S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.
M&A news and updates
* Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd. completed the acquisition of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s wealth management and retail banking business in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia.
* PT Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk is reportedly exploring options for its stake in insurance unit PT Asuransi Adira Dinamika, which has drawn interest from European and Japanese insurers.
* Union Bank of the Philippines thrift banking arm City Savings Bank Inc. is in talks to acquire other rural lenders as part of its strategy to pursue expansion, as well as to enter and serve rural areas in the country. Separately, the bank agreed to acquire a majority stake in PETNET Inc., which has the largest Western Union agent network in the Philippines.
* RHB Investment Bank Bhd., a unit of Malaysia's RHB Bank Bhd., agreed to acquire the remaining 51% stake in Vietnam Securities Corp. which it does not own for 121.63 billion dong.
Regulatory, banking news in India
* An audit by India's central bank showed a discrepancy of 232 billion rupees in the amount of bad loans State Bank of India previously reported, highlighting the amount of hidden bad debt in the banking sector.
* The Indian government reportedly asked Punjab National Bank to conduct a forensic audit into why a 114-billion-rupees fraud remained uncovered from 2011 until now. The move comes after the bank detected US$1.77 billion worth of "fraudulent and unauthorized" transactions at one of its branches in Mumbai, India.
* Indian lender Bank of Baroda will exit from its operations in South Africa, amid a probe by local regulators into the bank's dealings with the politically connected Gupta family.
* India's central bank issued a revised framework for resolution of bad loans in the country's banking sector, which could push more large loan defaulters to bankruptcy courts. Under the revised guidelines, the central bank wants lenders to expedite the identification and resolution of bad loans.
* Meanwhile, Moody's said India's revised bad loan resolution framework is credit positive for banks as it provides a clear and time-bound process for resolving such loans.
More regulatory actions across Asia-Pacific
* The Philippine central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks by one percentage point to 19% to support a more market-based implementation of monetary policy.
* Nepal's central bank eased rules on the calculation of banks' core capital-cum-deposit ratio, or CCD ratio, to alleviate a shortage in funds that can be disbursed as loans.
* The Bank of Thailand banned banks from investing or trading in cryptocurrencies over concerns that such digital assets may be used for illegal activities.
* The central banks of Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand, in separate decisions, maintained their respective policy rates.
* State Bank of India, Bank of India and Central Bank of India reported net losses for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, while Bank of Baroda posted a year-over-year decline in net profit for the same quarter.
* Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ltd. and United Overseas Bank Ltd. reported year-over-year growth in their respective fourth-quarter net profits.
* Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.'s consolidated net income for 2017 increased 11.4% year over year to an aggregate of 4.3 billion Philippine pesos.
Moody's credit outlooks
* Moody's believes Hong Kong's plan to allow virtual banks to operate in the city is credit negative for smaller and midsize banks such as Dah Sing Banking Group Ltd. and Public Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd., which are more vulnerable to losing market share in customer deposits and lending owing to increased competition.
* Separately, the rating agency said Hana Financial Group Inc. unit KEB Hana Bank's launch of an open banking platform is credit positive since the new platform and the bank's partnership with external developers will allow the lender to attract new customers.
In other news
* Huishang Bank Corp. Ltd. decided to withdraw its application for its proposed IPO in Shanghai. The bank said it made the decision since further negotiations with certain directors and shareholders on certain matters are needed as per relevant rules.
* Chinese peer-to-peer lender Golden Bull Ltd cut the number of shares to be offered in its planned IPO to 1.5 million from 2 million. The company will apply to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol DNJR.
* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.'s banking units, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp., agreed to pay US$30 million to settle a private antitrust suit that accused the banks of conspiring to manipulate the yen LIBOR and Euroyen rates.
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