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BoComm Life gets OK on wealth subsidiary; Pakistan raises key interest rate

GREATER CHINA

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission gave approval to BoCommLife Insurance Co. Ltd. to set up a wholly owned asset management subsidiary, Shanghai Securities News reports. The subsidiary is registered in Shanghai with a capital of 100 million yuan and will manage both yuan-denomintated and foreign currency assets.

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of 2.99 billion shares of PICC Property & Casualty Co. Ltd. from the Ministry of Finance to the National Council for Social Security Fund, 21st Century Business Herald reported.

* GF Securities Co. Ltd. said it will focus on the new science and technology sector for business expansion amid a favorable policy, Yicai reported. The company said it is now mainly reaching out to potential clients to be listed on the science and technology board in the Shanghai bourse.

* The Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan approved Mega International Investment Trust Co. Ltd.'s application to launch a securities investment trust built on China-listed shares in the consumer sector, China Times reported. The financial institution has six months to raise funds for the trust, with a minimum of NT$ 300 million to be raised within 30 days.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. plans to eliminate 180 domestic branches of MUFG Bank Ltd. by fiscal 2023, The Nikkei reported. MUFG Bank had 515 domestic branches at the end of March 2018.

* Musashino Bank Ltd. President Kikuo Kato will retire, and Kazumasa Norihori, senior managing director, will take over as the bank's new president, The Nikkei reported.

* South Korea's digital-only K Bank Co.Ltd. has no plan to reinstate three unsecured loan products discontinued in April, The Korea Economic Daily reported, citing industry sources. K Bank had difficulty replenishing its lending base with a large capital increase after regulators blocked telecommunications carrier KT Corp.'s plan to bulk up its stake in the bank.

ASEAN

* PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk said its subsidiary PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Agroniaga Tbk intends to issue up to 3 billion new shares with a nominal value of 100 rupiah with pre-emptive rights, to increase its issued and fully paid capital by around 14.06%, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

* PT Bank Victoria International Tbk increased its capital by 100 billion rupiah through a private placement with its shareholders, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

* Union Bank of the Philippines is looking to raise around 3 billion pesos through the issuance of three-year peso-denominated bonds under its 20-billion-peso bond program, BusinessWorld reported. The bonds carry a coupon of 6% per annum and will be issued June 3.

* Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shut down the operations of Rural Bank of Basey (Samar) Inc., Manila Standard reported. The central bank has so far closed five rural banks in 2019.

SOUTH ASIA

* ICICI Bank Ltd. agreed to buy a 9.9% stake in BSE Ltd. unit India International Exchange for up to 305 million Indian rupees. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

* Bangladesh-based Pubali Bank Ltd. appointed Azizul Huq chairman of the board, The Daily Star reported.

* The State Bank of Pakistan raised its policy rate by 150 basis points to 12.25% from 10.75%, effective May 21, citing inflationary pressures, recent currency depreciation and potential adjustments in utility tariffs.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australia-based Ensurance Ltd. disclosed that it is in advanced discussions with high-net-worth and strategic investors as part of its bid to raise more capital in the near future.

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. appointed Ken Adams as group general counsel to succeed Bob Santamaria, who will retire Sept. 30.

* New Zealand-based insurer Tower Ltd. reported a profit after tax of NZ$11.9 million for the half year ended March 31, compared to a loss of NZ$11.6 million in the prior-year period.

* The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is reviewing proposals that will require bank shareholders to increase their ownership in banks to absorb a greater share of losses should the bank fail. The central bank will publish a summary of the review in June and plans to make a final announcement by Nov. 30.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: UAE, Oman remain on EU tax haven blacklist; Saudi central bank fines 16 firms

Europe: Deutsche Bank in the news; Novo Banco posts loss; Carige gets extra time

Latin America: Guedes broaches Caixa privatization; Kirchner to seek Argentine vice presidency

North America: NYDFS conserves Municipal CU; Morgan Stanley buys stake in French asset manager

Global Insurance: Lloyd's syndicates fined; Goldman buying Aston Lark; Japanese insurers' earnings

Janna Estares, Emily Lai, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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