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Bangladesh Bank to file damage claims in NY; Central banks hold policy rates

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.

Lawsuits, probes and more

* The Bangladesh Bank will file a lawsuit with a New York court by January 2019 to recoup reserve funds stolen in a 2016 cybercrime heist at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

* Japan's Financial Services Agency is reportedly conducting onsite inspections of regional banks, targeting their internal auditing.

* Higashi-Nippon Bank Ltd. Chairman Michito Ishii will reportedly resign following revelations that the company had engaged in lending misconduct.

* A court in Vietnam has convicted 46 former bankers and businessmen over their involvement in a loan scam amid a crackdown on corruption in the country.

Regulatory developments

* Vietnam is set to restrict or possibly stop granting new licenses to foreign banks seeking to gain a foothold in the country in hopes that the move would boost M&A activity in the local banking sector.

* The Indian government will hold discussions with the Reserve Bank of India on easing capital norms for banks and aligning them under Basel III guidelines.

* Pakistan's central bank issued a governance framework for banks to strengthen their ability to manage risks posed by overseas operations.

* Five Australian banks, including Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp. and National Australia Bank Ltd., are planning to improve their compliance systems for deposit accounts that are accessible to third parties such as financial advisers, following scrutiny by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

* The Australian government said ASIC will put dedicated staff inside Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, National Australia Bank, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., and AMP Ltd. as part of a proactive supervisory approach to monitor governance and compliance actions inside the institutions.

* The central banks of New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, in separate decisions, kept their respective policy rates unchanged.

Deal news

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia decided to exit South Africa and is reviewing its investments in Vietnam and Indonesia as Australia's biggest bank continues to retreat from overseas and noncore markets in a bid to improve shareholder returns and regulatory compliance.

* MUFG Bank Ltd. closed the acquisition of an additional 20.1% stake in PT Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk from Asia Financial (Indonesia) Pte. Ltd. and other affiliated entities.

* RHB Bank Bhd. unit RHB Investment Bank Bhd. has agreed to extend the deadline to acquire the remaining 51% stake in Vietnam Securities Corp. to Dec. 31.

* Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, or Vietcombank, will exit Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank, or Orient Bank, by selling its remaining 1.48 million shares through an auction on Sept. 6

* South Korean messaging app developer Kakao Corp. may acquire an additional stake in internet-only lender KakaoBank of Korea Corp. should the government push to lower restrictions on nonfinancial companies' stakes in banks.

Earnings corner

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia posted a 5% year-over-year decline in its cash net profit after tax for the full year ended June 30. The bank's New Zealand-based unit, ASB Bank Ltd., reported a 12% year-over-year increase in full-year cash net profit.

* Japan's Norinchukin Bank, Chiba Bank Ltd. and Concordia Financial Group Ltd. all reported year-over-year decline in their respective net profits for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30.

* India's Punjab National Bank reported a net loss for the fiscal quarter ended June 30 as provisions for bad loans almost doubled year over year.

* Philippine National Bank reported a year-over-year increase in its net income for the six-month period ended June 30.

* Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ltd. reported a 16% year-over-year increase in net profit for the second quarter.

In other News

* The central banks of Indonesia and the Philippines entered into an agreement to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

* India's ICICI Bank Ltd. decried a media report that alleged the bank kept its bad loan ratio down after an accounting policy change and did not disclose the change to the bank's shareholders.

* Moody's lowered its outlook on the Indonesian banking system to stable from positive, following a sovereign upgrade and an upgrade of Indonesian lenders during the three months ended June.

* Moody's said MUFG Bank's increased ownership stake in Bank Danamon Indonesia is credit positive for the Indonesian lender and would allow it to leverage the Japanese bank's network and capabilities to grow new business.

* India's Axis Bank Ltd. plans to add between 350 and 400 branches in fiscal 2019.

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