* German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU leaders have agreed to move forward with banking union and a common deposit guarantee plan, and aim to present a proposal by December, Reuters wrote.
UK AND IRELAND
* London Stock Exchange Group PLC entered into agreements with certain minority shareholders of LCH Group Holdings Ltd. to purchase up to a further 15.1% stake of the company. The deal will see LSE increase its majority stake in LCH to over 80%. LSE also reported third-quarter total income from continuing operations of £522 million, up from £486 million a year ago. Gross profit rose 8% on a yearly basis to £465 million from £430 million.
* Japan-based SoftBank's British venture capital arm, SoftBank Vision Fund, is holding talks to buy a stake in U.K. digital lender ACORN OakNorth Holdings Ltd., insiders told Sky News, which could indirectly make Saudi Arabia a major investor. The Saudis are the biggest investor in the Vision Fund. The move comes amid controversy surrounding the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A deal has yet to be agreed and could fall apart, the sources added.
* Man Group PLC disclosed its intention to repurchase up to $100 million of shares through a buyback program to be launched in the coming days.
* Finance Ireland Plc is expected to launch an IPO on the Dublin and London markets, following a move into the mortgage lending market, according to the Irish Independent.
* U.S.-based Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., acquired Southampton, U.K.-based Portmore Insurance Brokers Ltd. and Portmore Insurance Brokers (Wiltshire) Ltd.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Switzerland's Bank Vontobel AG is acquiring the private client asset management business of Banque Lombard Odier & Cie SA in the U.S. and Canada and will pool it at the New York branch of Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors AG.
* Germany's federal finance minister, Olaf Scholz, signed a new regulation into law that will reduce the obligation of insurance companies to make additional provisions for interest guarantees for life insurances by an estimated two-digit billion euros from €60 billion in this year alone, Handelsblatt wrote.
* Former Munich Re Co. CEO Nikolaus von Bomhard is set to become chairman of the German reinsurer. He will replace outgoing Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder, who will not stand for re-election to the board. Meanwhile, a company source told Reuters Munich Re was hit by major claims for natural catastrophes in the third quarter, but remained within the firm's budget.
* Deutsche Bank AG named Stefan Hoops head of its global transaction banking division, replacing John Gibbons, the Financial Times reported, citing an internal memo. The business unit, which earned €3.9 billion in revenue in 2017, plays a crucial role in CEO Christian Sewing's strategy to turn around the German lender.
* Germany's Commerzbank AG is abolishing individual bonus payments for some employees in order to streamline the compensation process and make it more efficient, the bank's head of human resources told Handelsblatt. Only "risk-takers" and staff working abroad will receive individual bonuses.
* Swiss bank Julius Bär Gruppe AG plans to upgrade its representative office in Moscow to a fully-fledged licensed asset management company in order to target wealthy Russians, but may have a hard time with regulators as the alleged involvement of the bank's former country manager in dubious arms deals is still under investigation by Russian anti-corruption authorities, Finews reported.
* A senior managing director at UBS Group AG is facing suspension pending the outcome of an internal probe into sexual assault allegations made by a former female London-based employee of the Swiss lender, insiders told Financial News.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Dutch banks received parliamentary approval to issue senior nonpreferred bonds, a new type of debt that will help lenders meet EU bail-in-able debt requirements. Large banks, in particular, are expected to make use of it, with issuance needs likely to rise in the long run as higher Basel III capital requirements kick in, credit analysts said.
* French bank BNP Paribas SA informed the London-based staff of its investment banking business that it will make up to 40 redundancies and will cut back on hiring in an attempt to increase profits, The Times reported.
* Dutch lender Rabobank has taken direct control of the remaining €3.2 billion of loans housed in Irish unit ACC Loan Management DAC, formerly ACC Bank, and is considering a potential sale of the distressed portfolio in 2019, The Irish Times reported.
* Meanwhile, Rabobank's supervisory board intends to appoint Els de Groot as chief risk officer, subject to regulatory approval, replacing Petra van Hoeken.
* Dutch payments processor Adyen NV is seeking to expand in Italy where a shift to cards from cash is accelerating, according to Reuters.
* Crowdfunding platform Unilend, one the pioneers in this sector in France, went into receivership yesterday, Les Echos reported. The company said it faced strong competition from the banking sector.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Spain's supreme court has ruled that, in future, banks rather than customers must pay the tax duty on legal documents when mortgages papers are signed, reversing the previous system, reported El Mundo. The Financial Times also covered this, pointing out that banks could face billions or euros in compensation.
ITALY AND GREECE
* The European Commission has formally notified Italy that its 2019 draft budget is in serious breach of EU fiscal rules, setting the stage for a potential rejection of the country's budget plan.
* Sweden-based Swedbank AB (publ) is facing a potential competition investigation. A group of local authorities have filed a joint letter of complaint to the country's competition authorities, demanding an inquiry to determine whether the bank tried to use its influence to make it difficult for savings banks to establish local branches in towns where Swedbank has closed offices and withdrawn from the area, Svenska Dagbladet reported.
* Danish insurer Qudos Insurance A/S has stopped underwriting new business while it restructures, according to owner New Nordic Advisors.
* Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB denied that it is one of the banks under investigation by German authorities for alleged tax evasion related transgressions, although it did confirm that police raided its Frankfurt office in December 2016, wrote SVT Nyheter. The investigation is focused on banks that are suspected of collaborating with law firms to help their wealthy clients evade taxes.
* PAO Sberbank of Russia will look for a new buyer for its Ukrainian unit Sberbank JSC after the Ukrainian central bank refused to approve the sale of the subsidiary to Belarus-based OJSC Paritetbank, news agency Interfax reported, citing a Sberbank executive.
* The Russian finance ministry expects that Sberbank will earn around 840 billion Russian rubles for 2018, news agency Prime reported.
* Russian bank VTB Bank (PJSC) needs additional capital to meet Basel requirements, and could cut dividend payments to Russia's federal budget, Vedomosti reported.
* The Russian central bank revoked the operating license of OAO VostSibtranskombank, pointing to the lender's low capital levels and its involvement in questionable operations, Vedomosti reported.
* Poland-based Bank Millennium SA hopes to earmark up to 20% of its 2018 net profit for dividend payments next year, the bank's CEO told news agency PAP. The bank did not pay a dividend from its 2017 profit.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: KKR eyes Aadhar Housing Finance stake; Blue Sky exits A$180M fund
Middle East & Africa: Samba, Riyad Bank post Q3 results; Julius Bär eyes MEA deals
Latin America: BanBajío Q3 profit up 27.8%; Mifel postpones IPO; Citibanamex to lay off workers
North America: BB&T, KeyCorp post higher earnings; Invesco confirms deal for OppenheimerFunds
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
Bosses pull out of Saudi event but banks still seem poised to earn from reforms: Investment banks have queued up for business flowing from Saudi Arabia's economic reforms and despite the government's alleged involvement in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, none have indicated they plan to pull out of the country.
Netherlands passes bail-in-able debt law as EU regulator warns of shortfall: With the European Banking Authority urging lenders to issue more loss-absorbing debt, the new legislation will allow Dutch banks to meet debt requirements through the issuance of senior non-preferred bonds.
Troubled Piraeus may be able to buy more time for €500M capital raise: Greece's largest bank by assets will have until well into 2019 to carry out the Tier 2 bond issue, analysts said, after the lender informed the ECB that it was likely to miss the initial target due to turbulent bond market conditions.
New Hannover Re CEO could open up new profit sources, says outgoing chief: Ulrich Wallin told analysts that the next 10 years could be tougher as the reinsurance pricing cycle flattens.
Fewer catastrophe losses to lead to better Q3 results for U.S. property and casualty insurers: U.S. industry analysts said they expected U.S. property and casualty insurance companies to post positive earnings results in the third quarter as catastrophe losses are set to come in far lighter than a year ago.
Ben Meggeson, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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