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Portugal's Centeno to head Eurogroup; Basel rules deal seen this week


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Portugal's Centeno to head Eurogroup; Basel rules deal seen this week

* Banque de France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau said he is confident that an agreement over global banking regulations will be struck at a meeting of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision on Thursday, after months of wrangling. The Basel Committee has been debating the adoption of a so-called output floor of 72.5%, severely restricting lenders' ability to calculate the risk on their books based on their own formulas. European banks oppose the plan, which would comprise the final peg of Basel III regulations.

* Portuguese Finance Minister Mário Centeno will replace Jeroen Dijsselbloem as the new president of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, effective Jan. 13, 2018. Centeno will serve a 2.5-year term.

* U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker revealed that no final deal between Britain and the EU on the Irish border had been agreed, but noted that much progress has been made. Juncker said he was "confident we can reach sufficient progress" by the European Council summit Dec. 14.

* Australian financial services group Macquarie Group Ltd. is on the lookout for potential acquisition targets in Europe's asset management sector, the Financial Times wrote, citing Shemara Wikramanayake, head of the group's asset management arm.


* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is again extending its investigation into Barclays Plc CEO Jes Staley's attempt to identify a whistleblower, with the probe now expected to be concluded early next year, insiders told Bloomberg News. The regulator initially targeted an October verdict before pushing its target back to December.

* The Scottish Parliament will debate a motion seeking to prevent Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc from closing 259 branches in the U.K., including more than a third of the bank's branches in Scotland, according to Reuters.

* Provident Financial Plc said the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has opened an investigation into unit Moneybarn in relation to the processes it applied to customer affordability assessments for vehicle finance and its treatment of customers in financial difficulties.

* Brooks Macdonald Group Plc appointed Jason Wood as COO. Meanwhile, Group Finance Director Simon Jackson will step down and leave the group in April 2018.

* Allied Irish Banks Plc reported net interest margin of 2.57% for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up from 2.54% for the six-month period to June-end and well ahead of its medium-term target of over 2.40%.


* German financial regulator Bafin is investigating Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG's largest shareholder, over whether it submitted false information when building its stake in the German lender, insiders told Bloomberg.

* Separately, Deutsche Bank received a subpoena from Robert Mueller, the U.S. special counsel leading the investigation into links between the Russian government and individuals associated with the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump, insiders told Handelsblatt.

* The German state-owned bad bank Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, spun off from the now defunct WestLB AG, transferred a main portion of personnel from its service unit Erste Financial Service to IBM Corp. as part of an IT outsourcing agreement, Börsen-Zeitung reported.


* Natixis CEO Laurent Mignon said the lender aims to increase Asia's contribution to its corporate and investment banking revenues to more than 15% from roughly 13% over the next couple of years, and that it intends to boost its 620 staff in the region by 10% annually over the next three years, Reuters reported.

* French regulators AMF and ACPR warned against investing in bitcoin, saying the cryptocurrency is not regulated and could lead investors to lose capital, L'Agefi wrote.


* Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA formally accepted Bank of Nova Scotia's offer to acquire the Spanish lender's 68.19% stake in Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Chile SA and its interests in certain subsidiaries for approximately $2.2 billion. Closing of the transaction is expected in the second half of 2018, subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

* Banco Santander SA is planning to offer workers affected by the merger with Banco Popular Español SA the option of early retirement with 80% of their salary, Europa Press reported.


* Banca Carige SpA began exclusive negotiations for the sale of its consumer credit business Creditis Servizi finanziari SpA with Chenavari Financial Group, according to MF. Separately, Compania Financiera Lonestar confirmed its commitment to raising its stake in Banca Carige to 9.99% from 6.001%, Reuters said.

* UniCredit SpA shareholders approved proposed amendments to its corporate governance, including the elimination of the 5% cap on voting rights. Separately, the bank said Hungary-based units UniCredit Bank Hungary Zrt. and UniCredit Jelzálogbank Zrt. agreed to sell a portfolio composed of retail mortgage receivables to EOS Faktor Zrt., a locally licensed Hungarian financial enterprise.

* Cassa Centrale Banca Credito Cooperativo del Nord Est SpA sold two portfolios of nonperforming loans owned by Italian cooperative lenders with a combined nominal value of €885 million, Reuters wrote.

* A Greek parliamentary audit committee cleared Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras of charges that he made inaccurate statements about his personal assets while serving as finance minister between 2012 and 2014, an insider told the FT.


* Denmark's Finansiel Stabilitet has decided to appeal a case against former managers of the collapsed Roskilde Bank to the Supreme Court, Børsen reported. Finansiel Stabilitet demands compensation of 375 million Danish kroner, significantly lower than the former demand of 1 billion kroner, as the acquittal of auditing firm EY and one former manager has not been appealed.

* Skandia is reducing its fund offerings to about 250 funds from 800, as part of a quality review of the Swedish financial group's fund business, Realtid reported.


* PAO Promsvyazbank obtained an 8 billion Russian ruble profit from the sale of a noncore asset and will include the funds into its capital, Vedomosti reported. The bank needs to increase capital in order to meet the Russian central bank's requirements for systemically important banks that will come into force Jan. 1, 2018.

* JSC The Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending wants to change its name to Dom.RF in 2018, after its planned merger with Bank Rossiysky Capital (PJSC), which in turn changes its name to Dom.RF bank, Vedomosti said.

* A unit of investment group Russian Funds became the owner of Russian non-state pension fund Vnesheconomfond, Kommersant reported. Prior to the transaction, the pension fund was owned by six individuals, including Vnesheconombank's former head, Vladimir Dmitriev.

* The Russian central bank revoked licenses held by Commercial Bank Novopokrovsky LLC and European Standard Bank, reported.

* The supervisory board of Bank BGZ BNP Paribas SA approved a securitization deal under which the lender will sell receivables arising from cash and car loans of up to 2.4 billion Polish zlotys to BGZ Poland ABS1 Designated Activity Co., a special-purpose vehicle registered in Ireland, PAP said.

* Bulgaria's Financial Supervision Commission revoked the license of local insurer Trade Union Mutual Insurance Cooperative-TUMICO, SEENews reported, adding that the company was not able to cover the minimum capital requirement and the solvency capital requirement.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to add about 250 employees to its roughly 525 staff in Warsaw next year, Brent Watson, head of the U.S. banking group's Polish technology and operations office, told the FT. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Plc is said to be considering Warsaw as one of several central European cities in which it could open an office that could accommodate about 500 staff.

* Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out imposing capital controls as he clarified his calls for measures to prevent the illegal transfer of wealth overseas, Bloomberg reported.

* Odea Bank AS has laid off more than 100 staff since last week and could cut more in the coming days as part of a restructuring, insiders told Reuters.


Asia-Pacific: Australia shelves superannuation changes; My Credit Union gets nod for merger

Middle East & Africa: Mashreqbank gets new Bahrain license; Access Bank eyes West Africa expansion

Latin America: Honduran election uncertainty; Bci plans capital hike for TotalBank deal

North America: Eagle Bancorp slams short-seller's claims; Senate passes tax reform bill

North America Insurance: CVS-Aetna deal could face scrutiny, spur more mergers; ACA mandate dealt a blow


BNP Paribas seeks greater market share in mergers and acquisitions: BNP Paribas wants to increase its market share in European M&A and is looking for growth in countries such as Germany, the U.K. and Scandinavian nations, according to bank executives.

BIS says fate of 'nearly all' risk assets tied to bond yields: Central bank tightening has led to a "paradoxical" easing in monetary conditions, as government bond yields remain anchored near historic lows.

Reinsurers push for more countries to reap benefits of US-EU covered agreement: Reinsurers are proposing that companies in Japan, Switzerland and Bermuda get treatment similar to that enjoyed by EU reinsurers under the U.S.-EU covered agreement, a move that will be a focal point of a regulatory hearing in February.

Leo Magno, Ed Meza, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik,Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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