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Qatar forex manipulation probe intensifies; ex-Moza Banco execs fined


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Qatar forex manipulation probe intensifies; ex-Moza Banco execs fined

* Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Co. PJSC's attempts to sell Falcon Private Bank AG are facing hurdles due to a misconduct investigation hanging over the Zurich-based unit for allegedly failing to prevent money laundering, insiders told Reuters. Swiss authorities are probing Falcon due to its involvement in a corruption scandal surrounding Malaysian investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Mubadala became the full owner of Falcon in 2017, after the fund's merger with another Abu Dhabi state-owned fund, International Petroleum Investment Co.

* Greylock Capital Management LLC, a U.S.-based hedge fund that specializes in emerging-markets distressed debt, is looking at Bahrain as its next potential target, as the country is said to be experiencing some pressure on its public finances, Bloomberg News wrote. Mozambique's distressed bonds are held by Greylock Capital.

* The Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange have established a partnership to grow capital-raising opportunities for companies, particularly technology and healthcare firms looking to tap the capital markets to fund their growth plans in Asia and globally.

* HSBC Holdings PLC has established a China desk in Israel, which will be led by Yafit Mudahi, in a bid to boost trade and investment flows between the two countries, Globes reported.

* Ferid Belhaj was named new vice president of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa, L'Economiste Maghrébin reported. He will assume the role July 1.


* The Qatar Central Bank is asking banks for more data regarding U.S. dollar-riyal trades amid its investigation into suspected attempts by countries that imposed an economic embargo against Qatar to devalue the local currency to harm its economy, insiders told Reuters.

* Meanwhile, Qatar's emir has reappointed Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani as governor of the country's central bank for five years, Argaam reported.

* Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corp. (BSC) reported first-quarter consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent of $53 million, up 6% from $50 million in the same period in 2017.

* GFH Financial Group BSC's board of directors approved the resignation of Kamal Bahamdan from the board and the appointment of Amreu Almanhali as new board member, subject to regulatory approval.

* Alistithmar Capital, the investment arm of Saudi Investment Bank, appointed Khalid al-Rais as CEO of the company, Eliktisad reported.

* Emirates NBD Bank PJSC is planning to expand the operations of its digital bank, Liv., to other regional markets, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Gulf News reported.

* Mashreqbank PSC appointed Ibrahim al-Mheiri as the new head of Mashreq Al Islami Retail Segment and UAE National Segment, according to a press release carried by Thomson Reuters' Zawya.

* Kuwait Finance & Investment Co. - KSC (Public)'s general assembly approved the board of directors' proposal to not distribute profit to shareholders, and authorized the board to buy and sell no more than 10% of the firm's shares, subject to regulatory approval.

* Iranian Ambassador to Germany Ali Majedi said preliminary steps have been taken by Iran to set up a bank for euro-denominated transactions between the Middle Eastern country and the European Union, Sputnik News reported. He added that the bank could be private and based in Germany. The move comes after U.S. President Donald Trump's recent decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear pact.

* S&P Global Ratings upgraded Commercial International Bank (Egypt) SAE's long-term issuer credit rating to B from B-, with a stable outlook, and affirmed its B short-term issuer credit rating. Separately, the agency affirmed Kuwait Finance House KSCP's A-/A-2 issuer credit ratings and subsequently withdrew the ratings at the bank's request. The outlook on the long-term rating was negative at the time of withdrawal.

* CFG Bank SA plans to form strategic alliances for its asset management operations in Ivory Coast or Senegal as early as 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, regional head for Central and West Africa at private equity firm Amethis Finance, which recently acquired a 13% stake in the Moroccan lender. The move is part of the Casablanca-based bank's strategy to expand in French-speaking countries.

* The Moroccan Insurance and Social Security Supervisory Authority could reject South African group Sanlam Ltd.'s planned acquisition of the rest of Morocco-based Saham Finances SA, Agence Ecofin reported, citing news website Le Desk.


* U.S. private investment firm TPG Growth agreed to buy an unspecified stake in Kenyan digital payments firm Cellulant Ltd. via its impact investment arm The Rise Fund. Cellulant said it raised $47.5 million in total through a series C funding round led by TPG, which would be used to grow existing operations and enter into new markets.

* Moody's assigned a B1 foreign-currency issuer rating to Togo-based Banque d’investissement et de développement de la CEDEAO, with a negative outlook.


* The Bank of Mozambique imposed fines and other sanctions against former executives and directors at Moza Banco SA, which was bailed out in 2016 due to a liquidity shortage, O País and Zitamar reported. The individuals, including former Chairman Prakash Ratilal and former Executive Chairman Ibrahimo Ibrahimo, were fined between 300,000 meticais and 500,000 meticais and were also banned from holding positions in financial companies for up to three years.

* The Angolan government is negotiating up to $20 billion in fresh financing from Chinese banks, state news agency Angop and Jornal de Angola reported, citing a prospectus sent to investors for a $3 billion eurobond sale. The government is said to be discussing an $11.7 billion credit line with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to finance a series of projects in the oil-exporting southern African country.


Asia-Pacific: JPMorgan Chase names new China CEO; AMP to face more lawsuits

Europe: Barclays CEO fined; ABN AMRO posts Q1; Deutsche Bank names CIB co-presidents

Latin America: Fitch revises outlook on 6 Argentine firms; country's banks bear brunt of crisis

North America: Goldman Sachs picks Germany for expansion; Cadence to buy State Bank Financial

North America Insurance: Commercial P&C rates rise for 2nd consecutive quarter; TWIA launching cat bond

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

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