Oceania

All 132 stores in the Payless Shoes network will close by February 2017, after administrators for the retail chain were unable to find a buyer for the business as a whole, SmartCompany.com.au reported. Administrators from Ferrier Hodgson said on Wednesday afternoon approximately 730 employees will be affected by the closures, although some employee contracts may be transferred to interested parties throughout the closure process. The administrators said they will now work with “interested parties and landlords” to transfer or close the Payless Shoes stores.
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Two of Australia’s biggest banks have agreed to pay a combined fine of 15 million Australian dollars (€10.5 million) after admitting to attempted cartel conduct aimed at rigging the benchmark rate for the Malaysian ringgit, the Irish Times reported. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australia’s competition watchdog, said on Friday that ANZ Bank had admitted to 10 instances of attempted cartel conduct, while Macquarie had admitted to eight instances in 2011.
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Insolvent Australian industrial group Arrium Ltd's U.S. based Moly-Cop division has been sold to private equity firm American Industrial Partners for $1.23 billion, two sources close to the deal said, ending a drawn out sale process, Reuters reported. "I can confirm it is American Industrial Partners," one source said. Moly-Cop, which makes steel balls to grind ore and operates mostly in the United States and Latin America, also attracted interest from KPS Capital, a private equity limited partnerships with about $5.5 billion of assets under management.
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China’s growing debt mountain poses a risk to Australia’s financial stability, a senior politician has warned, just weeks after the continent celebrated a quarter century of growth without a recession. China is Australia’s largest trading partner, accounting for A$150bn of two-way trade in 2015. Beijing is also an important foreign investor in Australia, leaving Canberra potentially among the developed nations most exposed to a Chinese downturn.
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China’s growing debt mountain poses a risk to Australia’s financial stability, a senior politician has warned, just weeks after the continent celebrated a quarter century of growth without a recession. China is Australia’s largest trading partner, accounting for A$150bn of two-way trade in 2015. Beijing is also an important foreign investor in Australia, leaving Canberra potentially among the developed nations most exposed to a Chinese downturn.
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Software company Wynyard Group has been put in voluntary administration. KordaMentha partners Neale Jackson and Grant Graham have been appointed administrators of the company, which creates security software for use by companies and law enforcement agencies. It's been a difficult year for Wynyard, with its board warning in August that the company's future was in question and signalling uncertainty underlying its assumptions about cash-flow and future sales.
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Overseas graduates declaring themselves penniless are among the 483 debtors whose $18 million in students loans have been wiped by bankruptcies, Stuff.co.nz reported. Inland Revenue has revealed the latest figures as the amount owed by student loan defaulters tips over the $1 billion mark. The 10 biggest overseas debtors owe more than $300,000 each. Some are dying in debt. Ministry of Education figures show that, in the year to June 2015, $19m of student loan debt was written off because of the death of the borrower. That compared with $16m written off because of bankruptcy.
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Australia marked 25 years without a recession in the second quarter, another step closer to the Dutch record for the longest developed-economy expansion of recent decades, The Wall Street Journal reported. The economy grew 0.5% in the second quarter from the first and by 3.3% from a year earlier—the fastest pace in four years, pushed by spending on housing and public investment, government data showed Wednesday. The data also show, though, that growth increasingly relies on policy makers’ pulling out all the stops as the economy tries to reinvent itself.
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A breakdown in Clive Palmer’s relationship with administrators of his Queensland Nickel business was evident around the time a dispute flared over a private jet, the company’s former financial chief has told the federal court, The Guardian reported. The court hearing by liquidators into the collapse of Queensland Nickel was shown an email stating that FTI Consulting’s John Park had “upset Clive P on the phone this evening” during a conversation about the administrator’s seizure of a Cessna Citation aircraft.
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A plan to regulate the insolvency sector and shut down unscrupulous operators is being welcomed by an industry body, Radio New Zealand reported. The government has released the first part of a review into insolvency laws, which recommends licensing for practitioners and steps to improve protection for creditors in voluntary liquidations. The working group's report said current regulation fell short of ensuring creditors could have confidence that practitioners handling corporate insolvency are qualified and bound by an acceptable code of ethics.
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