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Sanlam details Steinhoff exposure; SARB rebuffs nationalization demands

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Sanlam details Steinhoff exposure; SARB rebuffs nationalization demands

* The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has begun developing an exit plan from its deal with nonmember oil producers to cut oil supplies, insiders told Reuters. A discussion regarding such a plan may be needed before December 2018 if the global oil market returns to balance by late 2018, as expected by the organization.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Bank AlJazira submitted a request to the Saudi Capital Market Authority to raise its capital. The bank said in July 2016 that it would re-apply for a capital increase of 2 billion Saudi Arabian riyals through a rights issue, after withdrawing an initial request in December 2015 due to market conditions, according to Argaam.

* Arab National Bank's board of directors recommended distributing 650 million riyals in dividends, or 65 halalas per share.

* Gulf International Bank BSC named Abdullah bin Hassan Alabdulgader its new chairman, effective from Jan. 1, 2018. He succeeds Jammaz bin Abdullah al-Suhaimi, who died.

* Bank Sohar SAOG appointed Mohammed Mahfoudh Saad al-Ardhi and Abdullah Salim al-Harthy as chairman and deputy chairman, respectively.

* Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait KSCP said it sold about 11.1 million shares held in Kuwait Clearing Co. for 4.2 million Kuwaiti dinars, from which it expects to gain roughly 3.4 million dinars, Reuters reported.

* Warba Bank KSCP closed a debut $400 million syndicated three-year murabaha financing facility. The facility size was initially launched at $250 million but was later increased after drawing strong interest from the market.

* A.M. Best affirmed the A (Excellent) financial strength rating and the "a" long-term issuer credit rating of Qatar Insurance Co. SAQ. The outlook remains stable.

* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Qatar-based Ahli Bank QSC's A/A2 long- and short-term foreign-currency ratings.

* CI Ratings also affirmed the BB-/B long- and short-term foreign-currency ratings of Jordanian lenders Cairo Amman Bank and Housing Bank for Trade & Finance, with a negative outlook.

* Jordan-based Arab Bank Plc and the European Investment Bank signed a €300 million financing agreement to support small and medium-sized enterprises and midcaps in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the West Bank.

* Finca Jordan for Macro Financing received approval from the Jordanian central bank to provide loans, Al Ghad reported.

* Beltone Financial Holding SAE said majority shareholders sold an 11.2% stake to financial institutions and investors from the U.S., Gulf countries and Egypt. Orascom Telecom and Media Technology Holding SAE also said its board approved selling 7% of its shares in Beltone, in which it has a 97.3% stake.

* Bank al-Tamweel wa al-Inma, or BTI Bank, a new Islamic financial institution in Morocco set up by BMCE Bank of Africa and Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group BSC, will launch Dec. 26, according to Finance News.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Ethiopia's long- and short-term local- and foreign-currency issuer default ratings at B/B, with a stable outlook.

* Togo-based Ecobank Transnational Inc. closed a $200 million, five- to seven-year syndicated debt facility with Dutch development bank FMO.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* The South African Reserve Bank rebuffed the demands of the country's ruling African National Congress to nationalize the institution, saying that changing the central bank's ownership structure could raise the level of risk and uncertainty for South Africa in both a financial and economic policy sense. SARB also noted that such a process would be costly as its shares currently trade for much less than the price at which some existing shareholders are willing to sell their shares.

* Sanlam Ltd. said the potential impact of its exposure to embattled retailer Steinhoff International Holdings NV on its full-year 2017 and future earnings is not significant and will not affect its ability to pay dividends.

* First Merchant Bank Ltd. shares were delisted from the Malawi Stock Exchange this week, following the transfer of its shares to parent FMB Capital Holdings Plc, according to The Times of Malawi.

* The IMF said the Republic of the Congo's authorities need to work on restoring debt sustainability, strengthening governance and ensuring adequate program financing, among others, before the fund can propose a possible financial arrangement to support the country's economic financial program. The country's finance ministry acknowledged that "immediate measures" were necessary and said the government intends to open negotiations with its main creditors in a bid to restructure its debt, Reuters noted.

* The IMF's Executive Board completed the first review of the $642 million, three-year extended fund facility arrangement for Gabon, enabling the immediate disbursement of approximately $101.1 million. This brings total disbursements to around $202.3 million.

* The Bank of Central African States this week decided to keep its rates unchanged. The central bank also launched an emergency liquidity support system for the six member banks of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, according to Agence Ecofin.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: NAB faces UK lawsuit; Taiwan central bank holds rates

Europe: EU banks can keep UK ops post-Brexit; job cuts at Deutsche; Sweden holds rate

Latin America: Santander Brasil, HDI Seguros sign insurance deal; Peru president faces vote

North America: Wells Fargo, Fifth Third to hike worker pay; 2 California banks merging

North America Insurance: Voya to up repurchases after annuities deal; tax cut to benefit US P&C carriers

Leo Magno, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies 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.

Please note that the Daily Dose MEA will not be published Dec. 25 and Dec. 26 on account of the holidays. The Daily Dose MEA will return Dec. 27.