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'Brextension' option; RBI shakes off Russia fears; profits rise at Pru, Generali


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'Brextension' option; RBI shakes off Russia fears; profits rise at Pru, Generali

* The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision said the continued growth of new financial products related to crypto-assets and of trading platforms offering them has the potential to increase financial stability concerns and risks to banks. The committee called on lenders to increase transparency, including making public disclosures of exposure to crypto-assets, to both consumers and advisory boards.

* The European Presidency and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on how clearing houses or central counterparties in the EU and third countries should be supervised in the future, taking into account Britain's departure from the bloc. An additional 32 third-country CCPs have been recognized, while three counterparties in the U.K. will become de facto third-country CCPs following Brexit.


* U.K. lawmakers rejected Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal, lining up a new vote today to delay the March 29 Brexit date.

* British challenger banks OneSavings Bank PLC and Charter Court Financial Services Group PLC reached an agreement on an all-share combination. Under the terms of the deal, OSB and Charter Court will own a 55% and 45% stake in the combined entity, respectively.

* London-based Prudential PLC reported operating profit of £4.83 billion in 2018, up from £4.70 billion in 2017, driven by a 14% increase in operating profit from Asia life insurance and asset management businesses.

* Provident Financial PLC CEO Malcolm Le May said the British subprime lender will not sell its home credit unit as it fends off a hostile takeover offer by rival Non-Standard Finance PLC, Reuters reported.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority clarified that British and EU trading venues will operate on identical standards regardless of whether there is an implementation period or not after Britain's divorce from the bloc because of the Treasury's onshoring of certain EU legislation into U.K. law.

* The FCA also outlined a number of measures to assist customers in finding investment platforms more easily and be able to switch to the right one for them.

* Gibraltar-based insurer Elite Insurance Co. Ltd. said it received a court order Jan. 31 to design and roll out a scheme of arrangement after failing to meet its regulatory capital requirement.


* Raiffeisen Bank International AG CEO Johann Strobl said the Austrian lender is not worried about anti-money laundering breaches linked to Russia and remains committed to that market. Strobl also said the bank will have to re-evaluate its Romanian operations following last year's introduction of a new bank tax that is expected to hit its local unit's Tier 1 capital ratio by 30 basis points per quarter, Reuters reported.

* The Benjamin de Rothschild family unveiled plans to take Edmond de Rothschild (Suisse) SA private and to consolidate all Edmond de Rothschild Group's banking activities under the Swiss bank.

* German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he is closely monitoring reports about a potential merger between Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, but played down the government's role in the discussions, parliamentary sources told Reuters.

* Negotiations on the rescue and future business model of the troubled Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale are expected to be completed in about three weeks, according to a DPA report carried by Handelsblatt. Lower Saxony Finance Minister Reinhold Hilbers said the state was working with the German Savings Banks Association on a viable model that was in the final stages and on securing its necessary approvals.

* Deutsche Kreditbank AG's good performance has led parent Bayerische Landesbank AöR to give the direct lender a much bigger role in the group, Handelsblatt wrote. DKB, which grew out of the former German Democratic Republic's Staatsbank, may soon become the flagship unit, with the name DKB even taking top billing over BayernLB in a repositioning that is in the planning by the Bavarian state government.

* A former graduate trainee at UBS Group AG filed a lawsuit at an employment tribunal in London against the Swiss lender over its handling of her alleged rape by a more senior colleague, the Financial Times reported.


* BNP Paribas SA is looking to grow its Chinese operations to include futures trading, brokerage and wealth management ventures, as the Paris-based lender expects further foreign investment in the Asian nation, according to Bloomberg News.

* Zeina Bignier, the former head of public sector origination at Société Générale SA, is suing the French lender at a Paris employment tribunal for wrongful dismissal, Bloomberg reported. Bignier, who claims she was fired out of the blue in 2016, is seeking €5.2 million in damages from SocGen.

* French asset manager Amundi SA announced plans to double its AUM in exchange-traded funds, indexing and smart beta to €200 billion by 2023 as part of its growth strategy.

* Groupe Primonial SAS acquired the remaining 60% shareholding in Financiere de l'Echiquier, Les Echos noted. The company bought a 40 % stake in LFDE last year.

* Belgian brokerage firm Weghsteen NV, which was put into receivership last year amid an investigation into possible criminal offences, has been declared bankrupt March 4, according to De Tijd.

* The founders of Dutch online brokerage DeGiro BV have hired ING Groep to sell a minority stake, sources told Het Financieele Dagblad.


* Amid speculations that Novo Banco SA would seek for a capital injection of €1 billion instead of the expected €800 million amount, the Commission of Budget and Finance said the lender may come to request for €3 billion, Público reported. Commission member Bracinha Vieira said Novo Banco is expected to reach profitable levels in 2020, making the next one the last trench of capital requested by the bank, Jornal Económico added.


* Italian insurer Generali reported full-year 2018 consolidated result attributable to the group of €2.31 billion, compared to €2.11 billion in the same period a year earlier. The company's group operating result increased by 3% on a yearly basis to €4.86 billion, due to the contribution of all business segments.

* UniCredit SpA is selling a €1 billion portfolio of non-core properties, with Blackstone among investors that are eyeing the assets, MF reported.

* Intesa Sanpaolo SpA CEO Carlo Messina reiterated that the bank was not interested in any merger deal in Italy or abroad, Reuters wrote. Meanwhile, banking foundations that are shareholders in Intesa have agreed to confirm Gian Maria Gros-Pietro as the lender's new chairman, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.

* The Italian government will pass a decree by next Tuesday to renew a state-guarantee system facilitating the sale of bad loans, two sources told Reuters. The guarantee mechanism will be extended by two years, until spring 2021, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.

* The sale of Cerved Group SpA will likely be postponed after U.S. private equity group Advent International Corp. withdrew its offer, Il Sole 24 Ore wrote, adding that other private equity groups like PAI Partners and Blackstone have recently evaluated the Italian credit data provider's dossier.


* Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority has instructed the local branch of Sweden-based SEB Kort Bank AB, a subsidiary of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, to ensure it obtains additional information on clients deemed associated with high money-laundering risks as part of a check-up on the lender, Reuters reported.

* Authorities in Estonia and Sweden are investigating media reports that at least one of the executives employed by Danske Bank A/S' Estonian branch had also previously worked for Swedbank AB (publ), Affärsvärlden wrote.


* Russian authorities plan to provide a 50-billion-ruble capital injection for PAO Promsvyazbank, with the funds to be allocated between 2019 and 2021, news agency Prime reported, citing Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev.

* JSCB Evrofinance-Mosnarbank Bank JSC has stopped processing dollar-denominated payments due to sanctions recently imposed on the Russian lender by the U.S. due to its alleged dealings with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, news agency Prime reported. The lender said it plans to start offering its clients cards of Russia's national payment system Mir to replace existing cards after Visa and Mastercard stopped servicing its payment cards because of the sanctions.

* Altoville Holdings, owned by Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, plans to put up for sale TCS Group Holding Plc's global depositary receipts worth up to $150 million, news agency Prime reported, noting that the offered GDRs are equivalent to a stake of around 4.2% in TCS group. The GDRs will be offered via accelerated book building, with Morgan Stanley acting as an organizer of the deal.

* Kazakhstan-based JSC Tengri Bank increased its authorized capital by almost 4.1 billion Kazakh tenge via the issuance of 3,894,500 new shares with an offering price set at 1,050 tenge apiece, reported.

* The Ukrainian central bank approved the appointment of Andriy Komarist as new chairman of the management board at JSC Taskombank, the lender said.

* Polish law enforcement authorities detained 12 former and current employees of Alior Bank SA over irregularities regarding sale of investment certificates offered by local asset manager W Investments, news agency PAP reported.

* PZU SA expects to be able to offer a higher per-share dividend from its 2018 profit than the per-share payment of 2.50 Polish zlotys offered last year, news agency PAP reported, citing PZU CEO Paweł Surówka. Separately, PZU and Goldman Sachs Asset Management signed a letter of intent regarding cooperation in the area of asset management and distribution of products managed by GSAM, the newswire noted.

* Slovak President Andrej Kiska officially appointed Finance Minister Peter Kažimír as new governor of the Slovak central bank, Sme reported. Kažimír will take over the post June 1, replacing Jozef Makúch.


Asia-Pacific: CBA suspends demerger plans; China hikes tolerance for micro companies' NPLs

Middle East & Africa: Israel's First International Bank posts higher profit; Mashreqbank going digital

Latin America: 4 more LatAm nations in EU tax haven blacklist; Santander Río Q4'18 profit rises

North America: OCC disappointed with Sloan's testimony; Goldman Sachs reviews businesses

Global Insurance: US FAA stands by 737 MAX; EU blacklists Bermuda; PartnerRe shuffle


Fintechs buying banks? It's more common than you'd think, say industry pundits: In a reversal of the trend of banks buying fintechs, German financial technology firm Raisin has bought its service bank MHB. Fintechs are keen to grab more of the value chain, industry experts say.

RBI 'not worried' about money laundering in profitable Russian market: The Austrian lender remains committed to Russia, the group's fourth-largest market by loans, CEO Johann Strobl said, despite reports linking the bank to the so-called Troika laundromat scheme.

£36B Brexit business transfer costs UK's Prudential £27M: M&G Prudential CEO John Foley said the new Luxembourg fund platform that received the business gives the company "a springboard for further international growth."

Co-CEO Gilbert steps down, as Standard Life Aberdeen's outflows surge: Net outflows rose to £40.9 billion in 2018, from £32.9 billion in 2017, and slightly higher than analysts' £40.3 billion consensus forecast.

Deza Mones, Ed Meza, Danielle Rossingh, Gerard O'Dwyer, Beata Fojcik, Heather O'Brian, Stephanie Salti, PraxillaTrabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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