Latest Updates: China Evergrande Halts Stock Trading As Debt Problems Worsen

North Korea re-establishes inter-Korean hotline after period of anti-missile diplomacy

North Korea reestablished its lines of communication with South Korea on Monday morning, after a period of intensive missile testing and megaphone diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula.

The North’s intention to re-establish inter-Korean hotlines, which were last cut in August ahead of joint South Korea-US military exercises, has been announced by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a political speech to the Supreme People’s Assembly last week. .

Kim was reported by North Korean media as stating that reestablishing contact was “part of the effort to fulfill the expectations and desire of the whole nation that the current difficult inter-Korean relations be rehabilitated as soon as possible and wants peace. sustainable. settle in the Korean Peninsula.

“We have no purpose or reason to provoke South Korea, nor any idea of ​​hurting it,” Kim said, according to North Korean newspaper Rodung Sinmun. “South Korea should quickly come out of the crazy dream that it must dissuade North Korea’s provocations and its serious crisis awareness and victimhood mentality.”

South Korea’s Unification Ministry confirmed on Monday that North Korea responded to a call made at 9 a.m. local time, saying the resumption of contacts “lays the foundation for stabilizing the situation in the region. Korean Peninsula and the restoration of inter-Korean relations ”.

China Evergrande Suspends Trading As Debt Problems Worsen

Trading in shares of China Evergrande, the world’s most indebted real estate developer, and its property management unit was suspended Monday in Hong Kong, the city’s stock exchange said.

“All structured products relating to the Company will also be suspended from trading at the same time,” said the notice. No reason was given for the suspension.

Evergrande rocked the markets last month over fears of a default on its bonds. Shares of the company, which has more than $ 300 billion in liabilities, have plunged more than 80% this year.

Evergrande has attempted to sell assets in recent weeks, with state-backed buyers paying Rmb 10 billion ($ 1.5 billion) for its stake in a bank on Wednesday.

Uncertainty over Evergrande’s future deepened after the Shenzhen-based group missed the $ 83.5 million interest payment deadline on a dollar-denominated bond on September 23 , triggering a grace period of 30 days before a formal default.

Evergrande has since made no announcement regarding that payment, or whether he made another coupon payment of around $ 45 million that was due last week. The bondholders declare that they have not received any coupon payment.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell more than 2% on the news.

Whistleblower accuses Facebook of misleading the public and investors

A Facebook whistleblower on Sunday accused the company of putting “profit before safety” after it emerged that it complained to US securities regulators that it was misleading investors.

Speaking on the 60 Minute News program, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, came forward as the whistleblower who leaked a trove of internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal. His revelations plunged the social media company into its deepest crisis since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Haugen suggested the company lied to the public, exaggerating the progress it has made in tackling hate, violence and disinformation on its platform, presenting “tens of thousands” of pages of documents as evidence .

“There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen said in the interview. “And Facebook, time and time again, has chosen to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”

Read more here.

What to watch in Asia today

China and its markets stay on vacation for the national week until Thursday.

Hong Kong markets reopen today, after taking Friday off for the same holiday.

Parliament of Japan will officially appoint Fumio Kishida, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs considered as a moderate “Mr. Statu Quo”, as Prime Minister of the country.

Sunak pledges £ 500million to bolster UK workforce as supply crises hit Tories

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set aside £ 500million on Monday to help UK-based people find jobs as the government grapples with a post-Brexit ‘adjustment period’ which has seen severe shortages of labor in certain sectors.

Speaking at the start of a Conservative conference in Manchester overshadowed by fuel shortages and Christmas outage warnings, Sunak will insist the government has a plan to bolster the workforce.

The £ 500million support plan – aimed at those leaving the leave scheme and older workers – comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to fill labor market gaps by pulling ‘the big marked leverage uncontrolled immigration ”.

Johnson insisted the shortages of truck drivers and butchers were part of a “period of adjustment” to an economy with better wages and conditions. He agreed with Sunak that the disruption could “last for months.”

Read more here.

Former HSBC chief investment officer joins General Atlantic

One of HSBC’s oldest executives is leaving a full-time job at Europe’s largest lender to become senior advisor to $ 50 billion tech investor General Atlantic.

Samir Assaf, who led the investment bank for a decade, will continue in an advisory role to HSBC chairman Mark Tucker and chief executive Noel Quinn. He will also continue to serve as non-executive chairman of HSBC’s subsidiaries in the Middle East.

Along with an advisory role at General Atlantic, Assaf will join the board of directors of a new climate change fund, BeyondNetZero, created by the US private equity firm. Led by Lord John Browne, the former CEO of BP, the fund aims to provide growth equity capital to new companies with technology that can help reduce carbon emissions.

HSBC and General Atlantic have both confirmed the appointments. General Atlantic described Assaf’s role as “sourcing, developing relationships with entrepreneurs around the world and supporting portfolio companies”.

Read more here.

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