North America

More than 100 million workers across the world’s top eight economies may be forced to change occupations by 2030 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released by consultant firm McKinsey & Company on Thursday, The Hill reported. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated globally trending changes in the workplace, prompting McKinsey to raise its prediction for how many workers will likely need to switch jobs in the top eight economies by 12 percent.
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Brazil on Thursday ditched a trade complaint against Canada over aircraft subsidies and called for wider negotiations between all aircraft producing nations to halt a slide toward aircraft trade wars, sidestepping the World Trade Organization, Reuters reported. The abrupt move by Brazil, home to the world’s third largest planemaker Embraer, comes as larger rivals Airbus and Boeing remain locked in a 16-year-old fight at the WTO that led to tit-for-tat transatlantic tariffs.

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The COVID pandemic has added $24 trillion to the global debt mountain over the last year a new study has shown, leaving it at a record $281 trillion and the worldwide debt-to-GDP ratio at over 355%, Reuters reported. The Institute of International Finance’s global debt monitor estimated government support programmes had accounted for half of the rise, while global firms, banks and households added $5.4 trillion, 3.9 trillion and $2.6 trillion respectively.
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Mexican airline Aeromexico, which is undergoing a chapter 11 restructuring process, on Tuesday posted a loss in the fourth quarter of last year, taking yet another hit from the coronavirus pandemic’s drain on global tourism, Reuters reported. The company reported a net loss of 9.72 billion pesos ($487 million) in the October to December period, with passenger capacity down nearly 48% from the same quarter a year earlier. It also reported losses in the first three quarters of 2020, including a slimmer loss of $130 million in the prior period.

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Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated more than expected in January, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday, and could continue to rise in coming months compared with the low levels reached a year ago during the first COVID-19 lockdowns, Reuters reported. Canada’s inflation rate accelerated to 1.0% in January on higher durable good and gasoline prices, up from a year-on-year increase of 0.7% in December, and beating analyst expectations of 0.9%.

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Cavalier Collapse Took Down Affiliate

Cavalier Construction’s insolvency took down its equipment supplier affiliate even though the latter had generated a net profit in each of the previous four years, its liquidators have revealed, the Nassau Tribune reported. Andrew Davies and Kendrick Christie, the Crowe Bahamas accountants and partners, in their first report to the Supreme Court on Bobcat Bahamas’ winding-up disclosed that it was placed into liquidation only because it lost the services and back office support provided by Cavalier when the latter collapsed in January 2020.
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Satellite operator Intelsat SA said on Friday it has filed a restructuring plan backed by some of its creditors, in a bid to reduce debt and emerge from bankruptcy in the second half of the year, Reuters reported. The plan aims to reduce debt by more than half to $7 billion and has the support of holders of about $3.8 billion of its debt, the company said. It has sought a hearing on Mar. 17 for a court approval to solicit votes on the plan.

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Mexico’s second-largest movie theater chain, Grupo Cinemex SA, is closing its cinemas indefinitely and is working with banks to restructure at least $230 million in debt, Bloomberg News reported. Cinemex, owned by the family that controls copper miner Grupo Mexico, is closing in on a deal with banks including Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, HSBC Holdings Plc, Banco Santander SA and Bank of Nova Scotia.

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Mexico’s central bank unanimously voted to cut its key interest rate to the lowest point since mid-2016, leading economists to forecast more easing ahead as the country desperately needs stimulus, Bloomberg News reported. Banco de Mexico, led by Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon, chopped borrowing costs by a quarter point to 4% on Thursday, after core inflation remained stable in January, despite overall price increases accelerating above expectations. The cut was predicted by 16 of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The remaining six expected a hold.

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Offshore drilling rig contractor Seadrill has filed for bankruptcy protection at a U.S. court, it said on Wednesday, the second time in four years the company has entered into a chapter 11 restructuring, Reuters reported. The Oslo-listed group controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen returned to court along with several subsidiaries after failing to win consent from bank lenders to postpone payments on $5.7 billion of debts. Its total debts and liabilities stood at $7.3 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

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