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Wirecard faces heat; US charges Halkbank over sanctions; German bank raided


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Wirecard faces heat; US charges Halkbank over sanctions; German bank raided

* Michel Barnier, the European Union's Brexit negotiator, said fresh Brexit proposals from the U.K. were not satisfactory, but kept Brexit hopes alive by saying a deal was possible this week. Meanwhile, EU officials speaking to Bloomberg News said there is optimism that there could be a breakthrough before the end of Tuesday.


* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC approached digital lender Monzo Bank Ltd. regarding a potential takeover before balking at the price tag, The Daily Telegraph reported. RBS decided it would be cheaper to set up its own digital bank and is set to launch the mobile-focused Bó next month.

* HSBC Holdings PLC has hired Bermuda-based Lazard Ltd for the sale of its French retail business, insiders told Reuters. The investment bank was expected to sound out BNP Paribas SA, Crédit Mutuel Group and Société Générale SA, and auction is expected to kick off in the coming weeks.

* U.K. asset manager Schroders PLC's total assets under management amounted to £450.8 billion at Sept. 30, up from £407.2 billion as of Jan. 1.

* British investment group Shore Capital Group Ltd. received shareholders' approval for the cancellation of the admission of the company's shares to trading on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market. The company said it sought to cancel the listing because its shares were undervalued, because the costs of maintaining the listing were disproportionate to the benefits gained, and because it had sufficient capital to meet growth ambitions, thereby negating the need for the listing.

* Egypt-based African Export-Import Bank confirmed its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange through the listing of global depositary receipts representing class D ordinary shares. The admission is expected to occur in November.


* German payments firm Wirecard AG's accounting practices appear to show an effort to inflate sales and profits at operations in Dubai and Ireland, according to a report in the Financial Times. The company said the article is "a compilation of a number of false and misleading allegations," Reuters reported. Wirecard shares fell on the news.

* Public prosecutors in Cologne conducted a raid at Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank eG on suspicion of possible involvement in illicit cum-ex dividend deals in the years 2009 and 2010, reported.

* Credit Suisse Group AG will increase the number of private bankers employed to serve its richest clients, Bloomberg News reported, citing an internal memo.

* Banque Profil de Gestion SA, the Swiss subsidiary of Italy's Banca Profilo SpA, issued a profit warning for the third quarter of this year, saying that it will record lower results than those it recorded Sept. 30, 2018, without detailing the reasons.

* Australian bank Macquarie has been accused of financing a fund linked to the so-called cum-ex tax deals, Bloomberg News reported. According to a lawyer for investors who lost money, the bank took about ‎€48 million "for nothing."

* Tobias Wagner, CEO of Société Générale Private Banking (Suisse) SA, has left the company together with a client adviser team as part of a restructuring of the Zurich-based branch office, Inside Paradeplatz reported.

* German fintech Smava GmbH, which specializes in online loan comparison and brokerage, has postponed its planned IPO because of disappointing results in the first half of the year, Deutsche Startups wrote.


* AXA SA is planning to offload its businesses in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in a deal that could be worth between €400 million and €800 million. The French insurer reportedly sent information packs to potential investors, including Poland-based Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń Spółka Akcyjna, Italy-based Generali, and Germany-based Allianz Group.

* Matthieu Duncan, the CEO of Ostrum Asset Management, is leaving the group and will be replaced by current Groupama Group asset management unit CEO Philippe Setbon, according to L'Agefi.


* Spanish mergers and acquisitions are set to drop by 10% in 2019 and 4.8% in 2020 due to economic uncertainty, according to Baker McKenzie and Oxford Economics' new Global Transaction Forecast report, Europa press wrote.

* Large Brazilian Banks including Itau Unibanco and Banco Bradesco are looking at opening wealth-management businesses in Portugal as increasing numbers of wealthy Brazilians move to the country, Bloomberg reported. Portugal has drawn rich foreigners with resident permits and tax incentives for non-Europeans who buy property worth more than 500,000.

* Angola's ARC competition regulator has given the go-ahead for Banco Económico SA to take control of insurer Tranquilidade Seguros de Angola by buying a stake in the company from Portugal's Sociedades Unidas, Expansão reported.


* Generali's chairman said that good results the Italian insurer has racked up are proof that it is well-run and has shareholders' backing, Reuters reported. Italian businessman Leonardo del Vecchio, who has a 7% stake of Generali's main shareholder Mediobanca - Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA and owns just under 5% of Generali, blamed the insurer's CEO and his counterpart at Mediobanca for Generali's poor share price performance compared to peers.

* Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo SpA does not plan to follow the lead of UniCredit SpA by applying negative interest rates on large deposits but will offer alternative solutions, MF reported, citing Intesa's chairman.

* Banca Generali SpA has completed the acquisition of 90.1% of the capital of the Swiss private banking boutique Valeur Fiduciaria SA, Reuters reported.


* New York prosecutors have filed and indictment against Türkiye Halk Bankası AŞ relating to fraud, money laundering and sanctions offenses in connection with a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran. The U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York said the bank's participation in moving Iranian oil revenue was executed by senior officials, and protected by Turkish government officials, some of whom received bribes.

* PJSC Moscow Exchange MICEX-RTS prepared a new, five-year dividend policy, under which it will earmark at least 60% of its net profit under international financial reporting standards for dividend payouts starting from 2020, Vedomosti reported.

* Russian insurer AlfaStrakhovanie PLC said it purchased regional insurance company Nadezhda. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. During a transition period preceding integration with the new owner, Nadezhda will carry out operations as a company within Alfa Insurance Group, preserving its brand and product line, Alfastrakhovanie said.

* The Polish Financial Supervision Authority revised the list of Poland's other systemically important institutions, removing Alior Bank SA and Deutsche Bank Polska SA from the list as they no longer fulfill the criteria, news agency PAP reported.

* An English appellate court confirmed JSC CB PRIVATBANK's right to pursue its fraud claims against its former shareholders Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov under English jurisdiction and ruled that the existing worldwide freezing order on the former owners' assets should remain in place, the Ukrainian lender said. The case is part of an ongoing legal battle between Privatbank and its ex-shareholders, which started after the financial institution was nationalized in 2016.

* Romanian President Klaus Iohannis named Ludovic Orban, the leader of the opposition National Liberal Party, as the country's prime minister-designate following the ouster of Viorica Dăncilă and her government last week. Iohannis had asked Orban to form a transitional government that would be in place until Romania's next parliamentary election in 2020.


Asia-Pacific: China opens up banking, insurance sectors; Latitude IPO falls through

Middle East & Africa: Dubai Islamic Bank, Bank Muscat post profits; Wafa Insurance CEO steps down

Latin America: PagSeguro launches follow-on offer; Banco Security names new CEO

North America: JPMorgan posts YOY Q3 net income growth; Citi eyeing securities unit in China


Short a radical rethink, UK's Metro Bank could be takeover target: The troubled challenger bank needs a new chairman to lead a thorough restructuring of the business if it is to survive as an independent entity, according to analysts at stockbroker Goodbody.

Progress on making OTC derivatives market safer is limited, says FSB: G-20 rules on making derivatives market safer and more transparent are a long time coming, with only Australia fully compliant with all the requirements, according to the Financial Stability Board.

Lebanon's banks brace for more pain as economy feels full force of gravity: Domestic lenders' exposure to the country's sovereign debt is testing their resilience amid an "economic emergency" that has hit investor confidence and prompted rating agencies to take action on credit ratings.

Ben Meggeson, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.