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BlackRock eyes US$500M for Asian fund; Hana Financial to sell China unit stake

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BlackRock eyes US$500M for Asian fund; Hana Financial to sell China unit stake

* U.S.-based investment management company BlackRock Inc. is planning to raise up to US$500 million for its first Asian private credit fund called Asia-Pacific Private Credit Opportunities Fund I, DealStreetAsia reported, citing a Private Debt Investor report. The fund will be headed by Neeraj Seth, BlackRock's head of Asian fixed income, and Justin Ferrier, managing director of Asian private credit.

* South Korea's Hana Financial Group Inc. is in talks to sell less than 50% of its stake in unit KEB Hana Bank (China) Co. Ltd. to CEFC China Energy, The Investor reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. The China Banking Regulatory Commission has yet to approve the proposed deal.

* Thailand's Land & Houses Bank PCL announced a five-year partnership with Taiwan's CTBC Bank Co. Ltd. that will focus on corporate banking, wealth management and digital banking, The Nation reported, citing Rutt Phanijphand, chairman of the former's parent, LH Financial Group PCL. Phanijphand said the deal would help LH Bank bring its total asset value to between 400 billion and 500 billion baht, from about 215 billion baht, over the next five years.

GREATER CHINA

* The China Insurance Regulatory Commission is requiring Taiping General Insurance Co. Ltd., China Life Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Ltd. and People's Insurance Co. (Group) of China Ltd. to take corrective action for irregularities in insurance policy telemarketing and online sale platforms, the Economic Information Daily reported.

* Rising interbank loan interest rates have hindered the development of China's syndicated loan market, Reuters reported. Among the current nine syndicated loan trades, the highest loan interest rate is 120% of the interest rate set by the People's Bank of China.

* U.S.-based post-trade financial services company Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. said the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect needs "more finessing" to reconcile post-trade complications of two different settlement standards inside and outside of China, the South China Morning Post reported.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* According to Japan Finance Corp.'s data, financing for overseas operations and restructuring of small and medium-sized companies increased by 42% in fiscal 2016 to ¥37.5 billion, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported.

* Japan's Advantage Partners established a ¥60 billion fund to support small and medium-sized businesses, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The fund will initially target companies looking to expand, with plans to provide financing over the next 10 years.

* According to the two South Korean financial regulators, the country's mutual finance institutions will stop issuing interest-only loans and restrict its mortgage loans to be paid in repayment installments, the E Daily reported.

ASEAN

* Krung Thai Bank PCL has set aside 6 billion baht to support its low-interest loan program for small and medium-sized enterprises in Thailand, Post Today reported, citing Executive Vice President Pativate Santavananond. The move is aimed at providing SMEs with greater access to credit, he said.

* PT Bank MNC Internasional Tbk plans to boost its capital through a rights issue worth 2.5 trillion Indonesian rupiah until 2021, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing MNC CEO Benny Purnomo.

* PT Bank Victoria International Tbk Deputy President Director Rusli Lim said the lender would issue subordinated bonds of 350 billion Indonesian rupiah in July, The Jakarta Post reported.

* Outgoing Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco is looking to implement regulations for the overnight index swap system and buyback deals, which would enable Philippine banks to hold more cash for loans and sustain their business operations, BusinessWorld reported.

SOUTH ASIA

* The Reserve Bank of India has instructed Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd. to settle differences over valuation with Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. before seeking other investors, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the matter. The move follows a Bloomberg News report that an Apollo Global Management LLC-backed private equity firm is interested in buying a stake in the Indian bank.

* S. S. Mundra, the Indian central bank's deputy governor, has called for bank account number portability, which would allow customers to move between banks without the need to change account numbers, Mint reported. However, bankers and other experts are not convinced of its feasibility, as it may face problems including various account number formats used by lenders.

* The credit profiles of Indian banks are unlikely to improve over the next 12 months, according to a report from S&P Global Ratings. The total stressed assets of the country's lenders is projected to increase to 13% to 15% of total loans by the end of March 2018, said Deepali Seth Chhabria, an analyst at the rating agency.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has introduced a post-market trading session following the country's reclassification as an emerging market by U.S.-based index provider MSCI Inc., Dawn reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison released a draft legislation for the major bank levy, which indicates that banks with more than A$100 billion in liabilities will have to pay at a rate of 0.015% per quarter, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The first two quarterly payments of the levy will be due in March 2018 and a "sunset clause," which would make the tax void once the country's budget returns to surplus in fiscal 2020-21, was not included in the law.

* Similarly, Morrison has again slammed the banking sector oligopoly, saying the sector is using its pricing power "to the detriment of everyday Australians" and it is not a situation the Australian government is eager to accept, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission started legal proceedings against Nib Holdings Ltd. unit NIB Health Funds Ltd. for allegedly engaging in misleading conduct and making false representations to its members. The ACCC is seeking penalties, corrective notices and costs, among others, against NIB Health Funds.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: MedGulf douses sale rumors; Israel, Kenya central banks hold rates

Europe: Co-op eyes debt/equity swap; Allfunds sale OK; MPS in bad loan sale talks

Latin America: IRB-Brasil files for IPO; new BNDES CEO outlines focus

North America: Goldman Sachs gets slammed for Venezuelan bond buy; Citi sells Yield Book to LSE

North America Insurance: Trump calls for more healthcare funds; Patriot National considering alternatives

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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

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