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MENA news through Oct. 16


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MENA news through Oct. 16

* U.S. prosecutors have filed charges against Türkiye Halk Bankası AŞ for allegedly taking part in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, saying the bank and its officials used money service businesses and front companies in countries including Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to circumvent restrictions on Iran's access to the U.S. financial system, The Wall Street Journal reported.


* The Council of the European Union has removed the UAE from its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

* Dubai-based Mashreqbank PSC said CEO Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair will become its new chairman, succeeding Abdullah Ahmed al-Ghurair, as the lender reported a year-over-year drop in third-quarter profit attributable to owners to 535.8 million UAE dirhams from 586.6 million dirhams. Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair resigned as CEO of the bank and will be replaced by Ahmed Mohamed Abdelaal, who was the bank's head of corporate and investment banking for the last two years.

* Dubai Islamic Bank (PJSC) reported third-quarter profit attributable to owners of the bank of 1.25 billion UAE dirhams, up from 1.23 billion dirhams a year earlier.

* National Bank of Kuwait SAKP reported third-quarter unaudited profit attributable to shareholders of 93.1 million dinars, up from 86.5 million dinars a year earlier.

* Qatar Islamic Bank QPSC's third-quarter net profit attributable to equity holders of the bank totaled 790.0 million riyals, up from the year-ago 680.0 million riyals. The bank's attributable profit for the nine months to Sept. 30 also rose year over year, to 2.22 billion riyals from 2.01 billion riyals.

* Oman-based Bank Muscat SAOG posted net profit of 141.4 million rials in the first nine months, up 5.0% year over year from 134.7 million rials.

* Barclays PLC allegedly offered to pay former executive Roger Jenkins a bonus of £25 million for securing investments from Qatar that allowed the British bank to avoid a state bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Prosecutors previously claimed that Jenkins, along with fellow former Barclays executive Richard Boath, created a "misleading audit trail" to conceal that the bank was paying Qatari investors more than other investors for supporting its capital increase, according to the Financial Times.

* Dubai-based International General Insurance Holdings Ltd. has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with U.S. special purpose acquisition company Tiberius Acquisition Corp. and certain related parties, which will see the two firms combined under a new Bermuda-domiciled holding company that will be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market. IGI said it is also considering entering the U.S. excess and surplus lines market and that it has filed an application to set up an EU subsidiary in Belgium.

* Saudi Indian Co. for Cooperative Insurance Wafa Insurance, or Wafa Insurance, said CEO Abdul al-Rahman Ibn Abd Allah al-Sahli has expressed his intention to not renew his contract, which expired Oct. 14. The firm's board of directors will appoint an interim CEO, subject to regulatory approval.

* Islamic Arab Insurance Co. (Salama) PJSC intends to increase its foreign ownership cap to 49%, the maximum limit allowed by UAE laws. The company also plans to reduce its paid-up capital of 1.21 billion dirhams by about a third to offset losses of roughly 394.0 million dirhams incurred in recent years.

* Although measures taken after Dubai's recession in 2019 allow banks in the UAE to better deal with increased defaults, their exposure to real estate may still leave them vulnerable amid a weakening economy, rising provisions and tumbling property prices, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

* Saudi Arabia could pay the 20 banks working on the planned IPO of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. an aggregate amount of up to $450 million, insiders told Bloomberg News.


* The economic crisis in Lebanon is expected to put more pressure on local banks due to their exposure to sovereign debt, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.


* Egypt-based supranational lender African Export-Import Bank confirmed plans to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange, aiming to raise at least $250 million by offering shares in the form of global depositary receipts.

* Morocco-based Banque Centrale Populaire purchased a 100% stake in Groupe BPCE's Republic of the Congo unit, Banque Commerciale Internationale, for an undisclosed sum, Reuters reported.

* The Moroccan Capital Markets Authority has approved the injection of 1.9 billion dirhams into Morocco's Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur SA by U.K. government-owned development finance institution CDC Group, Finances News reported.

* Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (SAE) will increase its issued capital to about $440.2 million from $366.8 million by issuing 73,366,117 shares at par value of $1 apiece, according to Arab Finance.

* Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority cleared a plan to lower stock exchange trading fees as the country seeks to spur investment and competitiveness with other regional markets, Reuters reported.

Abdelghani Henni and Sophie Davis 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.