S&PGlobal Market Intelligence's most read financial stories in the Asia-Pacificregion feature DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta's denial that the bank is interestedin acquiring Standard Chartered, while editors' picks include a story on KBFinancial's decision to forgo its bid for ING Life Insurance Korea.
1. Techcompany raises $25.5M in funding round, to launch on-demand insuranceplatform
Technology company Trov said it raised a total of $39million in funding. The company closed $25.5 million in series C funding, ledby Oak HC/FT and included investments from Suncorp Group Ltd., Guidewire Software Inc. and Anthemis Group.
2. Report: DBS not interested in StanChart, will focus on fintechcompetition
DBSGroup Holdings Ltd. CEO Piyush Gupta shot down rumors that the bankcould be a likely buyer of Standard Chartered Plc. He noted that the Singaporeanbank is not interested in acquiring all or part of the U.K.-based lender, butis instead focusing on competing with fintech firms such as Alibaba.
3. Allianz Life Insurance to lay off 200 employees
AllianzLife Insurance Co. Ltd., the South Korean unit of , will lay off 200employees through a voluntary retirement program. The company will payseverance equivalent to a maximum of 42 months' salary to the affectedemployees.
4. Hackers compromised SWIFT software in Bangladesh Bank attack, probeshows
An investigation conducted by British defensecontractor BAE Systems found that the hackers who stole US$81 million fromBangladesh Bank mostlikely compromised the SWIFT financial platform used by the central bank'scomputers. The platform is owned by around 3,000 financial institutions and isat the heart of the global financial system. BAE believes hackers used malwareon the SWIFT client software known as Alliance Access, which Bangladesh Bankuses.
5. Report: TPG, other foreign funds eye ANZ's stake in AMMB
U.S.-based TPG Newbridge and other foreign funds havereportedly shown interest in acquiring Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s 23.8%stake in Malaysia's AMMB HoldingsBhd. The funds are said to be courting AMMB Holdings Chairman AzmanHashim for the stake purchase as they seek to gain exposure to the localbanking sector.
1. India's push to foster entrepreneurs may unlock new bankcustomers
The Indian government has embarked on a push tounleash credit to huge, marginalized groups in the world's largest democracy, amove that may open the door to a large pool of untapped potential customers forbanks. Under a scheme introduced in early April dubbed Stand Up India, everybank branch in India must provide 1 million rupees to 10 million rupees of businessfunding per person to at least one female and at least one member ofdisadvantaged classes known as scheduled castes and tribes.
2. ChibaBank, Musashino Bank may opt for merger in long run, analysts say
Analysts are not convinced that a partnership dealbetween Chiba BankLtd. and MusashinoBank Ltd. will help them slash costs as the companies hope, sayingthe two regional banks may end up joining some of their peers in merging tosurvive a population decline.
3. Conference Chatter: Insurers face 'war stories' on Asian M&Afront lines
While M&A activity among Asian insurers shows promiseas local regulators press for higher capital adequacy levels and foreign firmsseek market access, cementing deals will require both flexibility by acquirersand more realistic valuations by sellers, according to industry executivesspeaking at a conference in Singapore.
4. KBFinancial to forgo bid for ING Life Insurance Korea
KBFinancial Group Inc. ruled out bidding for , in anauction process that may draw interest from Chinese companies. Lee Dong-cheol,chief strategic officer for KB Financial, said the company does not have enoughcapacity to pursue another acquisition.
5. Bankof Japan holds off on more easing as pressure to act grows
The Bankof Japan has opted to wait before further easing policy in aclosely watched meeting, defying calls for stronger stimulus, as monetarypolicymakers sought time to assess whether still-fresh negative interest rateswould breathe life into the country's sagging economy.