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Banks see profit growth; Deutsche Bank fined in South Korea

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.

Asia-Pacific banks see profit growth

* PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk saw a 25.1% year-over-year increase in net income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, driven by strong net interest income.

* Hana Financial Group Inc. posted consolidated net income attributable to equity holders of 105.00 billion South Korean won for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to a net loss of 93.90 billion won in the prior-year quarter.

* India's HDFC Bank Ltd. posted a 15.1% year-over-year increase in net profit for the fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016. Meanwhile, Canara Bank reported a more-than-threefold increase in net profit for the fiscal third quarter.

* Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry & Trade, or Vietinbank, reported a 30.0% year-over-year increase in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2016.

* Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam, or BIDV, reported a 16% year-over-year decline in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2016 as provisions for bad loans increased.

Legal, regulatory developments

* The Seoul Central District Court ordered Deutsche Bank AG to pay 8.55 billion South Korean won to six plaintiffs of a class-action suit for losses it caused through the manipulation of stock prices.

* Malaysia's central bank imposed a 1.4 million ringgit fine on an unnamed financial institution that was found to have failed to report a significant audit finding about its dealers' misconduct involving the fixing of the U.S. dollar/ringgit exchange rate.

* The People's Bank of China took steps to maintain stability in the banking system, offset excessive leverage and ensure ample liquidity ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays. The central bank raised medium-term lending facility rates by 10 basis points, instructed the country's lenders to rein in new loans in the first quarter, and temporarily cut the reserve requirement ratio for the country's five biggest banks.

* Meanwhile, the Chinese central bank will continue to conduct spot checks on bitcoin exchanges after probing three exchanges earlier this month.

* The China Banking Regulatory Commission issued guidelines instructing commercial banks to improve risk and compliance management for offshore investment projects.

* Vietnam's central bank is finalizing plans to restructure all credit institutions in the next few years to ensure the protection of depositors.

* The Reserve Bank of Fiji decided to maintain the overnight policy rate at 0.5% to encourage investment and further strengthen growth in the economy.

M&A updates

* Malaysia's CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. is reportedly negotiating the sale of a stake in its brokerage business to China Galaxy Securities Co. Ltd. for about US$200 million.

* Mega Bank Nepal Ltd. agreed to merge with Tourism Development Bank Ltd. to meet capital requirements. Mega Bank will be the surviving entity following the merger.

* Fukuoka Financial Group Inc. and Eighteenth Bank Ltd. delayed their planned merger by six months due to the Japan Fair Trade Commission's ongoing antitrust review of the deal.

* Japan's Hakodate Shinkin Bank and Esashi Shinkin Bank merged to form a new entity — Donan Umimachi Shinkin Bank.

* Credit China FinTech Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries, in concert with HongDa Financial Holding Ltd., will acquire a 36.58% interest in Ping An Securities Group (Holdings) Ltd. for HK$663.5 million, or 9.6 cents per share.

* India's IFCI Ltd. received board approval for the divestment of its entire 45.50% stake in Hardicon Ltd.

* Pakistan's MCB Bank Ltd. received approval from its shareholders to acquire NIB Bank Ltd.

In other news

* The Bank of Korea and Bank Negara Malaysia renewed their bilateral currency swap agreement for a period of three years.

* A Taiwanese court sentenced three eastern Europeans to five years in prison for their involvement in a US$2.6 million cyberheist from First Commercial Bank Co. Ltd.'s ATM network.

* International Finance Corp., the World Bank's private investment arm, will invest up to US$150 million in TMB Bank PCL to help the Thai lender extend loans to small and medium-sized enterprises.

* Credit China FinTech Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries entered into a US$30 million deal with bitcoin and private blockchain infrastructure provider BitFury Group.

* BDO Unibank Inc. completed its 60 billion Philippine peso rights offering.

* China's peer-to-peer lending platform Ppdai.com is reportedly planning to raise US$200 million in its planned U.S. IPO in the first half.

* S&P Global Ratings upgraded Taiwan Business Bank Co. Ltd. 's long-term issuer credit rating given the bank's improved capitalization following its NT$8 billion hybrid capital issuance.

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