FT markets round-up: “Global equity markets started the second quarter on a cautious note, as weak manufacturing data in the US and China offset demand for growth assets. Wall Street is heading lower, following earlier losses in Asia, after an unexpected slowing in US manufacturing growth. But the housing market showed further strengthening as US construction spending rose in February, buoyed by the highest level of homebuilding in more than four years.” (Financial Times)
Apple’s chief executive has apologised to Chinese customers over its after-sales services. Tim Cook blamed a “lack of external communication” and promised the company would revamp its warranty and repair policies in a message on Apple’s Chinese homepage (Financial Times). Apple has come under attack from state-run media in recent weeks over alleged “arrogance” and discrimination in its customer-service policies (Wall Street Journal). Read more
Update (4 April) — The Second Circuit has ordered NML to respond to the Argentine proposal by April 22. Which is as expected but more time on the clock for the Republic.
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In theory, there was no offer. “This is a proposal to judges, not an offer to vultures,” Argentina’s finance minister tweeted at the weekend.
For their part, the three judges of the US Second Circuit had ordered Argentina to tell them “how and when it proposes to make current those debt obligations on the original bonds that have gone unpaid over the last 11 years” (emphasis ours). It’s a last act in the battle that Argentina has been losing to stop restructured debt payments being linked to its defaulted bonds under the pari passu clause.
In practice, the 22-page letter that the government sent to the Second Circuit on Friday — containing “options” for holdouts to take payments “equitably and ratably” with bondholders who swallowed its 2010 debt restructuring, by getting restructured bonds in place of the original debt — pretty much was an offer.
And — it looks like — not one the judges can accept. Meanwhile, the market has panicked like wildebeest. Read more