Editor's note: The Daily Dose MEA will not be published Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 on account of the holidays. The Daily Dose MEA will return Jan. 2, 2019.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* Doha Bank QPSC has closed a $525 million syndicated senior unsecured term loan facility with a consortium of international and regional banks, according to The Peninsula. The transaction was oversubscribed, allowing the lender to upsize the facility from the initial target size of $400 million.
* UniCap Investment and Finance said it has received proposal to sell its 37.71% stake in Iskan Oman Investment Co. SAOC.
* United Gulf Holding Co. BSC said that 32,860,631 of its shares, representing 7.96% of its paid capital, were transferred by its controller Kuwait Projects Co. to Burgan Bank KPSC.
* Bank Nizwa SAOG head of compliance Akbar Abdul Rashid al-Balushi has resigned. He is replaced by Mohammed Hamed al-Hashmi.
* Banque Saudi Fransi's board proposed a dividend of 80 halalas per share for the second half, amounting to 959.5 million riyals.
* National Bank of Kuwait SAKP launched a new service dubbed NBK Direct Remit that will allow immediate cross-border transactions using RippleNet's international blockchain technology network.
* Muscat Finance SAOG said Zawawi Trading has appointed Clive Hammond as a representative of the company in Muscat Finance's board of directors, replacing Sameer Kumar.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* The Central Bank of Egypt kept its overnight deposit rate, overnight lending rate and the rate of the main operation unchanged at 16.75%, 17.75% and 17.25%, respectively.
* The Central Bank of Egypt is weighing a proposal to launch a new initiative for settling debts of defaulting companies, which amount to roughly 10 million pounds, according to Mubasher. The plan, proposed by a number of banks operating in the country, envisions extending the period of the existing initiative to between 12 and 18 months.
* EFG - Hermes Leasing inked a cooperation agreement with HSBC Bank Egypt SAE to provide small and medium-sized enterprises 400 million pounds of long-term financing and low interest rate funding throughout 2019, Amwal Al Ghad wrote.
* Israel-based online trading platform Plus500 Ltd. reaffirmed that its financial results for 2018 will exceed current market expectations, citing significant market volatility during the fourth quarter.
* Morocco's Banque Centrale Populaire held an oversubscribed 2 billion dirham bond issue to boost its regulatory capital, Financial Afrik reported.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* U.K.-based Standard Chartered PLC named Kariuki Ngari CEO of its Kenyan unit, replacing Lamin Manjang, who was appointed CEO for Nigeria and West Africa. The lender also appointed Bola Adesola its senior vice chairman for Africa.
* Kenyan insurance firm UAP Holdings Ltd. said it expects full-year 2018 net earnings to be at least 25% lower than a year ago, due to lower asset valuations as well as one-off retrenchment costs, Business Daily Africa reported. The Old Mutual Ltd. unit said cost savings from its retrenchment exercise, which saw it cut 89 staff in the first half, will be realized in 2019.
* Equity Bank (Kenya) Ltd. founder and former CEO John Mwangi has died, Standard Digital wrote.
* Diamond Bank PLC, which is merging with Access Bank PLC, has named Dele Babade its acting chairman, effective Dec. 24. The appointment follows the resignation of Chairman Oluseyi Bickersteth.
* Investment inflow in Nigeria's banking sector fell by $891 million to $289.4 million between the first and third quarter, The Punch wrote, citing data from the country's statistics bureau.
* CalBank Ltd.'s shareholders approved a plan to boost the lender's capital to 400 million Ghanaian cedis — the new minimum capital requirement set by the Bank of Ghana — by shifting 50 million cedis from its income surplus to its stated capital, ahead of the regulator's Dec. 31 deadline, Modern Ghana reported.
* Macau-based investment company GeoCapital Gestão de Participações has decided to sell its 27.44% stake Cape Verdean lender Caixa Económica de Cabo Verde SA, the financial institution's CEO, António Moreira Semedo, said, news website Macauhub reported. The shares will be sold via a private offer through Cabo Verde stock exchange in an operation that comes nine years since GeoCapital bought the stake from Portugal's Caixa Económica Montepio Geral caixa económica bancária SA.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Former Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina was declared the provisional winner of the country's presidential elections, Bloomberg News reported.
* Société Générale Cameroon's board of directors has appointed a new director general, Mareme Mbaye Ndiaye, Financial Afrik said. Ndiaye, who is from Senegal, is a veteran of Ecobank, added the Senegalese News Agency.
* Malawi Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe dismissed the World Bank's assessment in a recent report that the country's tax regime is prohibiting foreign investments in the country, saying its tax system was recommended by the IMF, Nyasa Times wrote.
* The African Insurance Group, already present in eight countries, expanded into the Republic of the Congo, Financial Afrik reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Carlyle, GIC to buy SBI Life stake; 2 Chinese banks to set up wealth units
Europe: BBVA selling €1.49B of bad loans; Visa to acquire UK's Earthport
Latin America: Citibank Brazil eyes 9% loan book growth; Banco Macro buys back shares
North America: Trump adviser says Powell, Mnuchin will keep jobs; Visa buying Earthport in UK
Sheryl Obejera, Henni Abdelghani, Padraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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