* Bank of Xinjiang Co. Ltd. will issue 3.3 billion yuan worth of interbank certificates of deposit in 2020, Caijing reported. The growth rate of the bank's business revenue in 2019 declined 64.2% year over year while the growth rate of its net profit dropped 48.35%.
* Data from Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission showed that Taiwanese life insurers' foreign exchange losses recorded NT$18.6 billion in February, the Taipei Times reported. Meanwhile, life insurers' combined pretax profit surged 103% year over year to NT$26.4 billion in February.
* China Construction Bank Corp.'s net profit attributable to equity shareholders for 2019 rose to 266.73 billion yuan from 254.66 billion yuan in 2018. Net interest income grew 5.0% to 510.68 billion yuan from 486.28 billion yuan. As of end-2019, its nonperforming loan ratio improved to 1.42% from 1.46% in the prior-year period. China Construction Bank said its board proposed a final cash dividend of 32 fen for 2019, up from 30.6 fen per share for 2018.
* China Zheshang Bank Co. Ltd. reported net profit attributable to shareholders of the bank of 12.92 billion yuan in 2019, up from 11.49 billion yuan a year ago. Net interest income grew to 33.87 billion yuan from 26.39 billion yuan in the prior-year period. It reported a nonperforming loan ratio of 1.37% in 2019, compared with 1.20% in 2018. The bank's board proposed a dividend of 24 fen per share for 2019, subject to shareholder approval.
* Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission said it has tightened its oversight of fund managers and cautioned them about selling illiquid investment products to clients during market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.
* Bank of China Ltd.'s overdue loans will rise in the first quarter and the first half and the bank could face negative impact to its asset quality due to the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic uncertainties, China Daily reported, citing the lender's chief risk officer, Liu Jiandong. Separately, the publication reported that the president of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., Gu Shu, expressed confidence in the bank's asset quality, despite the impact of the pandemic, citing government measures and the lender's improved risk management.
* Mizuho Bank said it inked an agreement with Hitachi Capital Corp. to act as an arranger for a capital raising via a syndicated Mizuho Eco Finance loan.
* South Korea's state regulators said the Basel III regulatory framework on banks will take effect in June, one year earlier than the scheduled timeline, in order to ease regulations on household lending amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
* South Korea's Daegu Bank Ltd. said it would begin offering online foreign exchange currency services, as part of efforts to expand its virtual offerings, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.
* The Bank of Korea will provide US$12 billion in loans, maturing in seven days and 84 days, to local banks in the coming week o help stabilize South Korea's foreign exchange market, Yonhap News Agency reported.
* Commercial banks and state-owned specialized financial institutions in Thailand will suspend their account opening services at their branches March 30 and 31, in line with government's appeal to avoid mass gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak, Krungthep Turakij reported.
* Government Savings Bank President and CEO Chatchai Payuhanaveechai said all of the lender's branches across Thailand will remain closed to the public, Krungthep Turakij reported. Local banks closed their branches over the weekend, citing concerns that COVID-19 might spread among visitors.
* Government Savings Bank is offering emergency loans with a flat interest rate of as low as 0.1% per month through the bank's website in a bid to help self-employed and salaried workers affected by the ongoing coronavirus spread, Post Today reported. The lender is set to begin accepting loan applications from April 1.
* PT Bank Central Asia Tbk, said buying bonds are necessary to manage liquidity as loan demand slows amid the viral pandemic, Bisnis Indonesia reported. In 2019, BCA placed 153.7 trillion Indonesian rupiah of funds in bonds, up 26% from 2018. Separately, Indonesia's largest bank by assets, PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk, said part of its strategy includes placing funds in bonds as loan demand declines.
* Bank Negara Malaysia added 4 billion ringgit to support small and midsize businesses hit by the new coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total funds to 13.1 billion ringgit and, The Sun reported. It also announced a reduction in interest rate and profit rate stress factor caps for insurers and takaful operators, respectively.
* The Reserve Bank of India allowed lenders to implement a three-month moratorium, ending May 31, on payments on term loans and on the recovery of interest on working capital facilities. It also provided relief regarding the classification of nonperforming loans.
* Union Bank of India Managing Director and CEO Rajkiran Rai G said the bank expects the looming consolidation of public-sector lenders to benefit the merged bank by 25 billion rupees, Press Trust of India reported. He added that the lender has identified more than 700 branches that would be rationalized due to proximity, with around 300 expected in the first year.
* State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar estimated that the lender's repayments of up to 600 billion rupees will be delayed because of the central bank's three-month moratorium for term loans, Business Standard reported.
* The State Bank of Pakistan lowered the margin call requirement in connection to the loans given by banks against listed shares to 10% from 30% and let banks provide financing to borrowers against the shares of their group companies, The News reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* The Federal Court of Australia refused to overturn a previous court decision that found Storm Financial Ltd. directors Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis to have provided inappropriate financial advice and in breach of directors duties, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* Wilsons Advisory and Stockbroking Ltd. is said to have relieved up to 10 employees of their duties, including several financial advisers, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported.
* Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised the criteria for its six-month loan repayment deferrals from businesses with lending limits of A$5 million to limits of A$10 million. National Australia Bank Ltd., meanwhile, announced that it would offer A$250,000 loans for struggling firms under the government's SME Guarantee Scheme at an interest rate of 4.5% per annum and no payments for the first six months.
* The Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced open market operations under which it will use corporate and asset-backed securities to infuse cash into the banking system, with each operation offering up to NZ$500 million for terms of up to about three months. The first such operation is set for March 31.
R Sio, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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