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Oman wedded to rial peg; Uganda keen on takaful

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Oman wedded to rial peg; Uganda keen on takaful

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Oman still wedded torial peg: Oman's central bank ruled out any intentions to remove the rial'speg to the dollar, Oman Daily reports."The maintenance of the peg is a crucial indicator of the credibility ofthe monetary police," the central bank said in its annual report.

* GulfInternational Bank BSC appointed Osamah Mohammed Shaker of GIB Capital LLC, itsinvestment banking unit in Riyadh. Shaker, whose appointment took effect June29, was most recently director general of banking control and senior adviser tothe deputy governor for supervision at Saudi Arabia's central bank.

* Kuwaiti Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh tellsGulf News that the country is open tocoordinating with Saudi Arabia on its planned debt sale as both sovereignsprepare to gauge investor appetite for approximately $20 billion in bonds.

* Central Bank of Iran Deputy Governor Akbar Komijani tellsBloomberg News that Russia-based AO Gazprombank restored business ties with Iranianfinancial firms, Tasnim News Agency notes.

* Banque SaudiFransi yesterday reporteda 3.15% year-over-year rise in second-quarter net profit to 1.05 billion SaudiArabian riyals. For the first half, the bank's net profit was 2.13 billionriyals, up 2.90% from a year ago. The lender proposeda cash dividend for the first half of 55 halalas per share.

* Bank MuscatSAOG yesterday postedpreliminary net profit for the six months ended June 30 of 90.5 million Omanirials, up from 89.8 million rials in the year-ago period. Impairments forcredit losses amounted to 32.7 million rials, compared to 27.6 million rials ayear ago.

* ArabBanking Corp. - Tunisie aims to double its branch count in twoyears and plans to have 16 branches by the end of 2016, Il Boursa reports.

* The African Development Bank is expected to sign adeal to provide Tunisia with €268 million of funding to strengthen andmodernize the nation's financial sector, L'EconomisteMaghrébin says.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

Uganda mulls takaful:Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda CEO Ibrahim Kaddunabbi said theregulator is considering promoting Islamic insurance in the country, followingthe launch of Islamic banking, The (Uganda) Observer writes.Kaddunabbi said the regulator's move, slated for the first quarter of 2017, isaimed at expanding the range of insurance products being offered to the privatesector.

* ALTX Africa Group CEO Joseph Kitamirike tellsReuters that the company yesterday inaugurated the ALTX East Africa Exchange, anew financial exchange in Uganda targeting smaller investors that do not tradeon the larger Uganda Securities Exchange. Kitamirike said the exchange willinitially offer trading in depository receipt securities issued on Uganda'ssecondary Treasury market and will later include other products such asexchange-traded funds.

* The Nairobi Securities Exchange received approvalfrom Kenya's Capital Markets Authority to run a derivatives market, Business Daily Africa reports. CEO Geoffrey Odundo expects the market to go livebefore the end of the year.

* Kenya's Milimani Law Courts Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembosummoned three directors and four managers of troubled Dubai Bank Kenya Ltd. toanswer to charges of fraud amounting to 48.1 million shillings, accordingto The Star. The seven will facecharges of conspiracy to defraud BANK OF AFRICA – KENYA Ltd.

* ImperialBank Ltd. directors are blaming Kenya's CMA for approving aninformation memorandum for a bond offered to investors months before the bank'scollapse, saying the regulator was "negligent and reckless," Business Daily Africa writes.The CMA, however, said the company's directors are responsible for theinformation on the bond's public disclosures.

* The Bank of Mauritius abandoned a mooted issue ofnew banknotes after the project did not win the support of the ministry offinance, L'Express says.

* The state-owned Rwanda National Investment Trustlaunched the RNIT Interambere Fund to develop Rwanda's capital market, CMARwanda reports. The threshold for investment for the fund was keptlow, at 2,000 francs. The fund is aimed at promoting savings by designingproducts that suit various investment needs.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

Zambian banks urgedto lower rates: Zambian Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda urgedlenders to lower interest rates and contribute to the elimination of poverty inthe country and to economic growth, Zambia National Broadcasting Corp. reports.

* The budget deficits of all six central African CEMACstates — Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Chad andEquatorial Guinea — worsened by 3.5% of GDP to 7.9% of GDP in the twelve monthsended June 30, Agence Ecofin reports.

* Public Investment Corp., on behalf of South Africa'sGovernment Employees Pension Fund, will invest 10.5 billion rand in unitSA Home Loans toprovide affordable mortgages and construct more houses, Reuters writes. Agence Ecofin writes that half of its investment in the mortgage provideris to finance mortgages to civil servants. Public Investment Corp. alsointends to invest a further 500 million rand in Affordable Housing DevelopmentCo.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific:Citi to boost Asia corporatebanking biz; BTMU to quit as Japanese government bond dealer

Europe:Basel urged to avoiddisproportionate banking reforms; UniCredit raises €1B from sale of stakes in 2units

LatinAmerica: Brazil's central bankoutlines requirements for Bradesco following HSBC purchase

NorthAmerica: Horizon Bancorpacquiring CNB Bancorp in Indiana; Fed approves KeyCorp/First Niagaradeal

NorthAmerica Insurance: Illinoispushes for rehabilitation of health insurance co-op; IFS ratings are notcomparable

Xana Kakoty, Sarah Raslan,Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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