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China loosens interbank bond rules; Macquarie faces lawsuit in Germany


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China loosens interbank bond rules; Macquarie faces lawsuit in Germany


* The People's Bank of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange co-issued a notice allowing overseas institutions that invest in China's interbank bond market directly or under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors and RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors schemes to transfer funds among different accounts under the same overseas entity without trading procedures. The updated rules take effect Nov. 15.

* Ant Financial Services Group is in talks with lenders to secure a US$2.5 billion syndicated loan with a US$1 billion greenshoe or over-allotment option, Bloomberg News reported, citing anonymous source familiar with the process. The loan is reportedly priced below the 100 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate mark and will be used for general corporate purposes.

* The Hong Kong Monetary Authority met with nine banks under its newly established Banking Sector SME Lending Coordination Mechanism scheme to encourage funding support for small and medium-sized enterprises amid ongoing protests in the city. During the meeting, the banks agreed to deploy capital that was freed up by the regulator's decision to reduce capital buffers. According to the South China Morning Post, the banks that attended the meeting were HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., Citigroup Inc., Hang Seng Bank Ltd., Bank of East Asia Ltd., DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Ltd. and China Construction Bank (Asia) Corp. Ltd.


* Japan's SBI Holdings Inc. plans to acquire 70% of a micro finance company in Cambodia, The Nikkei reported. The company is expected to spend ¥9 billion for the acquisition, which will allow it to enter the local banking market. SBI Holdings also aims to extend investment opportunities to Japanese regional banks through this deal.

* Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd. allocated ¥50 billion to invest in companies extending effort to resolve issues in the areas of environment and corporate governance, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The Japanese bank will issue loans of up to ¥5 billion per company provided that it is recognized by external rating companies, such as Japan Credit Rating Agency and Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation.

* Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. will invest ¥5.4 billion into social bonds issued by Export-Import Bank of India, The Nikkei reported. The U.S. dollar-denominated bonds are part of ESG initiatives to support projects in the Mekong region, including Cambodia's power lines, Vietnam's hydroelectric power and Myanmar's railroad.

* South Korea's Securities and Futures Commission ordered a two-month suspension on Mirae Asset Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s securities sale after the company overstated profits earned from certain insurance products, Yonhap News Agency reported.

* KakaoBank of Korea Corp. said it plans to raise 500 billion won in capital by issuing 100 million new shares to existing shareholders, The Korea Herald reported. The shares were priced at 5,000 won each.


* Thailand's Secondary Mortgage Corp. hired Sukhumvit Asset Management Co. Ltd. to manage its nonperforming assets, Post Today reported. The signing of a cooperation agreement between the two organizations took place Oct. 15.

* Bank Indonesia said new loan demand in the third quarter slowed down compared to the second quarter, indicating a weaker domestic economy, Bisnis Indonesia reported. Loan demand from the three sectors that drive the economy — construction, manufacturing, and trade — fell quarter over quarter.

* TNG FinTech Group Inc., the controlling shareholder of Malaysian fintech company Tranglo Sdn Bhd, is facing a lawsuit from Tranglo's minority shareholders for alleged mismanagement, including TNG's rejection of Tranglo's approved financing plan, The Sun reported. The minority shareholders, which hold a collective 13.6% equity stake, are calling for the company to pay dividends and wind up Tranglo.


* Marsh India Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd. will buy JLT Independent Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd. following New York-based Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.'s acquisition of London-based Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Ltd. in April, VCCircle reported. Marsh & McLennan owns a 49% stake in Marsh India, and Jardine Lloyd Thompson owns a 49% stake in JLT Independent Insurance Brokers, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

* State Bank of India asked India's finance ministry to intervene in a deadlock among regulators over Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd.'s proposed resolution plan, The Economic Times reported, citing three people with direct knowledge of the matter. The bank is said to be worried about a systemic risk if the resolution plan does not push through. The ministry is expected to talk with regulators regarding the matter.

* India's PNB Housing Finance Ltd. is considering issuing secured and unsecured nonconvertible debentures in tranches to raise up to 100 billion rupees.

* The Reserve Bank of India fined SBM Bank (India) Ltd. 30 million rupees for violations by SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd. related to the cybersecurity framework and time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT-related operational controls. SBM Bank (Mauritius) merged with SBM Bank (India) Ltd. in 2018.

* All India Bank Employees Association and Bank Employees Federation of India have called a strike on Oct. 22 over the proposed consolidations of India's public sector banks, among other matters, Mint reported. The strike is also supported by All India Trade Union Congress.


* Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd. is facing a lawsuit in Germany for allegedly financing a high-risk fund tied to controversial tax arrangement, known as the cum-ex tax deals, which caused investors a loss of €190 million, Bloomberg News reported. Macquarie was said to have financed the deals in 2011 despite the lender being aware that the German government was trying the clamp down on the practice, the report added.

* Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn is set to file a class action lawsuit against Commonwealth Bank of Australia unit Colonial First State for allegedly breaching its duties as a superannuation trustee and causing considerable losses to over 100,000 members, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The suit cites the superannuation fund's failure to move customers to a new government-mandated regime by the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline, which would have resulted in lower fees. The suit further accuses the fund of prioritizing the interests of CBA over that of its beneficiaries.

* Australian advisory firm Stanton Road Partners appointed former Morgan Stanley alum Max Keisers as managing director, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported.

* The Reserve Bank of New Zealand expects a rise of 20 to 40 basis points in bank margins as a result of its planned bank reforms, The Australian reported, citing Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand. The proposal could be announced in December, and is expected to boost New Zealand's position as one of the safest and most resilient financial systems globally, Bascand said.


Middle East & Africa: Dubai Islamic Bank, Bank Muscat post profits; Wafa Insurance CEO steps down

Europe: Wirecard faces heat; US charges Halkbank over sanctions; German bank raided

Latin America: IMF cuts LatAm growth forecast; Argentina key rate falls to 68%

North America: BofA Q3 EPS down; Kansas banks merging; Citi calling for stability in Africa

Global Insurance: UnitedHealth welcomes Medicare EO; Saddle Ridge Fire origin; Molina in $40M deal

Janna Estares, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.

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