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SSA news through July 26

* Portugal's Caixa Geral de Depósitos SA plans to reduce its presence in Cape Verde and Mozambique under amendments to the state-run bank's 2020 strategic plan that were recently approved by the European Commission, Jornal de Negócios and Expresso Das Ilhas reported.

EAST AFRICA

* The Central Bank of Kenya will begin talks with KCB Bank Kenya Ltd. over the latter's bid to acquire Imperial Bank Ltd., Reuters reported.

* Kenya's High Court has temporarily restrained the Capital Markets Authority from imposing a 5 million Kenyan shilling penalty on former National Bank of Kenya Ltd. Managing Director Munir Ahmed, pending the hearing of his appeal of the fine, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Meanwhile, the Kenyan markets regulator froze certain assets of National Bank of Kenya's former head of treasury, Solomon Alubala, as part of an ongoing probe into an alleged 1 billion shilling fraud at the bank, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Chase Bank (Kenya) Ltd. is to shutter 10 branches by Aug. 20 as part of the ongoing acquisition of some of its assets by SBM Bank (Kenya) Ltd., Business Daily Africa wrote.

* MTC Trust, which is one of Chase Bank (Kenya)'s creditors, is planning to file legal action to pursue the 10 billion shillings invested in the mixed currency note issued by the embattled lender, Standard Digital wrote.

* South Africa-based Standard Bank Group Ltd. sought approval from the Kenyan Capital Markets Authority to acquire more shares in Stanbic Holdings Plc, Daily Nation wrote.

* Nairobi-based Company for Habitat and Housing in Africa, or Shelter Afrique, has failed to name a new managing director to replace Femi Adewole during its recent annual meeting, Standard Digital wrote.

* Jadiah Mwarania was reinstated as managing director of Kenya Reinsurance Corp. Ltd. after the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled that he was wrongfully dismissed, Business Daily Africa wrote.

* Egypt-based African Export-Import Bank will establish its regional branch in Uganda instead of Kenya following the latter's reluctance to grant the bank a diplomatic status, The East African reported.

WEST AFRICA

* The Bank of Ghana and the Central Bank of Nigeria maintained their monetary policy rate at 17% and 14.0%, respectively.

* Republic Bank (Ghana) Ltd., formerly HFC Bank (Ghana), commenced its renounceable rights issue through the Ghana Stock Exchange, Joy Online reported.

* Energy Bank Ghana Ltd. is set to obtain by August a final approval from Ghana's Securities and Exchange Commission for its proposed IPO, Joy Business reported.

* Regulatory capital ratios for Nigerian banks rated by Fitch Ratings are not under threat following the first-time implementation of the IFRS 9 accounting standard, according to the agency.

* Nigeria's National Insurance Commission has raised the minimum capital requirement for the country's insurers by threefold, Bloomberg News reported.

* Coronation Real Estate Development Ltd. renewed its legal battle with Union Bank of Nigeria PLC over claims of excessive charges and is seeking 4.1 billion Nigerian naira as compensation, Business Post Nigeria wrote.

* Moody's said inefficiency is rife in Ivory Coast's banking sector, the densest in West Africa with 25 credit institutions, Financial Afrik said.

* Ivory Coast's banking association has asked the government to help in the liquidation of cocoa exporter Saf-Cacao, which has left lenders exposed to more than $260 million in unpaid loans, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* Improved macroeconomic conditions helped Cape Verde's financial system bolster credit quality indicators and profitability levels during 2017, according to the central bank's annual financial stability report, Expresso Das Ilhas said.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Nedbank Group Ltd. said it expects to report headline EPS of between 1,350.5 South African cents and 1,405.4 cents for the first half, an increase of between 23% and 28% from the year-ago 1,098 cents per share.

* Barclays PLC said the U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority did not object to its full deconsolidation of Absa Group Ltd., formerly known as Barclays Africa Group Ltd., for regulatory purposes, effective June 30.

* Standard Bank Group earmarked 10 billion South African rand to finance the country's energy projects, Bloomberg News wrote.

* A three-day U.K. court hearing over a dispute between Angola's $5 billion sovereign wealth fund and Switzerland-based asset management company Quantum Global began July 24, with the verdict expected to be given at a later date, Reuters reported.

* The loan default ratio of Angolan banks reached a record in June this year of 33.1%, Expansão reported, citing central bank data.

* Miguel Maya, CEO of Portugal's Millennium BCP, said the Angolan market had growth potential for the bank, adding that state oil company Sonangol would remain a leading shareholder, Dinheiro Vivo reported.

* Mozambique's BIM – Banco Internacional de Moçambique SA signed a partnership with the state-run Agency for Investment and Export Promotion to support local exporters and help draw foreign investments to the country, O País reported.

* Former Standard Bank Namibia Ltd. employee Charles Winston Manale is expected to plead guilty to fraud charges, The Namibian reported.

* The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe injected roughly $45 million into the banking system in a bid to ease the country's cash shortage, The Financial Gazette wrote.

CENTRAL AFRICA

* The Central African banking regulator COBAC is drafting new legislation aimed at reforming, recapitalizing and strengthening internal controls in the microfinance sector by 2021, Financial Afrik said.

* Assurances et Réassurances du Congo, the Republic of the Congo's state-owned insurer, is planning more property sales after paying its first claims in eight years, Bloomberg News reported.

* ProCredit Bank Congo Sarl changed its name to Equity Bank Congo, two years after Equity Group Holdings PLC acquired a majority stake in the Democratic Republic of the Congo bank, Prosperity (Kinshasa) said.

Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.