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Sompo Holdings to acquire Endurance Specialty; India cuts policy rates

*Japan's Sompo HoldingsInc. is likely to acquire Bermuda's in adeal valued at more than US$6 billion, InsuranceInsider reported.The deal, expected to be completed by March 2017, will be finalized Oct. 5,Tokyo's The Nikkei reportedseparately.

*The Reserve Bank of India cut policy rates amid an improving inflation outlook.India's central bank slashed the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustmentfacility by 25 basis points to 6.25% from 6.5%. The reverse repo rate under theliquidity adjustment facility was adjusted to 5.75% and the marginal standingfacility rate and the bank rate to 6.75%.

*Qatar Reinsurance Co.Ltd. obtained regulatory approval to operate a branch officein Singapore.

*MUFG Investor Services has completed its purchase of Rydex Fund Services, a 1940Act mutual fund administration business, from Guggenheim Investments. MUFGInvestor Services is MitsubishiUFJ Financial Group Inc.'s global asset servicing group.

GREATER CHINA

* Asurvey conducted by Deutsche Bank showed that fixed-income investors arepreparing to increase the share of onshore yuan bonds in their Asianlocal-currency bond portfolio to 13% in 2017 and 26% in five years, up from thecurrent level of 5%, Caijing reported.Deutsche Bank research estimates that China's onshore yuan bond market reached60.2 trillion yuan as of the end of August, with the interbank bond marketaccounting for more than 90% of the total onshore bond market.

*China will issue a series of measures to expand and support private investmentin the country, Economic InformationDaily reported.Private investment growth in China declined steadily in the first half.

*China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a report on thecountry's international payments for 2016 that China will continue to have a substantialsurplus in its current account in the second half, Shanghai Securities News reported.

*The IMF adjusted down its forecasts for Taiwan's GDP growth rates for 2016 and2017 to 1.0% and 1.7%, respectively, in its World Economic Outlook report, theCentral News Agency reported.The organization's previous GDP forecasts for Taiwan were 1.5% and 2.2% for2016 and 2017, respectively.

*Taiwanese prosecutors sought to detain Mckinney Tsai and Wang Chi-pang, twoformer top executives at MegaFinancial Holdings Co. Ltd., after they accused the two offinancial irregularities, breach of trust, forgery and other related offenses,the Taipei Times reported.Officials at the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said Tsai and Wang hadbeen evasive and had attempted to shirk their responsibility on allegations ofquestionable loans of up to NT$20 billion to Chien Chi Asset Management Co. inearly 2016.

JAPAN AND KOREA

*Symetra FinancialCorp. CEO Thomas Marra toldThe Sankei Shimbun that the companywill work with Sumitomo LifeInsurance Co. on investing in U.S. bonds. The company was acquiredby Sumitomo Life in February.   

*Fukuoka Financial GroupInc. said it is establishing an equity tie-up between its fintechunit, iBank Marketing Co. Ltd., and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Himawari Life Insurance Inc.,Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

*Osaka City ShinkinBank and MS&ADInsurance Group Holdings Inc.'s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. will in supporting theircustomers' overseas expansion.

*Dai-ichi Life HoldingsInc. completed its transition into a holding companystructure, effective Oct. 1. With the completion of the transition, Dai-ichiLife Insurance Co. Ltd. became Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc.

*South Korea's Financial Industry Trade Union warned that it will stronglyreject any political appointments to CEO posts to be vacated at a number offinancial institutions including Industrial Bank of Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported.

*The amount of bad debt written off by NongHyup Bank as of the end of June in connection withthe restructuring of shipbuilders and ocean carriers stood at 1.2 trillion won,Yonhap News Agency reported.

*Hyundai Securities Co.Ltd. shareholders approved a five-for-one share swap withKB Financial GroupInc. paving the way for a merger in December, Yonhap News Agency reported.

ASEAN

*The Bank of Thailand asked commercial banks to prepare more "normal"ATM cards and debit cards to meet customer demand, Thailand's Krungthep Turakij reported. The movewas made after the central bank received complaints from bank customers whosaid lenders often claimed to have run out of normal cards, forcing customersto request other types of cards with more expensive fees.

*Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong will attend upcoming annual meetingshosted by the IMF, the World Bank Group and APEC finance ministers, with theaim of meeting key figures from a number of countries and explaining thepolitical and economic climate in Thailand, DailyNews reported.

*Malaysia's Association of Banks refuted a World Economic Forum report that saidaccess to financing is a problematic factor for doing business in Malaysia, thecountry's The Star reported.The group said that financing is available, with the total amount ofoutstanding business loans at 532.6 billion ringgit.

*Indonesia's Financial Services Authority has given pawnshop businesses twoyears to register and obtain a business license from the regulator, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

*Cristina Orbeta, president of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., said theproposal to sell GSIS Family Bank by the Philippine government did not gothrough as none of the potential buyers went through a bidding process, thecountry's BusinessWorld reported.GSIS Family Bank is owned by the Philippines' Government Service InsuranceSystem.

SOUTH ASIA

*Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel said India's central bank will have"firmness but also pragmatism" in handling and resolving the issue ofnonperforming loans of commercial lenders in the country, Reuters reported.

*YES BANK Ltd. CEORana Kapoor said that there would likely be further easing by 75 basis pointsin the months ahead due to a "healthy set of domestic macros and sustainedglobal deflation," Reuters reported.

*ICICI Bank Ltd. cutits marginal cost of funds-based lending rate by five basis points to 9.05% peryear, effective Oct. 1, India's BusinessStandard reported.The lending rate was also cut to 8.85% from 8.90% per month.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

*The Reserve Bank of Australia kept the cash rate unchanged at 1.50%.

*The Australian government is crackingdown on rate rigging of the country's financial benchmarks as theheads of the country's four major banks face a parliamentary committee overunethical bank practices.

*AMP Ltd. rolled out itsnew financial advice business, dubbed AMP Advice, The Australian reported.The new business aims to make "goals-based advice" more accessible toAustralians who do not have a financial adviser, said Rob Caprioli, groupexecutive for advice and banking at AMP.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

MiddleEast & Africa: Kenya's FamilyBank to shed jobs; Mozambican banks 'in good health'

Europe:ING faces union ire; Novo Bancosees Chinese interest; Russian central bank overhauls

LatinAmerica: Porto Seguro, AIGSeguros in auto portfolio deal; BNDES shifts focus to clean energy

NorthAmerica: Wells says loss fromIllinois suspension only $50,000, not 'millions'

NorthAmerica Insurance: HurricaneMatthew poses threat to reinsurers; insurer to exit ACA exchange

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

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