Wirecard, the German payments processor, is reported to have entered the bidding to acquire its UK rival Worldpay. Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Wirecard's bid values Worldpay at $9.4 billion.
Wirecard joins private-equity bidders, including a joint proposal from Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman, in the hunt to acquire Worldpay, which is also preparing for a possible IPO. Worldpay is owned by Advent International and Bain Capital. A number of potential buyers have shown interest in Worldpay and it is thought that a decision could be announced next month. Last month, Worldpay named Barclays deputy chairman Michael Rake as its next chairman.
China's crisis has led to a crackdown on financial market malpractice, with authorities there putting five of the country's leading brokerages under investigation.
According to the Financial Times, Haitong Securities, GF Securities, Huatai Securities and Founder Securities all issued statements confirming the probe by the China Securities Regulatory Commission for "failure to review and verify the identity of clients in accordance with rules".
Separately, eight people connected to the country's largest broker, Citic Securities, are under investigation by Chinese police for "illegal securities trading", according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
Meanwhile, in its latest bid to tackle the current crisis, China introduced an interest-rate cut and a reduction of bank reserve-requirement ratios. However, the interventions brought no benefit as equities continued to plunge.
In Nigeria, the managing director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), Segun Agbaje has said the country's central bank needs to devalue the naira as the currency's exchange rate is unsustainable due to falling oil prices and this week's rout of global markets. Mr Agbaje said a devaluation of about 10 percent against the dollar would be enough for the naira to settle.
Meanwhile, GTBank declared a profit before tax of 63.11 billion nairas in its half year results to the Nigerian and London stock exchanges. Gross earnings for the period grew by 15 percent to 153 billion nairas, driven primarily by growth in interest income.
In Egypt, Commercial International Bank (CIB) says it has received approval from the central bank to acquire Citibank's retail banking portfolio. Private sector bank CIB is the largest bank listed on the Egyptian stock market.
Citigroup announced its plan to exit its consumer businesses in 11 countries, including Egypt, in October last year and signed an agreement with CIB in June for the latter to acquire Citibank Egypt's retail banking and card businesses.
The Reserve Bank of India's deputy governor R Gandhi has said that four foreign banks have applied to set up wholly owned subsidiaries in the country, according to the Financial Express.
"Several discussions are going on. I think four have already applied. We are processing the applications," he said. Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) is one of the banks that has reportedly applied to the RBI to set up a wholly owned subsidiary.
Mr Gandhi also said that the central bank will announce the banks it considers to be systemically important by the end of this month. He added that the next step in the country's banking revolution would see the RBI regulate for 'on-tap' licensing, following the recent approval of 11 payments banks licences. On-tap licensing will allow companies to apply for a banking licence at their convenience.
In the UK, complaints to the financial ombudsman about fee-paying packaged current accounts have soared to 1,000 a week from 50 a week in 2014, making them the second most complained about financial product after PPI.
The Guardian reports that the Financial Ombudsman Service is receiving complaints in batches from claims management firms. On 29 July, Barclays revealed that it was setting aside £250 million for potential compensation claims, while RBS, on 30 July, said it was lifting its provision to £307 million.
Back to China, where one of the country's P2P lending platforms has received more than $200 million in funding, led by Standard Chartered. Dianrong.com, which is co-led by the state-owned China Fintech Fund, received $207 million in C-round funding, which is believed to be the biggest equity investment in a Chinese P2P finance venture yet.
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