* China is studying a plan to turn peer-to-peer lending institutions into small loan companies as risk in the industry has fundamentally improved following a three-year cleanup, Caixin reported, citing China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Zhu Shumin. The regulator is in talks with provincial governments to convert the remaining 462 P2P platforms into microlenders. China's crackdown on the sector had resulted in more than 1,200 P2P lenders exiting the industry.
* An auction for 440 million yuan of Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank Co. Ltd.'s equities held by one of the bank's top ten shareholders went unsold on Alibaba Group's online platform, Caijing reported. The auction was selling about 100 million shares in the lender. Another 20 million equities are still on auction for a starting price of 56 million yuan.
* Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission is working on guidelines for underwriters in IPOs and bond sales amid plans to increase oversight on underwriters that lead book building process, The South China Morning Post reported, citing the regulator's deputy chief executive Julia Leung Fung-yee. Leung cited concerns in the market about underwriters generating "a lot of orders at the expense of quality," with some even submitting inflated or fake orders to increase a share's value. She added that the regulator was in talks with Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.'s listing division with regard to the planned guidelines.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Bank of Japan and the Financial Services Agency plan to conduct a stress test on major financial institutions to prepare for risks that may arise from a potential global recession and increasing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, Reuters reported, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The timeline for the test is not yet clear, but sources noted that it would assess how financial companies' capital and on-hand liquidity could be affected if stocks drop and the yen spiked.
* Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on South Korea-based Hanwha Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s A+ (Strong) insurer financial strength rating and A long-term issuer default rating to negative from stable, citing the insurer's weaker operating performance due to market volatility and persistently low interest rates.
* South Korea's Lotte Insurance Co. Ltd. raised 375 billion won from a share sale to JKL Victura and Hotel Lotte Co. Ltd., Pulse reported. JKL Victura, which recently became the insurer's controlling shareholder, paid 356 billion won for the shares, while Hotel Lotte paid 18.75 billion won to maintain its 5% stake. JKL Victura is owned by JKL Partners Inc.
* Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd. is making a cash partial offer to acquire an additional 30.55% stake in Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corporation Ltd. to become its controlling shareholder with a 51% stake. Temasek is making the voluntary offer via subsidiary Kyanite Investment Holdings Pte. Ltd. and plans to pay S$7.35 per share for the additional stake. It currently owns a 20.45% stake in Keppel.
* The Bank of Thailand and the Central Bank of Myanmar signed memoranda of understanding to promote the use of the Thai baht and the Myanmar kyat for cross-border payments and settlements, and to cooperate in the areas of financial innovation and payment services, according to a release.
* Kasikornbank PCL introduced automated currency exchange machines, which will allow customers to exchange the baht for foreign currencies around the clock, and vice versa. The bank said in a release that the machines will not charge service fees and will offer better foreign exchange rates than other banks and money changers.
* Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ltd. joined Singtel's VIA regional payment alliance, The Straits Times reported. The partnership will allow OCBC Bank's customers to pay for purchases in Japan and Thailand by March 2020, the report added, citing the companies.
* Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd.'s 12 billion rupees IPO, which could be launched before November, has solicited interest from Elevar Equity Mauritius and NewQuest Asia Investments, The Economic Times reported, citing Samit Ghosh, managing director of the lender. The two companies are also investors in the bank's parent, Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd.
* The Reserve Bank of India directed subsidiary Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corp. to establish a system that will collect deposit insurance premiums from banks based on how risky they are, Business Standard reported, citing an executive from the central bank. The move is in preparation for the central bank's plan to raise the deposit insurance limit for bank customers from the current 100,000 rupees.
* KPMG International Co-op's forensic audit of Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd. showed that large amount of funds were diverted to third-party private entities resulting in several gaps in the troubled lender's books, Mint reported, citing three sources aware of the affair. KPMG has submitted the results of the audit to the company's lenders. The value of the diversion could be around 200 billion rupees, according to the publication, which quoted a third-party report.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* QBE Insurance Group Ltd. is the latest company to exit the Business Council of Australia amid claims by activist group Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, or ACCR, that the council's position on climate change is delaying the implementation of the Paris climate agreement, The Australian Financial Review reported. A QBE spokesman said the insurer's withdrawal was not a "response to any one policy issue." Meanwhile, the business council is disputing ACCR's accusations.
* Westpac Banking Corp. is lifting its maximum loan-to-valuation ratio for interest only loans for property investors to 90% from 80%, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The 80% maximum loan-to-valuation ratio limit will still apply to interest only loans for homeowners that occupy the property.
* AMP Capital raised A$6.2 billion for its infrastructure Debt Fund IV from 86 global investors including 30 new international ones, The Australian reported, citing Andrew Jones, global head of infrastructure capital at AMP Capital.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Egypt inks deal with Euroclear; Lebanon agrees on economic reforms
Europe: Wirecard audit; Citi's confidence in London; Munich Re set to beat €2.5B target
Latin America: Election polls show outright win for Argentina's Fernandez; turmoil in Chile
North America: NY banks in $106.8M deal; Thomson Reuters responds to media report on CEO search
Global Insurance: Third Point Re review; Allianz UK reinsurance; Rothesay Life enters £3.8B buy-in
Janna Estares, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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