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Banks leave Catalonia; Old Mutual to focus on Africa; Italy objects to NPL rules


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Banks leave Catalonia; Old Mutual to focus on Africa; Italy objects to NPL rules

* The overall financial toll from hurricanes Irma and Maria is expected to be in the tens of billions of dollars for each of them, Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting said in its latest global catastrophe report.

* The ECB still plans to scale back its asset-purchase program beginning early next year, as the eurozone's economic expansion continued to be "solid and broad-based across countries and sectors," according to minutes from the ECB's Sept. 6 and Sept. 7 meetings published yesterday. The Daily Telegraph had a report.


* Old Mutual Plc CEO Bruce Hemphill said the Anglo-South African financial group could potentially sell subsidiaries in China, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay as part of its planned managed separation in 2018, Reuters wrote, noting that the group intends to focus on Africa.

* Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd. said it intends to raise up to approximately £49.3 million through a placing and open offer to fund its growth. The Bermuda-based, London-listed company also announced changes to its board expected to take effect in 2018, including group CEO Ken Randall stepping down from his post.

* Japan's MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. will acquire a 5% stake in a Jersey-based subsidiary of Swiss Re AG for about ¥26 billion, The Nikkei reported. The Japanese group is set to invest in ReAssure Jersey One Ltd. by the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year, with plans to raise its stake to 15% by 2020 for about ¥93 billion.

* Standard Chartered Plc is under scrutiny from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Guernsey's Financial Services Commission over the role the British bank's staff played in transferring US$1.4 billion of assets from Guernsey to Singapore, insiders told Bloomberg News. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is not currently reviewing the transfers, though it is aware of them, according to a source.


* Reinhard Bellet, head of passive investment products at Deutsche Bank AG's Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management, will leave the unit in a surprise departure ahead of its planned IPO, the Financial Times wrote.


* Insurers in the Netherlands will have to deal with increasing claims stemming from climate change-related damage, Bloomberg News reported, citing a study by the Dutch central bank. The central bank also said banks and other financial companies should do more to account for climate change risk.

* Dutch financial services firm TMF Group Plc said it aims to raise gross proceeds of around €340 million from its planned IPO on the London Stock Exchange next month. Following completion of the offer, the company expects to have a free float of at least 25% of its issued share capital. TMF Group also said it intends to move its headquarters to London from Amsterdam following its IPO, The Daily Telegraph noted.


* Banco de Sabadell SA announced on Thursday that it would move its headquarters to Alicante because of Catalonia's potential declaration of independence in the coming days, Expansión wrote. Chairman Josep Oliu said the transfer of the registered office "does not involve movement of employees" and that the entity had taken the decision to protect the interests of its customers, shareholders and employees.

* CaixaBank SA's board is meeting today to discuss the possibility of moving its headquarters out of Catalonia, too, Expansión reported, saying Palma de Mallorca has been mentioned as a possible new location.

* Meanwhile, the Spanish government may approve a decree law on Friday to make it easier for companies to move their registered office without shareholder approval, Europa Press reported.


* Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA plans to launch a voluntary public offering on behalf of the state to swap shares former retail bondholders had been given as part of a state bailout into senior debt, Il Messaggero wrote. Reuters also covered.

* The Bank of Italy is calling on the ECB to soften new requirements for banks to set aside more capital to cover newly classified bad loans, an insider told Reuters. The new rules will cost Italy's 10 largest banks €1.4 billion in extra provisions in 2018 and reduce profits next year by 12%, La Repubblica wrote, citing a Sim Equita study.

* The entity liquidating Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA assets sold an approximately 9% stake in Società Cattolica di Assicurazione -Società Cooperativa to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., making it the insurer's largest shareholder, all dailies including MF wrote.

* The ECB's Governing Council did not object to a request by the Bank of Greece SA to cut the ceiling on emergency liquidity assistance for Greek banks by €1 billion, bringing it down to €32.6 billion.


* The Slovak Finance Ministry plans to tweak the existing 8% levy imposed on local insurers so it would apply to not only entirely new insurance contracts, but also to extended and renewed insurance agreements, Slovak daily Hospodarske Noviny said.

* QIWI plc purchased the brand and software of digital lenders Rocketbank and Tochka from Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank, Vedomosti reported. The transaction was concluded shortly before Otkritie's takeover by the Russian central bank, which is now analyzing the deal. If the transaction is reversed, the two digital units will most likely be put up for sale again by the regulator, Kommersant said, adding that JSC ALFA-BANK is interested in Tochka, while PAO Sberbank of Russia is eyeing Rocketbank.


Asia-Pacific: MS&AD Insurance to buy UK insurer stake; Mastercard to invest in India

Middle East & Africa: Saudi Arabia rethinks reforms; Kenya extends Chase Bank receivership

Latin America: Banco do Brasil to close most foreign branches; Santander Río-Citi deal approved

North America: House Dems seek break up of G-SIBs; 2 Indiana banks merging

North America Insurance: Former Obama admin officials promote ACA enrollment; new hurricane threat looms


Sabadell relocation, CaixaBank's mooted move fueled by shareholder pressure: Banco de Sabadell agreed to move its headquarters to Alicante, while CaixaBank is reportedly poised to shift to the Balearic Islands, in response to what analysts described as shareholder pressure brought about by escalating tensions in Catalonia.

Report: EU may backtrack on euro-area deposit insurance plan: The European Commission might back away from its original plan for the implementation of the European Deposit Insurance Scheme but could offer a compromise solution to opponents of the scheme such as Germany.

PRA proposes new checks, balances for UK banks with global footprint: The Prudential Regulation Authority is proposing additional checks and balances for U.K.-based banks with large international overseas operations to ensure that they are properly capitalized across all geographies, and protected from contagion.

David Hutter, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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