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AMTD eyes Singapore digital bank license; India revises urban coop bank rules


* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission approved CIGNA & CMB Life Insurance Co. Ltd. to establish Cigna & CMB Asset Management Co. Ltd., making it the fourth foreign-funded insurance asset management company in the country, Caixin reported.

* Yin Chung-yao was named vice chairman of Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Taiwan's Central News Agency reported. The island's Financial Supervisory Commission had earlier rejected a proposal to appoint Yin acting chairman of the life insurer, citing a lack of experience in the sector.

* China will guide local governments in revising rules to allow foreign-funded banks, joint venture lenders and the Chinese branches of foreign banks to underwrite bonds issued by those governments, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a statement from the finance ministry.

* The China Securities Regulatory Commission said ChinaLin Securities Co. Ltd. violated seven major regulations and penalized the firm for not complying with risk control and corporate governance rules, Caixin reported.


* Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd. appointed former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Hiroya Masuda its new president, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The company also named a vice president, Tetsuya Senda, to the role of president of Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd., while Kazuhide Kinukawa, a senior executive officer, was appointed president of JAPAN POST Co. Ltd.

* Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. agreed to form a joint venture with Brazil-based Caixa Seguridade Participações SA to offer insurance products to Brazilian residents, The Nikkei reported. Tokio Marine is expected to invest up to ¥40 billion into the new venture.

* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service referred Shinhan Investment Corp. to local prosecutors for its alleged involvement in financial fraud with Lime Asset Management, taking a toll on the brokerage firm's plan to acquire a mega investment bank license this year, The Korea Times reported, citing financial authorities.


* Indonesia's PT Bank Central Asia Tbk will inject 1 trillion rupiah of capital into recently acquired unit PT Bank Royal Indonesia, with plans to transform the latter into a digital bank, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing BCA CEO Jahja Setiaatmadja.

* Paris-based BNP Paribas SA plans to establish an electronic currency trading and pricing platform in Singapore, Bloomberg News reported. The platform will allow electronic trading of 50 currencies in spot, forward, swaps, nondeliverable forwards and options, as well as precious and base metals.

* A consortium led by AMTD Group Company Ltd. and including SP Group, Funding Societies Pte. Ltd. and China's Xiaomi Corp. is said to be the latest group to join the race for a digital banking license in Singapore, The Business Times reported. Calvin Choi, AMTD's CEO, had previously expressed interest in such a move.

* Prudential Vietnam Assurance Pvt. Ltd. is collaborating with Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank to offer the lender's clients life insurance products as part of a 20-year exclusive bancassurance deal, The Business Times reported. Prudential Vietnam will also provide life insurance products on a preferred basis to BRG Group Joint Stock Company.


* Reliance Home Finance Ltd.'s debt investors are considering filing recovery proceedings in either the National Company Law Tribunal or the Debt Recovery Tribunal after the firm defaulted on bond repayments earlier in January, The Economic Times reported, citing industry sources. A Reliance Home Finance spokesperson said the firm had enough assets to honor the repayment claims and that it is working on a resolution plan.

* The Reserve Bank of India revised the terms of its supervisory action framework for urban cooperative banks. The regulator said it could place such lenders under the framework if their net nonperforming assets grew beyond 6%, they face losses for two consecutive financial years or their capital to risk-weighted assets ratio fall below 9%.

* The Reserve Bank of India gave its in-principle approval to Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd. to transition into a small finance bank. The approval will last for 18 months and Shivalik Mercantile could be granted a license to operate as a small finance bank if it meets the central bank's requirements.

* Tata Capital Housing Finance Ltd. issued secured and unsecured redeemable nonconvertible debentures worth 20 billion rupees, Mint reported. The firm received 3 billion rupees in capital from parent TATA Capital Ltd., the report added, citing Rajiv Sabharwal, managing director and CEO of Tata Capital.

* India-based EbixCash World Money Ltd. appointed domestic and international legal counsel to handle its IPO. EbixCash previously announced the appointment of ICICI Securities as the left banker, aside from being one of the book-running lead managers for the IPO. Axis Capital and Edelweiss Financial Services have also been tapped as book-running lead managers.

* Export-Import Bank of India is said to be conducting a US$1 billion five-year issuance under its US$3 billion medium-term note program, Business Standard reported, citing a merchant banking source. The lender confirmed that it had reached out to the markets but did not provide specifics.


* The Insurance Council of Australia said insurers have handled over 6,000 insurance claims since Sept. 5, 2019, from the bushfire regions of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, with insurance losses estimated at A$431 million this season.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission banned financial adviser Wayne Blazejczyk, manager and director of Ballast Financial Management Pty Ltd., from providing financial services for five years because he failed to meet best interests requirements when providing advice on self-managed super funds.

* National Australia Bank Ltd. contributed A$58 million to MLC Life Insurance's A$290 million capital raising exercise in proportion with its 20% holding in the insurer, The Australian Financial Review reported. The remaining stake is held by Japan-based Nippon Life Insurance Co., which provided the rest of the capital raised.


Middle East & Africa: Burgan Bank to sell stake in Iraqi bank; 2 Angolan lenders set to recapitalize

Europe: Commerzbank to raise Comdirect stake; Gibraltar bank levy; Danske fine estimate

Latin America: Caixa Seguridade's IPO, new elections in Bolivia

North America: Lawyer-less suit vs. Schwab/TD Ameritrade merger nixed; Dallas de novo rising

Global Insurance: Australia bushfire insurance losses; Molina deal; Coverys startup

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

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