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ANZ, IOOF delay deal; India to ease lending curbs on some banks

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ANZ, IOOF delay deal; India to ease lending curbs on some banks

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

M&A news

* IOOF Holdings Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. delayed the sale of ANZ's pensions and investments business to allow for ANZ to formally split its pensions assets from OnePath Life. The move follows the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's regulatory action into IOOF in December 2018.

* ANZ reportedly acquired a minority stake in online mortgage broker Lendi for about A$40 million. The bank is now the second largest shareholder of the company.

* Industrial Bank of Korea reportedly acquired a 97.79% stake in Jakarta-based PT Bank Agris Tbk.

* Thailand's Cabinet is likely to approve a merger between TMB Bank PCL and Thanachart Bank PCL by the end of January, Prapas Kong-ied, head of the country's State Enterprise Policy Office, reportedly said.

Regulatory developments in India

* India's central bank will reportedly relax lending curbs on some of the 11 state-owned banks after reviewing their audited results for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018.

* Separately, the central bank released a new external commercial borrowing framework that would make it easier for eligible entities to borrow from overseas lenders.

* The central bank fined Citigroup Inc. unit Citibank NA India 30 million rupees for its failure to comply with directions regarding the "fit and proper" criteria for bank directors. It also fined Bank of Maharashtra 10 million rupees for its failure to comply with the know-your-customer and anti-fraud norms.

Earnings corner

* Siam Commercial Bank PCL posted a 23% year-over-year decline in its net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, as net fee and service income dropped.

* Kasikornbank PCL reported a 23.2% year-over-year increase in net profit for the quarter amid lower impairment losses on loans and debt securities.

In other news

* The aggregate bad loan ratio of Chinese commercial banks rose to 1.89% at the end of 2018, a 10-year high, according to Liu Zhiqing, deputy head of the statistics department at the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

* Moody's said the US$412 million total credit exposure of five Philippine banks to troubled South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. is credit negative as the banks will need to incur additional credit charges, which in turn will reduce their profit.

* IDFC Bank Ltd. changed its name to IDFC First Bank Ltd. The name change came after IDFC Bank completed its acquisition of Capital First Ltd. in December 2018.

* India's Syndicate Bank Ltd. created a new vertical aimed at recovering about 270 billion rupees of nonperforming assets. The stressed asset management vertical is comprised of 1,200 of the bank's existing staff, including legal and credit experts.

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