* Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been arrested as part of an investigation into allegations of bribery and abuse of power, The Wall Street Journal reported. The arrest comes after a judge for the Seoul Central District Court ruled that the former leader should be detained as prosecutors reportedly had concerns that Park would destroy evidence.
* China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd. posted a 2.71% year-over-year increase in net profit attributable to equity shareholders to 30.33 billion yuan for 2016, up from 29.53 billion yuan in 2015. EPS remained at 63 fen per share.
* China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd. reported a 3.76% year-over-year increase in net profit for 2016 to 47.84 billion yuan, or 1.31 yuan per share, from 46.11 billion yuan, or 1.27 yuan per share, for the prior year.
* The People's Bank of China will conduct an assessment of macro-prudential risks to regulate banks' asset liabilities, Reuters reported. Some lenders are said to have been borrowing money at all costs to sustain their liquidity.
* Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. is waiting for regulatory approval to set up an asset management company for acquiring the bank's nonperforming assets, Caixin reported. The company's nonperforming loans had risen to 230.8 billion yuan, while its NPL ratio decreased to 2.37% at the end of 2016.
* A number of banks have shown interest in China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding Ltd.'s three-year term syndicated loans, Reuters reported, citing sources. Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. is the exclusive leading bank and booking bank for the syndicated loan case.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Japan Bank for International Cooperation will provide a ¥53 billion syndicated loan for the Iraqi government's utility project with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., marking its return to Iraq after 31 years, The Sankei Shimbun reported.
* Financial companies based in Japan's Kyushu region are making a push into the Asian market, The Nikkei reported. Kyushu Financial Group Inc. is betting on China, while Nishi-Nippon Financial Holdings Inc. is seeking to expand from a representative office recently set up in Singapore.
* Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ will launch an international wire service using blockchain technology in early 2018 with six international partners including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, The Nikkei reported.
* ORIX Bank Corp. will relaunch its investment trust business in April in collaboration with Robeco, a Dutch asset management company it acquired in 2013, The Nikkei reported. ORIX Bank withdrew from investment trusts in 2009.
* Bank of Korea registered a 24.4% year-over-year increase in net income to 3.38 trillion won in 2016, Yonhap News Agency reported. A drop in interest expenses due to low interest rates was the main contributor to the central bank's biggest annual profit since 2012.
* Thailand's Fiscal Policy Office said it expects the Thai economy to expand by 4% in 2017, citing a reviving export sector as a contributing factor, Manager Daily reported. The country's Ministry of Finance, however, has kept its estimate at 3.6%.
* Siam Commercial Bank PCL said it is attempting to expand its client base to between 7 million and 8 million customers from the current number of between 2 million and 3 million, Post Today reported.
* The Bank of Thailand approved Government Housing Bank's proposal to appoint three senior executive vice presidents, Manager Daily reported. Pissanuporn Khaoprasert was appointed senior EVP for strategy planning, Kanung Krutarote was named senior EVP for debt management and operations, and Lerpong Chuprayoon was appointed senior EVP for branch operations and acting senior EVP for Bangkok and the bank's metropolitan branch network.
* Bank Negara Malaysia conducted raids on 14 money services business operators in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, arresting 12 people and seizing more than 18 million ringgit related to suspected illegal money offenses, the New Straits Times reported.
* UnionBank of the Philippines is planning to launch investment products focused on family wealth management in foreign currency denominations, in partnership with wealth and asset manager Lombard Odier Asset Management (USA) Corp, BusinessWorld reported.
* YES BANK Ltd. said it issued 32,711,000 shares at a price of 1,500 Indian rupees per share to qualified institutional buyers. It was earlier reported that the bank will raise US$750 million through this issue.
* Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. plans to issue 62 million equity shares. The bank said it may issue the shares by way of a rights issue, follow-on public offering or qualified institutional placement, among others. The issuance is subject to necessary approvals.
* A computer bug in the Unified Payment Interface application led to 250 million rupees being moved out of Bank of Maharashtra accounts, Press Trust of India reported, citing A.P. Hota, managing director and CEO of National Payment Corp. of India. Corrective measures for the recovery of funds are underway.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Bank of Queensland Ltd.'s cash earnings for the six months ended February 28 fell 2% to A$175 million, citing "intense competition." Statutory net profit after tax, meanwhile, declined 6% to A$161 million.
* Financial Services Council CEO Sally Loane said more regulations for Australia's life insurance industry are not required, noting that self-regulation is cheaper and effective, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The comments came after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission called for sweeping changes to consumer protection laws amid an investigation into life insurance company CommInsure.
* Australian lenders are more concerned about tighter prudential regulations than failing house prices, The Australian reported, citing a survey from Deloitte about mortgages in the country.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: BoG governor resigns; Abu Dhabi fund loses US arbitration
Europe: Brexit reactions; FCA spares banks; Lloyd's of London profit flat
Latin America: Banco Patagonia IPO still in play; Brazil plans 42B reais spending freeze
North America: Synovus may buy Cabela's card portfolio; merchants get partial win on swipe fees
North America Insurance: Ryan unwilling to engage with Democrats; Minnesota reinsurance bill up for vote
Sally Wang, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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