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Bank of China leads M&A race for Irish broker; IPOs in South Korea, India

GREATER CHINA

* Bank of China Ltd. is ahead of rival bidder Davy Corporate Finance in its bid to acquire Goodbody Stockbrokers in Ireland, according to media reports. The Chinese bank reportedly made an offer worth of €150 million. Its interest comes after a previous bid from a Chinese group came to nothing.

* Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., Bank of China Ltd. and China Construction Bank Corp. are among several Chinese banks that reportedly expanded their offshore recovery and restructuring teams and operations in Hong Kong in the past three years as they face increasing loan defaults from overseas businesses and acquisitions, the Financial Times said, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

* Chinese authorities are conducting an investigation into three bank executives in relation to a graft probe on former China Securities Regulatory Commission chairman Liu Shiyu, Caixin reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The three executives under investigation are Leng Peidong, chief of Ping An Bank Co. Ltd.'s Shanghai branch, his predecessor Yang Hua, and Wang Tao, head of China Guangfa Bank Co. Ltd.'s Suzhou branch.

* U.S. rating agency Moody's Corp. declined to comment on a media report that it may have to drop a plan to seek control of China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co. Ltd., the largest corporate ratings company in China. Moody's plan to increase its stake in China Chengxin to over 50% from 30% failed to get regulatory approval, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources. The report added that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have also been an obstacle.

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd. NT$5 million for insufficient system stability and internal controlling ability, the island's Central News Agency reported. The financial regulator also imposed a combined penalty of NT$8 million on nine local banks for misconducts in loan issuance and foreign exchange deposits related to New Site Industries Inc.'s NT$8 billion loan fraud case, CNA reported separately.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Korea Investment Holdings Co. Ltd. said it received regulatory approval to transfer its 29% stake in KakaoBank of Korea Corp. to affiliate Korea Value Asset Management Co., The Chosun Ilbo reported.

* Tokyo-based Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. is looking to triple its investments in Japanese stocks to ¥60 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2020, while cutting its investments in overseas bonds by half to ¥20 billion, Reuters reported. Yusuke Onodera, general manager of investment planning at the company, cited increased risks in foreign bonds as one of the reasons for the change in its investment strategy. The company is also planning to sell ¥40 billion in unhedged overseas debt during the fiscal year.

* Hyundai Card Co. Ltd. issued requests for proposals to major brokerages in preparation for its planned IPO , The Korea Times reported. An official from the company said they intend to select a lead manager in November, but added that there is no detailed timetable yet for the offering.

* Industrial Bank of Korea issued US$600 million of global bonds with tenors of three years and five years, The Chosun Ilbo reported, citing the bank.

* South Korea's Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling by the Seoul High Court to suspend a sentence against Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong Bin for four years, Nikkei Asian Review reported. A lower court had earlier sentenced Shin to 30 months in prison for his connection in a bribery scandal that ousted former South Korean president Park Geun Hye.

ASEAN

* Thailand's TMB Bank PCL posted a net profit of 2.11 billion baht, or 4.81 satang per share, for the third quarter, Krungthep Turakij reported. The figure was down 62% year over year. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the lender's net profit dropped to 5.61 billion baht, or 12.79 satang per share, from 9.9 billion baht, or 22.58 satang per share.

* Indonesia-based PT Sinar Mas Multiartha Tbk, the finance arm of Sinar Mas Group, is the standby buyer for PT Bank China Construction Bank Indonesia Tbk's planned rights issue worth 3.2 trillion rupiah, Bisnis Indonesia reported. The proceeds will be used to increase the bank's capital.

* Singapore-based startup Liquid Group established a quick response payments corridor between Singapore and Taiwan in partnership with Taipei-based E.SUN Commercial Bank Ltd., allowing customers to make cashless payments, The Business Times reported.

* Hong Kong-based asset manager CSOP Asset Management Ltd. established a family office business in Singapore to cater to ultra-rich families in the city, The Business Times reported. The company will offer a service that will give clients access to China's capital markets.

SOUTH ASIA

* India-based CSB Bank Ltd. will set the ball rolling on its planned IPO through investor roadshows beginning next week, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the matter. The bank has already received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and plans to launch the offering in November.

* Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd. is offering to redeem nonconvertible debentures in November and December prior to their maturity dates. The company did not provide additional details, but added that it will consider further pre-mature redemptions for nonconvertible debentures from time to time.

* Kotak Mahindra Asset Management and Axis Asset Management Co. Ltd. filed a petition with the Bombay High Court to suspend further payments issued by Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd. to secured and unsecured creditors, the Press Trust of India reported. The petitioners also asked the court to issue an order to the troubled nonbank financing company to disclose its assets and liabilities.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will not appeal a decision by the Federal Court of Australia to dismiss its legal action against IOOF Holdings Ltd. and its entities, directors and executives. In the light of the decision, the regulator is reviewing whether it needs to revise its prudential standards or pursue legislative amendments.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission called on insurers and trustees to redesign their total and permanent disability insurance products and make changes to their claims handling processes following a review by the regulator. The regulator found that three out of five claims under the current policies are declined, and insufficient handling of claims resulted in some consumers withdrawing their claims.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia plans to introduce its payments-focused fintech product in partnership with Sweden-based Klarna Bank AB (publ) in the first quarter of 2020, The Australian reported. CBA earlier contributed to Klarna's US$460 million fund raising round and sealed its position as its partner in the Australia and New Zealand region.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Afreximbank confirms $250M London IPO; Qatar Islamic Bank's Q3 profit up YOY

Europe: Bank of China could bid for Goodbody; RBS boosts Brexit fund; Basel progress

Latin America: Infighting at BNDES; PagSeguro prices follow-on offer

North America: Morgan Stanley Q3 EPS up YOY; Highland Capital Management files for bankruptcy

Global Insurance: Berkshire divests Applied Underwriters; Axis cuts coal; Maiden Re to Vermont

Janna Estares, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.

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