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Bank of China begins India operations; Volt Bank eyes ASX listing

GREATER CHINA

* China International Capital Corp. Ltd., or CICC, downgraded the ratings of China CITIC Bank Corp. Ltd., China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd., Bank of Beijing Co. Ltd., Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd. and Bank of Jiangsu Co. Ltd. to neutral, the Securities Times reported. CICC also lowered its forecast for average profits of small and medium-sized banks listed in China and Hong Kong, noting that the acceleration of these banks' deleveraging process would dampen loan growth.

* The China Securities Regulatory Commission and the People's Bank of China co-issued a notice to introduce a cross-market bond index public fund that could be traded on stock exchanges or on the interbank market, www.ce.cn reported.

* Paris-based public financial institution Agence Française de Développement entered into a cooperation agreement with China's Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd. to help boost the green finance sector and provide nonsovereign loans to the Chinese bank, Xinhua News Agency reported.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* The board of Japan-based T&D Holdings Inc. has approved the creation of a wholly owned investment subsidiary. The subsidiary, T&D United Capital Co. Ltd., is scheduled to open July 1 and will have capital stock of ¥50 million.

* South Korea's KB Kookmin Bank launched a task force that will focus on remediating ongoing issues with its employees' labor union, The Chosun Ilbo reported, citing the bank.

* South Korea's KB Kookmin Card Co. Ltd. established a strategic tie-up with crowdfunding platform Wadiz to create joint business projects in the crowdfunding sector, as well as form a lifestyle fund to support startup firms, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.

ASEAN

* Another 5 billion baht worth of five-year bonds issued by the Small & Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand and guaranteed by the Thai Finance Ministry are set to be put up for auction through an electronic bidding platform on June 17, Post Today reported. The first batch of the bank's bonds amounting to 3 billion baht was well received by investors.

* Thailand-based Land & Houses Bank PCL appointed Chompoonoot Pathomporn as president, effective June 1. Her appointment came after Sasithorn Phongsathorn completed her term May 31.

* Manila-based Security Bank Corp. secured regulatory approval to raise up to 20 billion Philippine pesos through the issuance of long-term negotiable certificates of time deposit.

SOUTH ASIA

* Bank of China Ltd. begun its operations in India through a maiden branch in Mumbai, The Hindu reported.

* The Reserve Bank of India rejected requests from small finance banks to ease listing rules that require them to go public within three years from the start of their operations, Business Standard reported. The central bank said agreeing to the requests is tantamount to relaxing licensing terms for the banks.

* The National Company Law Tribunal in India granted four weeks to Housing Development and Infrastructure to pay 980 million rupees to Bank of India or face insolvency proceedings, the Press Trust of India reported.

* The State Bank of Pakistan's refusal to provide details of account holders with more than 500,000 Pakistani rupees to the government has shaken the Federal Board of Revenue's plans of bringing them into the tax net, The Express Tribune reported. The central bank refused to share the account information because of "secrecy laws."

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian online lender Volt Bank Ltd. may be prepping a mid-2020 IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange, which could value the company at about A$400 million, The Australian reported.

* The Australian government may charge banks, insurance companies and super funds up to A$236 million in supervisory fees in the 2020 financial year to fund the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission sounded the alarm on an increase in suspicious trading activities ahead of significant company announcements and said that it will be increasing its oversight on brokers, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Absa's Ghanaian unit fined; Kenya moves to curb illicit flows

Europe: Fresh UK insider trading probe; Piraeus in €328M deal; France vs Credit Suisse

Latin America: Peru cabinet faces confidence vote; Brazil sees GDP growth forecast reduction

North America: UK regulator probes Citi links in insider trading case; CU buying Arizona bank

Global Insurance: June 1 renewals pricing; Everest cuts retro buy; NFIP extended through September

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

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