* Standard Chartered PLC is looking to employ up to 40 banking staff each year, mostly in Singapore and Hong Kong, as part of plans to boost its private banking assets to around US$100 billion within five years, Reuters reported, citing Didier von Daeniken, global head for wealth management and private banking at the U.K-based company.
* China's Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. is looking to divest its US$2.4 billion property portfolio in Japan, Reuters reported, quoting two people familiar with the matter. Previous owner Blackstone Group Inc. is bidding for the investments, which mainly consists of residential buildings in Tokyo and other major cities in the country.
* Shanghai plans to allow foreign workers employed by regional headquarters of multinational companies to receive stock options on the A-share market, as part of efforts to attract more overseas companies and boost the city's status into that of a global financial hub, the South China Morning Post reported. The municipal government is also working on new regulations that would allow foreign workers to purchase China-listed A shares.
* The China Securities Regulatory Commission is allowing British accounting firms with over five years of securities-related auditing experience to take part in the Shanghai-London Stock Connect.
* Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. CEO Charles Li said the IPO market and stock trading in Hong Kong remained intact despite recent political unrest in the city. The city has seen 10 weeks of demonstrations by pro-Democracy protesters, which brought hundreds of flights at the city's international airport to a standstill Aug. 13 and 14.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. has securitized tens of billions of yen worth of loans to real estate investment trusts and sold them to pension funds, The Nikkei reported. Mitsubishi UFJ sold the securitized debt to several pension funds with a redemption period of five years.
* Fuyo General Lease Co. Ltd. will buy NOC Outsourcing & Consulting Inc., a Tokyo-based business administration outsourcing firm, for more than ¥10 billion, The Nikkei reported.
* DGB Financial Group Co. Ltd. has dropped its plan to participate in a capital increase sought by K Bank Co.Ltd., The Financial News reported, citing industry sources. DGB Financial currently owns about 3% of the digital bank through DGB Capital Co. Ltd.
* Kasikornbank PCL, Krung Thai Bank PCL, Bangkok Bank PCL and Siam Commercial Bank PCL decided to decrease their loan interest rates, following the monetary policy committee's recent policy interest rate cut, Thailand's Post Today reported. Government Housing Bank President Chatchai Sirilai said state-owned banks are discussing this issue and will reach a decision by next week.
* Manila-based East West Banking Corp. posted an approximately 10% year-over-year rise in net income for the second quarter to 1.41 billion pesos from 1.28 billion pesos in the prior-year period. Net interest margin as of June 30 inched up to 6.5% from 6.4% as of March-end.
* Bank Indonesia's financial system statistics data showed that credit card transactions are slowing down, mainly due to an increase in financial technology alternatives, particularly for low-value transactions, Bisnis Indonesia reported.
* PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk intends to reissue negotiable certificates of deposit that will mature in the second half of 2019, Bisnis Indonesia reported.
* Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. said it has decreased its employee headcount by 43% between October 2018 and June as part of cost-cutting measures, which led to a reduction of its annualized wage bill by nearly 47%, Indo-Asian News Service reported, citing a progress report the beleaguered company submitted to the Mumbai branch of India's National Company Law Tribunal.
* Moody's downgraded the long-term corporate family rating of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd. to Ba2 from Ba1, with a negative outlook, reflecting the possibility that tight financing conditions may continue indefinitely, which could further pressure the company's asset quality and profitability, among other aspects of its credit profile.
* The Internet and Mobile Association of India, a nonprofit industry body, said the Reserve Bank of India is not authorized to prohibit financial firms from providing cryptocurrency-related services, Indo-Asian News Service reported. In a statement to the Supreme Court, the group claims that RBI illegally released a circular to place such a ban, as no law is in place for virtual currencies.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* ASX Ltd. reported an underlying profit after tax of A$492.0 million for the full year ended June 30, up 7.7% from A$457.0 million in the previous fiscal year. The exchange operator hiked its final dividend per share by 4.8% to A$1.143, and declared a special dividend of A$1.291 per share from the sale of its stake in IRESS Ltd.
* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is looking to amend guidelines for responsible lending within the year after it recently lost a case against Westpac Banking Corp. alleging the bank violated relevant laws for mortgage borrowers, The Australian Financial Review reported. The commission may seek legal help with revisions, and is looking to appeal the case.
* The institutional equities business of Jefferies Group LLC's Australian division is set to commence operations Sept. 9, with 41 new employees on board, which include nine support staff and 32 people assigned to equities research, The Australian Financial Review reported.
* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will impose an additional A$250 million capital requirement on Allianz Australia Ltd., following a self-assessment conducted by the Allianz Group unit in 2018, which found that its risk governance fell short of expectations. Allianz was one of 36 financial institutions directed by APRA to conduct a self-assessment after it identified similar issues at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
* Sean Walsh, managing director and co-head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s financing group for Australia and New Zealand is departing the U.S. financial group, The Australian reported, citing an internal company memo.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Absa H1 results up; Plus500 shrugs off profit plunge; Swiss Re in Ivory Coast
Europe: Orcel interested in top HSBC role; MPS sells bad loans; PKO posts profit rise
Latin America: Banco Pan prepares for follow-on offer; Banrisul stops guidance
North America: Virginia banks in $21.4M deal; bank trading rules set for overhaul
Global Insurance: Arch Specialty sues USC; UK's Admiral, Pru post earnings; Aflac TSX delisting
Janna Estares, Emily Lai, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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