* The People's Bank of China is likely to become the world's first central bank to introduce digital currencies, Caijing reported, citing industry sources. The report noted that a trial project on the regulator's digital currency may commence in the cities of Suzhou and Shenzhen with the participation of China's four state-owned banks and three communication firms, following internal testing in early 2017.
* Ren Deqi, vice chairman and president of Bank of Communications Co. Ltd., was appointed chairman as well as secretary of the Communist Party committee of the bank.
* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said overseas banks have set up 41 foreign-funded banks, 114 branches and 151 representative offices as of the end of October, with total assets of 3.37 trillion yuan in 976 offices in the country, Shanghai Securities News reported. The regulator also approved 18 applications for foreign banks and insurance institutions to set up local offices.
* Japan's economy expanded faster than initially reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2019, Reuters reported, citing data from the country's Cabinet Office. Annualized GDP grew for the fourth straight quarter to 1.8% in the three months ended September, exceeding a preliminary reading of 0.2%, as strong domestic demand and business spending have offset the impact of global trade tensions.
* Okasan Securities Group Inc. will invest an additional ¥3.1 billion into Securities Japan to acquire a 33.4% stake in the firm, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The company had previously formed a capital appliance and business partnership with the Japanese securities firm in 2015.
* South Korea's MBK Partners is looking to raise $6.50 billion by mid-2020 for one of its buyout funds, MBK Partners Fund V, The Korea Times reported, citing industry sources.
* Bank of the Philippine Islands has opened an inquiry into fund transfers that used Australia-based Westpac Banking Corp.'s LitePay, the focal point of money laundering allegations surrounding the Australian lender, Bloomberg News reported, citing BPI spokesperson Owen Cammayo.
* Indonesian state lender PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk appointed Royke Tumilaar president director and Kartika Wirjoatmodjo president commissioner, Bisnis Indonesia reported. Royke was most recently corporate banking director, while Kartika is the deputy state-owned enterprises minister and was president director of Bank Mandiri.
* The Indonesian Financial Services Authority issued new rules to support Shariah lenders owned by commercial banks, allowing the units to tap into their parents' branch networks, IT infrastructure and pool of employees, Infobank reported.
* The World Bank Group revised down Malaysia's GDP growth forecast to 4.5% for 2020, from 4.6% previously, as investment and export growth fell below expectations in the third quarter, The Sun reported.
* India-based Yes Bank Ltd. is inching towards rejecting a contribution of US$1.2 billion to its US$2 billion capital raising plan from Canadian billionaire Erwin Singh Braich, who backs SPGP Holdings, Bloomberg News reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. The bank is in talks with institutional investors to make up for the remaining capital if Braich's offer is rejected.
* India's Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd. said in a disclosure that it plans to acquire the remaining 9.12% stake in HDFC Credila Financial Services Private Ltd. from Ajay Bohora and Anil Bohora for up to 3.95 billion rupees. HDFC Credila will become a fully owned subsidiary of HDFC after the transaction is completed.
* Chanda Kochhar, the former CEO and managing director of ICICI Bank Ltd., filed an amended petition in the Bombay High Court arguing that ICICI Bank's decision to terminate her was illegal because it failed to secure the Reserve Bank of India's approval, The Economic Times reported. Kochhar made the central bank a party to the case as part of the amended petition.
* India's public sector banks posted an aggregate profit of 32.21 billion rupees in fiscal year 2019-20, Press Trust of India reported, citing Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur. Public sector banks had reported an aggregate net loss of 817.52 billion rupees in the previous fiscal year due to provisioning for nonperforming assets, among other things.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and Westpac Banking Corp. are in talks to agree over certain statements about money-laundering allegations in the agency's lawsuit against the bank, which could happen as soon as February 2020, The Australian Financial Review reported, citing Simon White, legal counsel of AUSTRAC.
* Superannuation fund Nambawan Super sold its stake in Papua New Guinea's Kina Securities Ltd. for A$32.7 million to new and existing investors in an aftermarket block trade, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported. The stake represented 14.67% of Kina's securities on issue. Morgan Financial oversaw the trade.
* Australian Prudential Regulation Authority approved a bid by IOOF Holdings Ltd. and Australian Wealth Management Ltd. to buy OnePath Custodians Pty Ltd. and Oasis Fund Management Ltd. from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. The regulator cited IOOF's compliance with regulatory requirements and efforts to boost governance structures in its superannuation businesses as a factor in the agency's decision.
* Australia's iSignthis Ltd. slashed its earning guidance to A$6.5 million from A$10.7 million, citing a delay in commencing its Tier 1 services, which debuted in February, The Australian reported. The company also said it is evaluating its dividend policy in light of potential tie-up opportunities.
* National Australia Bank Ltd. denied claims by former chairman Ken Henry that it was misselling products, The Australian reported, citing a statement by Sean Dooley, the lender's chief risk officer, before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services in Australia.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Boubyan Bank to acquire BLME; S&P acts on Senegal; GCB Bank's digital drive
Europe: HSBC risk chief to leave; Swedbank revamps executive team; M&G suspends 2nd fund
Latin America: New Argentine economy minister, central bank chief; Gilinski eyes bank launch
North America: FAIR Plan change opposed; PG&E settlement; UnitedHealth pharmacy deal
Global Insurance: Truist completes merger; SEC rejects NYSE's direct listing plan
R Sio, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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