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Bank of Namibia cuts rate; Qatar trims Credit Suisse stake

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Bank of Namibia cuts rate; Qatar trims Credit Suisse stake

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* The Qatar Investment Authority cut its direct shareholding in Credit Suisse Group AG to 4.94% from 5.01%, Bloomberg News reported. Qatar's overall holding in Credit Suisse, including contingent convertible bonds, declined to 15.91% from 17.98% as a result of the Swiss lender's recent capital increase.

* Qatar Investment Authority CEO Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said the sovereign wealth fund is set to announce significant new international investments soon, despite sanctions imposed against Qatar by a group of neighboring Arab states, Reuters reported.

* Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co. and a member of the Saudi royal family, is reportedly interested in acquiring a stake in Russian lender PJSC BANK JUGRA, Argaam reported, citing Russia Today. The royal would reportedly only acquire a stake in the troubled lender if it resumes operations, after having its license revoked in July due to allegations of fraud.

* Abdulrahman Al-Sughayer resigned as board chairman and board member of Allianz Saudi Fransi Cooperative Insurance Co. for personal reasons, effective Aug. 15, Argaam reported.

* Saudi British Bank will pay a cash dividend of 71 Saudi Arabian halalas per share for the first half, Argaam reported.

* The Central Bank of Bahrain received an application from Solidarity General Takaful BSC to transfer its business to Al Ahlia Insurance Co. BSC and be dissolved, according to Thomson Reuters' Zawya. Al Ahlia had separately asked to convert its license from conventional insurance to Islamic insurance.

* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani officially sent to parliament the Banking Reform Bill and the Central Bank Bill, which are aimed at reforming the country's banking system, the Financial Tribune wrote, citing Dolat.ir.

* The Tunisian government is considering how to avoid a fine of up to $400 million after an international tribunal ruled that it had acted illegally in expropriating the ABCI Investments group, the majority shareholder of Banque Franco-Tunisienne, according to Jeune Afrique. A counterproposal the government is considering may involve giving away shares in a public bank in lieu of paying the fine.

* Economists expect the Central Bank of Egypt to maintain its key interest rates when its monetary policy committee meets later today, according to a Reuters report carried by Nasdaq.

* Egypt is said to be planning to issue up to $4 billion in eurobonds in January 2018 and is expected to approach investment banks to serve as advisers for the potential sale within three months, an unnamed finance ministry official told Bloomberg News.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* KCB Group Plc named George Odhiambo as acting managing director of KCB Bank Rwanda Ltd., replacing Maurice Toroitich, Capital FM reported.

* Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga intends to challenge the result of last week's national presidential election in the Supreme Court, claiming that incumbent Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta won a new term through "computer-generated fraud," Bloomberg News wrote.

* HFC Bank (Ghana) Ltd. is likely to appoint Anthony Jordan as its new managing director, succeeding Robert Le Hunte, insiders told Joy Business. Jordan currently serves as the lender's general manager in charge of risk management.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* The Bank of Namibia cut its repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.75%, its first decrease since 2012, in a bid to reverse four successive quarters of economic contraction.

* Standard Chartered Plc named Kweku Bedu-Addo head of its South African and southern African operations, South Africa's Business Day reported. He replaces Richard Etemesi, who in turn will succeed Ebenezer Essoka as vice chairperson for Africa.

* Companies controlled by the controversial Gupta family, known for their close links to South African President Jacob Zuma, are "presently involved in litigation" against Bank of Baroda in a bid to stop the India-based lender from closing down their accounts, Bloomberg News reported.

* ZimRe Holdings Ltd.'s board said the company has commenced negotiations over the disposal of certain assets it holds. Proceeds of the sale will be used to support the firm's new strategic endeavors.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: 2 foreign financial firms eye Japanese market; QBE Insurance H1 profit jumps

Europe: Pru sells US broker/dealer network; Swiss Life posts profit; Nordea probed

Latin America: S&P removes Brazil from CreditWatch; ING reopens Colombia office

North America: OSFI probes top Canadian banks; Fischer condemns plans to ease up on large banks

North America Insurance: Centene to offer ACA coverage in Nevada; UnitedHealth CEO to step down

Leo Magno, Sarah Raslan, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.