* Ninety One, the asset management unit being carved out of Investec Group, is pushing ahead with its plan to float in London and Johannesburg, looking to list about 10% of its combined total issued shares.
* Citigroup Inc. is seeking to tap into sub-Saharan debt funding as it expects increasing bond sales by governments, state-owned institutions and companies in the region to fund infrastructure projects, Bloomberg News reported.
* U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. appointed Jean-Xavier Hecker and Hugo Dubourg co-heads of environmental, social and corporate governance equity research for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Reuters wrote.
* Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. named Antoine Bdabouni head of the Middle East and Africa at Aspen Re.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* Doha Bank QPSC reported full-year 2019 net profit of 754 million Qatari riyals, down from 830 million riyals a year ago.
* The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates said banks have written off loans to local citizens amounting to 3.34 billion dirhams under the regulator's debt relief program, Emarat Al Youm reported. Banks have also agreed to reschedule the loans of 4,001 individuals amounting to 5.43 billion dirhams.
* Banks in Kuwait are in talks with the central bank for the creation of a new payments company, with local banks controlling 90% of the entity, Al Rai wrote. Initial talks suggest that each of the 10 banks that hold a stake in K-Net Payment Gateway will get a 9% stake in the new company.
* Kuwait Finance House KSCP has sought approval from Kuwait's Competition Protection Agency for its planned acquisition of Bahrain's Ahli United Bank BSC.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* The World Bank warned that Lebanon could implode unless it develops a less corrupt and more transparent governance model, Bloomberg News wrote.
* Iran-based Tose'e Insurance Co., which has been nonoperational since 2014, will restart operations in the coming fiscal year beginning March, Financial Tribune reported. CEO Saeed Afshari said the company's shareholders have raised 13 trillion rials for the relaunch.
* Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron named Michel Strawczynski a member of the central bank's monetary committee, effective Feb. 17. Strawczynski will continue to serve in his current role as director of the central bank's research department.
* Meanwhile, the Bank of Israel revised the calculation of weights in the nominal effective exchange rate index, citing changes in the composition of Israel's foreign trade since the weights were last updated in 2015. The update led to an increase in the weight of the U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan, while the weight of eurozone countries declined.
* Beltone Financial Holding SAE's board approved a proposal to increase the company's issued capital to 891.3 million Egyptian pounds from 338.0 million pounds, Mubasher reported, citing a bourse statement.
* Tunisian President Kais Saied said he will call for an early election and dissolve parliament if the new government proposed by designated Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh fails to win a confidence vote, Reuters reported.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* The Kenyan government will rely on increased domestic borrowing to fund budget deficits as part of a new debt-management strategy aimed at reducing fiscal risks from a binge on syndicated loans and Eurobonds, according to Bloomberg.
* S&P Global Ratings said the replacement of the West African CFA franc with the eco should have no effect on its West African Economic and Monetary Union sovereign ratings as a devaluation seems unlikely. However, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal will be hit hardest in the event of a currency shock due to their increasing dependence on public borrowing in foreign currency, the agency noted.
* Higher government debt burdens in all rated members of the Economic Community of West African States have raised concerns on debt sustainability and could have potentially significant economic and social costs, according to Moody's.
* Prudential Bank Ltd.'s board of directors named John Kpakpo Addo the Ghanaian lender's new managing director, effective Jan. 2, Joy Online wrote.
* Cote d'Ivoire is issuing bonds worth 110 billion CFA francs on the West African exchange to fund infrastructure projects, Reuters reported, citing two lead managers of the ongoing auction.
* The European Parliament called on Guinean President Alpha Conde to preserve current presidential-term limits ahead of a controversial referendum on the constitution that will likely allow him to seek a third term in October elections, Bloomberg reported.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Moody's lowered its forecast for gross domestic product growth in South Africa to 0.7% in 2020 from 1%, raising the risk that the country could lose its last investment-level credit rating, Bloomberg reported.
* South African insurers' operating environment could suffer if the economy deteriorates further due to the risk of rising lapse rates, continued soft economic conditions, low disposable incomes and high levels of unemployment, according to S&P Global Ratings.
* South African insurer Discovery Ltd. said it expects headline EPS for the six months ended Dec. 31 to decline by between 8% and 13% to between 319 cents and 302 cents compared to 347.2 cents a year earlier, due to an operating loss at unit VitalityLife and the group's continued investment into new strategic initiatives.
* Vodacom Group Ltd. CEO Shameel Joosub said the South African telecommunications company expects to grow its African financial services business in the next few years as it expands into products such as funnel insurance and nano lending, Bloomberg reported.
* Coronation Asset Managers Pty. Ltd. has increased its stake in South African insurance services provider Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. to 7.24% from 3.44%.
* Land & Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa named Ayanda Kanana CEO, effective March 1.
* South African stock exchange JSE Ltd. said it plans to amend debt listing requirements to expand the current green segment to a sustainability segment, which will include sustainability instruments under the green bond principles, social bond principles and sustainability guidelines.
* The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe maintained its policy rate on overnight accommodation at 35% per year in a bid to reduce inflation and stabilize the exchange rate.
* Fidelity Life Assurance of Zimbabwe Ltd. said it is still in talks involving a potential transaction related to the restructuring of the company's capital structure through a rights issue.
* Gabonese Finance Minister Jean-Marie Ogandaga said the government could issue another eurobond before the end of 2020, Bloomberg wrote.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: India's SBI Cards gears up for IPO; Hana launches mobile banking in Hong Kong
Europe: RBS to cut fossil fuel financing; Cerved, Intrum in exclusive talks
Latin America: BTG to seek Colombian banking license; Moody's downgrades Nicaragua
Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 4 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.
This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.