* Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will provide an additional $60 billion in financing for Africa and pledged to write off some debt for poorer African nations, Reuters reported. He also pledged to encourage Chinese firms to invest at least $10 billion in the continent over the next three years.
* U.K.-based HSBC Holdings PLC is looking to open several more digital branches in the United Arab Emirates following the launch of its digitally driven customer service unit in Dubai, Gulf News reported, citing the lender's head of retail banking and wealth management in the UAE, Marwan Hadi.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* UAE-based Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC confirmed that it is in early merger discussions with Union National Bank PJSC and Al Hilal Bank PJSC, Reuters wrote. An announcement on a potential deal, which would create a bank with some $110 billion of assets, could reportedly come as early as in September if the talks are successful.
* National Bank of Fujairah PJSC has launched several savings products based on the Islamic principle of Mudaraba, a type of contract under which a client acts as the capital provider and a bank acts as the manager.
* The UAE Insurance Authority is setting up an electronic financial database that will facilitate its supervision of the insurance sector in line with international standards, Middle East Insurance Review wrote.
* Abraaj Group Ltd.'s Cayman Islands-registered unit Abraaj Holdings was granted a two-month extension of its provisional liquidation, Cayman Compass reported.
* Kuwait-based Burgan Bank KPSC obtained central bank approval to issue up to 150 million dinars worth of senior unsecured bonds, Reuters reported.
* Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority approved Warba Bank KSCP's request to raise its share capital to 150 million dinars from 100 million dinars.
* Ahli Bank SAOG's board appointed Rajeev Gogia, representing Ahli United Bank BSC, as a board member replacing Adel Mohamed el-Labban, effective Sept. 2.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd. CEO Itai Ben-Zeev said the exchange is planning a potential IPO of at least 31.7 million shares, equivalent to 31.7% of its equity, in November or December in an offering to Israeli retail investors, Reuters reported. Ben-Zeev said he hopes that the offering will be at a "significantly higher" valuation than 551 million Israeli shekels.
* Central Insurance of Iran head Gholamreza Soleimani Amiri is exploring options to divest part of state-owned Bimeh Iran (Iran Insurance Co.), Middle East Insurance Review wrote, citing a report by Financial Tribune.
* Banque du Caire SAE is in talks with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to borrow $50 million to fund small and medium-sized businesses, an insider told Amwal Al Ghad.
* Rasmala Egypt is looking to launch two new funds in Egypt in the next four months to boost its AUM, Amwal Al Ghad wrote, citing the asset management firm's chairman, Ahmed Abou el-Saad.
* Egyptian private equity firm Qalaa Holdings SAE plans to list eight companies in the Egyptian Stock Exchange beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019, Thomson Reuters' Zawya reported, citing the company's chairman and founder, Ahmed Heikal.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Equity Group Holdings PLC CEO James Mwangi called plans by Kenyan lawmakers to limit the amount that the government can borrow from commercial lenders as "archaic," adding that it risks infringing the Central Bank of Kenya's independence, Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, Mwangi said the group will roll out an international e-commerce money transfer and payments platform in November through its Finserve unit, Business Daily Africa wrote.
* The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union will meet with KPMG, the receiver of Consolidated Bank Ghana, to negotiate exit packages for workers of the five collapsed banks that the lender took over, Citi Business News reported.
* Trade Union Congress Deputy Secretary-General Joshua Ansah said negotiations on the payment of severance packages to former workers of the defunct Capital Bank Ltd. and UT Bank Ghana Ltd. are at a final stage, Joy Online reported.
* An accounts officer at Ghana-based CalBank Ltd. was sentenced by a circuit court in Accra to four years in jail for stealing 109,501 cedis from the lender through suspicious transactions made at its Osu branch between 2015 and 2016, Joy Online wrote.
* Nonperforming loans at Ghana's banking sector reached 8.74 billion cedis in June, Joy Online wrote, citing central bank data.
* Nigeria-based AIICO Insurance PLC plans to raise 25 billion naira via a private placement, Business Day reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Shinhan Financial nears ING Life stake buy; Australia's FinClear eyes 2019 IPO
Europe: Funding Circle plans £300M IPO; Wonga victims may not get paid
Latin America: S&P places Argentina on CreditWatch negative; Chile revises cybersecurity rules
Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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