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Singapore fines StanChart; China, Hong Kong hike key rates

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.

Suits, probes and fines

* Singapore's central bank fined the Singapore units of Standard Chartered PLC, including Standard Chartered Bank - Singapore Branch, S$6.4 million over breaches of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing requirements.

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. is facing a civil suit in Guam for violating regulatory guidelines when it did not provide customers with important information in bank notices.

* Australia's banking royal commission has turned its attention to Westpac Banking Corp. for approving car loan applications with incomplete financial information and issuing loans that borrowers cannot repay.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia sold credit card insurance products to unqualified customers and understated the number of affected customers when it reported the incident to regulators in 2015, an inquiry into Australia's banking sector has found.

* Separately, CBA is facing a lawsuit over alleged discrimination in relation to its touchscreen electronic funds transfer machine.

* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service is investigating Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. over its governance structure and management transparency.

* India's Central Bureau of Investigation filed charges against six former officials of Canara Bank over allegations of cheating about 683.8 million rupees from the bank in 2013.

* China's central bank imposed fines aggregating 124.9 million yuan on China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd.'s Xiamen branch and Ping An Bank Co. Ltd. for violating rules on yuan-settlement accounts and payment services related to nonfinancial companies.

Policy and regulation

* China and Hong Kong raised their respective key rates after a similar move by the U.S. Federal Reserve on March 21.

* China is allowing foreign investors to access its payments market as part of efforts to further open up the financial sector.

* China's banking regulator issued draft rules covering data governance at banks to strengthen risk management.

* State Bank of Vietnam issued tighter banking supervision guidelines that enable it to take early intervention measures against weak credit institutions.

* The central banks of New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines kept their respective policy rates unchanged.

Deal news

* National Australia Bank Ltd. reportedly held preliminary discussions with Japan's Nippon Life Insurance Co. about a possible stake sale or outright acquisition of its funds management business.

* PT Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk's shareholders approved Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.'s proposed acquisition of the Indonesian lender's shares.

* Manila-based Producers Savings Bank Corp. acquired two rural lenders, Bangko Rural ng Pasacao (Camarines Sur) Inc. and Bangko Rural ng Magarao (Camarines Sur) Inc.

* ICICI Bank Ltd. raised its stake in Clearing Corp. of India Ltd. to 9.9% after acquiring 2.2 million equity shares.


* Bank of Zhengzhou Co. Ltd. is looking to further extend the validity period of its planned IPO in China to Sept. 26, 2019.

* India-based Bandhan Bank Ltd.'s IPO was 14.63× oversubscribed on the last day of the bidding process, data from the National Stock Exchange of India showed.

* Indian mortgage lender AAVAS Financiers Ltd. is reportedly considering conducting an IPO and has begun discussions with investment banks for the offering.

In other news

* Mizuho Financial Group Inc. plans to tie up with Japanese regional bank Shizuoka Bank Ltd., which has close ties with domestic rival Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

* Chinese financial regulators' recently announced policy to develop new debt instruments for capital and loss-absorbing capacity is credit positive for commercial banks, their depositors and senior creditors, Moody's said.

* The planned stock rights offerings of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. are credit positive for the banks, Moody’s said in two separate assessments.

* Pakistan-based Habib Bank Ltd.'s net profit for 2017 plunged year over year to 7.83 billion rupees from 34.07 billion rupees, dragged down by payments made to New York regulators to settle a case involving the bank's noncompliance with local anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing laws.

* India's Allahabad Bank obtained regulatory approval to merge investment banking unit AllBank Finance Ltd. with itself.

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