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IDBI Bank's Q4 net loss narrows YOY; Fitch lowers Canara Bank ratings

GREATER CHINA

* Bank of China Ltd. said its board of directors and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission have approved the appointment of Zheng Guoyu as executive vice president. Zheng's appointment took effect May 28.

* Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, said the central bank will cooperate with other departments to make sure the outstanding loans extended by state-owned banks to small and midsize enterprises would increase 30% year over year in 2019 and that the average cost of financing for SMEs would come down by 1%, Caijing reported.

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission has ordered major shareholders of financial holding companies to declare actual beneficiaries when they declare their shares by Jan. 1, 2020, the Liberty Times reported. The agency will impose penalties on such firms that fail to comply with the order.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Japan Post Bank Co. Ltd. will "resolve" an alliance with Suruga Bank Ltd. that was formed in 2008, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. Under the collaboration, the former delegates home loan businesses to the latter, but has not been proactively promoting them since October 2018. Japan Post Bank had said it entered into similar agreements with Sony Bank Inc. and Shinsei Bank Ltd.

* Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is reportedly looking to expand its business in Cambodia and is keen to convert the local satellite office in Phnom Penh into a subsidiary, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported. Mizuho Bank Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with the Council for the Development of Cambodia in assisting Japanese companies' expansion into the local market.

* South Korea's Financial Services Commission held a meeting to discuss the country's worsening household debt issues, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported. The commission pledged a new plan for mutual financing firms to lower its debt service ratio down to 80% from the current 261.7% by 2025.

* The Bank of Korea said the new mortgage-backed loans' interest rate is now at 2.98%, or six basis points lower than the previous month and the lowest since October 2016, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.

ASEAN

* Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission announced new regulations for digital asset operators, effective Jan. 1, 2020, Manager Daily reported. Under the new rules, operators who possess client assets are required to maintain a net capital of at least 15 million baht at the end of each business day and at least 5% of the client asset value or 1% of the value of assets in cash.

* Siam Commercial Bank PCL expects lending to small and midsize enterprises to grow 10% with outstanding loans totaling 378 billion baht in 2019, Manager Daily reported. The Thai lender is looking to extend 100 billion baht of new loans and to keep its nonperforming loan ratio below 8% this year.

* East West Banking Corp. proposed to issue up to 10 billion pesos worth of bonds in one or more tranches.

* Malaysian finance minister Lim Guan Eng said the country's inclusion in the U.S. Treasury's watchlist of potential currency manipulators shows the country's competitiveness and strength, The Star reported. Lim said the inclusion has no impact on the Malaysian economy, and that it would continue to build economic competitiveness.

SOUTH ASIA

* IDBI Bank Ltd.'s net loss for the fourth quarter ended March 31 narrowed to 49.18 billion rupees from 56.62 billion rupees in the prior-year period.

* Fitch Ratings downgraded the viability ratings of Canara Bank to "bb-" from "bb," citing the bank's persistently moderate core capital position. Meanwhile, the rating agency affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings of State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Baroda (New Zealand) Ltd., Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India and IDBI Bank Ltd.

* Export-Import Bank of India is looking to raise up to US$3 billion rupees through an issuance of bonds and loans until 2020, Business Standard reported.

* Hero MotoCorp Ltd. retail lending unit Hero FinCorp is looking to acquire Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd. from Reliance Capital Ltd., The Economic Times reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission issued guidelines for businesses operating initial coin offerings and crypto-assets to see whether they are conducting business within the bounds of the agency's guidelines.

* National Australia Bank Ltd. is set to cut 20 basis points from its two-year fixed rate loans for homeowners and give a special discount of 3.49% to first-time home buyers, Reuters reported.

* National Australia Bank partnered with Bank Leumi of Israel and CIBC to launch an online portal to help drive collaboration between the three banks and financial technology firms.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Hapoalim Q1 profit up; Israel faces snap election; Liberia revamps central bank

Europe: UK slams EU plan on share trade; funds eye Sabadell unit; Amundi's Germany plans

Latin America: Mexico cuts 2019 GDP forecast; Brazil looks to ease further reserve requirements

North America: BofA faces suit; FDIC chair eyes community bank deposits; CFPB settles with BSI

Global Insurance: Conn. public health bill; tornado slams Kansas; Reliance General sale talk

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

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