A group of Parmalat Finanziaria SpA investors are challenging Italy's new bankruptcy law to ensure bondholders get a say in the debt-repayment plans of Italy's largest dairy company. \nThe group of institutional investors, pension funds and private companies invested a combined 300 million euros (US$376 million) in Parmalat bonds. They filed a suit with a Rome administrative court to wrest influence from Industry Minister Antonio Marzano and Enrico Bondi, Parmalat's government-appointed bankruptcy administrator, in favor of a bankruptcy court. \nItaly issued an emergency decree in December, changing the nation's bankruptcy laws to speed a restructuring of the maker of Kyr yogurts and Santal juices. Bondholders have said the bankruptcy procedure, which is overseen by the industry ministry, gives excessive influence to the government and creditor banks. \n"This is a battle to make sure that internationally agreed treatment for all investors is recognized," said Umberto Mosetti, a professor of governance at the University of Siena and chief executive in Italy for Brussels-based investor advocacy group Deminor, in a telephone interview. \nDeminor is advising the bondholder group on its court action, Mosetti said. The suit was filed on behalf of two French construction companies by Adolfo Di Majo of law firm DMP and a professor of civil law at Rome University, Mosetti said. \nLawyers for US creditors this month met with Marzano and other government officials to push for a US-style creditor committee to be included in the bankruptcy proceedings. Marzano is setting up a nine-member committee that will include the four foreign and four Italian banks with the most risk from Parmalat. \nThe ninth member will represent bondholders. More than 75,000 Italian investors own Parmalat bonds. \nMarzano did not say whether creditors would have access to internal Parmalat documents and have a role in shaping any debt-repayment plan as they can in the US, or whether they would only be called on to advise Parmalat managers. \nBondholder representatives including Evan Flaschen, a partner at US law firm Bingham McCutchen, which is representing a group of 160 bondholders who own US$3.5 billion of Parmalat debt, said the committee didn't sufficiently represent bondholders.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus