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ANZ posts rise in cash profit; MS&AD Insurance to invest in Australian company


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ANZ posts rise in cash profit; MS&AD Insurance to invest in Australian company

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s cash profit for the third quarter ended June 30 clocked in at A$1.79 billion, up 5.3% compared with the average of the previous two quarters. The bank's unit, ANZ New Zealand, posted a 19% year-over-year increase in nine-month cash profit to NZ$1.38 billion from NZ$1.16 billion.

* Japan-based MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. is spending about ¥44 billion to buy more than a 6% stake in Australian pension giant, Challenger Ltd., Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. MS&AD Insurance seeks to raise its stake to about 10% in 2017 and may even make Challenger an equity-method affiliate.

* The fund management arm of Germany-based Allianz SE will set up a Singapore dollar fixed income fund, which seeks to have a 5% annual return, reported. The fund, headed by fund manager David Tan, will be run in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.


* The average nonperforming loan ratio of commercial banks in China for the quarter ended June 30 stood at 1.74%, unchanged from the quarters ended March 31 and Dec. 31, 2016, the South China Morning Post reported, citing data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Analysts said the ratio may increase by the end of 2017 as continued financial deleveraging drive could lead to exposure to bad loans.

* The People's Bank of China will be monitoring about 8.43 trillion yuan of money market debt issued by the country's major lenders from 2018, as part of efforts to rein in financial system risks by curbing rampant interbank funding, the South China Morning Post reported.

* Yu'E Bao, Ant Financial's cash management money market fund, cut the maximum limit for individual accounts to 100,000 yuan from the previous 250,000 yuan, Shanghai Daily reported, citing a company statement. The limit was previously cut to 250,000 yuan from 1 million yuan in May.

* Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., which runs the Hong Kong stock exchange, has given notice to brokers of the closure of a 32-year old trading hall in October, the South China Morning Post reported, citing lawmaker Christopher Cheung Wah-fung. The hall that once hosted more than 900 brokers is now "virtually silent" because of trading going electronic.


* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is collaborating with a fintech company to jointly develop a currency forecasting system based on artificial intelligence, The Nikkei reported.

* KEB Hana Bank is introducing an upgraded smartphone banking platform to allow customers to view Hana Financial Group Inc. brokerage and credit card accounts, Money Today reported.

* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Services will conduct a probe into Korea Securities Finance Corp. in connection with the company's role in the 2015 merger between two Samsung Group units, The Chosun Ilbo reported.


* Citibank N.A. - Indonesia Branch posted a 12% year-over-year increase in first-half net profit to 1.35 trillion rupiah, Bisnis Indonesia reported.

* The Philippines' Insurance Commission said the industry reported an 11.15% growth in net premium income to 117.29 billion pesos as of June 30, from 105.52 billion pesos in the year-ago period, BusinessWorld reported, citing Commissioner Dennis Funa. The rise was attributed to "positive growth" of the premium income of nonlife and life insurers, as well as of mutual benefit associations.

* Myanmar's Kanbawza Bank Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Export-Import Bank of Thailand to bolster bilateral trade and investment between the two countries, The Nation reported. Nang Lang Kham, deputy CEO of the bank, attributed the economic growth of the region to the ASEAN economic community's initiatives, including the removal of tariffs.


* Thirty-seven out of 38 listed banks in India that posted June quarter earnings until Aug. 12 have reported a 24.3% year-over-year increase in aggregate gross bad loans to 7.79 trillion rupees, Mint reported, citing data compiled by the publication. Of this, 6.83 trillion rupees are posted by public sector lenders.

* Some Indian public sector banks, which were identified by the government for merger or takeover by bigger lenders, are wary of the consolidation because of identities being absorbed, The Economic Times reported, citing unnamed officials. The government could look at hybrid names that retain characters of the merged banks, a government official said.

* The Payments Council of India opened its membership to payments banks and Bharat Bill Payment operators, with plans to tap small finance lenders in the future, The Economic Times reported. The industry body also established new committees to tackle a number of issues regarding payments.

* India-based Bajaj Finance Ltd. hired JM Financial, Kotak Mahindra Capital and Goldman Sachs to manage a US$700 million qualified institutional placement, which is likely to be launched in September, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

* India's Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the Department of Financial Services' proposal to appoint Emandi Sankara Rao as IFCI Ltd.'s managing director and CEO for a three-year term, The Hindu Business Line reported, citing unnamed official sources. Rao is currently the chief general manager at India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd.


* Commonwealth Bank of Australia agreed to refund about A$10 million to more than 65,000 customers after selling them "unsuitable" consumer credit insurance from 2011 to 2015, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said. The lender sold "CreditCard Plus" to those who were not eligible to claim for unemployment or temporary and permanent disability cover provided by the consumer credit insurance.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia revealed in a statement that it may have underpaid superannuation for its part-time employees worth A$16.7 million. The bank added that it may owe some of its customers who had incurred incorrect premiums for the insurance purchased and had received irrelevant financial advice, among others.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission banned financial adviser Travis Byron McLean from providing financial services for five years. The commission said McLean "failed to act in his clients' best interests" in providing advice, and that he failed to follow several financial services laws.


Middle East & Africa: Kenya's incumbent president wins new term; Old Mutual unit names CFO

Europe: L&G circles Pru annuity biz; Monte dei Paschi posts loss; Talanx raises guidance

Latin America: Fitch downgrades Chile, BNDESPar registers Q2 net profit

North America: China regulator fines Citi $1.6M; CenterState buys 2 banks

North America Insurance: Freedom Caucus seeks to force ACA repeal vote; Anthem exits Virginia marketplace

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

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