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Tokyo Century may raise Indonesian bank stake; Philippines OKs Axa/XL Group deal

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Tokyo Century may raise Indonesian bank stake; Philippines OKs Axa/XL Group deal

* Moody's said global sukuk, or Islamic bond, issuance is expected to reach between US$90 billion and US$100 billion in 2018, supported by regular issuance from Malaysian and Indonesian governments and corporate entities in the second half. Moody's expects broadly stable sukuk issuance despite a 12% decline to US$55 billion in the first half, driven by lower volumes from the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

GREATER CHINA

* China's state-run lenders have recently swapped U.S. dollars for yuan in the offshore forwards market to provide support for the Chinese currency ahead a possible major escalation in the trade conflict between the U.S. and China, Reuters reported, citing traders. One trader said the state-owned lenders had been conducting the swaps since Aug. 31.

* The People's Bank of China's Shenzhen unit said the trial run for the financial blockchain platform for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Free Trade Zone has begun, Shanghai Securities News reported. Enterprises can engage in trade and financing activities on the platform.

* Fifty-five Chinese fund companies held by listed companies reported a combined net profit of 11.4 billion yuan in the first half, up 9% year over year, China Fund reported. Among them, seven fund companies reported losses in the period.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Tokyo Century Corp. plans to increase its stake in Indonesia-based PT Bank Nationalnobu Tbk to step up its entry into the Indonesian market for mobile payments, The Nikkei reported. Tokyo Century acquired a 5% stake in the Indonesian bank in May.

* Japan-based Mercuria Investment Co. Ltd. is collaborating with Bank of Fukuoka Ltd. to launch an online platform to match buyers and sellers of small and midsize businesses, The Nikkei reported.

* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service will conduct a comprehensive audit of seven financial institutions, including Hyundai Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. Ltd. and NongHyup Financial Group Inc., to look into whether they comply with internal control and consumer protection-related rules, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported. The regulator released the list of companies to be audited Sept. 4.

* Macquarie Korea Asset Management Co. Ltd. filed a court injunction to suspend the trading of shares in Macquarie Korea Infrastructure Fund on the stock market by investors who borrowed stocks from Platform Partners Asset Management Co. Ltd., The Korea Times reported. Macquarie claimed that Platform Partners, which seeks to change the fund's asset manager to KORAMCO REITS Management & Trust Co. Ltd., is lending its shares to "buy votes irregularly" ahead of the fund's shareholder meeting Sept. 19.

* South Korea's Woori Bank plans to convert unit Woori Finance Cambodia Plc into a commercial bank by combining it with another Cambodian unit, WB Finance Co. Ltd., in 2019, the Asia Business Daily reported, citing industry sources.

* South Korea-headquartered Han Kook Capital Co. Ltd. raised 60 billion won from an issuance of hybrid securities, boosting its equity capital to 250 billion won from 190 billion won, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.

ASEAN

* The Philippine Competition Commission has cleared Axa's pending merger with XL Group Ltd. but fined the two insurers for their late filing of their notification of the deal. Axa and XL Group both operate globally and are required to submit 11 notifications of their pending merger with competition authorities in several jurisdictions, including the Philippines.

* Thailand's cabinet approved the disbursement of about 16.78 billion baht of capital from the Specialized Financial Institutions Development Fund to two lenders, among others, the country's Daily News reported. About 16.1 billion baht will be injected into Islamic Bank of Thailand, while Government Housing Bank will use 31.1 million baht for a project.

* Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment firm PT Go-Jek Indonesia entered into a strategic partnership with local peer-to-peer lenders Findaya, Dana Cita and Aktivaku, as it aims to expand its financial technology services in the country, Reuters reported, citing a company statement.

* Indonesia-based PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia Tbk is planning a limited public offering worth 20 billion rupiah to build working capital, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

* Indonesia-headquartered PT Bank Mega Syariah will focus on improving the quality of its business by discontinuing financing in the small micro sector, which has a high nonperforming financing ratio, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

SOUTH ASIA

* India-based microfinance firm Satin Creditcare Network Ltd. will transfer its lending business for micro, small and midsize enterprises to a separate nonbanking finance company, Satin Finserve Ltd., Business Standard reported, citing Chairman and Managing Director H. P. Singh. Satin is separating the business as microfinance should constitute 85% of its lending, according to the Reserve Bank of India's rules.

* Tata Capital Financial Services Ltd., the lending arm of India-based TATA Capital Ltd., will raise up to 75 billion rupees by issuing nonconvertible debentures, Press Trust of India reported, citing a statement. The lender will issue three-, five- and 10-year bonds amounting to 20 billion rupees, while the Tata group can retain oversubscriptions of 55 billion rupees or more.

* The consortium of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange, which now owns 25% of Dhaka Stock Exchange, said it will modernize the Bangladeshi bourse, bring in new products and improve its capability, The Daily Star reported. The exchanges acquired 450,944,125 ordinary shares in DSE at 21 taka per share.

* Bangladesh-based International Finance Investment & Commerce Bank Ltd., or IFIC Bank, named Monitur Rahman deputy managing director and chief of operations and information technology of the lender, The Daily Star reported, citing a statement. Rahman was previously country head for technology at Standard Chartered Bangladesh.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australia-based alternative asset manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd. and U.S.-based Oaktree Capital Management LP are expected to sign a deal, which may involve a possible investment into Blue Sky by Oaktree Capital by the end of September, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported. Moelis Australia and Gilbert + Tobin are advising Oaktree Capital, while Freehills and Greenhill Australia are advising Blue Sky.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission added four new people to the Markets Disciplinary Panel which hear allegations of breaches of market integrity rules and pass considered judgments on the violators, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported. The new members include Macquarie Securities (Australia) Ltd.'s head of equities Dan Ritchie, Morgans Financial Ltd.'s institutional adviser Lisa Shand, Credit Suisse Group AG trader John Manchee and ?Goldman Sachs Group Inc. electronic trading specialist Ian Jones.

* Australia-based IOOF Holdings Ltd.'s board disagreed with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's claims that Managing Director Christopher Kelaher does not understand his responsibilities under superannuation law, with Allan Griffiths, chairman of the remuneration committee, calling the remarks "very disappointing," The Australian reported. In the regulator's submissions to the financial services royal commission, it also said it would reopen an investigation into IOOF.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: 3 UAE lenders in merger talks; Tel Aviv bourse plans IPO by 2018-end

Europe: Danske Estonia handled $30B; SocGen's €1.1B penalty; London bank chief arrested

Latin America: Venezuela ups reserve requirements for banks; merger of 2 Panama banks completed

North America: Wells probing gender bias claims in wealth division; NCUA liquidates Melrose CU

Global Insurance: Scor rejects Covea bid; S&P, A.M. Best reinsurance reports; Munich Re in US M&A

Janna Estares, R Sio, Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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