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SSA news through Dec. 14

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SSA news through Dec. 14

* Mozambique, Ethiopia and Kenya are among the top 10 emerging markets most exposed to risks stemming from faster-than-expected interest rate hikes by central banks in developed countries, according to S&P Global Ratings.

EAST AFRICA

* Tanzanian President John Magufuli instructed the central bank to tighten controls on hard currency and take quick action against failing banks in an effort to stem financial crimes and safeguard the local shilling currency, Reuters reported.

* Billionaire investor Baloobhai Patel became the second-largest individual investor in Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd. after he raised his stake in the lender to 25.2 million shares in September from 5.8 million shares in February, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Ecobank Transnational Inc. unit Ecobank Rwanda Ltd. plans to invest more in developing its digital channels ahead of a planned closure of five of its branches across the country in January 2018, according to Managing Director Alice Kilonzo-Zulu, The New Times wrote.

* Development Bank of Rwanda Ltd. appointed Eric Rutabana its new CEO.

WEST AFRICA

* Liberia's central bank has said that by March 31, 2018, all insurance companies must comply with new capital requirements or have their licenses revoked, Financial Afrik reported. Nonlife insurers will need to maintain a minimum capital of $1.5 million. The requirement for life insurers and reinsurers is $750,000 and $5 million, respectively.

* The Bank of Ghana is working on a policy aimed at encouraging individuals with information on banks' misconduct to come forward and offering them whistleblower protection, Graphic Online wrote.

* Meanwhile, Johnson Asiama, second deputy governor at the Bank of Ghana, dismissed reports that he has resigned, saying he was only on a 10-day leave, Citi Business News wrote.

* Access Bank (Ghana) Plc's shareholders approved a capital-raising program comprising a 150 million cedi bond program and a 300 million cedi rights issue, Reuters reported.

* Allianz Ghana named Darlington Munhuwani its new CEO, effective Dec. 1, to replace Patrick Prado, who will take on the newly created role of Allianz Ghana Life Insurance CEO, Citifmonline reported.

* Sterling Bank Plc revived a plan to sell bonds worth 27 billion Nigerian naira in the first half of 2018 to raise its capital amid expectations that borrowing costs in the country will decline, Bloomberg News reported.

* Brazilian reinsurer IRB-Brasil Resseguros SA said it has exercised a put option of all its shares in Nigeria-based African Reinsurance Corp.

* Ecobank Côte d'Ivoire has been listed on the West Africa bourse in Abidjan following its IPO in late September, Reuters reported.

* Edoh Amenounve, head of the BRVM stock exchange, announced his bourse would expand to include listings from mining companies, Financial Afrik reported.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Bank of Mauritius First Deputy Governor Yandraduth Googoolye has been appointed new governor of the central bank, with effect from Jan. 15, 2018, Bloomberg News reported. Googoolye, who has been the central bank's first deputy governor since July 2006, replaces Rameswurlall Basant Roi, whose three-year term ends this month. Renganaden Padayachy will replace Googoolye as first deputy governor.

* Investec Group unit Investec Bank Ltd. has derivative exposures linked to South African furnishing and clothing group Steinhoff International Holdings NV's share price, which could have a potential impact of up to 3% to the group's posttax operating profit. Other banks with exposure to Steinhoff include Standard Bank Ltd. and BNP Paribas SA. At the same time, FirstRand unit Rand Merchant Bank said a review of its exposures to Steinhoff and entities owned by Chairman Christoffel Weise showed that they were "adequately secured," according to Bloomberg News.

* The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is now directly dealing with one of the whistleblowers that supplied former Labour cabinet minister Peter Hain with information about potential money laundering in South Africa as part of an investigation into allegations of illicit transfers out of South Africa by the controversial Gupta family via British banks HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc, The Daily Telegraph reported.

* A majority of Aldermore Group Plc shareholders approved South Africa-based FirstRand Ltd.'s offer to acquire the British challenger bank.

* Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos told Bloomberg News that she is planning to sell stakes in Banco de Fomento Angola SA and Banco BIC SA. Dos Santos also said Banco de Fomento Angola is planning an IPO for a stake of up to 25% in the first quarter of 2019 and that there is a plan to off-load a portion of Banco BIC through a private placement, with a road show for potential investors slated for the first quarter of 2018.

* Portuguese lenders Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA and Banco BPI SA increased their stakes to 61.5% from 51.0% and to 35.67% from 30%, respectively, in Mozambique-based Banco Comercial e de Investimento SA after acquiring shares from Insitec Capital SA.

* Standard Bank Group Ltd. appointed Lungisa Fuzile, the former director general of South Africa's National Treasury, CEO of Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd., effective Jan. 15, 2018, Reuters reported. Fuzile will assume some responsibilities from group CEO Sim Tshabalala.

* Stanbic Bank Zambia Ltd. has announced that Leina Gabaraane will take over as managing director of the bank in January 2018, replacing Charles Mudiwa, who was appointed CEO of Stanbic Bank Kenya Ltd., Financial Afrik reported. Gabaraane was most recently head of Stanbic Bank Botswana Ltd.

* Ousted Zimbabwean Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, who was taken into custody by the military in the run-up to Robert Mugabe's resignation as president, is facing new corruption charges from the independent Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Reuters reported. The watchdog accused Chombo of criminal abuse of office during his time as government minister in 2005.

* Zimbabwe's central bank gave the separation of ZB Financial Holdings Ltd. from Intermarket Holdings Ltd until Dec. 31 to complete, according to The Herald.

CENTRAL AFRICA

* Moody's lowered the ratings outlook on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to negative from stable, citing a significant rise in macroeconomic volatility and external pressures amid the country's increasingly polarized political scene.

* Cameroonian officials have complained about credit tightening, attributing much of the blame to Eximbank-China, Agence Ecofin said.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.