Oceania

Bondholders led by BlackRock Inc have agreed to inject capital into Quintis Ltd and take it private, rescuing the Australian sandalwood firm after it collapsed in the wake of a short-seller attack, Reuters reported. Between A$125 million and A$175 million ($95 million to $132 million) in capital will be provided and the bondholders will acquire control of the company, administrator McGrathNicol said in a statement. “It is expected that the proposal will be supported by growers, employees and creditors whose rights and long term interests are protected,” the statement said.
Read more
Santos Ltd. plunged the most since 2016 after rejecting Harbour Energy Ltd.’s $10.9 billion final offer and terminating talks, saying its proposal was too low and too risky, Bloomberg News reported. The Australian oil and gas producer said Tuesday its independent directors, managing director and chief executive officer unanimously rejected the proposal because it didn’t represent the full value of the company, as well as being too complex and high-risk. Oil prices and shares of its domestic peers have rallied 14 percent and 18 percent, respectively, since the initial proposal, Santos said.
Read more
Toys ‘R’ Us in Australia has lost its battle for survival with directors today putting the 44-store chain into administration. The move threatens up to 2700 jobs, including 700 full-time positions. Insolvency firm McGrathNicol said partners Jason Preston, Keith Crawford and Barry Kogan were put into Toys ‘R’ Us (Australia) and Babies ‘R’ Us (Australia) after the withdrawal of the final bidder looking over the struggling businesses, The West Australian reported. The stores, including four in Perth.
Read more
Australia’s unemployment rate edged up to a 9-month high in April, despite an increase in the number of full-time roles, the Financial Times reported. Australia’s unemployment rate rose to seasonally-adjusted 5.6 per cent in April from 5.5 per cent in the previous month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That was above the 5.5 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll and broke from a four-month run at the same level.
Read more
Australian fashion brand Metalicus has entered voluntary administration and will today begin a major sale across all of its outlets, SmartCompany.com.au reported. In an email to customers on Wednesday evening, the company acknowledged the “difficult period for our staff and customers”, as it explained plans to launch a sale event at all of its flagship stores, Myer concession outlets and online, starting Friday. Metalicus said the sale event will involve “significant savings on all pieces”.
Read more
Sweeping reforms to insolvency laws and regulations are set to benefit distressed companies that are attempting to negotiate a sale and avert going into administration, The Australian Financial Review reported. Local lawyers are of the view that draft regulations released this week by Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer are largely positive for lenders, struggling companies and the restructuring industry.
Read more
New Zealand’s High Court placed insurance firm CBL Insurance Ltd, the main subsidiary of CBL Corporation Ltd, in interim liquidation on Friday after a request from the country’s central bank, Reuters reported. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand regulates the country’s insurance sector and CBL disclosed earlier this month that the bank was reviewing the adequacy of the company’s reserves in its French construction insurance business.
Read more
Australia’s largest sandalwood forest company, Quintis Ltd, has called in administrators after one of its bondholders forced the firm to pay out A$37 million ($30 million), a spokesman for the administrators, KordaMentha, said on Monday. Quintis has been trying to raise new financing over the past nine months, but none of the recapitalisation strategies, including a buyout by the company’s former managing director, have reached completion, Reuters reported. Bondholder Asia Pacific Investments DAC, connected with U.S.
Read more
New Zealand has blocked HNA Group’s $460 million purchase of a vehicle finance firm owned by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in the latest in a series of setbacks around the world for the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate, Reuters reported. The proposed sale of UDC, New Zealand’s largest non-bank lender, was agreed with ANZ nearly a year ago and the bank had counted on the proceeds to boost its capital.
Read more
Central bankers are starting to see promising results from one of the recent additions to their monetary policy toolbox, Bloomberg News reported. Lending curbs to stem financial risk -- so-called macroprudential limits -- have helped slow risky borrowing and temper property price bubbles in countries from New Zealand to Canada, a host of financial stability reports showed this week. While there hasn’t been uniform success -- Hong Kong’s housing market shows no signs of cooling -- it’s given central banks some breathing space to be more gradual in tightening monetary policy.
Read more