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Saab faces court bid to lift bankruptcy protection

The Swedish car manufacturer Saab faced another escalation in its financial woes yesterday after a court-appointed administrator asked for the removal of its protection from bankruptcy.

Guy Lofalk's move comes after former owner General Motors(GM), which still sells technology to Saab, said it would not support plans for a new ownership structure that feature a Chinese bank.

"Since the required funding has not been received and the stated schedule not been kept, the [Saab] companies lack the ability to pay upcoming liabilities," Mr Lofalk said, asking the court to remove protection from creditors and possible bankruptcy claims.

The district court in Vanersborg said the car maker and its creditors had until 15 December to respond to to the request. Saab's owner, Swedish Automobile, said it hoped to secure funding.

The developments come after GM – which has raised the difficulty of supporting a deal that could hurt its position in China and other markets – decided against supporting plans to bring in Chinese investors.