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UK Brexit turmoil continues; new CEO at TP Icap; Bank of Cyprus sells UK ops


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UK Brexit turmoil continues; new CEO at TP Icap; Bank of Cyprus sells UK ops

* U.S. regulators yesterday released the public portions of the resolution plans, or "living wills," of Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and UBS Group AG — Dodd-Frank Act-required submissions detailing a company's strategy to resolve itself under bankruptcy in the event of financial distress or failure. Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse adopted a single-point-of-entry strategy to resolve their U.S. units in case of a failure.


* Boris Johnson resigned as U.K. foreign secretary, following chief Brexit negotiator David Davis who quit in protest at Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to seek a customs area arrangement with the EU. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt replaces Johnson in the Foreign Office, while Dominic Raab will replace Davis. May said the U.K. government will not hold a new referendum on the final Brexit deal following the resignations, Reuters reported.

* Co-operative Bank PLC named former Lloyds Banking Group PLC executive Andrew Bester as its new CEO, effective July 9. Bester replaces Liam Coleman, who is stepping down after less than two years in the post.

* John Phizackerley is stepping down as CEO and as a member of the board of TP Icap PLC, with immediate effect. Phizackerley has been replaced by Nicolas Breteau, who currently leads the firm's global broking business. Robin Stewart, who has been interim CFO since November 2017, was also appointed to the post on a permanent basis.

* Bank of Cyprus Holdings PLC said it has signed a binding agreement to sell units Bank of Cyprus UK Ltd. and Bank of Cyprus Financial Services Ltd. to Cynergy Capital Ltd., for a sale consideration of £103 million. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of the year.

* Makram Azar, Barclays' chairman for the Middle East and North Africa and chairman of banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, retired from the firm, Bloomberg News reported, citing a memo. Azar, however, will return as a senior adviser in January 2019, the memo noted.

* Quilter PLC and Friends Provident International Ltd. are facing the likelihood of a lawsuit for allegedly misselling unregulated collective investment schemes to expatriates and pensioners outside the U.K., City A.M. reported. The size of the claim could reach as high as £80 million as up to 300 investors in jurisdictions including Thailand, Indonesia, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates could join the action.


* Allianz Group and Chinese e-commerce giant Inc. have struck a deal to provide digital insurance for the Chinese market, Handelsblatt reported.

* Swiss Re Capital Markets Ltd. has placed the four-year, dual-tranche Frontline Re Ltd. (Series 2018-1) $350 million catastrophe bond.

* Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale is strengthening its presence in Sweden and converting its representative office in Stockholm into an official branch, Börsen-Zeitung reported. The bank exceeded its targets for growth and business volume in Stockholm, leading to the decision to upgrade its office and create the conditions for further expansion.

* The Iranian government is seeking to withdraw €300 million from bank accounts held in Germany and transfer the cash to Iran, Bild reported. German authorities are considering the request to withdraw the money from Hamburg-based Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG. Tehran is worried it may run out of money when U.S. financial sanctions take effect.


* Monument Re Ltd. has announced its acquisition of Netherlands-domiciled life insurer Robein Leven NV from Amerborgh Financial Services BV.

* Roelof Konterman, vice chairman of Achmea BV's executive board, will leave the Dutch insurance group by the end of the year.


* Banco Santander SA has put a €6 billion bad loan portfolio up for sale as it seeks to draw a line under problem real estate loans inherited under the financial crisis, El Economista reported. The bank wants to sell the assets by the end of July, and if successful, it would practically clear the bank's bad real estate debts.


* The European Banking Authority will make a ruling on the regulatory treatment of UniCredit SpA's convertible and subordinated hybrid equity-linked securities, Reuters reported. A timeframe for the judgement on the securities, also known as Cashes, was not provided.

* Eurizon, the asset management arm of Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, wants to become a European leader and will open offices in Spain and Switzerland as well as strengthen its presence in Germany, MF wrote.


* Stockholm-based EQT Group has reached a preliminary agreement to purchase Saxo Payments Banking Circle from Denmark's Saxo Bank A/S and minority owners, Børsen reported. The SPBC, commonly referred to within Saxo Group as the "Banking Circle," functions as a next-generation provider of mission-critical infrastructure for online cross-border payments.

* Danish insurer Tryg A/S reported second-quarter profit of 568 million Danish kroner, compared to 714 million kroner in the year-ago period.


* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as head of the treasury and finance ministry.

* Meanwhile, Turkey scrapped a clause stating that the governor of the central bank is appointed by a cabinet decision for a term of five years and can be reappointed afterwards, Reuters reported. The central bank governor has often faced pressure from the president to keep interest rates low. The decree did not provide the alternative term length or the reappointment process for the central bank governor.

* PAO Sberbank of Russia CEO Herman Gref warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the planned "tax maneuver" in the oil industry, which provides for the reduction of export duties on petroleum products to zero percent by 2024 and the gradual increase of the mineral extraction tax for the sector, could cause problems with the repayment of 800 billion Russian rubles worth of modernization loans issued for companies operating in the sector by local banks, RBK Daily reported. The Ministry of Finance believes, however, that the proposed measures are balanced and also take into account the interest of banks crediting oil companies.

* Law enforcement authorities of Russia's Sakha Republic launched an investigation regarding the theft of around 4 billion Russian rubles from JSC Taatta Bank, Vedomosti said. The Russian central bank recently revoked Taatta's license, pointing to the lender's involvement in dubious operations and withdrawal of assets by its management and owners.

* The Central Bank of Armenia said that Swissquote Bank does not have the right to carry out any type of banking or financial activity in the country, after local media reported that the company launched its activity there through Financial Trading House, or Robert and Sons LLC, which is not licensed by the regulator, ARKA News Agency wrote.

* Polish-listed debt collector KRUK Spólka Akcyjna launched a review of strategic options, including attracting an international financial partner, to ensure the further development of the company through organic growth and acquisitions, Puls Biznesu said.


Asia-Pacific: China asks banks to cut lending rates; Shriram clarifies news on merging units

Middle East & Africa: National Bank of Kuwait's Q2 profit up 16.3% YOY; Israel holds key rate

Latin America: Bank association questions Mi Agro plan; Scotiabank completes BBVA Chile deal

North America: Citi, BlackRock to expand Paris ops; Citi looks to boost deposits via mobile app

Global Insurance: ACA risk adjustments frozen; Argo drops out of Aspen race; Marsh to cut jobs


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Ben Meggeson, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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