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Barclays tax hit; Goldman denies Dublin rumor; German insurers' €2B nat-cat cost


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Barclays tax hit; Goldman denies Dublin rumor; German insurers' €2B nat-cat cost

* European reinsurers and insurers are expected to shift their focus to run-off activities and legacy lines of business as they adjust to Solvency II and seek to minimize capital requirements, according to law firm Clyde & Co., Reinsurance News reported.


* Barclays Plc expects to incur a one-off charge of about £1 billion to its 2017 group profit after tax resulting from the new U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was implemented last Friday.

* A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. spokeswoman denied a Financial Times report that the U.S. lender had selected Dublin as a post-Brexit base for its European asset management business and that it would shift 20 employees to the Irish capital, according to CBS News.

* Lloyds Banking Group Plc is set to publish a tax strategy report today urging other firms to pay a fair share of taxes in the interest of the public, The Daily Telegraph reported. The lender paid £2.3 billion to the U.K. Treasury in taxes for 2016, according to the report.

* City of London Group plc is planning to launch a specialist lender within two years and is obtaining a banking license, The Daily Telegraph reported. The lender, which will focus on commercial lending, small business, bridging and development finance, will be headed by Jason Oakley, a former managing director of commercial banking and mortgages at Metro Bank Plc.


* Commerzbank AG said it is not affected by the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and has no need to write off the value of any deferred tax assets, Handelsblatt reported.

* The German Insurance Association said that, according to its preliminary calculations, German insurers paid out a total of €2 billion this year to settle claims arising from damages caused by natural catastrophes in Germany, around the same amount as the year before.


* Consumer credit lending is taking off again in France, showing a 6% year-over-year improvement in September to €166 billion, with mutual banks leading the way, Les Echos reported. La Banque Postale SA wants to boost its consumer credit lending and targets a market share of over 8%, Les Echos reported separately.

* French banks are facing smaller charges as a result of U.S. tax reforms than British ones, and are preparing to include them in their 2017 results, Les Echos reported.

* Ethias SA is taking longer than expected to sell off the portfolio of remaining First savings products, which guaranteed interest rates of 3% for life, and now says it hopes to do so by early March at the latest, L'Echo reported. The company is also closing its Ethias Droit Commun unit, which has been restructured as a cooperative called Ethias Co.

* L'Echo published parts of a Belfius Banque SA internal document sent to staff to detail preparations for the partial IPO of the state-owned bank. It foresees early-look meetings with potential investors in January and February 2018.

* Private equity fund BlackFin Capital Partners bought CED Group, the biggest claims management provider in the Netherlands, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. The financial details were not disclosed, and the deal is subject to approvals, the newspaper said. CED is owned by different parties including Dutch insurers Achmea BV, AEGON NV, NN Group NV, De Goudse N.V. and REAAL Verzekeringen NV, as well as a number of independent brokers.

* Aegon agreed for its Transamerica life subsidiaries to reinsure about $750 million of liabilities to SCOR SE, with the transaction expected to result in a pretax IFRS loss of about $125 million that will be reported in the Dutch insurer's fourth quarter results. Additionally, Aegon will dissolve a related captive insurance company to finance redundant reserves, redeeming $475 million of operational leverage supporting that captive.


* Ibercaja Banco SA sold a bad-loan portfolio with a gross balance of €334 million to Cabot Securitisation, Expansión reported. The deal provides the Spanish bank with €13.8 million in gross capital gains.

* Liberbank SA agreed to sell its point-of-sale-terminals business to U.S.-based EVO Payments International, LLC for about €7.9 million, Expansión wrote. The deal will generate €5.5 million for the Spanish lender. Reuters had a report, too.

* The rebranding of Banco Popular Portugal SA's branches and products will start this week as part of the bank's integration into Banco Santander Totta SA due to the merger of their Spanish parent companies, Jornal de Negócios and Dinheiro Vivo reported, citing a Popular statement. The lender operates about 100 branches in Portugal.


* Before Christmas, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA transferred €26 billion worth of nonperforming loans to the special purpose vehicle Siena NPL 2018, kicking off the sale process, MF reported.

* An Italian joint parliamentary committee investigating the causes of bank troubles will publish its findings Jan. 27, 2018, MF wrote.

* A 5% drop in the value of illiquid assets held by European banks would lead to a 350-basis-point drop in their common equity Tier 1 capital, most dailies including MF cited a Bank of Italy study as saying.

* Attica Bank SA transferred a portfolio of nonperforming loans totaling €700.5 million to a special purpose vehicle under the name ABS Metexelixis SA, Reuters reported. At the same time, the vehicle issued and transferred to the Greek lender a series of senior and junior bonds with nominal values of €343.3 million and €357.3 million, respectively.


* Danske Bank A/S has been blacklisted by another U.S. state, Børsen reported. New Jersey has closed all its investments in the bank due to the latter's boycott of two Israeli companies. Several other U.S. states are already boycotting Danske Bank over the issue.


* FHB Jelzálogbank Nyrt. said it sold its 100% stakes in FHB Real Estate Ltd. and Takarék Invest Kft. to Bank of Hungarian Savings Cooperatives Co. Ltd.


Middle East & Africa: Sasfin Holdings names finance chief; Israel Discount Bank reinstates dividends

Latin America: BCI estimates loss due to US tax reform; Argentina central bank holds key rate

North America: 2 Illinois banks ink $41.1M deal; Kansas' Community Bancorp to acquire Shelbank

David Hutter, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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