Oceania

Soar Aviation’s directors have denied claims by KPMG that the firm could have been insolvent for up to a year before it entered administration, Australian Aviation can reveal. A new note to creditors authored by the professional services firm also said the flight school’s directors maintained they “sought and obtained funding” required to run the company in January 2020. Australian Aviation reported last week that KPMG believed the firm was insolvent “from as early as” January 2020, despite only entering voluntary administration in December 2020.
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Two Crown Resorts Ltd directors with links to major shareholder James Packer resigned on Wednesday, the first heads to roll after the Australian casino operator was deemed unfit to hold a gambling licence for its new Sydney casino, Reuters reported. The upheaval in the wake of a report commissioned by the state gambling watchdog raised speculation among analysts that the A$6.6 billion ($5.1 billion) company was in play as a takeover target.

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Australia’s central bank will extend its quantitative easing program by a further A$100 billion ($76.2 billion) and doesn’t expect to increase interest rates until 2024, following in the footsteps of global peers in moving to stamp out premature tapering speculation, Bloomberg News reported. Governor Philip Lowe left the key rate and three-year yield target at 0.10%, the Reserve Bank said in a statement Tuesday. In addition to the QE program now extended beyond mid-April, the RBA also operates a bank lending facility.

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Government debt around the world shot up last year to approach levels last seen in the aftermath of World War II, as nations stepped up spending to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Public debt as a share of global gross domestic product surged to 98% by the end of December from 84% at the end of 2019, before the pandemic struck, the IMF said in an update to its semiannual Fiscal Monitor report.

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In a move designed to position itself for future growth, satellite communications provider SpeedCast International Ltd is to emerge from U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after gaining bankruptcy court approval to restructure under a new owner, private equity firm Centerbridge Partners, Financier Worldwide reported.

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Carnival Corp.’s flagship cruising brand extended its pause on U.S. departures through the end of April and shelved operations in Australia through mid-May amid lingering pandemic concerns, Bloomberg News reported. Carnival Cruise Line also canceled European trips on Carnival Legend that had been poised to start in May, and delayed trips on Mardi Gras from Port Canaveral, Fla., until the end of that month, according to a statement on Friday. The announcement is the latest in a long line of delays since the entire industry essentially went on hold in mid-March.

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Beijing’s bar against Australian coal imports is upending global flows of the energy commodity, leaving dozens of loaded ships stranded off the Chinese coast and reshaping the direction of the seaborne trade, the Wall Street Journal reported. The flotilla of coal carriers sitting outside Chinese ports has grown to some 65 vessels, according to ship brokers in Singapore and London. Ship operators and coal suppliers unable to find new buyers for their cargo are waiting out a trade dispute that has lasted several months.

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The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said on Sunday that it was responding with urgency to a breach of one of its data systems, Reuters reported. A third-party file-sharing service used by the central bank to share and store some sensitive information was illegally accessed, the bank said in a statement. RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr said that the breach had been contained but added it would take time to understand the full implications of this breach. n August, the operator of New Zealand’s stock exchange was hit by cyberattacks.

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