The most read financial stories in S&P Global Market Intelligence's Asia-Pacific coverage include Japan Post's potential acquisition of a stake in Aflac, while editors' picks feature some Chinese banks' potential need to raise capital requirements.
1. UPDATE: Japan Post reportedly to take ¥300B stake in Aflac
Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd. is looking to buy 7% to 8% of Aflac Inc. by the end of 2019 and will seek to make the U.S.-based insurer an affiliate four years later. The stake is expected to cost the Japanese company about ¥300 billion. Both companies will quickly move to collaborate on insurance products they could offer through their strategic partnership.
2. Report: Carlyle, GIC to buy 10% stake in SBI Life Insurance Co.
Private equity giant Carlyle Group LP and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd. are acquiring a 10% strategic stake in SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. from French insurer BNP Paribas Cardif. Carlyle and GIC will pay about 510 rupees to 520 rupees per share for the stake.
3. Sompo Holdings names overseas insurance CEO, shuffles management structure
Sompo Holdings Inc. named John Charman to serve as CEO of overseas insurance business, effective April 1. The company also shuffled its management structure, including naming its CFO Shinji Tsuji COO with effect from Jan. 1, while Masahiro Hamada will become CFO as of April 1.
4. Malaysia files criminal charges against 3 Goldman units, former exec over 1MDB
Malaysia filed criminal charges against three units of U.S. investment banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for their roles in arranging the sale of $6.5 billion in bonds issued by 1Malaysia Development Bhd. in 2012 and 2013, of which US$2.7 billion was allegedly misappropriated.
5. Conference Chatter: Fintech race among Chinese banks getting costlier, execs say
More Chinese banks will likely switch to the potentially costlier route of building their own financial technology units, away from project-based contracts with technology providers. The move is in a bid to achieve a more coherent and effective digital strategy. So far six Chinese banks, including Industrial Bank Co. Ltd. and Ping An Bank Co. Ltd., have established fintech units.
1. Q&A: Expect highly volatile markets in 2019, says DBS' new institutional bank chief
The U.S.-China trade war has been a key concern among DBS Bank Ltd.'s clients but its ultimate impact on the global economy may not be as material as what many estimate or worry about in the short run, Tan Su Shan said. Tan, who leads the lender's wealth management and consumer banking divisions, will become head of the lender's institutional banking from Feb. 1.
2. Japan Post-Aflac deal would shore up sales relationship, open path for growth
An investment deal that would see Japan's postal service and insurance conglomerate buy a minority stake in Aflac would be a symbolic gesture pointing toward a more stable partnership with growth potential for both sides. The deal would also support Aflac's stock as the Georgia-based company will have a long-term investor that owns a significant block of its equity.
3. Data Dispatch Asia-Pacific: As local systemic list grows, at least 4 Chinese banks may need fresh capital
In S&P Global Market Intelligence's analysis of large lenders that disclose common equity Tier 1 ratios, Hua Xia Bank Co. Ltd., Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd., Bank of Hangzhou Co. Ltd. and China Guangfa Bank Co. Ltd. do not meet the minimum CET1 requirement for domestic systemically important financial institutions.
4. Data Dispatch Asia-Pacific: China banks post lowest Q3 liquidity coverage ratios among large Asian lenders
Seven Chinese banks reported higher liquidity coverage ratios in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2018, while three did not report second-quarter ratios, according to data by S&P Global Market Intelligence. China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd. posted the largest decline in its liquidity coverage ratio, dropping 17.93 percentage points to 97.84%.