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Thailand’s top banks post faster quarterly profit growth, face fee income strains

* Kasikornbank’s Q1 profit up 5.8 pct, Bangkok Bank’s up 8.4 pct * SCB’s profit falls 4.6 pct on rise in digital spending * Banks waiving digital fees amid competition from non-bank players BANGKOK, April 20 (Reuters) – Two of Thailand’s top banks posted a faster pace of quarterly profit growth as an expanding economy […]

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RPT-UPDATE 4-Australia vows crackdown on corporate misconduct as bank inquiry claims AMP scalp

(Repeats to fix technical glitch) * AMP CEO Craig Meller steps down in wake of company testimony * AMP has admitted its advice business lied to regulator for years * Inquiry has also heard CBA charged dead customers * Nurse gave evidence about losing her home on Westpac advice By Byron Kaye and Paulina Duran […]

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Australia shares lose steam as materials retreat; NZ down

* Aussie shares snap 5 sessions of gains * Materials drag as commodity prices ease overnight * NZ down as healthcare stocks drop By Chris Thomas April 20 (Reuters) – Australian shares eased on Friday as the recent commodity prices rally paused for breath, while a weak finish on Wall Street overnight, fuelled by concerns […]

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SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as tech sell-off drags broader Asia lower; Philippines recovers

* S’pore shares on track for weekly gain of 2 pct * Philippine shares up 0.8 pct By Nikhil Nainan April 20 (Reuters) – Most Southeast Asian stock markets slipped on Friday tracking broader Asia which was hit by a sell-off in technology stocks, while Philippine shares regained some ground following a sharp fall in […]

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China stocks fall, banks and airlines weigh; Hong Kong down

* SSEC -1.2 pct, CSI300 -1.0 pct, HSI -0.4 pct * HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 2.7 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used -6.2 pct * FTSE China A50 -0.9 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index +0.1 pct SHANGHAI, April 20 (Reuters) – China stocks slid on Friday morning, dragged down by banking and transport […]

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China money rates move higher despite cut in bank reserve requirements

SHANGHAI, April 20 (Reuters) – China’s primary money rates ended the week higher despite net liquidity injections and a surprise cut in banks’ reserve requirements by the country’s central bank, as demand for cash remained strong. The volume-weighted average rate of the benchmark seven-day repo traded in the interbank market, considered the best indicator of […]

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Japanese companies see big things in small-scale industrial robots

* Collaborative robots, or “cobots,” work alongside humans * Danish start-up pioneered cobot market, holds 60 percent share * Market set to grow over $10 billion in next decade by some estimates * Japanese robot makers aim to expand through M&A, partnership By Makiko Yamazaki TOKYO, April 20 (Reuters) – A two-armed robot in a […]

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Australia’s NAB to take $582 million restructuring charge in half-year results

(Reuters) – National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) said on Friday it will take A$755 million ($582.26 million) in restructuring-linked costs against its cash earnings in its half-year results. FILE PHOTO: The National Australia Bank Logo is seen on a branch in central Sydney, Australia, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz/File Photo The figure primarily pertains to workforce […]

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China Huarong confirms chairman departs after probe, shares tumble

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Shares in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd (2799.HK) fell more than 10 percent on Friday after the large state-owned bad debt manager confirmed its chairman Lai Xiaomin, who is under investigation for alleged corruption, had stepped down. FILE PHOTO – China Huarong Asset Management Co Chairman Lai Xiaomin listens to a […]

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UPDATE 1-India’s Fortis gets unsolicited offer from KKR-backed Radiant Life Care

(Adds offer details, background) April 20 (Reuters) – The takeover battle for India’s Fortis Healthcare Ltd intensified after KKR-backed Radiant Life Care Private Ltd entered the fray on Thursday with an offer to buy more than a quarter of the cash-strapped company’s hospital business. In its non-binding offer, Radiant has proposed to make an investment […]

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UPDATE 1-Philippine central bank says policy actions appropriate

(Adds more quotes from central bank governor, background) MANILA, April 20 (Reuters) – Philippine Central Bank Governor Nestor Espenilla said on Friday the monetary authority is satisfied with its current policy actions despite a weaker currency, rising inflation and falling stocks. “In my view, the sum of BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) actions remains appropriate […]

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Australia vows crackdown on corporate misconduct as bank inquiry claims AMP scalp

SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian inquiry into financial sector misconduct claimed its first scalp on Friday as the chief executive of the country’s largest wealth manager stepped down over revelations of board-level deception and misappropriation of funds. FILE PHOTO: Craig Meller, the CEO of AMP, briefs the media on the company’s full year results in […]

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Philippine central bank says policy actions appropriate

MANILA, April 20 (Reuters) – Philippine Central Bank Governor Nestor Espenilla said on Friday the monetary authority is satisfied with its current policy actions despite a weaker currency, rising inflation and falling stocks. “In my view, the sum of BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) actions remain appropriate for the situation,” Espenilla told reporters in a […]

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U.S. Treasury weighs emergency powers to curb Chinese investments: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury is considering ways to restrict sensitive Chinese investments in the United States by invoking an emergency powers law and bringing forward some security review reforms for corporate acquisitions, a senior Treasury official said on Thursday. A China yuan note is seen in this illustration photo May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas […]

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UPDATE 1-New York governor presses banks, insurers to weigh risk of NRA ties

(Adds statement from NRA lawyer) By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday ramped up pressure on banks and insurers to revisit whether their ties to the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups harm their reputations and the public interest. Cuomo, a Democrat, noted that […]

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China Huarong confirms chairman departs after probe, shares to resume trading

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd (2799.HK), one of China’s largest state-owned bad debt managers, said late on Thursday that its chairman Lai Xiaomin, who is under investigation for alleged corruption, had stepped down. FILE PHOTO – China Huarong Asset Management Co Chairman Lai Xiaomin listens to a question from a reporter […]

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RPT-COLUMN-Record $164 trillion global debt – a big number, but not a big worry: McGeever

(Repeats column first moved on Thursday. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters) By Jamie McGeever LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) – Global debt has never been higher, the IMF said this week, urging countries to take advantage of current strong GDP growth rates and reduce it before economic and […]

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UPDATE 2-Shares in NZ’s Fletcher Building rise 3 pct as trading halt lifted

* Fletcher shares rise 3.5 pct after trading halt lifts * Institutional offer raises NZ $515 mln * Capital raise part of re-set to deal with cost blowouts (Adds investor comment) By Charlotte Greenfield WELLINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) – Shares in New Zealand’s Fletcher Building rose as much as 3.5 percent on Friday after a […]

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U.S., Colombian probe targets Venezuela food import program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Colombia on Thursday cited new evidence of fraud in Venezuela’s food import program for the needy, saying part of the funds often ended up in the hands of corrupt government officials after being funneled through businesses in nearby countries. Army officials and others in Venezuela tasked with distributing […]

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Australian banking inquiry claims first scalp as AMP CEO steps down

SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian inquiry into misconduct in the financial sector claimed its first major scalp on Friday as the country’s largest wealth manager, AMP Ltd (AMP.AX), announced its chief executive is stepping down after revelations of failures in its advice business. FILE PHOTO: The logo of AMP Ltd, Australia’s biggest retail wealth manager, […]