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Absa's Ghanaian unit fined; Kenya moves to curb illicit flows

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Absa's Ghanaian unit fined; Kenya moves to curb illicit flows

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

* Kuwait's Gulf Investment House KSCP said Mohamed Mahsoom Ameen has resigned from his post as vice president of financial control and operations, effective Aug. 29.

* KAMCO Investment Company KSCP agreed to sell all of its shares in Global Investment House-Egypt, subject to regulatory approval.

* The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority licensed 14 financial technology firms to provide crowdlending and payment services, Arabian Business reported.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Dubai-based insurer AIG MEA Ltd.'s issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings at A, with a negative outlook.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Al Khaleej Takaful Insurance Co. QPSC's BBB long-term local-currency issuer credit and financial strength ratings and revised the outlook on the ratings to stable from negative.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed the long- and short-term issuer default ratings of Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank BSC and Ahli United Bank BSC at BBB+/F2 and BBB-/F3, respectively, and assigned the lenders respective support rating floors of BBB+ and BBB-.

REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Moody's said Lebanon's 2019 draft budget plan to carry out spending cuts, revenue increases and refinancing treasury bills to bring down its fiscal deficit will likely fail to significantly shift the country's debt trajectory, Reuters reported.

* Israeli telecoms firm Partner Communications Ltd. is in talks to acquire electronic wallet developer Cellarix, which is in liquidation proceedings, insiders told Globes.

* Israel Tax Authority Director General Eran Yaacov said the agency plans to look into information that thousands of accounts in the Cayman Islands, some of which were not disclosed, belong to Israelis, Globes reported.

* Credit Agricole - Egypt Bank SAE Managing Director Pierre Finas said the lender is looking to increase its branch network by 25% and launch new services, Daily News Egypt reported.

* Bank of Alexandria SAE has partnered with Startupbootcamp to launch a financial technology accelerator program that will sustain 11 local and foreign fintech firms, Daily News Egypt wrote.

* Insurance market Lloyd's of London has pegged Egypt's insurance gap at $2.8 billion, or 1.2% of GDP, Amwal Al Ghad wrote, citing Lloyd's latest underinsurance report.

* The Central Bank of Egypt said it repaid $406 million of debt it owed to the African Export-Import Bank, Financial Afrik noted. Separately, the regulator denied that it printed new 500 and 1,000 Egyptian pound banknotes, saying it has no intention to do so as the country is heading for more cashless transactions, Amwal Al Ghad reported.

* The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will extend a €20 million loan to Société Générale Marocaine de Banques to allow the Moroccan lender to support small businesses involved in value chains and their green investments, The North Africa Post reported.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* The Bank of Ghana fined South Africa-based Absa Group Ltd.'s local unit Barclays Bank of Ghana Ltd. nearly 4.6 million cedis for allegedly making "frivolous" quotes on Ghana's Interbank Foreign Exchange Market.

* Ghana announced an overhaul of its revenue agency's staff as part of efforts to boost collections, Bloomberg News reported. The move comes after the Ghana Revenue Authority missed its first-quarter collection forecast by 9.7%, the news agency noted, citing data from the country's finance ministry.

* Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to reappoint central bank Governor Patrick Njoroge for a second term in light of the regulator's recent efforts toward a market-led bank consolidation, a stable currency and increased loans to small businesses under his tenure, insiders told Bloomberg.

* Meanwhile, Njoroge said Kenya needs to quickly address an increase in suspicious financial transactions in its financial sector that endanger economic growth and future commercial activities, Reuters reported. Njoroge said the planned invalidation of the old 1,000 shillings note marks the country's first step to curb illicit flows.

* Kenya's National Treasury and the National Social Security Fund, the majority shareholders of National Bank of Kenya Ltd., have endorsed the lender's takeover by KCB Group PLC, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd. disclosed that it spent 479 million shillings in 2018 to compensate retrenched employees that were affected by a voluntary staff exit scheme, Business Daily Africa wrote.

* Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd. struck a partnership with WorldRemit to allow digital money transfers to Co-op Bank accounts and cash pickup points across the country, Capital FM reported.

* Fitch Ratings placed on Rating Watch Negative the "b+" viability rating of KCB Bank Kenya Ltd. and the B+ long-term issuer default rating, "b+" viability rating and AA(ken)/F1+(ken) national long- and short-term ratings of parent KCB Group.

* Nigeria-based Wapic Insurance PLC will seek approval from shareholders at the company's June 10 annual general meeting to increase its authorized share capital to 15 billion naira from 8.5 billion naira through the creation of 13 billion additional ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, as part of efforts to comply with newly imposed minimum capital requirements.

* Standard Bank Group Ltd.'s Nigerian unit Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC announced several appointments, including the appointment of CFO Adekunle Adedeji as executive director of the company and Barend Johannes Kruger and Rabi Isma as nonexecutive directors of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC. Dele Sotubo took over as CEO of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Ltd. from Bunmi Dayo-Olagunju, who was named executive director for operations at Stanbic IBTC Bank.

* Stanbic IBTC Bank issued 35 billion naira worth of commercial bonds, Business Post reported.

* Nigerian payments firm eTranzact International Plc has named interim CEO Olaniyi Toluwalope as its new managing director/CEO and Hakeem Adeniji-Adele as its new deputy managing director.

* Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission assured shareholders of defunct local lender Skye Bank PLC that their unclaimed dividends are being held in trust on their behalf, and that it has directed Cardinalstone Registrars and STL Trustees to ensure that all claims will be addressed.

* Ibrahima Fall, who recently stepped down as head of Banque De Dakar, will take on the same post at Coris Bank Senegal, according to Confidentiel Afrique.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* The IMF said South Africa could reignite subdued economic growth by accelerating the implementation of structural reforms, and said the country needs to carry out robust actions to bring down its fiscal deficit and reverse an increase in public debt.

* Africa-focused financial services firm Atlas Mara Ltd. said British bank Barclays has increased its stake in the company to 5.7%, Morningstar wrote, citing Alliance News.

* South African private equity firm Sabvest Ltd. has acquired a direct interest of 4% in local telecoms firm DNI-4PL Contracts (Pty.) Ltd. for 113.5 million rand, increasing its combined indirect and direct interest in the company to 20%.

* Mauritius-based Astoria Investments Ltd. said Darryl Kaplan intends to resign as CEO and an executive director of the company, effective June 30.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: IAG exits New Zealand life insurance business; Fitch cuts ICICI Bank's ratings

Europe: Danske selling Estonian unit; Covéa sues Credit Suisse; crypto vigilance sought

Latin America: Brazil mulls 20B reais fiscal boost; Dominican Republic maintains key rate

North America: Goldman buying PE-backed Capital Vision; Wells seeks to settle tax credit probe

Global Insurance: Humana rules out Centene deal; Scor's $250M cat bond; $4.6M Buffett lunch

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 5 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.