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Crédit Agricole, UniCredit Q2 profits up YOY; AXA, Aviva H1 profits also rise

* At least 12 of the world's biggest investment houses, including the units of Allianz Group, AXA and Aviva Plc, are still deliberating on whether to pay for the cost of investment research internally or pass the cost to investors, despite a looming January 2018 deadline to comply with new MiFID II regulations, the Financial Times reported.

* The European Banking Authority outlined draft guidelines aimed at improving fraud reporting requirements for payment service providers under the revised Payment Services Directive, or PSD2. A public consultation on the proposed guidelines will run until Nov. 3.

* The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will push back a meeting on global capital rules to early October from mid-September to give officials more time to overcome European banks' objections to minimum capital levels, insiders told Reuters.

UK AND IRELAND

* Aviva posted first-half profit attributable to equity holders of the company of £637 million, compared with £130 million in the year-ago half. The insurer also signed a 10-year distribution deal with HSBC Holdings Plc for the provision of general insurance products in Britain.

* Standard Chartered Plc will not pay out an interim dividend for the first half even as its attributable profit for the period more than doubled to nearly $1.20 billion from $580 million a year earlier. The banking group said its board will review its position on the dividend at year-end.

* London Stock Exchange Group Plc reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of £153 million, compared with a year-ago attributable loss of £36 million.

* Moody's raised the outlook on the U.K. banking system to stable from negative, noting that banks' stronger credit profiles have increased their resilience to weakening operating conditions.

* Non-Standard Finance Plc agreed to acquire George Banco Ltd. from its existing shareholders for an enterprise value of £53.5 million. The deal is expected to complete in September.

* Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd. could announce as early as Friday an agreement to sell a big minority stake in its general insurance operations to Allianz, insiders told Sky News. The deal could value the LV= division at about £1 billion.

* Former Bank of England Deputy Governor John Gieve said there was "a very strong case" for policymakers to raise rates as the economic slowdown predicted in the wake of the Brexit vote had not materialized, The Daily Telegraph reported. The BoE's latest interest rate decision is due to be published later today.

* The U.K. government is seeking greater powers to cut off funding to terrorist groups by freezing assets and blocking access to bank accounts, Bloomberg News reported. The proposed Sanctions Bill, if approved, would allow officials to take action based only on reasonable suspicion and is part of a broader effort to move legal powers back to the U.K. once it leaves the EU.

* Barclays Plc signed an agreement to lease additional office space in central Dublin as part of preparations to expand its operations in the Irish capital due to Brexit, Reuters reported.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* DZ BANK AG appointed Henning Deneke-Jöhrens, current CEO of Volksbank eG Hildesheim-Lehrte-Pattensen, to head the cooperative bank's supervisory board from 2018, Handelsblatt reported. Deneke-Jöhrens succeeds Helmut Gottschalk.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* Crédit Agricole SA reported second-quarter net income group share of €1.35 billion, up 16.6% from €1.16 billion in the year-ago period. Crédit Agricole Group, meanwhile, posted second-quarter net income group share of €2.11 billion, up 8.5% year over year from €1.94 billion.

* AXA reported first-half net income of €3.27 billion, up 2% from the restated €3.21 billion earned in the year-ago period.

* ING Groep NV CEO Ralph Hamers said it would be "very detrimental" to London if regulators forced banks based in the European Economic Area to establish separately capitalized branches in the U.K. post-Brexit, the Financial Times reported.

* U.S.-based J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC plans to sell NIBC Bank NV, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. The plan is to float the bank or sell it to another bank or investor.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Novo Banco SA agreed to sell a 90% stake in Banco Internacional de Cabo Verde SA to Bahrain-incorporated IIBG Holdings. Completion of the deal will have a neutral impact on the Portuguese bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio.

* Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA appointed Tiago Ravara Marques to lead the Caixa Gestão de Activos asset management division, according to Jornal de Negócios.

ITALY AND GREECE

* UniCredit SpA reported second-quarter net profit attributable to the group of €945 million, up from €916 million a year earlier. For the first half, the bank reported net attributable profit of €1.85 billion, compared to the year-ago €1.32 billion.

* Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA signed a binding agreement to sell its nonperforming loans platform to a newly incorporated entity held by debt management firm Cerved Group SpA and Quaestio Holding SA for €52.5 million. Separately, Monte dei Paschi's first-half results are ready to be released and are just awaiting approval, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

* Crédit Agricole Cariparma SpA reformulated its offer for Cassa di Risparmio di Cesena SpA, Cassa di Risparmio di Rimini SpA and Cassa di Risparmio di San Miniato SpA, with the bill for the Interbank Deposit Protection Fund rising to €425 million from an original €225 million, Il Messaggero wrote.

* Poste Italiane SpA will present its new business plan at the start of 2018, with the main points being strengthening its presence in asset management and increasing the number of products offered, MF reported.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Apple Inc. announced plans to launch its payment service Apple Pay in the Nordic region by the end of 2017, Børsen reported. Mastercard Inc. is meanwhile close to launching its digital wallet Masterpass in Norway, Finland and Denmark, according to Finanswatch.

* Nordea Bank AB (publ)'s head of corporate and investment banking, Svante Andreen, has quit the bank, Realtid reported.

EASTERN EUROPE

* U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a bill imposing sanctions on Russia for its supposed meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its actions in Ukraine and Syria.

* Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank is setting up a mobile virtual network operator, the commercial launch of which is planned for the second half, Vedomosti reported.

* PAO Rosgosstrakh raised 10 billion Russian rubles through an additional share issuance, with the funds to be used for the further development of the company, Vedomosti said.

* The Russian central bank withdrew the license of OAO AKB Krylovskiy, saying the lender pursued an aggressive policy aimed at attracting household deposits, and provided unreliable financial statements.

* The Ukrainian central bank decided to declare PJSC Commercial Bank GEFEST insolvent, after it failed to increase its minimum statutory capital to 200 million Ukrainian hryvnia required for local lenders from July 11.

* The Polish President's office filed with the parliament a draft law aimed at encouraging banks to voluntarily restructure foreign-currency mortgage loans, Rzeczpospolita reported. The bill envisages setting up a fund that would help banks cover the costs of restructuring such loans.

* The Czech central bank's board is expected to raise the main interest rate during its Aug. 3 meeting from the current record-low 0.05%, Hospodarske Noviny reported.

* Slovak lender Fio Banka notified its clients that it will be changing its operating conditions in September, with the possible introduction of negative interest rates, Sme reported. The potential negative rates would apply to all accounts, including deposits, potentially making Fio the first Slovak bank to introduce negative rates.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Suncorp full-year net profit up 3.6%; Chinese P2P lender raises funds from GIC

Middle East & Africa: Iraq's landmark bond draws strong demand; Nedbank, KBC H1 profits fall YOY

Latin America: Banco BTG Pactual income slides; Moody's lifts Bolivia's outlook

North America: Veritex buying Liberty Bancshares in Texas; Tudor facing a 'punishing shift'

North America Insurance: Alaska insurer files for 21.6% rate cut; Humana reports Q2 results

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Standard Chartered abandons 'inward' focus in bid to reclaim lost market share: Standard Chartered is moving away from the "inward" focus that has characterized its restructuring — and caused it to lose out on business in key markets such as India and Singapore, CEO Bill Winters told analysts.

SocGen sees lower cost of risk in 2017 as economy improves: SocGen expects its cost of risk for 2017 to decline amid tighter risk management and improving macroeconomic conditions.

ING Groep eyes further growth in fee income following 'good' Q2 results: CEO Ralph Hamers also told analysts during an earnings calls that he expects the Dutch bank to benefit from the introduction of new payment regulations in 2018, saying "it plays very well for us in our strategy as a challenger, as a disruptor."

Leo Magno, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Mike Hatzidakis, Ali Kayalar, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni, and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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