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Ex-China banking regulator sentenced to prison; SBI Life Q1 profit rises

GREATER CHINA

* Yang Jiacai, former assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for accepting bribes of about 23.08 million yuan, Reuters reported, citing an online report by state-run media, the Securities Times.

* Messaging app developer Line Corp. plans to set up a digital bank in Taiwan, with plans to sell a 19.9% and 10% stake in Line Financial Taiwan Corp. to Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. and Union Bank of Taiwan Ltd for NT$3.16 billion and NT$1.58 billion, respectively, Taipei Times reported. The Japan-based company unsuccessfully sought to sell stakes to four more banks at higher prices.

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission will implement stricter inspections on private companies looking to acquire shares in the financial sector, Taipei Times reported. The regulator said only six financial holding companies and seven banks meet its requirements for launching hostile takeovers. Further, it expects to finalize its policy on promoting M&A in the sector by October and to begin accepting applications in November.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Japan-based Ehime Bank Ltd. formed a business tie-up with Indonesia's PT Bank Central Asia Tbk, as part of its effort to boost support for customers' overseas expansion, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported.

* Kiyo Bank Ltd. signed a partnership agreement with Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. to create business opportunities in Japan's Wakayama Prefecture, The Nikkei reported.

* South Korea's National Pension Service delayed its July 25 adoption of the government's stewardship code, which aims to encourage institutional investors to be more actively involved in corporate management, The Chosun Ilbo reported. The fund said there were some conflicts with regard to what needs to be included in the code. It said it will have another meeting on July 30.

* South Korea's Financial Services Commission suspended part of Samsung Securities Co. Ltd.'s operations for six months following a dividend error in April, Yonhap News Agency reported. The regulator also ordered the suspension of CEO Koo Sung-hoon for three months.

* Kakao Bank, an internet-only bank in South Korea, plans to launch an IPO around 2020 to expand its capital, The Korea Herald reported, citing Yoon Ho-young, one of the company's co-chiefs.

ASEAN

* Bank Indonesia expects the country's 2018 current account deficit to hit US$25 billion, a sharp increase from US$17.53 billion in 2017, The Jakarta Post reported, citing central bank senior deputy governor, Mirza Adityaswara.

* The National Bank of Cambodia plans to work with its counterpart in Thailand to launch a QR code payment system, The Phnom Penh Post reported, citing a bank official. The system would allow for faster fund transfers for users in both countries.

* Manulife Asset Management and Trust Corp. established an equity fund, known as Manulife Asia Best Select Equity Fund, with an aim to invest in a portfolio of companies across 13 markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Business World reported.

* Manila-based East West Banking Corp. said Rhodora Lugay resigned as CFO and executive vice president, effective July 29. Abigail Tina Del Rosario stepped down as wealth management head and senior vice president, effective July 22.

SOUTH ASIA

* India-based Yes Bank Ltd. said net profit for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30 jumped to 12.60 billion rupees from 9.66 billion rupees in the prior-year period.

* SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. reported a net profit of 3.54 billion Indian rupees for the fiscal first quarter, compared with a profit of 3.13 billion rupees in the prior-year period.

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked ICICI Bank Ltd. about its accounting practices as part of an investigation into alleged wrongdoings at the bank, Mint reported, citing people familiar with the development. The regulator is seeking information related to loans disbursed between 2010 and 2016, most of which turned sour later on.

* The IPO of HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd. was subscribed 5.52x on the second day of the share sale, Press Trust of India reported, citing data available with the NSE. The portion of shares reserved for qualified institutional buyers was subscribed 5.89x, while the shares for noninstitutional investors and retail investors were subscribed 13.91x and 3.50x, respectively.

* N Srinivasan will step down as executive vice chairman and managing director of Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Co. Ltd., effective Aug. 18.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC, permanently banned former Westpac Banking Corp. banker Marten Pudun from engaging in credit activities, after it was found that he "knowingly or recklessly" provided false documents to the bank to help his clients obtain home loans.

* National Australia Bank Ltd. is set to return A$67 million to more than 300,000 clients for charging them extra fees for financial advice services that they did not use, The Australian reported. ASIC previously raised concerns that the bank' wealth arm, MLC, did not disclose to customers that they can opt out of an automatic fee once they switch to a "personal super" account from a "business super" product.

* Credit Suisse Group AG appointed Michael Marr as head of private banking in Australia as the Swiss insurer seeks to tap "enormous opportunities" in the country, The Australian reported. Marr replaces Alex Wade who has headed the team since 2016.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Iran replaces central bank chief; Saudi British Bank Q2 profit up 26.84% YOY

Europe: Bankia, Schroders, SCOR report earnings; Danske money-laundering case grows

Latin America: Bradesco, Santander Brasil Q2 profits rise; Crédito Real gets new chairman

North America: Banner to buy Skagit Bancorp for $191.1M; Visa aims for Europe expansion

Global Insurance: Radian, Marsh & McLennan boost profit; tax reform hits Scor; FX hurts Mapfre

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

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