GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* Saudi British Bank's first-half attributable net income attributable to equity holders dropped to 975 million Saudi Arabian riyals from the year-ago 2.47 billion riyals. Net provisions for expected credit losses widened on a yearly basis to 1.72 billion riyals from 116 million riyals.
* The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority said any increase in the Saudi interbank offered rate this year would have little impact on growth due to the limited levels of debt in most companies, Reuters noted. The regulator added that the country could withstand global economic uncertainty, owing to an increase in foreign reserves and low public debt level.
* Al Baraka Banking Group BSC posted second-quarter net income attributable to equity holders of the parent of $32.2 million, down from the year-ago $39.3 million. The Bahraini lender's first-half attributable net income also slipped year over year to $56.2 million from $74.3 million.
* National Bank of Bahrain BSC promoted Isa Maseeh to chief risk officer from deputy chief risk officer.
* Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Co. named Khalid al-Rumaihi its new CEO. Al-Rumaihi is chairman of Bahrain Development Bank BSC.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* The IMF has granted Egypt the final $2 billion tranche under a three-year loan program approved in 2016, Reuters wrote.
* Saudi Arabia has pumped $250 million in deposits at Sudan's central bank as part of its financial support package to the North African country, Reuters wrote, citing the Saudi Finance Ministry. The deposits, which serve as a loan, will help relieve pressure on the Sudanese pound and stabilize its exchange rate.
* Bank Sepah CEO Mohammad Kazem Choqazardi said the state-owned lender's proposed merger with five banks and credit institutions linked to the Iran military is underway after the completion of major steps in the process, Financial Tribune wrote. Choqazardi added that most shares of the five companies have already been transferred to Bank Sepah.
* The Iran Fara Bourse is set to host four IPOs, including that of electronic payments firm Fanva Card Co., Financial Tribune reported, citing Fars News Agency.
* S&P Global Ratings placed the Israeli banking sector in group 3 under its Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment, reflecting a supporting operating environment for banks and their stable funding from a sound core customer deposit base as well as adequate banking regulation and supervision, among other factors.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Njuguna Ndung'u, former Kenyan central bank governor, criticized the Treasury's implementation of tax on mobile money firms, saying the move would avert the financial inclusion ambition of the country, Business Daily Africa reported.
* Kenya's central bank increased the M-Pesa rate, or the interest rate on mobile loans, to 7.5% from 4.08%, according to Daily Nation.
* Jack Ngare is resigning as managing director of Finserve Africa Ltd., the mobile money arm of Equity Group Holdings PLC, to hold the same post in Microsoft Corp.'s newly launched research and development facility in Nairobi, Business Daily Africa reported.
* The stock of nonperforming loans in Nigeria's microfinance banks fell 5.27% to 24.80 billion naira in December 2018 from 26.18 billion naira in November 2017, Nigeria's Business Day noted, citing the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corp.'s 2018 annual report.
* Moody's assigned Niger first-time local- and foreign-currency issuer ratings of B3, with a stable outlook.
* The West African regional council for financial markets said it would consider the possibility of admitting international rating agencies to the West African Economic and Monetary Union's financial market, according to Financial Afrik. If approved, S&P Global Ratings, Fitch, Moody's and other international agencies would then be able to issue ratings with the market without formal local counterpart relationships.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* South Africa's Nedbank Group Ltd. posted a year-over-year increase in its first-half profit attributable to ordinary shareholders, to 6.79 billion rand from 6.66 billion rand, helped by its businesses elsewhere in Africa which benefitted from the ongoing recovery of its West African associate, Ecobank Transnational Inc. The group revised its growth guidance for its diluted headline EPS for 2019 to around nominal GDP growth in South Africa from previously greater than or equal to nominal GDP growth, due to slower-than-expected GDP growth in the country.
* The South African Prudential Authority fined the local unit of India-based Bank of Baroda 400,000 rand for failure to comply with certain financial intelligence provisions, South Africa's Business Day wrote. The penalty was initially set at 11 million rand but was reduced after the bank filed an appeal.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: CBA FY profit down 4.7% YOY; AMP mulls bank sale; China eases bank trading rules
Europe: HSBC cutting jobs, reaches €300M settlement; Novo Banco selling €795.8M loans
Latin America: Bancolombia's Q2 profit surges 58.22%; Brazil's IRB, C6 ink reinsurance deal
North America: FIS Q2 adjusted EPS climbs YOY; JPMorgan confirms Chinese JV majority stake
Global Insurance: Hurricane forecast revised; Greenlight hires Credit Suisse; Athene's $4B fund
Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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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.