. Seadrill said it was approached by a group of noteholders in May about a potential deal, and it responded on Aug.

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Fitch Ratings downgraded Offshore Drilling Holding, S.A.'s (ODH) Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to 'C' from 'CC,’ Fitch Ratings reported. Fitch also downgraded the company's USD950 million senior secured notes due Sept. 20, 2020 to 'C'/'RR4' from 'CC'/'RR4'. The downgrade reflects ODH's ongoing negotiation with its bondholders' representatives regarding a potential restructuring of the company's capital structure, as disclosed on Aug. 11, 2020.

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Offshore drilling rig contractor Seadrill’s ongoing attempt to restructure its massive debt could leave current shareholders with minimal or no ownership at all, the Oslo-listed company warned on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Demand for exploration and drilling has fallen further during the COVID-19 pandemic as oil firms seek to preserve cash, idling more rigs and leading to further overcapacity in the industry. Seadrill, controlled by Norwegian-born tycoon John Fredriksen, said it has failed to convince its 43 lenders to adjust the terms of its $5.7 billion bank debt.

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Fosun International Ltd. is poised to lose its 20% stake in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, the latest in a series of failed overseas deals for the Shanghai-based insurance, health care and tourism conglomerate, Bloomberg News reported. A consortium of Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil creditors is set to take control of the struggling circus operator, people familiar with the matter said. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in June as the Covid-19 pandemic slammed its distinctive global chain of musical, acrobatic shows.

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Offshore oil servicers are going bust at the fastest pace in three years as explorers spurn high-cost drilling to deal with a worldwide slump in commodity prices, Bloomberg News reported. The debacle, triggered by the pandemic-driven drop in oil prices, has already claimed some of the biggest companies that supply rigs, transportation and other support services to deep-water drillers. Noble Corp. and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. have filed for Chapter 11 since the start of the pandemic-driven oil downturn, while Valaris Plc filed for bankruptcy Wednesday. Firms including Transocean Ltd.

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