* New EU rules on securitization came into effect yesterday in a bid to restart the market for asset-backed securities in Europe and as part of efforts to create a unified capital market within the bloc. The new regulations ban resecuritizations and prohibit residential mortgage-backed securitizations backed by loans marketed and underwritten with information not verified by the lender, among others.
* Prices for reinsurance contracts up for renewal yesterday were broadly flat or slightly down from the previous renewal, despite industry hopes that heavy losses from 2018 due to natural disasters would lead to price increases, the Financial Times reported, citing Willis Re.
UK AND IRELAND
* Rules requiring major British banks to ring-fence their retail activities from their riskier investment banking units could leave the lenders at a disadvantage compared with their European and U.S. rivals, the FT wrote. Under the new rules, which took effect yesterday, systemically important retail banks in the U.K. "will be entirely tied to the fate" of the British economy going forward, KPMG financial services head Jon Holt reportedly said.
* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is working on significant improvements in how it deals with whistleblowers at financial institutions, the FT reported. Separately, fines levied by the FCA reached £60.5 million in 2018, down from £229.5 million in 2017, The Times of London wrote.
* American International Group Inc. unit AIG Life Ltd. completed the acquisition of U.K.-based Ellipse from Munich Re Co.
* China Reinsurance (Group) Corp. completed the acquisition of U.K.-based Hanover Insurance International Holdings Ltd. from Hanover Insurance Group Inc.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Paul Achleitner told Handelsblatt that he plans to remain chairman of Deutsche Bank AG's supervisory board until his mandate ends in 2022. Achleitner also said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that he believes that the bank's turnaround strategy was bearing fruit and ruled out the need for state aid or a potential merger with a large competitor.
* Wirecard AG CEO Markus Braun told Börsen-Zeitung in an interview that he was confident that the payment service provider will remain an independent company despite its large free float as he sees no signs of a potential takeover by a large financial institution or tech company.
* Former Deutsche Börse AG CEO Carsten Kengeter will have to pay a fine of almost €5 million to settle insider trading allegations against him, Handelsblatt reported.
* Aareal Bank AG completed the acquisition of Düsseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG, effective Dec. 31, 2018. Aareal Bank said the deal will lead to a positive one-off effect from initial consolidation of roughly €52 million, subject to adjustments.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Dutch central bank President Klaas Knot said lenders must prioritize measures against money laundering and accept that such a move will hit their profits, L'Echo reported.
* French regulator AMF has removed a life-time banking ban imposed in 2002 on Cyrille Vernes for making investments against the interests of mandates in his charge and breaking prudential rules in risk management, marking the first time such a ban has been reversed, Les Echos reported.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* The Spanish central bank imposed fines of €4.8 million on CaixaBank SA and €2.7 million on Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA for irregularities related to mortgage loans, Expansión reported.
* CaixaBank acquired the 5% stake in Portugal-based Banco BPI SA that it did not already own for €108 million.
* Spanish insurer Mutua Madrileña Automovilista Sociedad de Seguros a Prima Fija agreed to acquire a 30% stake in asset manager EDM, Europa Press reported.
ITALY AND GREECE
* Italy's parliament passed a budget plan for 2019 that entails a headline deficit target of 2.04% of GDP for the year, down from the initially planned 2.4% to prevent the European Commission from launching an excessive deficit procedure against the country.
* Giovanni Sabatini, director-general of the Italian Bank Association, told Neue Zürcher Zeitung that he expects a consolidation within the Italian banking industry, and that the number of banks in the country will likely shrink to 110 banking groups and independent banks from the current 500 as early as by 2019-end.
* Italian stock market regulator Consob has suspended trading of shares in Banca Carige SpA today, as the ECB is expected to announce measures involving the bank after it failed to approve plans to boost capital last week, Il Sole 24 Ore wrote. The paper said the bank could be placed in extraordinary administration, with the aim of finding a merger partner.
* Italy-based doBank SpA agreed to acquire 85% of Altamira Asset Management SA and could wholly acquire the company if Banco Santander SA, which owns the remaining 15%, decides to sell its stake. The acquisition of 100% of Altamira Asset Management is valued at €412 million in enterprise value, plus an earn-out of up to €48 million linked to the company's development in international markets.
* Generali completed a transaction that increased its stakes in its Indian Future Generali insurance joint ventures to 49% from 25.5%.
* Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA has reached an agreement with unions on 650 redundancies while the bank also foresees 50 new hires, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.
* Denmark's government will propose measures aimed at preventing the country's Financial Supervisory Authority from getting too close to banks on its watch in the wake of the money laundering scandal at Danske Bank A/S, Danish Business Minister Rasmus Jarlov told the FT.
* Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA will reassess Euronext NV's proposal to acquire the company through a tender offer this month, saying the process had left out certain "strategic relevant participants," spurring it to consider alternative initiatives to "maximize shareholder value."
* From Jan. 1, Russian banks have been officially divided into banks with a basic and a universal license, news agency Prime reported. The minimum amount of capital for banks with a universal license is set at 1 billion rubles. Lenders with a basic license need to have a minimum capital of 300 million rubles and are subject to simplified regulations, but will not be allowed to execute certain banking operations.
* Polish leasing and vehicle-fleet operator Prime Car Management SA believes that the price of 11.38 Polish zlotys per share offered by PKO Bank Polski SA unit PKO Leasing SA in a takeover bid for the company does not reflect its actual value, Parkiet reported. Hitachi Capital Poland also launched a takeover bid for the company, offering to pay 12.09 zlotys per share.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Sumitomo affiliate, Toyota unit to form JV; India's LIC names acting chair
Middle East & Africa: Sharjah boosts offer for Invest Bank; regulator weighs SABB-Alawwal Bank merger
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
Deutsche faces tough new year after around 60% stock slump in 2018: The troubled German lender is contending with a host of challengers heading into 2019, including a share price slump and long-term restructuring that has dragged on profitability and investor confidence.
New EU securitization rules to open European debt: The European Commission is eager to restart the market for asset-backed securities in Europe but it has promised that the new framework will be "simple, transparent and standardized."
Leo Magno, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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