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Munich Re Q2 profit drops 25%; Vantiv, Worldpay reach deal; Ageas Q2 profit down

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Munich Re Q2 profit drops 25%; Vantiv, Worldpay reach deal; Ageas Q2 profit down

UK AND IRELAND

* Legal & General Group Plc reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of the company under International Financial Reporting Standards of £946 million, compared to £668 million a year ago. EPS for the period amounted to 15.88 pence, up from 11.23 pence a year earlier.

* U.S.-based Vantiv Inc. today reached an agreement with British payments firm Worldpay Group plc on the terms of a recommended merger of Worldpay with Vantiv and Vantiv UK Ltd. Under the terms of the merger, Worldpay shareholders will receive 55 pence in cash and 0.0672 of a new Vantiv share for each Worldpay share held. Following deal completion, Worldpay shareholders and Vantiv shareholders will respectively own approximately 43% and 57% of the combined company, which will be named Worldpay.

* Irish authorities have seen a drop in the level and intensity of inquiries from finance companies looking to establish operations in Dublin as firms scale back Brexit planning in hopes of a softer exit from the EU, after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May lost her majority in the June general election, an insider told Bloomberg News. Central Bank of Ireland data also showed that banks did not make any formal applications in the first half to set up operations in Dublin.

* A unit of U.S.-based investment bank Morgan Stanley has acquired Permanent TSB Group Holdings Plc shares after a slump in the latter's stocks, emerging as a 5% stakeholder in the Irish lender, according to The Irish Times.

* U.K.-based online payment services provider FairFX Group Plc yesterday announced its proposed acquisition of digital banking services provider CardOne for a consideration of £15.0 million, as well as a fundraising of up to approximately £26.0 million through a conditional placing and open offer. The acquisition and placing are subject to shareholder approval at an Aug. 24 general meeting.

* HSBC Holdings Plc plans to increase the number of employees at its Saudi Arabian operations as it seeks to take advantage of opportunities presented by the country's "unprecedented" planned economic transformation to end its reliance on oil exports, Reuters reported.

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc CEO Ross McEwan said bank customers should have to take responsibility for bank fraud if they hand out their account details, or money, to scammers, the Daily Mail reported.

* Virtu Financial Inc. has closed Virtu KCG Holdings LLC's London proprietary trading businesses, which it only recently acquired, as it looks to trim operations amid what CEO Douglas Cifu called a "terrible environment for market makers."

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Munich Re reported second-quarter consolidated profit attributable to equity holders of €729 million under International Financial Reporting Standards, down 25.1% from the restated €974 million in the year-ago period.

* In an interview with Hessischer Rundfunk cited by Finews.com, Deutsche Bank AG CEO John Cryan said the lender would continue to expand abroad while remaining integral to Germany, adding that to support German clients in their global expansion efforts, it has to be active in important financial centers, including developing countries and "especially in China."

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* ABN AMRO Group NV reported second-quarter profit attributable to owners of the company of €938 million, up from the year-ago €380 million. First-half attributable profit rose year over year to €1.54 billion from €843 million.

* Ageas SA/NV reported a second-quarter net result attributable to shareholders of €173.4 million, down 69% from €566.1 million in the year-ago period. For the first half, the company reported a net attributable result of €283.6 million, compared to the year-ago attributable loss of €67.2 million. Ageas also launched a €200 million share buyback program of its outstanding common stock.

* AEGON NV agreed to sell independent financial advisory group Unirobe Meeùs Groep BV to Aon Plc unit Aon Groep Nederland BV for €295 million, subject to works council advice and normal regulatory approvals. The sale is expected to complete in the fourth quarter.

* Euronext NV signed an agreement to continue receiving derivatives clearing services from the French unit of LCH Group Holdings Ltd. for another 10 years, with the deal expected to complete in the fourth quarter. Euronext had previously said it would switch to Intercontinental Exchange Inc. for clearing when its LCH contract expires in 2018. Euronext will have to pay ICE an undisclosed fee for the deal termination, Reuters reported.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Banco Santander SA is selling 51% of new unit Banco Popular Español SA's real estate portfolio to Blackstone Group LP fund Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V. Under the deal, Banco Popular will transfer assets with a gross book value of about €30 billion and 100% of its real estate management company, Aliseda, to a newly created company, which will be 51% owned by Blackstone and 49% owned by Banco Popular. The assets will no longer be consolidated on Popular's balance sheet.

* The European Commission on Tuesday cleared Banco Santander's acquisition of Banco Popular Español, which took place earlier this year, Expansión wrote.

* Liberbank SA agreed to sell its real estate subsidiary Mihabitans to Cerberus Capital Management LP unit Promontoria Holding, which owns real estate management company Haya Real Estate, for €85 million.

ITALY AND GREECE

* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA is expected to reach an agreement within weeks to acquire Swiss private bank Banque Morval SA for €150 million to €200 million, Il Sole 24 Ore said, adding that it intends to transfer the current Morval Vonwiller Holding SA subsidiary to its Fideuram SpA unit.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Sampo Oyj reported second-quarter group profit of €375 million, down 11% from the year-ago €421 million. For the first half, group profit declined on a yearly basis to €753 million from €783 million.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank launched a tender for the sale of 35 billion Russian rubles worth of overdue retail loans, Kommersant reported. Potential buyers were given only five days to collect documents, evaluate the portfolio and submit bids to participate in the tender, which suggests that the bank wants to quickly sell the loans and get liquidity, the newspaper noted.

* Russia-based Renaissance Insurance Group Ltd. and non-state pension fund Blagosostoyanie applied with Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service to receive preliminary consent for an upcoming merger of their insurance assets, Vedomosti said.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Mitsubishi UFJ arm eyes acquisitions; Mirae Asset to infuse capital into US unit

Middle East & Africa: Incumbent takes lead in Kenya election; Qatar Insurance unit to launch IPO

Latin America: Generali sells Panama unit; Caixa to launch new mortgage line

North America: 2 Ohio-based banks merging; CFPB rolls out prototypes for overdraft disclosures

North America Insurance: Health insurers look to grow Medicare Advantage biz; Cigna ups '17 outlook

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David Hutter, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Thanasis Kakalis, Ali Kayalar, Heather O'Brian, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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