* France's BNP Paribas SA has begun strategic exploration of the potential sale of its retail banks in Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso, Agence Ecofin wrote. The bank stressed that it does not intend to withdraw from the continent entirely but that it aims to accelerate the refocusing of its activities in Africa.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* The shareholders of Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Co. are set to meet June 19 to decide on the firm's proposed capital increase to 400 million Saudi Arabian riyals from 275 million riyals through the issuance of 5 bonus shares for every 11 shares presently held. The plan has obtained approval from the country's Capital Market Authority.
* The board of Saudi Arabia-based Malath Cooperative Insurance Co. approved the appointment of Mamdouh al-Sharhan as chairman, while Salman al-Hawawi was named his deputy, Argaam noted.
* Amir Riad, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC's head of corporate finance and investment banking, told Thomson Reuters' Zawya that he is optimistic about Islamic bond, or sukuk, issuances in the second half as the current instability of oil prices would likely have sovereigns seek more financing.
* Moody's changed the outlook on the Bahraini banking system to stable from negative, citing an expected slight acceleration in economic growth.
* Kuwait Finance House KSCP and Ahli United Bank BSC said due diligence related to KFH's proposed takeover of the Bahraini lender is still in progress.
* Kuwait International Bank KSCP issued $300 million in perpetual Additional Tier 1 Islamic bonds, or sukuk, callable after five years.
* Ithmaar Bank CEO Ahmed Abdul Rahim told Akhbar Al Khaleej that the Bahraini lender has a strong asset portfolio, and noted that the suspension of Ithmaar Holding BSC by Kuwait's stock exchange earlier this year had nothing to do with the bank as it operates as an independent entity following a restructuring in 2017.
* Sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority led a $500 million equity financing round for U.S.-based online lender Social Finance Inc., which is now valued at $4.3 billion.
* Oman's Celebrity National Financial Services Company SAOG secured approval from the country's Capital Market Authority to increase its capital via a rights issue.
* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed the omA+/omA1 long- and short-term national scale ratings of Oman's Alizz Islamic Bank SAOG, with a stable outlook on the long-term rating.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* The African Development Bank granted Tunisia's Amen Bank a financing line of €57.5 million, to help develop commerce and support small and medium-sized businesses in the health, agribusiness, and industrial sectors, Agence Ecofin reported. The funding consists of a long-term investment loan totaling €35 million as well as a €15 million facility for trade finance, and an additional €7.5 million from the Africa Growing Together Fund.
* Israeli financing platform Chargeafter Ltd. raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Propel Venture Partners LLC, the U.S.-based venture capital business of Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA. The company will use the funding to expand its multi-lender program.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Rwanda-based Bank of Kigali is in discussions to acquire local insurer Sonarwa SA. CFO Nathalie Mpaka told Reuters that a proposal could be presented to the bank's board by August.
* KCB Group PLC's shareholders are said to have unanimously approved the plan to acquire 100% of National Bank of Kenya Ltd. The deal is still pending approval from NBK's shareholders and other regulators.
* Insurer Sanlam Kenya PLC further pumped 881 million shillings into its general and life insurance arms in 2018, according to Business Daily Africa.
* The World Bank granted Kenya a $750 million loan for reforms on inclusive growth, poverty reduction and other targets.
* Ghanaian central bank Governor Ernest Addison said the resolution of Heritage Bank Ltd. and Premium Bank Ltd. had cost 1.4 billion cedis, Citing Business News wrote. This comes on top of the 9 billion cedis the government already spent on the resolution of other collapsed lenders.
* Ghana-based Bedrock Insurance Co. Ltd. has launched product offerings yesterday, according to Joy Business. The company obtained an operating license from the National Insurance Commission in December 2017.
* Nigeria-based Access Bank PLC on June 24 will redeem a $400 million subordinated and unsecured bond it issued in 2014. The instruments, which carry a fixed-rate coupon of 9.25%, are supposedly due in 2021.
* S&P Global Ratings affirmed the long-term local-currency issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings of Nigeria-based African Reinsurance Corp. at A-, with a stable outlook. The agency also affirmed the long-term local-currency financial strength rating of unit African Reinsurance Corp. South Africa Ltd. at A-, with a stable outlook.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* The shareholders of South African lender Standard Bank Group Ltd. rejected a resolution that would have obliged the group to disclose climate risk in its businesses, Reuters wrote. The shareholders, however, voted in favor of having the group report its policies on coal financing.
* Liberty Holdings Ltd. will focus on exiting some business and markets, improve digital products and delivering returns for policyholders, CEO David Munro told Bloomberg News, adding that the South African insurer is now well-positioned to take advantage of an upsurge in markets.
* South Africa's African Rainbow Capital Pty. Ltd. launched a full insurance unit called African Rainbow Life, news outlets including Independent Online and Business Day reported. The unit, which will be 51% owned by Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd., will be led by CEO Bongani Madikiza.
* Angola's Banco Sol SA launched a 128 billion kwanza line of microcredit to be disbursed this year among young entrepreneurs as part of a partnership with the Ministry of Public Administration, Labor and Social Security, Angop wrote.
* Mozambique's Moza Banco SA said it was offering a new service called Express Bill aimed at improving the short-term financing of small, medium-sized and large companies by giving them access to financing guaranteed by invoices from their customers, Jornal Notícias reported, citing the bank's chairman, João Figueiredo.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: IDBI Bank's Q4 net loss narrows YOY; Fitch lowers Canara Bank ratings
Europe: UK slams EU plan on share trade; funds eye Sabadell unit; Amundi's Germany plans
Latin America: Mexico cuts 2019 GDP forecast; Brazil looks to ease further reserve requirements
North America: BofA faces suit; FDIC chair eyes community bank deposits; CFPB settles with BSI
Global Insurance: Conn. public health bill; tornado slams Kansas; Reliance General sale talk
Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.