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Account Update from the Asian Banker E-Newsletter (September 1, 2003)

General Press Releases วันจันทร์ที่ ๑ กันยายน พ.ศ. ๒๕๔๖ ๑๗:๓๑ น.
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Regional/International
CITIBANK warned customers not to fall for an e-mail scam that threatened to shut down their checking accounts if they failed to provide their social security numbers.
DRESDNER BANK plans to cut an additional EUR1 billion ($1.089 billion) in costs by 2005.They will include a further 4,700 job cuts of the 11,000 already announced.
HSBC Group expects to employ 8,000 people at its back offices in India, Malaysia and China by December 2003
Australia
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK has acquired 34.3 million shares in insurer AMP at A$6 per share, taking its interest in the company to 5.4 percent. more
ST GEORGE BANK upgraded its 2003 full year earnings per share (EPS) growth target to a range of 13 to 14 percent.
China

The China Banking Regulatory Commission said it wants to encourage foreign banks to buy into domestic lenders. It is considering raising the ceiling on foreign ownership to a maximum of 25 percent from 15 percent.

Shanghai plans to upgrade its payment system to make payments convenient for the many foreigners expected to attend Shanghai Expo 2010. Plans include the addition of 50,000 POS terminals in the next few years.
BANK OF AMERICA plans to open an operations centre in Guangzhou by the end of the year, transferring jobs from Hong Kong and Singapore to take advantage of lower costs in the country.
Hong Kong

THE HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION said it will focus on wealth management to boost growth in the coming year. The bank plans to increase the number of sales staff and launch new investment products to defend its profit margin.

Taiwan's CHINATRUST FINANCIAL HOLDING is negotiating to acquire International Bank of Asia from Arab Banking Corp. Chinatrust has offered to buy a 55 percent stake in IBA for HK$4.7 billion ($602.6 million).
India

BANK OF INDIA will be the only institution required to comply with the Basel II accord. According to Reserve Bank of India, the accord should apply only to banks whose cross-border business exceeds 20 percent of their total business.

ORIENTAL BANK OF COMMERCE has tied up with Oriental Insurance Company to sell general insurance products.
Indonesia
The government is expected to sell 30 percent of its stake in BANK RAKYAT INDONESIA for about $353.1 million by November 2003.
BANK INDONESIA expects its lending rate to drop to around 13 percent by the year-end, following an interest-rate cut by the central bank.
BANK MANDIRI plans to restructure its equity to remove its earnings deficit and pay dividends this year.
BANK BUANA plans to issue 1.26 billion shares at RP250 ($0.029) each as bonus shares and dividends. For every 500 shares held, investors will receive 128.9 bonus shares and 41.9 dividend shares.
Japan
SUMITOMO TRUST & BANKING will launch a trust product for the wealthy in mid-September. It expects to collect between 1 billion yen ($8.535 million) and 5 billion yen ($42,678 million) in funds.

MITSUI TRUST Holdings is planning to close seven branches of Chuo Mitsui Trust and Banking Co by the end of 2004 fiscal year, bringing its branch network to 65, or less than 40 percent of the number during its peak of operations.

UFJ BANK expects to start running ATMs in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka on a 24-hour basis in September.
Korea
HANA BANK said it is in talks with Japan's SHINSEI BANK and other investors to sell an 18.4 percent stake.
KOOKMIN BANK and ING Group are set to build their strategic alliance in insurance and asset management under ING's current shareholding in Kookmin.
Malaysia
CITIBANK introduced bancassurance to enhance its wealth-management services.
Maybank said its internet banking system, Maybank2u.com, has achieved a total of one million registered users. More than 2 million transactions are performed online on a monthly basis.
OCBC BANK expects its unit trust sales to reach RM1 billion ($263.192 million) by the end of the year. The bank now distributes 50 different funds and has over 10,000 unit-trust customer accounts.
Philippines
BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS signed an agreement on a possible merger of its majority-owned reinsurance unit, Universal Re, with domestic insurer Malayan Insurance Corp.

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE BANK plans to raise 3 billion, ($54.8 million) to 4 billion ($73.1 million) for expansion in the first quarter of 2004. The bank is looking to offer about 20 percent of its total equity to the public.

Taiwan
The Ministry of Finance said it will hold public auctions to sell CHUNG SHING BANK's NPLs by the end of 2003.
Thailand
The Finance Ministry and BANK OF THAILAND have allowed foreign banks to open up to four branches nationwide under new guidelines.
THE ISLAMIC BANK OF THAILAND plans to double its registered capital to 2 billion baht ($48.35 million) and list on the stock exchange next year.
--The Asian Banker E-Newsletter (Sep 1, 2003)--

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