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Credit Suisse, Crédit Agricole report earnings; £5.5B UK NPL deal nears

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week.

Earnings

* In Switzerland, Credit Suisse Group AG reported a fourth-quarter 2017 net attributable loss of CHF2.13 billion, compared to a loss of CHF2.62 billion a year ago. Meanwhile, Vontobel Holding AG saw a year-over-year decline in net profit allocated to shareholders to CHF202.4 million from CHF259.8 million.

* France-based Crédit Agricole Group reported fourth-quarter net income group share of €922 million, up 37.4% from the year-ago €671 million, despite a net negative impact of €671 million due to tax adjustments. Meanwhile, unit Crédit Agricole SA reported fourth-quarter 2017 net income group share of €387 million, up from €291 million.

* In Italy, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA reported a preliminary reclassified consolidated net loss of €501.6 million for the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of €2.39 billion in the prior-year period, while Banca Carige SpA reported a full-year 2017 reclassified consolidated net loss attributable to the parent company of €380.5 million, compared to a year-ago net loss of €291.7 million.

* Dutch lender Rabobank reported a consolidated net profit attributed to the bank of €1.51 billion for full year 2017, up from €749 million a year ago.

* Portugal-based Millennium BCP reported full-year 2017 net attributable income of €186.4 million, up from €23.9 million in the year-ago period.

Deal rumors

* Bankers advising UK Asset Resolution Ltd. on a deal to sell a £5.5 billion mortgage portfolio have shortlisted Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC, Cerberus Capital Management LP, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC and M&G Prudential as potential buyers, sources told Sky News.

* PAO Sberbank of Russia CEO Herman Gref said the lender has received an offer from an unnamed entity for its Turkey-based unit DenizBank AS, Reuters reported.

* Natixis entered into exclusive discussions with Comitéo's shareholders to acquire a majority stake in the French payments company.

Regulatory news

* The Financial Conduct Authority has sent the full report into Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's now-defunct small business restructuring group, accused of mistreating customers, to lawmakers. It said it would not publish the report.

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission questioned Credit Suisse Group AG about the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term exchange-traded product it was forced to shut down after it lost most of its value, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* Spain's market supervisor has opened proceedings against Banco Popular Español SA's former management for masking severance pay as pension payments, El Mundo reported.

Executive appointments

* UniCredit SpA appointed Marco Bizzozero as head of group wealth management, effective March 1. Bizzozero had served as CEO of Deutsche Bank AG unit Deutsche Bank (Suisse) SA since 2009, before being succeeded by Peter Hinder.

* Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Plc named Irene Dorner chair-elect to replace Glen Moreno. Dorner will become chair of the board April 1, following Moreno's retirement as a director and chair. Dorner, former president and CEO of HSBC Holdings Plc's U.S. operations, forms an all-female top leadership team at Virgin Money, which is headed by Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

In other news

* Credito Valtellinese SpA unveiled the final conditions and timetable for its planned €700 million offering of 6,996,605,613 new ordinary shares.

* A group of investors holding a $500 million Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank subordinated eurobond plans to contest the bond's 2017 write-off in the London Court of International Arbitration, Kommersant reported.

* Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is targeting a 35% increase in private banking clients by 2020, helped by better returns on equity markets, newspaper Expansión reported.

* Nicky Morgan, chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, asked over 30 financial firms why they have not signed the Women in Finance Charter, a pledge for gender equality.

* Norway's central bank will offer banks liquidity at the end of each quarter as well as the end of the year, in 2018. The loans come with an interest rate equivalent to current key policy rate plus 15 basis points.

* The Central Bank of Ireland fined former Irish Nationwide Building Society Chairman Michael Walsh €20,000 in connection with the lender's €5.4 billion collapse, Reuters reported.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Global investment bank revenues fall to post-crisis low in 'challenging' 2017: Aggregate revenues from investment banking at 12 large U.S. and European companies hit their lowest level since 2008, as low volatility hit fixed-income trading, Coalition's latest "IB Index" report shows.

Rabobank expects risk-weighted assets to soar due to Basel III: Yet the Dutch lender has not ruled out that regulators could make a last-minute amendment to the recently finalized rules to level the playing field for banks with lower risk profiles.

'Toothless' UK regulator comes under fire after RBS report leak: Politicians and industry experts have cast doubts on the future of the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority following a leak of the regulator's report into an RBS unit's alleged mistreatment of small businesses.