* Wang Jingwu, head of the Financial Stability Bureau of the People's Bank of China, said authorities will promote the establishment of a legal system that will aid financial institutions' withdrawal from the financial market, Caixin reported. Wang said M&As will become the primary mode of exit from the market, but warned the industry to guard against potential risks.
* People's Insurance Co. (Group) of China Ltd. said the Ministry of Finance transferred 2.99 billion equity shares to the National Council for Social Security Fund, or 10% of the insurer's shares that the ministry holds. The National Council for Social Security Fund will be forbidden from selling the transferred equities for at least three years.
* Bank of Jiangsu Co. Ltd. plans to raise 20 billion yuan through the issuance of convertible bonds beginning March 13. The bonds are convertible to equity shares six months after the completion of the issuance.
* Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. plans to buy back up to 10 billion yuan of its Shanghai-listed shares through centralized bidding transactions, Reuters reported, citing the company. It also intends to issue up to 100 billion yuan in debt financing instruments. The plans are subject to shareholder approvals in April.
* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission said local insurers' first-year premium income from online insurance policies surged 115% year over year in January, the Taipei Times reported. Cathay Life Insurance Co. Ltd. reported the highest sales, which totaled NT$76.23 million.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Nippon Life Insurance Co. and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. have decided to increase the wage of their administrative staff by 3%, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. Meiji Yasuda is planning to raise initial pay for new hires from April 2019 and the terms for workers over 60 years old, in addition to the scheduled bonus increase for sales representatives. The base pay, which was increased in 2018 for the first time in 23 years, will remain unchanged in 2019.
* HSBC Holdings PLC plans to partner with South Korean banks to launch a blockchain platform that will shorten paper-based processes for trade transactions, The Korea Times reported.
* Korea Guarantee Funds has secured 46 trillion won in funds in 2019, 1 trillion won higher than in the previous year, The Chosun Ilbo reported. The funds will be used to support small and medium-sized enterprises.
* The Thai Ministry of Finance said it was necessary to increase its capital in a new bank that will be created by the merger between TMB Bank PCL and Thanachart Bank PCL, Post Today reported. The capital increase, which is estimated to be 10 billion baht, is aimed at preventing share dilution.
* TMB Bank PCL launched TMB Smart Port, a comprehensive portfolio management service, in a bid to attract retail investors, Manager Daily reported. The minimum investment amount allowed under the service is set at 100,000 baht.
* The Indonesian Financial Services Authority expects the insurance industry's premium income to expand by 12% to 15% in 2019, after growing 9% in 2018, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing Ahmad Nasrullah, director of insurance supervision department.
* Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank aims to earn a pretax profit of 3.4 trillion dong in 2019, up 24% from the prior-year period, Viet Nam News reported, citing the bank's release.
* Samsung Life Insurance Co. Ltd. is in talks with Bao Viet Life in Vietnam about a potential acquisition of shares in the latter, The Korea Times reported, citing an official from Samsung Life. The official declined to comment on the details of the talk.
* Axis Bank Ltd. appointed Rakesh Makhija nonexecutive chairman for a term of three years, effective July 18. He will replace Sanjiv Misra, whose term expires July 17.
* State Bank of India plans to sell nonperforming loans worth 23.38 billion on March 26 on a 100% cash basis to banks and other financial institutions, Press Trust of India reported.
* Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. filed a lawsuit against Bangladesh Bank for defaming the bank and its executives for their alleged involvement in the US$81 million cyber heist in 2016, The Philippine Star reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Melbourne-based Fatfish Blockchain Ltd. said Anthony Mackay resigned as a director of the company, effective March 12, as per a same-day release.
* National Australia Bank Ltd. has so far paid A$110 million to wealth clients affected by its fee-for-no-service scandal, The Australian reported. The bank announced in October 2018 that it has set aside A$314 million in remediation provisions for affected customers.
* Australia's Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd. appointed Joel Cann as CEO, effective April 15.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Regulator clears 2 Saudi banks' merger; Absa, Old Mutual post higher results
Europe: New Brexit deal up for vote; US targets Evrofinance; Denmark zeroes in on banks
Latin America: IMF approves funding for Ecuador; BBVA Francés' Q4'18 profit doubles
North America: Wells Fargo CEO to face House banking panel; Citi considers banking pot firms
Global Insurance: Claims possible as 737s grounded; flood premiums may rise; crop subsidy cuts
Janna Estares, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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