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4 Indian banks eye potential M&A deal; Chinese bank opens Prague branch

GREATER CHINA

* Bank of Ningbo Co. Ltd. received approval to issue a maximum of 20 billion yuan of financial bonds for its small and midsize enterprises loan business.

* Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd. will raise a maximum of 14 billion yuan through a private placement of about 1.70 billion shares to four investors. BNP Paribas SA will buy no more than 121 million shares; Zijin Investment Group will acquire 193 million shares; Jiangsu Communications Holding Co. Ltd. will take 1.01 billion shares; and the Jiangsu bureau of China National Tobacco Corp. will buy 363 million shares.

* Wang Zheng resigned as CFO of Panda Financial Holding Corp. Ltd. due to personal reasons, and Guo Hui resigned as director due to work arrangement.

* Bank of Communications Co. Ltd. on May 20 opened a branch in Prague, the Chinese lender's first outlet in central and eastern Europe.

* The People's Bank of China said it would issue another tranche of yuan-denominated treasury bills in Hong Kong, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* The Chinese government lowered the required reserve ratio for county-level rural commercial banks by one percentage point to 8%, China Securities Journal reported. The authority required all the excess reserves to be used to supply loans to small and micro businesses.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* The government of Myanmar is expected to approve insurance joint ventures involving five Japanese insurance companies and their respective Myanmar partners by the end of July, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

* Nakata Seiji, president and CEO of Daiwa Securities Group Inc., told The Nikkei that the group plans to cut ¥15 billion in costs over the next two years through branch closures and payroll reductions.

* LOTTE Corp.'s decision to sell Lotte Card CO.LTD. to a consortium including Woori Bank could pave the way for a possible merger between Lotte Card and Woori Card Co. Ltd., Money Today reported.

ASEAN

* The Bank of Thailand said loan growth in the country's banking system stood at 5.6% in the first quarter, down from 6.0% in the previous quarter. Corporate loans, which accounted for 65.3% of total loans, grew 3.4% while consumer loans, which accounted for 34.7% of total loans, grew 10.1%. Nonperforming loans stood at 2.94%. The combined net profit of the sector stood at 57.10 billion baht, up 13.7% year over year.

* Thailand's National Economic and Social Development Council said the Thai economy in the first quarter of 2019 grew by 2.8%. It expects the full-year growth figure to stand at 3.3% to 3.8%.

* PT Bank Mizuho Indonesia issued 860 billion rupiah of negotiable certificates of deposit in two tranches, with coupon rates of 7.7% and 7.75%, Kompas reported.

* PT Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk plans to increase capital by issuing 2 trillion rupiah of new shares and 1 trillion rupiah of subordinated bonds, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

SOUTH ASIA

* Punjab National Bank is expected to merge with two or three state-run banks including Oriental Bank of Commerce, Andhra Bank and Allahabad Bank as India trims the number of its lenders, Reuters reported, citing sources. The bank could start the merger process in the next three months, according to the sources.

* The Reserve Bank of India decided to set up a specialized supervisory and regulatory cadre within the central bank to strengthen the supervision and regulation of commercial banks, urban cooperative banks and nonbanking financial companies.

* India's Yes Bank Ltd. is looking to raise capital from private equity funds to bolster its balance sheet to cover potential loan losses, Mint reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

* The Securities and Exchange Board of India has allowed mutual funds to participate in the commodity derivative market through exchange traded commodity derivatives, Mint reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority proposed amending guidelines for mortgage lending by allowing authorized deposit-taking institutions to review and set their own minimum interest rate floor in assessing borrowers' repayment capabilities.

* AMP Ltd. acknowledged that it failed to act in the best interests of its customers when it allowed its financial planners to advise clients to cancel and replace their existing insurance policies to generate higher commissions, Insurance Business reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Mizrahi Tefahot Bank posts rise in Q1 profit; Israel's central bank holds rate

Europe: Nationwide CFO retiring; Tesco Bank exits mortgage lending; HSBC's China push

Latin America: Grupo Aval Q1 profit up 27.6%; Jamaica cuts key rate

North America: 2 Arkansas banks in deal; SEC again postpones decision on bitcoin ETF

Global Insurance: Insurers to fund MGM Vegas shooting bill; Voce withdraws nominees; Safe Auto IPO

Janna Estares, Emily Lai, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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