* The U.S. Treasury Department officially designated China a currency manipulator after the country allowed the yuan to fall below the 7-per-dollar threshold for the first time in 11 years in an apparent response to U.S. President Donald Trump's latest tariffs threat.
* HSBC Holdings PLC Chairman Mark Tucker said business operations in China are continuing as normal amid reports that the bank had been added to a blacklist of foreign companies for its alleged role in the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Finance Director Meng Wanzhou. During its second-quarter earnings call, HSBC also said CEO John Flint will leave the company, and announced a plan to cut its headcount by around 2%.
* The China Securities Regulatory Commission has banned GF Securities Co. Ltd. from expanding its over-the-counter derivatives business and adding new businesses for six months. The regulator imposed the ban after it found inadequacies in the brokerage firm's risk management of its Hong Kong subsidiary.
* Ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. is considering applying for a banking license, 21st Century Business Herald reported. According to media reports, the new entity will be registered in the Chinese city of Tianjin, and the Beijing Xiaoju Technology Co Ltd. subsidiary will hold a 30% stake in the company.
* Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. exercised its redemption option to redeem 20 billion yuan of Tier 2 capital bonds issued in the national interbank bond market in the two-day period to Aug. 5, 2014. The bank redeemed the bonds Aug. 5.
JAPAN AND KOREA
* Resona Bank Ltd. will invest ¥10 billion in its wholly owned Singaporean unit, Resona Merchant Bank Asia Ltd., in as early as August, The Nikkei reported. The investment is expected to triple Resona Merchant Bank Asia's equity capital, which would in turn boost its loanable funds.
* South Korea's Acuon Capital Corp. appointed President Lee Jung-moo CEO, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing the company.
* Woori Financial Group Inc. said in a regulatory filing that follow-up procedures to close the acquisition of ABL Global Asset Management Co. Ltd. are underway. The Financial Services Commission approved the acquisition July 24.
* TPG Capital Management LP said it appointed David Tan managing director to cover Southeast Asia. Tan will be based in Singapore and will work with Ganen Sarvananthan, co-managing partner, and Dominic Picone, partner of TPG Capital Asia. Tan was hired from KKR & Co. where he served as a director on the firm's private equity team.
* Kasikorn Research expects the Bank of Thailand's monetary policy committee to keep the policy interest rate unchanged Aug. 7, the research center said in a release. Bank of Ayudhya PCL expects the same, the country's Post Today reported separately.
* Meanwhile, analysts also expect the Thai central bank to keep its policy rate at 1.75% as it waits for the government to boost economic growth, a Reuters survey showed.
* Moody's has kept Yes Bank Ltd.'s ratings under review for downgrade as it waits to gain clarity on whether the Indian bank would be able to raise capital within the next half. Moody's placed the bank's Ba1 long-term foreign-currency issuer rating under review June 11 due to its exposure to weaker Indian finance companies.
* State Bank of India is looking for buyers for Videocon Industries Ltd.'s overseas oil and gas assets to recover debts from the troubled Indian company, Reuters reported, citing a newspaper advertisement. The consumer electronics company owes about 600 billion rupees in loans from its financial and operational creditors.
* State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar said the bank prefers to postpone the planned IPO of SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd. by one more year, Moneycontrol reported. The proposed flotation is now expected to take place in the financing year beginning April 2020.
* India-based IIFL Finance Ltd. will offer up to 10 billion rupees of bonds with an annual yield of 10.5%, the Press Trust of India reported, citing the company. The bonds will have a tenor of up to 69 months.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. will no longer give bonuses to employees — while top executives will continue to receive financial incentives — in an attempt to overhaul selling practices that had staff prioritizing sales bonuses over customers' interest, The Australian Financial Review reported. The bank will instead implement group performance dividends beginning Oct. 1.
* Deutsche Bank AG had been in talks with global investment banks to test potential buyers' appetite for its 50% stake in New Zealand-based Craigs Investment Partners Ltd., The Australian reported, citing sources. The German bank is looking to sell the stake as part of a global overhaul of its operations and strategy.
* Australia's Macquarie Group Ltd. will invest £30 million into U.K.-based Voneus, which offers wireless broadband in rural areas, through advisory and funding arm Macquarie Capital, The Australian Financial Review reported. The move comes less than a month after Macquarie won a bid to acquire British broadband provider KCOM Group PLC for £627 million.
* A Bloomberg survey showed that 18 out of 21 economists believe that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand would cut rates to a record low of 1.25% when it meets on Aug. 7. Nick Tuffley, chief economist at ASB Bank, said the central bank may further reduce rates to 1% in November to boost economic growth, which is at 2.5%, its slowest in five years, the report added.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: ADFG completes merger with Shuaa; S&P revises outlook on DR Congo
Europe: HSBC CEO resigns; ReAssure, Quilter reach £425M deal; UBI Q2 profit down 46.6%
Latin America: Caixa confirms search for card biz partner; BNDES to return additional 40B reais
North America: Fox to buy 67% stake in Credible Labs; Wells Fargo ups litigation loss range
Global Insurance: Berkshire earnings up; Fairfax eyes organic growth; ReAssure in £425M deal
R Sio, Emily Lai, Jonathan Cheah, Jaekwon Lim and Santibhap Ussavasodhi contributed to this report.
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