After $9 Billion Credit Hit, Banks Seek Trade Finance Revamp

(Bloomberg) — When Credit Agricole SA and HSBC Holdings Plc issued a payment guarantee for a $76.5 million fuel purchase from a Singapore trader in March, they unwittingly became the latest victims in a series of trade finance scandals that have led to more than $9 billion in potential losses for global lenders.

At the same time that Hin Leong Trading Pte. was pledging the fuel to back the loan, it allegedly agreed to sell the same cargo to another trader, who sought letters of credit from three banks including Credit Agricole.

This line of credit merry-go-round was among many allegedly fraudulent tools used by Hin Leong, one of Singapore’s biggest oil traders before its spectacular collapse in April that left 23 banks on the hook for $3.5 billion, according to a report from court-appointed managers.

For banks financing the opaque world of commodities trading in Singapore, Hin Leong isn’t

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People’s Bank of China Cuts Stake in India’s Housing Development Finance

(Bloomberg) — China’s central bank has sold at least some of its stake in India’s Housing Development Finance Corp., according to shareholder details filed with the exchanges.

The People’s Bank of China has dropped off the list of investors holding at least a 1% stake in the company as of end-June. The PBOC held about 17.5 million shares, accounting for a 1.01% shares, at end-March. It cannot be ascertained if the Chinese central bank continues to holds any stake in the mortgage lender or not.

The PBOC may have sold at least a part of its shares in the open market, Hindu Business Line newspaper reported earlier, citing market sources. HDFC shares fell as much as 2.2% in Mumbai in early trading Friday. The stock dropped 40% from its January record high to its April low but has since rebounded 27%.

PBOC had increased its stake in India’s largest shadow

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The rich are flying again — in the comfort of their private jets

The pandemic has sent demand for commercial airline flights into a tailspin, but business is soaring for the private jet companies that fly corporate bigwigs and deep-pocketed travelers looking to wing away to an exclusive getaway.

The trend demonstrates once again that the outbreak of COVID-19 is having vastly different effects on Americans depending on the size of their bank accounts.

Despite the pandemic’s severe blow to flying and the economy, private jet companies such as XO Jets, NetJets and Surf Air report that they are booking about 80% as many flights and hours in the air as they had before the pandemic struck the U.S. And many of those fliers are new to the private jet scene.

Meanwhile, demand for flights on traditional airlines has sunk to as low as 10% of pre-pandemic levels — a drop so severe that United Airlines recently served notice that it may furlough

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Uber Acquires Postmates and 14 Other Biggest Business Moves of 2020

On July 6, Uber and Postmates announced that they had reached an agreement for the ride-share company to acquire Postmates for $2.65 billion in an all-stock transaction.

“Uber and Postmates have long shared a belief that platforms like ours can power much more than just food delivery — they can be a hugely important part of local commerce and communities, all the more important during crises like COVID-19,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to welcome Postmates to the Uber family as we innovate together to deliver better experiences for consumers, delivery people and merchants across the country.”

This multibillion-dollar acquisition is just one of several big money moves businesses have made this year.

Last updated: July 9, 2020

Amazon Buys Zoox for $1.2 Billion

In late June, Amazon announced that it had reached an agreement to buy Zoox, a California-based company pioneering autonomous

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