Westpac Bank, Australia’s second-biggest lender by market value, will buy Lloyds Bank’s assets in the country for A$1.45 billion ($1.37 billion) to add car leasing and corporate-loans. Bloomberg reports that Westpac will get a loan portfolio worth A$8.4 billion including equipment finance. Macquarie and Pepper Australia were also apparently in the running for the assets.
Daily Dispatches – Westpac buys Lloyds’ Australian assets for US$1.37 billion
“This is among the few remaining options in the country to add growth profitably,” Simon Burge, from Above The Index Asset Managemen, told Bloomberg. “The transaction is large enough to expand the loan book and yet not material enough to affect the debt profile of Westpac.”
Finance Asia reports that the People’s Bank of China and the European Central Bank have clinched a major currency deal making up to RMB250 billion (US$57 billion) available to the ECB, and up to 45 billion euros to the PBOC.
This is the third largest swap China has done, following those secured with Hong Kong and South Korea.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has banned Chan Ka Chun from re-entering the industry for life after she was convicted and sentenced to 23 months in prison for conspiring to make false instruments.
Asian Investor reports that Chan, a former associate director at Falcon Private Bank, conspired with two clients to issue four false letters on the bank’s letterheads showing proof of funds and credit facilities purportedly made available by the bank for the two clients to use.
THE World Economic Forum says that affirmative action has forced the country’s brightest talents to seek opportunities elsewhere, mostly in Singapore.
The Geneva-based body’s Human Capital Index, a measure of a country’s ability to develop a skilled workforce, ranked Malaysia 22nd in a field of 122 countries, according to the Business Times.
The report said that Malaysia’s affirmative action policies and its dependence on cheap migrant labour have kept it from developing a skilled workforce that can compete with that in smaller, richer Singapore.
The Business Times reports that China’s insurance regulator plans to raise insurers’ investment caps on real estate and infrastructure projects.
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) will limit insurers’ investment in real estate and infrastructure to 30% of total assets, up from the current cap of 20%. The CIRC will also re-classify insurers’ investment asset classes to bring them in line with international standards.