* The People's Bank of China conducted 60 billion yuan of seven-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.55%. The regulator said the operation is designed to ease the pressure from tax payments and maintain reasonable and ample liquidity in the banking system.
* China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange said the country's commercial banks saw a net foreign exchange settlement deficit of 101.30 billion yuan as foreign exchange purchased by banks stood at 699.7 billion yuan in February, while sales reached 801.10 billion yuan.
* Law Fei Shing resigned as executive director of China Assurance Finance Group Ltd, effective March 18.
* China Zheshang Bank Co. Ltd. plans to raise 30 billion yuan from the issuance of yuan-denominated financial bonds, subject to the approval of relevant regulatory authorities.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Japan's Financial Services Agency granted a trust banking license to Toyama Prefecture-based Hokuriku Bank Ltd.
* Nanto Mahoroba Securities Co. Ltd. has commenced operations as a wholly owned unit of Nanto Bank Ltd. The brokerage unit is based on the operations of Nara Securities, which Nanto Bank absorbed in 2018.
* Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd. will shut down its Seoul branch by the end of March with its brokerage staff moving to Macquarie Securities Korea Ltd, The Korea Economic Daily reported.
* The Stock Exchange of Thailand is introducing the SET Well-Being Index, which will feature the top 30 stocks of listed companies with the highest market capitalization from seven sectors — agribusiness, commerce, fashion, food and beverage, healthcare services, tourism and transportation and logistics. The new index will be reviewed every six months and will be launched April 1.
* The Indonesian General Insurance Association reports that the ratio of health insurance premiums to those of other insurance products declined to 2.3% in 2018, The Jakarta Post reported.
* RAM Ratings has a stable outlook on the Malaysian takaful industry for 2019 but predicted that general takaful contributions would expand at a slower pace of 6% to 7% while family takaful new business growth should decelerate to 7% to 9%, Malaysia's The Sun reported.
* State Bank of India is looking to raise 200 billion rupees through the issuance of equity shares.
* Canara Bank plans to raise US$500 million through the issuance of senior unsecured bonds in international markets under its medium-term note program.
* The Reserve Bank of India raised concerns over the functions of credit rating agencies and the role of so-called rating advisers, or unregulated entities acting as brokers between companies and rating agencies, The Economic Times reported.
* ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. formed a strategic partnership with MobiKwik, a digital financial services platform, to provide protection against unauthorized and fraudulent transactions online, across bank accounts, debit and credit cards and mobile wallets, The Hindu Business Line reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Commonwealth Bank of Australia settled a long-running dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over the eligibility of research and development claims made for the years ended June 2012 and June 2013, relating to the bank’s core banking modernization project that involved digital transformation and software development.
* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission proposed to protect small businesses by establishing a streamlined complaint-handling system to focus on electronic payment issues, including the way financial service firms deal with unauthorized transactions, data reporting and mistaken internet payments, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Crédit Agricole unit sells stake in Banque Saudi Fransi; 2 Kenyan banks to merge
Europe: Deutsche, Commerz in tie-up talks; Rabobank sells unit; ING Italy in hot water
Latin America: Mexican banks reach commissions pact; Argentina mulls extending Leliq term
North America: Fidelity National, Worldpay to combine; Wells in talks to sell retirement biz
Global Insurance: Genworth delay; cat loss estimates; Generali eyes bolt-on M&A
R Sio, Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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