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SSA news through June 14


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SSA news through June 14

* Anglo-South African financial group Old Mutual PLC set the price range of its offer of up to 9.6% of Quilter PLC's ordinary shares at between 125 pence to 155 pence apiece. Meanwhile, Quilter — formerly Old Mutual Wealth — said it received all regulatory approvals for the sale of its single strategy asset management business.


* In his budget speech, Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich said he will propose to repeal the law capping interest rates on commercial lenders, introduced by the government in 2016, which has slowed private sector credit growth in the country, Reuters reported. Rotich also outlined proposals for tax measures, including the introduction of a so-called Robin Hood tax of 0.05% on bank transfers amounting to 500,000 shillings or more, to fund the budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

* The Kenyan government will publish a draft data protection law this month in a bid to create safety measures for personal data held by mobile phone-based financial firms, Reuters wrote, citing Joe Mucheru, the country's minister of information, communication and technology.

* Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said his country is looking at adopting the Chinese yuan as a reserve currency, Xinhua reported.

* Swiss Re AG will purchase a 13.81% stake in Kenya-based insurance company Britam Holdings PLC from shareholder Plum LLP, with 348.5 million Britam shares under consideration, Reuters reported. The Kenyan insurer's shares were trading at 13.60 Kenyan shillings, giving the deal a potential value of 4.7 billion shillings, the newswire noted.

* African Trade Insurance Agency CEO George Otieno said the Kenya-based pan-African insurer expects its annual insured trade and investment portfolio to rise to $3.5 billion this year and to double to roughly $7 billion by 2022, Reuters wrote. Otieno said the increase is expected to be driven by the addition of 20 new member countries, including Ghana and Nigeria, in the next five years.

* Patrick Tumbo has resigned as CEO of Jubilee Insurance Co. of Kenya Ltd., according to Business Daily Africa. Julius Kipng'etich, regional CEO of parent Jubilee Holdings Ltd., will replace Tumbo on an interim basis. Jubilee Holdings also appointed Group CFO Ali Rawji as the new group COO. Meanwhile, Jubilee Insurance Chairman Nizar Juma said the insurer plans to split into three separate units — Medical Insurance, Life Insurance and General Insurance — before the end of the year, with each having its own CEO.

* The Bank of Uganda maintained its key lending rate at 9.0%, saying inflation is expected to climb faster than originally projected.


* Ghana-based GN Bank is planning to launch a financial infrastructure in London, according to the bank's owner, Papa Kwesi Nduom.

* Enterprise Group Ltd. Group CEO Keli Gadzekpo said the Ghanaian financial services firm plans to enter the health insurance sector, Joy Business reported. He also said the company is looking for opportunities to acquire a stake in a local commercial bank.

* Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd. appointed Emmanuel Oteng Kumah its new chairman, effective July 1. Kumah will succeed Ishmael Evans Yamson, who will retire after his term ends June 30.

* Nigeria-based Custodian and Allied Insurance PLC changed its name to Custodian Investment PLC after obtaining regulatory approval.

* Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari approved the nomination of Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi as deputy governor of the country's central bank, The Guardian reported. The appointment remains subject to Senate confirmation.

* Eveline Tall has been named executive chairman of Senegalese private equity firm M&A Capital, Financial Afrik reported.


* South African insurer Sanlam Ltd. plans to enter the Ethiopian and Egyptian markets as part of an expansion strategy, CEO Ian Kirk told Financial Afrik. He added that the company plans to enter Ethiopia in 2021 and has already identified a partner in the country.

* Strate (Pty.) Ltd. appointed André Nortjé as its new CEO, effective Aug. 1. Nortjé will take the helm from Maria Vermaas, the head of Strate's legal and regulatory division who has been serving as interim CEO since September 2017.

* A South African police unit dubbed the Hawks has raided the Johannesburg and Durban branches of India-based Bank of Baroda and seized documents as part of an ongoing investigation into corruption allegations involving former South African President Jacob Zuma and the controversial Gupta family, Reuters reported. Bank of Baroda stressed that the police's search and seizure operation was not to investigate the bank, but rather in relation to the ongoing investigation of the Gupta family.

* Mauritius-based SBM Holdings Ltd. is looking to raise more than 10 billion Kenyan shillings in fresh capital through the sale of Mauritian rupee- and U.S.-dollar denominated bonds to support the group's expansion strategy in Africa, Daily Nation wrote. The group said the capital injection will cater for regulatory requirements with respect to increased business volumes, subject to completion of unit SBM Bank (Kenya) Ltd.'s acquisition of carved out assets and liabilities in collapsed lender Chase Bank (Kenya) Ltd.

* The Bank of Namibia kept its repo rate on hold at 6.75% to safeguard the level of foreign reserves and maintain the currency peg with the South African rand.

* Moody's downgraded the issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings of Gabon to Caa1 from B3 and changed its outlook to stable from negative, citing the government's heightened liquidity pressures and continued institutional weaknesses.

* Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd. plans to rebrand as First Capital Bank Ltd. following the takeover of a stake by FMB Capital Holdings, which also has a controlling interest in First Merchant Bank PLC, The Chronicle of Zimbabwe reported.

Sophie Davies contributed to this report.