Sub-Saharan African banks' FY'15 profits down YOY: A reportby Ernst & Young found that pretax profits of the largest 26 banks in someof the largest banking markets in sub-Saharan Africa declined to $11.7 billionin 2015 from $11.9 billion in 2014. The report showed that Nigerian banks'pretax profits fell 29% last year, while Kenyan banks' profits rose 4.4%.Tanzania's banks have seen the strongest profits growth, while South Africa'sbanking profits were robust despite weak local growth.
* U.K.-based plansto launch videobanking services in certain countries including Kenya and the United ArabEmirates by the end of the year as part of its plan to invest $1.5 billion intechnology over three years.
* Bryan Carter, head ofemerging markets at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, told Bloomberg News thatthe sovereign bonds of Namibia and Ivory Coast are currently the mostattractive bonds in Africa, Agence Ecofin reports.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Arab National Bank Q2profit slides YOY: yesterdayreportedsecond-quarter net profit of 818 million Saudi Arabian riyals, down from 835.3million riyals in the year-ago period. For the first half, net profit was 1.57billion riyals, compared to 1.61 billion riyals a year earlier.
* The UAE's Securities and Commodities Authority willrelease regulations aiming to upgrade local stock markets during the secondhalf, Argaam writes.
* Iran's cabinet ministersordered the central bank to start paying off the country's debt to the IMF andshell out approximately 9.883 trillion rials from its internal resources, IRNA reports.
* Fitch Ratings downgraded 's viabilityrating to "a-" from "a" and removed it from Rating WatchNegative following the completion ofits acquisition of Turkey-based Finansbank AS,reflecting the agency's view that the deal will increase the Qatari lender'srisk profile and weaken capitalization.
* Egyptian FinanceMinister Amr el-Garhy said his country is working on the issuance of between $2billion and $3 billion in international bonds, Al-Ahram reports.Egypt is waiting for the best market conditions before proceeding with thelaunch.
* S&P Global Ratings revised the outlook on Arab Bank Groupunit tonegative from stable, citing the lender's increasing exposure to risks stemmingfrom the Tunisian operating environment. The rating agency also affirmed theunit's counterparty credit ratings.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
Skye Bank receives loan after panic withdrawals: The Central Bankof Nigeria granted a short-termloan to help stabilize the bank's operations, accordingto Reuters. The bank was hit by a wave of panic withdrawals by depositorsafter the central bank replaced its senior executives earlier this month.
* Nigerian Finance MinisterKemi Adeosun said the country is set to begin borrowing from foreign markets inthe third quarter to help plug a budget shortfall made worse by the oil priceslump, Reuters writes.The government plans to borrow up to $10 billion, of which approximately halfwill come from the foreign markets. Separately, Budget Minister Udoma Udo Udomasaid he expectsthe economy to grow at a rate of 3.3% to 3.5% by the end of 2016.
* Ghana could lose out onthe next tranche of its IMF loans after the parliament proposed a revision tothe Bank of Ghana Amendment Bill to allow the central bank to help finance anational budget deficit by up to 5% of the previous year's total revenue,Reuters reports.The IMF had told Ghana to set a zero limit on monetary financing from thecentral bank to the government and public institutions.
* Ghanaian President JohnDramani Mahama appointeda nine-member board of directors for the newly established Ghana EXIM Bank, tobe chaired by Richard Bani.
* Central Bank of KenyaGovernor Patrick Njoroge ordered banks to disclose their main shareholders ontheir respective websites in a bid to improve transparency and governance rulesin the sector, Daily Nation reports.Njoroge added that the central bank also plans to impose term limits for bankCEOs and nonexecutive directors, saying that unlimited directorship tenureswill "breed complacency" in banks.
* Officials from Banco deCabo Verde and commercial banks met to discuss the basis for a draft law aimingto create a deposit guarantee fund, Macauhub writes.The parties also discussed other measures designed to respond to or preventcrises in the Cape Verdean banking sector.
* Togo launched its firstsukuk in the amount of 150 billion CFA francs, Jeune Afrique reports.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
Bank of Mozambique hikes rates: The Mozambican central bank raisedits benchmark interest rate by 300 basis points to 17.25%, the fourth hike thisyear as the institution aims to tackle inflation of nearly 20%, BloombergNews and Reutersreport. Governor Ernesto Gove said the central bank also raised the interestrate on the standing deposit facility to 10.25% from 7.25%.
* The South African Reserve Bank's monetary policy committeeyesterday kept the repurchase rate unchangedat 7.0% per annum, saying the weak domestic economy has "provided someroom to delay further tightening of the monetary policy stance for now."
* The Bank of Namibia granted unit Letshego Bank Namibia Ltd. a banking license, allowing it to establish abank and carry out associated activities in the country beginning July 21.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
NorthAmerica Insurance: Travelers operating earnings decline; Securian invests in healthinsurance startup
Leo Magno, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to thisreport.
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