South America

Pensioners in developed economies are no longer being spared the worst effects of the financial crisis as fiscal austerity programmes aimed at curtailing spending on the elderly start to kick in, the OECD has warned, the Financial Times reported. Spending on pensions, which accounts for nearly a fifth of government outlays on average across the 34-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is being limited through a variety of benefit changes including raising state retirement ages and freezing – or even cutting – payouts.
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A judge in Rio de Janeiro on Monday accepted a bankruptcy-protection request made earlier this month by OSX Brasil SA, the shipbuilder controlled by Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, giving OSX 180 days to prepare a restructuring plan, Reuters reported. The judge, Gilberto Clovis Farias Matos, said the request by OSX and two of its three non-traded subsidiaries, OSX Construção Naval Ltda and OSX Serviços Operacionais Ltda, met the criteria of Brazil's corporate legislation, according to a statement issued by the press office of the Justice Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro state.
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A Brazilian judge accepted a request for bankruptcy protection by former billionaire Eike Batista's oil company, OGX Petróleo e Gas Participações SA, but denied the same protection for its foreign subsidiaries, a company lawyer told Reuters on Thursday. OGX sought court protection from creditors on Oct. 30 after it failed to convince them to refinance more than $5.1 billion in obligations, in Latin America's largest-ever corporate bankruptcy filing.
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Finding a new partner to develop the $1-billion Capital City Centre, selling off a handful of properties and drastically cutting back operations are all part of a plan to pull the League group of companies out of creditor protection as a going concern, the Times Colonist reported. That was the game plan expected to be unveiled in court in Vancouver today as the League group petitioned to extend the protection it has been granted under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and extend the debtor-in-possession financing it requires to run day-to-day operations.
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OSX Brasil SA, the ship building company of troubled tycoon Eike Batista, filed for bankruptcy protection, the second such filing for a commodities empire that crumbled this year as losses piled up and investor confidence plummeted, The Wall Street Journal reported. "Parts of Mr. Batista´s empire were a house of cards, and now they are falling," said Guilherme Figueiredo, a fund manager at M.Safra & Co. in Sao Paulo who helps oversee $1.97 billion in assets. The move Monday at a Rio de Janeiro court follows a default and bankruptcy filing last month for Mr.
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OSX Brasil SA , the Brazilian shipbuilder controlled by former billionaire Eike Batista, is considering seeking court protection from creditors as early as Wednesday, three sources with direct knowledge of the plans told Reuters. OSX will likely petition the same Rio de Janeiro court where Batista's oil producer OGX Petróleo e Gas Participações SA sought protection on Oct. 30, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified by name because the plans are private. With the move, OSX will put 5.3 billion reais ($2.3 billion) of debt under court protection.
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Lupatech SA, a Brazilian offshore oil industry products and services provider, in a securities filing Tuesday said its board has approved a debt-for-equity swap designed to help it push past a series of missed payments to creditors, Reuters reported. Lupatech said it would renegotiate some of its debt with lenders and that holders of perpetual bonds and debentures would be offered an option of swapping 85 percent of their debt for new equity.
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Bondholders, followed by oilfield-service companies, are the biggest creditors of Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista's oil company OGX, which made Latin America's biggest-ever bankruptcy filing last week, according to a list obtained by Reuters. The No. 2 creditor after bondholders is OSX Brasil SA, the Batista-controlled shipyard and ship-leasing company that built three offshore oil production platforms for OGX. OSX is owed at least 2.45 billion reais ($1.1 billion) or about 21 percent of the oil company's obligations.
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Brazil plans to reduce lending by its development bank by about 20 percent next year to shore up finances after a wider-than-expected September deficit fueled speculation the nation’s credit rating may be cut, Bloomberg reported. Finance Minister Guido Mantega said in an interview yesterday that state lender BNDES will provide about 150 billion reais ($66.6 billion) of loans in 2014, compared with an estimated 190 billion reais this year.
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The loan exposure of Brazil's two largest private-sector banks to former billionaire Eike Batista's debt-laden Grupo EBX is falling, UBS Securities said in a report, signaling that the risk of additional bad loan provisions or significant writedowns is declining, Reuters reported. Collateral put forth by Batista and EBX, a mining, energy and logistics conglomerate, is proving enough to reduce the probability of losses at Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Bradesco SA, London-based strategist Philip Finch said in a client note.
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