* U.S. payments processor giant Mastercard Inc. is buying the majority of the corporate service businesses of European payments technology company Nets A/S for €2.85 billion. The deal, which is expected to to close in the first half of 2020, includes Nets' clearing and instant payment services and e-billing solutions and excludes its e-identification and digitization services. Mastercard expects the deal to be dilutive for up to 24 months after closing, primarily related to purchase accounting and integration-related costs.
UK AND IRELAND
* A group of 24 politicians in the U.K. filed a legal action at Scotland's highest court to prevent New Prime Minister Boris Johnson from closing the parliament in the run-up to the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain to leave the EU, BBC News reported. There has been speculations that Johnson might shut down parliament to force a no-deal Brexit, and the group argues that this would be unlawful.
* Outgoing Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC CEO Ross McEwan said the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal will cause a little bit of "pain and anguish" in the medium term, backing warnings by the Bank of England on the impact of no-deal Brexit, the Financial Times reported.
* U.K. insurer Legal & General Group PLC's first-half profit after tax attributable to equity holders came in at £874 million, up year over year from £771 million. The group will pay an interim dividend of 4.93 pence per share for the period, compared to 4.60 pence per share a year ago.
* British asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen PLC reported first-half IFRS profit attributable to equity shareholders of £661 million, up from £185 million in the year-ago period. As of June 30, Standard Life Aberdeen's assets under management and administration stood at £577.5 billion, up from £551.5 billion at 2018-end.
* HSBC Holdings PLC will appoint Nicolas Moreau as CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management, Sky News reported. Moreau, who replaces Sridhar Chandrasekharan, was previously CEO of DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA, the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank AG.
* The HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme has closed a longevity swap transaction with Prudential Financial Inc. subsidiary Prudential Insurance Co. of America to manage risk connected to £7 billion in pensioner liabilities. The transaction is the second-largest deal ever for a U.K. pension scheme.
* U.K.-based TP Icap PLC is likely to move 60 brokers from London to hubs such as Paris and Frankfurt in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Bloomberg News reported. The company's energy and commodities unit, meanwhile, entered into a joint venture with Enmore Investment Group in China, Reuters reported.
* Ireland-based AIB Group PLC can pay €300 million in special dividends in 2020, and buyback €500 million of the government's shares in 2021, The Irish Times reported.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Commerzbank AG's second-quarter consolidated profit attributable to shareholders slipped year over year to €271 million €272 million, so did its first-half attributable profit, to €391 million from €533 million. The German lender expects its full-year 2019 net income to increase slightly, but warned that the target has "become significantly more ambitious" given the decline in profits, a worsening macroeconomic situation and an uncertain geopolitical situation.
* Munich Re Co. reported second-quarter consolidated result of €993 million, up from €728 million a year ago, owing to low major losses and reserve releases for basic losses from prior years. Management board Chairman Joachim Wenning said the German reinsurer is "both strategically and financially on track" to meet multiyear targets.
* Cincinnati Financial Corp. and Germany's Munich Re Co. agreed to an adjusted purchase price of £47.3 million for the entire issued share capital of MSP Underwriting Ltd. The amount reflects a £584,161 decrease in the net asset value of MSP, now rebranded as Cincinnati Global Underwriting Ltd.
* German digital bank Penta Fintech GmbH has raised more than €8 million in an investment round led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures Adviser GmbH, one of the largest European venture funds, alongside FinLeap GmbH and Fabrick SpA. Penta will invest the funds in the expansion of its financial platform and is aiming to attract small and medium-sized companies as clients.
* Stuttgart-based financial technology startup Comeco GmbH & Co. KG is launching a new digital platform financed by seven of Germany's 11 Sparda-Banks, Handelsblatt reported.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* ABN Amro Bank NV reported second-quarter net profit attributable to owners of the parent company of €693 million, up from the year-ago €684 million. For the first half, the Dutch lender posted attributable profit of €1.17 billion, down on a yearly basis from €1.27 billion.
* Dutch insurer Ageas SA/NV saw its first-half net result attributable to shareholders rise on a yearly basis to €606.0 million from €441.2 million. Net earned premiums increased year over year to €4.67 billion from €4.12 billion.
* The Belgian regulator has given British money transfer services Worldremit and Prepay Solutions permission to start trading in Belgium as the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline looms, De Tijd reported. The Nationale Bank of Belgium has now granted 34 companies permission to offer money transfer services.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Leading Portuguese banks including Banco BPI SA, Novo Banco SA and Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA are poised to sell a further €4 billion in nonperforming loan portfolios, as part of ongoing efforts to clean up their balance sheets, Jornal de Negócios reported. In the first half, Portuguese banks shed €2.7 billion in nonperforming credit through sales, write-offs and recoveries, Dinheiro Vivo reported, adding that five leading lenders had reduced their bad debt ratio to between 4% and 7.3% of total portfolio, though Novo Banco's default ratio remained high at 21%.
ITALY AND GREECE
* UniCredit SpA reported a reclassified second-quarter net profit attributable to the group of €1.85 billion, up 81.0% from €1.02 billion a year earlier. The Italian lender booked extraordinary items of €825 million, mainly related to gains from its sale of FinecoBank Banca Fineco SpA in July. Adjusted net profit amounted to €1.0 billion in the quarter, up 0.4% from a year ago.
* Italy-based Banco BPM SpA reported second-quarter consolidated group net income of €442.6 million, compared to €129.3 million year over year. The lender's consolidated group net income for the first half stood at €593.1 million, up from €352.6 million a year ago. With its derisking phase now over, Banco BPM is expected to focus on the relaunch of its commercial network, all dailies including MF reported, noting that the business plan that the bank will present at year-end will center on revenue, savings and digital development. The lender is also considering resuming a dividend payment.
* Italy-based Credito Valtellinese SpA reported a reclassified consolidated first-half profit of €23.4 million, compared to €0.8 million in the previous year's first half.
* France-based CNP Assurances SA and Italy-based Società Cattolica di Assicurazione SC are looking to submit bids to acquire a controlling stake in Unione di Banche Italiane SpA's insurance unit, insiders told Reuters. The deal is expected to value the unit at approximately €1 billion.
* The ECB exercised its supervisory duties in full independence from any undue influence or interference in its role played in the rescue of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA and that at the time of the precautionary recapitalization, the lender fulfilled the applicable minimum capital requirements, Il Sole 24 Ore cited ECB Supervisory Board Chair Andrea Enria as saying in a letter to German EU Parliament member Markus Ferber.
* Finnish insurer Sampo Oyj reported second-quarter group profit attributable to owners of the parent of €404 million, compared to €586 million a year ago. For the first half, Sampo's group profit attributable to owners of the parent fell year over year to €762 million from €934 million.
* Sweden-based financial technology firm Klarna Bank AB (publ) has raised $460 million in an equity funding round valuing the company at $5.5 billion. The funds will be used to continue the company's expansion in the U.S.
* Denis Nozdrachev will step down as chairman of the management board at Interregional Bank for Settlements of the Telecommunications and Postal Services, or Sviaz-Bank, on Aug. 8, Kommersant reported, noting that he could be replaced by PAO Promsvyazbank executive Alexander Chernoshchekin. The Russian government decided earlier this year to transfer Sviaz-Bank from VEB to Promsvyazbank to boost the latter's capital.
* A Russian arbitration court dismissed a 7.1 billion Russian ruble lawsuit launched by non-state pension fund Safmar against Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank, RBC reported.
* The Polish Financial Supervision Authority imposed two fines totaling 10 million Polish zlotys on Alior Bank SA for violations committed during the sale of units in local investment funds, news agency PAP said.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: CBA FY profit down 4.7% YOY; AMP mulls bank sale; China eases bank trading rules
Middle East & Africa: Provisions dent SABB's H1 result; Nedbank cuts FY outlook; Moody's rates Niger
Latin America: Bancolombia's Q2 profit surges 58.22%; Brazil's IRB, C6 ink reinsurance deal
North America: FIS Q2 adjusted EPS climbs YOY; JPMorgan confirms Chinese JV majority stake
Global Insurance: Hurricane forecast revised; Greenlight hires Credit Suisse; Athene's $4B fund
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Sheryl Obejera, Ed Meza, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni, and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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