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Weekly news through April 15


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Weekly news through April 15

This weekly article offers aselection of our top banking stories published throughout the week.

Deutsche Bank's divergentroute

is seeking toexpand its asset management operations in Asia, with a particular focus onChina, even as other major global banks exit their existing businesses or layoff staff in the region.

JonEilbeck, Asia-Pacific head at Deutsche Bank, said the company will focus on expanding itsbusiness in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Australia and South Korea throughorganic growth. Deutsche Bank's Asia-Pacific business represents less than 10%of its global business asset size, which the company intends to grow in thenext few years, the executive noted.

DeutscheBank's plans stand in sharp contrast to other notable global banks, includingStandard CharteredPlc and Royal Bank ofScotland Group Plc. Standard Chartered is reportedly looking tooff-load aroundUS$4.4 billion of assets in Asia, including US$1.4 billion of stressed loans inIndia. The other US$3 billion assets in Asia consist of loans, proprietary bondsand equity investments in China, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Meanwhile,RBS will reportedly shutter its remaining banking operations in Indiaafter determining thatselling the assets might take longer than intended. The move will lead to thelayoff of around 700 employees in India. Separately, RBS the transfer of International'sactivities in Singapore and Hong Kong to another European company, .

Inaddition, JPMorgan Chase &Co. reportedly cut about 30 jobs in its Asia-Pacific wealth managementunit. A person familiar with the matter said the job cuts involved mostly HongKong- and Singapore-based relationship managers.JPMorgan alsoreportedly confirmed the departure of Edwin Lim, market manager of the company'sNorth Asia high-net-worth business.

Monetary policy decisions

TheMonetary Authority ofSingapore joined the club of Asia-Pacific central banks that haveresorted to monetary easing measures in 2016 to spur growth. The central bankset the rate ofappreciation in the trading band of Singapore's currency at zero. The monetaryauthority last eased policy in October 2015 by slowing the pace of currencyappreciation.

Meanwhile,the State Bank ofPakistan decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 6%.

InIndonesia, the central bank will reportedly replace its current reference rate with a seven-dayreverse repurchase rate as its new benchmark rate in a bid to enhance theeffectiveness of its policy changes. The seven-day reverse repurchase rate willhelp the central bank drain liquidity from the system, and will make monetaryeasing more effective in boosting the economy, said Irene Cheung, a foreignexchange strategist at Australia& New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

Insomewhat related news, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will procedures for releasingconfidential information after an investigation confirmed that details of itsMarch decision to cut the official cash rate was leaked by a journalist aheadof the official release.

M&A news

*Nepal's Machhapuchchhre BankLtd. and Janata BankNepal Ltd. calledoff their plan to merge due to differences over valuation of theirrespective shares. The move came after shareholders of Machhapuchchhre Bankobjected to the swap ratio calculated by a joint merger committee.

*KB Financial GroupInc. said its board approved the proposed acquisition of a controlling stakein Hyundai Securities Co.Ltd. for 1.250 trillion won.

*ANZ is seeking to sell its entirestake in Malaysia'sAMMB Holdings Bhd.,as well as part of itsstake in ShanghaiRural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. The Australian lenders owns 24% and20% stakes in AMMB Holdings and Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank, respectively.

*Malayan BankingBhd. is seeking acquisition targets as it looks to boost profit frominternational operations. The bank aims to earn 40% of pretax profit fromoverseas, but failed to meet the goal in 2015 because acquisition efforts fellshort, CEO Abdul Farid bin Alias said.

*Philippine-based Security BankCorp. is open toacquisitions in 2016 as it looks to ramp up expansion plans. CEOAlfonso Salcedo Jr. said the bank is open to acquiring a universal,thrift or rural bank but does not want to overpay for any acquisition.

In other news

*Moody's revised itsratings outlook on five South Korean banks to negative from stable anddowngraded WooriBank's ratings with a negative outlook amid the challengingoperating environment in the country in 2016 and possibly beyond.

* said itsconsolidated net profit for the full year ended Dec. 31, 2015, 136.4% year over year.

*Westpac Banking Corp.will issue A$474million of structured securities backed by auto loans and finance lease, amongother assets.

*Macquarie Group Ltd.reportedly cut about15% of its U.S. investment banking staff.

* ANZwill reinstate fourtraders who were suspended in 2014 amid the Australian Securities andInvestments Commission's probe into the bank's alleged fixing of benchmarkinterbank rates.

*China's Bank of Tianjin Co.Ltd. uncovered fraud that potentially exposed 786 millionChinese yuan to risks.The incident is relatedto its notes business held under a resale agreement.

*Bank of China Ltd.completed itsapplication for a Turkish banking license.

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