AMR wants to keep control over bankruptcy through March 11

Updated 02 December 2012

AMR wants to keep control over bankruptcy through March 11

NEW YORK: American Airlines' bankrupt parent has asked a judge to extend by six weeks, through March 11, the period in which it has the exclusive right to propose a plan to exit bankruptcy.
The request, made jointly with its creditors' committee, was filed on Friday in US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The current exclusive window is set to end on Jan. 28.
AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy a year ago in hopes of reducing labor costs and returning to profitability.
Its smaller competitor, US Airways Group Inc., is making a push to acquire it out of bankruptcy. AMR said earlier this year it would prefer to exit as a standalone company, but is discussing merger options, including with US Airways.
Friday's filing is a sign that discussions with creditors on how to bring AMR out of bankruptcy are progressing cooperatively, if a bit slower than initially expected.
"American and the (creditors' committee) believe that the proposed extensions will facilitate the expedition of the chapter 11 cases and benefit all parties in interest," the filing said.
Sean Collins, a spokesman for American, said in a statement that the company "has made significant progress in its restructuring."
"The work, while progressing well, takes time," he said.
The exclusivity period bars creditors and other parties from proposing their own plans for how AMR should exit bankruptcy.
That effectively blocks US Airways from making a hostile bid, as any merger plan unveiled during exclusivity would have to be proposed by AMR itself.
AMR's pilots union, in the midst of bitter contract talks with the company, supports a US Airways merger and called Friday's extension request a sign that "things are proceeding in a positive way."
"We assume that the strategic alternative talks, which include US Airways, are functional," union spokesman Dennis Tajer said.
A hearing on the extension request is set for Dec. 19.
The case is In re AMR Corp et al, US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-15463.


Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

Updated 15 November 2019

Bank jobs go as HSBC and Emirates NBD reduce costs

  • Others have also reduced headcount amid economic downturn and property market weakness

DUBAI: HSBC Holdings has laid off about 40 bankers in the UAE and Emirates NBD is cutting around 100 jobs, as banks in the Arab world’s second-biggest economy reduce costs.

The cuts come amid weak economic growth, especially in Dubai, which is suffering from a property downturn.

HSBC’s redundancies came after the London-based bank reported a sharp fall in earnings and warned of a costly restructuring, as interim CEO Noel Quinn seeks to tackle its problems head-on.

HSBC has about 3,000 staff in the UAE, part of a nearly 10,000-strong workforce in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

The cuts at Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD came in consumer sales and liabilities, one source said, while a second played down the significance of the move.

HSBC and Emirates NBD declined to comment.

“The cuts are part of cost cutting and rationalizing to drive efficiencies in a challenging market,” the second source said.

Other banks have also reduced staff this year. UAE central bank data shows local banks laid off 446 people in the 12 months until the end of September. Foreign banks added staff in the same period.

Staff at local banks account for over 80 percent of the 35,518 banking employees in the country.

The merger between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union Commercial Bank and Al Hilal Bank saw hundreds of redundancies.

Commercial Bank International (CBI) said it would offer voluntary retirement to employees in September, which sources said saw over 100 departures. Standard Chartered, too, cut over 100 jobs in the UAE in September.

Rating agency Fitch warned in September a weakening property market would put more pressure on the UAE’s banking sector.