North America

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the $62 million sale of Limetree Bay refinery to a Jamaican oil storage company that intends to restart the refinery, Reuters reported. Private-equity investors had poured $4.1 billion into reviving the aging U.S. Virgin Islands facility, which was shut down by U.S. environmental regulators after a botched restart earlier this year. West Indies Petroleum, along with Port Hamilton Refining and Transportation, was named the winning bidder on Saturday by Limetree after a second auction was conducted over the weekend.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is expanding the number of businesses that can use Covid-19 aid programs as the omicron variant fuels a surge in cases and new restrictions in Canada, Bloomberg News reported. At a press conference with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Trudeau said companies and individuals affected by new capacity limits will be eligible for extended financial help. Firms can receive wage and rent subsidies of 25% to 75% depending on how much revenue they’ve lost, the government said in a statement.
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Canada's second most populous province of Quebec ordered bars, gyms and casinos shut on Monday and directed people to work only from home to fight the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Reuters reported. Health minister Christian Dube said the province had a record 4,500 new cases of the coronavirus a day and predicted worse was yet to come. He urged Quebecers to cut down their personal contacts with the approach of Christmas and New Year's Day. The new measures were due to take effect at 5 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Monday. "The situation is critical ...
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Mexico’s central bank isn’t committed to a pace of half-point increases to its benchmark interest rate after delivering a hike of that magnitude in December, according to outgoing Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon, Bloomberg News reported. The bank announced a bigger-than-expected increaseto borrowing costs last week, following four straight quarter-point hikes, in an effort to combat skyrocketing inflation. Diaz de Leon, who leaves office at year-end, said policy makers are navigating “uncharted territory” and shouldn’t constrain themselves before future decisions.
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An Aeromexico creditor on Monday objected to the Mexican airline's restructuring plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying the proposal would unfairly benefit majority shareholder Delta Air Lines Inc., Reuters reported. Invictus Global Management said in a public letter to Delta's board of directors that it opposed the plan put forward by Aeromexico. Aeromexico last week said that an unnamed third party would make a tender offer valuing its outstanding shares at a fraction of their previous market price as part of its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy.
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The Archdiocese of St. John’s in New Foundland says that it may be forced to file for creditor protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, SaltWire.com reported. “This action, if pursued, is intended to provide the archdiocese with additional time to complete the evaluation of our assets, formally call for claims against the archdiocese, and develop a proposal for our creditors to settle victims’ claims and creditor liabilities," Archbishop Peter Hundt said in a statement released Sunday, Dec. 19.
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Mexican carrier Aeromexico on Thursday said an unnamed third party would make a tender offer valuing its oustanding shares at a fraction of their previous market price as part of its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy, Reuters reported. News of the planned tender offer, which would offer 0.01 peso for each outstanding share, sent its shares tumbling nearly 75%. Shares in the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States last year amid the pandemic, closed at 3.89 pesos on Wednesday. They were trading at 1.84 pesos in early afternoon in Mexico.
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Cineworld Group Plc plunged as much as 40% after a court ordered the world’s second-largest cinema chain to pay nearly $1 billion in damages -- more than its entire market value -- over an aborted takeover bid, Bloomberg News reported. A Canadian court ordered the British company to pay the money on Tuesday after it scrapped a plan to buy Toronto-based Cineplex Inc. as the pandemic forced entertainment venues to close. The $1.6 billion deal would have made Cineworld North America’s largest movie-theater operator.
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The Bank of Canada will likely need to lower rates to their effective lower bound (ELB) more often in the future and will therefore have to use alternative stimulus to a greater extent to tackle shocks, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Macklem, in a virtual speech to a business audience, said the low global interest rate environment meant the bank would have to rely on tools like forward guidance and quantitative easing more often going forward. "A lower neutral interest rate means we are likely to need to use these policy tools more often in the future.
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Parliament has passed amendments to the Companies Act that reform Cayman’s restructuring regime for insolvent companies, the Cayman Compass reported. The changes introduce a formal restructuring procedure under the supervision of a restructuring officer outside the traditional winding-up process. Distressed companies can now apply to the Grand Court for a restructuring officer to be appointed when the company is unable to pay its debt and aims to present an alternative arrangement or compromise to its creditors.
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