United States

Offshore drilling rig contractor Seadrill said on Thursday it had taken an additional $2.9 billion non-cash impairment on its assets due to a bleak outlook for the sector, which has reduced demand for its drilling rigs, Reuters reported. Seadrill, which in February filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States for the second time in four years, said it expected offshore drilling demand to remain depressed well into 2021, with some degree of market recovery seen by mid-2022.
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The United States on Thursday agreed to a four-month suspension of retaliatory tariffs imposed on British goods such as Scotch whisky over a long-running aircraft subsidy row, with both sides pledging to use the time to resolve the dispute, Reuters reported. The U.S. administration under former President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Scotch whisky and other European Union food, wine and spirits, which the industry says have put its future at risk.
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A U.S. judge on Wednesday quashed a bid to widen the scope of a civil lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that accused miner Rio Tinto of fraud at its Mozambican coal business, a court filing showed, Reuters reported. The SEC filed a complaint against Rio in 2017 with allegations that it had fraudulently concealed the decline in value of the business. Rio had acquired Riversdale mining for $3.7 billion in 2011, on the premise it would be able to barge 30 million tonnes of coal per year down the Zambezi river, and rail a further 12-15 million tonnes of coal per year to port.
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Central banks from Asia to Europe escalated their efforts to calm panicking markets, pledging to buy more bonds and signaling more policy accommodation, after U.S. Treasury yields surged to the highest level in a year, Bloomberg News reported. The Reserve Bank of Australia waded in with more than $2 billion of unscheduled purchases, while Korea announced buying plans for the next few months. European Central Bank Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said more stimulus could be added if the surge in yields hurts growth.
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An agreement on the overhaul of cross-boarder corporate tax rules is within reach by a summer deadline now that Washington has dropped a proposal that could let U.S companies opt out of the future deal, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday after a meeting with G20 counterparts, Reuters reported. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday told the G20 meeting that Washington was dropping the former Trump administration’s demand for a “safe harbor” clause in talks to reform global taxation rules, which other countries said would make a deal impossible.
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Ferry operator Moby SpA is suing a number of bondholders including Sound Point Capital Management in a New York court, alleging they made unlawful attempts to take control of the firm in a debt dispute, Reuters reported. Moby, which runs routes between the Italian mainland and islands such as Sardinia, says a bondholder group which also includes BlueBay Asset Management, and Cheyne Capital Management, attempted an “egregious tortious interference” to “unlawfully” take control of the company, according to documents filed on February 22. It’s now seeking damages from the funds.
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A lawyer for Frontera Holdings LLC, the owner of a natural gas plant near the U.S.-Mexico border, told a judge on Tuesday that it could face fines in Mexico after it was unable to provide electricity for several days due to the brutal winter storm that hit Texas, but that it intends to proceed with its proposed restructuring as planned, Reuters reported. Frontera attorney Matthew Fagen of Kirkland & Ellis told U.S.
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Puerto Rico would substantially reduce its core government debt load under a new deal announced on Tuesday, but obstacles remain for the U.S. territory’s exit from bankruptcy, Reuters reported. The island’s federally created financial oversight board said that its agreement with certain bondholders was a major step toward resolving the bankruptcy, which began in 2017 in an effort to restructure about $120 billion of debt and other liabilities, including unfunded pensions.
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the U.S. will keep tariffs imposed on Chinese goods by the former Trump administration in place for now, but will evaluate how to proceed after a thorough review, Reuters reported. “For the moment, we have kept the tariffs in place that were put in by the Trump administration ... and we’ll evaluate going forward what we think is appropriate,” Yellen told the cable news network, adding that Washington expected Beijing to adhere to its commitments on trade.

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