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Indonesian government to sell stake in Bank Bukopin; CBA CFO resigns

GREATER CHINA

* Chinese commercial banks' outstanding bad loans amounted to 1.77 trillion yuan as of the end of March, up 68.5 billion yuan from the end of 2017, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing data from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. The nonperforming loan ratio of the banks came to 1.75% for the period, almost flat compared to Dec. 31, 2017.

* The People's Bank of China picked 26 payment institutions for a trial run of stricter requirements that would make them transfer all customer funds to a centralized deposit account, Financial Times reported, citing the state-owned newspaper Securities Times, which in turn cited industry sources. The Securities Times did not name which companies had been selected and added that that the central bank had not yet published any official rules or guidelines for the system.

* HSBC Holdings PLC is set to launch facial recognition technology for its corporate clients in 24 markets, including Hong Kong and mainland China, in a bid to speed up log in times into its HSBCnet mobile app and enhance security against fraud, South China Morning Post reported. Customers will be able to use the feature instead of passwords to log onto their mobile account.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. are considering combining their ATM operations to cut costs, The Asahi Shimbun reported. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is expected to join the initiative later.

* Suruga Bank Ltd. is facing sanctions from Japan's Financial Services Agency sanctions over a loan scandal involving a home sharing investment scheme, The Mainichi Shimbun reported.

* Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Daiwa Securities Group Inc. agreed to merge their asset management units, Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co. Ltd. and Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. The merger is expected to be completed in April 2019.

* The Korea Fair Trade Commission is investigating alleged price rigging by South Korean banks in buying cash dispensers from ATM suppliers, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.

* South Korean prosecutors searched Upbit, a Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange operated by Dunamu Inc., for two days from May 10, The JoongAng Ilbo reported. Upbit is facing allegations that it carried cryptocurrencies it did not own in its system in order to solicit money from investors.

ASEAN

* Thailand's Kasikornbank PCL said the daily number of payment transactions via its banking mobile application has surged by 80% from the end of 2017, Daily News reported.

* The Philippines' central bank is implementing a phased reorganization so that it will have four major sectors — the monetary and economics sector, the financial supervision sector, the currency management sector and the corporate services sector. The reorganization will also result in reinforced units that promote effective risk management and compliance as well as internal audit.

* Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. posted a 13.1% year-over-year rise in consolidated net income for the first quarter to 1.1 billion Philippine pesos from 1.0 billion pesos. Net interest income climbed 16% to 4.8 billion pesos, while its net interest margin for the period came to 4.07%.

* The Indonesian government plans to sell its entire 11.43% stake in PT Bank Bukopin Tbk via a rights issue in June or July, The Jakarta Post reported. The sale of the shares, however, would be dependent on the market price, said Aloysius Kiik Ro, the state-owned Enterprises Ministry's deputy for business restructuration and development.

* PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk is hoping its unit PT Bank BRISyariah can use the proceeds from its IPO to expand financing and help upgrade itself to become a BUKU III category bank, with core capital between 5 trillion rupiah and 30 trillion rupiah, The Jakarta Post reported. The unit could become a BUKU III category bank by the end of 2018, said Haru Koesmahargyo, finance director oat Bank Rakyat Indonesia.

SOUTH ASIA

* Oriental Bank of Commerce posted a net loss of 16.50 billion Indian rupees for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared to a net loss of 12.18 billion rupees in the prior-year quarter. For the full fiscal year, the lender posted a net loss of 58.72 billion rupees, compared to a net loss of 10.94 billion rupees in the prior-year period.

* Federal Bank Ltd. agreed for its unit Fedbank Financial Services Ltd to issue fresh equity shares, constituting 26% of the post-issue paid up share capital of the unit, to a fund managed by True North Enterprise Pvt. Ltd. The share issuance is subject to statutory and regulatory approval.

* India's central bank has refused to share copies of inspection reports for scam-hit Punjab National Bank, citing clauses in the Right to Information Act that prohibit sharing details that could impede the investigation process or prosecution of offenders, The Press Trust of India reported.

* The Pakistani government appointed Shaukat Hussain as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, effective immediately, Dawn reported. The move came after the government withdrew an earlier cabinet approval to name Tahir Mahmood, commissioner of the SECP, as the chairman.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* AMP Ltd. investor outflows could reach A$35 billion due to a tarnished reputation from board-level misconduct, Reuters reported, citing analysts at Macquarie Group. The analysts forecast the net outflows from wealth management over the next four years, equivalent to about 27% of assets under management, after an independent inquiry found the firm had engaged in deceptive conduct.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia said that Rob Jesudason resigned as CFO of the company to pursue an external role in Hong Kong. The company named Alan Docherty, CFO for institutional banking and markets, as acting CFO, effective immediately.

* QBE Insurance Group Ltd. plans to increase investment in venture capital groups that specialize in insurance technology development in order to help the company back to profitability, The Australian reported. The company, which has set aside A$50 million to invest in venture capital start-ups, is in talks to buy into an Israeli group.

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

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