* China's Anbang insurance Group is expected to take over Allianz Group's South Korea business, with the Financial Services Commission likely to approve the deal, The Korea Herald reported, citing the German insurer.
* Kyobo Life Insurance Co. Ltd. will enter the investment advisory business in Japan through its Japanese asset management unit from January 2017, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.
* Meezan Bank Ltd. signed a memorandum of agreement with Al-Sadiq Consulting, a China-based advisory firm, to work on Islamic banking channels between the two countries, particularly in industrial and infrastructure development, The News International reported.
* A Sany Group-led consortium established a new commercial bank with a focus on serving Chinese manufacturers, Xinhua News Agency reported. Sanxiang Bank was set up in the province of Hunan, China, with capital of 3 billion yuan. The consortium comprises 10 private companies.
* China's leadership is signaling that economic growth will slow slightly in 2017, as it struggles to strike a balance between supporting the economy with loose credit conditions and preventing rising debt, Reuters reported. The country is facing challenges on how to tighten credit to contain debt, speculative investment and outflows without triggering defaults and company failures, according to industry insiders.
* China's State Council appointed Yin Yong as deputy governor of the People's Bank of China and Liu Guoqiang as assistant governor of the central bank, Caijing reported. Yin replaces Deputy Governor Guo Qingping while Liu replaces Assistant Governor Yang Ziqiang.
* The China Banking Regulatory Commission approved the establishment of three more private banks in the Chinese provinces of Shandong, Jilin and Liaoning, bringing the total number of approved private banks in China to 16, Tencent Finance reported. The three banks have six months to complete preparatory work.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd. CEO Nagato Masatsugu said unit Japan Post Bank Co. Ltd. is reconsidering its plan to enter the bank loan market, The Asahi Shimbun reported. Japan Post Bank had applied for government approval to add mortgages and other loans to its business portfolio.
* Bank of Okinawa Ltd. plans to acquire the 100% stake in Okinawa Securities Ltd. held by Japan Asia Securities Co. Ltd., The Nikkei reported.
* Fuyo General Lease Co. Ltd. agreed to acquire Accretive Ltd., a receivables securitization company owned by Don Quijote Holdings Co. Ltd., The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported.
* Nara Prefecture, Japan-based Nanto Bank Ltd. received approval from the country's Financial Services Agency to enter the trust banking business, becoming the first regional bank to do so in 10 years, The Nikkei reported.
* The Bank of Thailand issued regulations for financial institutions, including banks, nonbanks and "nanofinance" service providers, looking to test a regulatory sandbox set by the central bank and develop platforms for the financial industry, Post Today reported. The test will be conducted with customers in a controlled area for up to 12 months.
* The Thai cabinet passed a set of regulations proposed by the Bank of Thailand for supervising the operation of state-owned banks, Post Today reported. The regulations take effect Jan. 1, 2017.
* KASIKORN Research expects commercial banks to see around 4% credit growth in 2017, citing the Thai government's public investment, increasing oil prices and an improvement in the income of farmers as contributing factors, Manager Daily reported.
* UnionBank of the Philippines' wholly owned subsidiaries Union Properties Inc. and City Savings Bank Inc. received regulatory approval to acquire microfinance lender First-Agro Industrial Rural Bank.
* Nonbanking finance firm AU Financiers said it received final approval from the Reserve Bank of India to start a small finance bank, Mint reported. This is the seventh such approval given by the central bank.
* ICICI Bank Ltd. said it launched a mobile application that will allow merchants, retailers and professionals to accept cashless payments using multiple digital modes.
* National Bank of Pakistan and Mastercard Inc. signed an agreement to offer the bank's customers a number of digital payment options for cashless transactions, The News International reported.
* State Life Insurance Corp. denied media reports that it misappropriated funds from policies and said the organization fully adheres to guidelines set by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, The News International reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Commonwealth Bank of Australia's brokerage arm Commonwealth Securities incurred the most fines levied against Australian stockbrokers in 2016, amounting to A$900,000 during the year, The Australian reported, citing rulings by the country's Markets Disciplinary Panel.
* The Reserve Bank of Australia will roll out a new platform for payments in 2017 to allow real-time transactions between consumers and businesses, Payments Source reported.
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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