United States

Over 100 companies globally have defaulted on their debt this year, affecting $302 billion worth of securities, but that figure could rise as nearly 900 issuers are poised for credit downgrades, Standard & Poor's said on Monday. Of the 108 defaults this year, 86 are from the United States, seven from Europe, five each from Asia and Canada, three from Latin America, and two from Russia. The figure contrasts with 22 defaults in 2007 and 30 in 2006.
Read more
German reinsurer Global General and Reinsurance Co. Ltd., formerly the sixth largest reinsurance company in the world, has filed for Chapter 15 protection in the U.S., Bankruptcy Law360 reported. The filing indicated liabilities of more than $100 million and assets of more than $100 million. The company has estimated that it has between 50 and 99 creditors. Howard Seif, global chair of Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice, is commandeering the U.S. proceedings. The U.K.
Read more
Landsbanki Islands hf sought bankruptcy protection from its U.S. creditors on Tuesday, the last of Iceland's three largest banks to do so in the last two weeks, Reuters reported. The Reykjavik-based lender filed a Chapter 15 bankruptcy petition with the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York. It said it had more than $1 billion of both assets and liabilities. Iceland's banks had taken on billions of dollars of debt in recent years to fund aggressive overseas expansion.
Read more
German biodiesel producer Campa GmbH has declared insolvency for a second time this year and a commercial court in Wurzburg appointed a new administrator, a court official said on Tuesday. Campa first declared insolvency in May but resumed production in early June after being bought by a consortium of about 2,000 farmers in the southern state of Bavaria, Reuters reported. It operates a 150,000 tonne annual capacity plant producing biodiesel from rapeseed oil. Campa's oil mill was purchased by U.S. agribusiness group Archer Daniels Midland in August.
Read more
Centro Properties Group, the owner of 794 shopping malls in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, is continuing talks with lenders to extend more than $4.5 billion of borrowings by Dec. 15 after failing to raise new capital, Bloomberg reported. The real estate investment trust may have to go into receivership unless creditors including Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. and National Australia Bank Ltd. agree to roll over loans, Melbourne-based Centro said today in a statement.
Read more
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and German Chancellor Angela are taking a wait-and-see posture on aid to the auto industries that power both economies, while closely watching moves in the United States, the leaders said following a summit in the northern port of Trieste on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Automakers have been calling for aid to help them weather the slide in demand with the global financial crisis--while the United States considers a bailout for Detroit's General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.
Read more
Brazil's important ethanol sector took a hit Friday after a major producer revealed that it filed court papers seeking protection from creditors while it restructures $100 million in debt, the Associated Press reported. Companhia Albertina sought the protection similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization used in the United States but will continue operating, said Gabriel Andrade, an investment banker with Sao Paulo's Arsenal Investments who is advising the company. It appeared to be the first sign of trouble for an ethanol producer since the credit crisis hit the planet hard.
Read more
Japan, the world's second-largest economy, has fallen into recession, the government said Monday. The country's gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.4 percent from July to September, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth, the Washington Post reported today. Japan's economy minister warned that the situation could worsen: Collapsing sales of Japanese goods in the United States and Europe amid the global downturn threaten to make the country's export-dependent economy even weaker in coming months.
Read more