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In This List

Malaysia's BIMB eyes restructuring; APRA keeps bank buffers at 0%

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Street Talk Episode 68 - As many investors zig away from bank stocks, 2 vets in the space zag toward them


Malaysia's BIMB eyes restructuring; APRA keeps bank buffers at 0%

GREATER CHINA

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission said it imposed a penalty of NT$1.2 million on Mercuries Life Insurance Co. Ltd. for breaching insurance and anti-money laundering regulations, the island's Central News Agency reported.

* Taiwan's economic growth could lose some of its resilience to global trade protectionism in 2020, Taiwan Ratings Corp. said in its outlook report. Declining global demand remains the largest credit risk for the island's corporate sector, while local lenders have been less exposed to the fallout from ongoing trade tensions in the region, the rating agency noted.

* China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd. issued US$500 million of floating-rate notes due in 2022 under the bank's US$5 billion medium-term note program, which are expected to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange on or around Dec. 12.

* China's Ministry of Finance issued a notice saying that any capital increase or share sales in state-owned financial institutions would need a final nod from the ministry as well as from local governments, in an effort to prevent the government from losing its controlling stake in them, Reuters reported.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Nomura Holdings Inc. agreed to acquire U.S.-based sustainable technology and infrastructure investment company Greentech Capital Advisors LP, the Japanese company said in a release. The transaction is expected to complete March 31, 2020, pending relevant regulatory approvals.

* South Korea's Suhyup Bank has issued foreign currency certificate deposits worth US$20 million for foreign investors, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported, citing the bank.

* South Korean asset management firm Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. Ltd. said its Hong Kong-based affiliate took part in the issuance of perpetual subordinate bonds worth US$500 million with China State Construction International Holdings Ltd., Yonhap News Agency reported.

ASEAN

* Wirawat Panthawangkun, senior executive vice president of Kasikornbank PCL, said its loans to small and midsize enterprises are likely to grow by 1% in 2019, falling short of the target range of 2% to 4% due to challenges such as the slowing economy, global trade disputes and a strong baht, Krungthep Turakij reported. SMEs' bad loans are also on the rise, prompting the lender to tighten lending standards, Wirawat added.

* Thailand-based TMB Bank PCL issued perpetual subordinated bonds worth US$400 million to foreign institutional investors Dec. 2, Post Today reported. Piti Tantakasem, CEO of the lender, said it was the first Thai bank to issue U.S. dollar-denominated bonds, which were counted as additional Tier 1 capital.

* Malaysia's BIMB Holdings Bhd. proposed a group restructuring under which it would transfer its entire equity interest in BIMB Securities (Holdings) Sdn. Bhd., BIMB Securities Sdn. Bhd. and Syarikat Al-Ijarah Sdn. Bhd. to Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. for a total of 115.1 million ringgit in cash. BIMB Holdings will distribute its entire shareholdings in Bank Islam Malaysia and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd. to its shareholders by way of distribution-in-specie.

* Indonesian private lender PT Bank Central Asia Tbk acquired PT Bank Rabobank International Indonesia for 397 billion rupiah, Bisnis Indonesia said. Rabobank deputy CEO Soemenggriea Jongkamto said it expects Bank Central Asia to provide support for the newly acquired unit, which has seen its portfolio decline since 2018.

* Thai lender Bangkok Bank PCL is competing against Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. as the leading bidders for Standard Chartered PLC's Indonesian unit, PT Bank Permata Tbk, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

SOUTH ASIA

* India's cabinet approved a 53-billion-rupee capital infusion for India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd. through recapitalization bonds in fiscal year 2019-20 to help increase its lending capabilities, Mint reported. It also approved raising the authorized capital of the firm to 250 billion rupees from 60 billion rupees. Of the total amount, 100 billion rupees will be injected into IIFCL next year, the report added.

* IIFL Asset Management Ltd. plans to expand its existing US$400 million fund in the first half of 2020 by courting global investors to raise US$1 billion, Bloomberg News reported quoting the asset manager's chief investment officer, Anup Maheshwari. IIFL plans to invest the capital in India's private banks, nonbank financial companies, insurance companies, asset management firms, stock exchanges and credit card providers.

* India's cabinet approved a partial credit guarantee scheme for nonbanking financial companies and housing finance companies rated up to BBB+, The Economic Times reported. The scheme covers bonds of up to 1 trillion rupees.

* Pakistan's JS Global Capital Ltd. submitted a public announcement of intention to acquire up to a 45.03% stake in Next Capital Ltd on behalf of certain acquirers. The acquirers currently own a 29.95% stake in Next Capital.

* The State Bank of Pakistan imposed fines of 60.8 million rupees against Allied Bank Ltd., 91.9 million rupees against MCB Bank Ltd., 14.0 million rupees against Bank of Punjab and 26.0 million rupees against Habib Bank Ltd. for violations in customer due diligence and know-your-customer norms.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority decided to keep the countercyclical capital buffer for banks at zero, basing its decision on an assessment of systemic risk environment for banks. The regulator added that it was considering introducing a non-zero default level for the buffer as part of broader reforms of banks' capital framework. The revised capital framework is expected to come into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority levied additional license conditions on Avanteos Investments Ltd., a unit of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for charging financial advice fees to deceased customers, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing the regulator's deputy chairman, Helen Rowell. She also pointed out the possibility of additional fines against the firm.

* Credit Suisse Group AG hired Emily Smith a director of investment banking and capital markets, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported. Smith joined from Deutsche Bank AG.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: QNB names CEO; Fitch downgrades HSBC's UAE unit; Tunisian insurer plots IPO

Europe: Credit Suisse cuts key target; HSBC's Swiss unit fined; UBS suffers court defeat

Latin America: XP prices IPO above target range; Finvest seeks digital bank license

North America: Wells joins fee-free race; SEC OKs semi-transparent ETFs for 4 asset managers

Global Insurance: New York Life/Cigna talks; Prudential Financial caution; Axis Capital COO out

Taiwan Ratings is the Taiwanese arm of S&P Global Ratings, a division of S&P Global.

R Sio, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.

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