* MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. will invest up to ¥120 billion in a Jersey-based unit of Swiss Re AG, The Nikkei reported. The Japanese group will initially acquire a 5% stake in ReAssure Jersey One Ltd. for about ¥26 billion by the end of fiscal 2017-18 and raise the stake to 15% by 2020 for about ¥93 billion.
* Mastercard Inc. CEO Ajaypal Banga said the payments company will invest US$750 million in India by 2020 in mergers and acquisitions as well as cybersecurity and digital payments-related activities, among others, The Hindu Business Line reported.
* Indian payments platform operator PhonePe received a capital infusion of 2.55 billion rupees from its Singapore-based parent company Flipkart Payments Pvt Ltd., Times News Network reported, citing a filing with India's Registrar of Companies.
* Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital raised about US$50.2 million from 86 investors for its China-focused fund, which began fundraising and was incorporated in 2016, DealStreetAsia reported, citing a stock exchange filing.
* Pan Guangwei, deputy director of the China Banking Association, said the country is facing three major challenges in developing inclusive finance, including keeping the sustainability of inclusive finance, improving financial infrastructure and educating consumers, Xinhua News Agency reported. He added that banks see huge risks in providing services to the main targets of inclusive finance — small and micro-sized enterprises, agriculture-related businesses and China's underprivileged population.
* Cathay Securities Investment Trust Co. will raise NT$10 billion for its first investment vehicle as it becomes the first asset manager to launch a wholly owned private equity firm in Taiwan, DealStreetAsia reported. Cathay SITC will file its application with the island's Financial Supervisory Commission by the end of 2017.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Nissay Asset Management Corp. will cut fees for some of its investment trust offerings to make them the lowest among competing products, The Nikkei reported.
* Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. has signed an agreement with Saigon - Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank to sell savings-type insurance products through the latter's 240 bank branches in Vietnam, The Nikkei reported.
* The South Korean government will announce a new package of household debt containment measures in October, aimed at tightening credit lines to people owning multiple homes, The Financial News reported.
* The combined deposit balance at South Korean savings banks amounted to an all-time high of 47.6 trillion won at the end of July, The Financial News reported, citing data from the Bank of Korea.
* Bank of Ayudhya PCL plans to issue up to 10 billion Thai baht worth of senior unsecured bonds, Fitch Ratings (Thailand) said. The bonds will have a maturity period of up to three years.
* PT Bank Permata Tbk said it increased its lending in the third quarter and is seeing improved nonperforming loan ratios compared with the year-earlier period, Bisnis Indonesia reported.
* A consortium formed by Singaporean banks, together with the city-state's Monetary Authority, has developed a new blockchain prototype software for making decentralized payments while keeping transactional privacy.
* LienViet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank is in the advanced stages of selling a 25% stake to an unnamed foreign investor, DealStreetAsia reported, citing local media.
* India-based Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd. has put itself on the auction block with a price tag of US$900 million to US$1 billion, The Times of India reported, citing "people directly aware of the matter."
* Shriram Group and IDFC Bank Ltd. furthered their confidentiality, exclusivity and standstill agreement by a month until Nov. 8 as they look to work on due diligence, share swap ratios and other matters related to a potential merger.
* FINCA Microfinance Bank will issue bonds worth 1.50 billion Pakistani rupees with a five-year tenor in three tranches of 500 million rupees each over a nine-month availability period.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority said losses suffered by major insurers in their disability income policies are causing a decline in profits for the country's insurance industry, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing industry sources. The sector posted a total of A$377 million of after-tax losses in the individual disability income insurance segment for the year ended June 30, up from A$360 million for the previous year.
* The Reserve Bank of Australia said a new digital identity regime should be added to the current open banking regime to protect consumers from fraud, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing a submission to the country's treasury department. The central bank said open banking should be designed "to be able to incorporate future developments in digital identity," the publication noted.
* National Australia Bank Ltd. said it is cutting down on the terms and conditions as well as the documentation required by business owners for loan applications, a move that would benefit more than 130,000 business owners.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Qatar says reserves enough to boost banks; no bad loan concerns in Saudi
Europe: Theresa May's Brexit warning; Novo Banco gets key approval; Banca Carige concern
Latin America: Banco do Brasil to close most foreign branches; Santander Río-Citi deal approved
North America: House Dems seek break up of G-SIBs; 2 Indiana banks merging
North America Insurance: Former Obama admin officials promote ACA enrollment; new hurricane threat looms
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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