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Brexit vote blocked; France ups capital buffer for banks; Danske split rejected


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Brexit vote blocked; France ups capital buffer for banks; Danske split rejected

* Andrea Enria, chair of the ECB's Single Supervisory Mechanism, has voiced opposition to the idea of creating national or European banking champions that could compete with global rivals, the Financial Times reported.


* The U.K. House of Commons cannot vote again on Prime Minister Theresa May's deal for separation from the EU, Speaker John Bercow told Parliament, blocking May's plan to hold a third vote on her deal two days before its deadline. May will now likely have to ask for an extension to the March 29 Brexit deadline, which could potentially last for a long period of time, according to Bloomberg News.

* U.S.-based derivatives marketplace CME Group Inc. moved its euro-denominated government bond, repurchase agreement and foreign exchange trading activities to Amsterdam from London, Reuters reported. U.K.-based share trading platform Cboe Europe Ltd., meanwhile, reportedly plans to move euro-denominated share trading to a new Amsterdam-based unit from London.

* Standard Life Aberdeen PLC won a dispute with Lloyds Banking Group PLC after an arbitral tribunal ruled that Lloyds was not entitled to give notice to terminate investment management agreements in respect of assets managed by SLA.

* TP Icap PLC confirmed the appointment of Richard Berliand as a nonexecutive director and chairman-designate.

* The U.K. Serious Fraud Office opened a probe into individuals linked to London Capital & Finance PLC following a referral from the Financial Conduct Authority, which previously froze the company's assets and banned it from any regulated activity over concerns about the firm's marketing of fixed-rate individual savings accounts and its issuance of so-called mini-bonds to investors.

* U.K.-based asset manager LumX Group Ltd. said it will terminate its activities as a manager of collective investment schemes in Switzerland and that it would lay off a "single-digit number" of staff as a result, citing "investor trends and headwinds," the Financial Times reported.


* Commerzbank AG's management is looking to make a decision in the next two to three weeks on whether to proceed with a potential merger with Deutsche Bank AG, insiders told Reuters. Top U.S. banks Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. are reportedly assisting Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, respectively, on the potential merger. French bank Rothschild & Co. SCA is also reportedly working with Commerzbank.

* Meanwhile, German lawmakers criticized Deputy Finance Minister and former Goldman Sachs Group executive Jörg Kukies, saying his ties to the U.S. bank represented a conflict of interest as the state owns a 15% stake in Commerzbank, Reuters reported.

* German insurer Talanx AG, as part of an insurance consortium for Boeing Co. will have to shoulder damages for the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 at a "lower double-digit million euro" level, Business Insider cited a Reuters report. Swiss Re AG also confirmed it was one of Boeing's product liability insurers and also co-insurer of Ethiopian Airlines and said it expected indemnity claims from the latter but did not provide further details, Reuters wrote.

* Citigroup's post-Brexit trading hub in Frankfurt is now fully operational and has started issuing in capital markets on behalf of clients that the U.S. bank can no longer serve through its British entities, the Financial Times reported.

* Liechtenstein-based LGT Bank AG said it is seeking acquisitions to boost its business, Reuters reported.


* France's High Council for Financial Stability adopted a proposal by the French central bank to raise the countercyclical capital buffer for banks to 0.50% from 0.25%, saying increasing private sector debt and the continued high level risk of repricing financial assets contributed to the move.

* French insurer Axa is offering 40 million common shares of U.S.-based subsidiary Axa Equitable Holdings Inc. Axa also granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 6 million common shares; once the offering closes, Axa Equitable expects to buy back 30 million of its common shares from Axa.

* Société Générale SA's board said it will ask shareholders to renew CEO Frédéric Oudéa for a four-year term at the French banking group's May 21 ordinary general meeting. The board will also propose to renew Deputy CEOs Séverin Cabannes, Philippe Aymerich, Philippe Heim and Diony Lebot, as well as independent directors Kyra Hazou and Gérard Mestrallet.

* BNP Paribas SA unit BNP Paribas Cardif said it aims to reach €3.5 billion in green investments by the end of 2020, raising its previous target of €2.4 billion.

* French private equity firm Activa Capital appointed Alexandre Chollet CFO.

* Amsterdam-based electronic proprietary trading company WEBB Traders BV received approval from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority to acquire U.K. counterpart GST Capital, the FT wrote. Webb Traders reportedly paid a price in the "single digit millions" for the acquisition, which will enable the company to retain access to U.K. markets following Brexit.

* A snow storm that hit Belgium last week may cost insurers €185 million, De Tijd reported.


* Spanish securities market regulator CNMV has given a first greenlight to the sale by Bankia SA's sale of 51% of insurance businesses Caja Granada Vida and Cajamurcia Vida y Pensiones to Mapfre SA for €110 million, Europa Press wrote.


* A number of investors are mulling offers for Banca Carige SpA in advance of an April 15 deadline to submit bids for the troubled Italian lender, an insider told Reuters. U.S.-based Värde Partners Inc., Apollo Global Management LLC and BlackRock Inc. are reportedly among those interested in Carige, while U.K.-based asset manager Attestor Capital LLP is also said to be eyeing the bank.

* Milan magistrates has opened an investigation into ING Groep NV's Italian unit over potential money laundering after the Bank of Italy banned the unit from conducting any business with new clients, MF wrote. The central bank found shortcomings in the bank's anti-money laundering processes during a four-month inspection that ended in January.


* Shareholders of Danske Bank A/S voted against a proposal to split up the Danish lender. Shareholder Frank Aaen, an economist and member of the Danish Parliament, suggested the bank's breakup, according to Reuters. The bank's investors also rejected a proposal from Belgian consultancy Deminor for an independent probe into the bank's involvement in alleged money laundering, as well as a proposed upper limit on remuneration for its management.

* Meanwhile, Danske Bank Chairman Karsten Dybvad told shareholders that the lender is still searching for a permanent replacement for former CEO Thomas Borgen, Bloomberg News reported. Dybvad also said that Danske's executive board agreed to waive their bonuses for 2018, given the bank's ongoing money laundering case.

* Danske Bank rejects entering into settlements in group lawsuits against it over the money laundering scandal, with Dybvad saying that the bank has lived up to its obligations and that there is no basis for any lawsuits or settlements, FinansWatch reported.

* Swedbank CEO Birgitte Bonnesen could lose her freedom from liability after an internal report showed possible money laundering at the bank last autumn, Svenska Dagbladet reported. The bank's largest shareholders, Sparbanksgruppen and Folksam, have earlier said they will vote for freedom from liability for Bonnesen, but are now saying they could still change their mind.

* Danish financial regulator Finanstilsynet is looking into the increase of Totalbanken's share price, which has risen by almost 200% since August 2018, Berlingske Business reported.


* Sberbank of Russia's supervisory board is expected to propose to the lender's shareholders to reappoint Sberbank president and management board head Herman Gref for another term, Vedomosti reported, noting that the supervisory board's meeting is scheduled for March 19. Gref has been working as head of Sberbank since 2007.

* Maciej Jacenko will become new head of Pekao Bank unit Pekao Investment Banking, with the appointment pending the approval of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, Parkiet reported.

* Bulgarian company Doverie United Holding's unit Doverie-Invest won a public tender to acquire a 63.89% stake in Moldova-based Moldindconbank and signed an agreement with the Moldovan government through the country's Public Property Agency to acquire the lender. The settlement of the deal will be carried out within the next few days, with which the acquisition will be finalized, Doverie said.

* Serbia's AIK Banka increased its holding in Slovenian lender Gorenjska banka to 90.1% from 77.7% following the completion of a takeover bid, SEENews reported. AIK Banka launched the takeover bid in February, offering to pay Gorenjska minority shareholders €298 for each of their shares.


Asia-Pacific: Macquarie Bank to shutter Seoul branch; State Bank of India to raise 200B rupees

Middle East & Africa: Bank Hapoalim Q4'18 profit down YOY; Tadawul debuts on emerging market indexes

Latin America: Mexican banks reach commissions pact; Argentina mulls extending Leliq term

North America: Fidelity National, Worldpay to combine; Wells in talks to sell retirement biz

Global Insurance: Genstar-backed insurer eyes IPO; Puerto Rico insurer limited; Maiden's big loss


Deutsche, Commerzbank merger talks prompt warnings about future systemic risks: Shares in the top two German lenders gained after they confirmed their exploratory merger talks, but the prospect of creating a "too-big-to-fail" entity from two troubled banks did not sit well with some politicians and market observers.

European insurer failures poised to slow as new regime beds in, regulator says: The Solvency II capital regime has given regulators "a much greater suite of opportunities to step in proactively" when insurers hit trouble, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission CEO Samantha Barrass told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

EU rules could force U.K. clearing houses to relocate, but ECB had wanted more: New rules could see British clearing houses relocate within the bloc to keep the EU's euro-denominated derivatives business post-Brexit, but the ECB had warned that this could leave the EU's clearing houses with less oversight.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Danielle Rossingh, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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