*Bank Indonesia decided to keep its benchmark interest rate at 6.50% and maintainthe deposit facility and lending facility rates at 4.50% and 7%, respectively.
*The Malaysian government will cooperate with an investigation looking intoalleged fraud related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd. as prosecutors in the U.S.prepare to seizeassets worth US$1 billion, which were acquired fraudulently with money from theMalaysian state fund, Bloomberg News reported. is also underscrutiny for alleged misappropriation of funds by 1MDB officials, Today reportedseparately. Goldman was working with the sovereign fund at the time of thealleged fraud.
*South Africa's DiscoveryLtd. said it is entering the Japanese insurance market throughpartnerships with Sumitomo LifeInsurance Co. and SoftBank Group Corp., Bloomberg News reported.
*The Bangladesh government is reaching out to the administration of newlysworn-in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to expedite the process ofrecovering US$81million stolen in a cyber heist, which reached the Southeast Asian countrythrough Rizal Commercial BankingCorp., The Philippine Starreported.
*Xiang Junbo, chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, said thatinsurance companies should not become "large shareholders' cashdispensers," Caijing reported. Henoted that the investment returns of insurance funds increased 2.49% year overyear in the first six months, down 2.81 percentage points. Thirty bondsdefaulted in the first five months, involving more than 20 billion yuan ofinsurance capital.
*Sheng Songcheng, head of the surveys and statistics department of the People'sBank of China, said that the country is seemingly falling into a liquiditytrap, Wallstreetcn.com reported. Shengsaid that the effects of monetary policies are limited and need proactivefiscal policy to coordinate, including trimming corporate tax burdens, issuingmore government debt and increasing fiscal deficits.
*Chinese Internet companies, private banks and peer-to-peer platforms are tryingto attract senior management staff from banks with high salaries and stockoptions, China Business News reported.Analysts said the job hoppers are facing cultural gaps between traditionalfinancial institutions and Internet financial companies.
*The International Monetary Fund adjusted the forecast for China's economicgrowth in 2016 to 6.6% from the previous 6.5%, citing China's supportiveexpansive fiscal policies, the EconomicInformation Daily reported.The IMF lowered the global economic forecast due to Brexit, with the latestglobal economic growth forecast for 2016 and 2017 being 3.1% and 3.4%respectively, 10 basis points lower than the original forecasts.
*Kuei Hsien-nung, vice chairman of Taiwan's Financial Security Commission, saidthat it would set up a knowledge exchange platform to help Taiwan's bankingindustry beef up information security, the ChinaPost reported.He noted that a budget has been set aside for the program, which will kick offin 2017.
JAPAN AND KOREA
*Meiji Yasuda Life InsuranceCo. will deploy 100 units of SoftBank Group Corp.'s Pepper robot onthe sales front across 80 branches nationwide, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
*Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. will collaborate with SoftBank on the developmentof insurance products that offer premium discounts linked to customers' healthstatus changes, The Mainichi Shimbun reported.SoftBank will provide technology support for monitoring customers' healthhabits.
*Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told BBC Radio that there is no need for"helicopter money," referring to the Japanese central bank's directpurchase of government bonds to boost fiscal spending, Kyodo News reported.
*Daiwa Securities GroupInc. will launch a 50-50 joint venture with Digital Garage Inc. toinvest between ¥10 billion and ¥20 billion in artificial intelligence andblockchain technologies, Tokyo's TheNikkei reported.
*South Korea's credit card industry will send a delegation to the U.S.headquarters of VisaInc. to protest an increase in foreign transaction fees for SouthKorean Visa cardholders, The Chosun Ilboreported.
*The Korea Federation of Banks finalized guidelines implementing anindustry-wide transition from seniority-based compensation toperformance-linked compensation, TheChosun Ilbo reported.
*Woori Bank said in adisclosure to the Korea Exchange that it is considering issuing US$500 millionof contingent convertible bonds, Yonhap News Agency reported.
*Bank Indonesia has projected that tax amnesty funds will reach 560 trillionIndonesian rupiah, which will start flowing into the country by the end of2016, Kompas reported.
*Bank Muamalat MalaysiaBhd. expects loan growth of 6% to 8% in 2016 despite an overnightpolicy rate reduction implemented recently, Malaysia's New Straits Times reported.
*RHB Bank Bhd. has cutits base rate and base lending rate by 10 basis points, while loweredits base rate and base lending rate by 15 bps, Malaysia's The Sun reported.
*Profit of 11 banks in Thailand for the first half of 2016 stood at more than104.39 billion baht, attributed mainly to loan interest income and fee income,Thailand's Daily News reported. Bigger bankshave lower profit while smaller banks are growing rapidly, according to datathe lenders submitted to Thailand's stock exchange.
*Thai Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan said the government is ready tosupport the business sector, as fintech has disrupted Thailand's businesssector, Post Today reported. Bank ofThailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said that for the first time,commercial banks are shuttering their branches than opening new ones. Hebelieves that they are preparing and adapting themselves for electronicservices and fintech.
*Government SavingsBank has collaborated with 18 financial institutions to offer thethird phase of soft loans worth 30 billion baht in total for small andmedium-sized enterprises, Post Today reported. Theinterest rate is only 0.1% per year.
*Korbsak Phutrakul, assistant minister to the prime minister's office, said thegovernment and the Bank of Thailand agreed to let foreign banks opensub-branches in the Eastern Economic Corridor zone in an effort to boostinvestment in the area, Post Today reported. Thecentral bank will work on amending related regulations for this purpose.
*Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong expects the economy to grow by 3.3%in the second quarter, Thai Rath reported. The Thai economygrew by 3.2% in the first quarter.
*S&P Global Ratings expects to see a growth of 6% to 6.5% in the Philippineeconomy, following the transition of executive power to the new president'sadministration, The Philippine Star reported.
*The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India is likely to drop aproposed regulation requiring insurers to invest at least 25% of unit-linkedinsurance plans in government securities, BusinessStandard reported.
*The Reserve Bank of India said it will consider government securities as high-qualityliquid assets if they have up to 9% of their deposits under the facility toavail liquidity for liquidity coverage ratio, a change from the current 8%requirement, The Hindu reported.
*Religare Broking Ltd. and Religare Insurance Ltd. were July 20 and July 21,respectively, under Religare Capital Markets (India) Ltd., as new subsidiariesof Religare EnterprisesLtd.
*Kotak Mahindra BankLtd. reported a net profit of 7.42 billion rupees for the quarterended June, a 291% year-over-year increase, BusinessStandard reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
*Mortgage arrears in Australia at the end of the first quarter stood at 1.11%, ajump from 0.95% in December, attributed mainly to holiday expenditures, The Australian reported.Despite the jump, the increase is still the lowest since 2006.
*Challenger CEO Brian Benari has asked the new Australian government to passlegislation that will allow tax exemptions for various superannuation fundproducts, The Australian reported.
*Oaktree Capital GroupLLC has hired Jarrad Solomons in a bid to boost their Australianbusiness, The Australian Financial Review'sblog Street Talk reported.Solomons was previously associated with Macquarie Group.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
MiddleEast & Africa: Iran seeksbond market return; Bank of Mauritius cuts rate; Mashreqbank Q2 profit downYOY
Europe:EBA's MREL study results;Swedbank, Danske post Q2 results; S&P cuts Turkey
LatinAmerica: Banamex chairman to stepdown
NorthAmerica: BNY Mellon in earningsspotlight; Yadkin, FNB reportedly in M&A talks
S&P Global Ratings andS&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah,Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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