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Iraq's landmark bond draws strong demand; Nedbank, KCB H1 profits fall YOY

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Iraq's landmark bond draws strong demand; Nedbank, KCB H1 profits fall YOY

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Iraq's $1 billion bond maturing 2023 received high demand from investors when it launched yesterday, attracting about $6.6 billion of orders, the Financial Times reported. The transaction marks the country's first independent bond sale in more than 10 years. Reuters also covered.

* Meanwhile, the IMF's Executive Board completed its second review of Iraq's three-year stand-by arrangement, paving the way for the disbursement of about $824.8 million to the country. The arrangement is aimed at supporting the country's economic reform program and restoring fiscal balance over the medium term.

* Saudi Re for Cooperative Reinsurance Co. received approval from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to reduce its capital to 196 million riyals from 804 million riyals.

* Saudi Indian Co. for Cooperative Insurance said it has fixed irregularities and complied with the Capital Markets Authority of Saudi Arabia's requirements pertaining to listed companies with losses reaching 35% to 50% of their share capital.

* United Cooperative Assurance Co. has received regulatory approval to reduce its capital by to 400 million Saudi riyals from 490 million riyals.

* Oman is in discussions with international lenders about raising additional funds through a loan and bonds as part of efforts to plug its budget deficit for 2017, insiders told Reuters. The government has also signed a $3.55 billion term loan with a group of Chinese financial institutions, Oman Tribune reported. The transaction size was raised from the originally planned $2 billion as a result of strong demand from the Chinese lending base.

* Oman-based Bank Nizwa SAOG launched its new Shariah-compliant wealth management services in the country.

* Tunisia's Al Karama Holding will soon select an adviser for the sale of shareholdings in Banque Zitouna and Zitouna Takaful, ilBoursa reported.

* Egyptian Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said his country plans to issue between $2 billion and $4 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated eurobonds in the first quarter of 2018, Reuters reported, citing news agency MENA. El-Garhy added that there are no plans for any international bond sales in the rest of this year.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the governor of Uganda's central bank, said President Yoweri Museveni has given the "go ahead" to shutter failed lender Crane Bank Ltd., the Daily Monitor reported.

* KCB Group Plc reported net profit of 10.26 billion Kenyan shillings in the first six months of 2017, compared to the year-ago 10.28 billion shillings, Standard Digital reported. The company announced an interim dividend of 1 Kenyan shilling per share for the first half, according to Business Daily Africa.

* Portugal's Novo Banco SA said it has sold a 90% stake in Banco Internacional de Cabo Verde SA to Bahrain-based IIBG Holdings BSC, retaining just 10% of the African lender, Portuguese newspapers Jornal de Negócios and Dinheiro Vivo reported. Novo Banco did not say how much the deal was worth, but said it would have a "neutral" impact on its common equity Tier 1 ratio. Banco Internacional de Cabo Verde is the former Banco Espírito Santo Cape Verde.

* Nigeria has allowed lenders to use a currency window for investors when quoting the naira instead of the official rate as part of efforts to unify the nation's multiple exchange rates, Bloomberg News wrote.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Nedbank Group Ltd. reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of 5.24 billion South African rand, down from 5.44 billion rand in the same period in 2016. The Old Mutual Plc unit's diluted headline EPS declined year over year to 10.78 rand from 11.19 rand. The group noted that its performance was negatively impacted by its share of the loss from associate Ecobank Transnational Inc. Nedbank declared an interim dividend of 610 cents per ordinary share for the first six months ended June 30, up from the year-ago 570 cents.

* S&P Global Ratings lowered its long- and short-term foreign-currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of the Congo to SD, or selective default, and D, from CCC and C, respectivel, among other ratings actions. The downgrade came after a trustee of the country's $478 million notes due 2029 was unable to unfreeze the semiannual bond payment of about $21 million by the end of the 30-day grace period on July 30.

* Fitch Ratings downgraded the Republic of the Congo's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to RD, or restricted default, from C, among other ratings actions.

* Angola's central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at 16%. The central bank said consumer prices had continued on a downward trajectory since January though annual inflation remains above 30%.

* The banking sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains weak despite the number of bank accounts in the country rising to 6 million from 50,000 between 2000 and 2016, Jeune Afrique wrote. The country now has 18 commercial banks, but their total $5 billion balance sheet is small for a country of more than 70 million inhabitants, the report said.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Suncorp full-year net profit up 3.6%; Chinese P2P lender raises funds from GIC

Europe: SocGen, ING post Q2 results; Deutsche Bank sees job exodus from UK

Latin America: Banco BTG Pactual income slides; Moody's lifts Bolivia's outlook

North America: Veritex buying Liberty Bancshares in Texas; Tudor facing a 'punishing shift'

North America Insurance: Alaska insurer files for 21.6% rate cut; Humana reports Q2 results

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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

The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.