Fortescue calls in debt amid iron ore collapse


AsiaScoopsFeature

Major Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has launched a tender offer to call in $750 million of debt, in a bid to reduce interest cost amid a commodities price collapse. Prices of iron ore have tanked more than 30 percent this year due to slowing growth in China, hitting miners like Fortescue and its competitors Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.Fortescue has made an aggressive push to scale back its debt with an aim to reduce overall gearing to 40 percent from about 56 percent at mid- 2015.The miner expects its production costs to be $15 per ton of iron ore by the end of the year, down from a $18 a ton target set in July.

 

Myanmar election: Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy wins landslide victory
The party of democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi has won a majority in Myanmar’s parliament, the election commission said, giving it enough seats to elect its chosen candidate to the presidency when the new legislature convenes next year, ending decades of military- backed rule. The election was seen as the first openly contested poll in Myanmar – also known as Burma – in 25 years.

 

‘China’s Apple’ rakes in $200M in bumper Singles’ Day
Xiaomi, the smartphone maker often dubbed “China’s Apple”, was crowned the big winner of one of the world’s biggest shopping days. Singles’ Day, held in China on November 11 each year, has become known as the country’s anti-Valentine’s Day. E-commerce behemoth Alibaba is most strongly associated with the shopping extravaganza and announced that it had taken $14.3 billion in sales through its online payment service. Xiaomi became the top-grossing merchant on Alibaba’s online market place.

 

indiabullsIndiabulls buys 40 pct stake in UK’s OakNorth Bank
OakNorth Bank, said Mumbai-based Indiabulls Group had bought a 40 percent stake in the company for 66 million pounds ($100 million), boosting its capital base to over 85 million pounds.

 

leaders-of-chinaLeaders of China, Taiwan meet for first time in six decades
Leaders of political rivals Taiwan and China met for talks amid rising anti-Beijing sentiment on the self-ruled democratic island. The talks between China President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, the first such meeting since 1949, held at a luxury hotel in the neutral venue of Singapore.

 

domestic-carriersDomestic carriers allowed to roll out zero bag fares
DGCA circular said “Airlines are allowed to offer no check-in baggage/hand baggage only fare scheme subject to penalty imposed on passenger, who avails such schemes but turns up with baggage for check-in,”

 

Chinese billionaireChinese billionaire buys Modigliani for $170M
A Chinese taxi driver turned billionaire art collector has paid a record-breaking $170m (£113m) for a painting of a nude woman by Amedeo Modigliani at an auction in New York. Reclining Nude was sold at Christie’s after a protracted, nine-minute bidding battle, eventually going to Liu Yiqian, who has built a reputation as one of China’s most ostentatious billionaires.

 

britainBritain, India sign over 9 billion pounds in deals despite protests
Britain and India welcomed more than 9 billion pounds ($13.7 billion) in commercial deals during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Indian prime-minister got a warm welcome by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has tried to cultivate closer ties with India to secure business opportunities in a fast-growing economy at a time when Modi has been prioritising other relationships.

 

U.S. bombers flew near China-built islands in S.China Sea – Pentagon
Two U.S. B-52 strategic bombers flew near artificial Chinese-built islands in the South China Sea and were contacted by Chinese ground controllers but continued their mission undeterred, the Pentagon said. The latest U.S. patrol in the disputed South China Sea occurred in advance of President Barack Obama’s visit next week to attend Asia-Pacific summits where he is expected to reassert Washington’s commitment to freedom of navigation and over flight in the area. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year, and the United States has said it will continue conducting patrols to assure unimpeded passage. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims in the region.

 

Cash machines ‘snub’ new Chinese notes
China’s new 100-yuan banknote, acclaimed by authorities as bearing high-tech features that make it harder to forge, is being rejected by cash machines, according to a report. It has more security features than previous notes, the government said, to make it “easier for machines to read” and “more convenient for the public to distinguish authentic notes from fake ones”.

 

China is totally committed to reform: Top Officials
Senior officials in China unleashed a slew of statements pointing to sweeping reforms in the financial sector. In a lengthy piece published on Caixin’s website, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) governor Zhou Xiaochuan pledged his commitment to relax restrictions on China’s capital markets and promised better signaling of the Central bank’s intentions. The widespread reforms being undertaken would help the Chinese yuan become an international currency by 2020, the PBOC governor added.

 

North Korea looks set to profit from tourism
The tourism industry in North Korea is beginning to boom, according to research which estimates the secretive Communist state earned between $30.6 million to $43.6 million from tourism in 2014. North Korea is seeking to grow its tourism industry. Earlier in the year, it was reported that the country wants to attract 2 million visitors a year by 2020. The country has also built several tourist attractions in recent years, including the Masikryong ski resort.

 

North Korea looks set to profit from tourism
The tourism industry in North Korea is beginning to boom, according to research which estimates the secretive Communist state earned between $30.6 million to $43.6 million from tourism in 2014. North Korea is seeking to grow its tourism industry. Earlier in the year, it was reported that the country wants to attract 2 million visitors a year by 2020. The country has also built several tourist attractions in recent years, including the Masikryong ski resort.
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