South America

Credit Suisse Group is trying to sell a $1 billion claim it holds against bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Hedge funds and private equity firms would be among the potential buyers for the Credit Suisse claim, which is tied to about 20,000 derivative contracts, Bloomberg reported. Banks and investors have been selling their claims on Lehman for increasingly higher prices in the last few months.
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The World Trade Organisation is expected to rule on Friday that billions of dollars in European government subsidies for Airbus aircraft are illegal, the Financial Times reported. That would hand victory to the US and Boeing, in the first round of a WTO dogfight between the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers. The preliminary ruling, is likely to spur Washington to launch a WTO challenge to further government loans for Airbus to develop its new €11 billion ($16 billion, £10 billion) A350 extra wide-bodied airliner which will compete with Boeing’s long-delayed 787 Dreamliner.
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CanWest Global Communications Corp.'s efforts to restructure its debt have come up against a series of glitches in the past few weeks that are delaying a deal with bondholders, The Globe and Mail reported. At the top of that list may be the most unlikely of culprits – a television show called MasterChef Australia. The popular cooking program has been a major hit on Australian television this year. That has translated into gains on the Australian stock market.
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A group of 1,524 cattle ranchers said they would reject a debt-reduction plan by Brazilian beef processor Independencia to exit bankruptcy proceedings, Valor Economico reported Friday. Independencia, which filed for bankruptcy protection in early March, offered to cap debt payments to ranchers at 80,000 reais (US$43,550), Valor said. That makes up for an estimated 120 million reais in total payments for the ranchers. But they instead are demanding a total 330 million reais be paid as part of any renegotiation accord or will halt supplies to the company, Valor said.
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Zinc companies in Peru, the world’s third-largest producer, will look to sell more concentrates overseas after the government said smelter Doe Run Peru may file for bankruptcy, according to a creditor, Bloomberg reported. A bankruptcy may take months to complete, said Carlos Galvez, chief financial officer of precious metals producer Cia. de Minas Buenaventura SA, a Doe Run Peru creditor. Doe Run, a unit of Renco Group Inc., may file for bankruptcy to restructure about $156 million of debt, Energy & Mines Minister Pedro Sanchez Gamarra said yesterday.
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Foreign-exchange traders are losing faith that Mexican President Felipe Calderon will push through the tax increases needed to rein in the budget deficit and stem a rout that has made the peso the worst-performing major currency in the past year, Bloomberg reported. Morgan Stanley strategists say Latin America’s second-largest economy is headed for “unsustainable” deficits as oil output declines while RBC Capital Markets advises investors to sell the currency.
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A unit of mining giant Grupo Mexico SAB is appealing a ruling that it is on the hook for $1.38 billion in cash and a stake in lucrative Peruvian copper operations to Asarco LLC, in a case alleging Grupo fraudulently shifted the shares, tipping Asarco into bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Law360 reported. Asarco first sued Grupo subsidiary Americas Mining Corp. in February 2007, arguing that Grupo Mexico's 2003 transfer of Asarco's 54.2 percent ownership in Southern Copper Corp., formerly Southern Peru Copper Corp., to AMC was fraudulent.
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A small, troubled Spanish bank controlled by the Catholic Church is looking for a savior as it comes to terms with the massive loan losses that are shaking Spain's network of small savings banks, The Wall Street Journal reported. Cordoba-based CajaSur, which is headed by priest Santiago Gomez Sierra, said Tuesday it was in merger talks with larger and healthier savings bank Unicaja, which has traditional ties to the Spanish Socialist Party. Both are based in Spain's southern Andalusia region. Any deal would need the Bank of Spain's approval.
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The chairman of General Motors Argentina, Edgar Lourencon, confirmed that the automaker would not lay off personnel in the country, a day after its mother company in the United States filed for bankruptcy protection, the Buenos Aires Herald reported. Dismissing any rumours about the future of the company, the head of the local branch of GM meanwhile announced that the company is currently developing a new model to be produced in a plant in Santa Fe, which will be exported to the rest of the countries of the Mercosur.
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