MIDDLEEAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Israelicourt stays pay cap proposal: Israel's Supreme Court issued a temporary injunctionyesterday against the government's plan to enact in October a law that will capsalaries of executives in banks and insurance firms at 2.5 million shekels, ornot more than 44x the salary of the lowest-paid employee at the company,Reuters reports. Justice Yoram Danziger saidin his ruling: "Due to uncertainty and vagueness regarding thelegislators' intentions in several significant points of the law, some bankemployees have quit their job and other are considering resigning."
*Moody's said the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU will not have a significantcredit impact on Gulf Cooperation Council sovereigns as their trade exposure toBritain is limited and the size of their sovereign wealth funds offersresilience against potential fluctuations in the value of some assets. Moody's said banking sectorretrenchment presents moderate risks, with the UAE and Qatar vulnerable in theevent of a retrenchment of British lenders from the region.
*S&P Global Ratings placed National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC's AA-/A-1+ long- andshort-term credit ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications andFirst Gulf BankPJSC's A/A-1 long- and short-term credit ratings on CreditWatchwith positive implications following the lenders' announcement that they intendto merge. The agency said the ratings actions signify that the planned mergercould weaken National Bank of Abu Dhabi's creditworthiness, while First GulfBank's outstanding creditors could ultimately be exposed to a lender that ismore creditworthy.
*The Central Bank of Oman said in its Annual Report 2015that lenders' exposure to the real estate sector could leave them vulnerable toconsiderable risks of a weakening property market. Islamic banks' high exposureto the real estate sector warrants a review of their lending policies andpractices, the central bank said. Additionally, Executive President HamoodSangour al-Zadjali said the banking sector remains well capitalized, profitableand fairly liquid despite challenging economic conditions.
*Lebanon-based HoldingM. Sehnaoui SAL is buying a majority stake in Piraeus Bank Cyprus Ltd. fromGreece-based Piraeus BankSA.
*Morocco-based Attijariwafa BankSA unit BanqueAttijari de Tunisie reported profit of 91.2 million Tunisian dinarsfor full-year 2015 and announced a dividend of 1.5 dinars per share, L'Economiste Maghrébin reports.
*Oman Arab Bank SAOCappointed Rashad Ali al-Musafir deputyCEO, with effect Aug. 14. Al-Musafir joins from , where he was mostrecently acting CEO, CFO and acting head of compliance. The Times of Oman covers. CPIFinancial also reports.
* United ArabBank PJSC closed a $150 million syndicated two-year loan facilityat 175 basis points over LIBOR, CPIFinancial reports.
* Egypt's fiscal position remains unstable, says Moody's,with Central Bank of Egypt data for the three quarters ended June 30 showingthe country's current account deficit at $14.5 billion, compared to $8.3billion a year ago, Daily News Egypt reports.
* CFA Society Egypt said almost two-thirds of certified CFAfinancial analysts forecast that Egypt's central bank will further devalue thepound, Daily News Egypt reports.
EASTAND WEST AFRICA
Nigeriainflation at 6-year high: Despite devaluation of the naira, inflation in Nigeriahas reached its highest level in six years, 15.6% in May, Jeune Afrique says.
*Shares in Skye BankPlc and Diamond BankPlc plunged for the third consecutive day after the Nigeriancentral bank replaced Skye Bank's top executives last week, accordingtoBloomberg News. Skye Bank dropped 9.2% to 79 kobo, while Diamond Bank fell 8%to 1.85 naira.
* Meanwhile,Skye Bank Chairman M.K. Ahmad said the central bank did not assume control overthe lender but only intervened to correct corporate governance problems underthe old board, ThisDay writes.
*More than 400 employees called out Diamond Bank for failing to provide themwith severance pay following a sudden termination, the News Agency of Nigeria notes.
*KCB Group Ltd., formerlyKenya Commercial Bank, trimmed its operations in war-torn South Sudan, The Star reports.
* Ugandanalternative market ALTX East Africa began to trade, supporting multi-currencytrading so that investors do not need to convert their holdings to Ugandanshillings, Agence Ecofin reports.
CENTRALAND SOUTHERN AFRICA
Angolalowers growth forecast:Angola, its economy severely affected by the decline in the price of oil,lowered its 2016 growth forecast to 1.3% from 3% and reduced its budget by $6billion, Jeune Afrique reports. Meanwhile, Agence Ecofin notes that Angola'sfinance minister said the country borrowed some $11.5 billion between Novemberand June to help deal with its budget deficit.
*Around 800 people in the Northern Province of Cabinda opened bank accounts forthe first time, under a Banco Nacional de Angola development program aimed atproviding easy access to banking services, Angop notes.
*Macauhub reports that a study indicates thatcommercial banking in Mozambique grew 20% year over year in 2015.
*The Gupta family, along with other prominent individuals, is trying to lobbySouth African President Jacob Zuma to reject passing into law a bill that willinvestigate the wealth of "domestic prominent influential persons" orthose with political ties, saying it would give banks powers to "settlepolitical scores," South Africa's Sunday Times writes.The bill has been with the president for some time and he can only refuse tosign in case of a constitutional objection, an insider told the paper.
*The Johannesburg Stock Exchange launched ashorter three-day settlement cycle, known as T+3, in an aim to align withinternational best practice settlement standards. Equities will now bedelivered in exchange for payment in four days, compared to the previoussix-day settlement cycle.
* Fundmanager Vantage Capital said it provided a 200 million rand expansion facilityto New GX Capital, one of South Africa's fully black-owned investmentcompanies, Financial Afrik reports.
INOTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: BTMU, Mizuho to join international payment system; ClearView eyesAsian buyer
Europe: €150BEU bank rescue program proposed; BoE rate cut likely; Deutsche Börse, LSE movefor merger
Latin America: BM&FBOVESPA ups stake in Santiago stock exchange
North America: Thomson Reuters selling intellectual property, science biz for$3.55B; First Hawaiian registers for IPO
North America Insurance: Oregon health insurance co-op folds; Aetna, DOJ officials talkHumana deal
S&PGlobal Ratings and S&P Global Markey Intelligence are owned by S&PGlobal Inc.
XanaKakoty, Sarah Raslan, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to thisreport.
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