* Prudential Plc has begun the process of selling Vietnamese consumer finance business Prudential Vietnam Finance Co., Reuters reported, citing "people familiar with the matter." The unit, which offers mortgages and personal loans, has roughly 300,000 customers and could fetch a sale price of US$150 million, according to the report.
* The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of Thailand are considering linking their respective national digital payment systems, forming a regional alliance and reducing the use of cash, Bloomberg News reported, citing Naphongthawat Phothikit, the Thai central bank's director of payment systems policy.
* Bangladesh signed a US$4.5 billion line of credit agreement with India, Dhaka Tribune reported. This is the third such agreement between the two South Asian countries.
* Saitama Resona Bank Ltd. formed a business partnership with Bank of the West, a Calif.-based regional bank, to support Japanese companies expanding to the U.S., The Nikkei reported. The deal is Saitama Resona Bank's first collaboration with a U.S. bank.
* The World Bank raised its forecast for China's economic growth in 2017 to 6.7% from a previous forecast of 6.5%, China News Agency reported. The World Bank also upped its forecast for the East Asia and Pacific region to 6.4% for 2017 and 6.2% for 2018.
* Private funds registered with the Asset Management Association of China stood at 10.21 trillion Chinese yuan as of the end of August, Xinhua News Agency reported. There are 20,700 private fund management firms and 60,700 private funds on record with the association.
* Taiwanese banks' branches in China posted a total of about NT$2.31 billion in profit from January to August, compared with NT$470 million in the prior-year period, the island's Liberty Times reported. The total pretax profits of Taiwanese banks stood at NT$220.15 billion during the period, up 2.7% year over year.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Monex Group Inc. will team up with the Japanese unit of BlackRock Inc. to offer a robo-adviser service to retail asset management customers in Japan, The Nikkei reported.
* Aomori Bank Ltd. will raise up to ¥11.6 billion through an issuance of 3 million new shares in October, The Nikkei reported.
* Growing commitment from Japanese insurers toward their overseas units and expansion has led Moody's Japan K.K. to upgrade the insurance financial strength ratings of the main operating entities of four Japanese insurers' overseas subsidiaries between August and October.
* South Korean banks are diversifying their advisory businesses to meet customer demand, The Chosun Ilbo reported. Industrial Bank of Korea plans to offer startup mentoring, while Woori Bank will provide franchise business consulting.
* Kostaman Thayib, president director of PT Bank Mega Tbk, said the bank plans to boost low-cost funds to a 35% share by the end of 2017, Bisnis Indonesia reported.
* PT Astra Sedaya Finance has started the initial bid process for 1.8 trillion Indonesian rupiah worth of bonds to be issued in early November to support the company's working capital, Bisnis Indonesia reported.
* CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. said it has received all requisite approvals to close its Bahrain-based unit, CIMB Middle East BSC (C).
* Vietnam Asset Management Co. has collected about 25 trillion Vietnamese dong of bad debts since January, pushing the total collection of such debts to 260 trillion dong, Nhan Dan reported, citing VAMC Chairman Nguyen Tien Dong. The company expects to collect bad debts between 35 trillion dong and 40 trillion dong for the whole of 2017.
* Al Alamanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines, the country's sole Islamic bank, is urging the government to inject 2 billion Philippine pesos and raise its chartered authorized capital stock to 10 billion pesos in order to return to profitability, Rappler reported.
* State Bank of India said Rajnish Kumar was appointed as the lender's new chairman by the Indian government. He replaces Arundhati Bhattacharya, who will step down as chairman Oct. 6, after completing her one-year extended term as chairman, the Press Trust of India reported.
* India's central bank issued guidelines for nonbank finance companies operating peer-to-peer lending platforms, restricting the maturity of loans to a maximum of 36 months, the Business Standard reported. The central bank also limited individuals to lending or borrowing a maximum of 1 million rupees across all P2P platforms.
* ICICI Bank Ltd. raised 4.75 billion Indian rupees through an allotment of Basel III-compliant Additional Tier 1 bonds on a private placement basis. The unsecured subordinated perpetual bonds bear a coupon of 8.55% per year and were allotted Oct. 4.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* New Zealand's Employment Relations Authority decided that global insurer Allianz Group's local arm was justified in dismissing former CEO Eugene Elisara for failing to comply with underwriting guidelines, NZ Herald reported.
* Australian consumer group Choice is calling for a ban on school banking schemes, including Dollarmites accounts by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, alleging that lenders offer "kickbacks" to schools to promote their products to children, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. CBA responded that it would revise the commission structure for the schools.
* About one-third of interest-only mortgage holders may not fully understand that the monthly payments on their loans increase by up to 60%, which could cause "substantial" stress to customers, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing UBS analysts.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: UAE banks intensify talks about Qatar exposures; Moody's reviewing Kenya
Europe: UBS CEO expects huge job cuts; ECB drafts new NPL rules; Orange Bank to launch
Latin America: Banco de Costa Rica chair suspended; Banco do Brasil assumes Banco Postal costs
North America: Despite breach, Equifax bags $7.3M IRS contract; ex-CEO to face Senate panel
North America Insurance: Maria losses in Puerto Rico may exceed Harvey, Irma; $29B in disaster aid sought
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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