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Warburg Pincus front-runner for IndiaFirst stake; ANZ postpones UDC Finance IPO

* Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. is seeking to raise as much as US$5 billion for its fifth Asia Pacific fund, DealStreetAsia reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the plan.

* Generali CEO Philippe Donnet said the Italian insurer is looking to expand its operations in parts of Asia and Latin America, Reuters reported, citing Italian newspaper Affari e Finanza. Generali is set to present a new business plan at the end of November, the news outlet said.

GREATER CHINA

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said local banking institutions should integrate data governance into their corporate governance and set up a data governance system, Reuters reported. Data governance covers data concerning business operations, risk management and internal control.

* China's Fudian Bank Co. Ltd. and the Lao China Bank Co. Ltd. in Laos entered into a bilateral cross-border local- and foreign-transfer cooperation, under which 5 million yuan will be transferred from China to Laos and 500 million kip will be transferred from Laos to China, Reuters reported. The transaction will be carried out from Fudian Bank's branch in Mohan, China and Lao China Bank's branch in Boten, Laos. Both towns are located near the border between the two countries.

* Jiang Yang, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said China must encourage equity financing to bolster local enterprises' long-term capital and lessen their reliance on debt, Reuters reported, citing the state-run newspaper Securities Times. Jiang said the development of direct financing, particularly equity financing, would help ease high rates of leverage among businesses.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* The fiscal 2017 results of Japan's megabanks — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. — highlight the challenges they still face in improving their core revenue in both local and overseas operations, Moody's Japan K.K. said. However, the rating agency said the continued buildup in capital is credit positive for the lenders, adding that the banks' asset quality has improved from already strong levels and credit costs declined.

* Kanazawa Chuo Credit Cooperative, a company based in Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan, is teaming up with Tokyo-based ORIX Bank Corp. to market the lender's trust funds in its region, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

* South Korea's cabinet approved a revision of the country's Enforcement Decree of the Banking Act, which will remove banks' obligation to report to authorities about opening offices or branches before their establishment, The Korea Herald reported. The exemption will be granted to lenders whose investment into the foreign unit does not exceed 1% of its capital.

* South Korea-based Tongyang Life Insurance Co. Ltd. will issue US$500 million of hybrid securities as part of its preparation to comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS 17, Insurance Contracts, The Financial News in South Korea reported.

ASEAN

* Indonesian general insurer PT Asuransi Tugu Pratama Indonesia Tbk priced its planned IPO at 3,850 rupiah per share, IDN Financials reported. The company, which plans to issue 177.78 million new shares through the IPO on the local bourse, had set during its book building an indicative price range of between 3,850 rupiah and 5,000 rupiah per share.

* Indonesia's national audit agency said PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk lost 1.83 trillion rupiah in bad loans to PT Tirta Amarta Bottling, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

* Reinsurance company PT Reasuransi Nasional Indonesia is targeting a 15% growth in premiums and net income throughout 2018, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing President Director Edhie Mulyono.

* Ahmad Fajar was named president director of PT Bank Victoria International Tbk, replacing Daniel Budirahayu in the role, Bisnis Indonesia reported. Debora Wahjutirto Tanoyo and Lembing were also appointed as directors of the bank.

* Vietnam-based Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank expects its market value to reach US$1 billion after its proposed IPO in the second half of 2018, Bloomberg News reported, citing Chairman Trinh Van Tuan. The lender is looking to list 750 million shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange. Tuan, however, did not disclose the planned initial price of the offering.

SOUTH ASIA

* U.S.-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC made the highest offer among all the bidders for a 26% stake in IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. Ltd. held by U.K.-based Legal & General Group PLC, Mint reported, citing two unidentified sources. The transaction is appraised at nearly US$150 million, but the final amount may change as talks are ongoing.

* The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India wants state-run general insurers National Insurance Co. Ltd., Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. and United India Insurance Co. Ltd. to boost their risk buffers and capital by about 100 billion rupees before their planned merger, Bloomberg News reported, citing an anonymous official present at a finance ministry meeting. The watchdog reportedly requested the government to either provide the additional capital or allow the companies to raise funds from the market.

* Indian police alleged in a charge sheet that Punjab National Bank's senior executives misled the Reserve Bank of India in late 2016 over how it handled the credit guarantees being sent through a financial messaging system, leading to a fraud of more than US$2 billion, Reuters reported. The central bank had repeatedly sought details from lenders, including Punjab National Bank, on their compliance with required cybersecurity controls following a series of incidents of misuse of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, elsewhere.

* India's finance ministry requested the Banks Board Bureau to make new appointments at Punjab National Bank and Allahabad Bank amid recent fraud allegations involving the banks' officials, Asian News International reported. In addition, top finance ministry officials told the news agency that there are no discussions about easing the prompt corrective actions imposed on lenders seen to be at risk. At present, 11 local banks are under the corrective action framework.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. is said to have postponed its IPO plans for its New Zealand-based asset finance unit, UDC Finance Ltd., to 2019, The Australian reported, citing unnamed sources. The suspension was reportedly due to complications surrounding the planned listing. ANZ first flagged its IPO plans for the unit in March.

* Australia's Westpac Banking Corp. admitted that it had made a legally blind pensioner a loan guarantor for her daughter's business without giving risk advice, and eventually ordered the pensioner to sell her house to recover the loan when the business failed, Reuters reported, citing a hearing at the country's royal commission. Alastair Welsh, the company's head of commercial banking, told the inquiry that the bank followed its formal processes but agreed the bank manager who approved the arrangement should have been more careful considering the pensioner's disabilities.

* The founders of Australian payments company Afterpay Touch Group Ltd. — Anthony Eisen, Nicholas Molnar and David Hancock — are selling their shares in the company, with Citi and Bell Potter working on the deal, The Australian reported. The brokers are calling for bids for 5.5 million shares in 2-cent increments, with a floor price of A$6.90 per share, the publication said.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Beltone eyes Oragroup stake; NCB has new chairman; Kigali to list in Kenya

Europe: Barclays to sell loans bought from Lloyds; Monte dei Paschi mandate concerns

Latin America: BancoEstado's Q1 profit rises 3.6% YOY; PagSeguro to launch digital bank

North America: Fifth Third to buy MB Financial for $4.7B; JPMorgan working on crypto strategy

North America Insurance: AmTrust doubles down; Travelers closes cat bond; MS Amlin P&C boss departs

Janna Estares, Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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