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Iran talks delayed; Liberty seeks Kenya expansion

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Iran talks delayed; Liberty seeks Kenya expansion

MIDDLEEAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Iran talks pushed out: A spokeswoman for the U.K.Foreign Office said a meeting between the Central Bank of Iran, the U.S.Treasury and international banks was postponed and would be rescheduled,Reuters reports. U.K. Foreign SecretaryPhilip Hammond said the meeting was set to take place in London yesterdayafternoon in an attempt to make progress on resuming ties with Iran.

*The Bank of Israel allowed BankLeumi le-Israel BM concessions in calculating its liabilities foremployees entitled to unfunded pensions to curtail fluctuations in pensionliabilities burdening the lender's capital, Globeswrites.

*The UAE plans to establish a bank with an "announced" capital of $164million in Tripoli, Libya, under the supervision of Aref Ali Nayed, the Libyanambassador to the UAE, The Libya Observerreports, citing Emirates 71.

*The Central Bank of Kuwait said in its 2015 financialstability report that the local banking sector remained "sound andstable" last year, despite the slump in oil prices, as reflected in the"healthy" growth of domestic credit, the continuous and steadydecline of the nonperforming loans ratio, banks' "robust" capitaladequacy levels and the positive growth of net income in the sector.

* Kuwait is considering listing four oil units associatedwith state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp., AsharqAl Awsat reports.Anas Al Saleh, Kuwait's finance minister, deputy prime minister and acting oilminister, said the government is planning to sell 20% or 30% stakes in fourstate oil units and has a four-year plan to sell shares in the internationalunits and the shipping and chemical arms of Kuwait Petroleum Corp..

*Qatar National BankSAQ reported second-quarter profit attributable to equity holders of the bank of3.38 billion riyals, up from 2.91 billion riyals in the year-ago period. For the first half, thelender posted a year-over-year rise in attributable profit to 6.25 billionriyals from 5.59 billion riyals.

*National Bank of OmanSAOG launched a $100 million tap of its existing $500 million bondissued in October 2014 with a maturity of five years, Reuters notes. The tap has initial pricethoughts in the area of 225 basis points over midswaps.

*The Egyptian central bank maintained the local currency stable at 8.78 poundsto a dollar at yesterday's regular currency auction, Ahram Online reports, citing Middle East NewsAgency. Analysts and bankers were expecting the central bank todevalue the pound after Governor Tarek Amer made remarks that the central bankhad made a mistake by defending the pound over the past few years, Daily News Egypt says.The dollar was being traded at 11.40 pounds in the informal markets, driven byspeculation that the central bank would devalue the pound.

* Takaful firms grabbed 11.46% of total insurance premiumsin Egypt in the first four months of the year, posting direct premiums of 825.7million pounds, according to an Egyptian FSA report cited byReuters. Insurance firms in Egypt saw a 27.4% year-over-year rise in premiumsin the first four months, to a record 7.2 billion pounds.

* Egypt'sFSA will review July 20 lawsuits Beltone Financial Holding SAE filed against EgyptianExchange, after EGX Chairman Mohamed Omran canceled transactions involvingBeltone stocks in each month from February to May, Daily News Egypt reports.

* Morocco expects1.5% growth in 2016, rising to 3.5% in 2017, with a marginally increasing tradedeficit and public debt, Le Matin reports.

EASTAND WEST AFRICA

Liberty Holdings seeks Kenya expansion: The Kenyan subsidiary of South African insurerLiberty HoldingsLtd., which is owned by Standard Bank Group Ltd., plans to acquire 10 Kenyaninsurers in the next five years, Agence Ecofin reports.

*Tanzanian Minister for Finance and Planning Philip Mpango said banks will haveto deduct 18% from the transactionfee they impose on clients to cover the value-added tax on bank transactions,meaning customers will not be charged an extra fee, Tanzania's Daily News writes.

* Proparcoand Ecobank TransnationalInc. are launching the first guaranteed fund in sub-Saharan Africa,Financial Afrik reports. Guaranteed Equity Fund Ecobank willlist on the BRVM with a size of 5 billion CFA francs.

*Ghana's parliament yesterday passed the Bank and Specialized Deposit-TakingBill in an aim to boost financial regulations in the country, Pulse Ghana reports. The bill tacklesrestrictions on lending and investment and the taking of loans and deposits byfinancial companies with capital adequacy ratios below the central bank'srequirements.

*The IMF rescheduled its board meeting to review Ghana's performance anddisburse the third tranche of loans to the country to September-end,MyJoyOnline says.

*Uganda's Ministry of Finance completed an interest rate swap on the $645million commercial portion of a loan with Standard Bank Group unit andStandard Chartered Bank UgandaLtd., accordingtoReuters. The loan is part of a larger loan totaling $1.44 billion from theExport-Import Bank of China to finance the Karuma hydropower plant on the NileRiver.

CENTRALAND SOUTHERN AFRICA

Alternate BFA plan throwsCaixaBank's BPI takeover in doubt: Banco BPISA shareholder Violas Ferreira suggested a merging of ,which is controlled by BPI, and Banco Caixa Geral Angola SA, as a solution to Banco BPISA's exposure to Angola. Such a deal would, however, imply an end to 's takeover bid forBPI, Jornal de Negócios writes. The proposal has beenpresented to the relevant parties.

*Absa Bank Ltd., aunit of Barclays Plc,joined the global blockchain consortium led by R3CEV and comprising more than40 banks and nonfinancial firms, CoinDesk says.

* The Bankof Central African States' monetary policy committee reduced its expected growthrate for central Africa to 1.7%, compared to 2.5% last year, Agence Ecofin reports.

IN OTHERPARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Bangladesh, NY Fed talks postponed; Credit Suisse appoints execs inChina

Europe: May tobecome UK PM; Credit Suisse closes Russia private bank; DNB, Tryg report Q2results

Latin America: Banco do Brasil looks to end partnership with Brazil's postalservice

North America: DOJ reportedly rushed HSBC deal; Venezuela's president rants againstCiti

North America Insurance: Obama calls for ACA public plan option; H1 natural catastrophelosses hit $70B

XanaKakoty, Sarah Raslan, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to thisreport.

TheDaily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. Londontime. Some external links may require a subscription.