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Novo Banco selling €2.15B bad loans; Mediobanca sets aside €2B for acquisitions

Editor's note: The Daily Dose Europe will not be published Dec. 31, 2018, and Jan. 1, 2019, on account of the holidays. The Daily Dose Europe will return Jan. 2, 2019.

* In its latest economic bulletin, the ECB said it expects global economic activity to decelerate in 2019 and remain steady over the following two years. Risks for global activity are on the downside, and a further escalation of trade disputes could significantly weigh on global growth, the central bank added.

* Nomura Holdings Inc. CEO Koji Nagai indicated that there could be more job cuts in Europe as part of the Japan-based lender's efforts to bolster its top line and control "excessively large costs," Bloomberg News reported.

UK AND IRELAND

* HSBC Holdings PLC has postponed the implementation of the next stage of open banking reforms ordered by Britain's Competition and Markets Authority, The Times reported. Danske Bank A/S and Bank of Ireland Group PLC have also admitted that they will be unable to meet the regulator's latest deadline. The three banks will be subjected to further monitoring, with an external consultant to oversee implementation set to be appointed if the situation does not improve.

* The U.K.'s National Crime Agency is looking into allegations that a government translator working with investigators was paid off to tip off a suspect allegedly part of an insider-trading ring in Europe, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Philipp Hildebrand, former president of Swiss National Bank and current chairman of Blackrock Inc., declined to comment on media speculations that he was a candidate to succeed outgoing Credit Suisse Group AG Chairman Urs Rohner, saying that this was a matter for the bank's supervisory board and "nothing that would bother him at the moment," Tagesanzeiger wrote.

* U.K.-headquartered digital banking fintech Revolut Ltd. entered a partnership with Credit Suisse to offer free-of-charge Revolut accounts for Swiss clients, Handelszeitung noted.

* Klaus Rehnig, early investor and former chairman of the supervisory board of Wirecard AG, told Handelsblatt that he expects that an international group will soon come and acquire the company at a premium of 30% to 50% of its current stock value.

* Christoph Jurecka, CFO and member of the management board of ERGO Group AG, is taking over the CFO post of Munich Re Co. from Jörg Schneider by Jan. 1, 2019, Handelsblatt noted.

* Bâloise Holding AG acquired a 20% stake in Infracore SA, a healthcare-related real estate company in Switzerland and subsidiary of healthcare and life sciences investment firm Aevis Victoria SA.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* CNP Patrimoine, a unit of CNP Assurances SA dedicated to wealth management clients, will acquire the Quality Insurance Services management platform, which manages its contracts in France and Luxembourg. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

* Euronext NV has raised its commitment in Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA to 50.6% from 49.6%.

* Mutuelle Assurance des Instituteurs de France unveiled a 2019-2022 strategic plan that includes partnering with the VYV group to launch an assurance-vie regulated savings product and business insurance products, Le Monde reported.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* CaixaBank SA has opened its first representative office in Toronto, Canada, to advise and offer financing to Spanish customers interested in expanding in North America. It will also serve Canadian companies present in Spain.

* Portugal's Novo Banco SA has agreed to sell a €2.15 billion portfolio of nonperforming loans and related exposures to a consortium of funds managed by U.S.-based KKR Credit Advisors LLC and Luxembourg-based LX Investment Partners II SARL. The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2019.

* Millennium BCP has injected €47 million into wholly owned ActivoBank unit, more than trebling the capital stock of the digital bank, Jornal de Negócios and Jornal Ecónomico reported. BCP wants ActivoBank to expand overseas as part of its 2021 strategic plan.

* Members of the mutual association that owns Portugal's Caixa Económica Montepio Geral caixa económica bancária SA have approved an action plan and budget for 2019, making adapting to the new regulatory framework of the ASF pensions and insurance authority a top priority for the coming year, Jornal de Negócios and Público reported. The new supervisory regulations seek to bolster internal governance and control mechanisms at the mutual.

* Portugal's EuroBIC bank has filed legal proceedings challenging the central bank's 2015 decision to transfer senior bonds in Novo Banco to the "bad bank" of its failed predecessor Banco Espírito Santo SA, Jornal de Negócios reported. It said the decision, which has already been challenged in the courts by a group of fund managers, cost the bank at least €16 million.

ITALY AND GREECE

* Mediobanca - Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA CEO Alberto Nagel said the Italian lender has set aside €2 billion for acquisitions in 2019 in a bid to boost assets under management, Reuters reported, citing La Stampa.

* Italy's Malacalza family, who holds a 27.6% stake in Banca Carige SpA, met with ECB supervisors to explain why they did not support a proposed €400 million share sale, an insider told Reuters. The ECB told the Malacalza family that the capital increase has to take place as soon as possible so that the lender can then proceed with identifying a merger partner, Il Sole 24 Ore added.

* Generali Real Estate, the property arm of Generali bought 53 properties of retailer Monoprix for some €600 million, MF reported, noting that Delfin has raised its stake in the insurer to over 4% while Fincal upped its investment to 4.81%.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* DNB ASA is preparing to launch a new mobile bank in the beginning of 2019, E24 reported.

EASTERN EUROPE

* The nonperforming loan ratio of Turkey's banking sector may increase next year to 6% and the capital adequacy ratio may decrease to 15.5%, according to the country's banking regulator, BDDK.

* Alexander Sokolov, CEO of Russian "bad bank" National Bank Trust PJSC, said about half of the 2 trillion rubles of nonperforming assets it took on from lenders bailed out in 2017 by the Russian central bank are assets that have sources of funding, Bloomberg News wrote. National Bank Trust and the central bank will conclude talks regarding the recovery target by December-end.

* The Central Bank of the Russian Federation revoked the licenses of the largest foreign exchange firms in the country, including Alpari and Forex-club, for breaching central bank regulations, according to Reuters.

* Sergey Iniushin, Russia's trade representative in China, said there is an opportunity for Russian banks to obtain full-fledged licenses in the Asian country amid a liberalization in its banking legislation, according to Sputnik News.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Carlyle, GIC to buy SBI Life stake; 2 Chinese banks to set up wealth units

Middle East & Africa: Doha Bank closes $525M loan; Egypt holds rates; StanChart Kenya gets new CEO

Latin America: Citibank Brazil eyes 9% loan book growth; Banco Macro buys back shares

North America: Trump adviser says Powell, Mnuchin will keep jobs; Visa buying Earthport in UK

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Green bond market shows signs of sputtering, but issuance set to pick up in 2019: The global market for green bonds could be a victim of its own success. Supply is still failing to keep up with demand, and a recent falloff in issuance could signal that a lack of supply is choking the market, according to industry experts.

Number of women on boards drops among three largest European countries: The percentage of women on company boards fell in Europe's largest countries in 2017, with 37% of new board seats going to women, compared to 44% in 2016, according to a study by recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.

Sheryl Obejera, Arno Maierbrugger, Meike Wijers, Gerard O'Dwyer, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.