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Esure, Bain Capital reach £1.21B deal; Swiss Life names CFO; Aareal posts profit

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Esure, Bain Capital reach £1.21B deal; Swiss Life names CFO; Aareal posts profit

* Joachim Wuermeling, a member of the German central bank's executive board and the ECB's supervisory board, said there are classic instruments Turkey could use to stop the downward spiral of the lira, but that "bold action" was needed, Bloomberg News wrote. Wuermeling also noted there was no need to "over dramatize" the risk that Turkey's problems will have on the eurozone.

UK AND IRELAND

* Esure Group Plc agreed with Blue (BC) Bidco Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of funds advised by Bain Capital Pvt. Equity LP and its affiliates, on the terms of the latter's recommended recommended all cash offer for the U.K. personal lines insurer's entire issued and to-be-issued share capital, valuing the British firm at roughly £1.21 billion. Esure reported first half pretax profit of £36.1 million, down from £45.1 million a year earlier, including an impact of £14 million from adverse weather related claims costs in the home and motor accounts.

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC unit Ulster Bank Ireland DAC agreed to sell a €1.4 billion portfolio of nonperforming loans to an affiliate of U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, Reuters reported. Some Irish politicians and consumer advocates criticized the bank over the sale of the portfolio, which includes about 2,300 owner-occupied home loans and 2,900 buy-to-let mortgages secured on investment properties, with The Irish Times wrote.

* U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is working on a plan to avoid a hard border with Ireland, an idea that would effectively prolong parts of the so-called transition phase and keep important European Union rules for longer post-Brexit, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* Meanwhile, conservative British lawmakers have begun work on a policy paper highlighting the advantages of the U.K. leaving the bloc on World Trade Organization terms, increasing pressure on May, The Times reported. The paper is set to be published in September.

* Barclays PLC has started transferring the ownership of its branches in France, Germany and Spain to its Irish unit as Britain's departure from the EU looms, sources told Reuters. Barclays Bank Ireland PLC will ultimately have control over all of the British lender's European branches.

* Pressure is mounting on Lloyd's of London syndicates to place more of their business electronically, despite targets having been exceeded in the second quarter.

* The board of Irish insurer FBD Holdings PLC said the "internal allegations" against CEO Fiona Muldoon have not been upheld, following an independent investigation that was launched in June.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Germany's Aareal Bank AG reported second-quarter consolidated net income attributable to shareholders of the bank of €41 million, down from the reclassified €66 million a year earlier. First-half consolidated net attributable income fell year over year to €84 million from the adjusted €108 million.

* Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG also saw its first-half consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders fall year over year, to €115.7 million from €154.2 million.

* Oldenburgische Landesbank AG said CEO Patrick Tessmann will leave the lender by the end of the month without specifying the reasons. No successor has been named yet.

* Swiss Life Holding AG reported first-half consolidated net profit attributable to equity holders of CHF558 million, up from CHF521 million a year earlier. The company also named Matthias Aellig CFO, effective March 1, 2019, succeeding Thomas Buess.

* Credit Suisse Group AG plans to split its international wealth management division into seven regions — Latin America, Brazil, Western Europe, Southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe — from four as part of CEO Tidjane Thiam's push to regionalize the Swiss lender, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* UBS Group AG is analyzing a way to suggest interesting trades to its asset management and hedge fund clients with the use of recommendation algorithms, similar to those used by a number of consumer technology companies, the Financial Times reported. The plan is still in the early stages of development.

* Zürcher Kantonalbank agreed to pay $98.5 million as a result of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice after admitting to helping U.S. clients avoid taxes of a total of more than $39 million by letting them stash money in undeclared accounts that used code names and shell companies.

* SOBC DARAG, a joint venture between German insurer DARAG Deutsche Versicherungs-und Rückversicherungs-AG and New York-based run-off specialist SOBC, agreed to acquire U.S.-based Peachtree Casualty Insurance Co.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* French business lending rose 6% in June from a year ago to €986 billion, with the return to "classic" business lending attributed to an old recipe of competition among lenders, cheap credit and businesses having strong order books, Les Echos reported. It added that the HCSF regulator has responded by imposing new reserve requirements on banks.

* The new pan-European payment platform for card transactions, Nexo, is ready to expand and is being used in France by major distributors including Carrefour, Auchan and Decathlon, allowing the cost of terminals to be divided by four, Les Echos reported.

* The former owner and CEO of the failed Optima Bank, Jeroen Piqueur, and his son Ruben have lost control of their assets, with a court in Ghent appointing a temporary administrator, L'Echo reported.

* U.S. investment firm KKR has entered the Dutch market with a €1 billion SME credit fund, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. The firm said it is filling a gap left by banks in available loans for small and medium-sized enterprises.

* Dutch bank Rabobank has issued €1.2 billion of stocks related to its sustainability program, De Telegraaf reported.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* CaixaBank SA strengthened its international strategy by opening a representative office in Sydney, Australia, Expansión reported.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Danish pension company AP Pension is acquiring the Danish pension operations of Swedish financial group Skandia, Børsen reported. AP Pension, which is presently Denmark's fourth-largest commercial pension company, will gain 93,000 customers and see its capital rise by almost 33 billion Danish kroner.

* The leader of the Estonian parliament's legal affairs committee, Jaanus Karilaid, has demanded that Danske Bank A/S pay for the damage caused to the country if it were to be found guilty over a money-laundering scandal involving its Estonian branch, Finanswatch reported.

* Finnish bank Oma Säästöpankki Oyj is considering listing on the Helsinki stock exchange, Hufvudstadsbladet reported. The bank has not set a specific time frame.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service allowed National Bank Trust PJSC, which is being transformed into a "bad bank," to take over Baltic Leasing OJSC from Otkritie Holding JSC and shareholder Vadim Belyaev, Vedomosti reported. Otkritie Holding was the owner of National Bank Trust and parent Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank before the lenders' bailout in 2017.

* PAO Sberbank of Russia maintains plans to sell Turkish unit DenizBank AS to Emirates NBD Bank PJSC despite the weakening of the Turkish lira, with the transaction waiting for approval from regulators, news agency Prime reported, citing the Russian lender's press office.

* The value of premiums collected by Russian insurer Rosgosstrakh Insurance Co. PJSC, bailed out in 2017 together with parent Otkritie Bank, dropped in the first half by 44.5% year over year to 28.1 billion Russian rubles, as the company has been curbing its operations in the compulsory motor third party liability insurance segment, Vedomosti wrote.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: NAB fiscal Q3 cash earnings fall YOY; KKR mulls IPO of most Indian operations

Middle East & Africa: Bahrain's Bank ABC, Gulf International Bank post results; Uganda holds key rate

Latin America: Brazil central bank OKs 2 M&A deals; Corficolombiana names new president

North America: Fed fines Citi $8.6M; Wells Fargo's legal woes continue

Global Insurance: Bain bids for UK insurer; proxies back Cigna; Talanx Q2 profit dips

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Turkey's woes threaten investor confidence in emerging markets: The biggest threat to emerging economies from Turkey's currency crisis is the potential damage to investor confidence, market watchers say.

Q2 fixed-income trading remains weak at Europe's investment banks: Fixed-income, currencies and commodities trading remained weak at major European investment banks in the second quarter, although their U.S. peers showed greater resilience, as growing geopolitical tensions rattled markets.

Germany's Talanx happy to lose business in battle to restore profit to fire book: German insurance group Talanx would be willing to shed some business as it fights to restore underwriting profitability to its industrial fire insurance business, CFO Immo Querner told analysts Aug. 13.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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