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ANZ New Zealand names CEO; China to increase fintech regulation

GREATER CHINA

* Denmark-based Saxo Bank A/S and China-based majority stakeholder Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. will set up a 50-50 joint venture in China, which will offer the Danish bank's financial and regulatory technology solutions to Chinese financial firms, the Financial Times reported, citing Saxo Bank CEO Kim Fournais. The lender is looking to eventually secure a banking license in the Asian country.

* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA received a fund distribution license in China, China Daily reported, citing Carlo Messina, CEO of the Italian bank. The lender will offer funds sale services through wholly owned unit Yi Tsai in Qingdao, Shandong province, where it completed a pilot project, with plans to expand to other regions in the country.

* China's financial regulators will increase regulation for financial technology companies to protect investors and contain systemic risk, People's Bank of China Vice Governor Pan Gongsheng said in a speech in Beijing, China Daily reported. The regulators will work on an online financial risk supervision mechanism to improve the disposal ability of cross-market risks, he noted.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* USEN-NEXT HOLDINGS Co.Ltd. and Shinsei Bank Ltd. are expected to establish a new financial services venture as early as January 2020, seeking market opportunities in restaurants and small businesses that have had less financing with banks, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The two companies will invest ¥200 million each in USEN-NEXT Financial, where USEN-NEXT will hold 51%, while Shinsei Bank will hold 49% in voting rights.

* More troubled Japanese regional banks are taking credit risks amid a persistent low-yield environment, Bloomberg News reported, citing its survey on first-tier regional banks in major regional cities. Ryoji Yoshizawa, senior director at S&P Global Ratings, said regional banks would have to take more risks to compensate under the current low-yield environment as they face declining profitability, while Shunsaku Sato, a senior credit officer at Moody's, said the banks are more vulnerable to losses as their high-risk investment assets have grown.

* Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. is issuing ¥200 billion of domestic subordinated unsecured bonds which will mature Dec. 24, 2079. The bonds will have a fixed rate of 0.96% per annum until Dec. 24, 2029, and a floating rate with step-up from the next day.

* Eun Sung-soo, chairman of South Korea's Financial Services Commission, said the authority will foster an open and flexible regulatory environment for financial technology companies and initiatives by lowering barriers, The Korea Times reported.

* Japan's Financial Services Agency is considering a ban on the sale of insurance products by Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd. subsidiaries Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. and JAPAN POST Co. Ltd., The Japan Times reported, citing sources close to the matter. The ban could be announced before the year ends.

ASEAN

* Japanese insurer Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. agreed to acquire more than 41.4 million shares of Vietnamese insurance group Bao Viet Holdings, raising the former's stake in the latter to 22.09% of its capital, Viet Nam News reported. Bao Viet will use the proceeds to increase capital for its member units, supplement working capital and invest in infrastructure.

* Ten local banks in the Philippines received funds from Australian lender Westpac Banking Corp. through Bank of the Philippine Islands, which served as the only entry point for the funds, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier told BusinessWorld. The central bank is conducting a review of the matter to determine if any regulatory action is warranted.

* AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd. is setting up a program under which it will issue senior and subordinated Shariah-compliant bonds of up to 2 billion Malaysian ringgit, Bernama reported. CIMB Investment Bank Bhd. and Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd. are the joint principal advisers and joint lead arrangers for the program, while CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd. was appointed a Shariah adviser.

* The Bank of Thailand is in talks with financial institutions to introduce a refinancing scheme that would offer commercial loans to small and midsize enterprises, Bangkok Post reported, quoting Ronadol Numnonda, the central bank's deputy governor for financial institutions stability. The scheme may launch in the first quarter of 2020 and with interest rates of 7% to 12%.

SOUTH ASIA

* The Reserve Bank of India is gradually increasing regulation for nonbank financial firms, including mandating the appointment of chief risk officers and having liquidity coverage ratios that could address any mismatch between assets and liabilities, Shaktikanta Das, the central bank's governor, told Mint in an interview. The regulator is treading carefully in increasing rules to avoid jeopardizing the recovery of such firms, he added.

* India's banks received 54 billion rupees from the bankruptcy proceedings of Prayagraj Power Generation Company Ltd., Bloomberg News reported, citing sources. The banks are set to receive further payments from the resolution of Essar Steel India Ltd., Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. and RattanIndia Power Ltd. The final payout could amount to 540 billion rupees, the report quoted Karthik Srinivasan, group head of financial sector at ICRA Ratings.

* State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar said it is considering publicly listing its asset management arm before it conducts an IPO for SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd., which could take three years as it reaches a 500 billion valuation, Press Trust of India reported.

* India's Securities Appellate Tribunal refused relief to Axis Bank Ltd., ruling that it was not in a position to verify the information Karvy Stock Broking Ltd. supplied to the lender and instead told it to apply to the Securities and Exchange Board of India, Business Standard reported. The lender had approached the tribunal seeking to unfreeze the shares pledged by Karvy Stock Broking.

* Bangladesh's Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority called an emergency meeting of stakeholders, chairpersons and CEOs of 28 insurance companies along with representatives from its financial institutions division over the insurers' failure to go public, as required by finance ministry directives, The Financial Express reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office filed criminal charges in relation to CBL Insurance Ltd. and associated entities following an investigation by the office and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Further, The New Zealand Herald reported that the Financial Markets Authority filed two separate civil cases relating to disclosure breaches against parent group CBL Corp. Ltd., six directors and its former CFO.

* ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd.'s board appointed Antonia Watson its CEO, succeeding David Hisco. Watson was previously managing director of the lender's retail and business banking divisions and has been its acting CEO since May.

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. identified 3.4 million customers that it overcharged, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott said at the lender's annual general meeting, The Australian Financial Review reported. He added that the bank had recompensed over 1 million of these clients.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: NCB, Riyad Bank drop merger talks; Groupe BPCE to sell stake in Tunisian bank

Europe: Big UK banks pass stress test; UBS to revamp unit; UniCredit off-loads bad loans

Latin America: Brazil's Banco Postal shuts down; S&P cuts Bolivia's outlook

North America: Goldman forms investments group; more auditor independence rule changes may come

Global Insurance: ACA enrollment extension; P&C outlook; Ireland motor premiums

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

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