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Singapore, Americas partner on fintech; Deutsche Bank targets clients in Asia

* The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas inked a memorandum of understanding to improve fintech related cooperation between Singapore and the Americas, The Business Times reported, citing a joint statement.

* Deutsche Bank AG's wealth management arm is looking to add 100 client managers globally to target various regions, particularly wealthy people and families in the Asia-Pacific region, the Financial Times reported, citing the lender. The bank will also invest a further €65 million in "digital capabilities."

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will further invest in China as further liberalization of the financial sector takes place, China Daily reported, citing the bank's CEO, Lloyd Blankfein. The investment banking industry in China "should be given more freedom" as it is the basis for the success of other industries by providing financing, risk management and advice on business reorganization, the CEO said.

GREATER CHINA

* The China Banking Regulatory Commission asked financial institutions to improve inclusive financing to encourage lending to small- and micro-sized firms, the agricultural sector and poverty relief work, Xinhua News Agency reported. Guo Shuqing, chairman of the regulator, directed large lenders to set up financial inclusion divisions by the end of 2017.

* China's banking regulator also urged banks to devolve responsibility for loan approvals in order to boost credit to small- and micro-sized businesses, Reuters reported, citing Guo. "Banks and financial institutions are encouraged to, under the premise that risks are controllable, to decentralize credit approval authority," Guo said.

* Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. is using a newly launched fund to hunt for fintech and healthcare technology investments of between $10 million and $30 million, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing the company's Chief Innovation Officer Jonathan Larsen. Such investments could be done through the potential for joint venture and distribution agreements, he said.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Nomura Holdings Inc. plans to report to regulators a breach in securities laws in its handling of nonpublic information about a company it took public in 2016, Bloomberg News reported, citing "people with knowledge of the matter." During an international investigation, the company discovered that a branch manager had mishandled private information that Wash House was considering a stock split, the sources said.

* Shoko Chukin Bank Ltd. submitted a business improvement plan to Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, and other government agencies, Jiji Press reported. The plan includes the scrapping of its practice of setting numerical targets for its branches, which is believed to have led to illicit loans under a state-managed low-rate financing program at the lender affiliated with the government.

* Struggling to sell itself, KDB Life Insurance Co. Ltd. will implement job cuts and branch closures to facilitate recapitalization efforts, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.

* The creditor banks of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. will convert 2.2 trillion won of debt into equity in June, Yonhap News Agency reported. Korea Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of Korea will absorb 1.6 trillion won between them.

ASEAN

* Government Savings Bank is confident that its new credit will expand by 5% in 2017, Post Today reported. In the first five months of 2017, the bank's credit is estimated to have expanded by 3%.

* Export-Import Bank of Thailand opened a representative office in Yangon, Myanmar, to boost investment and trade between Thailand and Myanmar, Manager Daily reported.

* Wimboh Santoso, the incoming chairman of Indonesia's Financial Services Authority, said priority will be given to dealing with nonperforming loans and liquidity, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

* Wimboh Santoso also hinted that the Financial Services Authority may lower its fee collection from financial institutions, as he seeks to cut spending, particularly for unnecessary business travels and meetings, The Jakarta Globe reported.

SOUTH ASIA

* IndusInd Bank Ltd. inked a deal with U.S. based Overseas Private Investment Corp., or OPIC, for a US$225 million loan to support the bank's lending program to micro, small and medium enterprises, which includes support for women entrepreneurs and previously unbanked populations.

* Infosys Ltd. denied media reports suggesting the company's promoters are considering selling their entire stake. The company said the promoters have already categorically denied the speculation, adding it has no information on any such development.

* Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd. plans to issue 15 billion rupees of bonds on a private placement basis. The secured redeemable nonconvertible bonds were priced with a coupon of 7.50% per year.

* State Bank of India will initiate a share sale of up to US$2.3 billion as early as this week, Reuters reported, citing "several sources familiar with the plans." A spokesman for the bank to did not immediately respond a request for comment.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Insurance Australia Group Ltd. strengthened its reinsurance cover through the purchase of a further A$1 billion of additional catastrophe protection.

* Australian banks will have to conduct background checks on bankers to make it harder for individuals with a history of misconduct to move from one job to the next undetected, The Australian reported, citing Anna Bligh, chief executive of the Australian Bankers' Association. The new protocol will be followed by major banks from July 1 while nonmajor banks will start following it from Oct. 1.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission banned a former Westpac Banking Corp. financial planner, Sudhir Kumar Sinha, from providing financial services until 2020 after it was revealed that 177 clients had been charged fees without receiving all the services they had paid for, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing the regulator.

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

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