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UK's Just Group warns on capital; ex-QBE head in line for Lloyd's of London role


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UK's Just Group warns on capital; ex-QBE head in line for Lloyd's of London role

* Six global insurers and reinsurers, including Germany's Hannover Re, U.K.-based Beazley PLC and Spain's Mapfre SA, suffered higher losses from natural catastrophes in 2017 as the claims were higher than first anticipated, according to a new report from reinsurance broker Willis Re.

* Poland is threatening to scupper a post-Brexit capital increase plan for the European Investment Bank unless it can increase its own relative shareholding in the institution, insiders told the Financial Times. Britain's departure from the EU will result in the EIB losing €39 billion of capital, including €3.5 billion paid-in with the rest callable on demand.

* The EIB has meanwhile issued its first €500 million sustainability awareness bond intended to raise proceeds for high impact projects, starting with the water sector.

* ECB Supervisory Board Chair Danièle Nouy said banks looking to enter the eurozone should take at most three years to move there, and make sure they have relocate resources that are proportionate to the risk they are transferring.


* The board of U.K. life insurer Just Group PLC decided not to pay out any interim dividend and warned that proposed new rules on equity release mortgages could result in a material reduction in its capital position.

* John Neal, former chief of Australia-based QBE Insurance Group Ltd., is poised to assume the CEO role at Lloyd's of London, The Insurance Insider reported. He is expected to succeed Inga Beale, who will leave Lloyd's in 2019.

* Maurice Phido, the former CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria's U.K. unit, was the executive of a foreign bank's London subsidiary arrested by British authorities on suspicion of bribery, insiders told the Financial Times. Phido, who was arrested in 2017, has since returned to Nigeria and has not been charged with any offence, according to one of the sources.

* U.K. insurer Nexus Underwriting Mgmt. Ltd. completed its acquisition of Malaysia-based underwriting manager Huntington Underwriting Ltd.

* U.K. asset manager Ashmore Group Plc is in the process of establishing an office in Ireland, in order to ensure continued access to its EU-based institutional clients following Brexit, the Financial Times reported. The company noted it expects the operational impact of Britain's departure from the bloc to be manageable, while the financial impact to be immaterial.


* Wirecard AG CEO Markus Braun told Reuters in an interview that becoming part of Germany's blue chip DAX index was just an "intermediate step" for the rapidly growing payments company, and that he plans to double revenue to more than €3 billion by 2020. The company does not plan any acquisitions for the time being.

* Credit Suisse Group AG CEO Tidjane Thiam dismissed social media speculation that he will run for president in Ivory Coast's elections in 2020, saying his long-term commitment was with the Swiss lender and overseeing its development.

* Germany's cooperative and raiffeisen banks, led by DZ BANK AG, will hold on to their ailing joint payment system Paydirekt GmbH and will invest more than €100 million to turn it in to a competitive service, Handelsblatt reported, citing DZ Bank's CEO.

* Berlin-based fintech startup CrossLend GmbH, which specializes in credit securitization solutions, secured €14 million in new funds in a financing round led by ABN Amro, Handelsblatt wrote.


* ING Groep NV bankers involved in any of the four money-laundering cases that led to the bank agreeing to a record €775 million settlement with the Dutch prosecutor may end up in court, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. Since 2015, employees working in the Dutch financial services industry have had to stick to a "bankers' oath," and could be prosecuted if they violate a code of conduct.

* Italian insurer Generali said it entered into exclusive discussions with shareholders of Sycomore Asset Management to purchase a majority stake in the France-based company and to form a strategic partnership.


* Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA's operations in Turkey are set to suffer from U.S. tariffs and other geopolitical turbulence, with the country's currency dropping more than 40% since the beginning of 2018. However, the ructions should not seriously dent the Spanish bank's capital levels or lead to a strategic overhaul, according to analysts.

* Portuguese state-rescued bank Novo Banco SA is set to start begin selling 1.75 billion in bad loans, Jornal de Negócios and Jornal Económico reported, citing Debtwire. The bank has already contacted investors and non-binding offers are due in October.

* Portuguese insurer Fidelidade - Companhia de Seguros SA has kicked off the sale of a property portfolio that is expected to raise some 425 million euros, Jornal de Negócios reported. The sale has proved controversial because the company sold the properties as a lot to the U.S. investment manager Apollo, meaning sitting tenants were unable to exercise their right to first refusal to buy their properties.


* Italy is making preparations for its first dollar-denominated bond issue in eight years and is talking to investment banks about setting up swap infrastructure for the deal, said Reuters.

* Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA has kicked off the sale of about €2.5 billion in unsecured nonperforming loans, a source told Reuters.

* Greek banks cut their combined nonperforming exposures by 6.1% to €88.6 billion in the six months to June 30, according to data from the Greek central bank. The central bank now aims to reduce Greece's pile of NPEs to €81.5 billion by the end of 2018, and to €64.6 billion by the end of 2019.


* Nordea Norway has been given the green light to acquire Gjensidige Bank ASA by the Norwegian Competition Authority, NRK reported. The Norwegian FSA still needs to approve the deal.


* VTB Bank (PJSC) CEO Andrey Kostin asked the Russian central bank to relax Basel III capital requirements for local banks, pointing to problems with raising capital by lenders due to Western sanctions, Vedomosti said. If the requirements are not softened, banks will have to reduce lending to the economy, the executive warned.

* Kostin also said VTB expects to complete the sale of its insurance business to JSC Sogaz by the end of 2018, and plans to acquire two small, regional lenders by year-end, reported.

* Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called on the country's central bank to cut interest rates to fuel economic expansion, sending the ruble to its lowest level since 2016.

* Ukraine's central bank raised its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to 18% and said it could tighten its policy further.

* French insurer Coface SA signed a binding agreement with Slovenia-based development bank SID - Slovenska izvozna in razvojna banka dd Ljubljana to acquire its credit insurance subsidiary, PKZ capital.

* The new Slovenian government maintains plans to sell at least 50% of state-owned Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d. via a stock market listing by the end of 2018 and to sell another stake in the lender next year, Reuters reported, citing the country's incoming finance minister. Slovenia also wants to sell state-owned Abanka d.d. in 2019, as planned by the previous government.


Asia-Pacific: Tokio Marine in South African deal; Chinese i-bank moves closer to Hong Kong IPO

Middle East & Africa: FirstRand, Sanlam post results; Japan's Tokio Marine sets eyes on South Africa

Latin America: Akaan to buy Principal Mexico's life business

North America: AmEx's forex payments unit under FBI, OCC probe; Citi overhauls investment bank

Global Insurance: 'Huge potential' for ILS at AIG; quake hits Japan; DoJ to OK healthcare deals

Global Markets: European stocks gain, currencies mixed amid lingering protectionism concerns


BBVA facing profit pressure, higher provisions on Turkish lira rout: Investor angst and currency market turmoil will put pressure on earnings at the Spanish lender's Turkish operations and will likely lead to higher provisions, but analysts expect that the bank will endure a short-term bump for long-term gain.

Everest Re, Validus among insurers that saw cat loss deterioration in H1: Six global insurers and reinsurers suffered higher losses from natural catastrophes in 2017 than expected, according to a new report from reinsurance broker Willis Re.

Ben Meggeson, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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