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In This List

SSA news through Aug. 1

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SSA news through Aug. 1

* Liberty Holdings Ltd. will sell all of its shares in asset manager Stanlib Ghana Ltd. to Stanbic Africa Holdings Ltd., a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, for 70 million Ghanaian cedis in cash.

* Nairobi-headquartered payment service provider Direct Pay Online Group acquired South African payment processor PayFast (Pty) Ltd. in a deal carried out through a mix of shares and cash.


* Kenyan financial services firm Equity Group Holdings PLC reported first half unaudited profit after tax, exceptional items and minority interest of 11.92 billion shillings, up from 10.94 billion shillings a year ago.

* Insurer Sanlam Kenya PLC struck a strategic agreement with Japanese insurance group Sompo Holdings Inc. that will allow the latter to continue to expand in Africa, particularly in East Africa, Middle East Insurance Review reported.

* The Ethiopian parliament passed a bill to open the country's financial sector to citizens who have assumed other nationalities and allow them to purchase shares in local banks and open lending businesses, among other things, Reuters reported.


* Ecobank Transnational Inc. reported unaudited first-half profit attributable to owners of the parent of $120.2 million, down from $134.7 million a year ago. The Togo-based pan-African banking group also named Ayo Adepoju group CFO, effective immediately. Adepoju was appointed acting group CFO in April.

* Nigerian financial services group FBN Holdings PLC reported second-quarter unaudited profit attributable to owners of the parent of 15.06 billion naira, down from 18.21 billion naira a year ago.

* Union Bank of Nigeria PLC reported second-quarter unaudited group consolidated profit attributable to equity holders of 6.46 billion naira, up from 5.09 billion naira a year ago.

* Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corp. Managing Director Umaru Ibrahim warned against Nigerians' adoption of cryptocurrencies as their preferred method of financial transactions, saying they could lose their savings as the currencies are largely unregulated and not backed by traditional central banks, The Punch wrote.

* Nigeria's National Insurance Commission has given insurance and reinsurance firms until Aug. 20 to submit their recapitalization plans, This Day reported, citing a circular sent to the companies.

* MTN Nigeria Communications PLC said it obtained, through unit Y'ello Digital Financial Services Ltd., a super-agent license from Nigeria's central bank that will allow it to join a group of financial technology firms speeding up financial inclusion in the country through an agent network, The Punch reported. The telecommunications firm also applied for a payment service bank license from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

* The Financial Stability Board named Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison as a co-chair of the Switzerland-based organization's regional consultative group for sub-Saharan Africa, Citi Business News wrote.

* Visa signed an agreement with Côte d'Ivoire's government to roll out electronic payments systems in the country, according to Financial Afrik.


* Fitch Ratings revised the outlook on South Africa to negative from stable, citing the country's widening budget deficit due to lower GDP growth and higher spending for state-owned enterprises, including power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. Fitch said Eskom and other troubled nonfinancial state-owned enterprises pose upside risks to the debt forecast.

* Meanwhile, Moody's said South Africa's additional support for Eskom is credit negative and warned it could downgrade the country, according to Business Report.

* South Africa-based Nedbank Group Ltd. is discussing potential job cuts at its retail and business banking unit with around 1,500 employees, Bloomberg News reported. The lender confirmed that between 50 and 100 employees could be left without a job, but said it will help the individuals to either secure available alternative positions within the company or equip them for outside opportunities.

* South African insurer Old Mutual Ltd. will appeal the High Court's decision to grant former CEO Peter Moyo temporary reinstatement following his dismissal in June, adding that Moyo will not allowed to resume work at the company pending the outcome of the appeal proceedings.

* South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd. said it has adopted a group-wide policy on lending to coal-fired power projects and that it is developing a policy on lending to coal mining operations, following a shareholder vote. As a result, the bank will only fund coal-fired power projects that meet certain emissions and size criteria, Business Day noted.

* Nicky Newton-King will retire as CEO of the Johannesburg stock exchange at the end of September. JSE Ltd.'s board named Leila Fourie as group CEO, effective Oct. 1.

* Angola's central bank maintained its benchmark interest rate at 15.50%, Jornal de Angola reported. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Malawi maintained its policy rate at 13.5%.

* The executive president of CaixaBank SA, Gonzalo Gortázar, said the Spanish bank is not in a hurry to sell its 48.1% stake in Banco de Fomento Angola SA, Jornal de Angola wrote. Gortázar said BFA has profitable management and the reduction of CaixaBank's stake will be done at the right time.

* Minor shareholders of Portuguese lender Banco BPI SA moved forward with a judicial action in an attempt to block the sale of a 2% stake of Banco de Fomento Angola to Unitel. A court in Porto had given the green light for the bank to proceed with the transaction, but the minor shareholders disagree with the decision and will try to block the sale, Jornal de Negócios said.

* Mozambique will push for the extradition of former Finance Minister Manuel Chang, who has been in custody in South Africa since his arrest in December 2018 over his alleged involvement in a $2 billion debt scandal, Reuters reported.

* Mauritius-based Apis Growth 12 Ltd. submitted a nonbinding expression of interest to acquire all issued ordinary shares in South African financial services firm Efficient Group Ltd., excluding 81,352,863 shares held by several investors, after which the company is intended to be delisted from the Johannesburg stock exchange.

Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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.