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ANZ closes 2 deals; NY regulator fines South Korean bank

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

Deal news in Asia-Pacific

* New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office rejected the application of HNA Group Co. Ltd. to acquire ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd. unit UDC Finance Ltd., citing uncertainty over HNA Group's ownership structure.

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. completed the sale of its retail business in Vietnam to Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd. Separately, the Australian bank closed the sale of its 20% stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. to China COSCO Shipping Corp. Ltd. and Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.

* South Korea's Financial Services Commission suspended its review of Hana Financial Group Inc.'s proposed acquisition of UBS Group AG's 51% stake in their asset management joint venture.

* Industrial Bank of Korea is reportedly in talks to acquire major stakes in two unnamed Indonesian banks.

* Mega Bank Nepal Ltd.'s board approved the share swap ratio for its proposed merger with Tourism Development Bank Ltd.

* Malaysia's CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. completed the sale of an approximately 18.21% stake in Bank of Yingkou Co. Ltd. to Shanghai Guozhijie Investment Development Co. Ltd.

Fines, corrective actions and more

* New York's financial regulator fined South Korea-based NongHyup Bank and its New York branch US$11 million for failing to implement and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program.

* The Reserve Bank of India directed United Bank of India to take certain additional corrective actions aimed at improving profit, boosting capital and reducing costs.

* Separately, the Indian central bank placed Bank of India under the prompt corrective action framework partly due to the lender's high level of net nonperforming assets.

* Bangladesh Bank froze 760 million taka worth of funds of One Bank Ltd. and Premier Bank Ltd. for breaching the permissible limit for their advance-deposit ratios and issued warnings to two other banks.

* Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi central bank recommended the removal of AB Bank Ltd. Chairman M. Wahidul Haque for his alleged involvement in money laundering.

More regulatory news

* The People's Bank of China announced new rules that will lift the ceiling of automatic pledge financing to lenders.

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission asked banks and other financial institutions not to participate in virtual currency tradings or provide such services.

* In more digital currency news, South Korea's Financial Services Commission plans to tighten rules related to cyptocurrencies.

* The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced a new measure to help borrowers avoid accumulating excessive unsecured debts.

* Central banks of Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, in separate decisions, kept their respective policy rates unchanged.

* National Australia Bank Ltd. and its former U.K.-based subsidiary Clydesdale Bank Plc are facing a lawsuit in the U.K. over loan products sold to customers by the latter.

In other news

* Effective implementation of China's new rules on capital management, corporate governance and risk controls for China Development Bank, Export-Import Bank of China and Agricultural Development Bank of China will be credit positive for the sovereign, Moody's said.

* Thailand's finance ministry is considering offering domestic commercial banks tax incentives to merge in order to gain scale and compete with overseas banks.

* India-based Bank of Maharashtra warned its operations will likely be affected by an employee strike planned for Dec. 27.

* China Construction Bank Corp. obtained approval from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to operate in the country.

* JSCB for Investment and Development of Vietnam, or BIDV, closed its representative office in Yangon, Myanmar.

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