* Macquarie Group Ltd. will likely receive approval from the British government for the purchase of UK Green Investment Bank Plc in January 2017, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Both UK Green Investment Bank and Macquarie refused to comment on the matter, the publication added.
* Japan's Credit Saison Co. Ltd., Warburg Pincus LLC and Carlyle Group LP are final bidders for buying out General Electric Capital Corp.'s share in SBI Card, The Economic Times reported, citing three people with direct knowledge of the matter. SBI card is a joint venture between General Electric Capital and State Bank of India, with the former's share likely to fetch between US$300 million and US$350 million.
* U.S.-based IT firm Cognizant said it signed a deal to acquire Australian insurance consultancy Adaptra for an undisclosed amount, Insurance Business reported. The deal will see about 100 Adaptra employees joining Cognizant.
* Bank of China Ltd. has opened a representative office in Peru to promote trade and bilateral investment between the two countries, El Comercio reported, citing comments by the bank's Peru manager, Xiao Lijun.
* China Construction Bank Corp. will invest 12 billion yuan to set up a wholly owned asset management subsidiary specializing in debt-for-equity business in Beijing, Reuters reported. The bank also plans to spend 16 billion yuan in fixed asset investments in 2017.
* China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange said that the administration is studying to formulate policies on supporting cross-border asset transfer, improving foreign exchange loan management in China and standardizing overseas institutions' bond issuance in the country, Caixin reported.
* While at least 65 listed Chinese companies have planned to set up insurance companies in 2016, only one company has obtained regulatory approval to establish a property insurance firm since January, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.
* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission is set to allow direct foreign-currency card payments at duty-free shops and for insurance purchased from local insurance providers' offshore insurance units, the China Post reported. International shoppers in Taiwan may soon be able to make credit card payments in currencies other than the New Taiwan dollar, the publication noted.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* According to data from the Bank of Japan, the amount of money circulating in the market is expected to reach ¥100 trillion by the end of 2016, The Asahi Shimbun reported. Lower deposit rates and a recent increase in after-hours ATM fees are likely to have contributed to the increase, the publication noted.
* Taiyo Life Insurance Co. will raise the age of retirement to 65 from 60, effective April 2017, The Nikkei reported. While no changes will be made to the company's wage system, about 2,300 employees are expected to be affected by the move.
* South Korea's financial regulators will take corrective measures on a number of debtors in the country who borrowed from more than three lenders as soon as its research on the matter is complete, the Chosun Ilbo reported. According to the Financial Supervisory Service, the country's debtors have lent a total of 400.2 trillion won, accounting for about 30.5% of household debts in South Korea.
* South Korea's NongHyup Bank has won a lawsuit against Korea Trade Insurance Corp. regarding protection the bank should have had on damages caused by faulty loans to venture firm Moneual, Edaily reported citing the country's regulators. As a result, the bank will be able to claim 58.8 billion won of unpaid insurance money.
* The Bank of Thailand collaborated with Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission to tighten regulations on mobile banking services in a bid to boost security for users, Krungthep Turakij reported.
* Government Savings Bank and Government Housing Bank are developing new home loan products for elderly homeowners as part of the Thai government's policy to deal with an aging population in the country, Krungthep Turakij reported.
* Thailand's Office of Insurance Commission urged banks to purchase cyber insurance to help mitigate losses from cyberattacks, Post Today reported, citing Suthipol Thaweechaikarn, secretary-general of the OIC.
* The Philippine government will set up a bank for overseas Filipino workers by converting Philippine Postal Savings Bank into OFW Bank, The Nikkei reported. Land Bank of the Philippines will acquire Philippine Postal Savings Bank and convert it into a new bank, pending regulatory approval. Stocks worth a total of 1 billion pesos will be offered for subscription to overseas Filipino workers after the bank is listed on the stock exchange.
* Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Axis Bank Ltd. has assured authorities it would take legal action against employees illegally exchanging demonetized banknotes, Press Trust of India reported. The bank is also conducting a forensic audit to look into fake bank accounts following the recent discovery of such accounts.
* Digital payments company Freecharge collaborated with Reliance General to provide free insurance of up to 20,000 rupees on e-wallet balance in case of loss or theft of cellular devices, Press Trust of India reported.
* Reliance Capital Ltd. unit Reliance Home Finance said it would issue its first secured and unsecured nonconvertible debentures worth 10 billion rupees Dec. 22. The debentures will have tenors of three, five, 10 and 15 years and coupon rates ranging from 8.7% to 9.4%.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Keith Robert Hunter, Commonwealth Bank of Australia's former IT infrastructure and operations chief, has been sentenced to 3.5 years in jail for accepting A$1 million in bribes from a Silicon Valley company, The Australian reported. Hunter is expected to face further charges in the U.S. at a later time.
* Trustee Partners is in negotiations with Perpetual Guardian, previously Complectus, for the acquisition of the latter, The Australian Financial Review's blog Street Talk reported, citing sources. Perpetual Guardian had previously shelved its IPO plans due to market volatility.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: 3 Qatari banks mull a merger; Nigeria buckles up for sukuk drive
Europe: Lloyds to buy MBNA; Credit Suisse could face up to $7B US penalty
Latin America: Itaú names CEO for US unit; new testimony threatens Temer's presidency
North America: Wells preparing to launch its first ETF; Lloyds buying BofA's MBNA
North America Insurance: Canada's Fairfax grows bullish on US; Greenlight Capital Re CEO to leave
Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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