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ICBC gets nod for Austrian unit; India fines 3 lenders; Axis Bank names CEO

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ICBC gets nod for Austrian unit; India fines 3 lenders; Axis Bank names CEO

GREATER CHINA

* Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. received approval from the European Central Bank to establish a subsidiary in Austria called ICBC Austria Bank GmbH. The lender has already obtained approval from China's banking regulators to set up the unit.

* Netherlands-based consumer finance company Home Credit BV and Hong Kong-based alternative investment firm PAG Asia Capital have terminated their partnership agreement to develop the Dutch company's business in China, DealStreetAsia reported, citing Milan Tomanek, group head of public relations of Home Credit. PAG will also no longer invest over 2 billion yuan in Home Credit's Hong Kong-based unit. The agreement had been signed in July 2017.

* Wang Bin, former chairman of China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co. Ltd., was appointed chairman and party secretary of China Life Insurance (Group) Co., Shanghai Securities News reported.

* The People's Bank of China infused 176.5 billion yuan into the market through the medium-term lending facility to maintain liquidity, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a statement on the central bank's website. The funds will mature in one year and have an interest rate of 3.3%, remaining the same from previous operations.

JAPAN AND KOREA

* A report from a third-party investigative panel found that alleged misconduct by a number of bank employees and indifference from executives led to a massive lending scandal at Japan-based Suruga Bank Ltd., Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The panel charged the executives with breach of due diligence obligations for allowing the misconduct to occur during their tenure. Michio Arikuni, the bank's newly appointed president, said the lender might face additional losses associated with the disposal of toxic loans.

* Japan's Seven Bank Ltd. expects to book ¥14.6 billion in write-downs after attempting to duplicate its convenience store ATM network in the U.S., The Nikkei reported. The lender said it forecasts a loss of ¥500 million for the six-month period ending Sept. 30 and profit of ¥12.8 billion for the year ending March 2019, down from a prior forecast of ¥26.8 billion.

* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. appointed Hiroki Kameda chief information security officer, The Nikkei reported. The bank is the only one of Japan's three megabanks to have a chief information security officer post so far.

* Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. is in talks to acquire South Korea-based real estate trust company Asia Trust Co. Ltd. for about 200 billion won, Money Today reported.

* South Korea-headquartered Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd. has decided to issue 200 billion won of hybrid securities, Yonhap News Agency reported.

ASEAN

* The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may hold an extraordinary meeting this month outside the one scheduled for Sept. 27 to stem inflation amid an emerging-market currency selloff, Bloomberg News reported, citing Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. Meanwhile, the central bank announced that it will reactivate the currency risk protection program, which aims to ease demand pressures in the foreign exchange spot market.

* Thailand's Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong signed an order to revoke the operating license of Chao Phaya Insurance Co. Ltd. for failing to maintain the required capital adequacy ratio, leading to a weak financial position, Bangkok Post reported, citing a statement from the Office of the Insurance Commission. The move took effect Sept. 7.

* World Bank Group private investment arm International Finance Corp. is considering granting a US$100 million loan to Vietnam-based Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank, DealStreetAsia reported. The move is aimed at supporting the bank's lending program to small- and medium-sized and women-owned enterprises.

SOUTH ASIA

* The Reserve Bank of India imposed a penalty of 10 million rupees each on Union Bank of India, Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra for delays in detecting and reporting fraud in a number of accounts. Union Bank of India said it has taken necessary preventive action and executed a comprehensive corrective action plan to strengthen internal controls, among others, Mint reported, citing a regulatory filing.

* India-based Axis Bank Ltd. named Amitabh Chaudhry managing director and CEO for a three-year term, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Chaudhry joins from HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd., where he served as managing director and CEO. In a separate filing, HDFC Standard Life said its board will meet Sept. 12 to consider the appointment of Chaudhry's replacement.

* The Indian government appointed Anshula Kant the managing director of State Bank of India until Sept. 30, 2020.

* India-based Infosys Ltd. and Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd. have formed a 60/40 joint venture, which will integrate teams from Infosys and the operations of Temasek unit Trusted Source Pte. Ltd. The two parties appointed Shveta Arora CEO of the Singapore-headquartered venture.

* India's Department of Posts plans to establish an insurance company as a special business unit in two years, following the launch of India Post Payments Bank Ltd., Press Trust of India reported, citing Communications Minister Manoj Sinha. The request for proposal to name a consultant for the unit's creation will be submitted "in the coming week," Sinha said.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian small-business lender Prospa Group Ltd. said it has satisfied queries raised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in relation to its loan terms, which could pave the way for the lender to revisit its shelved IPO. Prospa agreed to remove or amend some of its contract terms, adding that the amendments do not have any material impact on the lender financially or operationally.

* Australia-based wealth manager Yellow Brick Road Holdings Ltd. is defending a suit over earnout provisions in an agreement signed with nonbank lender Resi Mortgage, which it bought in 2014 for A$36 million, The Australian reported. Under the deal, Peter James, Resi foundation shareholder and head of lending of the acquired business until 2016, was entitled to a bonus of up to A$2.5 million if "net trail income" exceeded A$5.8 million. However, James was told the income fell short based on a calculation he is disputing.

* Fitch Ratings said intervention from New Zealand regulators made it unlikely that the country's regional banks — TSB Bank Ltd., Southland Building Society, Co-operative Bank Ltd. and Kiwibank Ltd. — will maintain their loan growth at levels consistent with prior years. However, the relatively small loan base of some of the companies could enable them to continue loan growth above the financial system's pace, the rating agency added.

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

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