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Turkish lira turmoil hits MEA markets; S&P revises outlook on Rwanda


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Turkish lira turmoil hits MEA markets; S&P revises outlook on Rwanda

* Gulf markets have been hit by the currency crisis in Turkey on concerns about banks' exposure to Turkish assets, Reuters wrote. Qatar's Commercial Bank PSQC, Qatar National Bank QPSC, and Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank are among lenders with assets in Turkey. The South African rand also plunged as a result of the Turkish lira crisis, Bloomberg News reported. The lira continued to free fall as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to squash the market's hopes that interest rates would be raised.


* Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, which agreed to acquire Turkish lender DenizBank AS from Russia's PAO Sberbank of Russia for $3.2 billion in May, said it is closely monitoring the situation in Turkey, Reuters reported. The Emirati lender declined to comment on whether it is renegotiating the terms of the deal.

* The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority approved a plan by Amana Cooperative Insurance Co. to boost its capital by 100 million riyals to 240 million riyals.

* Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. obtained approval from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to appoint a financial adviser to submit a final report related to fixing the insurer's irregularities. The regulator last month ordered Enaya to fix irregularities related to the weak performance of its internal auditing and other compliance issues.

* The Qatar Investment Authority has raised its shareholding in Credit Suisse Group AG to 5.21%, making the sovereign wealth fund the largest investor in the Swiss lender, Reuters reported, citing the Qatar News Agency.

* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Kuwait's long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency ratings at AA-/A1+, with a stable outlook.

* CI Ratings affirmed Oman's BBB/A3 long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign ratings. The outlook on the ratings was revised to negative from stable.


* The Bank of Israel asked Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. to make a provision of around $100 million in the second quarter to cover potential costs of a U.S. tax evasion probe, according to Globes. The figure is substantially higher than the roughly $46 million Mizrahi has set aside to date. The request was made before the U.S. Department of Justice proposed that Mizrahi pay a fine of $342 million to end the investigation, which the lender rejected.

* Iranian constitutional body Guardian Council has approved measures passed by parliament aimed at being more in line with standards set by the Financial Action Task Force to combat money laundering and the funding of terrorism, as part of Iran's efforts to be removed from the global task force's blacklist, Reuters reported, citing state media.

* Lawmakers in Egypt gave final approval to establish the country's first sovereign wealth fund, Egypt Independent reported. The fund will have 200 billion pounds in authorized capital and 5 billion pounds in starting paid-in capital.

* Morocco's foreign ministry has written to the country's banks, urging them to make necessary arrangements to prepare for the impact of new U.S. sanctions against Iran, Financial Afrik wrote.


* S&P Global Ratings changed the outlook on Rwanda to positive from stable and affirmed the long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings at B/B. The outlook reflects the agency's view that the country's external position could continue to strengthen in the next two to three years, boosted by higher commodity prices, government policies aimed at diversifying exports and increasing domestic production, and a more flexible exchange rate.

* Digital money transfer company WorldRemit has partnered with Bank of Africa – Uganda Ltd., allowing customers to send money instantly to Bank of Africa accounts across Uganda.

* Customers with fixed deposit accounts held in collapsed lender Beige Bank have been blocked from making withdrawals due to some accounting anomalies between the bank and related company Beige Capital Assets Management, Joy Online reported. Beige Bank and four other failed lenders were recently taken over by the newly established Consolidated Bank.

* Mali held a run-off presidential election yesterday, with incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who is seeking a second term, facing former Finance Minister Soumaïla Cissé after neither candidate obtained enough votes to win the first round held July 29 outright, Reuters reported. Authorities did not say when the run-off result is expected to be announced.


* Standard Bank Group Ltd. plans to raise its stake in Kenya-based unit Stanbic Holdings PLC to around 75% from 68.01% by purchasing a further 6.9% stake worth roughly 2.6 billion Kenyan shillings "in due course," as part of plans to upscale the South African group's operations in Kenya, Business Daily Africa reported, citing Stanbic Holdings CEO Greg Brackenridge.

* Shareholders of South Africa-based Steinhoff International Holdings NV have filed a lawsuit targeting several companies, including Absa Bank Ltd., Standard Chartered PLC and Commerzbank AG, in an attempt to recover lost money. The shareholders are suing Steinhoff for up to €12 billion in compensation related to losses on Steinhoff shares purchased between June 2013 and December 2017.

* The inauguration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who won Zimbabwe's July 30 presidential election, did not take place as planned yesterday after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa filed a court challenge on Aug. 10 against Mnangagwa's election victory, according to Reuters. The Constitutional Court must give its ruling within 14 days of an election petition.


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Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.