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Australia tightens home-lending rules; Indian lenders buy stakes in new bad bank

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that require a subscription.

IPO news

* The Securities and Exchange Board of India approved Fino Payments Bank Ltd.'s planned IPO, Mint reported.

* The operator of Indian payments firm Paytm, One97 Communications Ltd., is in talks with BlackRock Inc., Nomura Holdings Inc., Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC Pte. Ltd. to become anchor investors in its IPO, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources.

* Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd. finalized the offer price for its planned IPO at 712 Indian rupees per equity share.

* Thailand's Heng Leasing and Capital PCL secured approval from the country's Securities and Exchange Commission for its planned IPO, Bangkok Post reported, citing the company's CEO, Sutharntip Phisitbuntoon.

M&A corner

* Pakistan-based Samba Bank Ltd. said the board of parent The Saudi National Bank approved a plan to divest from the lender.

* Washington H. Soul Pattinson & Co. Ltd. acquired 100% shares on issue in Milton Corp. Ltd. following the implementation of a scheme of arrangement between the latter's shareholders and its subsidiaries.

* Summit Bank Ltd.'s board approved an offer from Nasser Abdulla Hussain Lootah to acquire at least a 51% stake in the lender.

* Perpetual Ltd. acquired specialist debt markets and advisory business Laminar Capital Pty. Ltd.

* Global financial technology platform FNZ agreed to acquire online investment platform Hatch from Kiwi Wealth Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

* Standard Life Investments Ltd. sold a 5% stake in Indian mutual fund manager HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd. through a block deal.

* The board of Lohia Securities Ltd. approved the scheme of merger by absorption of Trade City Securities Pvt. Ltd., Trade City Commodities Pvt. Ltd. and Trade City Real Estate Pvt. Ltd., subject to statutory and regulatory approvals.

* ICICI Bank Ltd. agreed to acquire 4,508,169 equity shares of Midland Microfin Ltd. for a cash consideration of 524.2 million rupees.

Central bank actions and regulatory updates

* The Monetary Authority of Singapore will allow financial institutions to share relevant customer information through a new digital platform to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing.

Singapore's central bank also approved the separate license applications of DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and Independent Reserve Pty. Ltd. for the provision of digital payment token services in the city-state, The Business Times reported.

* Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas raised the single borrower's limit of banks for project finance to 30% from 25% until Dec. 31.

* Indonesia's Financial Services Authority, also known as OJK, formed a task force to facilitate the adoption of sustainable practices in the country's finance industry, The Jakarta Post reported, citing a statement from the regulator.

* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority increased the minimum interest rate buffer that banks are expected to use when assessing the serviceability of home loan applications.

* The Australian Securities & Investments Commission said financial services and credit licensees would be required to meet updated breach reporting obligations from Oct. 1.

* The Hong Kong Monetary Authority started exploring the potential of a retail central bank digital currency, seeking to come up with an initial view of issuing such digital currency in Hong Kong by mid-2022.

* The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's monetary policy committee raised the official cash rate to 0.50%, saying that it is appropriate to continue reducing the level of monetary stimulus to maintain low inflation and support maximum sustainable employment.

In other news

* State Bank of India and several other Indian state-owned banks announced the acquisition of stakes in the new government-backed bad bank, National Asset Reconstruction Co. Ltd., subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

* Investment holding company BIMB Holdings Bhd. completed restructuring with the transfer of its listing on the Malaysian bourse to Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.

* Promoters of Srei Group commenced legal action against the Reserve Bank of India for abruptly assuming control of Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd. and Srei Equipment Finance Ltd., Mint reported, citing information from the Bombay High Court.

* Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank increased its charter capital to $590 million from $531 million through dividend payment and shares issuance under its employee stock option program.

* The Hachijuni Bank Ltd. set up a 100% owned investment subsidiary that will specialize in investment support and consultancy in rural areas.

* Sandon Capital Investments Ltd. raised A$22.4 million in its 1-for-4 nonrenounceable entitlement offer and shortfall placement.

* Asian Development Bank is in talks with governments and financial institutions to set up funds that will facilitate the early closures of coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported, citing a statement from the lender's president, Masatsugu Asakawa.

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