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Mashreqbank gets new chairman, CEO; Absa's CIB unit eyes China office


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Mashreqbank gets new chairman, CEO; Absa's CIB unit eyes China office


* Abdullah Ahmed al-Ghurair resigned as chairman of Mashreqbank PSC and will be succeeded by CEO Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair. The Dubai-based lender appointed Ahmed Mohamed Abdelaal new CEO. It comes as Mashrebank's third-quarter attributable profit slipped year over year to 535.8 million United Arab Emirates dirhams from 586.6 million dirhams. For the nine months to Sept. 30, the bank posted attributable profit of 1.76 billion dirhams, up from the year-ago 1.75 billion dirhams.

* The board of directors of the UAE Insurance Authority has issued directives covering life insurance and takaful family insurance, Argaam reported. The move aims to regulate the life insurance sector and to make it more Shariah-compliant to meet growing market demand.

* Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority imposed a penalty of 20,000 riyals against Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. for violating disclosure regulations. The watchdog also approved the planned IPO of Al-Mubarak Saudi Sovereign Sukuk Fund, a unit of Arab National Investment Co.

* Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority cancelled the license of Kuwait Investment Co. to set up Smart Tech Fund.


* Tunisia's electoral commission declared independent candidate Kais Saied the winner of presidential elections over the weekend after he secured 72.7% of total votes, Aljazeera reported. Receiving 2.7 million votes, Saied defeated business tycoon Nabil Karoui, who got 1 million votes.

* U.S.-based Prudential Finance wants to take shares in Egypt's Sarwa Life Insurance through its impact investing division, Agence Ecofin reported.


* The five largest Nigerian banks by assets — Access Bank PLC, Zenith Bank PLC, FBN Holdings PLC, United Bank for Africa PLC and Guaranty Trust Bank PLC — will have to hike their loan-to-deposit ratio before the end of 2019 to avoid penalties, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The country's central bank recently required lenders to hold a minimum loan-to-deposit ratio of 65% by 2019-end. The five banks all fell short of the threshold as of June 30.

* Nigerian lending platform Lidya plans to loan €1 billion to small businesses unable to get bank loans in Poland and the Czech Republic over the next five years, Ercin Eksin, the company's co-founder, told Bloomberg News, adding that the company plans to enter up to four countries annually, including the Eastern European region. The loans will particularly target the agriculture, pharmaceutical and retail sectors.

* Kenya is poised to sign 44 loan deals with 15 external lenders, including African Development Bank, China, Japan and the World Bank, as it seeks to borrow 422 billion shillings after lawmakers cleared a proposal to increase the governments' debt limit, Bloomberg News reported, citing parliament documents.

* The Kenya Revenue Authority is looking at bank accounts in its crackdown against tax evaders, prompting concerns about banking secrecy in the country, Business Daily Africa noted. However, the KRA is anchoring its operations on the Tax Procedures Act, which compels third parties to disclose information.

* NIC Group PLC and Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., following their merger, started the process for the combination of their investment banking units, NIC Capital Ltd.. and CBA Capital Ltd., and securities brokerage business, NIC Securities Ltd. After the amalgamation, the investment banking and securities brokerage businesses would be done through NIC Capital.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed the AA- insurer financial strength ratings of Nairobi-based African Guarantee Fund, with a stable outlook.

* Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd. began its shift towards the Absa brand and change its name to that of the group by the middle of next year, Seychelles News Agency reported. This forms part of the bank's full transformation into South Africa-based Absa Group Ltd.'s brand.

* The Rwanda Insurers Association and the National Bank of Rwanda proposed a risk-based pricing scheme, which would take effect in January 2020, according to The New Times. Firms are expected meet and discuss the plan over the next few weeks.


* The corporate and investment banking unit of South Africa-based Absa Group Ltd. intends to set up an office in China as part of its plans to expand in Asia and the Middle East, Charles Russon, the division's CEO, told Bloomberg News. Russon added that the division's M&A team plans one or two new hires to support its goal of contributing over 40% of group earnings.

* Jose Massano, Angola's central bank governor, said more lenders in the country could have their licenses withdrawn following the release of the results of an asset quality review by October-end, Reuters reported. Commercial banks holding insufficient capital deposits would be given until June next year to bridge their deficits, he added.

* Voters in Mozambique are set to go to the polls today in an election that is expected to keep the long-ruling Frelimo party in power and test a fragile peace deal signed two months ago between Frelimo and main opposition rival Renamo, Reuters reported. Frelimo is widely expected to win the presidential, legislative and provincial polls, despite a corruption scandal over "hidden" government borrowing that has weighed on the economy and tarnished President Filipe Nyusi's approval ratings.

* Ana Gomes, a Portuguese former member of the European Parliament, accused Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos of racking up hefty debts as a way to launder money and Portugal's central bank of not doing enough to crack down on money laundering, Expresso reported. Gomes spoke via Twitter in response to an interview given by dos Santos to the official Lusa news agency. Following her accusations, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, CEO of EuroBic, the Portuguese unit of Angola's Banco BIC SA, demanded that Gomes provide evidence to back up her claims and threatened to start libel proceedings. Dos Santos is a leading shareholder in the bank.


Asia-Pacific: HK regulator slashes bank buffers; ASIC to clamp down on financial products

Europe: Barclays execs' 'misleading audit trail;' Deutsche to end Malta relationships

Latin America: 7 banks in hot water for Mexico bond market manipulation; Banco XP gets license

North America: Facebook's Libra loses backers; California CUs call off proposed merger

Global Insurance: Michael insured losses breach $7B; Hagibis hits Japan; Berkshire unit deal

Sheryl Obejera, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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