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China to expand financing regulation; S&P: contagion risk in Indian finance up

GREATER CHINA

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a notice to further regulate the country's financing guarantee business, China Securities Journal reported. Through the notice, the CBIRC has ordered regulators to supervise entities that offer financing guarantees but do not have permits to operate such a business.

* U.S. dollar-denominated bonds by Chinese firms may surpass US$220 billion in 2019, up 20% from the previous year, China Securities Journal reported, citing China Lianhe Credit Rating. Stricter requirements on offshore financing have impacted Chinese-issued U.S. dollar bonds in the third quarter, which declined more than 30% from the prior quarter.

* Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo said the liability reserve interest rates on Taiwanese life insurers' savings-type policies would be lowered by 25 basis points in 2020, which may trigger an increase of up to 3% in premiums for new policyholders, the Taipei Times reported.

* UBS Securities Co. Ltd. intends to use its capital to support critical clients while focusing on cross-border M&A advisory business and funneling foreign capital into China's onshore capital markets, China Daily reported, quoting Eugene Qian, president of UBS Securities. UBS Group AG will focus on expanding its three business lines ⁠— wealth management, investment banking and asset management ⁠⁠— in China.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co. Ltd. are collaborating to promote a contribution pension system provided to employees through corporate clients, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The firms will host seminars to encourage employees to purchase consumer investment products through the system.

* Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. is looking for opportunities to expand its global presence as it eyes markets in the U.S. and South Africa as well as Asia and in countries with developing economies, Chris Williams, senior managing executive officer and co-head of international business at Tokio Marine, told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Woori Bank and KEB Hana Bank were told that some exclusive contracts with government agencies including the Korea Startup Promotion Agency and the Small Enterprise and Market Service have been terminated, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing industry sources. The terminations are speculated to have been influenced by probes into the banks' controversial sales of derivative-linked products.

ASEAN

* Dhipaya Life Assurance Public Co., Ltd. plans to go public on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in the fourth quarter, Krungthep Turakij reported, citing Nopporn Boonlapo, CEO of the insurer. Dhipaya Life expects its gross premium income to reach 8 billion baht in 2019 and 10 billion baht in 2020, Boonlapo noted.

* Indonesian payments firm KinerjaPay Corp. said in a release that it plans to secure a US$25 million nonrecourse credit facility from PT Bank China Construction Bank Indonesia Tbk. KinerjaPay is looking to draw down guaranteed net proceeds of about US$22.5 million in three monthly tranches of about US$7.5 million each from the facility.

* Deutsche Bank (Pvt. Wealth Management) appointed Singapore-based Rajesh Mahadevan head of global products and solutions for emerging markets, as part of a strategy to expand in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, The Business Times reported. He is currently global South Asia group head of Middle East and will take up the role in January 2020.

* Malaysia's Etiqa Family Takaful Bhd. is considering expanding its takaful insurance business to the Philippines, BusinessWorld reported, citing Chris Eng Poh Yoon, chief strategy officer of the company. He said the insurer's expansion plans hinge on whether Islamic banks in the country could provide the firm with "distribution access."

SOUTH ASIA

* India's Department of Posts expects to obtain approval from the Reserve Bank of India to convert India Post Payments Bank Ltd. into a small finance bank by early 2020, Times News Network reported, citing an anonymous bank official.

* Banks and nonbanking financial companies in India will have to keep raising capital from the markets as better-positioned ones find more room for growth, Bloomberg News reported citing Chirag Negandhi, co-CEO of Axis Capital Ltd.

* Credit markets in India are charging huge premiums on debt issued by riskier finance companies, as contagion risk in the country's financial sector rises, according to S&P Global Ratings. The ratings agency said government support and swift action in the current situation is essential in maintaining system stability.

* Bangladesh Bank instructed the country's lenders to refuse applications for the bailout scheme on loan rescheduling and one-time exit facility from defaulted borrowers, due to the offer's expiry Oct. 20, The Dhaka Tribune reported. The central bank released the notice following a supreme court ruling. The general manager of the central bank's banking regulation and policy department, AKM Ehsan, said the banks will not approve new loans for beneficiaries of the rescheduling facility.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australia's big four banks have shuttered 754 branches since 2014, The Australian reported, citing data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Westpac Banking Corp. has closed 334 branches, or 26% of its network, while Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. has closed 191, or 25% of its network. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has shut down 133, or 12% of its network, and National Australia Bank Ltd. closed 96, or 13% of its network.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia will pay A$50 each to more than 100,000 customers who were affected by a recent outage in the bank's operations, which caused failed funds transfers and partial branch closures, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, quoting a company spokesperson. The payments would amount to about A$6 million.

* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. is still in the process of looking through offset accounts for the bank's customers who were charged the wrong interest rate on their home loans due to their deposit accounts not being properly linked with mortgage facilities, The Australian Financial Review reported. Earlier, Sarah Stubbings, the lender's head of home loan product, said it expects to pay out about A$90 million in refunds to around 500,000 affected customers.

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is looking into the circumstances surrounding Afterpay Touch Group Ltd.'s hiring of Michael Saadat, previously the regulator's regional commissioner for New South Wales and executive director of financial services, The Australian Financial Review reported, quoting ASIC Chairman James Shipton. Saadat is due to join Afterpay as director of public policy and regulatory affairs for Australia and New Zealand on Nov. 1.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: UAE banks mull real estate lending cap; Commercial Bank's Q3 profit up YOY

Europe: Fast-track Brexit rejected; Swedbank Q3 profit down; Handelsbanken to exit Asia

Latin America: Brazil pension reform passes Senate; Panama set to finance entrepreneurs

North America: Tennessee banks in deal; Malaysia, Goldman privately discuss lower 1MDB penalty

Global Insurance: Execs bemoan litigious environment; tornado damage estimate; USAA cat bond

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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

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