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March 12, 2020updated 13 Mar 2020 10:23am

Travelex Owner Finablr Teeters on the Brink – Just Weeks After Ransomware Attack

Debt rating downgraded + coronavirus hit firm hard

By CBR Staff Writer

Finablr, the owner of currency exchange firm Travelex — only recently recovered from ransomware attack that cost it some £25 million — is teetering on the brink of collapse after its share price plunged nearly 80 percent today.

The fall was among the market’s steepest in a broader bloodbath today, as the impact of coronavirus continued; the fall came as the company said it was taking “urgent steps to assess accurately its current liquidity and cashflow position”.

Finablr, whose share prices has plummeted from circa £40 pounds a few days ago to close at £4.50 today, blamed a number of factors for the crisis. 

These included travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which have “reduced demand for its foreign exchange and payment services and has restricted the movement of physical currencies that the company needs to operate its businesses”, along with a recent downgrade of Travelex bonds.

(Finablr had its credit rating downgraded by S&P on March 4, which cited concerns about “unsustainable” debt and corporate governance issues.)

The company added in a market update: “These factors place significant constraints on the Company’s access to the daily liquidity the Company needs to manage its business effectively and its ability to negotiate longer term financing. Due to the fast-moving nature of the events and circumstances referred to above, the Company is urgently seeking to complete its assessment of its liquidity and cashflow position and negotiate the steps that are necessary to address its short- and longer-term financing needs.” 

Other energy, entertainment and transport-related stocks were among those devastated by the indirect impact of the coronavirus pandemic, after the FTSE 100 fell 10.9 percent in the worst one-day fall in 33 years (October 19, 1987’s Black Monday).

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Among the large cap casualties of the rout today on the FTSE 100 were Prudential, Barclays and Centrica, all down 17 percent.

With growing numbers of countries sending children home from school, meanwhile, networks in Italy — where now over 1,000 have died from the virus — are struggling as house-bound kids inundate networks with online gaming traffic, Bloomberg reported today.  The amount of data passing through Telecom Italia SpA’s national network has surged by more than two-thirds in the past two weeks, it said.

Read this: Tech Firms Offer Free Remote Working Tools, as Coronavirus Cases Surge


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