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MENA news through Oct. 11


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MENA news through Oct. 11

* Netherlands-based ABN AMRO Group NV intends to hire more people at its Dubai hub as part of plans to expand its presence in the Middle East and North Africa, The National reported.

* Japan-based Nomura Holdings Inc. named Mark Yassin executive chairman for the Middle East and North Africa.

* Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur SA is expected to open a representative office in the Dubai International Financial Centre by 2017-end after receiving regulatory approval, according to Financial Afrik.


* Qatar National Bank (QPSC) reported net profit attributable to equity holders of 10.3 billion Qatari riyals for the nine months to Sept. 30, up from 9.7 billion riyals in the same period in 2016. A spokesman for QNB said the bank is not selling its stake in United Arab Emirates-based Commercial Bank International PSC, according to Reuters.

* Commercial Bank (PSQC) is reportedly planning a capital increase of between $500 million and $1 billion in Turkish unit Alternatifbank AS as part of plans to expand its business in Turkey.

* Qatar is planning to raise at least $9 billion from the issue of international bonds, primarily aimed at investors in Asia, the U.S. and Europe, to compensate for a lack of investor interest from within the Gulf region, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* Qatar International Islamic Bank (QPSC) is planning to issue its first bond from its $2 billion Islamic bond program as soon as market conditions improve, an insider told Reuters.

* Moody's maintained its stable outlook on the UAE banking system, reflecting economic resilience, strong capitalization and stable funding and liquidity conditions.

* Dubai Islamic Bank (PJSC) reported third-quarter net profit attributable to owners of 1.11 billion UAE dirhams, up from 876.3 million dirhams a year ago.

* The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority plans to introduce a new, more stringent supervisory framework for insurance companies in the country in the coming months, in a bid to spur consolidation in the insurance sector, insiders told Reuters.

* United Cooperative Assurance Co.'s board accepted the resignation of CEO Mishaal Afif, effective Nov. 1, according to Argaam.

* Saudi Re for Cooperative Reinsurance Co. completed the acquisition of 49.9% of the ordinary shares of Probitas Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd.

* Banque Saudi Fransi's board appointed an independent team to investigate employees' incentives violations, Argaam wrote.

* National Bank of Kuwait SAKP reported third-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders of 73.7 million Kuwaiti dinars, up from 68.6 million dinars a year ago.

* Bank Dhofar SAOG said its board of directors approved an issue price of 185 Omani baisa per share for its planned rights issue.

* India-based SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. is reportedly aiming to open its planned Bahrain branch by December.

* Saman Bank (PJSC), Parsian Bank and Bank Pasargad Plc plan to open branches in India, the Financial Tribune reported.

* Italy-based Azimut Holding SpA will acquire 20% of Iranian asset management company Mofid Entekhab from Mofid Securities.

* The central banks of Iran and Turkey signed a draft of a currency swap agreement aimed at expanding economic and trade ties between the two countries, according to the Financial Tribune.

* The Central Bank of Iran signed a cooperation agreement with the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade & Development Bank, allowing the Turkish lender to expand its operations in Iran and grant loans and finances to development projects in the country, the Financial Tribune reported.


* Al Akhdar Bank, a new Moroccan Islamic bank that is 51%-owned by Groupe Crédit Agricole du Maroc and 49%-owned by the Islamic Development Bank's Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, will be launched Oct. 16, Financial Afrik wrote.

* The Central Bank of Sudan said two local lenders received international transfers in U.S. dollars, marking the first foreign-currency inflows into Sudan in 20 years, following the U.S.'s recent lifting of economic sanctions on the war-torn African country, Reuters wrote.

* Algeria's parliament authorized its central bank to lend directly to its treasury, sparking fears of inflation in a country which has been hit by falling oil revenues, Jeune Afrique wrote.

* Tunisia's central bank decided to maintain its key interest rate at 5%.

Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Pádraig Belton contributed to this report.