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Ghana shuts 2 troubled banks; Beltone Financial plans $1B investment fund

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* KSM Indices Certificates Trade plans to acquire Excellence Mutual Funds, a unit of Excellence Investments Ltd., Globes reported. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Excellence Investments is controlled by insurer Phoenix Holdings Ltd.

* Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug appointed Andrew Abir, the central bank's market operations department director, a member of the monetary policy committee, effective Oct. 1. Abir replaces Nathan Sussman, who will resign from the central bank.

* Proceeds from IPOs in the Gulf region in the second quarter dropped 38% on a yearly basis to $171 million, according to The National. The region saw three listings during the second quarter, compared with two listings in the year-ago period.

* Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. intends to invite its shareholders to vote on a capital reduction in a bid to narrow its accumulated losses, Argaam reported.

* Bank Sohar SAOG shareholders approved the issuance of 100 million Omani rials in Additional Tier 1 capital instruments in the form of perpetual bonds.

* The internationally recognized Yemeni central bank in Aden has complained to its allies regarding a lack of cash deliveries needed to pay some public sector salaries in the war-torn nation, Reuters reported. According to the central bank, the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition had failed to give landing permits for air shipments of cash 13 times "for unknown reasons."

* Beltone Financial Holding SAE CEO Bassem Azzab said the Egypt-based lender intends to launch a $1 billion investment fund in fixed income instruments in September, according to Reuters. Azzab also said Beltone aims to acquire brokerages in Egypt and other markets.

* Tunisia's central bank released a new reporting framework for banks and financial institutions to comply with Basel II and Basel III, Il Boursa reported.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* The Bank of Ghana revoked the licenses of UT Bank Ghana Ltd. and Capital Bank Ltd., citing "severe impairment" of their capital, and transferred all their deposits and selected assets to GCB Bank Ltd. to ensure financial stability and protect depositors' funds. As a result, GCB Bank will take control of the main offices and branches of the two lenders, with their depositors now becoming customers of GCB Bank.

* Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison said the operations of UT Bank and Capital Bank will be thoroughly investigated and action will be taken against any directors or shareholders found culpable for the two banks' collapse, Ghana Business News wrote. The Ghana Stock Exchange, meanwhile, suspended the listing status of UT Bank indefinitely, effective from Aug. 14.

* Addison also said most of the country's banks have submitted "credible action plans" to comply with the central bank's capital adequacy requirements and most are already compliant, Citi Business News wrote. Over the next few weeks, the central bank is expected to unveil the new capital requirements for Ghana's banking sector, Ghana News Agency reported.

* Cape Verdean Finance Minister Olavo Correia said the national economy needs more credit and lower interest rates to bolster private sector activity and overall economic growth, Macauhub wrote. Correia said the government was working to establish a guarantee fund to share the risks of lending to local companies with the country's commercial banks.

* Société Générale SA unit Société Générale de Banques en Côte d'Ivoire SA will split its shares on the BRVM regional stock exchange Aug. 25, with 10 new shares for every 1 former share, the African Press Association reported.

* Stanbic Holdings Plc declared an interim dividend of 1.25 Kenyan shillings per share for the first half, down from 1.77 shillings per share a year ago. The dividend will be paid Sept. 29 to shareholders on the register Sept. 11.

* National Bank of Kenya Ltd. partnered with U.K.-based digital money transfer service World Remit to enable Kenyans living abroad to make instant money transfers to the country.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* S&P Global Ratings raised its long- and short-term national scale ratings on South Africa to zaAAA/zaA-1+ from zaAA-/zaA-1 and removed the "under criteria observation" label. Separately, S&P downgraded Angola's long-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings to B- from B and revised the outlook to stable from negative.

* Moody's, meanwhile, lowered Namibia's long-term senior unsecured bond and issuer ratings to Ba1 from Baa3 and maintained its negative outlook.

* Banco Angolano de Investimentos SA said the purchase of some of its nonperforming loans by state-run bad bank Recredit - Gestión de Activos SA was initiated by two individual creditors and does not reflect wider problems with the bank's solvency ratio, according to O País.

* South Africa's High Court is today expected to issue its ruling on whether Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's recommendation to change the central bank's mandate of targeting inflation to focus on the "socioeconomic wellbeing of the citizens" should be set aside, Bloomberg News wrote.

* Sanlam Ltd.'s Sanlam Investment Holdings has entered into agreements to acquire a 30% stake in online investment platform EasyEquities from Purple Group Ltd. for a consideration of 100 million South African rand. The transaction is expected to take place in the fourth quarter.

* South Africa-based Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. and Kenyan firm Zanele Investments failed to reach an out-of-court settlement over a 554 million Kenyan shilling loan dispute, which will now be heard by the High Court, Business Daily Africa reported.

* South Africa-based Old Mutual Emerging Markets Ltd. has indicated plans to expand its operations in Kenya, Business Daily Africa reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: ANZ posts rise in cash profit; MS&AD Insurance to invest in Australian company

Europe: L&G circles Pru annuity biz; Monte dei Paschi posts loss; Talanx raises guidance

Latin America: Fitch downgrades Chile, BNDESPar registers Q2 net profit

North America: China regulator fines Citi $1.6M; CenterState buys 2 banks

North America Insurance: Freedom Caucus seeks to force ACA repeal vote; Anthem exits Virginia marketplace

Leo Magno, Sarah Raslan, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.