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Sumitomo affiliate, Toyota unit to form JV; India's LIC names acting chair

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Sumitomo affiliate, Toyota unit to form JV; India's LIC names acting chair

GREATER CHINA

* The China Securities Regulatory Commission will review the applications of foreign-owned onshore brokerage firms Fangyuan Securities Co. Ltd., Hanhua Securities Co. Ltd. and Huasheng International Securities Co. Ltd. to allow overseas investors invest in its financial markets, Caixin reported.

* Taiwanese fund manager Allianz Global Investors Taiwan is looking at deeper involvement in the island's technology space amidst ongoing trade-related tensions between China and the U.S., Bloomberg News reported.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* A Sumitomo Corp. affiliate and a Toyota Motor Corp. unit and are collaborating to establish a joint auto leasing venture called Kinto, Kyodo News reported, citing sources close to the matter. Toyota Financial Services Corp. will hold a majority stake in the joint venture while the rest will be owned by Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Co. Ltd.

* South Korea's NongHyup Life Insurance Co. Ltd. said Hong Jae-eun, a former NongHyup Financial Group Inc. executive, was appointed CEO, effective Dec. 31, Yonhap News Agency reported.

* South Korea-based Lotte Card Co. Ltd. has commenced operations of its consumer financing business in Vietnam amid the company's plan to expand in Southeast Asia, The Korea Herald reported.

ASEAN

* The Office of Insurance Commission of Thailand expects the total premium collection for 2018 to stand at about 664 billion baht for life insurance and about 240 billion baht for nonlife insurance, Post Today reported.

* Manila-based Robinsons Bank Corp. plans to issue fixed-rate Philippine peso bonds following the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' relaxed rules on fundraising by local lenders, BusinessWorld reported, citing Elfren Antonio Sarte, president of the bank.

* Rohan Hafas, corporate secretary for PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk, said the lender is looking to acquire a smaller bank in 2019, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

SOUTH ASIA

* The Reserve Bank of India has decided to allow a one-time restructuring of loans worth up to 250 million rupees by micro, small and midsize enterprises, which have gone into default but are still considered "standard" assets as of Jan. 1.

* Paytm Payments Bank secured approval from the Reserve Bank of India to resume opening accounts for its customers, India's The Economic Times reported.

* The Indian government appointed Hemant Bhargava, managing director of Life Insurance Corp. of India, to the role of acting chairman, The Hindu Business Line reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Prudential Regulation has granted a six-month extension to asset management company IOOF Holdings Ltd.'s request for more time to split the roles of its investment management business, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. CEO Shayne Elliott cautioned that unintended consequences may arise from imposing mortgage fees as a flat fee, which could put people who borrow less than A$420,000, at a disadvantage, The Australian reported. Elliott added that the flat fee, relative to the size of their loan, would be significantly higher compared with those of borrowers of larger amounts.

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

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