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India fines foreign banks; China, Iceland extend currency swap deal


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India fines foreign banks; China, Iceland extend currency swap deal

* The Reserve Bank of India has fined five foreign lenders -- Deutsche Bank AG, Standard Chartered Plc unit Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of America Corp., Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc -- for violating its regulatory guidelines for reporting requirements in India's Foreign Exchange Management Act, the Press Trust of India reported.

* The People's Bank of China extended a 3.5 billion yuan bilateral currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of Iceland that will last for three years, Xinhua News Agency reported. The new deal can be extended, according to a statement by the PBOC.

* China and Hong Kong are working together in the bond market to facilitate foreign investors' bond purchases, following the launch of Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect and Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock connect schemes, China Daily reported, citing Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Norman Chan.

* The Bank of Thailand decided to keep the policy rate at 1.50% as monetary conditions remained accommodative and conducive to the country's economic recovery.

* Deutsche Bank is looking to bolster its Asia-Pacific equity derivatives unit to take advantage of an expected rise in demand from local investors, Bloomberg News reported.


* China International Capital Corp. Ltd. estimated that the country's foreign exchange reserves may decline to less than US$3 trillion in December, reported. It said the central bank may borrow money denominated in U.S. dollar via swaps to replenish its foreign exchange and further strengthen its individual foreign exchange purchase management.

* The People's Bank of China said the country is granting investors in Ireland the right to invest up to 50 billion yuan in its capital markets under China's Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme, Reuters reported.

* According to an outlook report by JPMorgan, China-based companies are expected to raise US$101 billion of U.S. dollar-denominated debt from the offshore debt capital market in 2017, Caixin reported. Debt issued by China would account for about half of the total supply in Asia.

* Chan Tak-Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, said that the regulator may revise its offshore yuan management measures in the future, Caixin reported.


* Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea's Hana Financial Group Inc. in consumer finance, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. Under the agreement, Sumitomo will be able to offer investment trust products through Hana Financial's securities company.

* Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will establish a review panel of third-party experts to ensure the group's business operations prioritize customers, The Nikkei reported. The group will be formed in January 2017.

* Aichi Bank Ltd. signed a business cooperation agreement with Vietnam's foreign investment agency, The Nikkei reported.

* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service said the country's insurers will now be obliged to run a stress test at least once a year to effectively manage risks related to the fluctuation of bond values, Money Today reported.


* Malaysia's Building Society Bhd. confirmed it is eyeing a potential merger with Asian Finance Bank Bhd., The Star reported.

* Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd. CEO Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid said loan growth for the financial year ending March 2017 will be at 5% to 6%, The Sun reported.

* Several Vietnamese banks, including Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank and Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank, are seeking to list their shares on the local stock exchanges, Vietnamplus reported.

* The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3% at its first meeting following the U.S. Federal Reserve's increased interest rates, Reuters reported, citing 13 economists polled by the news agency.


* The Reserve Bank of India withdrew its decision to restrict cash deposits two days after it said that such deposits of more than 5,000 rupees of old banknotes would be inspected by bank officials for further scrutiny, Reuters reported, citing the central bank. The restrictions would not apply to accounts that follow the know-your-customer norms.

* Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ordered the cancellation of Bank of Ceylon's sale of a 7% stake in Seylan Bank Plc to a foreign fund due to the state-owned lender's failure to follow proper procedures, Reuters reported, citing Ravi Karunanayake, the country's finance minister. The prime minister also ordered a probe into the sale.

* India's RBL Bank Ltd. has cut its marginal cost of funds-based lending rates by 30 to 45 basis points across different tenures, effective immediately, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a statement from the bank.

* Bangladesh's Mercantile Bank Ltd. will open 10 new local branches, The Financial Express reported, citing Shahidul Ahsan, chairman of the bank.


* Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank Ltd. have entered into enforceable undertakings with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission regarding "impropriety" in their foreign exchange businesses, The Australian Financial Review reported. Both banks have agreed to donate a combined A$5 million to financial literacy programs, as part of the undertakings.

* Commonwealth Bank unit Bankwest is introducing a loan product with a three-year fixed discount against the combined average variable rates offered by the bank's big four rivals, The Australian reported.

* Australia's Medibank Pvt. Ltd. will set up an initiative to save itself from paying out around A$100 million in "potentially preventable claims," The Australian reported. The insurer first ran a predictive analytics model in 2015 to find customers with a high probability of health-related concerns that could be prevented through their programs.


Middle East & Africa: Fraud prevention in South Africa; currency black market curb in Nigeria

Europe: French banks sue ECB over capital rules; global banks fined over rate cartels

Latin America: Brazil unveils more economic measures; court upholds Banesco fine

North America: NYCB-Astoria deal termination leaves more questions

North America Insurance: Aetna-Humana antitrust trial nears close; Elements Property Insurance on block

Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.

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