* Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission lifted its suspension of UBS Securities Hong Kong Ltd to act as an IPO sponsor, a move that came two months earlier than planned. The Commission said a 10-month review concluded that UBS' governance and control processes are "generally well-designed."
* The Chinese State Council's financial stability and development committee will establish a regional coordination mechanism to better cooperate with local government officials to manage risk and financial supervision, and engage in information sharing and consumer protection, the People's Bank of China said in a statement.
* China is finalizing rules for online-only banks, Reuters reported, citing three sources. Under the newly proposed rules, overseas firms with existing local operations could be allowed to set up separate digital banks.
* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission is gathering feedback from major banks on draft rules for cash management products, Caixin reported.
* Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. will form a property investment fund for regional banks by the end of January, The Nikkei reported. Mizuho Trust will establish a special purpose company to purchase rental properties, such as condominiums, into which regional banks will be investing funds. The initial investment is expected to be about ¥5 billion.
* The total delinquency balance of Lime Asset Management's troubled fund product may be higher than 1.5 trillion won as the brokerage firm pulled money from the other fund products to fill in for the damage, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing industry sources.
* South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service placed sanctions on the Seoul branches of BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and HSBC Holdings PLC for violating rules in connection with forward exchange, currency swap and foreign exchange swap tenders, BusinessKorea reported.
* Ekniti Nitithanprapas resigned from his role as chairman of Krung Thai Bank PCL, effective Jan. 13, Post Today reported. He will assume the same role at TMB Bank PCL to oversee the planned merger with Thanachart Bank PCL.
* Meanwhile, Prasong Poontaneat, permanent secretary for the Thai Ministry of Finance, said he would succeed Ekniti Nitithanprapas as chairman of Krung Thai Bank PCL, Krungthep Turakij reported.
* Thailand's Kasikornbank PCL said the firm is in the process of studying ways to expand its banking business in Myanmar, Krungthep Turakij reported. The Thai lender is looking to acquire a 35% stake in Ayeyarwaddy Farmers Development Bank PCL, The Myanmar Times reported.
* A consortium led by Singapore-headquartered Enigma Group and comprising U.K.-based Enigma Global Holdings, Qrypt Technologies, 2359 Media Pte Ltd. and Blockchain Worx Pte.Ltd applied for a digital banking license in Singapore, The Business Times reported. Samuel Heng, a director of the U.K. firm, was designated chairman of the group.
* The office of Indonesia's attorney general detained five people in connection with suspected mismanagement at PT Asuransi Jiwasraya (Persero), including former president director Hendrisman Rahim, former finance director Harry Prasetyo and former head of investment division and finance Syahmirwan, The Jakarta Post reported.
* International Finance Corp. sold over 18.9 million shares in Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry & Trade, cutting its stake in the lender to 1.63%, Viet Nam News reported. IFC Capitalization Equity Fund trimmed its stake in the bank to 3.35% by selling 36.8 million shares.
* India's Canara Bank decided not to go through with its proposed Can Fin Homes Ltd. stake sale.
* Amazon.com Inc. injected 13.55 billion rupees into Amazon Pay (India) Pvt. Ltd. via the payments unit's Singapore- and Mauritius-registered parent entity, Mint reported.
* Yes Bank Ltd. plans to raise capital through multiple tranches of US$400 million to US$500 million, Mint reported, citing two sources. The bank is also considering a rights issue, qualified institutional placement and preferential allotment.
* The Reserve Bank of India removed its ban on CSB Bank Ltd., which prevented it from opening new branches, effective Jan. 10. The central bank implemented the ban in 2015 because of a delayed IPO.
* Punjab National Bank appointed Ernst & Young a consultant for its merger with Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India, Business Standard reported, quoting Ashok Kumar Pradhan, managing director and CEO of United Bank of India. The consultant will work to coordinate suggestions from the banks and could work on the bank's branding.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Australia's Volt Bank Ltd. hired Julian Sawyer, the former COO of U.K.-based Starling Bank Ltd., as an adviser, The Australian Financial Review’s Street Talk blog reported, citing CEO Steve Weston.
* The Australian Banking Association wants the country to build a comprehensive and "accountable regulatory structure" on data policy, The Australian Financial Review reported. Meanwhile, FinTech Australia, which represents startups, said the country's current approach, with regulatory action on data divided between different agencies, leads to "competing data priorities and compliance burdens."
* Wisr Ltd. is raising funds via an A$30 million placement and an A$5 million share purchase plan, The Australian Financial Review’s Street Talk blog reported. The placement was priced at 18.5 cents. Shaw and Partners was the lead manager for the deal.
* Brett Sutton, the Australian head of Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners has resigned, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Middle East & Africa: Bank Audi mulls unit sale; Beltone eyes expansion; SCB Cameroun gets new boss
Europe: Possible new Wirecard probe; Danske job cuts; Credit Suisse fossil fuel defense
Latin America: Integration for 3 LatAm bourses studied; Banco BV IPO scheduled for April
North America: JPMorgan's Q4'19 profit up YOY; Visa, Plaid in $5.3B deal
Global Insurance: Aussie bushfire losses jump; cyber tops business risks; Iran crash payout
R Sio, Sally Wang, Sarun Saelee, Cathy Hwang, Emi White and Aditya Suharmoko contributed to this report.
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