* Xiao Yuanqi, spokesman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said the commission will study and adopt more new measures for further opening up the financial sector in 2019 and attract more professional overseas insurance institutions to the country, www.cs.com.cn reported.
* The National Internet Finance Association of China said a monitoring platform for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing is currently being tested, Caijing reported. Financial and online payment institutions are required to register the status of their anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing processes to the People's Bank of China via the monitoring platform before Jan. 31.
* The balance of loans extended by China's banking industry increased 12.6% year over year to 140.6 trillion yuan, the People's Daily reported. The total assets of the domestic banking industry increased 6.4% year over year to 261.4 trillion yuan at the end of December 2018.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. will introduce social loan services, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The company will initially issue a total of ¥5.55 billion in loans to Japan-based investment company Healthcare & Medical Investment Corp., which would use the funds to acquire retirement homes and hospitals.
* Development Bank of Japan is looking to invest up to ¥1 billion into European venture capital in the innovative drug development space, The Nikkei reported. The company has signed an investment agreement with Newton Biocapital I Pricaf Privee SA, a Japanese-European venture capital fund focusing on early stage pharmaceuticals.
* According to data from the Bank of Korea, the total balance of savings deposit in the country reached an eight-year record high of 668 trillion won, the Seoul Business Newspaper reported.
* Generali Life Assurance (Thailand) PCL is aiming for 38% annual growth of first-year premiums generated through its agency channel as part of the firm's three-year strategic plan between 2019 and 2021, Post Today reported. The insurer is looking to increase the number of its agents to 3,600 from the current 2,300.
* Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong forecast the country's GDP growth at 4% in 2019 and said a repeat of the 1997 financial crisis is unlikely because of strong economic fundamentals, Post Today reported.
* PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia Tbk has appointed Hayunaji corporate secretary, replacing Ali Akbar Hutasuhut in the role, Infobank reported. Hayunaji moved from PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk.
* The Indonesian Financial Services Authority, or OJK, said bank lending in the country grew 12.9% in 2018, up from an 8.24% growth in the previous year, Kompas reported. OJK Chairman Wimboh Santoso said loan growth is expected to grow between 12% and 14% in 2019.
* Yes Bank Ltd. has appointed Brahm Dutt part-time nonexecutive chairman, whose term takes effect until July 4, 2020.
* Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd.'s net profit for the third quarter ended December 2018 increased to 1.04 billion rupees from 724.7 million rupees in the prior-year quarter.
* The Reserve Bank of India imposed a fine of 30 million rupees on Citibank NA - India Branches for its failure to comply with directions regarding the "fit and proper criteria" for bank directors.
* IDFC Bank Ltd. said its name was changed to IDFC First Bank Ltd., effective Jan. 12.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Managed Accounts Holdings Ltd. appointed Pamella Wilson Group COO and Neil Pattinson business development manager for New South Wales and Queensland. The company also said Mark Pozzi resigned as group CFO.
* National Australia Bank Ltd. restored its internet and mobile banking services after a five-hour disruption Jan. 11, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The service outage, which began around 1:30 p.m., impacted customers who could not gain access to their accounts.
* Major Australian banks have been persuading the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to reconsider a requirement for lenders to raise an additional A$75 billion through the issuance of Tier 2 bonds in order to meet capital requirements, The Australian Financial Review reported.
R Sio, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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