Nissan files $90m suit against Ghosn

Ghosn spent more than 100 days in detention in Japan after his sudden November 2018 arrest. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 February 2020

Nissan files $90m suit against Ghosn

  • Ghosn faces multiple charges of financial misconduct in Japan
  • Nissan said the damages had been calculated on the basis of the cost to the firm

TOKYO: Japanese car giant Nissan on Wednesday filed a civil lawsuit to reclaim some $90 million from former chairman Carlos Ghosn for what it called “years of his misconduct and fraudulent activity.”
The 65-year-old faces multiple charges of financial misconduct in Japan but fled to Lebanon before he could face trial. He denies any wrongdoing.
Nissan said the damages had been calculated on the basis of the cost to the firm of Ghosn’s “corrupt practices.”
It accused Ghosn of “the use of overseas residential property without paying rent, private use of corporate jets, payments to his sister, payments to his personal lawyer in Lebanon.”
It said the amount was likely to rise and added that the company would also seek to sue Ghosn for “groundless and defamatory remarks” he made when he briefed the media in Lebanon.
Once hailed as a corporate savior for rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy, Ghosn was facing a trial in Japan over a series of alleged crimes, including under-reporting his compensation to the tune of around $85 million.
Ghosn spent more than 100 days in detention in Japan after his sudden November 2018 arrest, but launched an audacious escape plan while out on bail in Tokyo and managed to travel to Lebanon apparently undetected.
He believes Nissan turned on him because executives there were concerned he was moving the firm closer to French partner Renault, part of a three-way alliance with Mitsubishi Motors.
A source close to the executive scoffed at the firm’s latest move.
“Nissan’s games continue. This suit was announced the day before the financial results of the group are published,” said this source, who asked not to be identified.
“We note that after calling for months for damages of 35 billion yen, today Nissan is demanding a lower sum (10 billion yen),” added this source.


Kuwait props up coronavirus-hit economy amid low oil prices

Updated 01 April 2020

Kuwait props up coronavirus-hit economy amid low oil prices

  • Kuwait was first Gulf state to halt passenger flights and impose a partial curfew to stem the spread of coronavirus
  • Kuwait has drawn down on its state fund, the General Reserve Fund, to cover its deficit

KUWAIT: Kuwait announced measures early on Wednesday aimed at shoring up its economy against the coronavirus pandemic, including soft long-term loans from local banks, and the central bank asked banks to ease loan repayments for companies affected.
Kuwait, which as of March 31 had registered 289 coronavirus cases, was the first Gulf state to halt passenger flights and impose a partial curfew to stem the spread of the highly infectious respiratory illness.
The sectors most impacted by the pandemic include aviation, hospitality and real estate, a government source told Reuters.
The stimulus package approved by the cabinet aims to provide liquidity for small- and medium-sized enterprises to meet their obligations, a government spokesman said.
That includes directing government agencies to pay obligations to the private sector as soon as possible.
The central bank separately has asked lenders to postpone loan repayments for three months for companies hit by the crisis, the governor, Mohammad Al-Hashel, said in a television interview posted by the central bank on Twitter.
Kuwait is also dealing with the impact of lower oil prices on its finances that is expected to lead to a higher government fiscal deficit this year.
The government source said that, in light of the oil price fall, passing a debt law allowing Kuwait to borrow more has become a “government priority.”
Kuwait has drawn down on its state fund, the General Reserve Fund, to cover its deficit. The source said the government withdrew 43.8 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($139.70 billion) in the five years until the 2018-2019 fiscal year, and 3.7 billion dinars in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
This means the fund has around 14 billion dinars ($44.65 billion) left, the source said.
Moody’s this week placed Kuwait’s Aa2 rating on review for a downgrade, citing a “significant” decline in government revenues.
The government spokesman said maintaining Kuwait’s credit rating was one of the goals of the new economic measures.