RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: US banks brace for deal frenzy as 2017 M&As doubled to $196.5b; JP Morgan targets mid-sized firms in European pivot

And UAE and Saudi Arabia have deployed digitla currency for settlements.

From Bloomberg: The U.S. banking sector is set to see a flurry of deals next year on the back of easing regulations and the US tax overhaul, according to Ernst & Young LLP.

The value of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. financial-services sector more than doubled to $196.5 billion this year from $82.3 billion in 2017, according to EY’s analysis. “We’re going to see a significant increase in M&A,” Sharon Dogonniuck, senior managing director of banking and capital markets at EY, said in an interview. “Absolutely we think there are going to be larger deals” in addition to the smaller transactions that have already taken place.

From CNBC: - Thumbing through a thick binder detailing European mid-sized and family-owned firms, JP Morgan's Doug Petno has his sights set on a business Europe's banks have kept to themselves. "This list is heavily curated, handpicked," Petno, the New York-based CEO of JP Morgan's commercial banking segment, told Reuters of the 1,500 companies it wants to become clients.

JP Morgan's challenge to the European banks in their traditional stronghold is an example of the U.S. bank using its clout to try to take business from competitors. The bank is now targeting companies in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Britain, with roughly $500 million to $2 billion in annual revenue from recognized brands and long-established business, plus international aspirations.

From Reuters: The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have started using fintech for cross-border settlements, including a digital currency which they jointly developed for that purpose, the UAE’s central bank governor said on Wednesday.

Mubarak Rashed al-Mansouri, speaking at a financial technology conference in Abu Dhabi, also said the UAE central bank was working on a strategic plan to develop fintech which would be supported by a legislative and regulatory framework.

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