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RBS goes Dutch for EU base; Allianz Q2 up 83.4% YOY; Paysafe gets takeover offer


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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RBS goes Dutch for EU base; Allianz Q2 up 83.4% YOY; Paysafe gets takeover offer

* The European Commission sent a supplementary statement of objections to credit card group Visa Inc. as part of an anti-trust investigation into so-called interregional interchange fees.


* Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc reported first-half net profit attributable to ordinary shareholders of £1.17 billion, compared with a loss of £108 million in the prior-year period. CFO Ewen Stevenson told Bloomberg TV that RBS is in advanced discussions with the Dutch central bank about establishing a small European headquarters in Amsterdam.

* Pi UK Bidco Ltd., a newly incorporated company jointly owned by funds managed by Blackstone Group LP and funds managed and/or advised by CVC Capital Partners Ltd., will acquire Paysafe Group Plc for 590 pence per share in cash. The deal values Paysafe at approximately £2.96 billion.

* Meanwhile, payment services provider FairFX Group Plc said it is in advanced talks about potentially acquiring a payment services business, to be financed through a £25 million capital increase.

* The Bank of England's monetary policy committee voted 6-2 to maintain its key interest rate at 0.25% and voted unanimously to leave the central bank's quantitative easing program unchanged. The two dissenting members, Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders, wanted to increase the bank rate by 25 basis points.

* London Stock Exchange Group Plc CEO Xavier Rolet warned that moving euro-denominated clearing services from London to elsewhere in the EU in light of Brexit would be "destructive" for pension funds, saying shared oversight of the market between the BoE and the European Securities and Markets Authority would be a better option.

* Shares in Permanent TSB Group Holdings Plc dropped 3.2% to €1.90 yesterday, bringing the total decline in the share price since PTSB announced its interim results last week to 24%, The Irish Times wrote. The bank had said its stock of nonperforming loans remained "unsustainably high."

* Cenkos Securities Plc's finance director, Mike Chilton, has resigned with immediate effect.

* Legal & General Group Plc's fund management unit is transferring the management of its Asian equity index funds to Hong Kong from Chicago and London in the fourth quarter, Reuters reported.


* Allianz Group reported net income attributable to shareholders of €1.99 billion for the second quarter, up 83.4% from €1.09 billion in the same year-ago period. First-half attributable income rose year over year to €3.81 billion from €3.23 billion.

* Swiss Re AG reported first-half net income attributable to common shareholders of $1.21 billion, down from the year-ago $1.87 billion. Net premiums written came in at $16.82 billion in the period, compared with $18.68 billion a year ago.

* Julius Bär Gruppe AG is expanding its presence in the U.K. by opening new offices in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow, while also establishing a small team in Belfast.

* Switzerland-based PostFinance AG acquired an 11% stake in online social trading platform wikifolio Financial Technologies AG. Vienna-based wikifolio operates in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

* Erste Group Bank AG saw a year-over-year decline in second-quarter net result attributable to owners of the parent to €362.5 million from €567.0 million.

* BAWAG PSK is actively looking to make acquisitions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as the region offers opportunities for consolidation, CEO Anas Abuzaakouk told Reuters. Separately, BAWAG's owners have hired Rothschild as an adviser for the Austrian lender's planned IPO, insiders told the newswire.


* AXA CEO Thomas Buberl said the company may examine potential acquisitions in asset management sector, The Times of London wrote.

* U.S. fixed income and derivatives trading venue Tradeweb chose Amsterdam as its new base for EU markets post-Brexit, the Financial Times reported.


* Spain's high court admitted a new complaint by Banco Popular Español SA shareholders, who are requesting that the bank's resolution and subsequent sale to Banco Santander SA be canceled, according to ABC. Meanwhile, Europa Press said the court had thrown out a complaint by a group of former Banco Popular customers who requested the immediate cancellation of the bank's sale.

* The La Caixa Banking Foundation will reorganize its board as part of the second phase of its strategic plan, which will also include the final deconsolidation of CaixaBank SA, Expansión reported. The deconsolidation process is expected to complete in December once the foundation has reduced its stake in CaixaBank to about 40% and complied with other ECB conditions.

* Novo Banco SA confirmed that it launched the sale process of life insurance unit GNB - Companhia de Seguros de Vida SA. The bank said it aims to agree on a deal in the fourth quarter.

* Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA is establishing a unit tasked with managing nonstrategic assets earmarked for sale by the Portuguese state-run lender as part of a restructuring, Jornal de Negócios reported. Nuno Martins will head the unit.

* Banif-Banco Internacional do Funchal SA said it failed to present company accounts for 2015 or 2016 due to a lack of resources, according to Jornal de Negócios.


* BPER Banca SpA said yesterday that it is considering a €1 billion loan write-down early next year to ease the disposals of bad loans, as it reported second-quarter net profit of €104.5 million, up from €33.8 million a year earlier.

* Banca Carige SpA said it will propose an increase in the size of its planned €500 million capital increase by up to €60 million to include a potential conversion of subordinated debt into equity, Reuters reported. The bank posted second-quarter net loss attributable to the parent company of €113.8 million, compared with a net loss of €144.5 million a year earlier.

* Mediobanca - Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA posted group net profit of €136.3 million for its fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, down year over year from €162.1 million.

* Credito Emiliano SpA reported second-quarter profit after minorities of €52.3 million, up from €23.8 million a year ago.

* Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA reached an agreement with unions for the first tranche of job cuts, with the first 1,800 workers leaving the lender by Oct. 31 out of a total of 4,800 that will leave the bank on a voluntary basis by 2021, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

* Greece is introducing new regulations aimed at easing restrictions on bank account withdrawals and allowing companies and individuals to open new accounts, Reuters reported. Beginning Sept. 1, bank customers will be able to take out lump sums of up to €1,800 per month, compared to a maximum limit of €840 every two weeks currently imposed.


* J.A.K. Andelskasse Østervrå Chairman Toni Carlsen said the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority is trying to force the company to merge with another bank, Finanswatch reported.


* The Czech National Bank raised its two-week repo rate by 20 basis points to 0.25% and lifted its Lombard rate by 25 basis points to 0.50%, while keeping the discount rate unchanged at 0.05%. The increases in domestic interest rates were the first since February 2008.

* Belarusian investor Viktor Prokopenya decided to withdraw from the Ukrainian central bank his request for permission to acquire PAO Sberbank of Russia's Ukrainian unit PJSC Sberbank. Prokopenya's investment company VP Capital officially said it resigned from purchasing the lender in order to focus on other projects and investments.

* The conversion of foreign-currency mortgage loans, in line with a new proposal tabled by Polish President Andrzej Duda, could push some banks, including Bank BGZ BNP Paribas SA, Raiffeisen Bank Polska SA and Deutsche Bank Polska SA, into losses, Rzeczpospolita wrote.

* Switzerland-based asset management company DDM Holding AG entered the Croatian market by acquiring two distressed asset portfolios in the country at the end of the first half, SEENews said. The company paid around €28 million for the two portfolios.


Asia-Pacific: NZ community trust buys Fisher Funds stake; Noah Holdings to expand overseas

Middle East & Africa: Standard Bank eyes new biz; Angola's Recredit to buy $2B of bad loans

Latin America: Bradesco faces online glitch; Temer eludes corruption trial

North America: Home Capital posts Q2 net loss; Invesco eyes retail funds biz

North America Insurance: Governors urge continuance of insurance payments; 3 insurers reveal '18 rates


CoCo calculations change as flops bring bank risks to forefront: As markets think through the write-off of Banco Popular's Additional Tier 1 securities and Bremer Landesbank's coupon cancellation, new perceptions of contingent convertibles bond risk are emerging.

Cariparma's 3-bank deal depends on Italian authorities, Crédit Agricole CFO says: Crédit Agricole's CFO told an analyst call that its acquisition of three troubled Italian savings banks would depend on the Italian authorities' ability to meet the conditions of the French group.

UniCredit lifted by government bailout of weaker rivals, CEO says: Jean-Pierre Mustier said the government's "proactive intervention ... significantly reduced" the risk premium for the Italian banking system.

AXA looks to Asia for growth through JVs, partnerships: AXA is eyeing Asia for future growth as it aims to expand its footprint in both property and casualty and life insurance through joint ventures with local partners.

Aviva looks to bolt-on acquisitions, debt reduction as cash pile grows: A large capital surplus means that the British insurer is in a position to consider both M&A and reductions to its debt, CEO Mark Wilson told journalists during a first-half earnings call.

Leo Magno, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Mike Hatzidakis, Ali Kayalar, Yael Schrage, Brian McCulloch, Praxilla Trabattoni, and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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