AXA profit up 4% in first half
PARIS • AXA, Europe's second-biggest insurer, reported a 4 per cent rise in net profit for the first half of 2016, boosted by proceeds from real estate disposals but held back by natural catastrophe costs and lower asset management revenue.
Despite the rise, net income of €3.2 billion (S$4.8 billion) in the first half fell short of the average forecast of €3.6 billion, as interest rates fell after Britain's vote to leave the European Union in June. Lower interest rates hurt insurers' investment income.
Bank Negara steps up corporate vigilance
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's central bank tightened corporate governance standards yesterday, giving more power to the boards of financial institutions.
The changes include a requirement for boards to have a majority of independent directors, and to approve and maintain credible recovery and resolution plans.
Bank Negara also wants institutions to adopt a code of ethics backed by a transparent whistleblowing policy, among other steps. The changes follow civil lawsuits by the US Justice Department last month alleging that more than US$3.5 billion (S$4.6 billion) was stolen from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.