*Export-Import Bank ofKorea issued NZ$350 million of bonds in New Zealand, its first everkauri bond issuance, Yonhap News Agency reported.
*Michael Ormaechea, Deutsche BankAG's CEO for Australia, said that Asia is a key region in thecompany's strategy to boost growth in profit and market share, The Australian reported.
*Shinhan Bank openedits first Australian branch in Sydney, the MaeilBusiness Newspaper reported.
*The Philippines will continue to seek Senate ratification of its participationin the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, The Philippine Star reported,citing Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. The development bank's lending ruleswill be unaffected by the recent arbitration decision in the South China Sea,the AIIB said.
*China's National Bureau of Statistics said that the country's economy grew 6.7%in the first half, unchanged from the three months ended March, the China Securities Journal reported.Economists expected China's economic growth to stay at 6.7% for 2016.
*Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that despite the country's continual downwardpressure, the government's debt ratio is still low while residents' depositratio remain high, Reuters reported.Li noted that many macro regulative tools are available and the main targetnumbers for 2016 are still achievable.
*Chinese banks handed out 7.53 trillion yuan of new loans in the first half, anincrease of 967.1 billion yuan from the prior-year period, the China Securities Journal reported.The country's new social financing stood at 9.75 trillion yuan in the firsthalf, increasing 961.8 billion yuan from the same period in 2015.
*The China Banking Regulatory Commission said that the total assets of thebanking industry increased by 15.6% year over year to 212.31 trillion yuan atthe end of June, Shanghai Securities Newsreported.Outstanding deposits went up 10.7% year over year to 150.59 trillion yuan whilethe balance of loans increased by 13% year over year to 106.69 trillion yuan.The CBRC also noted that commercial banks' nonperforming loan ratio stood at1.81%.
*China's national per capita disposable income stood at 11,889 yuan for thefirst half, a nominal yearly growth of 8.7%, and a real increase of 6.5% aftertaking consumer prices into consideration, Xinhua News Agency reported.
*Taiwan's Life Insurance Association said that bancassurance fees amount toabout 5% of an insurance policy in Taiwan, but Taiwan's financial regulatorsare planning to lower the figure to 3.5% to contain costs, the Taipei Times reported.Analysts said that the change is likely to benefit companies such as and Fubon Life Insurance Co.Ltd., as 59% and 38% of their life insurance products,respectively, are sold through bank channels.
JAPAN AND KOREA
*Japan's Financial Services Agency will allow banks to set flexible operatinghours by eliminating a rule that limits branch operations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,The Asahi Shimbun reported.Further, regional bank branches with limited customer foot traffic may beallowed to shorten their operating hours.
*The Japanese Bankers Association said that instant fund transfers between bankscan be made until 6 p.m. at 112 banks, or about 80% of all banks in thecountry, by 2018, The Asahi Shimbun reported.
*Mitsui Life Insurance Co.Ltd. will issue ¥80 billion of subordinated bonds to domesticinstitutional investors, Tokyo's TheNikkei reported.
*According to the Japanese Bankers Association, the number of bank branches inJapan stood at 12,000 at the end of March 2015, down 13% from March 2001, orbefore the country's three largest banks were established, The Nikkei reported.
*Mizuho Financial GroupInc. and SBI HoldingsInc. will jointly develop a system that can process internationalmoney transfers in a matter of seconds instead of days, The Nikkei reported.
*South Korea's legislature will seek an amendment of the law covering thecorporate governance of financial companies to prohibit political appointmentsfor top management, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
*KEB Hana Bank will collaboratewith Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on fintech development, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
*Individual savings account portability is set to begin July 18, allowinginvestors to switch between different providers without losing tax benefits, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
*KB Financial GroupInc. is looking to buy PT Bank Sinarmas Tbk, the Korea Economic Daily reported.KB Financial is playing catch-up with Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank, which have alreadyestablished their presence in Indonesia by acquiring local banks.
*KASIKORN Research said factors that should be monitored for the movement of thestock market during the week of July 18 include the operating profit of listedcompanies in Thailand for the second quarter as well as key economic figures ofthe U.S., the EU and Germany, Thailand's KrungthepTurakij reported.
*Nearly 80,000 people registered to receive financial assistance under the Thaigovernment's welfare scheme July 15, thefirst day of the registration, Thailand's PostToday reported.Registration can be made through three state-owned banks, namely , andBank for Agriculture &Agricultural Co-operatives. Meanwhile, about 7.3 million peopleregistered at banks across Thailand for the PromptPay system the same day.
* Post Today quoted sources inKrung Thai Bank as saying that only two candidates filed applications for thebank's president post as of July 15, the application deadline date. One is anexecutive vice president at Krung Thai Bank. The new president will replaceVorapak Tanyawong, who will complete his term Nov. 8.
*Thailand Post is now negotiating with up to six insurance companies to form analliance as it plans to introduce its own insurance product by 2017, Post Today reported.
*PT Bank Mayapada InternasionalTbk has lowered its prime lending rate by 25 basis points to 46 bpsacross its business segments, BisnisIndonesia reported.
* PTIndonesia Infrastructure Finance, a private nonbanking financial institutionunder the Finance Ministry, has cut its issuance of bonds by 25% to 1.5trillion Indonesian rupiah, The JakartaPost reported.
*CIMB Group HoldingsBhd. will be lowering its base rate by 20 basis points to 3.9% from4.1% per annum and its base lending rate to 6.75% from 6.95% per annum startingJuly 22, Malaysia's The Edge reported.
*Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said thePhilippine central bank is mulling possibilities to amend a regulation totighten supervision of foreign exchange dealers, money changers and remittanceagents, The Philippine Star reported.
*India's Ministry of Finance is expected to approve the first round of capital infusionfor state-owned banks in the country, the Press Trust of India reported,citing unnamed sources. The first tranche of capital infusion is unlikely toexceed 200 billion rupees, the sources said.
*Axis Bank Ltd.inaugurated an all-women branch in Kolkata, India, The Hindu Business Line reported.The branch is the first of its kind in the Indian state, the publication said.
*Samson David has left his role as a senior vice president and global head ofcloud, infrastructure and security at Infosys Ltd., India's Business Standard reported.He is set to join Hewlett Packard Enterprise as senior vice president forenterprise services delivery. A spokesperson for Hewlett Packard Enterpriseconfirmed the move.
* Bangladesh'sSonali Bank Ltd.signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S.-based to promotee-commerce in the country, The FinancialExpress reported,citing Dider Md. Abdur Rob, the bank's managing director and CEO. The agreementis aimed at allowing easier remittance inflow amid issues in receiving fundsthrough outsourcing, Dider said.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
*Banking analysts from CitigroupInc. said "investing in Australian major banks is set tochange profoundly," The AustralianFinancial Review reported.Australia's big banks will need to cut costs and exit businesses, such aswealth management and institutional banking, to prepare for the era of"utility banking" in the country, the analysts said.
*U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said theyare looking to negotiate setting up a free trade agreement at the G-20 summitin Hangzhou, China in September, Bloomberg News reported.
*Fred Ohlsson, Australia & NewZealand Banking Group Ltd.'s group executive for Australia, saidcompetition among banks to attract household deposits has ramped up, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah,Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
The Daily Dosehas an editorial deadline of 6:30 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links mayrequire a subscription.