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Crédit Agricole sees Q4 profit hit; UniCredit exits Pekao; BBVA eyes job cuts

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MediaTalk | Season 2
Ep.1: Broadcast's Big Year


Global M&A by the Numbers Q4 2023

Crédit Agricole sees Q4 profit hit; UniCredit exits Pekao; BBVA eyes job cuts

* EU lawmakers reached an agreement on a proposed classification system for green financing after striking a compromise on the definitions of nuclear and gas investments. The bloc hopes the proposed taxonomy of green investments will play a major role in unlocking the €175 billion to €290 billion in private investment needed annually to make the EU economy carbon neutral by 2050.

* The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority's stress test, which included environmental, social and governance factors for the first time, found that 30% of pension firms have processes to manage ESG risks. The test also found that only 19% of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provisions, or IORPs, assess the effect of ESG factors on the risk and return of investments.

* A total of 13 global lenders and financial institutions agreed to pay a combined $337 million to settle an investor lawsuit over alleged manipulation of prices for bonds issued by U.S. government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Reuters reported. Barclays PLC will pay $87 million, while the other 12 banks, including BNP Paribas SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings PLC, Société Générale SA and UBS Group AG will pay a combined $250 million.


* S&P Global Ratings revised the outlook on the U.K. to stable from negative, and Fitch Ratings removed the country from Rating Watch Negative, following a general election that gave the ruling Conservative Party its greatest parliamentary majority since 1987. S&P Global Ratings also revised the outlook on the Bank of England's AA long-term issuer credit rating to stable from negative, while Fitch affirmed the central bank's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at AA and removed it from Rating Watch Negative.

* Metro Bank PLC founder and former Chairman Vernon Hill stepped down from his role as a nonexecutive director on the bank's board, effective Dec. 17.

* Standard Chartered PLC will increase its target for financing and facilitating of clean technology and renewables to $35 billion by 2025. Additionally, the British lender noted that it will only fund clients that actively transition their business to generate less than 10% of earnings from thermal coal by 2030.

* U.K.-based AA PLC, which provides roadside recovery services and insurance products, appointed Kevin Dangerfield as CFO, subject to regulatory approval.


* ECB supervisory head Andrea Enria said Deutsche Bank AG has had issues with its business model's viability, and the market perception around its long-term viability, but has begun getting a grip on it in more recent times, Bloomberg News reported.

* Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, or Helaba, is bracing for a major restructuring that would include a "noticeable reduction in personnel," Handelsblatt noted. Cuts in the top management include Christian Schneider, head of lending business and alliance services, who will leave the bank Dec. 31. Helaba will also intensify its cooperation with DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale to look for synergies that might eventually lead to the creation of a new central savings bank.

* Volksbank Bad Oeynhausen-Herford eG and Volksbank Mindener Land eG agreed on a merger, Börsen-Zeitung wrote.

* Comdirect bank AG CEO Arno Walter resigned from his post and will move to parent company Commerzbank AG as head of the wealth management and corporate clients unit. He will be succeeded by Frauke Hegemann, currently COO and head of human resources at Comdirect.

* The regional court in Wiesbaden opened the main proceedings against lawyer Hanno Berger, a key figure in the German cum-ex-dividend scandal, and five former dealers at UniCredit Bank AG, or HypoVereinsbank, over serious tax evasion with estimated damages for tax authorities of more than €100 million.

* German financial supervisory authority BaFin wants to withdraw the license for banking and financial services of Munich-based vPE WertpapierhandelsBank AG, Handelsblatt wrote, without citing reasons.

* Credit Suisse said it will conduct an internal and external review of its business practices following a recent report by Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung suggesting that another senior executive of the Swiss bank was followed by private investigators in February, according to the Financial Times.

* Erste Group Bank AG took a 22% stake in Czech fintech startup Dateio s.r.o.

* German asset management firm Lloyd Fonds AG successfully placed a capital increase of €8 million and will now complete the planned takeover and integration of SPSW Capital GmbH. Achim Plate, chairman of the supervisory board, has been named the company's new CEO, effective Jan.1, 2020.


* France's Crédit Agricole SA said it will book a roughly €600 million impairment charge on the goodwill recognized on retail unit LCL in the fourth quarter. The charge will directly affect net income group share, although the lender noted that it would not affect either the solvency or liquidity of itself or Crédit Agricole Group.

* After four years of investigation, French markets watchdog AMF closed the Casino-Muddy Waters case, Les Echos and L'Agefi wrote. The institution decided not to sue either short seller Muddy Waters or the group led by Jean-Charles Naouri.

* Filip Dierckx, a former top executive at BNP Paribas Fortis SA, is "in pole position" to succeed the outgoing Jos Clijsters as chairman of Belgian state-owned Belfius bank, De Tijd reported.

* Dutch online payments giant Adyen NV has appointed its general counsel, Mariëtte Swart, as the company's first chief legal and compliance officer, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. Swart, who played a key role in securing a banking licence for Adyen as well as its successful IPO, will start her new job next year.


* Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is mulling potential job cuts as it seeks to cut costs amid the low interest rate environment, Expansión reported.


* Italian Treasury Undersecretary Alessio Villarosa of the ruling 5-Star Movement party said the government must compensate investors who would lose their money due to the rescue of Banca Popolare di Bari SCpA, Reuters reported.

* Intrum AB (publ) has presented the single binding offer for Cerved Credit Management Group S.r.l. by yesterday's deadline and is said to have valued its bad loan management platform at about €300 million, Il Sole 24 Ore wrote. The newspaper added that the deadline for presenting offers could still be extended slightly to give Credito Fondiario SpA or other investors time to present an offer.

* Iccrea Banca SpA concluded a securitization deal for a gross €1.3 billion in nonperforming loans belonging to 68 cooperative banks under the fold of the Gruppo Bancario Cooperativo Iccrea holding company, said MF. The transaction is backed by a state guarantee.


* Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB said the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority has launched a sanction evaluation process regarding the internal control and governance functions of its subsidiary banks in the Baltic regions. The Swedish lender noted that it has not received the regulator's preliminary assessment that led to the evaluation.

* Danish investment bank Saxo Bank A/S signed a deal with Geely Sweden Holdings Ab, a unit of China's largest privately-owned carmaker, Zhejiang Geely Automobile Co. Ltd., to set up a joint venture to offer financial and regulatory technology solutions to Chinese financial institutions.

* Nordea Bank Abp named Sara Mella head of personal banking, Christina Gadeberg head of group people and Erik Ekman head of group business support as part of an organizational and management restructure to boost income growth initiatives and optimize operational efficiency.

* Danish financial regulator Finanstilsynet gave insurance company Topdanmark A/S several injunctions, including requiring it to explain how its investment strategy ensures that the best interests of customers are safeguarded, Finanswatch reported.


* Bank Pekao SA said Italian lender UniCredit SpA divested its entire 6.26% stake in it and now holds 0% of the voting rights in the Polish bank.

* Several banks are expected to submit initial offers for Commerzbank's Polish subsidiary mBank SA by the middle of next month, insiders told Reuters.

* Russian officials are in discussions regarding the transfer of the central bank's stake in local lender PAO Sberbank of Russia to another state-owned entity due to growing concerns about the regulator's dual roles as owner and supervisor of the bank, insiders told Reuters. Meanwhile, the central bank said current regulations prevent the sale of its holding in Sberbank to any other institution.

* AIK Banka a.d. Beograd, Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d. and Raiffeisen Bank International AG filed binding bids for the Serbian state's 83.23% stake in Komercijalna banka a.d. Beograd, SEENews reported.

* Russia's central bank said it is considering introducing from July 1, 2020, higher risk coefficients for banks on mortgage loans issued to borrowers with high debt burden.

* The Russian central bank published a voluntary ethics code setting professional standards for local financial analysts, Reuters reported, noting that the move raised concerns among local market players, which interpreted it as a potential attempt to overregulate the market.

* The Association of Lithuanian Banks asked the country's president to veto the parliament's decision increasing the corporate tax paid on banks' profits exceeding €2 million to 20% from 2020, Rzeczpospolita said. Currently, all legal entities operating in Lithuania, including banks, pay a 15% corporate tax.


Asia-Pacific: ANZ New Zealand names CEO; China to increase fintech regulation

Middle East & Africa: Tel Aviv bourse looking to boost liquidity; Morocco's central bank holds rate

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


Italy at odds with Germany over proposal to close sovereign bond 'doom loop': Italy is on a collision course with Germany over the latter's proposal to risk-weight European banks' holdings of sovereign bonds, which Germany sees as a key stepping stone to full banking union across the EU.

EU nod on NordLB recapitalization to clear way for Popolare di Bari rescue: Italy has approved a €900 million state-backed recapitalization of troubled cooperative bank Popolare di Bari and does not expect any objections from the European Commission, which recently approved a similar transaction for German lender NordLB.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.