*Bank of America Corp.will cut more than20 investmentbanking jobs in Asia, starting in the week of Sept. 26, Reuters , citing "peoplefamiliar with the matter." Bankers to be laid off include those handlingclient coverage and deals in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
*Bank of India sold an18% stake in its joint venture StarUnion Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd. with to theJapanese partner, the Press Trust of India reported,citing a regulatory filing. The bank's stake in the venture decreased to 30%from 48%, subject to regulatory approvals.
*China approved trading in credit default swaps in the country's interbankmarket for the first time in an effort to spread credit risks, the South China Morning Post . The NationalAssociation of Financial Market Institutional Investors, a unit of the People'sBank of China, said that the approval covers swaps tied to debt of companies,countries or multinational agencies.
*Chinese authorities are investigating executives at North Korea's KwangsonBanking Corp. over suspicions that they have been involved in illegal trade tofinance procurement of arms and materials related to North Korea's bannednuclear program, Reuters reported,citing South Korea's JoongAng Daily.
*National Bank ofPakistan signed an agreement with UnionPay International tocollaborate in offering debit and prepaid cards, the Associated Press ofPakistan reported.
*The China Securities Regulatory Commission said that fund-of-funds firms musthave more than 80% of assets invested in publicly offered funds, and the marketvalue of each fund should not account for more than 20% of a firm's net FOFassets, Reuters reported.FOF firms are not allowed to hold each other's funds.
*The Shanghai office of the China Banking Regulatory Commission issued a noticethat commercial banks should stop cooperating with real estate agenciesengaging in irregular activities, as nonperforming loans frequently result frompersonal home loans recommended by real estate agencies to banks, Caixin reported. Bannedactivities include real estate agencies or their staff making down payments,providing other forms of financing and forging mortgages.
*Shang Fulin, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said that 14proposed private-sector banks are awaiting regulatory approval, the Shanghai Securities News reported.
*The Asset Management Association of China said that publicly offered funds in the country grew to a record 8.53trillion yuan at the end of August, Reuters reported.Money market funds accounted for more than half the total.
*The China Banking Regulatory Commission said that China's 133 city commercialbanks held 25.2 trillion yuan in total assets at the end of June, up 40% from ayear earlier, China Business News reported. Theiroutstanding loans totaled 9.5 trillion yuan, while deposits amounted to 15.6trillion yuan. The banks' off-balance-sheet assets, meanwhile, expanded to morethan 10 trillion yuan.
*Guotai Junan Securities Co.Ltd. is looking to issue up to 1.04 billion shares in Hong Kong,Reuters reported,citing a stock exchange filing.
*Mega International CommercialBank Co. Ltd. plans to create a money-laundering prevention center,an overseas operation management division and a business management division,the Taipei Times reported.The bank said it will place the oversight of risk controls directly under itschairman. Meanwhile, FirstCommercial Bank Co. Ltd. will replace a number of ATMs and workwith KPMG to enhance information security.
JAPAN AND KOREA
*Rakuten Bank Ltd.introduced a domestic wire transfer service utilizing messaging app Viber, The Nikkei reported.Viber users, estimated to number about 800 million worldwide, can each send upto ¥300,000 from a bank account linked to the software to a Rakuten Bankaccount for free.
* Accordingto the Bank of Japan, household financial assets in the country decreased againin the quarter ended June, the first two consecutive quarterly declines inseven years, The Nikkei reported.Household financial assets declined 1.7% to ¥1.746 trillion year over year atthe end of June.
*Consumer financing institutions in South Korea, excluding credit cardcompanies, saw their net profit increase a combined 26% in the first half, theYonhap News Agency reported,citing data from the country's Financial Supervisory Service.
*South Korea's Financial Services Commission will likely suspend or cancel a plan to form a 1.3trillion won special purpose fund for the country's shipbuilding industry asdebt at major shipbuilders exceeds a 400% threshold, the Chosun Ilbo reported.
* Krungthep Turakij reported thatThailand's Finance Ministry plans to issue 149 billion baht of bonds withmaturities of up to 50 years between October and December.
*The Stock Exchange of Thailand has amended its listing criteria in a bid tostrengthen the growth of the country's capital market, effective Jan. 1, 2017, Krungthep Turakij reported, citingPresident Kesara Manchusree. Also, SET and Market for Alternative Investmentwill require all listed companies to set the par value of their common stock atleast 0.50 baht per share, effective Oct. 1.
* Inresponse to the Thai government's plan to offer state officials healthinsurance, instead of having them use the traditional medical care system, AnonVangvasu, president of the Thai General Insurance Association, said theorganization may initially propose to provide coverage for newly hiredofficials in a pilot program, KrungthepTurakij reported.
* Bisnis Indonesia reportedthat the Indonesian government is looking to set up state holding companies inthe energy, mining, and banking sectors in 2016, citing Coordinating EconomicsMinister Darmin Nasution. In banking, PT Danareksa, ,PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia(Persero) Tbk, PTBank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk, and PT Bank Tabungan Negara (Persero) Tbk will participate.
*The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry aims to increase Indonesianexports 500% to US$750 million by 2030, Kompasreported,citing Benny Soetrisno, vice chairman of trade at the organization.
*Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Muhammad Ibrahim said changes in the value of thecountry's currency should be viewed from a long-term perspective, The Star reported.Short-term movements can be a reaction to news and market sentiment, instead ofreflecting economic fundamentals, he said.
*CIMB Group HoldingsBhd. Chairman Nazir Razak said the Malaysian government shoulddemonstrate fiscal prudence in its budget for 2017, The Sun reported.
*Security Bank Corp.President and CEO Alfonso Salcedo Jr. said the Philippine bank is aiming to maintainloan growth at about 25% for the rest of the year, the Philippines' BusinessWorld reported.
*India Ratings and Research expects the Reserve Bank of India to cut rates inDecember, after sitting tight at its upcoming bi-monthly meeting in October, asby then the U.S. presidential election will be over and there will be moreclarity on retail inflation and U.S. rate policy, The Hindu Business Line reported.
*The Indian government removed Sushil Muhnot from his role as chairman andmanaging director of Bank ofMaharashtra, The HinduBusiness Line reported.Ravindra Marathe will replace him, effective Oct. 1. While it is not clear whatprompted the dismissal of Muhnot, which came four days before he was due toretire, political pressure is thought to have played a role. Apparent abuse ofpowers by Muhnot has raised red flags to the Finance Ministry, although bankindustry officials say any such misconduct was over minor matters.
*Vijaya Bank will open150 new outlets during fiscal 2016-2017, TheHindu Business Line reported,citing Executive Director B.S. Rama Rao. The lender currently has 1,950branches.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
*Australian Labor Party's Member of Parliament Pat Conroy said he will questionchief executives at banks in the country during a hearing in the week of Oct. 3to understand why they have higher ROEs than banks in other countries, The AustralianFinancial Review reported.
*Zurich Insurance GroupLtd. unit ZurichAustralian Insurance Ltd. completed all procedures to receive court and regulatoryapproval for the acquisition of Macquarie Group Ltd. life insurance business.
* The Australian Finance Group is teaming up with U.S.-basedfintech firm Biz2Credit to roll out a new lending platform for small businessesin early 2017, The Australian reported.
IN OTHER PARTSOF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Algeria's privatization push; Ghana's M&A drive
Europe: Kerviel's penalty cut; HSBC succession planning; no state help forDeutsche
Latin America: Banco Sofisa launches tender offer for delisting; Inbursa buys smallstake in Spanish bank
North America: Scam at Wells aggravated by arbitration clauses, say senators;Stumpf may walk away with $74M regardless
North America Insurance: Nebraska insurer quits ACA exchange; insurance M&A struggles tokeep up with 2015 pace
Sally Wang,Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to thisreport.
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