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In This List

SSA news through Aug. 15

Part Two IFRS 9 Blog Series: The Need to Upgrade Analytical Tools

Digital Banking Battles Will Play Out In Southeast Asias Shopping Cart

Street Talk Episode 56 - Latest bank MOE shows even the strong need scale to thrive

South State CenterState MOE Shows Even The Strong Need Scale To Thrive


SSA news through Aug. 15

EAST AFRICA

* KCB Group PLC reported first-half group profit after tax and exceptional item and minority interest of 12.72 billion Kenyan shillings, up 5% from 12.11 billion shillings a year earlier.

* KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara said the Kenyan lender is confident of closing its offer to acquire peer National Bank of Kenya Ltd., adding that it aims to reach a 90% success rate in convincing the latter's shareholders to accept the offer, Reuters wrote. The Capital Markets Authority previously said that KCB's proposed takeover must be approved by 75% of NBK's shareholders, after a parliamentary committee advised the government, NBK's main shareholder, to reject the offer.

* KCB Group is also looking to expand in South Sudan by focusing on increasing its investments there, Reuters reported, citing Managing Director Roba Waqo Jaldesa. The lender, which shut down 12 of its 23 branches in the country in 2016 and 2017 during a civil war, launched a new branch in 2019 and aims to resume operations in its closed offices.

* Tanzania-based FBME Bank Ltd., a now-defunct lender that carried out most of its business in Cyprus, won a legal battle in the U.K. against two former Scotland Yard detectives, The Citizen reported. The high court ruled that the investigators reported "premature and speculative" allegations of money laundering and terrorism financing against the bank to Cypriot and U.S. authorities, thus violating their contract with the lender.

* The Bank of Uganda maintained the central bank rate at 10%.

* S&P Global Ratings upgraded Rwanda's long-term sovereign credit and senior unsecured ratings to B+ from B and affirmed the country's B short-term sovereign credit rating. The outlook was revised to stable from positive.

* Estonian cryptocurrency company Totalcoin has launched its operations in East Africa and will commence trading in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, according to The Star.

* Ethiopia is set to hold a national election next year but the date for the poll is yet to be specified, Reuters wrote.

WEST AFRICA

* GN Bank Ltd. founder Papa Kwesi Nduom said the challenges that the Ghanaian firm is facing are being resolved, noting that the company had undergone a restructuring and completed its transition from a universal bank to a savings and loan company at the end of June, according to Citi Newsroom. In January, GN Bank saw its license downgraded to that of a savings and loans company and the firm became GN Savings and Loans after it failed to meet the country's minimum capital requirement.

* Ghana's Securities and Exchange Commission has banned 21 fund managers from accepting new investments as the regulator investigates them for alleged breach of rules by placing clients' money into illiquid assets, resulting in around 9 billion cedis in investments being tied up in the system, Bloomberg News wrote.

* Swiss Re AG secured regulatory approval to launch an underwriting office in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, to be led by Awa Koné, the Zurich reinsurance company's head of West Africa, Reinsurance News wrote.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Absa Group Ltd. reported first-half profit attributable to ordinary equity holders of 7.64 billion South African rand, up from the restated 7.25 billion rand in the previous year.

* Daniel Mminele, former deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, is reportedly expected to be named CEO of Absa Group, Business Tech wrote, citing CNBC Africa.

* Montfort Mlachila, the IMF's resident representative in South Africa, said the fund does not view South Africa to be in need of financial support as it does not appear to have a problem with its balance of payments, according to Bloomberg. South African central bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago previously said the nation does not need IMF assistance as South Africa's economic problems are still within control.

* Old Mutual Ltd. is pushing back against assertions laid out in two articles in the City Press related to the insurer's ongoing case with fired CEO Peter Moyo. The South African insurer said it was "unfairly attacked" and not given the chance to respond.

* Meanwhile, Moyo wants the high court to declare Old Mutual and its board of directors in contempt of court for failing to immediately reinstate him as CEO, as ordered by the court, Fin24 reported. In July, the court ruled that Moyo's suspension and subsequent dismissal was unlawful and ordered his temporary reinstatement at the firm but Old Mutual barred him from returning to work as it is appealing the ruling, and argued the notice to appeal suspends the court order.

* The Banco de Moçambique cut its key lending rate, or MIMO rate, by 50 basis points to 12.75%, according to state news agency AIM. The central bank also lowered the standing lending facility to 15.75% from 16.25% and the standing deposit facility to 9.75% from 10.25%.

* Mozambique indicted 20 individuals, including the son of former President Armando Guebuza, on charges including money laundering and corruption in relation to $2 billion in controversial loans extended to three state-owned firms, Bloomberg reported. Former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang, who has been in custody in South Africa since his arrest in December 2018 on U.S. charges over his alleged involvement in the debt scandal, could also face legal action in Mozambique after resigning as a lawmaker in July.

* Shareholders of Angola-based Banco Económico SA approved a plan to hike its capital to 416 billion kwanzas from 72 billion kwanzas, reaching a historical level in the country, Expansão reported. The capital increase, which will be funded by current or new investors, will enable the bank to comply with solvency ratios from loan portfolio impairments.

* Mauritius-based SBM Holdings Ltd. reported group profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of 617.1 million rupees for the second quarter, compared to a loss of 590.6 million rupees a year ago.

* Namibia's central bank reduced the repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.50%. The move marks the Bank of Namibia's first rate cut since August 2017.

Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.