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Malaysian fund, Sun Life looking to buy Hong Leong insurance ops; India unveils bank capital support plan

*Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional is in talks with Canada'sSun Life FinancialInc. to jointly buy insurance operations of ,Reuters reported,citing two anonymous banking sources. They are looking into making an offer togetherfor 70% of Hong Leong Assurance Bhd. and 65% of Islamic insurer Hong Leong MSIGTakaful Bhd.

*Asian DevelopmentBank said developing economies in the Asia-Pacific will remainstrong, as robust domestic demand will likely offset headwinds from sluggishgrowth in the U.S. and from financial market shocks, The Jakarta Globe reported.ADB projects the Indian economy will grow 7.4% and China 6.5%.

*Matthew Grounds has returned to UBS Group AG as head of investment banking forAsia-Pacific, The Australian reported,citing the company. Previously, Grounds led the bank's operations in Australiaand New Zealand for more than 10 years.

*American International GroupInc. Thaiunit introduced Thailand's first cyber insurance policy, The Nation reported.The product targets companies that use big data and need protection from onlineattacks.

*Amando Tetangco Jr., governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, meanwhile, iscalling for cross-border surveillance among ASEAN members amid increasing cybersecuritythreats, The Philippine Star reported.

*Credit Suisse GroupAG appointed Patrick No as head of the financial sponsors team inthe Asia-Pacific region, FinanceAsia reported.No was an executive director for the financial sponsors group for emerging Asiaat JPMorgan Chase & Co.

*New York Life Investment Management Asia Ltd. has a branch in Japan. New York LifeInvestment Management Asia is part of the international arm of .

GREATER CHINA

*China increased its holdings of U.S. dollar bonds by U.S.$1.2 billion to U.S.$1.244 trillion at the end of May, China News Agency reported. Thecountry is the biggest U.S. debt holder in the world.

* LuZhiqiang, vice chairman of ChinaMinsheng Banking Corp. Ltd., raised his stake in the bank to 4.61%over four days, making him the second largest shareholder, National Daily News reported.

*The China Insurance Regulatory Commission approved 8 insurance companies to startoperations and 12 to be set up in 2016, NationalBusiness Daily reported. Morethan 30 listed companies have announced in 2016 that they will establishinsurance businesses.

*Hong Kong's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance said that Chinese touristsspent 13.2 billion yuan on premiums for new insurance policies in the city inthe first quarter, accounting for 34.2% of total insurance sales in Hong Kongduring the period, the 21st CenturyBusiness Herald reported.

*Taishin International Bank Co.Ltd. said it respects the decision by one of its foreigninstitutional shareholders — Singapore-based Surfeit Harvest InvestmentHoldings Pte. Ltd. — to seek international arbitration to resolve a decade-olddispute to gain management rights over Chang Hwa Commercial Bank Ltd., the Taipei Times reported.The Singaporean company said that its interests as a shareholder were harmedwhen Taiwan's Ministry of Finance took majority representation on the bank'sboard from Taishin Financial.

*Taiwanese banks' exposure to China decreased to NT$1.61 trillion at the end ofMarch from NT$1.73 trillion at the end of 2015, the China Times reported.

JAPAN AND KOREA

*Bank of Kyoto Ltd.opened a branch in Kariya city in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi to takeadvantage of the presence of Toyota Motor Corp. companies there, The Mainichi Shimbun reported.

*Miyazaki Bank Ltd.,Bank of the RyukyusLtd. and five other Japanese regional banks sharing an IT platformunveiled a fintech development partnership, TheMainichi Shimbun reported.

*Sumitomo Mitsui Trust HoldingsInc. will set up a nomination committee in 2017, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.All of Japan's five biggest bank holding companies will have nominationcommittees to increase transparency at the top management level.

*Osaka Exchange Inc.introduced a faster trading technology July 19, Bloomberg News reported.The upgraded system can process orders in about 100 microseconds, compared to 2milliseconds previously.

* Apurchase of ING Life Korea by any Chinese company will increase South Koreanlife insurance assets under Chinese control to more than 70 trillion won, The Chosun Ilbo reported.

*The Korea Financial Industry Union voted to strike to protest government-drivenwage reforms, The Chosun Ilbo reported.

*South Korea's Financial Services Commission will allow non-listed bank holdingcompanies to issue contingent convertible bonds, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.   

*Daishin Securities Co.Ltd. increased U.S. dollar-denominated customer assets to US$217.6million from US$24.7 million at the end of January 2015, the Korea Economic Daily reported.

ASEAN

*After an inspection of local securities companies, the Securities and ExchangeCommission of Thailand found that one of the most common problems is a failureto comply with rules to verify the identity of clients, Thailand's Krungthep Turakij reported.

*Government HousingBank granted 75 billion baht of loans in the first half, up 10%year over year thanks to the government's stimulus measures for the propertysector, Krungthep Turakij reported. The bankaims to issue 170 billion baht of loans in 2016.

*The Ministry of Tourism and Sports will seek a discussion with Airports ofThailand PCL, the Immigration Bureau and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aboutproviding all foreign tourists with insurance, Thailand's Daily News reported.

*Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said that foreign banks may beallowed to receive tax amnesty funds, albeit with stricter conditions, Kompas reported.

*PT Bank OCBC NISP Tbksaid it boosted net profit by 22% in May, BisnisIndonesia reported.

*AffinHwang Capital Research has revised its 2016 growth forecast for Malaysiato 4.2% from 4.5%, citing the global economic slowdown and weaker semiconductorsales, Malaysia's New Straits Times reported.

*Singapore ExchangeLtd. saida hardware and software glitches caused the July 14 market disruption. Thebourse said it found an error on a disk that runs an application sending outclearing confirmation messages to members. The software failed to detect theerror and did not automatically switch to the bourse's secondary system.

* AHo Chi Minh City court started the trial of 36 officials, including Pham CongDanh, a former chairman of Viet Nam Construction Joint-Stock Commercial Bank, Viet Nam News reported.They have been arrested for allegedly faking documents to borrow from the bank,causing losses of more than 9 trillion dong to the Vietnamese government in2014.

SOUTH ASIA

*The Indian government will inject 229.15 billion rupees into 13 public sectorbanks to help them meet capital requirements, India's Mint reported, citing a statement from the country's financeministry. The amount of capital each bank will receive is based on banks'projections of credit growth, the finance ministry said.

*State Bank of IndiaChairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said the government's capital support will helpclean up banks' balance sheets and boost lending, the Press Trust of India reported.

*IndiaFirst Life Insurance is partnering with Nainital Bank to distributeinsurance products, the Press Trust of India reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

*The Australian Securities and Investments Commission entered talks with thecountry's Financial Ombudsman Service to strengthen protection for small and medium-sizedenterprise borrowers, The AustralianFinancial Review reported.

*David Lindberg, head of commercial and business banking at , said adowngrade of bank credit ratings will lead to tighter credit conditions acrossAustralia's economy, The Australian reported.

*The Reserve Bank of New Zealand proposed new nationwide restrictions on loan-to-valueratios for housing loans to mitigate risks from high property prices.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

MiddleEast & Africa: Emirates NBD,Al Rajhi Bank Q2 profits rise YOY; Morocco seeks return to AfricanUnion

Europe:ECB not expected to ease monetarypolicy; Turkey placed on review for downgrade

LatinAmerica: Banco do Brasilreviewing partial sales of Banco Votorantim, Banco Patagonia

NorthAmerica: Goldman reports itsbottomline; GOP hopes to bring back Glass-Steagall

NorthAmerica Insurance: UnitedHealth'searnings rise despite drag from ACA biz; interest rate headwinds to define Q2results for life insurers

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

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