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SSA news through May 5

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SSA news through May 5

From May 10,S&P Global Market Intelligence is proud to present our new Daily Dose forthe Middle East and Africa, which will offer a regional news overviewpublished by 9 a.m. Dubai time, Monday to Friday.

* The IMF warnedthat economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will likely slow further to 3% in2016 — the lowest level in 16 years — from 3.5% in 2015, driven by the sharpdecline in commodity prices, tighter financing conditions and severe drought.In its regional economic outlook, the IMF called for a substantial policy resetto secure the region's growth potential.

* Moody's downgraded various ratings of , , the , and , citing the negativeeffects of the oil price slump on the governments' balance sheets, financialposition and liquidity, among other factors.

EAST AFRICA

* The incomingboard of the Central Bank of Kenya will seek to implement more reforms andrigorous policies in the banking sector, Daily Nation reported.Central bank Chairman Mohammed Nyaoga said complex changes in the financialsector in the last three decades require tighter supervision, particularly whenit comes to banks' regional expansion.

* 's shareholders approvedthe bank's plan to raise 10 billion Kenyan shillings through a rights issue, according toReuters. CEO Joshua Oigara said the proceeds will be used to support thegroup's balance sheet and increase lending, as well as plans to expand in Kenyathrough an acquisition. Oigara also said the bank may be able to reach adecision within six months about acquiring a stake in , saying things"have gone much smoother" than anticipated.

* Three days afterit resumed operations April 27, Chase Bank (Kenya) had seen customerwithdrawals of 1.6 billion shillings against deposits of 100 million shillings,accordingto Daily Nation. The bank's official receiver, the Kenya Deposit InsuranceCorp., said it recovered assets worth 8 billion shillings that were irregularlyobtained from the bank.

* laidoff about 167 employees, including five executives, in 2015 as part of parentStandard CharteredPlc's restructuring drive, Business Daily Africa noted.The unit said the redundancies partly contributed to the rise in its staffcosts by 451 million Kenyan shillings to 6.2 billion shillings in 2015.

* British-American Investments Co. (Kenya) Ltd. operations in Tanzaniafollowing the integration of RealInsurance Co. Ltd. with the Britam group in Kenya. The group said the launch of Britam Insurance Tanzania is part of its overall strategy ofexpanding its general insurance business and broadening its footprint inEastern and Southern Africa.

* The South Sudanese government asked the Kenyan High Courtto reverse its previous ruling that froze the government's bank account withCfC Stanbic BankLtd., saying the $18 million in the account is part of the country's emergencyoperation fund,The East African wrote.

* Rwandan Finance Minister Claver Gatete said the country is in talks with the IMF for a short-termcredit facility to help support its foreign exchange reserves in case theydwindle in the future, Reuters reported.

*  isplanning to raise 20 billion Tanzanian shillings in a retail bond to allow itto strengthen its deposit base and increase its loan issuance, The Citizen wrote.Trading of the bond closes June 8.

WEST AFRICA

* FidelityBank Plc appointed Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Balarabe interimmanaging director and CEO, following the arrest of Nnamdi Okonkwo as part ofinvestigations into transactions made in the run-up to the 2015 presidentialelection. The bank reaffirmed its commitment to cooperate with authoritiesregarding the investigation, This Day reported.

* United Bankfor Africa Plc unveiled plans to expandits presence to at least 25 African countries in the near to medium term, from18 at present. The bank also intends to inject additional capital into its EastAfrican subsidiaries in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

* Moody's various ratings ofAccess BankPlc and Bank of Industry and confirmed the ratings of , following thedowngrade on Nigeria's sovereign issuer rating.

* Shareholders ofBurkina Faso's Coris Bank International approved the bank's listing on the BRVMWest African stock exchange, Financial Afrik reported.

* Groupe Nduom, a family business group of Ghanaian andAmerican origin, acquired Chicago-based , according to a press release posted on the website ofAccra, Ghana-based GN Bank, an affiliate of the investor group.

SOUTH AFRICA

* BarclaysPlc raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately 13.05 billionSouth African rand after sellinga 12.2% stake in Barclays AfricaGroup Ltd. Following completion of the share sale, the Britishbank's holding will be reduced to approximately 50.1% of the unit's issuedshare capital.

* The South African Reserve Bank warned of a medium to highrisk that the country's debt will be downgraded to non-investment-grade status,which could result in increased capital outflows and affect the government'srand-denominated debt, Bloomberg News reported.Meanwhile, Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo said the central bank "would notbe comfortable" with private equity firms pursuing any South African bank,but did not comment on any specific lender, Reuters noted.

* NedbankGroup Ltd. said its first-quarter resultsincluded a loss in associated income of 676 million rand accounting for its 20%share of Togo-based EcobankTransnational Inc.'s fourth-quarter loss, while net interest incomefor the period rose "at low double digit levels" driven by thecontinued growth in average interest-earning banking assets. The bank increasedits central portfolio provision to 500 million rand in the second half of 2015to take into account risks, specifically in commodities and in the rest ofAfrica, that were incurred in 2015 but had been expected to emerge in 2016.

* A report into the 2014 collapse of foundthat the bank's directors failed in their responsibilities to manage andprotect the lender before its downfall, insiders toldBloomberg News. The report, compiled by advocate John Myburgh, indicated thatseven of the bank's 11 directors had no banking experience before joining thelender, and questioned whether they were suitably qualified to supervisethen-CEO Leon Kirkinis, although it reportedly found no evidence of fraud.

* Capitec BankHoldings Ltd. is facing a lawsuit accusing it of offeringshort-term unsecured loans in a manner that amounted to "recklesscredit," Reuters reported.The lawsuit, filed by Summit Financial Partners, claims that the lenderviolated the national Credit Act by charging customers a fee every time theytook out a loan, and that it failed to do affordability checks on clients whotook out successive short-term loans. Capitec Bank denied the allegations,adding that it had discontinued the product.

* Zimbabwe's central bank imposed a cap on daily cashwithdrawals from banks to $1,000 and cut the amount of cash individuals cantake out of the country in a bid to ease acute currency shortages, Reuterswrote.Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya said the country will alsoprint its own version of the U.S. dollar, known as bond notes, to help relievethe cash crunch, but stressed that the introduction of the notes does notsignal the return of the Zimbabwean dollar, BBC News and The Heraldreport.

* The IMF said,meanwhile, that Zimbabwe's economic difficulties have deepened and willcontinue to do so in the medium term unless the government starts taking"bold reforms." The IMF cited the impact of drought, erratic rains,and increasing temperatures on the country's agricultural output and hydropowerproduction, as well as the effect of limited external inflows and lowercommodity prices on economic activity.

* Moody's lowered 's global long-term foreign-currency deposit ratings to B2from B1, among other ratings actions, following the downgrade on the Angolangovernment's rating.

* S&P revised Botswana's outlook to negative from stable,reflecting the effect of lower diamond prices and production on the country'sfiscal position and economy. The agency also affirmed the country's A-/A-2long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings.

* Fitch Ratings downgraded Mozambique's long-term foreign- andlocal-currency issuer default ratings to CCC from B, its short-term issuerdefault rating to C from B and the country ceiling to B- from B, reflecting thesharp deterioration of the country's public debt profile following thedisclosure of additional state-guaranteed debt that had been excluded fromofficial statistics.

S&P Global Ratingsand S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.