Oceania

Australia’s trade minister said the country’s international borders may not completely open until the second half of 2022, a longer-than-anticipated closure that would be a blow to the airline and tourism industries, Bloomberg News reported. In an interview with Sky News early on Friday, Dan Tehan was asked when Australia’s borders might open. “The best guess would be in the middle to the second half of next year, but as we’ve seen throughout this pandemic things can change,” Tehan said, according to audio of the conversation sent by his office.

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Liberty Steel Group said on Wednesday that it had appointed a committee to restructure and refinance the group after Greensill Capital, its biggest lender, filed for insolvency in March, Reuters reported. The move comes after Sanjeev Gupta’s family conglomerate GFG Alliance announced that its Australian unit had agreed terms to refinance its exposure to Greensill. Liberty Steel, which is also under the GFG umbrella, said in a statement that four new board directors would form a Restructuring and Transformation Committee (RTC) to focus on fixing or selling underperforming units.
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Australia's corporate watchdog accused Westpac Banking Corp. of insider trading while financing a A$16 billion ($12 billion) energy grid privatisation in 2016, the latest in a series of regulatory problems for the country's No. 2 lender, Reuters reported. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said Westpac knew it had won the contract to help two pension funds buy Ausgrid, a state-owned power supplier to millions of people around Sydney, for two hours while it bought A$12 billion of derivative products to support the deal.
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Australian insolvency and restructuring experts say that reforms announced on Monday designed to help struggling companies at risk of collapse would benefit from adopting US-style bankruptcy options, the Australian Financial Review reported. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced steps to overhaul insolvency laws, including a strengthening of schemes of arrangement to better support the so-called debtor-in-possession model for large companies.

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World shares advanced Thursday ahead of the release of U.S. economic growth data and following a speech by President Joe Biden outlining ambitious plans for beefing up early education and other family oriented policies, the Associated Press reported. London’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.7% to 7,013.40. In Paris, the CAC40 climbed 0.6% to 6,344.17. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2% to 15,262.39 as a report showed weakening consumer confidence. The future for the Dow industrials rose 0.4% and that for the S&P 500 surged 0.6%. U.S.

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A war of words has erupted between Qantas boss Alan Joyce and Regional Express (Rex) deputy chairman John Sharp as the two airlines battle over a domestic air travel market recovering quickly from the pandemic, the Australian Financial Review reported. While Mr. Sharp earlier this week argued Qantas might be “technically insolvent”, Mr. Joyce has now questioned whether the former federal transport minister misled the market over the carrier’s financial health.
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Creditors of Greensill Capital Pty, the Australian parent of the collapsed British supply chain financier, voted on Thursday to liquidate the company, its administrator said, triggering deeper investigations into the conduct of its directors, Reuters reported. Grant Thornton (GT), the liquidator appointed for the Australian parent and its operating companies in Britain, said the majority of 26 creditors owed A$4.6 billion ($3.6 billion) by the collapsed financier voted for liquidation.

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In the March quarter 2021, personal insolvency fell 52.9% compared to the March quarter 2020, according to the latest personal insolvency statistics released by Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA). There were 2,545 personal insolvencies in the March quarter 2021, a 52.9% fall compared to the March quarter 2020. There were falls in all states and territories. The number of personal insolvencies rose 5.8% compared to the December quarter 2020. By type of personal insolvency:

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