* AMP Ltd. revised its agreement to sell AMP Life to Resolution Life for a total of A$3.0 billion, comprising A$2.5 billion in cash and A$500 million in equity interest in Resolution Life Australia. The company previously sought to sell the business for A$3.3 billion, but later said the deal was "highly unlikely" to proceed on the current terms after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand intervened. Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund a "transformational investment program" to de-risk the company and cut costs.
* Central banks across Asia surprised markets with interest rate cuts Aug. 7, raising the pressure on U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to follow suit. New Zealand delivered a larger-than-expected 50-basis-point cut and kept the door open for further easing; India implemented an unconventional 35-basis-point cut on key rates; and Thailand defied expectations by lowering its policy rate, citing concerns over weak economic growth and a strong currency.
* China Construction Bank Corp. received regulatory approval to establish a branch in Shanghai's Lingang Pilot Free Trade Zone, The Paper reported. The new branch will focus on providing cross-border financial services to international trading and shipping companies in the area.
* Nanjing Xingang High-Tech Co. Ltd., a shareholder of Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd., has pledged to subscribe to no more than 800 million yuan of the lender's shares by April 30, 2020, Yicai reported.
* Standard Chartered PLC opened an "innovation lab" and financial technology-focused incubator in Shanghai to drive innovation by investing in potential fintech firms, Finextra reported. The new establishment is part of the U.K.-based lender's network of such labs across Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Kenya and San Francisco.
* A joint plan by Ant Financial Services Group and the Vanguard Group Inc. to establish a joint venture for mutual funds is in the final stages of regulatory approval, China Securities Journal reported.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Bank of Japan members broadly agreed to ease monetary policy further, if needed, as they raised concerns of a slowdown in the Japanese economy, minutes of the bank's July meeting showed. Policymakers widely concurred that Japanese exports, business sentiment and employment have been hampered due to global economic slowdown as the U.S.-China trade rift continues.
* Japan Post Bank Co. Ltd. said in a release that it would place a ¥5 million cap on one-time outgoing international wire transfers, effective Oct. 1, as part of more stringent anti-money laundering efforts.
* South Korea's Financial Services Commission plans to set up a consultative body that would aid companies looking for M&A deals overseas, as part of efforts to reduce its dependence on Japan amid ongoing trade tensions, The Korea Herald reported. The commission will establish the committee together with state-run banks Korea Development Bank, Export-Import Bank of Korea and Industrial Bank of Korea.
* Bank Indonesia's newly appointed senior deputy governor, Destry Damayanti, has hinted at the possibility of easing monetary policy, citing factors that include the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China as well as fluctuations in the country's foreign currency exchange rate, Bisnis Indonesia reported.
* PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk is developing a digital wealth management platform, which it expects to launch in 2020, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing Hery Gunardi, business and network director of the bank.
* CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd. signed a bancassurance agreement with Takaful Ikhlas General Bhd. through which the companies plan to offer general Islamic insurance products to the bank's customers, The Sun Daily reported. The bank expects to grow its general Islamic insurance business in the next five years to 168 million ringgit, or an annual growth of about 11%.
* Pakistan suspended bilateral trade and downgraded diplomatic relations with India following New Delhi's recent actions concerning the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. The government said bilateral arrangements between the two neighboring countries would be reviewed, and that India's high commissioner to Pakistan would have to be withdrawn.
* The Reserve Bank of India issued new measures to improve liquidity for nonbanking financial companies and to create a central registry for fraud information in the payments sector. The central bank plans to raise a bank's exposure limit to a single NBFC to 20% of the bank's Tier 1 capital, up from 15% currently. Banks may also offer up to 1 million rupees of loans to NBFCs per borrower from the agricultural sector, and up to 2 million rupees per borrower from the micro and small enterprise sector.
* State Bank of India reduced its lending rates across all tenors by 15 basis points following the central bank's 35-basis-point rate cut, Mint reported. The bank's one-year marginal cost of funds-based lending rate was lowered to 8.25% from 8.40%, effective Aug. 10.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* AMP announced a A$650 million capital raising via a fully underwritten placement to institutional investors to fund its strategy. The company reported an underlying profit of A$309 million for the first half, and disclosed the departure of CFO designate John Patrick Moorhead from the group. Deputy CFO James Georgeson was named acting CFO, and will take over from retiring CFO Gordon Lefevre.
* Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is set to face the parliament Aug. 9 over the central bank's decision to cut rates to a historic low of 1%, The Australian Financial Review reported. The parliament's economics committee will hear the central bank's rationale behind the rate cuts despite its own warning about the consequences of extreme monetary stimulus measures.
* New Zealand-based banks are cutting interest rates across the board after the central bank decided to reduce its base rate to 1%, The New Zealand Herald reported. ASB Bank Ltd. was the first bank to cut its home loan and savings rates, followed by Westpac New Zealand Ltd., Bank of New Zealand, Kiwibank Ltd. and ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Provisions dent SABB's H1 result; Nedbank cuts FY outlook; Moody's rates Niger
Europe: Nets in €2.85B deal; UniCredit, ABN Amro profits rise; Commerzbank result dips
Latin America: SoftBank buys Banco Inter stake; Banco do Brasil, Banco Pan's share offerings
North America: Apple/Goldman credit card launches; Happy State Bank to buy in-state peer
Global Insurance: 3 insurers exposed to Capital One breach; Greenlight's future; European earnings
R Sio, Emily Lai, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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