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China issues anti-money laundering rules; Merrill Lynch Japan behind TSE glitch


* The People's Bank of China released anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing regulations for online financial firms, effective Jan. 1, 2019, Reuters reported, citing a statement. The central bank will require such firms to establish internal control mechanisms to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, follow know-your-customer rules and report large and suspicious transactions in a timely manner.

* China's Ministry of Finance issued 5 billion yuan of treasury bonds in Hong Kong, Caijing reported. The MOF said the issuance was an additional offering to the previous issuance of treasury bonds in Hong Kong in July. About 4.5 billion yuan of bonds were issued to institutional investors while the remaining 500 million yuan were issued to overseas central banks and regional monetary authorities.

* Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission plans to sue 60 listed companies and individuals in the first half of 2019 over cases such as listed firms' networks and company directors and money lenders colluding to hide shareholdings in listed firms, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Executive Director Thomas Atkinson. This marks the largest legal action undertaken by the commission since 1989.

* Financial conglomerates in Taiwan posted a combined net profit of NT$278.1 billion in the nine months ended September, up 12.61% from the year-ago period, the Taipei Times reported. Cathay Financial Holding Co. Ltd. was the most profitable among 15 listed peers, reporting a net profit of NT$54.56 billion, or NT$4.17 per share, in the first three quarters, a company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed.


* Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co. Ltd. has been identified as the source of a deluge of text messages that caused a trading system glitch at the Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. Oct. 9, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

* Japan's FISCO Ltd. will take over cryptocurrency exchange Zaif from Osaka-based Tech Bureau Corp. on Nov. 22, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. FISCO said it would compensate Zaif customers who lost ¥4.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets in a breach in September.

* Japan-based Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. Ltd. will begin offering insurance that covers internet of things device suppliers from customer claims, The Nikkei reported.

* South Korea's KOSDAQ-listed M-Venture Investment Inc. said it would cancel 58,337,915 common shares, or 49.24% of its outstanding common stock, to cut its equity capital to 30.1 billion won from 59.2 billion won, Yonhap News Agency reported. The capital reduction is aimed at covering losses, according to a filing.

* The Seoul Eastern District Court rejected an appeal by prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant against Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. Chairman Cho Yong-byoung, citing a lack of strong evidence linking Cho to prior employment irregularities at Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd., The Korea Economic Daily reported.


* Former Credit Suisse Group AG banker Lim Fang Wee and former NRA Capital Pte. Ltd. CEO Kevin Scully have had prohibition orders imposed on them changed following an appeal to the minister in charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, The Straits Times reported. Lim has had his ban for four years lowered to three years, while Scully has been allowed to remain a substantial shareholder of NRA Capital.

* The Monetary Authority of Singapore is willing to help cryptocurrency firms having problems opening local bank accounts, Bloomberg News reported, citing Managing Director Ravi Menon. However, the regulator has no plans to relax rules to attract more cryptocurrency startups to the city-state.

* Indonesia's Financial Services Authority said it would prioritize banking credit and Islamic financing for debtors and projects in areas affected by recent natural disasters in Central Sulawesi, Kompas reported.


* The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India is said to be in favor of allowing full foreign direct investment in insurance intermediaries in addition to insurance brokers, Press Trust of India reported, citing sources. Foreign direct investment in the country's insurance sector is capped at 49%.

* The Kerala government in India is looking to launch Kerala State Co-Operative Bank in six months after the Reserve Bank of India approved the merger of the lender with 14 district cooperative banks in the state, Business Standard reported, citing Kadakampally Surendran, minister for cooperation, tourism and Devaswoms in Kerala.

* India's Serious Fraud Investigation Office, a government body investigating loans to Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd., has focused on five of the group's companies for suspected fund diversion and mismanagement, The Economic Times reported. The five companies, which include IL&FS Financial Services Ltd. and IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd., account for more than 50% of the group's revenue.

* The Indian government appointed Sachin Chaturvedi to replace Nachiket Mor on the Reserve Bank of India's board, The Hindu reported. The government also named Revathy Iyer a member of the board. The two were appointed for a four-year term, effective Sept. 19.

* Moody's affirmed Bangladesh's long- and short-term issuer ratings at Ba3 and N-P, respectively, on the back of strong growth and policy that are conducive to macroeconomic stability, among other factors. The rating agency also maintained its stable outlook on the country, reflecting the expectation that risks to the ratings are balanced.


* Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Matt Comyn and Westpac Banking Corp. CEO Brian Hartzer are each set to face parliamentary questioning over their companies' governance failures, Reuters reported. This marks the first time chief executives of the country's largest financial institutions are questioned about misconduct uncovered by the royal commission, the newswire said.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia is said to have appointed joint lead managers on its A$1 billion hybrid issue and is planning to announce the offer in the coming weeks, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing sources. The bank's timing will depend on broader market conditions and how similar securities are trading in the secondary market, according to the publication.

* Morgan Stanley analysts estimated that Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank Ltd. and Westpac Banking will pay back customers up to A$2 billion in 2018 or 2019 amid concerns over charging of deceased customers and fees-for-no-service, The Australian Financial Review reported. The move could result in a drop in EPS across the country's banking sector of 4%.


Middle East & Africa: Bank of Israel names new governor; South Africa finance minister resigns

Europe: BoE flags concerns about leveraged loans; HSBC settles US RMBS claims for $765M

Latin America: Brazil court OKs crypto account closures; 2 Dominican banks in M&A deal

North America: Study warns of crypto market implosion; JPMorgan wins French tax probe ruling

Global Insurance: Michael strengthens to Cat 4; September cat losses; Lloyd's Brexit payment vow

R Sio, Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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