Oceania

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”.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Australian coal rail operator Aurizon Holdings said on Monday it was in talks to buy the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET), which urgently needs to restructure $3 billion in debt, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. A purchase would mark a change in strategy under new Chief Executive Andrew Harding for Australia's largest rail freight operator, which runs nearly 2,700 kms (1,680 miles) of rail lines transporting millions of tonnes of coal a year.
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Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. full-year earnings rose 18 percent on growth in its domestic banking businesses and lower bad debts, even as margins narrowed, Bloomberg News reported. Unaudited cash profit, which excludes one-time items, rose to A$6.94 billion ($5.3 billion) in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, from A$5.9 billion a year earlier, the Melbourne-based bank said in a statement Thursday. That compares with the A$6.97 billion median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
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Australia’s central bank has warned that household borrowing is a key risk to the country’s financial system as higher interest rates could see households struggle to repay their debt, the Financial Times reported. “Higher interest rates, or falls in income, could see some highly indebted households struggle to service their debt and so curtail their spending,” the RBA said in its latest Financial Stability Review. Low interest rates and weak wage growth have seen debt levels relative to income edge higher, the central bank said.
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Arup, the London-based global engineering company, is being sued in Australia for $2bn by the receivers of a Brisbane toll road that failed because its traffic forecasts proved optimistic, the Financial Times reported. BrisConnections, the company that built a toll road linking Brisbane’s central business district with its airport — which was finished in 2012 — went into administration the following year with debts worth more than $3bn.
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