*Citigroup Inc. aims togrow corporate banking in Asia by targeting "emerging marketchampions" in the region's countries, such as online companies, Reuters reported,citing Gerald Keefe, head of the business for Asia-Pacific at the bank.
*Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJLtd. will quit as a primary dealer of Japanese government bondsJuly 15, the Ministry of Finance said. The MitsubishiUFJ Financial Group Inc. unit in June indicated that it willwithdraw from its role as one of the 22 primary dealers.
*Everbright Securities Co.Ltd. said it obtained approval from the China Securities RegulatoryCommission to issue up to 780 million shares in Hong Kong, Reuters reported.
*BDO Unibank Inc.said it signed amemorandum of understanding with Shizuoka Bank Ltd. to offer banking services tocorporate clients looking to expand in the Philippines.
*Overseas institutions' holdings of yuan denominated bonds jumped in June, asthey sought safer assets, taking advantage of wider access to China's financialmarkets, Reuters reported.Foreign firms increased their holdings by 40.09 billion yuan in June, comparedto 60.96 billion yuan for the whole of the first half. Analysts said, however,that such growth will not be sustained as the yuan is expected to depreciate.
*China's central bank said it lent 259 billion yuan to 13 financial institutionsvia its medium-term lending facility, Wallstreetcn.com reported.Interest rates were unchanged at 2.75% for 101 billion yuan of three-month MLFloans, 2.85% for 101.5 billion yuan of six-month loans and 3.0% for 56.5billion yuan of one-year loans.
*China's General Administration of Customs said that the country's overseastrade decreased 3.3% in the first half year over year to 11.13 trillion yuan,with exports down 2.1% and imports shrinking 4.7%, Xinhua News Agency reported.The trade surplus widened 5.9% to 1.67 trillion yuan.
*Moody's cut its estimate for Taiwan's economic growth to 0.5% for 2016 and to1.5% for next year, the island's Central News Agency reported. Moody'scited weak global demand, especially from China, and intense competition amongglobal makers of electronic products, a key industry for Taiwan.
*Taiwan's central bank said it sold NT$30 billion of two-year certificates ofdeposit at a record-low average rate of 0.413% amid ample liquidity, the Taipei Times reported.
*Taiwan's First Commercial BankCo. Ltd. lost about NT$70 million after hackers infiltrated itsATMs, Reuters reported, citing the Ministry of Justice's InvestigationBureau.
JAPAN AND KOREA
*Osaka Exchange Inc.will introduce a new high-speed derivative trading system, The Asahi Shimbun reported.Osaka Exchange was created in March 2013 as a unitspecializing in derivatives.
*The Investment Trusts Association of Japan said that outstanding publiclyoffered investment trusts shrank ¥5.1 trillion, or 6%, to ¥86.1 trillion at theend of June from a month ago, the biggest monthly drop since October 2008,Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.
*Mizuho Financial GroupInc. will transfer all of its pension AUM to a new asset managementunit named Asset Management One, which will start operations in October withabout 1,000 employees, The Nikkei reported.
*Mizuho Financial units and DIAMCo. Ltd., a joint venture with Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd., formally to combine their assetmanagement operations. The merger will take effect Oct. 1, subject to relevantapproval.
* Areintroduced bill to convert Korea Exchange into a holding company is opposedby some lawmakers taking issue with the proposed relocation of its headquartersto Busan from Seoul, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
*NongHyup Financial GroupInc. will close branches and implement other cost-cutting measuresas the company grapples with bad debt from shipbuilders and shipping companies,The Chosun Ilbo reported.
*Outstanding mortgages at South Korean banks hit an all-time high of 500.9trillion won at the end of June, TheChosun Ilbo reported,citing data from the Bank of Korea.
*Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. Ltd. picked a lead manager to sell its 85.3% stake inHI Investment & Securities Co. Ltd., TheChosun Ilbo reported.
*The president of Stock Exchange of Thailand said high-growth firms listed inthe country, especially those related to logistics and communication, tend tolure more foreign funds, the country's KrungthepTurakij reported.
*The Thai government will offer support for select low-income earners, Krungthep Turakij reported. Anyoneolder than 18 years who made less than 100,000 baht in 2015 can apply throughKrung Thai Bank PCL,Government SavingsBank and Bank forAgriculture & Agricultural Co-operatives.
*The president of Thailand's Federation of Accounting Professions said insurancecompanies have strong financial health, but they should set aside enough fundsagainst any future risks, Thailand's PostToday reported.
*Most Indonesian insurance companies can meet their government bond ownershiptarget in 2016 but are hoping for more incentives for purchasing sovereigndebt, Infobank reported.
*Some segments of the general insurance, led by health, saw a surge in premiumincome in the first five months of 2016, BisnisIndonesia reported.
*Standard Chartered BankIndonesia has appointed Rino "Donny" Donosepoetro as CEO,The Jakarta Post reported.
*Hanspeter Brunner, a former BSISA CEO for Asia, is suing the company, claiming it held his bonus, The Business Times , citing a Singapore High Courtdocument. The move came as Brunner, along with other bankers, faces scrutiny inSingapore over the private bank's ties with 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or1MDB, Malaysia's state investment firm embroiled in a money-laundering scandal.
*BDO Unibank said thePhilippines' Securities and Exchange Commission approved the merger of itsunits BDO Capital and Investment Corp., BDO Elite Savings Bank Inc. and BancoDe Oro Savings Bank Inc. BDO Capital will be the surviving entity after themerger.
*The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Clearing House Corp. signeda memorandum of agreement to introduce a system that cuts the number of daysrequired to clear checks to one day from three, The Philippine Star reported.It will be implemented Jan. 6, 2017.
*The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India said it orderedlife insurers in the country not to withhold or delay claim settlements evenwhen policyholders refuse to complete paperwork, the Press Trust of India reported.
*State Bank of Indiasigned a memorandum of understanding with Indian Institute of TechnologyBombay's Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to work with fintech startups,The Hindu Business Line reported.
*Chanda Kochhar, ICICI BankLtd.'s managing director and CEO, said an IPO of some of its sharesin its joint venture with U.K.-based Prudential Plc, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd., will take placein fiscal 2016-2017, the Press Trust of India reported.ICICI Bank's board in April approved plans to sell part of the lender's stake in theventure to the public.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
*Luci Ellis, head of financial stability at the Reserve Bank of Australia, saidregulators need to focus on lending standards as a safeguard against aproperty-market crash, The Australianreported.She also said borrowing costs will not likely rise notably even if Australialoses its AAA status, Ellis said.
*National Australia BankLtd.'s wealth unit, NAB Wealth, will a new A$70 billionsuperannuation fund, after consolidating several funds to facilitate the saleof an 80% stake in the bank's life insurance unit to Japan's , The Australianreported.
*John McDermott, assistant governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, said thecentral bank remains focused on "increasing our understanding of lowinflation" and is constantly reviewing its forecasts, The Business Times reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
MiddleEast & Africa: Iran talksdelayed; Liberty seeks Kenya expansion
Europe:Basel urged to avoiddisproportionate banking reforms; UniCredit raises €1B from sale of stakes in 2units
LatinAmerica: Brazil's central bankoutlines requirements for Bradesco following HSBC purchase
NorthAmerica: Horizon Bancorpacquiring CNB Bancorp in Indiana; Fed approves KeyCorp/First Niagaradeal
NorthAmerica Insurance: Illinoispushes for rehabilitation of health insurance co-op; IFS ratings are notcomparable
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah,Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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