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Themost-read financial stories in S&P Global Market Intelligence'sAsia-Pacific coverage include the fines imposed by China's banking regulator on44 financial institutions in the third quarter, while editors' picks featurethe Bank of Japan's new interest rate target.


1. Report: 3 private equity firms bid for GE's 43% stake in HyundaiCard

GeneralElectric Co. reportedly received interests from three private equityfirms for its 43% stake in South Korea's Hyundai Card Co. Ltd. The three firms, which includeHong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners and PAG, are said to be bidding forthe stake.

2. China's banking regulator imposes fines on 44 financial institutionsin Q3

The China Banking Regulatory Commission imposed finestotaling 15.06 million yuan on 44 financial institutions, including state-ownedbanks, in the third quarter. The financial institutions include ,Industrial & Commercial Bankof China Ltd., ChinaConstruction Bank Corp. and Bank of Communications Co. Ltd.

3. Report: Mirae Asset Life places 150B won bid for PCA LifeInsurance

South Korea-based MiraeAsset Life Insurance Co. Ltd. has offered 150 billion won toacquire PCA Life Insurance Co.Ltd., about half of the anticipated market price of the insurer. Inaddition to Mirae Asset Life, a Chinese firm placed a bid to acquire PCA Life.

4. S&P downgrades ratings of Australian banks' insuranceentities

S&P Global Ratings downgraded the long-termratings of eight insurance entities to reflect its view that support from theirrespective Australian bank parents are weaker than previously expected. S&Psaid it no longer expects the Australian parents to provide timely and absolutesupport to the insurers, although it still expects the parents to support theirsubsidiaries.

5. Report: Goldman Sachs to sell 15% stake in India's Max FinancialServices

GoldmanSachs Group Inc. plans to sell its 15% stake in India's MaxFinancial Services for about 24 billion Indian rupees. The U.S. firm isexpected to sell the shares via secondary market trades and has hired Citigroupto manage the trades.


1. UPDATE: Bank of Japan gives relief to lenders with new interest ratetarget

The Bankof Japan gave relief to lenders coping with ever-falling interestrates, with a pledge to keep long-term yields from slipping below zero.Following a review of measures to meet a 2% inflation target, the BOJ said itwould seek to keep the yield on 10-year government bonds around zero percent.

2. Postal Savings Bank may be a tough sell in market after US$7.4BIPO

PostalSavings Bank of China Co. Ltd. had little trouble pulling off aUS$7.4 billion IPO, with backing from government-tied institutions. Winningover private investors unimpressed with its dull prospects will likely provemuch harder for the company.

3. SouthKorean bank workers strike over government push for pay system overhaul

South Korean bank employees staged the industry'sfirst general strike in two years, escalating tensions with the government overa push for performance-based compensation systems. Members of the KoreanFinancial Industry Union from 34 banks across the country walked out Sept. 23for a one-day strike.

4. Retail-oriented banks in Asia can shine as stress among corporatesgrows

Signs of stress among corporates are growing acrossAsia, an ominous trend for most banks in the region. However, consumer-orientedbanks, such as Malaysia's PublicBank Bhd. and Thailand's TISCO Financial Group PCL, are likely to fare betterthan their institution-focused counterparts, according to industry veteranDaniel Tabbush.

5. MiraeAsset Daewoo, Mirae Asset Securities push back merger closing date

MiraeAsset Daewoo Co. Ltd. and Mirae Asset Securities Co. Ltd. pushed back thecompletion date for their proposed merger but denied speculation that the movehas anything to do with National Pension Service's plans to sell its stake inMirae Asset Daewoo if the company's share price remains low.