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Westpac exits financial advice; China Renaissance to seek more foreign partners

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that require a subscription.

M&A corner

* Westpac Banking Corp. is exiting the financial advice segment, entering into a sale agreement with Viridian Advisory Pty. Ltd. Viridian will absorb 175 salaried financial advisers and other management and support staff at the bank's BT Financial Group business. Westpac will cease to offer face-to-face personal advice by Sept. 30.

* Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd. will sell 41,111,111 equity shares of PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. to Oman India Joint Investment Fund II for 1.85 billion rupees.

* Bandhan Bank Ltd. obtained approval from the Reserve Bank of India for its planned acquisition of GRUH Finance Ltd. The parent company of GRUH Finance, Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd., has also received approval from the central bank to acquire a stake of up to 9.9% in Bandhan Bank after the deal is completed.

* Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry & Trade plans to sell the remaining 4.91% stake it holds in Saigon Bank for Industry & Trade in the second quarter, Viet Nam News reported. The share sale may fetch nearly 304 billion dong for Vietinbank.

* South Korea's Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. raised its stake in Jeju Bank to 75.31% from 71.89%.

* Taiping Life Insurance Co. Ltd. agreed to acquire a 4.78% stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. from Shenzhen Legend Science Park Co. Ltd. for 2.86 billion yuan. Taiping Life will acquire 414,904,000 shares of the Shanghai-based bank, representing 4.78% of the bank's total issued shares.

Regulatory developments

* China's banking regulator issued rules relating to banks' disclosure of their net stable funding ratio, requiring them to disclose the ratio every six months. The net stable funding ratio measures banks' available stable funding divided by required stable funding.

* Japan's financial services regulator plans to introduce changes to its early intervention regime for regional banks in the country, The Nikkei reported. The Financial Services Agency will conduct stress tests on banks, possibly by summer. The FSA also plans to review its guidelines to also take future profitability into account.

* Bank Negara Malaysia is proposing changes to rules governing the remittance, money changing and wholesale currency businesses in the country in an effort to stamp out illegal businesses by unlicensed operators.

In other news

* China Renaissance Holdings Ltd. plans to partner with more overseas financial institutions, in a bid to tap into the rising demand for managing overseas assets among its Chinese clients, according to COO Xiang Wei. Xiang added that China Renaissance's target clients for its wealth management business would include founders or senior management of China's new-economy companies.

* National Australia Bank Ltd. is working on implementing 26 of the recommendations from the Australian royal commission and has decided to extend greater protections to small business borrowers.

* Philippine National Bank reported a 17% year-over-year increase in net profit for the fiscal year ended December 2018. The bank's net income attributable to equity holders rose to 9.47 billion Philippine pesos, or 7.58 pesos per share, from 8.16 billion pesos, or 6.53 pesos per share, in 2017.

* Shinhan Financial Group has withdrawn its participation in a digital-only bank consortium led by Viva Republica Co. Ltd., The Chosun Ilbo reported. Shinhan Financial dropped out of the consortium over disagreements on how the digital lender would be run.

* Deutsche Bank AG is establishing an asset reconstruction unit in India, Bloomberg News reported. The German bank is setting up the unit to buy and reorganize nonperforming credit as current Indian rules prohibit overseas investors from buying bad loans directly from Indian banks.

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