Oceania

The COVID pandemic has added $24 trillion to the global debt mountain over the last year a new study has shown, leaving it at a record $281 trillion and the worldwide debt-to-GDP ratio at over 355%, Reuters reported. The Institute of International Finance’s global debt monitor estimated government support programmes had accounted for half of the rise, while global firms, banks and households added $5.4 trillion, 3.9 trillion and $2.6 trillion respectively.
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A 70-year-old New Zealand planemaker has had its Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certificates suspended after declaring it’s now insolvent, Australian Aviation reported. Pacific Aerospace, which employs 100 people in Hamilton on the North Island, manufactures aircraft popular for skydiving and the aerial application of fertiliser.

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The New South Wales (NSW) state gambling watchdog considers Crown Resorts unfit to hold a gaming license for its flagship Sydney casino, Crown said on Tuesday, a week after an inquiry found widespread money laundering and governance issues, Reuters reported. The casino operator said the state gambling watchdog gave it a notice in a letter after its Sydney casino breached a clause of the VIP Gaming Management Agreement. The watchdog has now begun a consultation process and invited Crown to address the authority, it said.
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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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