United States

Malaysia today said the U.S. Department of Justice has returned 1.9 billion ringgit ($460.22 million) of funds recovered from assets related to sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Reuters reported. Malaysian and U.S. investigators say that at least $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014, in a wide-ranging scandal that has implicated high-level officials, banks and financial institutions around the world. The United States has been returning funds it has recovered from seized assets that were allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB money.
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The Biden administration announced yesterday that it was asking Mexico to review whether labor violations had occurred at a General Motors facility in the country, a significant step using a new labor enforcement tool in the revised North American trade deal, the New York Times reported. The administration is seeking the review under the novel “rapid response” mechanism in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement and took effect last summer.
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A day before Michigan's deadline to close down a key crude oil pipeline, Canada on Tuesday issued its strongest remarks so far about the move, warning that it could undermine relations with the United States, its closest ally and trading partner, Reuters reported. Canadian company Enbridge Inc. is preparing for a legal battle with Michigan and courting protests from environmental groups, betting it can ignore the state's Wednesday deadline to shut down Line 5, which runs under the Straits of Mackinac. The Canadian government, intervening in the case to back Enbridge, said in a U.S.
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Liberty Steel Group said on Wednesday that it had appointed a committee to restructure and refinance the group after Greensill Capital, its biggest lender, filed for insolvency in March, Reuters reported. The move comes after Sanjeev Gupta’s family conglomerate GFG Alliance announced that its Australian unit had agreed terms to refinance its exposure to Greensill. Liberty Steel, which is also under the GFG umbrella, said in a statement that four new board directors would form a Restructuring and Transformation Committee (RTC) to focus on fixing or selling underperforming units.
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Diplomatic moves to ease transatlantic air travel could unleash fierce competition to entice passengers back into near-empty cabins at a time when tottering airlines can ill afford a price war in the world’s richest aviation market, Reuters reported. Talks between Brussels and Washington, D.C., on resuming mass travel for vaccinated tourists have raised hopes of a summer rebound - further buoyed by new EU reopening proposals. Airlines are desperate for good news after a year of COVID-19 lockdowns that pushed many to the brink of collapse, or into the arms of governments.
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While the drama of Greensill’s collapse is unfolding in financial centers like London and Zurich, and has sparked a scandal at the top of British politics, blue-collar towns could face the worst consequences if GFG fails to refinance, the Wall Street Journal reported. GFG employs about 35,000 people, mainly in economically deprived parts of Europe, Australia and the U.S., with some sites at risk of closure if Sanjeev Gupta doesn’t secure new finance and governments don’t step in.
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A U.S. bankruptcy court will allow Grupo Aeromexico, which operates Mexico's largest airline, to increase the size of its fleet of planes, the company said on Friday, Reuters reported. Last week, Aeromexico agreed to purchase two dozen Boeing planes as part of a deal that should yield an estimated $2 billion in savings due to better conditions in some long-term maintenance for its existing fleet and leasing contracts.
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The European Union on Monday announced a road map to allowing vaccinated people from outside the bloc to travel to Europe, foretelling a more normal and connected continent after more than a year in which its boulevards and beauty have been off-limits to most of the world, the Washington Post reported. The proposal, which could be in place by the end of June, will give hope to travelers from the U.S. and other countries with aggressive coronavirus vaccination programs who are eager to return to some of the globe’s most popular destinations.
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It was a flashpoint in the world of distressed investing: Sanjeev Gupta’s infamous metals empire was falling apart as Greensill Capital imploded, Bloomberg reported. As turnaround specialists sought to grab debt of one his key assets on the cheap, a single U.S. private-equity firm swooped in to buy up the lion’s share — at full price. While the supply-chain saga has sparked a lobbying scandal in the U.K. political establishment, for troubled credit creditors it shows the everyday challenges of deploying the $15 billion lying idle in distressed funds.

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