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Thailand denies alleged currency manipulation; AIG eyes Suncorp's life biz

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Thailand denies alleged currency manipulation; AIG eyes Suncorp's life biz

GREATER CHINA

* Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. raised 40 billion yuan through the issuance of Tier 2 capital bonds. The 10-year, fixed-rate bonds, which are redeemable at the end of the fifth year, bear a coupon of 4.45% per year.

* S&P Global Ratings said that although China has started deleveraging its debt-burdened economy, it still has much to do. The rating agency warned that the country's financial buffers are thinning, and would continue to do so unless the country curbs its debt appetite.

* Sales of negotiable certificates of deposit surged to a record 5.4 trillion yuan in China in the third quarter, and the balance of NCDs surged to more than 8 trillion yuan, Phoenix International reported, citing data compiled by Bloomberg. NCDs issued by small and and medium-sized banks accounted for about 60% of the total issued so far in 2017.

* Nearly 800 employees out of the 1,200 employees at ANZ Bank (Taiwan) Ltd. will join DBS Bank (Taiwan) Ltd. following the latter's acquisition of ANZ Bank (Taiwan)'s wealth management and retail banking business, Liberty Times reported. The acquisition is expected to be completed at the end of November.

* BAE Systems, a defense and security company, believes a North Korean hacking group called Lazarus was behind recent attacks on the global SWIFT messaging system which resulted in the theft of US$60 million from a Taiwanese bank, Reuters reported. About US$500,000 of the funds remain missing.

* DBS Group Holdings Ltd. expects Taiwan's monetary policy to remain steady in the coming four quarters as the government seeks to maintain market stability amid Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Governor Perng Fai-Nan's plan to step down in 2018, the Liberty Times reported.

* Taiwan's China Credit Information Service Ltd. urged the island's financial sector to step up investments in the financial technology to improve their return on asset performance and enhance competitiveness, the Taipei Times reported. CCIS Editor-in-Chief Liu Jen said local financial holding companies' combined spending of NT$1.25 billion on fintech in 2016 accounted for only 0.37% of the US$11.2 billion spent by their Asian peers on the industry. He also noted that local banks have been neglecting digital credit investigation.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* Mizuho Financial Group Inc. plans to merge its banking and trust banking businesses in the U.S. by the end of 2017 to improve operational efficiency, The Nikkei reported.

* SBI Holdings Inc. subsidiary SBI Securities, together with Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd., launched a service to sell cross-holding shares to retail investors, The Nikkei reported.

* Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Development Bank of Japan Inc. formed a ?22 billion fund to support medium-sized businesses in the U.S., The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported.

* South Korea's Woori Bank is facing allegations that it committed irregularities in hiring family members of high-ranking government officials, senior Financial Supervisory Service officials and its clients, The Chosun Ilbo and Yonhap News Agency reported.

* South Korea's major commercial banks are withdrawing a large amount of credit-backed loans given to businesses that are cooperating with GM Korea as the carmaker's exit from the country is deemed highly likely by the end of 2017, the Chosun Ilbo reported. According to industry insiders, the total balance of such loans dropped from 900 billion won to 195 billion won from Dec 2014 to June 2017.

* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service has deemed Woori Bank unqualified to be the biggest shareholder of K bank, the country's first internet-only bank, according to the National Assembly's hearing on Oct. 17, Yonhap News Agency reported. However, the decision was overturned by the Financial Services Commission.

ASEAN

* Thailand's Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn refuted claims that the country engages in currency manipulation to gain trade advantages, Bloomberg News reported. Thailand is said to be edging close to the U.S. Treasury's criteria of unfair currency practices.

* TMB Bank PCL posted a net profit of 2.003 billion Thai baht in the third quarter, up 8.5% year over year, Manager Daily reported. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the bank's net profit rose by 6% to 6.429 billion baht.

* Thailand's Government Housing Bank sold 6.971 billion baht worth of nonperforming loans to Bangkok Commercial Asset Management PCL, Manager Daily reported, citing the bank's president, Chatchai Sirilai. The bank's NPL ratio will drop to 4.61% of total outstanding loans following the sale, he said.

* Indonesian state lender PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk will perform a stock split with a 1:5 ratio as it aims to attract more retail investors, Bisnis Indonesia reported. After the stock split, the bank's shares will be traded at about 3,000 rupiah apiece.

* Indonesian brokerage PT. Minna Padi Investama Sekuritas Tbk. aims to issue 5 billion new shares, or 30.7% of its enlarged capital, to fund its acquisition a majority stake in Indonesian Islamic lender PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia Tbk, The Jakarta Globe reported. Minna Padi needs 4.5 trillion rupiah to buy a 51% stake in Bank Muamalat.

* DBS Bank Ltd. launched a corporate multicurrency account, which would allow companies to transact and manage up to 13 currencies in separate e-wallets under one account, The Business Times reported. The currencies include the Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen, the US dollar and the Australian dollar, among others.

SOUTH ASIA

* ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. said net profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to 2.04 billion Indian rupees from 1.71 billion rupees in the year-ago quarter. The interim dividend for the quarter was 75 paise per share, down from 80 paise per share in the previous year.

* North East Small Finance Bank Ltd. began operations as a small finance bank on Oct. 17. It received an in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a small finance bank in September 2015.

* Indian company BankBazaar raised US$30 million from U.K.-based Experian plc, a credit rating agency and information management company, Mint reported. The investment translates to a 10% stake in BankBazaar and values the company at US$300 million, the report added, citing "two people aware of the development."

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* American International Group Inc. is said to be weighing a bid for Suncorp Group Ltd.'s life insurance business, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported. AIG has reportedly met with local investment banking advisers and life insurance industry players in recent weeks to discuss its plan.

* The Australian government will appoint James Shipton as head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, replacing Greg Medcraft who leaves in November, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Shipton previously worked as a regulator for Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission.

* Bank of New Zealand may let go of over 100 employees, or approximately 2% of the bank's workforce, amid its digital push, BusinessDesk reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Middle East & Africa: Mashreqbank, UBA 9-month profits rise YOY; Fitch acts on Kuwaiti lenders

Europe: Credit Suisse breakup bid; May dines with Juncker; Spanish banks suffer anew

Latin America: Itau-XP Investimentos deal seen as 'complex'; Finandina head resigns

North America: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Q3 EPS up; Wells Fargo units to pay $3.4M

North America Insurance: Bipartisan health bill includes subsidies; hefty ACA rate hikes in more states

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

Janna Estares, Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.

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