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Cathay General to acquire Bank SinoPac's US biz; Japan's Abe wins upper house poll

*Executives at Los Angeles-based Cathay General Bancorp the company expects cost savings ofup to 60% from its just-announced US$340 million deal to acquire Taiwan'sBank SinoPac Co. Ltd.unit SinoPac Bancorp

*Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party had won 56 of the121 seats in an upper house election, Bloomberg News reported,citing Japan's public broadcaster NHK. The results will allow Abe to push forplans to revise the country's 70-year-old U.S.-imposed constitution.

*Tokyo-based ORIXCorp. has acquired Boston Financial Investment Management, Reutersreported, citing twoanonymous sources.

*Industrial & Commercial Bankof China Ltd. signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Czechgovernment to establish and collaborate on the Central and Eastern Europe Fund.Under the agreement, the Czech government plans to invest €200 million in thefund.

*ING Groep NVnamed GerritStoelinga as regional head of wholesale banking in Asia, effective Sept. 1.

GREATER CHINA

*China's National Bureau of Statistics said that the country's producer priceindex slid 2.6% year over year in June, Caixinreported. The PPIdecline narrowed from a 2.8% decrease in May.

* TheNBS also said that the country's consumer price index grew 1.9% year over yearin June, the China Securities Journalreported.The CPI growth declined from a 2% growth in May.

*Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission said that the value of credit cardtransactions increased by NT$23 billion to NT$204 billion in May from theprevious month, the Taipei Times reported.The commission said that the high use of credit cards could be attributedlargely to spending for Mother's Day in May and to the tax season, as manytaxpayers in Taiwan have used their credit cards to make income tax payments.

*Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission said that the ratio of nonperformingloans for home mortgages among Taiwanese banks stood at 0.2% as of the end ofMay, the highest in three years, the TaipeiTimes reported.Nonperforming loans for home mortgages totaled NT$12.3 billion as of the end ofMay, while outstanding home mortgages stood at NT$6.17 trillion, an increase ofUS$28.1 billion from April.

* YuXuejun, chairman of the Board of Supervisors for major state-owned financialinstitutions under the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said that the yuanhas expanded too fast and warned that the risk of nonperforming assets willkeep rising, Reuters reported.He noted that the Chinese banking sector should be aware of risks triggered byasset bubbles, especially risks related to local governments and inflationcoming again.

*Analysts expect that real estate investment growth will slide further asproperty sales keep decreasing, Phoenix Finance reported.Thus, it is estimated that another reserve requirement ratio cut may occur toease monetary policies further, according to industry insiders.

JAPAN AND KOREA

*Meiji Yasuda Life InsuranceCo. will extend the retirement age of all employees to 65 yearsfrom 60 years, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

* TetsuOzaki, group COO of NomuraHoldings Inc., told The Mainichi Shimbun that the group'sinternational operations will turn profitable in fiscal 2016, ending a losingstreak since fiscal 2011.

*The Japan Fair Trade Commission will extend its review of a proposed mergerbetween Fukuoka Financial GroupInc. and EighteenthBank Ltd. planned for April 2018, The Sankei Shimbun reported.

*The outstanding balance of loans at Japanese city banks and regional banksincreased 2% year over year in June, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported,citing Bank of Japan data.

*KB Kookmin Bank willconsolidate more than 100 branches within the next five years, Chosun Ilbo reported.The bank has cut the number of its domestic branches by 16 to 1,120 in thefirst half.

*General Electric Co.will decide in July whether to sell its 20% stake in Hyundai Capital Services Inc. to Hyundai Motor Co.,Yonhap News Agency reported.

*Woori Bank employee shareholderswill take part in a three-day share buyback from July 20 as the odds areimproving for the bank to find a buyer in the second half, Money Today reported.

ASEAN

*KASIKORN Research said factors that should be monitored for stock marketmovement during the week of July 11 include operating profit of listedcompanies for the second quarter and the consumer confidence index in Thailandas well as key economic figures of the U.S., China, Japan and the eurozone,Thailand's Krungthep Turakij reported.

*Bank of Thailand Deputy Governor for Monetary Stability Mathee Supapongse saidthe Thai economy is in a "Nike-shaped" recovery, Krungthep Turakij reported. Hesaid Thailand is facing some risk factors from Brexit and the central bank ismonitoring the situation closely, especially in the domestic labor market.

*KGI Securities analyzed data of eight commercial banks in the second quarterand found that only three banks could significantly lower nonperforming loans,namely Thanachart BankPCL, TISCO BankPCL and KiatnakinBank PCL, Thailand's PostToday reported.

*Indonesia's Financial Services Authority is planning to revise down its growth predictionfor bank loans in 2016 due to a weaker economy, The Jakarta Post reported.

*The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. said depositors of banks ordered closedby the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas now have faster access to their insureddeposits, The Philippine Star reported,citing PDIC President Cristina Que Orbeta. The PDIC amended parts of itscharter to rule that payment of deposit insurance will now be based ondepositors' records and not just on the basis of records maintained by theclosed bank, Orbeta said.

*Bank of the PhilippineIslands has completed migrating its 1.3 million credit cards incirculation to EMV chip-enabled technology, the Philippines' BusinessWorld reported,citing BPI Cards Vice President Jenelyn Lacerna.

SOUTH ASIA

*C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary of All India Bank Employees Association,said that Indian bank employees would go on strike from July 12 to July 13, The Hindu Business Line reported.

*The Reserve Bank of India said it has lifted a seven-year ban on the purchaseof new Punjab NationalBank shares by foreign investors, effective immediately, the PressTrust of India reported,citing India's central bank.

*HDFC Bank Ltd. saidit is looking to focus on leveraging its digital platforms in rural andsemi-urban markets in India for sustained growth, the Press Trust of India reported.

*Bharat Financial InclusionLtd. said it is unlikely to cut rates in the next two to threequarters, The Economic Times reported,citing President Dilli Raj. Bharat Financial Inclusion is operating at a 9.6%limit, lower than the 10% cap enforced by India's central bank, Raj said.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

*Australia's major banks are expected to reject the suggestions of theAustralian Securities and Investments Commission for reaching financialsettlements over the alleged rigging of the country's Bank Bill Swap Rate, The Australian Financial Review reported.

*Meanwhile, ASIC will take noaction against IOOFHoldings Ltd. following its investigation into allegations ofinsider trading at the company, but have raised concerns over the company'sbreach reporting and other issues.

*Firstmac Ltd CFOJames Austin said the company has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to attract investment interestin the nonbank lender to ease funding constraints, The Australian reported.

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

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