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SSA news through Sept. 6

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SSA news through Sept. 6

* China's President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion for African development over the next three years as he countered criticism that Beijing, through its "debt diplomacy," is ensnaring African countries in a debt trap, the Financial Times reported.

EAST AFRICA

* Kenyan lawmakers junked a proposal that would have forced banks to increase their core capital to 5 billion shillings from 1 billion shillings over the next four years, Business Daily Africa wrote.

* Kenya's public prosecutor accused Hassan Zubeidi, the former chairman of Nairobi-based Dubai Bank Kenya, of taking part in a fraudulent cash transaction between 2013 and 2015 that led to Kenya Airways losing roughly 521.9 million Kenyan shillings, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Rwanda-based Bank of Kigali off-loaded a 30% stake in unit BK General Insurance to Mauritian insurer Swan General Ltd. for 860 million Rwandan francs, the lender's CFO Nathalie Mpaka told Reuters.

WEST AFRICA

* Standard Bank Group Ltd. said unit Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc was fined by Nigeria's central bank 1.89 billion naira in connection with an investigation into client remittances relating to South African telecommunications firm MTN Group Ltd., which faces allegations of breach of foreign exchange regulations.

* Nigeria-based Unity Bank PLC sold 400 billion naira worth of bad loans and is seeking to raise about 270 billion naira to strengthen its capital buffers, Bloomberg News reported. The bank is also trying to conclude talks for a cash injection after missing a regulatory deadline in 2017 to boost the amount of cash it sets aside as a buffer against potential shocks.

* Maurice Phido, former CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria PLC unit Union Bank UK Plc, was arrested last year by the U.K. National Crime Agency over suspicions of bribery, insiders told the Financial Times.

* KPMG, the receiver for now-defunct uniBank (Ghana) Ltd., has turned to the High Court in its bid to make the bank's founder Kwabena Duffuor and 16 other individuals liable for engaging in illegal transactions and make them repay roughly 5.71 billion Ghanaian cedis owed to the lender, Joy Online reported.

* Africa-focused investment firm Atlas Mara Ltd. closed the acquisition of additional shares of Union Bank of Nigeria, raising its stake in the bank to 49% from 48%. The completion was announced together with Atlas Mara's first-half results, which saw its after-tax profit for the period more than double to $28.6 million from the year-ago $11.5 million.

* Nigeria-based AIICO Insurance Plc plans to raise 25 billion naira via a private placement, Business Day reported.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Cape Verde's long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings at B/B, with stable outlooks.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Ghana's B/B long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings and its B country ceiling, with stable outlooks on the long-term ratings.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* South Africa fell into its first recession since 2009, with the country's GDP shrinking an annualized 0.7% quarter over quarter after a revised 2.6% contraction in the previous quarter.

* Moody's said it now projects South Africa's economy to expand 0.7% to 1% in 2018, compared to its earlier estimate of 1.5%, Bloomberg noted.

* Old Mutual Ltd. CEO Peter Moyo said the insurer will return 46.8 billion South African rand to shareholders in a series of dividends at the end of the year, as the company's first-half profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent rose 41.9% year over year to 10.65 billion rand. Moyo added that Old Mutual would enter the increasingly competitive banking market for South African low-income earners.

* Sanlam Ltd. reported normalized headline earnings of 4.92 billion rand for the first half, up from 4.48 billion rand in the first half of 2017.

* FirstRand Ltd. reported headline earnings of 26.51 billion rand for the year ended June 30, up from 23.76 billion rand a year ago. The company declared a final dividend of 1.45 rand, up from 1.36 rand a year earlier, bringing the total dividend for the 2018 financial year to 2.75 rand.

* South African insurer Discovery Ltd. said it is on track to launch its own bank within the year after it agreed to acquire FirstRand's 25.01% stake in unit Discovery Bank. The stake, along with all economic interests and rights of Discovery Card, are being sold for a total combined acquisition price of 1.8 billion rand.

* CBZ Holdings Ltd. said it is confident that it will avoid paying a $385 million fine that the U.S. government imposed on the bank for several transactions it carried out on behalf of ZB Bank while the latter was placed under economic sanctions, New Zimbabwe reported. CBZ reported first-half consolidated profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of $34.3 million, up from $11.9 million a year earlier.

* Portugal-based Caixa Económica Montepio Geral caixa económica bancária SA said unit Montepio Holding SGPS SA agreed to sell its entire 45.78% stake in Mozambique-based Banco Terra SA to Arise BV.

* Mozambique's Moza Banco SA made an offer to purchase the entire share capital of Banco Terra, Jornal Noticias noted.

* Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. will acquire a 22.5% stake in Hollard Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Hollard International for about 5 billion South African rand.

* Angola-based Banco Postal has increased its capital to 10.5 billion kwanzas in line with new solvency rules issued by the central bank, Jornal de Angola wrote.

CENTRAL AFRICA

* Democratic Republic of the Congo opposition leader and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba was disqualified from running in this year's presidential election by the country's constitutional court, citing his conviction for witness-tampering by the International Criminal Court in 2017, the Financial Times reported.

* The Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale will make 265 billion CFA francs of liquidity available, remunerated at a minimum rate of 2.95%, to several commercial banks in the six nations of the Economic Community of Central African States, Financial Afrik wrote.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

Helen Popper and Sophie Davies contributed to this report.