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Zurich's Q2 net income up 21%; AEGON swings to Q2 profit; KBC's Q2 profit rises

UK AND IRELAND

* Funds managed or advised by Blackstone Group LP's Tactical Opportunities business, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. have agreed to acquire Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s entire shareholding in U.K.-based insurer Rothesay Life Plc. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

* Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to take a 20% stake in Irish insurer FBD Holdings Plc, The Irish Times reported, citing FBD CEO Fiona Muldoon.

* Sam Woods, Bank of England deputy governor and CEO of the Prudential Regulation Authority, advocated the need for a transition period after Brexit, saying it would give British and EU-based companies more time to make necessary changes, Reuters reported.

* A review published yesterday by the Bank of England found "shortcomings" in the central bank's approach to identifying and managing conflicts of interest. The review included a series of recommendations, which Governor Mark Carney said will be implemented in full, including the appointment of a designated conflicts officer, to further improve the bank's approach in addressing conflicts of interest. Reuters and Sky News had reports.

* The Scottish and U.K. governments failed to reach an agreement regarding the repatriation of powers after Britain exits the EU, BBC News and Bloomberg News reported. The Scottish government noted that it would continue to reject the EU Withdrawal Bill in its current form.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* Zurich Insurance Group AG reported second-quarter after-tax net income attributable to shareholders of $896 million, up 21% from $739 million a year earlier. First-half after-tax attributable income was $1.50 billion, compared to the year-ago $1.61 billion.

* Hannover Re reported second-quarter group net income of €270.2 million, compared with the restated €216.8 million in the same period in 2016. Despite the increase, CEO Ulrich Wallin said the company is "faced with a market situation that remains challenging going forward." First-half group net income was €535.0 million, up from the year-ago restated income of €488.0 million.

* Raiffeisen Bank International AG reported second-quarter consolidated profit of €367 million, up from €96 million a year earlier. First-half consolidated profit was €587 million, compared to the year-ago consolidated pro forma profit of €236 million and published profit of €210 million.

* Aareal Bank AG reported second-quarter consolidated net income attributable to shareholders of the bank of €66 million, down from the adjusted €77 million in the year-ago period. For the first half, net income attributable to the bank's shareholders declined to €108 million from €132 million a year earlier. EPS for the period amounted to 1.68 cents, down from 2.08 cents in the first half of 2016.

* The supervisory board of Deutsche Börse AG is evaluating potential successors for CEO Carsten Kengeter as a result of the ongoing insider trading investigation against him, insiders told Wirtschaftswoche. CFO Gregor Pottmeyer and Deputy CEO Andreas Preuss have reportedly been named as potential successors.

* Deutsche Bank AG is reversing its strategy to reduce mortgage lending and eliminate related jobs in view of Germany's booming business in the sector, Handelsblatt reported. The bank is doing so much new business that it is even planning to increase staff.

FRANCE AND BENELUX

* AEGON NV reported second-quarter unaudited net income of €529 million, compared to a loss of €385 million in the year-ago period. The Dutch insurer also agreed to sell its Irish unit, Aegon Ireland Plc, to AGER Bermuda Holding Ltd., the holding company of the European operations of Athene Holding Ltd. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

* KBC Group NV reported second-quarter IFRS profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent of €855 million, up from €721 million in the same period of 2016. For the six months to June-end, the group posted IFRS attributable profit after tax of €1.49 billion, compared to the year-ago €1.11 billion.

* Dutch insurers NN Group NV and ASR Nederland NV reached an agreement with consumer goods company Unilever PLC for a buyback of cumulative preference shares in Unilever NV. The settlement of the transaction is expected to take place in the fourth quarter.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

* Customers who lost money after the resolution of Banco Espírito Santo SA announced they have come to a compensation agreement with Novo Banco SA, the good bank carved out of the lender, and the Portuguese government, and expect to recover up to 75% of their investments, Dinheiro Vivo wrote.

* Meanwhile, a group of institutional investors threatens to block Novo Banco's ongoing bond buyback, Economia Online reported. The success of the operation, as part of which the bank seeks to raise €500 million, is crucial to conclude the sale of Novo Banco to Lone Star. Altogether, these investors account for 30% of the bonds, which is more than enough to compromise the process and hinder the sale to the American fund.

* Spain's bad bank Sareb posted an income of €1.7 billion in the first half, up 21% year over year, El País wrote. The increase was due in part to the recovery of Spain's real estate market.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Totalkredit A/S elected a new board at an extraordinary general meeting, Finanswatch reported.

* Pension funds PKA, PensionDanmark Pensionsforsikrings A/S and Lægernes Pension joined forces with the holding company of Denmark's largest business group, A.P. Møller Holding A/S, to launch an investment fund that will focus on investments in Africa, Berlingske Business reported. The fund has received capital commitments of $550 million, and the goal is to double that amount.

EASTERN EUROPE

* JSC VTB Bank reported net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent of 31.0 billion Russian rubles for the second quarter, up from a restated profit of 16.0 billion rubles in the same period a year ago.

* Türkiye Vakiflar Bankasi TAO posted first-half net income of 2.12 billion Turkish lira, having set aside 536 million lira in tax provisions from its gross income for the period of about 2.66 billion lira.

* Russian search engine Yandex LLC and PAO Sberbank of Russia have inked a nonbinding term sheet to create an e-commerce joint venture on the Yandex.Market platform. Sberbank will invest 30 billion Russian rubles into Yandex.Market, valuing the latter at 60 billion rubles. Once the definitive documents are signed, the deal is expected to close by the end of 2017.

* The Russian central bank's unit FinCERT warned local lenders about a possible cryptovirus attack and recommended a number of security measures, Vedomosti reported.

* The Central Bank of the Russian Federation withdrew licenses held by Commercial Bank Anelik RU (LLC) and Chelyabinsk-based Bank for Social Development Reserv, and placed the lenders into provisional administration until the appointment of a receiver or a liquidator.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Mitsubishi UFJ arm eyes acquisitions; Mirae Asset to infuse capital into US unit

Middle East & Africa: Incumbent takes lead in Kenya election; Qatar Insurance unit to launch IPO

Latin America: Argentina maintains benchmark rate; Bancolombia income down 10.85%

North America: Pacific Premier buying Plaza Bancorp for $226.3M; Wells facing more scrutiny

North America Insurance: Goldman selling Rothesay Life stake; Anthem to submit data breach response plan

NOW FEATURED ON S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Munich Re could go shopping with €7.5B capital surplus, but will tread carefully: CEO Joachim Wenning said market prices for potential acquisition targets are very high and that Munich Re is not putting itself under any "time pressure" to acquire another company.

Ageas' UK unit recovering from Ogden hit, says CEO: After a period of decline prompted by the change in the discount rate used to calculate lump-sum compensation in U.K. personal injury claims, the Belgian insurer's British business is now improving, Bart de Smet told analysts during an earnings call.

ABN AMRO execs bemoan regulatory uncertainty: The Dutch lender has excess capital but cannot use it until key regulatory changes have been finalized, CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen and interim CFO Alexander Rahusen told analysts during a second-quarter earnings call.

Investment management drives growth for L&G, while general insurance lags: Legal & General Investment Management saw a 13% increase in operating profit to £194 million during the first half, but the general insurance business lagged, the insurer's senior executives told analysts during an earnings call.

David Hutter, Ed Meza, Meike Wijers, Esben Svendsen, Beata Fojcik, Thanasis Kakalis, Ali Kayalar, Heather O'Brian, Brian McCulloch, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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