Editor's note: This feature will not be published Jan. 2, 2017. The next article will be published Jan. 3, 2017.
* IGM Financial Inc. unit Mackenzie Financial Corp. agreed to acquire a 10% interest in China Asset Management Co. Ltd. for about C$468 million.
* Scotland's government has expressed concerns over the likely sale of UK Green Investment Bank Plc to Macquarie Group Ltd. for £2 billion, calling it "asset stripping," The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The sale could take place as early as January 2017.
* Japanese lender Fukui Bank Ltd. joined SBI Ripple Asia, an SBI Holdings Inc.-led consortium that offers financial technology-related products, taking the number of participating financial institutions to 43, EconoTimes reported.
* Cathay Financial Holding Co. Ltd. said it joined Silicon Valley technology accelerator Plug and Play to further enhance its digital offerings and to further engage with fintech startups and investors.
* The China Foreign Exchange Trade System said the number of currencies in the CFETS currency basket will be increased to 24 from 13, effective Jan. 1, 2017, Sina Finance reported. CFETS said the 11 currencies to be added, including the Korean won, the South African rand and the Mexican peso, will have a combined 21.09% weighting in the currency basket and will cover the currencies of China's major trading partners. The U.S. dollar's weight in the basket will be cut to 0.224% from 0.264%.
* The China Banking Regulatory Commission said it would support qualified financial leasing companies to set up professional subsidiaries, Reuters reported. The total assets of all 52 financial leasing companies in the sector stood at 1.94 trillion yuan as of the end of the third quarter, with a net profit of 18.23 billion yuan in the nine months that ended September 30.
* China Construction Bank Corp. signed debt-to-equity swap deals worth 30 billion yuan with state-owned coal and steel firms, Reuters reported Dec. 29, citing the Xinhua news agency.
* The China Insurance Regulatory Commission raised the threshold of insurance investors and said a controlling shareholder of an insurer should have total assets no less than 10 billion yuan, and its net assets should not be lower than 30% of the total assets, Caijing reported.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. will lay off about a third of its insurance claims evaluation staff as the company begins using artificial intelligence technology for its operations, The Mainichi Shimbun reported.
* SBI Holdings Inc. plans to boost customer assets at brokerage unit SBI Securities Co. Ltd. to ¥50 trillion in 2017 from ¥10 trillion, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported.
* Mirae Asset Securities Co. Ltd. will make its postmerger debut Dec. 30, making it the fifth-largest South Korean financial institution by assets, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service launched a probe into potential losses at TONGYANG Life Insurance Co. Ltd. from a 380.4 billion-won loan fraudulently secured by meat product vendors, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
* Thailand's Fiscal Policy Office said nonperforming loans of state-owned banks at the end of the third quarter stood at 253.48 billion baht, up 33.541 billion baht at the end of the second quarter, Daily News reported.
* PT Asuransi Kredit Indonesia (Persero) said it is optimistic it will reach its target of 2 billion Indonesian rupiah of premium income by the end of 2016, Bisnis Indonesia reported.
* Bank Negara Malaysia said it will phase out the nine-month KLIBOR rate from January 2018. The measure is a part of compliance with guidelines issued by the International Organization of Securities Commissions.
* The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said bank lending during November grew to 17.4%, up from 16.2% from the year-ago period, citing production activities as a contributing factor to the increase, The Philippine Star reported.
* The Reserve Bank of India plans to set up an ombudsman service for nonbanking finance companies to address service-related grievances, Mint reported, citing a report published by the central bank. More than 95,000 complaints relating to NBFCs were received by the banking ombudsman in 2016.
* Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank said it expects to start operations in the first half of 2017, Press Trust of India reported. A total of 11 payments banks received regulatory approval in 2015.
* Three Indian banks may fail to maintain the 9% capital adequacy ratio requirement due to credit exposure as the banking industry suffers from growing nonperforming assets, The Economic Times reported, citing a report by the Indian central bank.
* Investigators are looking into the possible role of an IT technician at Bangladesh Bank in a US$81 million cyberheist in early 2016, Reuters reported, citing Mohammad Shah Alam, deputy inspector general of Bangladesh's police force.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Platinum Asset Management Ltd. cautioned its clients about fraudulent emails asking for payment on unsettled invoices, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing a spokesperson for the firm. The source of the emails, which were sent out in October and December, has yet to be found.
* The cost of client acquisition is higher for fintech firms than for banks due to different market dynamics and because operators need to cut costs to become profitable, The Australian reported, citing Cameron Poolman, CEO of online lender OnDeck.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Mozambique bond sale under SEC scanner; Bahrain regulator seals Future Bank fate
Europe: African bond sale haunts European banks; US to sanction Russia on election hacks
Latin America: Itaú completes BMG stake purchase; Cielo to pay 247.8M reais interest on equity
North America: FOMC 2017 includes 1st-time voters; SEC finds no violations at Emergent Capital
North America Insurance: 3 CEOs make list of most influential people in insurance industry
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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