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Goldman buys Postal Savings Bank shares; RBI eases interbank loan norms

* GoldmanSachs Group Inc. spent 2.26 billion yuan purchasing 475 millionshares of Postal Savings Bank ofChina Co. Ltd., days after it bought 1.82 billion shares in thebank as a sponsor in its IPO, TencentFinance reported.

* Taiyo LifeInsurance Co. signed an agreement with Myanma Insurance, Myanmar'sstate-owned insurance company, to promote medical insurance in the country, The Sankei Shimbun reported.

* Shinhan BankVietnam Ltd. opened its 18th Vietnam branch, making it the biggestforeign bank in the country in terms of the number of branches, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.

* TemasekHoldings (Pvt) Ltd. hired John Vaske for its North Americanportfolio in a bid to solidify its presence in the U.S., the Financial Times reported.Vaske is a veteran dealmaker who was previously associated with Goldman Sachs.


* China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's largestforeign asset buyer for the first time, TencentFinance reported.According to Dealogic, Chinese enterprises' overseas M&A trades totaledUS$173.9 billion in the nine months ended September, up 68% year over year.However, Chinese authorities withdrew 42 overseas M&A cases during theperiod, totaling US$35.8 billion.

* Mark Makepeace, global CEO of index provider FTSE Russell,said that China's bond market could be included in global indices before itsstocks because government intervention has dented foreign investors' confidencein the authorities' commitment to equity market reform, Tencent Finance reported.Makepeace added it was possible that global bond index providers would moveahead of the major equities index firms to include China's bond market.

* The Special Investigation Division of Taiwan's SupremeProsecutors' Office indicted Jeffrey Koo Jr., a major shareholder of CTBCFinancial Holding Co, and other CTBC Financial executives, for allegedlyembezzling company funds and other illegal financial dealings as well asviolating the Securities and Exchange Act, the Money Laundering Control Act andthe Insurance Act, the Taipei Times reported.

* Former Taiwanese first lady Chow Mei-ching is expected toresign from her posts at MegaInternational Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. and its charity fund, the Liberty Times reported.Chow's intention to resign will be reviewed at a board meeting by MegaFinancial directors.

* Taiwan's central bank said the island's foreign-exchangereserves stood at US$436.73 billion at the end of September, up US$864 millionfrom August, the Taipei Times reported.The central bank attributed the gain to successful investment and managementstrategies. Foreign portfolio managers held US$316.2 billion worth of domesticequities and bonds in September, accounting for 72% of total foreign-exchangereserves.


* Dai-ichi LifeHoldings Inc. President Koichiro Watanabe toldThe Sankei Shimbun that fintechpenetration into the Japanese financial services industry is reaching coreoperations such as insurance underwriting and bank credit evaluation.

* Bank ofTokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. is collaborating with and forusing advanced technology to find and stop illegal activities, including moneylaundering, Kyodo News Agency reported,citing sources close to the matter.

* Bank ofYokohama Ltd. will increase the number of branches open duringholidays to 10, beginning with two in the fourth quarter, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

* On behalf of the South Korean insurance industry, theKorean Accounting Standards Board will file an official request with theInternational Accounting Standards Board for a two-year extension of thethree-year grace period for the implementation of Phase II of IFRS 4, astandard for the accounting of insurance contracts, The Chosun Ilbo reported.


* Somboon Chitphentom, the 's assistant governorfor the financial institutions policy group, suggested that the country'sinformal loan problem can be solved if policymakers consider issues from boththe lender's side and the borrower's side, Thailand's Krungthep Turakij reported. He saidthe Ministry of Finance's new initiative to let informal loan providersregister themselves and a new law on the interest rate would help solve theinformal loan problem.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand willsoon release new guidelines on good governance for listed companies, Thailand'sDaily News reported.

* The Thai Real Estate Association, the Thai HousingBusiness Association and the Thai Condominium Association will ask the Bank ofThailand to amend regulations for individuals listed as debtors by the NationalCredit Bureau, Daily News reported. Banks arerequired to keep records of indebted individuals for three years even afterthey have repaid their debts. The associations want the central bank to shortenthe period to one year.

* Krung ThaiBank PCL will temporarily close its electronic services Oct. 8 andOct. 9 for maintenance, Daily News reported.

* Indonesia's Financial Services Authority has formed a teamto prepare the regulatory framework for the country's financial technologyindustry, seen as a sector critical to the government's financial inclusionprogram, The Jakarta Globe reported.

* Bank Indonesia has hinted at a rate cut to stimulate theeconomy, but said that monetary easing could also be implemented by othermeans, The Jakarta Post reported.

* Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia's International Trade andIndustry Minister, said the country's economy is projected to grow between 4%and 4.5% in 2016, Berita Harian reported.

* The Philippines has the "strongest growthaspect" among developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific asinvestment and revenues increase in a contributive environment, The Philippine Star reported,citing a report from the World Bank.


* The Reserve Bank of India has exempted small finance banksfrom the current interbank borrowing ceiling for legacy loans, or assets thathave depreciated in value, The HinduBusiness Line reported,citing guidelines from the central bank. The exemption is available until theloans mature for a period of three years.

* The Indian central bank proposed to broaden the definitionof a branch and include manned ATMs, ultra-small branches, fixed point businesscorrespondent outlets and satellite offices as branches, The Hindu Business Line reported.The move will allow banks to achieve the 25% branch quota required for unbankedrural areas.

* An official from the Indian central bank has expressedconcern about mobile wallets due to lax compliance with Know Your Customer normswhen they sign up, Press Trust of India reported.Mobile wallets generally require a mobile number and limited information fromcustomers.

* Indian banks are likely going to see improvedprofitability in the third quarter due to higher treasury gains, Business Standard reported,citing a report from Religare. The stress of nonperforming assets, however, isexpected to affect the overall results.


* Holding senior bank executives accountable for the actionsof subordinates and pushing for stringent punishments will have ill effects onthe industry and may discourage innovation, TheAustralian reported,citing National Australia BankLtd. CEO Andrew Thorburn and Westpac Banking Corp. CEO Brian Hartzer.

* Australia's largest banks are said to have urged theiremployees to offer a number of products such as financial advice and insuranceproducts to clients to meet sales targets, TheAustralian reported.The banks argue that their tellers were paid for signing clients up.


Middle East & Africa: Fidelity Bank Ghana mulls IPO; FirstRand eyes M&A opportunitiesin Africa

Europe: IMFstresses NPL issue; SVG accepts Goldman, CPPIB offer; RBI, RZB to merge

Latin America: Banco do Brasil ends partnership with postal service; Fenabansweetens wage proposal

North America: Caldwell Holding to buy Progressive National in Louisiana; 2Wisconsin banks strike MOE

North America Insurance: MetLife to spin off retail biz; insurers, reinsurers brace forMatthew losses

Sally Wang, JonathanCheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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