* Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp. and China Merchants Bank Co. Ltd. reported the most improvement in three of the four metrics used to analyze the effects of the core banking systems modernization at Asia-Pacific banks, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis. The report added that banks must modernize their core systems to accommodate new initiatives or changes in regulatory regimes.
* Industrial Bank Co. Ltd. opened its wealth management subsidiary in Fujian province, China, Caixin reported. The bank's vice president, Sun Xiongpeng, was appointed chairman of the wealth unit.
* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said Chinese insurers will be allowed to make overseas investments in Macao, in a bid to support the development of the Greater Bay Area and regulate the behavior of overseas investment of insurance funds.
* Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd. received regulatory approval to issue up to 14.5 billion yuan worth of Tier 2 capital bonds in the country’s interbank bond market. The lender also received the green light to establish Bank of Nanjing Wealth Management Co. Ltd.
* The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) maintained its discount rate at 1.375%, as well as the rates on accommodations with collateral and without collateral at 1.75% and 3.625%, respectively, citing a need to ensure price stability and to foster improvements to the economy and the island's financial sector.
* SBI Holdings Inc. said in a release that it launched a co-parent company with Ping An Insurance Co. of China's subsidiaries. SBI OneConnect Japan will provide financial technology systems to regional financial institutions to improve their efficiency. SBI is expected to have invested 60% while Ping An Insurance invested 40% into the new entity, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported separately.
* Mizuho Securities Co. Ltd. affiliate New Frontier Capital Management Co. Ltd. will form a fund that would invest in startups by the end of the year, The Nikkei reported. The company looks to develop a ￥10 billion fund through investments from Mizuho Securities and other institutional investors.
* Masatsugu Nagato, head of Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd., is considering stepping down from his post following allegations of inappropriate sales of insurance products at two of the company’s units, The Japan Times reported. He said he would make an announcement regarding the management’s responsibility at an appropriate time.
* South Korean law enforcement authorities are carrying out a confidential probe into allegations that two foreign securities companies, one being Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., entertained officials of Export-Import Bank of Korea in exchange for being selected as lead managers for the lender’s issuance of foreign-currency-denominated bonds, BusinessKorea reported. A formal investigation will depend on the results of the confidential inquiry.
* Financial Services Commission Chairman Eun Sung-soo told insurance firms to restructure their assets and liabilities and boost their capital base in anticipation of new global accounting standards for insurers that will go live in 2022, and will assess the liabilities of insurance companies on the basis of market value, Yonhap News Agency reported.
* Deja Tulananda, chairman of Bangkok Bank PCL, has dismissed news reports that the firm is selling its shares in other companies to support its plan to buy a stake in Indonesia-based PT Bank Permata Tbk and said that it has enough capital reserves, Krungthep Turakij reported. However, the Thai lender sold 600 million shares in BTS Group Holdings PCL for 7.44 billion baht, the publication separately reported.
* Indonesian state lender PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk will halt opening new branches in 2020 and focus on optimizing electronic channels, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing BNI deputy general manager of network management Giri Dwi Susanto.
* Bank Indonesia kept its seven-day reverse repo rate at 5.00%, and the deposit facility and the lending facility rates at 4.25% and 5.75%, respectively. The central bank said it will track domestic and external developments "using its room to implement an accommodative policy mix" in order to achieve its inflation and growth targets.
* Bursa Malaysia Bhd appointed Joseph Cherian an independent nonexecutive director, effective January 2020, Bernama reported.
* Valuecap Sdn Bhd said that it is considering various strategic options, including divestment or closure, for its units VCAP Asset Managers Sdn Bhd and i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd, as Valuecap looks for an exit from the asset management industry, The Sun reported. Both Valuecap units have proposed closing their wholesale funds, while i-VCAP Management is exploring various options for its exchange traded funds, including transferring them to another firm.
* The Reserve Bank of India will buy current benchmark 10-year bonds worth 100 billion rupees and sell four bonds maturing in 2020 for an equivalent amount, Reuters reported. The central bank made the decision to conduct the open market operation following a review of the liquidity and market situation and assessing financial conditions.
* Bajaj Finance Ltd. said in a disclosure that it had invoked a pledge of 2.4 million shares of Karvy Data Management Services Ltd, which had been pledged to secure the dues of Karvy Stock Broking Ltd., which has previously been a target of action for the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The pledged shares represent a 10% stake in the paid up share capital of Karvy Data Management and Bajaj Finance said that it invoked them to recover its dues from Karvy Stock Broking.
* UTI Asset Management Co. Ltd. filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India for an IPO of up to 38,987,081 shares, Mint reported. The share sale consists of an offer for sale of up to 10,459,949 shares by State Bank of India, by Life Insurance Corp. of India and by Bank of Baroda each respectively as well as an offer for sale of up to 3,803,617 shares by Punjab National Bank and by T. Rowe Price International each respectively.
* India’s IDBI Bank Ltd. plans to raise capital up to 20 billion rupees through tier-II bonds to enhance capital adequacy, Business Standard reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* A Federal Court judge in Australia found Westpac Banking Corp. liable for the inappropriate financial advice given by one of its former advisers in a lawsuit brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and levied penalties of A$9.15 million in total on the lender, The Australian Financial Review reported. The court also ordered the bank to pay the regulator's expenses.
* ASIC is conducting consultations on its draft guidance for the new financial product design and distribution obligations. Deputy Chair Karen Chester said the obligations will "reinforce fundamental business considerations for firms, their boards and ultimately their shareholders," and added that it would encourage the industry to better manage nonfinancial risks and take a consumer-centric approach. The new measures will come into effect in April 2021 to allow for a transition period.
* The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Reserve Bank of Australia are expected to run a number of stress tests to check the country’s financial institutions for their exposure to and readiness for climate change-related risks, The Australian reported. The two regulators are likely to adapt the core assumptions from a report by the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System and adapt it to Australia.
* APRA and ASIC published accountability statements and frameworks of the responsibilities of their senior executives on their respective websites. The updates follow calls by the Hayne royal commission for both regulators to boost governance and accountability.
* Australia's Crestone Wealth Management Ltd. hired senior advisers Murray Gordon and Nick Mandie from Ord Minnett Ltd, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: &P cuts Lebanese banks; Dubai Islamic Bank shareholders OKs Noor Bank takeover
Europe: UK to test banks for climate risks; potential Co-op sale; Nordea in €575M deal
Latin America: Stake recovery for BTG founder; new chairman at Argentina's Banco Nacion
North America: Bank deals in Pennsylvania, NJ; Crapo opposes House cannabis banking bill
Global Insurance: ACA mandate unconstitutional; PG&E deal approved; BoE to test on climate change
R Sio, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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