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Fitch affirms UAE banks; Bank Muscat FY'19 profit up; Allianz Cameroon names CEO


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Fitch affirms UAE banks; Bank Muscat FY'19 profit up; Allianz Cameroon names CEO

* Environmental concerns dominate the list of the foremost long-term risks to world economy in the next 10 years, the World Economic Forum said in its Global Risks Report, which also included projections for a rise in domestic political polarization and economic confrontations in 2020.

* Paras Shah has stepped down as U.S. bank Citigroup Inc.'s head of high-yield credit trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* German insurer Allianz Group named Olivier Malâtre CEO of Allianz Cameroon, replacing Frédéric Desprez, who will move to a new role within the group. Mamadou Koné, currently CEO of Allianz Ivory Coast Life, will take over Malâtre's current post as CEO of Allianz Ivory Coast Non-Life. Financial Afrik covered.

* The weakness of African regional and local government's fiscal capacity to fund their capital needs will limit infrastructure funding and constrain sustainable development across the continent, according to Moody's.


* Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) plans to set up a new European hub in the U.K. to attract more institutional investors from abroad, insiders told Financial News. The bourse has reportedly hired headhunters to staff the new office.

* The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is engaged in discussions with adviser PJT Park Hill for a possible sale of about $2 billion of its stakes in private equity funds, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* United Arab Emirates-based SHUAA Capital PSC's board of directors approved the sale of the company's market making businesses to Al Ramz Corp. Investment and Development P.J.S.C. and the wind down of unit SHUAA Capital International Ltd., subject to conditions and regulatory approvals. Fawad Tariq Khan's resignation from Shuaa Capital's board was also approved, while Abubaker Alkhoori was appointed as his replacement.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings of Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC and HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. at A+, with stable outlooks. The short-term issuer default ratings of Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank were affirmed at F1, while HSBC Bank Middle East's was affirmed at F1+. The agency also affirmed First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC's long- and short-term issuer default ratings at AA-/F1+, with a stable outlook.

* Fitch placed Dubai-based Noor Bank PJSC's long- and short-term issuer default ratings at A-/F2 on Rating Watch Positive, pending the completion of its acquisition by Dubai Islamic Bank (PJSC). Meanwhile, Dubai Islamic Bank's long- and short-term issuer default ratings were affirmed at A/F1, with a stable outlook.

* U.K.-based foreign exchange company Travelex, a subsidiary brand of Abu Dhabi-based payments company Finablr PLC, is restoring services to process foreign exchange orders electronically after it was infected with ransomware at the end of December 2019, Reuters reported.

* Qatar Islamic Bank QPSC reported net profit attributable to shareholders of 3.06 billion riyals for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, up 11% from 2.76 billion riyals a year ago. The lender's board of directors proposed a dividend of 0.525 riyals per share for the period, subject to shareholder approval.

* Oman-based Bank Muscat SAOG reported preliminary full-year 2019 net profit of 185.6 million rials, up 3.3% from 179.6 million rials a year earlier. The lender will release full results for the period following approval from its board at a meeting scheduled later this month.

* Commercial Bank of Kuwait KPSC said a Saudi Arabian court has accepted its 415-million-riyal claim related to the collapse of Saad Group and A. H. Algosaibi & Bros. Co. — two Saudi-based family holding companies that defaulted on roughly $16 billion in 2009. Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait KSCP and Burgan Bank KPSC also released statements without disclosing the amount, while Gulf Bank KSCP said the disputed amount had been sold in 2019 to one of the investors and was written off from the bank's books. Meanwhile, Kuwait Finance House said the client is indebted to KFH with 3 million Kuwaiti dinars, and the bank has already allocated 100% provision for the debt in 2010, adding that it is following up with the bankruptcy trustee.

* Denis Defrim Sengers, National Bank of Kuwait SAKP's head of IT, has resigned.

* BOK International Bank appointed Ahmed Darwish CEO, Al Ayam reported.


* Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said the country must cooperate with the World Bank, the IMF and other international institutions to address its economic crisis, but that a new government would have to carry out the reforms rather than the current caretaker cabinet, Reuters reported.

* The Association of Banks in Lebanon condemned the delay in establishing a new government after local banks were vandalized, saying this made lenders a target of attacks, Reuters wrote. Meanwhile, Association of Banks in Lebanon Chairman and Bank of Beirut SAL CEO Salim Sfeir said the country's sovereign debt will likely be restructured in a manner that will not hurt the economy and depositors and that foreign creditors will be repaid, Arab News reported.

* Lebanon's caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil has asked central bank Governor Riad Salamé to delay a proposed swap of the country's Eurobonds due in 2020 for longer-dated notes after rating agencies warned that the move could constitute a selective default, an insider told Reuters. Salamé told the news agency that no swap will take place before the government makes a decision.

* BLOM BANK SAL's shareholders approved the terms and conditions of a 10% increase in the Lebanese lender's common equity Tier 1 capital, an amount equivalent to $261.94 million, which will be carried out through cash contributions to capital.

* Egypt's Financial Supervisory Authority amended regulations related to listing and delisting of companies from the local stock exchange, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. The authority has introduced a new clause that oblige insiders, including board members, CEO and managers, to disclose any information in case of conflict of interest. The new clause also strips senior executives from the right of voting in case of conflict of interest.


* Michael Nyinaku and Prince Kofi Amoabeng, former CEOs of defunct Ghanaian lenders Beige Bank Ltd. and UT Bank Ltd., respectively, were charged by local prosecutors for alleged crimes that were part of a banking crisis that forced the country to spend 12.5 billion cedis in bank rescues, Bloomberg News reported. Amoabeng was earlier reported to have been granted bail by a judge, while Nyinaku was remanded to police custody and told to reapply for bail at the next hearing, according to Graphic Online.

* Nigeria's central bank approved Access Bank PLC's plan to establish a banking unit in Cameroon, which remains subject to approvals from the country's regulators.


* Brian Kennedy, the outgoing group managing executive of Nedbank Group Ltd. unit Nedbank CIB, said he could move to an executive or nonexecutive position at struggling South African state-owned companies in need of leadership, Bloomberg News wrote. Kennedy, who will leave the bank after reaching the company's mandatory retirement age of 60, is due to step down from the post at the end of March.

* Thetele Emmarancia was appointed as an independent nonexecutive director of the boards of South Africa-based Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. and unit Capitec Bank Ltd., effective March 6.

* Land & Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa's board accepted the resignation of Chief Risk Officer Kone Gugushe as acting CEO. Sydney Soundy will take over as acting CEO, effective immediately, while the process to appoint a permanent head continues, which the bank said is at an advanced stage.


Asia-Pacific: MUFG to get new head; Australia raises levies on financial firms

Europe: Sweeping staff cuts at UBS; Italian banks' M&A view; Revolut to be valued at $5B

Latin America: Fosun said to sell 2 Brazil financial firms; BNP Paribas Mexico's bank license

North America: BofA Q4'19 profit up; Morningstar nears SEC settlement; BlackRock AUM grows 24%

Global Insurance: UnitedHealth earnings up; Chubb cat losses; R&Q joint CEO out; top 5 risks

Erin Tanchico, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano 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.