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Chinese firms to bid on ING Life Korea; SBI, Brookfield Asset Management to form JV

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Chinese firms to bid on ING Life Korea; SBI, Brookfield Asset Management to form JV

*Chinese firms are lining up to bid on the sale of MBK Partners Ltd.'s ING Life Insurance Korea Ltd., which may be worth around3 trillion won, The Korea Herald reported. MBKPartners is looking to sell its stake in ING Life Korea by the end of 2016 bycommencing the bidding process in September.

* Bankunions in South Korea plan to stage a strike to oppose the planned introductionof a performance-based wage system, according to TheKorea Times and Yonhap News Agency. Oh Chi-hwa, a spokesman for the KoreaFinancial Industry Union, said the unions would hold the strike Sept. 23.

*State Bank of Indiasigned a memorandum of understanding with Canada's toform a joint venture and collaborate on investments in stressed assets, IndiaInfoline News Service reported.

*JPMorgan China Region Fund Inc. saidit entered into discussions on a possible merger with Korea Equity Fund Inc.Under the terms of the proposal, JPMorgan China Region Fund will be thesurviving entity upon the merger's completion.

*Atrium UnderwritersLtd.'s Lloyd's ofLondon Syndicate609 is closing its Singapore platform. Atrium will continue tomanage its business in Asia through its London office.

*U.S. prosecutors are preparing to seize more than US$1 billion worth of assetspurchased with money allegedly misappropriated from Malaysian state investmentfund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., The WallStreet Journal reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."

GREATER CHINA

*Foreign banks in China have had a hard time running operations in the countryas some of them reported losses, cut certain businesses in China or reduced anumber of their branches, the SecuritiesTimes reported.Some contributing factors include limited network expansions due to tightregulations as well as Chinese people's unfamiliarity with and distrust offoreign banks.

*The China Banking Association said that the number of customer serviceemployees in China's banking sector decreased 1% year over year to 495,000 atthe end of 2015, the first such decrease since 2012, Xinhua News Agency reported.The banking industry's customer service channels are expanding to online andmobile channels, the news service added.

*Among China's 155 approved Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor products,only 84 are available for normal subscription, while 28 have suspended bulkpurchases, 37 have suspended subscriptions and 4 have closed purchases, Daily Business reported.Wind Information showed that the QDII fund scale stood at 107.03 billion yuan,with 79.70 billion yuan worth of QDII fund available for normal subscription.

*PricewaterhouseCoopers said that it would take at least four to five years forChina's insurance industry to establish effective risk management systems, Caixin reported.According to a survey made by PwC, more than 80% of insurers have set uppreliminary risk management frameworks, but there is still a significant gapbetween industry overall level and refined risk management.

*China's 54 trust companies that have released their first-half reports reporteda combined net profit of 425 million yuan, down 20.11% year over year, Caixin reported. Amongthem, 29 trust companies had negative profit growth, seven of which fell bymore than 50%.

*China's four listed insurers – China Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd., and New ChinaLife Insurance Co. Ltd. — had a combined premium income of 751.72billion yuan in the first half, up 19.37% year over year, Securities Times reported. OnlyNew China Life Insurance's premium income declined 2.24% during the period.

JAPAN AND KOREA

*The Japan Securities Dealers Association issued guidelines prohibiting analystsfrom leaking information on company earnings before the results are released, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

*Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.Ltd. is planning to establish operations in Cambodia, The Sankei Shimbun reported.The company will open an office in Phnom Penh in July, becoming the firstJapanese life insurer to set up operations in the country.

*The Bank of Korea has selected 33 partners for its open market operations,including 20 banks, The Chosun Ilbo reported.The selected partners will conduct securities transactions with the centralbank over a one-year contract period from August.

*Industrial Bank ofKorea will convert 3,800 non-regular workers into regularemployees, The Chosun Ilbo reported.

*KB Insurance Co. Ltd.received approval from South Korea's Financial Services Commission to offershort-term trade insurance with a settlement period of two years or less, The Chosun Ilbo reported.

*Jeong Eun-bo, vice chairman of the FSC, said at a meeting with top executivesof foreign financial companies' South Korean units that the commission will createa task force to address complaints from foreign financial institutions doingbusiness in the country, The Chosun Ilboreported.

*Hanwha Investment &Securities Co. Ltd. will issue 89 million new shares in August toraise about 200 billion won, Yonhap News Agency reported.

ASEAN

*Patchara Samalapa, executive vice president of said the bank istrying to encourage its entrepreneurial customers who own small andmedium-sized enterprises to use electronic payment methods instead of cash, Thailand'sPost Today reported. A sourcefrom the Bank of Thailand also said that while the central bank has tried tolower the use of cash and checks, entrepreneurs prefer them as post-dated checksgive them greater ability to manage their cash and liquidity.

*Federation of Accounting Professions President Prasan Chuaphanich said hisassociation and the Office of Insurance Commission of Thailand will offercourses on insurance accounting as part of efforts to meet demand by trainingmore personnel, Thailand's Post Todayreported. Hesaid the Thai insurance industry needs more experts on insurance accounting.

*Siam Commercial BankPCL reported a 3% year-over-year decline to 12.8 billion Thai bahtin net profit for the second quarter due to loan loss provisions set aside toboost bad debt coverage ratio, Reuters reported.

*Bank Indonesia is expected to make a rate cut by 25 basis points to 6.25%according to a poll of economists, Reuters reported.

*PT Bank Central AsiaTbk recorded a 12.1% growth in net profit to 9.6 trillionIndonesian rupiah, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

*Bank Negara Malaysia said that the regulatory framework for financialtechnology will be released in the fourth quarter, Bernama reported.

*Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the Philippinecentral bank decided to raise the issue size of its term deposit facility to 70billion pesos from 50 billion pesos, effective Aug. 3, The Philippine Star reported.

SOUTH ASIA

*Fitch Ratings affirmed India's BBB- long-term foreign andlocal-currency issuer default ratings, with stable outlooks. The rating agencyalso affirmed the country ceiling at BBB- and the short-term foreign-currencyissuer default rating at F3.

*India's Ministry of Finance turned down a proposal from the Employees'Provident Fund Organization to establish a workers' bank, the Press Trust ofIndia reported,citing a senior official from the Indian labor ministry.

*Axis Bank Ltd. cutits base rate by 10 basis points to 9.35%, India's Business Standard reported.The bank last reduced its base rate by five basis points in April.

*State Bank of India looks to expand its customer service points in remote ruralareas and has requested its business correspondents to do so, The Economic Times reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

*Greg Medcraft, chairman of the Australian Securities & InvestmentsCommission, said bank executives across the country need to make sure effortsto improve culture and conduct in banks are being implemented, The Australian reported.

*Homeloans has agreedto merge with RESIMAC Ltd. to create one of Australia's largest nonbanklenders. Under the agreement, Homeloans will merge with RESIMAC by issuing285,380,042 new Homeloans shares to RESIMAC shareholders. Homeloans will alsoacquire all of the shares in RESIMAC.

*The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has initiated a probe intoAustralia & New ZealandBanking Group Ltd.'s A$1 billion loan to Indian business couplePankaj and Radhika Oswal over alleged fraud, TheAustralian reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

MiddleEast & Africa: Barclaysstarts Egyptian unit sale process; Commercial Bank H1 profit plummetsYOY

Europe:Brexit prompts global outlookcut; S&P on Deutsche Bank; ABN AMRO CEO to leave

LatinAmerica: Peru's Caja Piura mayacquire struggling competitors

NorthAmerica: Morgan Stanley's Q2income down YOY; PIMCO names new CEO

NorthAmerica Insurance: Health insurersto fight DoJ's opposition to pending mergers; recent Berkshire deal may triggerconsolidation wave

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

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