* The European Commission urged the eurozone to consider creating a new security similar to a U.S. Treasury bond to help diversify the assets held by banks and improve liquidity in the bloc. The European Systemic Risk Board is discussing the possible development of so-called sovereign bond-backed securities, which would involve the packaging of sovereign debt into a new asset.
* The European Securities and Markets Authority has set out guidelines aimed at preventing EU member states from loosening regulations to woo businesses seeking to relocate from the U.K. after it leaves the bloc. Under the guidelines, the regulator urged national regulators not to authorize "letter box" entities and to only allow outsourcing or delegation of operations to Britain "under strict conditions." Reuters and Bloomberg News covered.
* A merger of the European Banking Authority with the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority is "unlikely to create significant synergies" in the core areas of regulation and supervision and would have no material benefits in terms of cost reduction as staffing in core areas are "already very slim," EBA Chairman Andrea Enria said.
* Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel advocated the relocation of the EBA to Frankfurt from London after Brexit, saying that Germany would be "very predestined" to host the banking watchdog.
* The economic costs of Brexit will be twice as large if the U.K. leaves the EU with no deal in place for future trading arrangements than if it remained in the single market, the Centre for Economic Performance has warned.
UK AND IRELAND
* Barclays Plc increased the size of an offering of Barclays Africa Group Ltd. shares due to strong demand. The bank now intends to sell 285,691,979 ordinary shares in Barclays Africa, representing 33.7% of the unit's issued share capital, reducing its stake to 16.4% from 50.1%. Gross proceeds from the transaction are expected to be roughly £2.22 billion. Barclays said the placing is expected to result in a pro forma increase of around 27 basis points to the group's 12.5% common equity Tier 1 ratio as of March-end.
* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority recently sent letters to about 20 of the country's largest asset managers asking for detailed information on their Brexit contingency plans, Bloomberg reported. The Financial Times also covered.
* Lloyds Banking Group Plc has completed its acquisition of U.K.-based credit card issuer MBNA Ltd. from FIA Jersey Holdings Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corp.
* Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is in fresh talks with the remaining shareholders seeking recompense in a lawsuit over its controversial 2008 cash call, insiders told Reuters. The talks focus on whether the bank would be willing to raise its latest 82-pence-per-share settlement offer by another 20 pence.
* Allied Irish Banks Plc CEO Bernard Byrne said the lender is attracting "very significant investor appetite" as the Irish government prepares to list it within June, Reuters wrote. The government's plan to sell a 25% stake in the bank is expected to raise around €3 billion. Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, however, said it may take until 2027 before the state can make a profit on its 2010 rescue of the bank, The Daily Telegraph noted.
* Charles Stanley Group Plc completed the sale of wholly owned unit EBS Management Plc to Embark Group Ltd. for a total consideration of up to £4.0 million.
GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA
* Deutsche Bank AG is working on a sale of its Polish operations as part of its drive to exit noncore businesses, insiders told Reuters. One source said the sale could value Deutsche Bank Polska SA at 1.7 billion zlotys to 1.8 billion zlotys, while another said the unit's assets were worth more than €400 million. Potential bidders included Commerzbank AG, parent of mBank SA; Banco Santander SA, which owns Bank Zachodni WBK SA; and Millennium BCP unit Bank Millennium SA.
* Deutsche Bank wants to expand its financing business for small and medium-sized enterprises in Italy and Spain, Patrik Pohl, head of SME products at the bank, told Börsen-Zeitung.
* Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG is looking into "strategic options" for its subsidiary Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank, including trimming the business, a sale or building cooperation with other lenders, Handelsblatt noted.
* Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said the central bank still has ample room to further expand its balance sheet, Reuters wrote. Jordan added that negative interest rates and foreign-currency interventions remain the regulator's two-pillared tools to counter the strong franc. The central bank last year purchased net financial assets worth 77 billion Swiss francs as it moved to curb the franc's strength, the newswire noted.
* UBS AG is shifting back office jobs away from Zurich to smaller cities across Switzerland to cut operating costs, finews.ch wrote.
* Berner Kantonalbank named two new members of the executive board. Mark Haller becomes new head of production and operations, and Armin Brun will serve as new head of the private and corporate clients unit of the bank.
* SIX Group AG CEO Urs Rüegsegger will step down at the end of the 2017 business year after 9 years in the post. The search for a successor is underway.
* Rothschild Bank AG named Stephanie de Saint-Marcq head of asset management for Switzerland, finews.ch noted.
* Martin Beinhoff, COO and member of the executive board of VP Bank AG, will leave the bank at the end of June after just two years.
FRANCE AND BENELUX
* National Bank of Belgium Director Marcia De Wachter said two more financial services companies are considering moving their businesses to Brussels from London because of Brexit, De Tijd reported. Insurance market Lloyd's of London in March announced plans to establish a new European insurance subsidiary in the Belgian capital.
* Meanwhile, ING Groep NV is set to move more jobs from its trading floor in Amsterdam to London, Het Financieele Dagblad reported. Up to 43 people could see their jobs being relocated.
* Stock exchange operator Euronext NV named Alain Courbebaisse chief information and technology officer as part of a reshuffle of the management of its technology and operations. Courbebaisse will join Euronext from Société Générale SA, where he was in charge of the prime brokerage and clearing business line and head of sales for prime services for SG Americas. Meanwhile, COO and managing board member Jos Dijsselhof will leave Euronext on June 30.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
* Moody's maintained a stable outlook on Spain's banking system, citing expectations of a continued reduction in Spanish banks' bad loans and stable profitability this year and in 2018.
* Banco Popular Español SA has extended the deadline for companies to present takeover offers to the end of June from June 10, Europa Press reported.
* Meanwhile, Elke König, chair of the EU's Single Resolution Board, has issued "an early warning" to EU officials that Banco Popular may need to be wound down if it fails to find a buyer, an insider told Reuters.
* Caixa Económica Montepio Geral's shares rose 77% in two days, Economia Online wrote. The Portuguese Securities Market Commission contacted the savings bank to look for a possible explanation, but no particular reason was pointed. Jornal de Negócios said that the mutualist association that owns Caixa gained €674 million in value with the sudden hike.
ITALY AND GREECE
* Italy's troubled banks may suffer an additional €10 billion in losses from the sale of their bad loans at current market prices, Bloomberg cited Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco as saying.
* Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said leaving the eurozone will not help solve the country's economic problems and that it should focus on using a modest economic recovery to resolve its public finances and reduce debt, Reuters reported.
* BPER Banca SpA submitted to the ECB a plan to dispose of nonperforming loans in the medium term, which it said is the most appropriate timing so that the bank does not lose out economically, MF cited Chairman Luigi Odorici as saying.
* A definitive approval to the restructuring plan of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA is expected between June 5 and June 11, MF reported.
* Mediocredito del Friuli Venezia Giulia sold to Bain Capital a €400 million nonperforming loan portfolio, MF reported.
* A no-confidence motion against Banca Carige SpA CEO Guido Bastianini due to be presented by Vittorio Malacalza, the bank's deputy chairman, June 9 is expected to lead to the resignation of Bastianini, MF wrote. Malacalza has already sounded out bankers willing to possibly take over the role of CEO of Carige with Francesco Iorio being one possible candidate, Il Sole 24 Ore wrote. The no-confidence motion may lead to a delay in the lender's recovery plan, Reuters noted.
* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA reached a definitive deal on the sale of the €2.1 billion nonperforming loan portfolio to Christofferson Robb & Co. and Bayview Asset Management, MF wrote.
* The board of Banca Intermobiliare decided not to continue the sale of Bim Insurance Brokers, Reuters reported.
* Alpha Bank AE reported first-quarter profit attributable to shareholders of €48.1 million, compared to an attributable loss of €2.2 million in the year-ago period, and said impairment losses fell 3.6% year over year to €246.8 million.
* Sveriges Riksbank Deputy Governor Cecilia Skingsley said reducing the central bank's foreign-currency reserves will result in increased risk, adding that the country's banks should manage their respective liquidity risks to secure ample liquidity reserves as well as stable foreign currency funding, Reuters reported.
* BNP Paribas SA's Nordic consumer bank, Ekspres Bank A/S, has acquired Swedish financial company Sevenday Finans AB, Børsen reported. The price has not been made public, but it is reported to be several hundred million Swedish kronor. The acquisition is part of Ekspres Bank's strategy of becoming one of the three largest consumer banks in the Nordic region. Les Echos also reported.
* The reserve period for the equity certificates of Sparebank 1 Østlandet, created from the merger of Sparebanken Hedmark and Sparebank 1 Oslo Akershus, has started, Dagens Næringsliv reported. The public listing of the bank is planned for June 13.
* Andelskassen J.A.K. Slagelse, which collapsed in 2015, has handed in its banking license, Finanswatch reported.
* Poland's financial regulator obliged Raiffeisen Bank International AG to conduct an IPO of its Polish unit in Warsaw by the end of June, Reuters reported.
* PZU SA could allocate 80% of its 2017 profit for dividend payment, Parkiet reported.
* Bulgaria's central bank is considering steps aimed to lower the level of nonperforming loans in the local banking sector, Reuters reported, citing central bank Governor Dimitar Radev.
* Mikhail Zadornov left the management board of JSC VTB Bank, but remains the head of the lender's retail arm Bank VTB 24, Kommersant said. The newspaper noted, however, that with plans to merge the retail unit into VTB, the future of Zadornov in the group is uncertain.
* Ukrainian lender PJSC TAScombank is interested in taking over the assets and liabilities of insolvent Diamantbank PJSC, Interfax Ukraine said.
* Croatia's Privredna Banka Zagreb announced a buyout bid for the remaining 5.1% stake in Bosnia-based Intesa Sanpaolo Banka, offering to pay 380 Bosnian convertible marka apiece for the lender's 22,618 ordinary shares and 60 preferred shares, SEENews reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Deutsche Bank, China Development Bank ink MOU; RHB Bank, AMMB in merger talks
Middle East & Africa: Barclays cutting African unit stake; Moza Banco under pension fund control
Latin America: Grupo Aval's Q1 profit up 25.8%; Banco Davivienda's falls 23.2%
North America: Goldman Sachs faces protest after $2.8B bond deal; Cohen planning comeback
North America Insurance: US weather drives '17 insured losses; insurers may move billions into debt ETFs
NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE
Macron likely to further delay EU financial transaction tax: The long-awaited European financial transaction tax will likely be delayed once more with the arrival of new French President Emmanuel Macron, who has argued that the U.K. must agree to the plan if it wants to stay in the single market after Brexit.
Barclays' sell-down of Africa unit to ease balance sheet pressure: News that Barclays has won regulatory approval to sell off a further 22% stake in its African business was welcomed by analysts, who say the deal will ease some pressure on the bank's capital ratio, which lags its U.K. peers.
Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Mike Hatzidakis, Ali Kayalar, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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