North America

Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods took on additional debt to fund the €225 million acquisition this year of Irish frozen pizza-maker Goodfellas, before receiving the threat of a credit downgrade on Monday after sealing another leveraged deal, the Irish Times reported. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded the outlook on its rating on Nomad Foods creditworthiness on Monday to “negative” from “stable” after the company announced the new €240 million debt-funded purchase of UK-based frozen food manufacturer of Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes Aunt Bessies.
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Barbados has announced an “emergency plan” to tackle its mounting economic crisis, including restructuring its public debt, after the Caribbean country’s new government discovered that its liabilities were much worse than thought, reaching 175 per cent of gross domestic product, the Financial Times reported. The Barbados Labour Party, led by Mia Mottley, came to power in an election in late May, propelled by the failure of a tough austerity programme implemented by her predecessor to turnround the island’s economic and fiscal crisis.
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Cambridge Analytica, the U.K. political consulting firm that closed its doors after a scandal over how it harvested data to influence the last U.S. presidential election, now faces a group of Facebook users in its bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported. “Data Breach Plaintiffs" filed a notice on Tuesday to appear in the company’s New York bankruptcy. The group is involved in two lawsuits against both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica that seek class-action status on claims that about 87 million Facebook users had their personal information taken without permission.
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The Bank of Canada has highlighted elevated household debt and imbalances within the nation’s real estate market as the two chief vulnerabilities to the financial system in the event of a recession, Bloomberg News reported. But what could trigger such a downturn? Macquarie Capital Markets offers one simple answer: the housing market itself -- highlighting that the share of employment tied to construction as well as finance, insurance and real estate is nearly two standard deviations above its long-term average.
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The Bank of Canada is paying more attention to smaller lenders as an area of potential risk in the financial system, a shift that comes amid concerns about a national housing slowdown, The Wall Street Journal reported. The central bank said it is looking to broaden the scope of its in-house stress testing to include smaller financial institutions and mortgage insurers, at a time when tighter mortgage rules are helping to drive some of those lenders’ growth.
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The International Monetary Fund moved on Friday to formally begin negotiations on a bailout of Argentina, without any objection from the Trump administration, The Wall Street Journal reported. The crisis in Argentina has prompted the U.S. to once again embrace the type of multilateral and global institutions that have often come under heavy criticism from the Trump White House. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde presented the program Friday in Washington to the IMF’s executive board, where the U.S.
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While money managers from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to UBS Wealth Management still tout investing opportunities in emerging markets, the asset class has one notable critic: Harvard professor Carmen Reinhart. The Cuban-born economist points to mounting debt loads, weakening terms of trade, rising global interest rates and stalling growth as reasons for concern, Bloomberg News reported.
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A U.S. bankruptcy court is set to hear a dispute involving Brazilian telecoms company Oi SA and major shareholder Bratel Brasil SA, Bratel said on Wednesday, as investor discontent with Oi’s bankruptcy reorganization process shows no signs of abating, Reuters reported. On Friday, Bratel, a subsidiary of Portugal’s Pharol SGPS SA, which owns almost 28 percent of Oi’s common shares, said it had filed a legal complaint in the United States.
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An investment fund that’s seeking a payout from the Cuban government on more than $1.3 billion in defaulted debt and back interest has hired the lawyer who won a settlement for hedge funds in a long-running legal battle against Argentina, Bloomberg News reported. CRF I Ltd. contracted Matthew McGill, a partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, to represent it in its claim against Cuba “including potential litigation,” according to a letter from the firm provided to Bloomberg News by a fund investor.
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