* Credit Suisse Group AG is splitting its international wealth management division into seven regions, including the Middle East and Africa, from four and each region will have its own management following the split, insiders told Bloomberg News. The bank could make an announcement on the move — which is part of CEO Tidjane Thiam's push to regionalize the Swiss lender — as early as this week.
* Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co., which holds a 17.8% stake in Malaysia's RHB Bank Bhd. through unit Aabar Investments PJS, has put $150 million worth of shares in the Malaysian lender up for sale in a block trade yesterday, insiders told Reuters.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* A court in the United Arab Emirates is set to issue a judgment on Aug. 26 against Abraaj Group Ltd. founder Arif Naqvi and another executive for allegedly issuing a check with insufficient funds, Reuters reported. The case was filed by Hamid Jafar, a founding investor in Abraaj, and the parties are continuing negotiations to reach a potential settlement before the next hearing.
* Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. CEO Steve Bertamini said the Saudi Arabia-based lender expects mid-single-digit growth in overall lending from 2019 as a result of an increase in mortgages and a recovery in the country's economy, Bloomberg News reported. The lender's loan portfolio declined 1.7% in the 12 months ended June 30.
* Amana Cooperative Insurance Co. submitted a request to Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority to increase its capital by 100 million riyals to 240 million riyals through a rights issue.
* Fitch Ratings affirmed the BBB+/F2 long- and short-term issuer default ratings of Saudi Arabia-based Alinma Bank as well as Bank AlJazira and unit Aljazira Capital. The outlook on the long-term ratings is stable.
* The Turkey financing portfolio of Kuwait Finance House KSCP is stable and diversified between the Turkish lira and major foreign currencies, the lender said amid the currency crisis in Turkey, Reuters reported.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Bank Leumi le-Israel BM reported second-quarter net income attributable to shareholders of 903 million Israeli shekels, up from 876 million shekels a year ago. For the first half, the bank's attributable net income increased on a yearly basis to 1.63 billion shekels from 1.50 billion shekels.
* Dexia Israel Bank Ltd.'s board of directors hired Israeli investment bank Value Base to help find potential buyers for Dexia Israel, according to Globes. Israel Discount Bank Ltd. and Bank of Jerusalem Ltd. have both tabled bids for a merger with Dexia Israel.
* Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said a replacement for Karnit Flug as governor of the country's central bank may be appointed before or after next year's national election, Reuters reported. Flug, whose tenure ends Nov. 12, may be replaced by Deputy Governor Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg on an interim basis.
* Economists polled by Reuters expect the Central Bank of Egypt to keep the deposit and lending rates unchanged at 16.75% and 17.75%, respectively, at its Aug. 16 monetary policy committee meeting. The regulator is also expected to hold back on further rate cuts this year until inflation stabilizes.
* The Syrian central bank laid out the terms for new certificates of deposit for surplus foreign currency in euros and U.S. dollars that the government has allowed the regulator to issue in a bid to attract foreign-currency deposits in the country, according to Reuters.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Digital money transfer company WorldRemit signed a direct partnership with Kenyan telecommunications firm Safaricom PLC, allowing customers to instantly transfer money to M-Pesa mobile money accounts in Kenya.
* The investment bank that Western Kenya's Lake Region Economic Bloc has established is set to commence operations in October, Standard Digital reported. Members of the bloc bought an existing financial institution rather than create a new bank from scratch.
* The Bank of Ghana said it intends to prosecute executives of collapsed lenders uniBank (Ghana) Ltd., Royal Bank Ltd., Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank and Construction Bank suspected of insider dealing and dissipating funds of depositors, Reuters wrote. The central bank is also looking at barring directors responsible for the five banks' failure from working in the local financial sector.
* Nigeria-based Guaranty Trust Bank PLC said it expects a 10% increase in its loan portfolio by year-end, after loans dropped 11% in the first half, Reuters reported.
* Banque Atlantique Mali has adopted the brand identity of its Morocco-based parent, Banque Centrale Populaire, Financial Afrik wrote.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* The African National Congress, South Africa's ruling party, has backed President Cyril Ramaphosa's proposal to establish a sovereign wealth fund as part of efforts to support the country's economic growth, Reuters wrote.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Anbang eyes Dutch unit sale; India's Cosmos Bank hacked; IAG posts FY'18 results
Europe: Esure, Bain Capital reach £1.21B deal; Swiss Life names CFO; Aareal posts profit
Latin America: Argentina hikes key rate to 45%; BNDES H1 profit soars 253.9%
North America: Wells eyes student loan refinancing; Goldman advising on Tesla privatization
Global Insurance: Icahn ends Express Scripts feud; Willis suing Alliant; Swiss Life profit rises
Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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