* British lawmakers approved a proposal that paves the way for "indicative votes" tomorrow on alternative options for the U.K.'s departure from the EU, effectively allowing lawmakers to seize control over what happens next.
* Meanwhile the European Union completed its preparations for a no-deal Brexit, with the European Commission saying it seems "increasingly likely" the U.K. will crash out of the bloc without a withdrawal agreement on April 12. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May admitted that her twice-defeated Brexit deal with the EU still lacks majority support to clear the House of Commons, warning that a no-deal Brexit remains the default path forward.
UK AND IRELAND
* U.S. payments firm Mastercard will invest £300 million in the IPO of Network International, a Dubai-based payments processor set to float in London, Reuters reported.
* Several large global banks, such as JPMorgan Chase and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, are powering ahead with their final arrangements to cope with any outcome related to Brexit, insiders told the Financial Times. RBS is preparing to serve clients at its EU base in Amsterdam. JPMorgan is trying to convince 300 London-based investment banking staff to sign new employment contracts binding them to leave the U.K. in the event of a no-deal Brexit, insiders told Bloomberg News.
* U.K.-based online property finance hub LendInvest Ltd. mandated Goldman Sachs Group and Barclays as joint global coordinators and BNP Paribas as bookrunner on its potential £500 million IPO, which could take place this year, sources told Sky News.
* British private equity firm Bridgepoint Advisers Ltd. will take majority control of U.S.-based cash-management company Kyriba Corp. in a $1.2 billion deal, insiders told Private Equity News.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Deutsche Bank AG's Qatari investors have raised concerns regarding the German lender's potential merger with local rival Commerzbank AG, as such a deal would dilute their holdings if Deutsche is forced to raise equity in a share sale to fund the transaction, insiders told Bloomberg News.
* Deutsche Bank's European investment head, Stephane Junod, will leave the German lender, which is revamping its investment advice for wealthy customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, finews.com reported, citing a memo. Junod, who is based in Switzerland, will be replaced by Tuan Huynh, Deutsche Bank's investment chief for the Asia-Pacific region.
* Berlin-based mobile bank N26 GmbH is set to launch in Switzerland in two to three months, finews.com wrote, citing a report by St. Galler Tagblatt. N26 had initially sought to roll out its services in Switzerland in March but was not yet ready for the move, according to founder and CEO Valentin Stalf. The bank is also preparing to launch in the U.S.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Amsterdam-based ABN Amro Group NV is planning to apply for a banking license in the U.S., where it aims to strengthen its presence despite downsizing by other European lenders, insiders told the Financial Times. The Dutch banking group will file an application with U.S. regulators as soon as it completes a definite process with local watchdogs in Europe and the Netherlands.
* CIAM, an activist investor in Scor SE, is calling on the French reinsurer's CEO, Denis Kessler, to step down from his role as chairman of the company after he rejected a takeover bid by SGAM Covéa, according to the Financial Times.
* AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. disclosed that the secondary public offering of 40 million of its common shares by French insurer Axa was completed at a public offering price of $20.50 per share. Following the offering and buyback, Axa's ownership in Axa Equitable decreased to 48.3% from 60.1%.
* Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. opened its indirect subsidiary MUFG Securities (Europe) NV in Amsterdam, along with its branch in Paris.
* Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. has partnered with French lender BNP Paribas SA and private equity firm Eurazeo SE to establish a fund that will invest between €1 billion and €1.5 billion in European companies seeking to expand in the Asian nation, the Financial Times reported.
* France-based insurance broker SPB has bought British online insurer Insurance2go for an undisclosed sum, making the U.K. the most important of its 16 foreign operations, Les Echos reported.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Spain's Mapfre SA said in its new strategic plan for the years 2019 to 2021 that it expects to reach €30 billion in revenue in 2021, with an average annual increase in premiums of 5% and a payout of between 50% and 65% of its benefits, wrote Europa Press.
ITALY AND GREECE
* U.S.-based fund managers Värde Partners Inc. and BlackRock Inc. intend to table separate offers for Italian lender Banca Carige SpA by the middle of next month, insiders told Reuters.
* Italian bad loan servicer Prelios SpA has begun due diligence on €10 billion of unlikely-to-pay loans in the portfolio of Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, of which €1 billion to €2 billion Intesa intends to sell and the remainder to keep on its books under the management of Prelios, said MF.
* Guber Banca, which is 33% owned by Värde Partners, has purchased nonperforming loans and underlying automotive and nautical assets from Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA worth €350 million, said MF.
* Italian bank Credito Emiliano SpA aims to sell some 500,000 property & casualty insurance policies this year and targets 60% growth in its total insurance premiums in the next three years, wrote MF.
* The board of Danske Andelskassers Bank A/S has rejected a takeover bid from fellow Danish bank Spar Nord Bank A/S, Børsen reported. The board said the offer is too low, and will lead to mass dismissals and closure of branches. Danske Andelskassers Bank also upgraded its expectations for 2019 and launched a new dividend policy corresponding to a payout of between 30% and 50% of the annual profit.
* Nasdaq Inc. unit Nasdaq AB extended the acceptance period for its offer to acquire all of the issued shares of Norwegian stock exchange operator Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA to April 30. Rival exchange Euronext NV, which is also looking to acquire Oslo Børs, previously extended its own acceptance period. Euronext continues to acquire shares in the firm in connection with its bid, Dagens Næringsliv reported, now owning at least 6.1% of the shares. Euronext's bid has been accepted by 50.5% of the shareholders, while Nasdaq's bid has been accepted by 35%.
* Israel-based trading platform eToro agreed to purchase Danish blockhain company Firmo for an undisclosed sum, according to Bloomberg News.
* The London Court of International Arbitration ordered Russian businessman Artem Avetisyan to drop his plans to seize control over Vostochny Bank, saying his attempts to acquire a further 10% of the bank, through a call option, violated arbitration agreements, the Financial Times wrote.
* An arbitration court in Moscow rejected the request of National Bank Trust PJSC to invalidate the transfer of 205 billion Russian rubles from Rost Bank to its unit Rost Investment, made by the former owners of Rost, news agency Prime reported. The transaction in question took place in 2017, before Rost Bank's bailout by the Russian central bank. At that time, Rost was controlled by B&N Bank's main shareholder Mikail Shishkhanov, who oversaw the financial recovery of the lender.
* As of March 1, there were over 8 million of retail borrowers in Russia with a payment-to-income ratio, measuring the portion of monthly income taken up by loan payments, exceeding 50%, Kommersant wrote, noting that the number has increased markedly compared with previous years.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: FWD completes insurer acquisition; Suncorp to sell general insurance business
Middle East & Africa: NBK launches French unit; Moody's affirms UAE; African Bank eyes digital push
Latin America: Mexican banks to scrap digital account fees; US levies sanctions against Bandes
North America: Turkish regulators probe JPMorgan; Citi fires 8 bankers in Hong Kong
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
Slow growth may prompt more Europe bank M&A, but Deutsche-C'bank is special case: European banks may respond to the slowing economy and weak profits with more consolidation, but a mooted tie-up between Deutsche and Commerzbank is not typical of a wider trend, panelists at an S&P Global Market Intelligence event said.
Turkish banks prepare for 'tough year' as recession, repricing mismatch bite: The lira's volatility is both a cause and a reflection of Turkey's woes, and in March the country also slipped into recession, piling further pressure on lenders facing higher funding costs, unfavorable pricing and increasing levels of toxic debt.
Look past Brexit uncertainty to long term, urges British Business Bank CEO : Keith Morgan said investors should be patient and think about opportunities over a 10 to 15-year period, adding that the U.K. economy has strong underlying fundamentals.
Ben Meggeson, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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