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China probes ex-financial regulator; Nippon Life eyes stake in asset manager

GREATER CHINA

* Liu Shiyu, former head of the China Securities and Regulatory Commission, is under investigation for alleged graft, the South China Morning Post reported, citing the country's anti-corruption agency.

* Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd.'s financial technology unit, OneConnect, is looking to raise US$1 billion through an IPO in Hong Kong, Reuters reported, quoting sources. The insurance company has selected Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley for the IPO preparation.

* Jiangsu Wujiang Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. received approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission to issue 2.5 billion yuan of Tier 2 capital bonds.

* Bank of China Ltd. said Chen Yuhua resigned as external supervisor, effective May 17.

* Changjiang Securities Co. Ltd. will provide a maximum of HK$800 million in cash to its subsidiary CJS International for capital replenishment.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Nippon Life Insurance Co. plans to increase its stake in India-based Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd. by acquiring much of the 43% stake held by Reliance Capital Ltd., Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

* Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. Ltd. will appoint Suzuki Hisahito, vice chairman of the board, as chairman to replace Takahiko Ijichi, The Nikkei reported.

* Korean Reinsurance Co. said unit Korean Re Switzerland AG received a license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority to begin operations, effective June 1, The Korea Economic Daily reported, citing the company.

ASEAN

* Moody's upgraded Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd.'s baseline credit assessment to baa1 from baa2, while affirming its adjusted baseline credit assessment at baa1 and foreign currency deposit rating at Baa1/P-2. The outlook remains stable.

* PT Bank Tabungan Negara (Persero) Tbk appointed Asmawi Syam president commissioner, and named Kamaruddin Sjam and Eko Djoeli Heripoerwanto commissioners, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

* Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shut down the operations of rural bank Valiant Bank Inc., The Philippine Star reported.

* The Insurance Commission of the Philippines lowered the risk charges for insurers' infrastructure investments to support the government's infrastructure projects, The Philippine Star reported.

* Thailand-based Siam Commercial Bank PCL aims to increase the number of customers of its wealth sector by 6% to 7% by introducing diverse products and supportive digital technology, among others, Daily News reported.

* Thailand-based auto-for-cash loan provider Ngern Tid Lor is targeting a 10% credit growth in 2019, Daily News reported. The lender also plans to open 187 branches to increase its branch network to 1,000 units by the end the year.

SOUTH ASIA

* India's Bank of Baroda is considering rationalizing its network of 800 to 900 branches nationwide following its merger with Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank to improve operational efficiency, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a bank official.

* India-based Corporation Bank's net loss for the fourth quarter ended March 31 widened to 65.81 billion rupees from 18.38 billion rupees in the prior-year period.

* Bangladesh's central bank extended the cash-in limit for mobile financial services transactions to up to 30,000 taka per day from 15,000 previously, and allowed users to cash in five times a day, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* MetLife Australia CEO Richard Nunn said the company's progress in entering the retail life insurance market has been slower than expected, but added that the slow start is just a minor glitch in its long-term strategy, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Scott Morrison was elected to his first full term as prime minister in Australia's general federal election May 18, The New York Times reported, defying election predictions after polls showed his Liberal-National bloc trailing the Labor Party for months.

* The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's proposal to increase banks' capital requirements could slow down the economy and lower living standards at a time of growing economic uncertainty, according to political party ACT New Zealand.

Janna Estares, Emily Lai, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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