* Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Holdings Co. and willacquire Singapore's ACR Capital Holdings Pte. Ltd., The Wall Street Journal reported,citing a statement from the reinsurer. The two Chinese firms will purchase ACRCapital for US$1 billion, according to a person familiar with the situation.
* Thailand-based GroupLease Public Co. Ltd. is acquiring a 29.99% stake in Sri Lanka-based CommercialCredit & Finance Plc, as well as the remaining 28.1% stake in CCF'smicrofinance subsidiary in Myanmar.
* The Office of the Swiss Attorney General asked Malaysianauthorities to provide mutual legal assistance relating to an investigationinto a political scandal involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd., The Edge reported.Swiss authorities earlier asked for such assistance in January, which wentunanswered, the publication noted.
* The World Bank maintained its forecast of China's economicgrowth at 6.7% and 6.5% for 2016 and 2017, respectively, and downgraded itsprojection of China's GDP growth for 2018 to 6.3% from 6.5%, Sina Finance reported.
* Nearly 25% of enterprises in China had such low earningsin the first half that their profits were not enough to pay back the interestincurred by their debts, Reuters reported.Chinese enterprises had a total debt pile of US$18 trillion, or about 169% ofthe country's GDP. China may sink into long-term economic stagnation instead ofgoing through a Lehman-style crisis, the news wire noted.
* Chinese internet insurer Zhong An Online Property andCasualty Insurance is looking to raise about US$2 billion in a Hong Kong IPO in 2017,Reuters reported, citing IFR.
* Overseas branches of Taiwanese banks in August reported anet loss of NT$3.74 billion, dragged down by a massive fine levied againstMega International CommercialBank Co. Ltd.'s New York branch for breaches of U.S. anti-moneylaundering rules, the Taipei Times reported.Overall, domestic banks saw their earnings dip 20.7% month over month and 13%year over year to NT$21.66 billion in August.
* Bank of EastAsia Ltd. and NSW Holdings Ltd. agreed to sellTricor Holdings Ltd. to private equity firm Permira for HK$6.47 billion. Bankof East Asia and NSW Holdings hold 75.61% and 24.39% stakes, respectively, inthe share registry business through East Asia Secretaries (BVI) Ltd.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Convenience store chain operator Lawson Inc. will set up abank in 2018 through a joint venture with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in November, The Asahi Shimbun reported.Lawson will hold a 95% stake in the venture.
* Japan PostInsurance Co. Ltd. marked its centennial anniversary withchallenges facing its plan to diversify into new services, The Mainichi Shimbun reported.
* The Japanese Bankers Association and the General InsuranceAssociation of Japan urged early ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnershipfree trade agreement, The MainichiShimbun reported.
* Bank ofYokohama Ltd. will introduce a new smartphone banking applicationin March 2017 to allow users to pay for things they buy without the need for acredit card, The Nikkei reported.
* According to South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service,South Korean banks earned a combined net income of US$310 million from overseasbranches in the first half, down 17.5% from a year ago, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.
* MeritzSecurities Co. Ltd. and other South Korean institutional investorsbought Deutsche Telekom AG's global headquarters building in Bonn, Germany, for264 billion won, Yonhap News Agency reported.
* Thailand's Ministry of Finance said the government wouldbe able to help resolve about 100 billion baht of informal loans, Thailand's Krungthep Turakij reported. Peoplewith informal loans can register themselves with Thai authorities as well aswith Bank for Agriculture &Agricultural Co-operatives and Government Savings Bank to start a negotiation processand turn their informal loans into formal ones. Meanwhile, informal loanproviders will soon be able to register themselves as pico-finance loanproviders.
* The World Bank expects the Thai economy to grow by 3.1% in2016, up from its previous estimate of 2.5%, Krungthep Turakij reported. Factorsdriving the economy include fiscal measures, while challenges include politicalrisks. The world body also expects Indonesia's GDP growth to stay at 5.1% in2016, The Jakarta Globe reported.
* KASIKORNBANKPCL finds that Thai people are frequently using credit cards to paymedical bills, Thailand's Daily News reported. In 2015,medical spending made through credit cards stood at more than 100 billion baht,or 10% of total credit card spending. Medical spending through the bank'scredit cards in the same year stood at about 33 billion baht, with the figureexpected to increase to more than 60 billion baht in the next five years.
* Thanachart Insurance expects its premium collection at theend of 2016 to grow by 5%, higher than the industry's average of 3.5% as theauto market starts to recover, KrungthepTurakij reported.
* CIMB GroupHoldings Bhd. Chairman Nazir Razak praised the success ofIndonesia's tax amnesty program, calling it "phenomenal," Kompas reported.
* Vietnam has enjoyed Asia’s fastest reduction in bond riskas foreign direct investments and exports move upward, Bloomberg News reported.
* The Indian government will set up an independent agency aspart of efforts toward establishing a debt management authority, The Hindu Business Line reported.The role of managing debt is performed by the Reserve Bank of India.
* The property-backed loan portfolios of financialinstitutions in India may see an increase in bad loans, Mint reported,citing a study by India Ratings & Research Ltd. Bad loans in the segmentmay rise by 5% within six months to a year.
* Peer-to-peer lender Faircent is looking to venture intothe secured loans market, BusinessStandard reported.The company has already started offering auto loans.
* SilkbankLtd. refuted market speculation that the lender was granted approvalfrom Pakistan's central bank to sell about 75% of its shares to Gourmet Group, Pakistan Today reported. The managementof both companies told the publication that the rumor was false speculationaimed at drawing interest around Silkbank stock so that investors could bookintraday profits.
AUSTRALIA AND NEWZEALAND
* Australia& New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. CEO Shayne Elliott said thebank reinstated five out of seven traders accused of rate rigging in 2014 as aninternal inquiry found them to have done nothing wrong, The Australian Financial Review reported.The reinstatements were made while the Australian Securities and InvestmentsCommission was investigating the matter.
* ANZ may cut its credit card rates, which currently standas high as 20%, The Australian reported,citing a statement by Elliott.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THEWORLD
Middle East & Africa: Attijariwafa to buy Barclays Egypt; South Africa's FSB backs newexchange
Europe: Bradford & Bingley loan sale resumed; Bankia-BMN merger likelyin 2017
Latin America: Itaú, Citi said to near deal; name change for Banco Nacional deMéxico
North America: Regulators release updated versions of living wills by 8 largebanks; CFPB issues new prepaid card rules
North America Insurance: Japan's Sompo to buy Endurance; Markel/Allied World deal talksfail
Sally Wang, JonathanCheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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