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Singapore fines 2 banks on 1MDB-related case; SGX flags another trading hiccup

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Singapore fines 2 banks on 1MDB-related case, other regulatory moves

* The Monetary Authority of Singapore fined the local branches of Standard Chartered Plc and Coutts & Co Ltd. S$5.2 million and S$2.4 million, respectively, for violating anti-money laundering regulations in connection with 1Malaysia Development Bhd.-related fund flows through the banks.

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission fined Taishin International Bank Co. Ltd. NT$8 million and ordered the lender to suspend conducting new derivative transactions for the bank's malpractice in the sale of target redemption forwards to local investors. DBS Bank (Taiwan) Ltd. faces an NT$10 million fine over the same issue.

* Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission recommended a ¥219.9 million fine against Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co. Ltd. for allegedly manipulating to raise the price of Seibu Holdings Inc.'s shares.

* The Reserve Bank of India kept its policy rates on hold as it awaits the effects of the government's demonetization initiative on the economy to unfold. Separately, the central bank withdrew the incremental cash reserve ratio, or CRR, imposed on banks, effective Dec. 10.

* Indian authorities have started an audit in certain branches of public sector banks following the government's decision to demonetize 500 rupees and 1,000 rupees bills.

* The State Bank of Pakistan approved the establishment of a real-time gross settlement system for Islamic branches of conventional banks to help improve the efficiency of their financial services.

Fukuoka Financial/Eighteenth Bank merger faces delay, other M&A updates

* The proposed merger of Fukuoka Financial Group Inc. and Eighteenth Bank Ltd. is likely to be delayed as Japan's Fair Trade Commission has taken a longer time than originally expected to review the case. Fukuoka Financial, however, said the scheduled effective date of the share exchange has not been changed from April 1, 2017.

* Macquarie Group Ltd. sold its A$20 million exposure to Slater & Gordon's debt. Macquarie was one of the lenders that funded Slater & Gordon's disastrous purchase of U.K.-based Quindell Plc's professional services business in 2015.

* India's Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd. confirmed that a unit of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. will acquire a 51% stake in the bank for 10 billion rupees.

* State Bank of India could sell up to a 5% stake in SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. by December. Separately, the Indian lender has offered to sell a 10% stake in the joint venture to BNP Paribas Cardif.

* MCB Bank Ltd. and NIB Bank Ltd. agreed to merge via a share swap agreement.

* Shin Kong Financial Holding Co. Ltd. will acquire a 12.3% stake in Cathay Financial Holding Co. Ltd. for NT$6.16 billion.

In other news

* Singapore Exchange Ltd. delayed market opening for some derivatives contracts Dec. 8 after experiencing issues with the December Nikkei 225 Futures contracts.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia paid an additional A$5 million in compensation to victims of bad financial advice due to additional licensing conditions.

* China Galaxy Securities Co. Ltd. received approval for its proposed Shanghai IPO from the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The company will offer approximately 1.69 billion A shares.

* Philippine Savings Bank expects its net profit to grow by double digits in 2017 compared to a single-digit pace seen in 2016.

* China has debuted a new centralized exchange for commercial paper trading to better regulate and consolidate the rapidly growing market for such instruments.

* BDO Unibank Inc. confirmed that it will be conducting a stock rights offer following a media report that said it was readying a 60 billion pesos stock rights offer.

* Bank of China Ltd. denied it was limiting foreign exchange sales for clients in Shanghai, saying it was still processing forex sales for clients with "real trade background."

* South Korean President Park Geun-hye agreed to resign in April 2017 as protests mount against her over an influence-peddling scandal. Park reached the agreement with her party after opposition lawmakers said they might have ample votes for her impeachment.

* New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his resignation at his weekly press conference on Dec. 5, citing family reasons.

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