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Qatar's 3-way bank merger talks collapse; Kenya to repeal interest rate cap


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Qatar's 3-way bank merger talks collapse; Kenya to repeal interest rate cap

* The Qatar Central Bank raised its deposit rate by 25 basis points to 2.00%, while the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates increased its interest rates on certificates of deposits by 25 basis points and raised its repo rate by the same margin to 2.25%. The Central Bank of Jordan said it will raise the interest rates on its overnight deposit by 25 basis points, effective June 19. The rate decisions follow the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent rate hike.


* Masraf Al Rayan QPSC, Barwa Bank QSC, and International Bank of Qatar QSC have ended talks for a potential 3-way merger, saying they could not reach an agreement.

* Fitch Ratings changed to stable from negative the outlooks on Qatar National Bank QPSC, Commercial Bank PSQC , Doha Bank QPSC, Qatar Islamic Bank QPSC, Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) PQSC, Qatar International Islamic Bank (QPSC), Ahli Bank QSC, International Bank of Qatar QSC and Barwa Bank QSC, following a similar action on the sovereign.

* Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group Ltd.'s Abraaj Holdings filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands, where it is registered, in a move that could avert a petition for liquidation filed by one of its creditors, Kuwait's Public Institution for Social Security, that is set for a June 29 court hearing.

* The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is in exclusive discussions ?to acquire U.S. private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC's 21.4% stake in U.K.-based buyout firm Pension Insurance Corp. Plc, insiders told Sky News. A deal, estimated to value the British firm at around £3 billion, could potentially be reached over the coming weeks.

* Moody's assigned an A3 insurance financial strength rating to Saudi Re for Cooperative Reinsurance Co., with a stable outlook.

* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed the A financial strength rating of Saudi Arabia-based Saudi British Bank and the A+/A1 long- and short-term foreign currency ratings of Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank BSC.

* Khaleeji Commercial Bank BSC Vice Chairman Abdulkarim Bucheery has resigned, effective June 11. He is replaced by Sheikh Ahmed bin Isa al-Khalifa.

* Jordan has appointed Izzeddin Kanakrieh as its new finance minister under a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz. Kanakrieh is a former deputy finance minister who has been with the ministry since 1986.

* Meanwhile, Egyptian Deputy Finance Minister Mohamed Maait was promoted to finance minister, replacing Amr el-Garhy, as part of a new cabinet sworn in yesterday by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Reuters reported.

* Bank Leumi le-Israel BM, which is selling its entire 9.3% stake in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd., agreed to the latter's request to extend the deadline for selling its TASE holdings until the end of August, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, First International Bank of Israel Ltd. said it was looking into TASE's request for extension.


* In his budget speech, Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich said he will propose to repeal the law capping interest rates on commercial lenders, introduced by the government in 2016, which has slowed private sector credit growth in the country, Reuters reported. Rotich also outlined proposals for tax measures, including the introduction of a so-called Robin Hood tax of 0.05% on bank transfers amounting to 500,000 shillings or more, to fund the budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

* Patrick Tumbo has resigned as CEO of Jubilee Insurance Co. of Kenya Ltd., according to Business Daily Africa. Julius Kipng'etich, regional CEO of parent Jubilee Holdings Ltd., will replace Tumbo on an interim basis. Jubilee Holdings also appointed Group CFO Ali Rawji as the new group COO. Meanwhile, Jubilee Insurance Chairman Nizar Juma said the insurer plans to split into three separate units — Medical Insurance, Life Insurance and General Insurance — before the end of the year, with each having its own CEO.

* Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd. appointed Emmanuel Oteng Kumah its new chairman, effective July 1. Kumah will succeed Ishmael Evans Yamson, who will retire after his term ends June 30.


* The Young Women in Business Network will submit a license application today to the South African Reserve Bank as it seeks to convert from a cooperative institution into a mutual bank, Bloomberg News wrote. The South Africa-based, women-owned financial firm will also raise funding from two undisclosed investors in a bid to bolster its capital.

* The Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank commenced operations June 12, according to The Herald.


Asia-Pacific: India to cut stake in IDBI Bank; former chief of Chinese regulator admits guilt

Europe: All eyes on ECB after Fed lifts rates; serious breach found at Swiss Raiffeisen

Latin America: Brazil fines 2 banks for forex manipulation; Chile central bank holds key rate

North America: Merchants Bancorp of Indiana buying Illinois bank; HomeStreet to ax 127 bankers

North America Insurance: MGA Volante in $900M capacity deal; India's ICICI to cut Prudential Plc JV stake

Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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