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SSA news through July 5

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SSA news through July 5

EAST AFRICA

* Kenya's Insurance Regulatory Authority said it aims to publish new regulations on Islamic insurance, or takaful, by year-end, pending approval from the Treasury, Middle East Insurance Review wrote, citing the Kenya Broadcasting Corp.

* The Kenya Bankers Association has filed a petition seeking to suspend the implementation of the so-called Robin Hood tax, which imposes a 0.05% tax on bank transfers amounting to 500,000 shillings or more, Business Daily Africa wrote. The lobby group said banks were given insufficient information for the implementation of the tax, and argued that it is unconstitutional as it did not undergo public participation.

* KCB Group PLC CEO Joshua Oigara said the bank is bracing for potential investment opportunities in Ethiopia over the next two years as the country relaxes its policy on foreign investment in key industries, Bloomberg News reported.

* Former National Bank of Kenya Ltd. Managing Director Munir Sheikh has filed a complaint against the country's Capital Markets Authority over fines and sanctions it imposed on him for allegedly misrepresenting the lender's financial statements and participating in a 1 billion Kenyan shillings embezzlement scheme, Business Daily Africa reported.

WEST AFRICA

* The Bank of Ghana adopted a new framework requiring banks to include their risk-weighted assets when calculating their capital adequacy ratios. Banks, however, have until Jan. 1, 2019, to comply with the Capital Requirement Directive, which also sets the new minimum capital requirement for banks at 400 million cedis, 3x more than the current minimum capital requirement of 120 million cedis.

* Access Bank (Ghana) PLC named Kris Ifeanyi Njoku its new managing director, effective June 28. He replaces Dolapo Ogundimu, who has been in the post since 2012.

* Orange SA is collaborating on a venture with Ivory Coast's NSIA Participations SA to set up banking operations in West Africa as part of the French telecommunications company's efforts to diversify into financial services, insiders told Bloomberg. Orange will own 75% of the enterprise — which would offer retail banking services, micro loans and insurance — and NSIA will own the remaining 25% stake.

* Old Mutual Nigeria General and Old Mutual Nigeria Life Assurance Co. Ltd. signed a bancassurance partnership with Ecobank Nigeria Ltd. to offer insurance products and services to Nigerians across the lender's branches in the country, Vanguard reported.

* Diamond Bank PLC named Oluseyi Bickersteth chairman of its board of directors and an independent nonexecutive director, replacing Chris Ogbechie, who retired in March.

* Wema Bank PLC Managing Director and CEO Segun Oloketuyi is retiring from his positions. Ademola Adebise, who serves as deputy managing director of the Nigerian lender, will take over as acting managing director and CEO.

* Pan-African development finance institution Africa Finance Corp. named Samaila Zubairu president and CEO, replacing Andrew Alli, whose tenure has ended after serving in the role since 2008.

* Nathaniel Patray was appointed executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia. He succeeds Milton Weeks, who resigned from the position July 3.

* S&P Global Ratings assigned long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings of B+/B to Benin, with a stable outlook.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* The South African Reserve Bank has asked the National Credit Regulator to look into whether Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. continued to use its multi-loan products, for which Viceroy Research claimed in a January report that Capitec charged excessive fees, Reuters reported. The central bank said it found no instances of rescheduled loans being issued by Capitec to hide nonpayment of loans and show an artificial lending growth, the newswire wrote.

* The South African Reserve Bank confirmed that it has secured a guarantee from the National Treasury of up to 100,000 rand per VBS Mutual Bank retail depositor. Details on the repayment of retail deposits will be announced July 9.

* Zweli Mkhize, South Africa's cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, said the government will not bail out 13 municipalities affected by the collapse of VBS, noting their action was "unacceptable" as local councils are barred from placing ratepayer money into mutual banks, Bloomberg reported. The municipalities lost roughly 1.65 billion rand invested in the bank.

* Barclays Africa Group Ltd.'s South African retail and business banking division named its newly appointed deputy CEO of retail and business banking for South Africa, Bongiwe Gangeni, to also head relationship banking, including business and private banking, among other executive changes amid an ongoing restructuring.

* Barclays International, which includes British lender Barclays PLC's investment bank, private bank and cards business, is looking to open a representative office in South Africa, insiders told the Financial Times. The bank is aware that any service will have to comply with the terms of a multiyear noncompete agreement with Barclays Africa Group.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia reportedly placed its South Africa banking business under review as it seeks to focus on its core Australian and New Zealand banking business. The lender is reviewing its future ownership of TymeDigital and it is believed that it may sell the business to minority shareholder African Rainbow Capital.

* Grant Gelink resigned as chairman and nonexecutive director of South African insurer Santam Ltd.'s board, effective June 30. The Sanlam Ltd. unit named Vusumuzi Phillip Khanyile as its chairperson, effective July 1.

* The Reserve Bank of Malawi kept its policy rate unchanged at 16%, citing risks to the inflation outlook despite slower price increases in May.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.