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SSA news through Oct. 6

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SSA news through Oct. 6

* TheIMF revised its growth forecastfor sub-Saharan Africa to 1.4% in 2016 and 2.9% in 2017, down 0.2 percentage pointsand 0.4 percentage points, respectively, from its last forecast in July. Thefund expects Nigeria's economy to decline 1.7% this year and rise 0.6% in 2017,while South Africa's economy is expected to grow 0.1% and 0.8% in 2016 and2017, respectively. The IMF also noted that brain drain in the form ofemigration to member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation andDevelopment has increased sharply in the last 15 years.

*World Bank President Jim Yong Kim suggested that sub-Saharan Africa is not atrisk of a debt crisis despite a slump in commodity prices, accordingto Financial Afrik. He said theaggregate debt of countries in the region stands at just under 50% of GDP.

*U.K.-headquartered StandardChartered Plc named Mohamed Abdel Bary regional CFO of its operationsin the Middle East and Africa. He joined StanChart four years ago and hasserved as interim regional CFO since January.

EASTAFRICA

*KCB Group Ltd. CEOJoshua Oigara said the lender is in talks with firms such as and about cooperating ondigital payments through KCB Fintech, the group's financial technology unit setto launch in June 2017. The Kenyan lender aims to have 20 million customersusing its mobile-phone platform by 2017-end, Bloomberg News noted.

* GeraldNyaoma, director of bank supervision at the Central Bank of Kenya, issued anotice ordering lenders in the country to revoke any additional fees on loansand stop reclassifying products to circumvent the law capping interest rates, according to Standard Digital.

*Family BankLtd. intends to lay off several staff in the next two weeks tocut costs and boost its overall performance, The Star reported. The Kenyan lender has offered avoluntary early retirement program to certain employees as of Oct. 1.

*The Kenyan High Court blocked Imperial Bank Ltd. directors from selling their assetsin companies before a conclusion is reached in a lawsuit filed by the centralbank to recover 45 billion shillings from the lender's shareholders anddirectors, Standard Digital reported.

*CDC Group Plc, a development finance institution owned by the Britishgovernment, completed the acquisition of a 10.68% stake in , the parent ofI&M Bank Ltd. CDCacquired the shares from France's Proparco and Germany's , becoming the fourth-largest shareholder in the company.

* Kenyais close to signing a deal to establish a regional headquarters for theAfrican Export-ImportBank in Nairobi, Business Daily wrote. Afreximbank had signaled thatit would establish the regional headquarters in Ethiopia if Kenya does notgrant it diplomatic status by September-end.

WESTAFRICA

* FidelityBank Ghana Ltd. Managing Director Jim Baiden said the lender aimsto list on the Ghana Stock Exchange within the next two to five years, CitiBusiness News reported.The board approved the IPO plan but work on the listing has yet to begin.Fidelity Bank Ghana is also on the lookoutfor opportunities to acquire smaller banks in the country, as it expects thatnot all lenders will meet higher minimum capital requirements planned by thecentral bank.

* Access BankPlc plans to sell a stake of approximately 19% in in an IPO ofthe Ghanaian lender, expected to be launched before the end of the year, accordingto Bloomberg News. The unit is looking to raise at least 104 million cediby issuing shares at 4 cedi per share, and could sell up to 32% of its shares.

* EcobankTransnational Inc. named Greg Davis CFO and finance group executive,effective Oct. 18. He joins Ecobank from Standard Bank Group Ltd., where he was CFO for Africanoperations outside South Africa.

* Audu Ogbeh, Nigerian minister of state for agriculture andrural development, said the country intends to establish an agriculture-focusedbank, Vanguard reported.The bank will be owned by the government as well as farmers and otherstakeholders in the agricultural sector.  

* The ratio of Nigerian lenders' nonperforming loans tototal credit stood at 11.7% at the end of June, more than twice the 5%threshold set by the Central Bank of Nigeria, accordingto Bloomberg News. The ratio stood at 5.3% at the end of 2015.

* Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presented twobills to the country's legislature aiming to create a regulatory framework forthe launch of a stock market, Agence Ecofin reported,citing AFKinsider.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* TheMozambican central bank placed Moza Banco SA under emergency administration, saying thebank's financial and prudential situation has become unsustainable. Authoritiesplan to stabilize the bank and then sell it in a process expected to last atleast six months, according to Bloomberg News.

*Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos announced a complete restructuring ofBanco de Poupança e CréditoSA's administrative board, Angola Press wrote.Dos Santos appointed Cristina Florência Dias Van-Dúnem nonexecutive presidentof the board and Zinho Baptista Manuel executive president.

*Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said his country will amend theindigenization and economic empowerment law that requires majority stakes inforeign-owned firms, including banks, to be held by black Zimbabweans, Reuters reported.Mugabe had said the law was confusing businesses and deterred investors.

*The Johannesburg Stock Exchange failed in an interim attempt to block ZAR XStock Exchange, a new rival exchange, from obtaining an operating license,Reuters wrote. The South African Financial Services Board said itfound "no evidence that the JSE would suffer harm or prejudice" inallowing ZAR X Stock Exchange to operate. TheJSE's main appeal is still pending.

*Zambia National Commercial BankPlc named Hendrik Gezienus Mulder managing director, effective Nov.1, the Lusaka Times reported. Mulder will succeed Bruce Dick.

Padráig Belton and Mariana Aldanocontributed to this report.