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Simon, Brookfield, to save JC Penny from bankruptcy, retain 650 stores

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Simon, Brookfield, to save JC Penny from bankruptcy, retain 650 stores

JC Penney store in Laguna Hills, California.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

US shopping center owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners are close to completing a $ 800 million deal to save JC Penney department store chain from bankruptcy, avoid liquidation and save some 70,000 jobs and 650 stores, Joshua Sassberg of law firm Kirkland & Ellis said Wednesday.

Simon and Brookfield will pay about $ 300 million in cash and take on $ 500 million in debt, Sassberg said during a court hearing.

Wells Fargo also agreed to provide Penney with a $ 2 billion revolving loan upon completion of the transaction, leaving the retailer with $ 1 billion in cash, he said. Penny plans to get bankruptcy judge approval for this rescue deal early next month.

Meanwhile, the hedge funds and private equity firms that financed Penny’s bankruptcy are set to acquire ownership of some of the retailer’s stores and distribution centers in exchange for forgiving part of Penny’s $ 5 billion debt burden. Penney’s lenders, led by H / 2 Capital Partners, will own the assets in two different real estate investment funds, or REITs, Sassberg said.

Hit hard coronavirus pandemic Having absorbed excessive debt, Penny filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. At the time, he had about 850 locations.

Dozens of other retailers, including department store chains Neiman Marcus, Stage Stores and Lord & Taylor, filed for bankruptcy protection during the Covid-19 crisis. Some retailers have not found buyers who could save them. Lord & Taylor, the country’s oldest department store operator, and Pier 1 Imports home furnishings chain are in the process of liquidation.

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Negotiations to save Penny have been going on for weeks. During a hearing on August 31, Kirkland & Ellis’ Sussberg said negotiations with the highest bidder, which included Penny’s homeowners, had come to nothing. Instead, Penny’s lenders were about to prepare a loan application to own the retailer as a separate company, he said it was about time.

Penney’s revenues and market value have declined over the years, with shoppers visiting its stores less often and buying online instead. The company’s net sales in 2019 were $ 10.7 billion, up from $ 12.6 billion in 2015.

Sassberg also previously said that Penny’s vacant property was valued at $ 1.4 billion when the lights are onand $ 704 million in the dark. The retailer’s real estate values ​​have dropped over time, especially during the pandemic, as there is less and less desire to own bulky anchor sites in shopping centers.

Any deal between Simon and Brookfield is still subject to court approval and competing proposals.

Simon has already made deals this year rescue men’s suit manufacturer Brooks Brothers and denim retailer Lucky Brand from bankruptcy, having teamed up with licensing firm Authentic Brands Group to do so. He had previously also teamed up with ABG and Brookfield to rescue Forever 21. Brookfield said in May that it was plans to spend $ 5 billion to rescue retailers hit by the pandemic

Analysts believe that, among a number of reasons, mall owners may try to save Penny to prevent the appearance of several empty department stores in shopping centerswhich could potentially lead to so-called joint lease clauses that allow other retailers in the mall to renegotiate their own leases or be waived. The Penney ownership would also give Simon and Brookfield the opportunity to more easily refocus their properties if some of the Penney stores in their malls closed.

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Representatives for Simon and Brookfield did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

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Economy

Are we close to the end of physical money? Coins and banknotes are practically disappearing in these countries — Executive Digest

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Are we close to the end of physical money?  Coins and banknotes are practically disappearing in these countries — Executive Digest

At present, the number of payment alternatives in addition to physical money such as credit cards, payment with applications or mobile phones is increasing, and well-known coins and banknotes are gaining ground.

However, ElEconomist explains, there is evidence that, despite the apparent growth of other forms of payment, physical money continues to hold. According to the European Central Bank (ECB), almost half of all payments, 48%, are made using banknotes. In the US, the US Federal Reserve has noted that money in circulation has even reached an all-time high.

There are countries that are discussing this issue, and some countries are testing formulas for moving to a fully digital model. A Spanish website has compiled a list of cases where money could be on the brink of extinction.

Sweden:

Despite having the oldest central bank in the world, it has been leading the fight against physical money since the beginning of the last decade. Between 2011 and 2020, Swedish citizens reduced their use of cash from 39% to 9%. With companies, banks and other institutions refusing to accept payments in coins or banknotes, Sweden would be quite willing to move away from cash if rural areas didn’t resist its decline.

At the same time, the Swedish government is at the same time trying to slow down the transition by asking citizens to keep money at home.

Norway:

Norges Bank, the country’s central bank, has released figures that Norwegians only use banknotes or coins for 3 to 4% of their transactions, and the lack of physical liquidity in the country is a concern, so although they are about to achieve full digitization, they are trying to stop this is.

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The Norwegian Consumer Protection Agency has already received complaints about the inability to pay for bus tickets or cafes in cash in the center of the capital, and the country’s Pensioners’ Association has also warned of the concerns this raises among a less digitized population.

Netherlands:

It is one of the countries not only in Europe but also in the world with the most development in this aspect, with a share of cash payments below 24% compared to 52% in 2005, 40% in 2011 and 30% in 2015. . . .

Data from the Dutch Payments Association shows that card usage for payments now exceeds 75%, with mobile payments up 30% last year.

In this case, banks are the biggest drivers of total digitalization to cut costs at branches and ATMs. In the Netherlands, 89% of customers are already digital, compared to the European average of 60%.

China:

The country is becoming so digitized in this regard that the People’s Bank of China is imposing fines on public and private institutions that refuse to accept cash payments in order to “protect citizens’ rights to use cash.”

The latest survey by the region’s central bank shows that 66% of payments in the region are made using a mobile phone, compared to 23% in cash. At the same time, the percentage of card payments is even less: only 7% of transactions.

South Korea:

Since 2016, the country has been trying to digitize payments, which is why cash in circulation is only 40% of the total, which is an all-time low. Of the total number of transactions in the country, only 17% are made in physical money.

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Canada:

In the country led by Justin Trudeau, Visa said citizens are “ready to move away from cash” as Canada “has one of the highest penetration rates of credit card payments in the world (70%)”. As a percentage of total transactions in 2021, only 17% were made with physical money. Cards make up 60% of transactions and electronic payments 12%.

Australia:

The latest report from The Global Payments explains that the country is accelerating its transition to cash, which will account for just 2% of all transactions by 2025. From 75% in 2007 to around 30% in 2019.

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Vinted has been targeted by online scammers | Internet

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Vinted has been targeted by online scammers |  Internet

Platform online Wynted was attacked by tell jokes. According to Portal da Queixa, a Lithuanian company that buys, sells and exchanges goods has received several complaints from Portuguese users who have been deceived by fraudulent schemes.

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Economy

How Asia’s richest woman lost half her fortune in a year

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How Asia's richest woman lost half her fortune in a year

60 minutes / YouTube

For years, Yang Huiyan’s fortune has been at the center of headlines, comments, and calculations outside of China.

Yang Huiyan, who is only 41 years old, is not only the richest woman in her country, but also the most the richest in all of Asia.

FROM inherited a real estate empire from his father over ten years ago, his fortune continues to grow. But in 2022, everything changed: last year it suffered a real decline.

According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index calculations, Yang saw his net worth drop more than 52% last year.

In 2021, Bloomberg estimated the fortune of a business woman at about $33.9 billion (about 33 billion euros), which fell to around $16.1 billion (about €15.7 billion) in July last year.

Economic analysts saw this not only as a grim sign of the state of the Chinese housing market, but also as a serious warning that The future of the world’s second largest economy.

This comes as the country’s real estate sector has been hit hard by falling home prices, declining buyer demand and a bad debt crisis that has affected some major property developers since 2020.

The situation has reached the point where some banks ran out of moneywhich caused protests in some cities of the Asian country.

And although Yang remains the richest woman in Asia, her position has begun to falter.

Yang is followed by chemical fiber entrepreneur Fan Hongwei, who also has an estimated net worth of around $16 billion, according to Bloomberg.

But who is Yang Huiyan and how did he make one of the biggest fortunes in the world?

heiress

Born in 1981 in Shuntak, a district of Foshan City, Guangzhou Province, in southern China, Yang is the daughter of one of the richest people in the Asian country: Yang Guoqiang.

Raised in one of China’s most influential families, she received an excellent education and was sent to the United States at the time of youth. In 2003, he graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Returning to China, he inherited from his father in 2007. most actions Country Garden Holdings, China’s largest real estate company.

Founded in 1992 in Guangzhou, Country Garden Holdings has been successful since its Hong Kong IPO and has raised about $1.6 billion, about the same as Google’s since its 2004 US IPO.

Although Yang is known for staying out of the public eye and living a low key lifestyle, center of countless headlines inside and outside of China.

One of the most high-profile cases occurred in 2018, when legal documents known as the “Cyprus Papers” were leaked and revealed that he had obtained Cypriot citizenship in 2018, despite China not recognizing dual citizenship.

Problems

Chinese market researchers describe Yang as a creative woman with business acumen.

In June last year, the International Hospitality Institute recognized it in its ranking the most influential people in the global hotel industry.

However, his business was already showing signs of weakness.

The situation in the real estate market in the country since 2020 has become more complicated not only because of the coronavirus pandemic, but also because the Chinese authorities tried to curb over-indebtedness in real estate.

This resulted in large builders facing payment struggles and forcing them to renegotiate a contract with your creditors.

The crisis worsened when Evergrande, the most indebted Chinese real estate company, defaulted on its dollar-denominated bonds in late 2021 after months of liquidity problems.

Since then and this year, several other major groups, including Kaisa and Shimao Group, have also applied for creditor protection.

The crisis has escalated in recent weeks after news of a “buyers’ strike” after thousands of people stopped paying their mortgages due to the delay in starting construction work on the houses. Due to the delay in the delivery of houses, companies did not start receiving mortgage payments on time.

All this led to the fact that Zagorodny Sad, which felt good in the first months of the pandemic, also faced liquidity problemto such an extent that last July he had to sell shares at a discount of almost 13% to raise funds.

And the long-term picture doesn’t look good for Young, his fortune, or the company he represents.

In a July report last year, ratings agency S&P estimated that real estate sales in China may fall by a third this year because of the mortgage strikes, a collective movement in which buyers decided to put mortgage payments on properties that were behind schedule.

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Meanwhile, Capital Economics, an independent London-based economics research firm, predicted that “without sales, many other companies will fail, which is financial and economic threat“for China.

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