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MF Global U.K., Takefuji Bids, Krajbanka Insolvent: Bankruptcy

The trustee for the MF Global Inc. brokerage said he’s disputing as much as $700 million in customer assets with the administrators of a U.K. affiliate.

Trustee James Giddens, who has said he’s trying to retrieve U.S. commodity customers’ assets from foreign affiliates, told the administrators the funds were held for customers’ foreign trades and should be returned, he said in a statement. The administrators said the assets didn’t fit the classification of segregated funds under U.K. law, he said.

Their “position will significantly affect, in the near term, my ability to return a substantial amount to U.S. customers dealing in foreign futures,” he said. “We will actively and expeditiously pursue the resolution of this issue.”

Monica Fiumara, a spokeswoman for KPMG LLP, administrators of MF Global’s U.K. unit, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Giddens’s third transfer of assets to customers of $2.1 billion is underway, he has said. Two previous payouts to commodity customers totaled about $2 billion. The transfers would still leave customers short about 28 percent of their assets, he has said.

The assets he’s fighting for in the U.K. aren’t part of an estimated shortfall in customer property of at least $1.2 billion, Giddens said in the statement.

Takefuji Picks J Trust as New Buyer After A&P Bid Terminated

Takefuji Corp., the bankrupt Japanese consumer finance company, chose J Trust Co. to acquire the company for 25.2 billion yen ($324 million) after South Korea’s A&P Financial Co. was unable to meet obligations.

Takefuji will be reorganized under J Trust’s Osaka-Japan based Lopro unit, the failed lender said in a statement on its website. The Korean firm didn’t make payment as stated in its contract, and the agreement was terminated with Tokyo district court approval, Takefuji said in a separate statement.

A&P Financial was selected as a preferred bidder for the company on April 11, among rivals bids from J Trust, a Japanese financial services firm, TPG Capital and two others. Takefuji’s collapse made it the biggest casualty of a Japanese government clampdown that forced the lender and rivals Acom Co., Promise Co. and Aiful Corp. to lower interest rates and refund overpaid interest.

Takefuji’s plan to split into two entities -- one to repay creditors and another to continue as a consumer lender -- will be delayed until March 1, it said.

A&P Financial spokesman Choi Woo Gun said the company hasn’t received an official notification from Takefuji regarding its choice of J Trust. If A&P Financial gives up the bid to buy the company, it’s not because of failing to raise funds, he said, without providing further details.

Krajbanka Declared Insolvent by Latvian Court, BNS Reports

Latvijas Krajbanka AS, the lender suspended by bank regulators on Nov. 21, was declared insolvent by a Latvian court, the Baltic News Service reported.

The bank’s liabilities exceeded assets by about 100 million lati ($186 million), said Janis Brazovskis, the deputy head of the bank regulator, according to the Riga-based newswire.

The lender is missing about 167 million lati in capital, owes about 335 million lati to the deposit-guarantee fund and has outstanding debts of about 200 million lati to other creditors, Brazovskis said, according to BNS.

U.K. Retailer La Senza on Brink of Administration, Company Says

La Senza, the U.K. lingerie retailer owned by Lion Capital LLP, said it has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

La Senza is not currently in administration and no administrators have yet been appointed, it said in an e-mailed statement Dec. 24.

The company is working with KPMG LLP to “explore all options,” the statement added.

Fondiaria Creditors Seek Private Equity Investors, Sole Reports

Fondiaria SAI SpA’s main creditors, Mediobanca SpA and UniCredit SpA, are seeking to involve private equity firms in the Italian insurer’s planned 750 million-euro ($975 million) capital increase, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported, citing no one.

Clessidra SGR SpA may be interested in buying shares, according to the Italian newspaper. Geox SpA founder Mario Moretti Polegato and other potential investors have also been sounded out, Sole reported.

Prime Orion Drops in Manila After on Lepanto Ceramics Filing

Prime Orion Philippines Inc. headed for the biggest drop in more than a month after the property company said that Lepanto Ceramics Inc., an indirect subsidiary, had filed for rehabilitation.


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