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KKR eyes Aadhar Housing Finance stake; Blue Sky exits A$180M fund

GREATER CHINA

* The People's Bank of China's sub-branch in the city of Zhengzhou, Henan province imposed a penalty of 240,000 yuan on China Construction Bank Corp.'s sub-branch in the city for violating anti-money laundering guidelines, Caijing reported. The bank's branch in Johannesburg was penalized about 40 million yuan by South Africa's central bank in February for lapses in anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing practices.

* The convertible debt plans of China CITIC Bank Corp. Ltd., Bank of Jiangsu Co. Ltd., Ping An Bank Co. Ltd. and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. Ltd. are awaiting approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, China's Financial International News reported. The four lenders' total debt issuance is estimated to be 136 billion yuan.

* The number of cases of suspicious transactions reported by Taiwan's insurance industry increased to 799 in 2017 from 59 in 2015, while those reported by the life insurance sector reached 792 as of June, the Taipei Times reported. The change reflects a significant increase in the insurance sector's awareness of reporting suspicious transactions as the obligations specified by the Money Laundering Control Act have increased.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Japan's financial institutions are taking more risks for bad debts in recent years, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported, citing data from the Japan Federation of Credit Guarantee Corporations. The balance of loans with credit guarantees decreased 40% since fiscal 2009 to ¥21.57 trillion at end of August 2018, while business investment loans increased 18% since fiscal 2010 to ¥364 trillion as of the end of June.

* Financial institutions in Japan's Hokkaido region are boosting home loans for customers affected by recent earthquakes in the area, The Nikkei reported. North Pacific Bank Ltd. is offering loans for relocation and rebuilding that can be added to existing loans. Hokkaido Bank Ltd. offered home reform loans of up to ¥10 million since September, while Hokkaido Shinkin Bank will introduce loans to cover losses up to ¥5 million.

* Shinsei Bank Ltd. will introduce a student grant fund in March 2019, The Nikkei reported. The company will launch a ¥1 billion fund with a foreign student service provider, Global Trust Net, to support overseas students in Japan.

ASEAN

* The Thai Finance Ministry is in the process of seeking merger partners for TMB Bank PCL, Manager Daily reported, citing Prasong Poontaneat, permanent secretary for finance and the bank's chairman.

* Thailand-based Kasikornbank PCL plans to shutter 90 branches in 2018, Post Today reported, citing Patchara Samalapa, president of the bank. The Thai lender is looking to cut the number of its branches to 850 by the end of 2019.

* Thailand's Thanachart Bank PCL posted a net profit of 3.54 billion baht in the third quarter, Post Today reported. For the nine months ended September, the lender posted a net profit of 11.14 billion baht, up 9.91% year over year.

* PT Bank Maybank Indonesia Tbk appointed Lim Hong Tat commissioner, Widya Permana director and Muhamadian compliance director, Kompas reported. Lim Hong Tat was the group CEO of community financial services at Malayan Banking Bhd., while Widya Permana was a director at PT Bank Sumitomo Mitsui Indonesia and Muhamadian a director at Bank ANZ. Lim replaces Spencer Lee Tien Chye in the commissioner role.

* Bank Indonesia Senior Deputy Governor Mirza Adityaswara said it is ready to support banks in using Alipay and WeChat Pay to tap the influx of Chinese tourists into the country, Infobank reported. In the first half, about 15% of the 7.5 million overseas visitors to Indonesia came from China. Adityaswara added that the regulator is reviewing the standardization of quick response codes, the main platform used for online payment.

* An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank appointed Pham Duy Hieu its new general director, who will take over from Duong Thị Mai Hoa, who resigned from the role after three months, Viet Nam News reported.

SOUTH ASIA

* The State Bank of Pakistan has asked domestic banks to activate online banking services for clients by the end of October to avoid disruption in the collection of government taxes, The News International reported.

* Fitch Ratings assigned Sri Lanka's Cargills Bank Ltd. a national long-term rating of BB(lka), with a stable outlook, on its small and developing domestic franchise, evolving business model and limited operating history in Sri Lanka's banking sector.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Standard Chartered Bank Sri Lanka branch's national long-term rating at AAA(lka), with a stable outlook.

* U.S.-based KKR & Co. is in discussions to buy a controlling stake in India-based Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd., Mint reported, citing two people aware of the matter.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd. has separated itself from its A$180 million Blue Sky Alternative Access Fund, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported. The split is expected to cut Blue Sky's managing costs and clean up the structure and allow Blue Sky to focus on serving institutional investors.

* The trial of Australian bankers facing criminal charges over Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s alleged "cartel conduct" may be adjourned until 2020, but a number of investment banks in the country are have begun updating the practices of their capital markets teams, The Australian reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Qatar Islamic Bank Q3 profit rises YOY; Emirates NBD gets $2B loan

Europe: US futures regulator warns on Brexit; Santander caught up in German fraud probe

Latin America: BanBajío Q3 profit up 27.8%; Mifel postpones IPO; Citibanamex to lay off workers

North America: BB&T, KeyCorp post higher earnings; Invesco confirms deal for OppenheimerFunds

Global Insurance: MassMutual selling funds biz; Travelers' Q3 profit up; Prudential sheds SIFI tag

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

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