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Generali reacts to Intesa; Deutsche faces class action; Brexit news expected


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Generali reacts to Intesa; Deutsche faces class action; Brexit news expected

* EU regulators are considering testing the ability of banks to counter cyberattacks, Reuters reports.


* The U.K.'s Supreme Court will rule later today whether parliament or ministers have to vote before Prime Minister Theresa May can invoke Article 50 and begin the two-year Brexit process, Reuters writes. If she loses, May could publish a short piece of legislation that will give her the power to trigger Brexit by her self-imposed March-end deadline, and insiders said the government has already drafted four versions of the bill in preparation for the ruling, The Daily Telegraph writes.

* Gerry Cross, director of policy at the Central Bank of Ireland, said financial services firms seeking to relocate to the country post-Brexit must make sure that the management of the entity is also based in Ireland in order for them to obtain regulatory approval, The Irish Times writes.

* ECB Executive Board member Benoît Coeuré warned that it would be difficult for Britain to formulate a suitable framework that would allow euro-clearing in the U.K. post-Brexit, the Financial Times writes.

* Deutsche Bank analysts said KBC Group NV's €5 billion funding line for KBC Bank Ireland Plc likely means that the group will stay in the Irish market, The Irish Times writes. The group is set to announce a decision on the future of its Irish unit along with the publication of the Belgian group's 2016 financial results on Feb. 9.


* Deutsche Bank AG faces a class action after a U.S. judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit launched by investors, including BlackRock Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., for losses on RMBS, Reuters reports.

* HSH Nordbank AG initiated its sales process yesterday by inviting expressions of interest from potential buyers for at least 94.9% of the bank's shares, according to a statement issued by Citigroup, which has been mandated to manage the sales process. Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale is interested in acquiring a stake in the lender and will start a due diligence process, Reuters writes.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co. could relocate 2,500 jobs from London to Germany and Poland in the wake of Brexit, Puls Biznesu reports.

* The industrial insurance unit of Allianz Group, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE, is seeking regulatory approval to start operations in South Korea and China, and also plans to expand in the U.S., Börsen-Zeitung writes.

* Swiss Re Ltd. received approval from regulatory authorities to open a branch in India, which will start operations in Mumbai on Feb. 1 and has been licensed to sell nonlife, life and health reinsurance policies to local clients and brokers.

* Vontobel Holding AG entered the French market for structured investment products as part of its European expansion.

* A new study commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament ranks UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse Group AG first and second, respectively, in the top 20 ranking of international intermediaries involved in offshore tax-dodging scandals.

* UBS is also among the banks that have been ordered by a U.S. judge to hand over documents regarding an alleged manipulation of the ISDAfix benchmark rate, Law360 reports.

* At an extraordinary general meeting today, shareholders of Raiffeisen Bank International AG are expected to decide on a possible merger with Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG, writes Die Presse writes.

* Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, the wind-down entity of Westdeutsche Landesbank AG, sold its financial services subsidiary EAA Portfolio Advisers GmbH to London-based Mount Street Group LLP.


* There is a slim chance the Netherlands could leave the EU, but it would require right-wing politician Geert Wilders to win the country's general elections in March, De Telegraaf reports, citing a UBS study. Wilders' anti-EU party PVV is currently second in the polls, while a 2016 poll suggested 52% of all Dutch people wanted to remain in the EU and 40% were in favor of leaving.

* ABN AMRO Group NV has asked a New York court to help it investigate the disappearance of $313 million in collateral that were part of a loan provided by a group of banks to the bankrupt U.S. subsidiary of cocoa supplier Transmar Group, Het Financieele Dagblad reports, citing Bloomberg.


* CaixaBank SA and Banco Popular Español SA will book €110 million and about €229 million, respectively, in additional provisions to cover the costs of potential claims relating to interest-rate floors on mortgage contracts. Banco de Sabadell SA said it expects to take a one-time hit of up to €490 million from the EU court ruling, while Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA reiterated that it expects a hit of approximately €404 million on its full-year 2016 net attributable profit in relation to the issue.

* Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA unit BBVA Asset Management replaced President Paloma Piqueras with Luis Megías, Expansión writes.


* Generali bought voting rights equal to 3.01% of Intesa Sanpaolo SpA's capital in a defensive move after reports that the lender, backed by German insurer Allianz, is interested in buying the Italian insurance company, all dailies including Corriere della Sera write. Reuters also covers, as does the FT. In the coming days, Intesa could announce a share exchange offer to create Italy's largest company with a market capitalization of €62 billion in order to prevent Generali from falling into the hands of French insurer AXA, La Repubblica adds.

* A deal between Allianz and Generali would face several antitrust concerns, Bloomberg notes, while Il Messaggero writes that Italian market regulator Consob has started monitoring the share prices of Generali and Intesa Sanpaolo.

* Intesa's and Allianz's reported interest in Generali took its largest shareholder, Mediobanca SpA, by surprise, Il Sole 24 Ore reports.

* Meanwhile, at its board meeting on Wednesday, Generali will try to find a solution for the voluntary exit of CFO Alberto Minali, who is expected to be replaced by Luigi Lubelli while some of his responsibilities should be assigned to CEO Philippe Donnet, Il Sole 24 Ore writes. Reuters also covers.

* Once it has made an offer for CARIFE SpA, BPER Banca SpA could set its eyes on Credito Valtellinese SpA, Il Messaggero writes, noting that today there will be an extraordinary BPER board meeting to seal the CARIFE acquisition.

* National Bank of Greece SA and Eurobank Ergasias SA are planning to sell their respective Romanian subsidiaries, Banca Româneasca SA and Bancpost SA, by the end of January, Capital reports. It adds that Alpha Bank AE will most likely keep its Romanian unit but is expected to sell its Serbian subsidiary Alpha Bank Srbija a.d. Beograd, with AIK Banka a.d. Beograd reportedly interested.


* P/F BankNordik is delisting its shares from the Iceland stock exchange, Børsen reports. The bank said this is due to the "relatively low" trading volume of its shares on Nasdaq Iceland, as well as the termination of the bank's permanent business in Iceland. The delisting will happen as soon as possible, the bank said.

* An upcoming Transparency International report shows that Denmark is the least open country of 12 countries surveyed when it comes to giving the public insight into how the authorities combat money laundering, Finans reports.


* The Russian central bank and finance ministry want to increase minimum capital requirements for nonlife insurers to 225 million Russian rubles from 120 million rubles and for life insurers to 338 million rubles from 240 million rubles from July 2018, Vedomosti reports. Nonlife and life insurers will also be required to raise their minimum capital levels to 300 million rubles and 450 million rubles, respectively, by July 2019.

* Moody's believes that recommendations on foreign-currency-denominated mortgages recently published by Poland's Financial Stability Committee are credit positive for banks as they address related systemic risks without compromising the stability of the banking sector, Parkiet reports.

* The Polish banking sector is expected to post a net profit of 2.45 billion Polish zlotys for the fourth quarter of 2016, news agency PAP reports. The profit will be 45% higher year over year, but 7% lower quarter over quarter because of a 100 million zlotys cost incurred by the sector in relation to the collapse of a local cooperative bank.

* The committee of creditors who lost around $600 million following the bail-in of PAO KB Privatbank eurobonds after its nationalization filed a lawsuit to protect their rights, reports.

* JSC Nordea Bank completed the sale of its entire retail loan portfolio, worth 16 billion rubles, to PJSC Sovcombank, Vedomosti says. The sale is part of Nordea's strategy to curb retail ops in Russia and focus on corporate business.


Asia-Pacific: Fairfax Financial to sell Indian JV stake; Mizuho may move UK biz amid Brexit

Middle East & Africa: Mauritius PM passes baton to son; Ecobank loses deputy head

Latin America: Itaú delays CorpBanca Colombia deal; new chief at Venezuela's central bank

North America: Tenn. bank pays almost $2B for one in NC; UK's George Osborne joins BlackRock

North America Insurance: GOP governors voice concerns over ACA repeal; CMS denies extension to KanCare


Generali/Allianz deal would face political, regulatory hurdles: Allianz is reportedly eyeing up Generali for a merger, but there are massive impediments to a deal.

Basel IV in limbo as Europe digs in, world waits on Trump: Talks over overhauling global rules on calculating bank risk weights are stalling in the face of European resistance, and uncertainty about how Donald Trump will approach financial regulation.

Data Dispatch Europe: Investment banks upbeat as fixed income booms: Surging early-year debt markets means the focus is on FICC to deliver revenue growth for investment banks in the first part of the year at least, industry observers say.

David Hutter, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Thanasis Kakalis, Ali Kayalar, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Praxilla Trabattoni and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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