MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Individual officials in Abu Dhabi have launched an ad hoc boycott of Western banks with stakes owned by Qatari investors, the Financial Times reported. Affected lenders include Barclays Plc, in which Qatari investors have a 6% stake, and Credit Suisse Group AG, of which the Qatar Investment Authority's direct investment business owns 5% with purchase rights over a further 13% stake.
* Investors and analysts said Qatar National Bank (QPSC), Commercial Bank (P.S.Q.C.) and Doha Bank QSC — which are said to be weighing funding options that include private placements, loans or dollar-denominated bonds — would have to pay more to drum up interest amid the ongoing political dispute in the region, Bloomberg News wrote.
* Profitability at Saudi Arabia's biggest banks — National Commercial Bank, Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp., Samba Financial Group, Riyad Bank, and Banque Saudi Fransi — could face further pressures going into 2018 as the government's move to rein in spending negatively impacts economic growth, which in turn dampens credit demand and weakens corporate and consumer borrowers' ability to repay debt, according to Moody's.
* Al Baraka Banking Group BSC unveiled plans to open 1,000 branches across the globe by 2020, Reuters noted.
* Last year's performance of Islamic banks in the UAE was impacted by higher funding costs and impairment charges, according to Fitch Ratings. The agency said it expects financing growth this year to slow to high single digits and for financing portfolios to start seasoning, resulting in a slight deterioration in the Islamic banks' impaired financing ratios.
* Hedva Ber, the Bank of Israel's financial system supervisor, said she would back a potential sale of Union Bank of Israel Ltd. to Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. as it would increase competition in the banking sector, Bloomberg News reported. Ber said she would favor a scenario in which Israel would have "a market of three big players," including Bank Hapoalim B.M. and Bank Leumi le-Israel BM.
* Bahrain-based Investcorp SA plans to make 10 investments across its real estate and private equity businesses in the current financial year, as it seeks to boost its AUM to $25 billion in the next three years or so, Reuters reported, citing Co-CEO Rishi Kapoor.
* The Dubai Financial Services Authority fined Chetan Parmar, a former employee of Deutsche Bank AG's DIFC branch, $25,000 for allegedly misleading the regulator. The DFSA said Parmar provided it with false information regarding DBDIFC's private wealth management activities.
* The Saudi Capital Market Authority approved Mulkia Investment's request to list units of Mulkia-Gulf Real Estate Investment Trust Fund on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Argaam noted.
* Burgan Bank K.P.S.C. has received central bank approval to buy and sell no more than 10% of the bank's shares.
* National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah PSC has teamed up with fintech platform Invoice Bazaar to offer supply chain finance solutions.
* CI Ratings affirmed Industrial Bank of Kuwait K.S.C.'s financial strength rating at A.
* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed QNB ALAHLI SAE's long-term foreign-currency rating at B- and its short-term foreign-currency rating at B, with a stable outlook.
* Morocco's Crédit Immobilier et Hôtelier SA has issued a profit warning over its first half results, according to analysts at BMCE Capital Bourse, the research division of Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur, La Nouvelle Tribune reported. The bank is expecting a 30% year-over-year drop in its net income to around 126.4 million dirhams.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* A Nigerian court dismissed a lawsuit against seven local banks — including United Bank for Africa Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Skye Bank Plc — over their alleged non-remittance of state funds worth $793 million, following the government's decision to seek an out-of-court settlement, Reuters reported. The judge awarded 200,000 naira in compensation to each of the lenders.
* Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said the government plans to refinance $3 billion of maturing naira-denominated short-term treasury bills with U.S. dollar debt of up to three years' maturity in a bid to boost the country's ability to repay debt and reduce costs, Reuters reported. The minister added that she aims to borrow less locally and more overseas in order to pay a lower interest rate.
* Kenya's electoral commission dismissed opposition leader Raila Odinga's claims that its IT systems were rigged in order to manipulate the preliminary results of the Aug. 8 presidential election, which showed him well behind incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, BBC News reported. Latest raw data published on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's website showed Kenyatta with 54.28% of the vote and Odinga trailing on 44.84%, with 97.22% of precincts reporting.
* Meanwhile, S&P Global Ratings analyst Gardner Rusike said Kenya's recent national elections will have no impact on the country's B+ credit rating and stable outlook as long as there is no repeat of the violence that took place after the 2007 elections, Reuters reported.
* Data from the Central Bank of Kenya showed that the average overnight cost of borrowing among banks was 9.22% for the week ended Aug. 2, amid the reduced liquidity in the run-up to the national elections, Business Daily Africa wrote.
* The newly sworn-in members of the Bank of Ghana's board are facing pressure to lower interest rates following calls from Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia for them to take action, Citi Business News wrote. The country has one of the highest interest rates globally with the average base rate and policy rate at 26.3% and 21%, respectively.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* S&P Global Ratings analyst Gardner Rusike said South African President Jacob Zuma's survival in a no-confidence parliamentary vote will have no impact on the country's credit rating, but the still-heightened political risks continue to pose risks for the economy, Reuters reported.
* Angolan authorities and banks have made some progress in addressing U.S. regulators' concerns regarding the African nation's money-laundering and terrorist-financing controls, which have led U.S.-regulated banks to reduce the level of dollar correspondent banking services to Angola; however, Moody's said it does not expect a return of dollar correspondent bank services in the near-term.
* The Insurance Regulation Agency in Angola said the assets from the insurance sector in the country surpassed $1 billion, with the industry experiencing a period of intense growth, Macauhub reported. Despite the progress, Finance Minister Archer Mangueira noted that the insurance industry, considered a priority for the government in the process of diversifying the economy, is still in a seeding phase, and the main challenge for the time being is to make sure such growth is sustainable, Jornal de Angola added.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: SEC delays Chicago Stock Exchange sale nod; AMP's H1 net profit declines 15%
Europe: Munich Re Q2 profit drops 25%; Vantiv, Worldpay reach deal; Ageas Q2 profit down
Latin America: Argentina maintains benchmark rate; Bancolombia income down 10.85%
North America: Pacific Premier buying Plaza Bancorp for $226.3M; Wells facing more scrutiny
North America Insurance: Goldman selling Rothesay Life stake; Anthem to submit data breach response plan
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
Sheryl Obejera, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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