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Dubai Islamic Bank, Bank Muscat post profits; Wafa Insurance CEO steps down


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Dubai Islamic Bank, Bank Muscat post profits; Wafa Insurance CEO steps down

* The International Monetary Fund, in its World Economic Outlook report for October, projected the global economy to expand 3.0% in 2019, a 0.3-percentage-point downgrade from the previous forecast in April. Monetary policy by major central banks deserves credit for supporting global growth, the fund said, adding that global growth in both 2019 and 2020 would be lower by 0.5 percentage points in the absence of monetary stimulus.

* At least two former Credit Suisse Group AG — Andrew Pearse and Detelina Subeva — are set to testify for the U.S. in a federal trial this week for an alleged $2 billion kickback scam in Mozambique, Bloomberg News reported. Earlier this year, Pearse has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting that he helped arrange bank loans to Mozambican state-controlled firms and received kickbacks.


* Saudi Arabia could pay the 20 banks working on the planned IPO of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. an aggregate amount of up to $450 million, insiders told Bloomberg News. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are reportedly set to take the biggest chunk. Other banks involved in the mega-listing include Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings PLC and Credit Suisse Group AG.

* Saudi Indian Co. for Cooperative Insurance, or Wafa Insurance, said CEO Abdul al-Rahman Ibn Abd Allah al-Sahli has expressed his intention to not renew his contract, which expired Oct. 14. The firm's board of directors will appoint an interim CEO, subject to the regulatory approval.

* Al Alamiya for Cooperative Insurance Co. named Martin Rueegg a nonexecutive director, subject to shareholders' approval.

* Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC's third-quarter profit attributable to owners of the bank inched up to 1.25 billion United Arab Emirates dirhams from the year-ago 1.23 billion dirhams. For the nine months to September-end, the bank's attributable profit amounted to 4.0 billion dirhams, up year over year from 3.62 billion dirhams.

* The emirate of Sharjah has tapped HSBC to coordinate a potential issuance of 10-year U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bonds, according to a document seen by Reuters. Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered are also involved in the potential offering.

* Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF plans to sign 10 deals of more than $1.3 billion with parties based in the UAE, including Mubadala Investment Co., Reuters reported. The investments would be in the high tech, healthcare and industrial manufacturing sectors, among other industries.

* Oman-based Bank Muscat SAOG posted net profit of 141.4 million rials in the first nine months, up 5.0% year over year from 134.7 million rial.

* Kuwait's Boubyan Bank KSCP received approval from the country's central bank to extend for another six months the buying, selling or disposal of no more than 10% of its issued shares.

* Gulf Investment Services Holding Co. said it has received a nonbinding acquisition offer for 100% of its shareholding in Gulf Baader Capital Markets SAOC from an unnamed financial institution, adding that its board of directors has declined the offer.


* The economic crisis in Lebanon is expected to put more pressure on local banks due to their exposure to sovereign debt, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The crisis had already affected banks' performance in the first half, with the profitability of Bank Audi SAL, Blom Bank SAL and Byblos Bank SAL falling.

* The Moroccan Capital Markets Authority AMMC has approved the injection of 1.9 billion dirhams into Morocco's Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur SA by CDC Group, the U.K. government-owned development finance institution, Finances News reported. The capital increase is part of a larger strategic financing plan by the Moroccan group that is aimed at raising 6.5 billion dirhams in the 2019-21 period to strengthen its regulatory capital and finance growth.


* Ethiopia is confident that it will receive an additional $1 billion from the World Bank over the next fiscal year, with Yinager Dessie, central bank governor, telling Bloomberg News that the lender has given the country "some objectives that have to be met every year." The World Bank last year approved $1.2 billion for the government's plan to liberalize the economy and attract foreign funding.

* The IMF recommended to the Nigerian central bank to unify the exchange rate system in the country to eradicate distorted public and private sector decisions, The Punch reported. The fund also advised the government to boost non-oil revenue.

* Access Bank PLC's PayDay Loan product has recorded over 1 billion naira of daily loan volumes, according to Business Post Nigeria. The product is the flagship of the bank's digital portfolio.

* Bosomtwe Rural Bank joined the Ghana Deposit Protection Scheme to protect deposits in the event of a downturn, Joy Business wrote.


* South African sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Corp. (SOC) Ltd. will split the roles of the CEO and the chief investment officer in light of criticism that the CEO had too much power, Bloomberg News wrote, citing Reuel Khoza, the fund's interim chairman. Vuyani Hako is PIC's acting CEO.

* Angola's ARC competition regulator has allowed Banco Económico SA to take control of insurer Tranquilidade Seguros de Angola by buying a stake in the company from Portugal's Sociedades Unidas, Expansão reported. The head of the ARC's Concentration Control department, Inocêncio Muachingue, was quoted as saying that the transaction "merited a favorable ruling" because it not pose a threat to competition.

* Angolan President João Lourenço said the economy should return to growth in 2020 after a four-year slump linked to falling oil production and lower crude prices, Bloomberg reported, citing his state-of-the-nation speech in parliament Oct. 15. He said growth would be spurred by his government's efforts to diversify the oil-dependent economy. The IMF expects Angola's GDP to increase by 1.2% next year, Novo Jornal reported.


Asia-Pacific: China opens up banking, insurance sectors; Latitude IPO falls through

Europe: Dutch banks need €3B; Woodford fund shut down; Italy may cut bank loss tax help

Latin America: PagSeguro launches follow-on offer; Banco Security names new CEO

North America: JPMorgan posts YOY Q3 net income growth; Citi eyeing securities unit in China

Global Insurance: UnitedHealth's Q3 earnings top $5B; Hagibis claims projection; Voce targets Argo

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

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