* The U.S. Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points yesterday, its first rate cut since the 2008 financial crisis. News outlets including The New York Times covered the story.
UK AND IRELAND
* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority cautioned consumers on buying unregulated cryptoassets such as Bitcoin, Ether and XRP, as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme does not cover them, therefore they cannot seek help from the ombudsman in case of need.
* Standard Chartered PLC's first-half profit attributable to parent company shareholders slipped year over year to $1.48 billion from $1.56 billion. Group CEO Bill Winters warned that the "stubbornly low" global inflation leading to a decline on interest rates on the U.S. dollar could pose additional challenges to the bank.
* Barclays PLC saw its second-quarter attributable profit drop to £1.03 billion from the year-ago £1.23 billion. Meanwhile, its first-half attributable profit soared year over year to £2.07 billion from £561 million. The group said it expects to trim 2019 costs to below £13.6 billion due to a "challenging income environment" in the first half.
* London Stock Exchange Group PLC reported operating profit of £399 million in the first half, compared with £393 million a year ago. The stock exchange operator also agreed on definitive terms to take over U.S.-based financial data analytics platform Refinitiv for an enterprise value of roughly $27 billion. The deal will have Refinitiv's existing shareholders have an economic interest of approximately 37% in LSE.
* RSA Insurance Group PLC reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of £170 million, down on a yearly basis from £235 million.
* Willis Towers Watson PLC raised its full year earnings guidance, with its adjusted EPS expected to be in the range of $10.75 to $11.10 from a previous guidance of $10.60 to $10.85, to reflect its acquisition of TRANZACT. The U.K. insurer's second-quarter net income attributable to the company rose year over year to $138 million from $58 million.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* UBS Group AG is looking to charge a 0.75% interest rate on clients with deposits of over CHF2 million starting November, insiders told the Financial Times. The move comes amid the expected protracted spell of lower rates.
* Swiss Re AG reiterated its plan to lower its interest in U.K.-based ReAssure, hinting that the unit's IPO would resume after being suspended recently due to lack of demand, Reinsurance News noted.
* Deutsche Bank AG is reportedly considering reintegrating its independent German retail banking business as part of its ongoing restructuring. A reintegration of the publicly listed DB Privat- und Firmenkundenbank AG would make the unit more efficient, less complex and eliminate redundancies, sources told Handelsblatt.
* Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank's new corporate bank is expanding its business areas to include additional responsibilities previously overseen by the group's investment banking unit, Handelsblatt reported, citing two internal memos. The bond and currency team will now work for both the investment bank and the corporate bank, with the foreign exchange business anchored in the latter.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* Société Générale SA's group net income for the second quarter dipped to €1.05 billion from €1.22 billion a year ago, as it booked a €227 million restructuring provision. Group net income also declined for the first half, to €1.74 billion from the year-ago €2.13 billion.
* AXA SA booked net income of €2.33 billion in the first half, down from the year-ago €2.80 billion. The French insurer said the result was due to the change in the fair value of derivatives and the €600 million impact of the deconsolidation of U.S.-based AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc.
* ING Groep NV posted second-quarter net result of €1.44 billion, an increase from the year-ago €1.43 billion. The group's first-half net result, meanwhile, dipped 3.7% year over year to €2.56 billion. Separately, ING said its Italian unit will cease from taking on new clients as discussions over the subsidiary's shortfalls in its anti-money laundering processes and its management of compliance risks continue.
* Dutch bourse operator Euronext NV yielded second-quarter net profit of €53.4 million, down 4.4% from the year-ago €55.8 million. CEO Stephane Boujnah said the company is exploring opportunities to acquire market data or post-trade services firms following its takeover of Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA, Reuters noted.
* Amsterdam-based LeasePlan Corp. NV named Jochen Sutor CFO, effective Oct. 1. He joins from Commerzbank AG, where he serves as global finance head.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Spain's Liberbank SA posted year-over-year declines in its second-quarter and first-half attributable net income, to €52 million and €73 million from €55 million and €84 million, respectively.
ITALY AND GREECE
* UniCredit SpA is conducting an internal investigation after its name was found in a list of directories allegedly accessed by the hacker behind the data breach of U.S.-based Capital One Financial Corp. The Italian banking giant said it will probe whether the cloud-based directory was accessed without authorization.
* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA reported second-quarter net income of €1.22 billion, up 31% year over year from €927 million. Separately, the Italian lender signed a 10-year deal with Prelios SpA for the management of some €6.7 billion in unlikely-to-pay, or UTP, loans. The deal will see Intesa offload an initial €3 billion of such loans.
* Banca Mediolanum SpA's second-quarter net profit dropped on a yearly basis to €99.2 million from €115.8 million.
* Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA will sell two portfolios of nonperforming exposures, with an aggregate value of roughly €690 million, to illimity Bank SpA. The first book comprises secured and unsecured loans NPLs owned by MPS and MPS Capital Services, while the second book comprises unlikely-to-pay unsecured loans to corporate customers.
* Generali booked a 34.6% year over year increase in its first-half result attributable to the group, to €1.79 billion from €1.33 billion.
* OP Financial Group plans to launch new cost-reduction and efficiency initiatives in the coming weeks as part of a broader long-term plan to bolster profitability, Kauppalehti reported, citing CEO Timo Ritakallio.
* PAO Sberbank of Russia's second-quarter unaudited consolidated profit attributable to shareholders rose to 250.1 billion rubles from the year-ago 215.4 billion rubles. Sberbank also closed the sale of its 99.85% stake in Turkey-based DenizBank AŞ to Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, booking a gross profit of 22.7 billion rubles.
* Türkiye Garanti Bankası AŞ posted second-quarter net profit attributable to equity holders of the bank of 1.89 billion Turkish lira, lower than 1.91 billion lira a year ago.
* Turkish central bank Governor Murat Uysal continued to signal further interest rate cuts as the central bank lowered its inflation forecast for 2019. In a new inflation report, the Turkish central bank projected inflation to reach 13.9% at the end of 2019, down from a forecast of 14.6% in April.
* A Ukrainian court issued an order to suspend the sale of an over 99% stake in State Development Corp. VEB.RF's Ukrainian unit PSC Prominvestbank, Vedomosti reported. The court order was requested by VEB, which believes that the planned sale of Prominvestbank shares is illegal and earlier warned potential investors against participating in the transaction.
* The Kazakh central bank will carry out pan asset quality review of the local banking sector. The review will be launched Aug. 1 and will include Kazakhstan's 14 biggest banks holding 87% of the banking sector's assets. Completion of the review is scheduled for December.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: China Development Bank ex-chair under probe; Myanmar OKs Japanese insurers' JVs
Middle East & Africa: Emirates NDB closes DenizBank deal; Old Mutual to appeal ex-CEO's reinstatement
Latin America: Itaú CorpBanca's Q2 profit down 7%; Trump wants US-Brazil free trade deal
North America: Simmons First National buying Landrum; Carlyle Q2 profit grows; Capital One sued
Global Insurance: Arch confirms Barbican deal; FedNat meeting sought; Guy Carpenter headwinds
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
Lloyds' share price tumbles after £550M provision for PPI misselling: The bank set aside far more cash than expected following a surge in PPI complaints as the Aug. 29 deadline for lodging a claim looms, while missed market expectations prompted a sharp fall in shares.
Cyber insurance seeing 'good growth' outside US, UK, says Willis CEO: The emerging cyber insurance markets of western Europe, Latin America and south-east Asia are now adding to overall growth in the relatively new insurance product line, according to John Haley.
Spy allegations damage reputation but have no business impact, says Spain's BBVA: The bank has not seen any impact on its business from allegations that it hired a security company to spy on competitors, but its CEO said such issues affect reputation.
Credit Suisse bucks gloomy trend as 'right-sized' global markets unit delivers: While some of its biggest peers in the U.S. and Europe saw declines in revenues from securities trading in the second quarter, Credit Suisse posted an increase and gained market share.
BNP Paribas to hit capital target ahead of schedule, keep excess for Basel III: The France-based group will likely hit its capital target a year ahead of schedule and will use any additional capital accumulated to offset the possible impact of tougher new capital requirements for lenders, CFO Lars Machenil said July 31.
Deza Mones, Ed Meza, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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