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  • SHANGHAI, Dec 20- China has cut red-tape for foreign bank branch openings and entry into renminbi business, state media said on Saturday, the latest in a series of measures to liberalise the banking sector. Banks now no longer have to first establish a China representative office before setting up other branches. China has been working to liberalise its...

  • Low oil prices: Double-edged sword for banks Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 4:35 PM ET
    Workers check the valves at the Taq Taq oil field in Arbil, Iraq, in this Aug. 16, 2014 photo.

    Less cash flow from oil companies could pinch loan payments to banks but more gas savings in consumers' wallets will create new business.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 19- The U.S. dollar hit its highest level against major currencies in over 8-1/ 2 years on Friday on diverging monetary policy between the Federal Reserve and other major central banks, and bullish dollar positions heading into the end of the year. The euro hit a 28- month low against the greenback, while the dollar hovered near a 28- month high against...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 19- Russia's central bank said on Friday it had raised the limit on foreign exchange swap operations to $10 billion from $2 billion for Dec. 19 to alleviate a shortage of roubles in the money market. "This measure contributes to narrowing the spread between the interbank market rates and the Bank of Russia key rate," the central bank said in a statement.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 19- U.S. inflation will likely still be "well below" the Federal Reserve's 2- percent target next year, but that won't stop the central bank from raising interest rates, a top policymaker said on Friday. "I would say at this point that June 2015 seems like a reasonable starting point for thinking about when liftoff could happen," San Francisco Federal...

  • MEXICO CITY, Dec 19- Mexican central bankers worry that a sustained weakening of the peso could stoke inflation and say risks to growth and prices have deteriorated on falling oil prices, slack consumer demand and weak economic activity, minutes showed on Friday. The central bank intervened on Dec. 11, selling $200 million to prop up the currency.

  • Pisani: Energy short-covering, banks lag  Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 1:15 PM ET

    CNBC's Bob Pisani reports on encouraging buying in energy, and why banks are the problem.

  • FRANKFURT, Dec 19- The European Central Bank will not hesitate to act if needed, ECB Executive Board member Peter Praet said in an opinion piece on Friday, touching on the possibility of the central bank buying sovereign bonds. With euro zone inflation at 0.3 percent, far below the ECB's target of just under 2 percent, the central bank is ready to review its policy...

  • The euro hovered near a 28- month low against the greenback, while the dollar touched a more than one-week high against the yen in a continuation of dollar strength on the back of the Fed's hints at tighter monetary policy on Wednesday and looser policies in Europe, Japan and Switzerland. "Looking into 2015, the prospect of European Central Bank quantitative...

  • HONG KONG, Dec 19- Hong Kong's de facto central bank said it found no evidence of rigging in Hong Kong's foreign exchange benchmark following an 18- month investigation into the trading operations of 10 banks. However, it identified "inappropriate" behavior by individual traders at Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank. The HKMA began the investigation into...

  • Bankers unhappy with their bonus get set to sue Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 5:02 AM ET

    Bankers disappointed with their Christmas bonuses could fuel a surge in legal cases bought against their employers, a law firm warned.

  • MOSCOW, Dec 19- Russia's lower house of parliament passed a draft law that would give the banking sector a capital boost of up to 1 trillion roubles on Friday, part of measures to shield banks from Western economic sanctions. Russia's financial sector is reeling from the country's slide towards recession and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis that have...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 19- Russia's lower house of parliament passed on Friday a draft law that would give the banking sector a capital boost of up to 1 trillion roubles. It will now need to be passed by the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. The draft law is seen as a response to a dramatic slide in the rouble and Western sanctions over...

  • MOSCOW, Dec 19- Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday that because of the rouble's slide the country's banks have insufficient capital to meet their capital adequacy ratios. The rouble is down around 45 percent against the dollar so far this year. Russia's government has submitted a draft law to parliament that could grant the banking sector a...

  • BANGKOK, Dec 19- Bangkok Bank PCL and Siam Commercial Bank will offer a $1.51 billion bridge loan to Thai Union Frozen Products to finance the purchase of U.S. tuna firm Bumble Bee Seafoods, executives from the two banks said. A senior executive at Bangkok Bank confirmed that Thailand's top lender would participate in providing the loan to Thai Union.

  • *Asia shares buoyed as Wall St surges for second day. SYDNEY, Dec 19- Japanese stocks led Asian markets higher on Friday, after Wall Street boasted its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 amid relief the Federal Reserve was in no rush to start hiking interest rates. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei climbed 1.9 percent to erase much of it's recent losses, while Australia's...

  • Dec 18- U.S. banks will be able to do more business in Cuba after the United States and the island nation agreed to restore diplomatic ties, but trade groups said their members will be slow to ramp up operations, fearing big penalties for mistakes. The U.S. Treasury Department said it expects to ease its sanction rules for banking in Cuba in the coming weeks.

  • Goldman names new co-head of investment banking Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 3:55 PM ET

    Goldman Sachs has promoted one of its star deal makers to become a co-head of its investment bank, The New York Times reports.

  • Bob Diamond, Atlas Merchant Capital founder and CEO, provides insight to his firm's view of the banking model.

  • The greenback hit a 28- month high against the Swiss franc at 0.9847 franc after the Swiss National Bank said it would impose an interest rate of -0.25 percent on some large deposits held by investors in francs, as it seeks to discourage buying of the currency as a safe haven. The euro hit its lowest level against the dollar since Dec. 8, at $1.2266, while the dollar...

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