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China cracks down on financial fraud; IOOF to buy ANZ's wealth biz

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China cracks down on financial fraud; IOOF to buy ANZ's wealth biz

GREATER CHINA

* President Xi Jinping's call for a crackdown on financial fraud has led local governments in China to instruct their finance departments to deal with such issues, the South China Morning Post reported.

* Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, said the country's newly established Financial Stability and Development Committee will focus on shadow banking, the asset management sector, internet financing and financial holding companies, Caixin reported.

* Players in the Chinese financial sector are using WeChat to discuss business and solicit orders, a practice likely to lead to problems as there is no written record of such orders, Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, the country's National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors has begun requiring brokers to maintain records of instant messages.

* MetLife Ltd. joined a number of other Hong Kong-based insurers in offering insurtech products to its clients, allowing more people access to health insurance, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Lee Wood, the company's Hong Kong CEO.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Sony Bank Inc. is collaborating with Japanese asset management company Wealthnavi to provide robo-adviser services for retail investors, The Nikkei reported. Currently, about ¥30 billion is managed under the service.

* Mizuho Financial Group Inc. outlined its adviser system to increase transparency under a disclosure regime related to corporate governance reports on personnel holding advisory positions in the company from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.

* Mizuho Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. will test a blockchain-based peer-to-peer money transfer service with lower fees and 24-hour money transfer services, The Nikkei reported.

* Nine executive directors of Export-Import Bank of Korea have resigned to let the lender's newly elected chairman hire new candidates for the roles, the Korea Economic Daily reported.

ASEAN

* Thailand's Fiscal Policy Office will revise the 2017 Thai economic growth projection again in October and it is expected that the figure will be close to 4%, Manager Daily reported. Many agencies expect the figure to stand at 3.8%.

* Bank Indonesia has issued guidelines to enforce bilateral trade settlements in the local currency, Bisnis Indonesia reported. With the new rules, rupiah-denominated transactions can be directly converted to Thai baht or Malaysian ringgit, eliminating the need to pay in U.S. dollars. Arbonas Hutabarat, communications director at the regulator, said the rule is expected to cut dependency on the U.S. dollar and help stabilize the rupiah.

* PT Bank Maybank Indonesia Tbk appointed Hendar, former deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, as an independent commissioner, Infobank reported. He replaces Umar Juoro for the role.

* Malaysian financial group AFFIN Holdings Bhd. will transfer its listing status to AFFIN Bank Bhd., a move it expects to lead to better profitability, The Sun reported, citing group CEO Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Jamil. The transfer is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.

SOUTH ASIA

* An increase in net interest income and growth of assets under management saw Bajaj Finance Ltd. post a nearly-37% yearly increase in posttax profit for the second quarter to 5.57 billion Indian rupees from 4.08 billion rupees. EPS also increased year over year to 9.96 rupees from 7.45 rupees.

* HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd. received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India to raise 75 billion rupees through its IPO, Press Trust of India reported.

* Punjab National Bank intends to raise US$250 million to US$300 million in equity capital through a qualified institutional placement, Mint reported, citing "two people aware of the development." A number of banks are looking to recapitalize, citing increasing bad loans.

* India's venture capitalists and private equity firms have unloaded shares worth US$4.7 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the most since 2009, Bloomberg News reported, citing auditor EY. The shares were mostly sold through IPOs and second sales.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* IOOF Holdings Ltd. will acquire Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s OnePath Pensions and Investments business and Aligned Dealer Groups for a cash consideration of A$975 million, subject to a completion adjustment.

* Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Ltd. issued hybrid notes worth A$300 million with a margin of 3.75% and 3.95% above the bank bill rate of 1.705%. Proceeds from the notes will be used to boost regulatory capital and replace maturing securities.

* ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott will replace National Australia Bank Ltd. CEO Andrew Thorburn as chairman of the Australian Bankers' Association once the latter steps down from the role, which he has held for two years, The Australian reported.

* New Zealand acting Prime Minister Bill English expects the government to be confirmed by the end of the week as political parties discuss possible coalitions after an inconclusive election in September, Reuters reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: FirstRand tables £1.08B offer for Aldermore; foreign banks eye Saudi expansion

Europe: Aldermore in M&A talks with FirstRand; Austria set to have new chancellor

Latin America: Banco Agrário recovers Navelena debt; Diviso Grupo to up Edpyme stake

North America: JPMorgan, BlackRock CEOs say bitcoin tool for criminals; Kansas bank fails

North America Insurance: Oregon orders rate hike as ACA payments end; Nate losses may be under $500M

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

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