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Tryg Q1 profit up; Deutsche rules out merger; Banco Popular to sell €1.2B asset


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Tryg Q1 profit up; Deutsche rules out merger; Banco Popular to sell €1.2B asset

* The ECB proposed revisions to the draft legislation on foreign bank regulation currently under discussion among EU member states, urging the EU to implement tighter regulation and capital requirements on large branches of foreign lenders within the bloc, according to an ECB proposal seen by Reuters.

* ECB President Mario Draghi said the negative side-effects of the central bank's monetary policy "have so far been limited," quashing rumors that the regulator might end its negative-interest-rate policy this year, the Financial Times reports. ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet said raising the negative deposit rate too early would make its other policies less effective.

* The Bank for International Settlements published a report that sets out eight principles for central banks to consider when providing liquidity assistance in times of stress, particularly to large globally operating institutions. The BIS noted the need for central banks to plan ahead and work more closely together in the event of another financial crisis, Reuters reports.


* Co-operative Bank Plc said it has received a number of nonbinding proposals from strategic and financial parties regarding its sale and capital raise process, which is now moving forward to the next phase.

* Old Mutual Plc has put its 50% stake in Old Mutual-Guodian Life Insurance Co. Ltd., an insurance joint venture with the Chinese state-run power group Guodian Corp., up for sale, insiders tell Reuters. Old Mutual is consulting financial advisers on the stake sale and may sell its holding to one or more local firms.

* The Bank of England could end its corporate bond purchase scheme as soon as this month, earlier than the initial timetable of 18 months, as the program nears its goal of £10 billion, Bloomberg News reports.

* Standard Life Plc is considering establishing its EU base in Dublin after Britain leaves the bloc, The Irish Times reports. Separately, RSA Insurance Group Plc reportedly decided against setting up its post-Brexit EU base in Ireland, where unit RSA Insurance Ireland DAC remains under investigation by regulators for alleged financial irregularities.

* A jury acquitted former Barclays Plc traders Ryan Reich and Stylianos Contogoulas of conspiring to rig LIBOR, Reuters reports.

* Roger Millay will retire as CFO of Willis Towers Watson Plc, effective Oct. 2.

* The Bank of England launched a consultation on the establishment of a Shariah-compliant deposit facility using a fund-based model and said it may start work on an accompanying Shariah-compliant liquidity insurance facility once the deposit facility is operational and fully evaluated. The deadline for responses is May 23.


* Deutsche Bank AG CEO John Cryan has ruled out a merger with another bank, telling Reuters that "we have other things to do." According to Bloomberg News, the bank was able to place almost 100% of the €8 billion worth of new shares on offer in its capital increase, sales for which ended yesterday.

* Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale reported a consolidated net loss of €1.96 billion for the 2016 full year, compared to a year-ago net profit of €518 million, after booking a more than fourfold increase in loan-loss provisions, with €2.94 billion set aside for ship-financing risks in 2016, compared to €840 million a year earlier. The lender's planned sale of a €1.3 billion package of problematic shipping loans to U.S. investment firm KKR & Co. LP has been postponed due to the continued shipping crisis but could be concluded before July, Handelsblatt reports, citing Hinrich Holm, NORD/LB's deputy chairman of the management board.

* U.K. authorities are increasing the pressure on Credit Suisse Group AG regarding alleged tax violations of its clients after arresting a British woman at her home and seizing her assets following a joint investigation between Dutch and British authorities, finews reports, citing Agence France-Presse.

* StatPro Group Plc agreed to acquire UBS Delta for a total consideration of €13 million in cash, paid over three years, from UBS Group AG.


* Dutch insurer NN Group NV is set to sell its Luxembourg life insurance business to U.S. Global Bankers Insurance Group, Het Financieele Dagblad reports.

* In an interview with La Tribune, Euronext NV CEO Stéphane Boujnah poured cold water on the idea of a merger with Deutsche Börse AG.


* Spain's Banco Popular Español SA has mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch to sell its 49% stake in credit card and savings bank WiZink, a sale that could potentially raise €1.2 billion for the lender, according to El Economista.

* Qatar Investment Authority sold a roughly 2.5% stake in Banco Santander (Brasil) SA, pricing both an offering of 80 million units as well as an overallotment option for up to an additional 12.0 million units at 25 Brazilian reais per unit. The sale of the stake in the Banco Santander SA unit through Qatar Holding LLC generated 2.3 billion reais for the sovereign wealth fund.

* CaixaBank SA has launched a 100-day plan to improve operations, reduce costs and increase earnings at Banco BPI SA, according to a Cinco Días report. CaixaBank completed its takeover of the Portuguese lender in February, and CEO Gonzalo Gortázar said synergies were expected to reach 120 million per year from 2019, Jornal de Negócios reports.


* Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA is asking for at least €2 billion in damages for the bad management carried out by its former executives, all dailies including Il Sole 24 Ore write, noting that the exact amount is still being determined.

* The rescue of Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca SpA may involve thousands of redundancies, not just through early retirements and voluntary exits but also through lay-offs, Corriere della Sera writes.

* Investors interested in purchasing Banco BPM SpA's €700 million bad loan portfolio are required to submit nonbinding bids by April 10, insiders tell Reuters. Binding bids from a selection of five or six buyers are expected around June 10.

* The Sardegna Foundation aims to gain control of Sardinian regional bank Banco di Sardegna SpA, which is 49% controlled by the foundation and 51% by BPER Banca SpA, as it is not happy with the way the lender is being managed, Il Messaggero writes.


* Tryg A/S reported first-quarter profit of 605 million Danish kroner, up from 445 million kroner earned in the year-ago period.

* Søren Fohlmann has been appointed chairman of Danish mortgage lender Totalbanken A/S. Fohlmann was previously vice chairman, with Louise Helmer replacing him, Børsen reports.


* JSC ALFA-BANK returned, ahead of schedule, nearly 63 billion Russian rubles worth of government bonds it received in 2015 as financial assistance under Russia's bank recapitalization program, saying it now meets all requirements of the Russian central bank regarding capital adequacy.

* The National Bank of Kazakhstan ordered JSC Kazkommertsbank to produce a plan on how to create 908 billion Kazakhstani tenge in loan loss provisions by April 10, Reuters reports.

* The Czech central bank terminated its policy of foreign-currency interventions and will no longer take measures to prevent the local currency from strengthening, E15 reports. The regulator said, however, that it is ready to use available instruments to mitigate any excessive currency fluctuations. Reuters also has a report.


Asia-Pacific: Old Mutual to sell Chinese JV stake; Indian officials deny Axis Bank stake sale

Middle East & Africa: South Africa ratings ball in Fitch's court; Hapoalim mulls Isracard sale

Latin America: 3 suitors remain for Banco Patagonia; QIA sells Santander Brasil stake

North America: PacWest Bancorp acquiring CU Bancorp for $705M; Cohn could back Glass-Steagall

North America Insurance: GOP struggles to find consensus on health bill; fiduciary rule postponed to June


Dutch insurers 1st to feel sting as European regulator cuts discount rate: A decision by Europe's insurance regulator to cut the rate used to value long-term liabilities is likely to affect Dutch insurers first and foremost.

Aramco IPO, market transparency among key tests for new Saudi exchange boss: Sarah Al Suhaimi's gender and her family background may be an important sign that Saudi Arabia is serious about liberalizing its markets and ensure greater transparency and access at the Riyadh Stock Exchange.

Kushner connection throws a spotlight on the Kremlin's bank: Vnesheconombank, cast into the spotlight by US inquiries into Trump's post-election activity, is a policy tool of the Kremlin, which has been struggling financially since Russia's 2014 recession.

David Hutter, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Mike Hatzidakis, Ali Kayalar, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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