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Leumi to sell credit card unit to Warburg Pincus; Moody's downgrades Zambia

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

* Wafa Insurance Inc. said its accumulated losses have exceeded 58% of its paid capital at 58.06 million Saudi Arabian riyals.

* Bankers are in discussions to provide up to $70 billion of jumbo financing to help Saudi Arabian Oil Co. fund its potential acquisition of a majority stake in petrochemicals company Saudi Basic Industries Corp., or SABIC, insiders told Reuters.

* Kuwait Finance House KSCP CEO Mazin Saad al-Nahedh said the firm plans to exit from nonstrategic assets worth 150 million Kuwaiti dinars, as it aims to focus on its banking sector assets, Al Anbaa reported.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Qatar's AA-/A-1+ long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign ratings. The outlook remains negative.

* One of Qatar First Bank LLC (Public)'s subsidiaries has signed a conditional sale agreement to sell its entire 40% stake in Turkish home textile retail services firm EHM Magazacilik San. ve Tic. AS, or English Home, to a company wholly owned by the Aydin Family.

REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Bank Leumi le-Israel BM, together with Azrieli Group, has agreed to sell credit card unit Leumi Card Ltd. to funds affiliated with U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus for a consideration of 2.5 billion Israeli shekels. Bank Leumi owns 80% of the unit while Azrieli Group holds a 20% stake, Reuters noted. The lender reportedly expects to complete the sale by year-end.

* French government investment bank Bpifrance SA has invested an undisclosed amount in Israel-based Jerusalem Venture Partners' new $200 million venture capital fund, Globes reported.

* Jordan-based Arab Bank Group reported net income after tax of $436 million for the six months ended June 30, up 5% from $415 million a year ago.

* Tunisia's Union Internationale de Banques SA has crossed the symbolic mark of one billion dinars in market capitalization, becoming the country's fourth largest by the measure, Il Boursa wrote.

* A.M. Best affirmed the B+ (Good) financial strength rating and "bbb-" long-term issuer credit rating of Societe Tunisienne de Reassurance, with a stable outlook.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* The Central Bank of Kenya plans to move to court to seek an extension of Imperial Bank Ltd.'s receivership to allow it more time to engage with KCB Group PLC, Citizen Digital reported. KCB Group unit KCB Bank Kenya Ltd. remains the sole bidder interested in purchasing the troubled lender, with a revised proposal sent to regulators last week.

* Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé, who also serves as chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States, has called for a closer relationship between China-based New Development Bank — which is operated by the BRICS states — and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, including cross-shareholdings between the two institutions, Financial Afrik reported.

* Republic Financial Holdings Ltd. unit Republic Bank (Ghana) Ltd. appointed David Addo-Ashong a member of its board of directors.

* Senegal's Banque Nationale pour le Développement Economique SA secured funding from the Development Bank of Southern Africa for an undisclosed amount, according to the Senegalese News Agency.

* Mali held its presidential election yesterday, with candidates including former Finance Minister Soumaïla Cissé and incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who is seeking a second term, Reuters reported. First results are expected by tomorrow, Bloomberg News noted.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed African Development Bank's AAA/F1+ long-and short-term issuer default ratings. The outlook on the long-term rating is stable. Separately, S&P affirmed the lender's AAA/A-1+ long- and short-term issuer credit ratings, with a stable outlook.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Moody's lowered Zambia's long-term issuer ratings to Caa1 from B3, citing the country's fiscal consolidation challenges and increasing debt burden, and maintained a stable outlook. Meanwhile, Fitch affirmed the country's B/B long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings, with a negative outlook on the long-term ratings.

* Zambian President Edgar Lungu said an unspecified Turkish firm is interested in refinancing the African nation's $750 million eurobond due in 2022, according to Reuters. Zambia plans to start refinancing $3 billion worth of eurobonds next year.

* Zimbabweans are heading to the polls today to vote for a new leader, multiple media outlets reported including Bloomberg and BBC News. The main contenders for president are incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa. Under the country's law, results must be announced by Aug. 4, Bloomberg noted.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: ICICI Bank Q1 profit down; 2 Japan banks to merge; Samsung Securities CEO leaves

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, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.