MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC booked a fourth-quarter 2016 net profit of 1.33 billion United Arab Emirates dirhams, up from 1.04 billion dirhams in the same period a year ago, owing to higher revenues and lower expenses and impairment charges. First Gulf Bank PJSC, which is merging with NBAD, meanwhile reported net income of 1.53 billion dirhams, down from 1.72 billion dirhams in the fourth quarter of 2015.
* The merger of NBAD and FGB is on schedule to be completed at the end of the first quarter, CPI Financial reports.
* Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC reported a 16% decline in fourth-quarter 2016 net profit attributable to equity shareholders to 1.00 billion dirhams from 1.19 billion dirhams, as impairments rose to 437 million dirhams from 110 million dirhams.
* Citigroup Inc. unit Citi Private Bank expects a revenue and asset growth of 15% in the UAE this year, Gulf News writes. The bank, which has $374 billion of AUM globally, is on the hunt for investment opportunities in private equity as it seeks to provide funding for small companies.
* Kuwait Finance House KSCP reported fourth-quarter 2016 net profit of 42.1 million Kuwaiti dinars, up from 40.1 million dinars a year earlier, Reuters writes. For full year 2016, net profit rose to 165.2 million dinars from the year-ago 145.8 million dinars.
* Fitch Ratings said the outlook on the banking sectors of Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon is stable on expectations that banks' financial metrics will remain largely unchanged despite the challenging and vulnerable operating environments. The agency has a negative ratings outlook on Jordanian rated banks and stable outlooks for rated banks in Egypt and Lebanon.
* Doha Insurance Co. QSC intends to convert Islamic unit Doha Takaful into a full-scale Shariah-principled insurance firm, Gulf Times writes.
* Two delegations from the IMF are in Egypt to assess the country's progress in implementing its economic reform program before approving the disbursement of the second tranche of a three-year, $12 billion loan, Reuters reports. The IMF said earlier in January that the country was on track to receive the tranche, which is expected to amount to about $1.25 billion.
* Rami Aboulnaga, assistant sub-governor at the Central Bank of Egypt, said total inflows into the Egyptian banking system reached $9 billion since the flotation of the Egyptian pound in early November 2016, Reuters writes.
* Attijariwafa Bank SA insurance subsidiary Wafa Assurance SA is planning to expand into English-speaking Africa, notably Egypt, according to Financial Afrik.
* The Banque Centrale de Tunisie will include the Chinese yuan in its basket of foreign exchange reserves from today, Agence Ecofin writes. The decision was taken in November in an effort to boost Tunisian exports and attract more Chinese tourists.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said uncertainty surrounding the new U.S. administration's stance on immigration and trade poses a significant risk to the Kenyan economy, Bloomberg News reports. Njoroge said the "Trump effect" could affect trade between the U.S. and Kenya and eventually strain the African nation's sources of foreign currency.
* Kenya's plans to raise an internationally syndicated loan was postponed due to uncertainty over whether a $250 million loan to the sovereign provided by the Eastern & Southern African Trade & Development Bank will be syndicated to the market or not, Reuters reports.
* Nigeria-based United Bank for Africa Plc reached a memorandum of understanding with the ASEA Consultant and Associates Ghana Ltd. to offer prepaid Visa cards to Ghanaian clients, Graphic Online writes.
* Old Mutual Plc's Ghanaian subsidiary named George Kojo Addison CEO of Old Mutual Life Assurance Co. (Ghana) Ltd., effective Nov. 1, 2016, according to Joy Business.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* South Africa's Post Office Group intends to register its financial services unit, Postbank, as a bank by July 3. The move places Postbank in an extremely competitive environment dominated by established banks such as Barclays Africa Group Ltd. and Standard Bank Group Ltd., Reuters notes.
* U.S.-based non-bank ATM operator Cardtronics plc acquired South Africa-based Spark ATM Systems Proprietary Ltd., marking its first move into Africa. Spark ATM Systems has a network across South Africa of about 2,600 ATMs.
* The Banco Nacional de Angola's monetary policy committee kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 16%. Separately, net foreign exchange reserves in Angola declined to $21.40 billion last year from $24.27 billion in 2015, Reuters notes, citing data from the central bank's website.
* The IMF urged Zimbabwe to implement a comprehensive economic reform plan to support the viability of its economy, The Herald writes.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: German online lender enters NZ market; Japan raises growth outlook
Europe: More Deutsche fines; UniCredit expects €11.8B loss; pan-EU bad bank push
Latin America: Santander Chile's Q4'16 profit jumps almost 30%; Bancamía CEO to retire
North America: Fed announces CCAR relief; Green Dot to buy UniRush
North America Insurance: PE-backed brokers led '16 agency M&A; Aetna's Q4'16 operating earnings grow
Leo Magno, Sarah Raslan, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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