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Mizuho to launch cryptocurrency in 2019; Allahabad Bank to raise 8B rupees

GREATER CHINA

* The Financial Stability and Development Committee under China's State Council said the country is seeking more channels to support commercial banks to replenish capitals and will expedite the issuance of perpetual bonds, Xinhua News Agency reported.

* Liu Wei, former party secretary of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange's investment center, was appointed party secretary of the country's National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors, Caixin reported. The association's former party secretary, Xie Duo, became chairman of Silk Road Fund Co. Ltd. but remains the association's secretary general.

* China Huarong Asset Management Co. Ltd. completed the issuance of Tier 2 capital bonds worth 10 billion yuan.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* The Japanese government will raise the individual ceiling on savings accounts at Japan Post Bank Co. Ltd. to ¥26 million from ¥13 million, with effect from April 2019, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

* Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will issue its own cryptocurrency in March 2019 with participation from about 60 regional banks, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

* Four executives at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., including Chairman Tetsuya Kubo and CEO Yoshihiko Shimizu, will face two-month pay cuts in connection with an insider trading scandal involving a former employee, The Nikkei reported.

* The monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea has set its inflation target for 2019 at 2%, unchanged from the current medium-term inflation target.

ASEAN

* State-owned lender Government Savings Bank will propose to the Thai cabinet several measures for its clients with good loan payment record, including return of partial interest, Post Today reported. Meanwhile, Government Housing Bank will distribute organic rice packs to some of its loan clients while Bank for Agriculture & Agricultural Co-operatives will refund partial interest to clients with good loan payment record.

* Small & Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand has prepared 10 billion baht for a low-interest rate loan scheme for taxi drivers in Thailand, Krungthep Turakij reported. The bank hopes that its loan scheme would allow taxi drivers to upgrade or keep their vehicles in good condition.

* Chinese payments platform Alipay reportedly approached PT Bank Central Asia Tbk and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk, while WeChat Pay is said to be collaborating with PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk and PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk, as Indonesia prepares for a push into mobile payments, Kompas reported.

* Indonesia's Financial Services Authority formed a joint secretariat with six institutions that were previously part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institution, Bisnis Indonesia reported. The Indonesian institutions are the Capital Market Arbitration Agency, the Insurance Mediation and Arbitration Agency, the Pension Fund Mediation Agency, the Alternative Institute for Indonesian Banking Dispute Resolution, the Arbitration and Mediation Agency and the Financial and Mortgage Mediation Agency.

SOUTH ASIA

* Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. appointed retired Indian Administrative Service official Bijay Kumar deputy managing director and named N. Srinivasan nonexecutive director of the company.

* Allahabad Bank looks to raise up to 8 billion Indian rupees from divestments by March 31, 2019, The Hindu Business Line reported. The lender also said it expects to receive additional capital from the Indian government.

* General insurers in India are planning a registry of repeat offenders who routinely make claims with fake policies or seek exaggerated claims, The Hindu Business Line reported.

* A Dec. 26 strike by Indian bank employee unions against the proposed merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank have affected operations at branches of public-sector lenders across the country, Press Trust of India reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* New Zealand-based Veritas Investments Ltd. said Tim Cook resigned as director of the Veritas group of companies, effective Jan. 25, 2019.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Latin America: Grupo Wiese agrees to sell Sura AM stake; Colombia maintains key rate

Global Insurance: Indonesia tsunami death toll reaches 430; Stackhouse in talks with suitors

R Sio, Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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