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National Australia Bank's Q3 cash profit up 5%; HK regulator may penalize CBA

* National Australia Bank Ltd.'s third-quarter cash earnings rose 5% year over year to A$1.7 billion, reflecting increased revenue growth and stronger asset quality. The lender's statutory net profit stood at A$1.6 billion.

* The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is reportedly conducting its own review of a lawsuit by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, or AUSTRAC, against Commonwealth Bank of Australia for allegedly violating anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws, and may hand down its own penalties against the lender, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported. The bulk of the international transfers went to accounts in Hong Kong, the report said, citing AUSTRAC's statement of claim.

* Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. Ltd. will set up a securities subsidiary in India by the end of 2017, The Chosun Ilbo reported. The Indian unit will collaborate with Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd., which has been operating in the country since 2007.

* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. will open a fintech research center in London in August, which will serve as its fourth fintech research outpost abroad and its first in Europe, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. Meanwhile, Singaporean fintech hub Lattice80 seeks to open an office in India by the end of September, and may expand to London, New York and the Middle East, Bloomberg News reported.


* China's banking asset management sector may almost double in size by 2021 due to increasing demand for investment products and lenders' push to expand fee-based income, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a report from consultancy McKinsey & Co.

* The People's Bank of China has ordered Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s TenPay to accept cash payments despite the two merchants' push for cashless transactions, China Money Network reported, citing state media outlet Securities Times. The central bank also required Ant Financial to remove the term "cashless" from its promotional materials.

* First Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. President Po-Chiao Chou will retire in August and will be replaced by Grace Jeng, who is currently president of the bank's parent, First Financial Holding Co. Ltd., the United Daily reported.


* Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. unit SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. will boost its overseas workforce to about 750 from the current 500 by the end of fiscal 2020-21, The Nikkei reported. The company also aims to speed up its overseas business expansion in collaboration with banking affiliate Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

* Shizuoka Bank Ltd. unit Shizuoka Capital Co. Ltd. will launch a ¥4 billion fund to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, with a consortium of four regional banks and 12 shinkin banks, The Nikkei reported.

* Samsung Securities Co. Ltd.'s plan to become a full-fledged investment banking entity has hit a roadblock as South Korean financial authorities delayed its decision to grant the securities company a license until the court ruling on Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong is given Aug. 25, Pulse reported.

* K Bank, South Korea's first internet-only bank, will raise 100 billion won by issuing 20 million new shares, Yonhap News Agency reported. The lender is also planning additional rights offerings amounting to 150 billion won by the end of 2017 or in early 2018.


* The Bank of Thailand is set to launch a standardized quick-response code, or QR code, by the end of August, which will allow customers to use a single code to make payments through local bank networks, the Bangkok Post reported.

* PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk is looking to acquire one or two Philippine banks in the first half of 2018, Bisnis Indonesia reported. The acquisition plan comes after a letter of intent was signed between Indonesia's Financial Services Authority and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

* Malaysia's finance ministry granted a family takaful business license to Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd. under its new name, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd., and a general takaful business license to a new company, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Am Bhd., which is a wholly owned unit of Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga.

* The Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corp. named Rahamat Bivi Yusoff as chairman of its board for a three-year tenure, effective Aug. 15, Bernama reported.

* The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas maintained its overnight reverse repurchase rate at 3% and the corresponding interest rates on the overnight lending and deposit facilities. The reserve requirement ratios were also left unchanged.


* Union Bank of India's first-quarter net profit dropped year over year to 1.17 billion rupees, or 1.70 rupees per share, from 1.66 billion rupees, or 2.42 rupees per share, as provisions and tax expenses surged.

* Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's bicameral parliament, passed the bill to repeal the SBI (Subsidiary Banks) Act of 1959 and the State Bank of Hyderabad Act of 1956, and to further amend the State Bank of India Act of 1955, following the merger of State Bank of India with its five associates and Bharatiya Mahila Bank, Press Trust of India reported.

* ICICI Bank Ltd. has rolled out "instant" credit cards, wherein the bank's savings account customers can apply for a card and start shopping online immediately, The Economic Times reported. This facility is currently available through the lender's internet banking platform.


* Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison criticized Commonwealth Bank of Australia over allegations of money laundering, saying the lender has had an "epic fail" and that the government "is prepared to consider all options" regarding the incident, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Morrison, however, did not expound on what the options might entail.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission may pursue a case against the directors of Commonwealth Bank of Australia for allegedly breaching their duties to "protect" the company's reputation in response to warnings from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre that the bank was being used for money laundering, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. will pay an additional A$10.5 million in compensation for 160,000 superannuation customers affected by breaches within its unit, OnePath, from 2013 to 2016. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said the breaches include erroneous processing of superannuation contributions and failure to deal with lost inactive member balances correctly.


Middle East & Africa: Qatar-linked banks face Abu Dhabi boycott; Nigerian court junks case vs. banks

Europe: Zurich's Q2 net income up 21%; AEGON swings to Q2 profit; KBC's Q2 profit rises

Latin America: Supervielle profit up 245.2%; Chile bank regulator resisting comptroller audit

North America: Senators quiz Wells Fargo, National General; BofA to offer premium rewards card

North America Insurance: Experts offer plan to fix ACA markets; insurer to exit group health biz

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

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