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No MiFID II delay; Catalonia not backing down; Handelsbanken Q3 profit slips


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No MiFID II delay; Catalonia not backing down; Handelsbanken Q3 profit slips

* Valdis Dombrovskis, European commissioner for financial services and capital markets union, ruled out a further delay to the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID II, beginning Jan. 3, 2018, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is expected by October-end to provide formal guidance allowing financial firms to disclose the cost of market research for their European clients to comply with MiFID II without risking violating U.S. regulations, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* Plans by European regulators to increase supervision of clearinghouses outside of the EU will lead to increased costs, less liquidity and reduced efficiency, London Stock Exchange Group Plc CEO Xavier Rolet said yesterday. Les Echos carried a report.

* European Securities and Markets Authority Chair Steven Maijoor said EU regulators will conduct a study on the cost and performance of passive and active mutual funds, Reuters wrote.

* ECB Vice President Vítor Constâncio said European regulators should expand their "macroprudential toolkit" to cover risk areas in the nonbanking sector, which is conducting a growing fraction of credit intermediation in Europe.


* The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said a political decision to reverse Brexit would have a significant positive effect on British economic growth, Sky News reported. Meanwhile, lobby group TheCityUK warned that a lack of clarity on a transitional period for Brexit could put up to 75,000 financial sector jobs at risk of leaving London, according to The Guardian.

* Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said most of the central bank's policymakers believe an increase in interest rates may be wrote in the coming months, Bloomberg News wrote.

* A U.K. High Court judge ruled that 12 confidential government documents could be used in a case relating to Lloyds Banking Group Plc's takeover of HBOS Plc when they become relevant in a trial that begins today, the Financial Times reported. Some 6,000 investors are suing Lloyds and five former executives for allegedly misleading them about the true health of HBOS prior to the takeover.

* U.K. Financial Conduct Authority head Andrew Bailey agreed to have government lawyer Andrew Green review the regulator's report into allegations that Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc's Global Restructuring Group mistreated small businesses that it was supposed to pull out of financial trouble, the FT wrote. The agreement came after the U.K. Treasury select committee warned that it could use parliamentary powers to force publication of the review.

* Peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter received full regulatory approval from the U.K. FCA.


* David Herro, the international chief investment officer of Harris Associates LP, which owns 9% of Credit Suisse Group AG, told the Financial Times that hedge fund RBR Capital Advisors' proposal to carve out the Swiss lender's investment banking division into a Wall Street investment bank should not be dismissed completely, despite saying there was not a "lot of merit" in the plan. Herro also told Bloomberg TV that the bank's management was "doing a good job" and that the lender's current turnaround plan just needs more time. Meanwhile, RBR sought Tuesday to rally support for its proposal, Reuters reported.

* Deutsche Bank AG invited banks to pitch for roles on the IPO of its asset management arm, sources told Reuters. The German lender is most likely to act as the main organizer for the IPO, which could raise about €2 billion, but is looking for assistance to market the shares, according to the sources.

* UBS Group AG sent a voluntary survey to its staff asking about their preferred relocation destination when the U.K. exits the EU, insiders told Reuters. The Swiss lender asked employees to rank Amsterdam, Madrid and Frankfurt in order of preference.

* Pressure is increasing on Deutsche Börse AG CEO Carsten Kengeter as some investors openly demand a new boss and supervisory board members have begun questioning his trustworthiness, Handelsblatt reported.

* Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale denied a report in Rundblick that it would need a capital injection of about €1 billion to meet regulatory requirements, Handelsblatt wrote.

* Vontobel Holding AG said it will carry annual costs of about CHF1 million for external analyses for transactions in its asset management unit under MiFID II regulations, rather than add it to client fees, Börsen-Zeitung wrote.

* Munich Re and U.S.-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a venture of Elon Musk, entered into a partnership to develop an insurance concept and integrate an enterprise risk management system.

* Paul Cooper, CFO of Sompo Canopius AG, will take over the same post at Arrow Global Group Plc, effective Jan. 1, 2018.


* The Belgian government named Citigroup, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and UBS to advise on the IPO of Belfius Banque SA, L'Agefi reported. De Tijd also had a report.

* France's Ingenico Group SA will acquire Spanish payment service provider IECISA Electronic Payment System, the business unit of technology consulting company Informática El Corte Inglés SA.


* Catalonia yesterday rejected the Spanish government's demand to abandon its declaration of independence by Thursday, Reuters reported. The Spanish government also trimmed its 2018 forecast for economic growth to 2.3% from 2.6% because of the ongoing political crisis. Banco de Sabadell SA will consider at its next board meeting whether to shift some top management to Madrid, if Catalonia does not drop its independence plans by Thursday, a source told Reuters.

* The sale of a 75% stake in Novo Banco SA to U.S. private equity fund Lone Star will be completed at a formal ceremony today following a capital injection of €750 million, Dinheiro Vivo and Jornal de Negócios reported. The management team led by CEO António Ramalho will stay on until at least 2021, Jornal de Negócios added.

* Portuguese central bank Governor Carlos Costa said yesterday that bank rescues should be carried out on a case-by-case basis, meaning the use of public money should not be excluded from possible solutions, Jornal de Negócios reported.

* Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA’s real estate portfolio is drawing significant interest, Expansión reported. BBVA is in exclusive talks with Cerberus over the sale of its Anida real estate asset management company and some €4 billion in defaulted assets and nonperforming loans, but unnamed financial sources said other funds such as Apollo and Blackstone have shown interest in assets outside the scope of the talks. BBVA has roughly €20 billion of total real estate exposure.

* Banco Santander SA closed a $2.5 billion issuance of five- and 10-year non-preferred senior debt instruments, Europa Press noted.

* The Spanish High Court sentenced four former managers of Caja Mediterráneo to prison, after finding them guilty of false accounting and misleading investors about the bank's health, according to Reuters.


* Banco BPM SpA will hold two weeks of exclusive talks with Società Cattolica di Assicurazione SC to define the terms of a new bancassurance joint venture, MF and Reuters reported. Meanwhile UniCredit SpA and UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA kicked off talks to renew their nonlife Incontra Assicurazioni joint venture, MF wrote.

* Cerved and doBank SpA reached an agreement on the management of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA nonperforming loans, with Cerved taking on a nominal €13 billion and doBank a nominal €8 billion, MF reported. DoBank also committed to investing €30 million in the Atlante II rescue fund, Reuters noted.

* Cerberus, Lindorff, Fortress and Mediobanca - Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA in partnership with Algebris presented offers for the €1 billion nominal value Project Firenze nonperforming loan portfolio being prepared by UniCredit, MF reported.

* Net NPLs held by Italian banks at the end of September stood at €65.3 billion, the lowest since March 2013, MF reported, citing data from Italian banking association ABI.

* Barents Reinsurance is readying legal action in a Lazio administrative court to contest the decision by the liquidators of Veneto Banca SpA to hold exclusive talks with Attestor for the sale of Banca Intermobiliare, Il Messaggero wrote.


* Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) reported third-quarter group profit attributable to shareholders of 4.17 billion Swedish kronor, down 9% from 4.56 billion kronor in the year-ago period. Attributable profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30 declined on a yearly basis to 12.34 billion kronor from 12.80 billion kronor.

* Swedish financial regulator Finansinspektionen is pushing back the implementation of stricter mortgage amortization rules to March 2018 from January, Göteborgs Posten reported.

* Inge Hansen notified Gjensidige Forsikring ASA that he is stepping down as chairman and will not seek re-election to the board in 2018. Hansen has chaired Gjensidige's board since 2008.


* Piraeus Bank SA agreed to sell its Serbian banking and leasing operations to Direktna Banka a.d. Kragujevac for a total cash consideration of €58 million to €61 million.

* The Polish Financial Supervision Authority confirmed the May 15, 2018, deadline for Raiffeisen Bank International AG to list at least 15% of Raiffeisen Bank Polska SA on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

* More than 100 top employees of Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank, recently taken over by the Russian central bank, will be included on a central bank blacklist, with a similar fate awaiting top managers of B&N Bank, bailed out by the central bank in September, Kommersant wrote. Bankers on the list are not allowed to hold high positions in banks and other financial sector companies for at least five years.

* JSC Housing Construction Savings Bank of Kazakhstan (Zhilstroysberbank) could be privatized in the second half of 2018, reported, citing Aidar Arifkhanov, the deputy head of Kazakhstan's National Managing Holding Baiterek, the lender's sole shareholder.


Asia-Pacific: Thailand denies alleged currency manipulation; AIG eyes Suncorp's life biz

Middle East & Africa: Commercial Bank posts profit drop; South Africa 'cautious' about monetary policy

Latin America: Itau-XP Investimentos deal seen as 'complex'; Finandina head resigns

North America: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Q3 EPS up; Wells Fargo units to pay $3.4M

North America Insurance: Bipartisan health bill includes subsidies; hefty ACA rate hikes in more states


Data Dispatch EMEA: Securitization no longer a dirty word in Europe, but volumes lag pre-crisis peak: Securitization still carries negative associations from the U.S. subprime crisis and toxic commercial property deals. But experts argue that it's not securitization itself that is the problem, but reckless use of the structure.

Bank stress test talk leads to 'moral hazard', Eurobank chairman warns: Nikolaos Karamouzis warned that speculation about possible capital shortfalls at Greek banks is generating strategic defaults, share sell-offs and deposit withdrawals and is hampering the country's recovery.

Rich Lovie, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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