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Bank Hapoalim raises provisions; Emirates Islamic launches rights issue

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Bank Hapoalim raises provisions; Emirates Islamic launches rights issue

World Bank suggestsSSA not at risk of debt crisis: World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said theaggregate debt of sub-Saharan African countries stands at just under 50% ofGDP, suggesting that the region is not at risk of a debt crisis despite theplunge in commodity prices, FinancialAfrik writes.

* StandardChartered Plc named Mohamed Abdel Bary regional of its operations in the Middle Eastand Africa. He has been interim regional CFO since January.


Bank Hapoalim booksextra provisions: BankHapoalim BM said it would book approximately $70 million inadditional provisions relating to a U.S. investigation into whether it aidedAmerican clients dodge taxes, Reuters reports.The lender has already booked a $50 million provision for the issue, which itsaid could significantly impact its third-quarter earnings.  

* The Norwegian central bank raised its stake in to2.6%, accordingto Globes. The Israeli lenderlast week raised 480 million shekels via a share offering priced at 6.93shekels per share, with a further 224 million shekels to be raised in options.The central bank holds 29.4 million Discount Bank shares worth about 201million shekels.

* Israel's foreign exchange reserves increased to a record$98.42 billion at September-end, up $789 million from a month ago following thecentral bank's purchase of $575 million in foreign currency in an aim tostrengthen the shekel, Globes writes.

* Fitch Ratings said yesterday thatbanks operating in Gulf Cooperation Council countries may face lower loan lossrequirements under IFRS9 rules because these may well be "lessonerous" than current provisioning requirements. The agency said it willbe challenging for GCC lenders to switch to IFRS9 as the absence of a longdefault history in many sovereigns, along with difficulties in correctlyassessing collateral values and timeframes for realizations, makes it tricky toassess expected loan losses.

* EmiratesIslamic Bank PJSC plans to raise 1.5 billion United Arab Emiratesdirhams from a rightsissue at an issue price of 1 dirham per new share. The offer will raise thebank's capital to 5.43 billion dirhams from 3.93 billion dirhams.

* NationalBank of Abu Dhabi PJSC is finalizing plans to issue a benchmarkconventional bond, insiders tellReuters.

* The Saudi Arabian finance ministry is considering a schemeto provide direct cash support to low- and middle-income citizens ahead of aplan to hike service fees, insiders tell Al-Jazirah.

* KFIC Brokerage decidednot to push through with a merger agreement with Al-Arabi Financial Brokerage.

* Despite strong top-line growth, Qatari lenders'third-quarter earnings are expected to be pulled down by higher provisioning, The Peninsula writes,citing analysts at SICO. In general, firms in GCC countries are expected torecord flat year-over-year profit growths for the third quarter.

* The Central Bank of Egypt is concluding the week withoutchanging the value of the pound, defying market predictions that it would floator devalue the currency, accordingto Daily News Egypt.

* Egypt will receive the second $1 billion tranche of a $3billion loan from the World Bank within three to four months, Amwal Al Ghad reports,citing World Bank Vice President Hafez Ghanem.

* The Algerian central bank postponed the launch of officialcurrency exchange offices in the country, ElWatan reports.


Access Bank tosell stake in Ghana unit's IPO: Nigeria's intends to sell astake of roughly 19% in unit Access Bank (Ghana) Ltd. in an IPO to be launched beforeyear-end, Bloomberg News writes,citing Jacob Aidoo, head of issuers at the Ghanaian Securities and ExchangeCommission. The Ghanaian unit is looking to raise at least 104 million cedi byissuing shares at 4 cedi per share, and could sell up to 32% of its sharesdepending on strong demand.

* FidelityBank Ghana Ltd. will consider M&A when opportunities arise,Citi Business News reports,citing Jim Baiden, the lender's managing director. Baiden said the bank has a"good opportunity" for M&A as not all banks in Ghana are expectedto meet higher minimum capital requirements planned by the central bank.

* Kenya's High Court blocked directors of distressedImperial Bank Ltd.from selling their assets in the lender before a conclusion is reached in asuit filed by the central bank to recover 45 billion shillings from ImperialBank's shareholders and directors, Standard Digital says.

* The value of Kenyan shares traded on the stock exchangeamounted to $152 million in September, accordingto Bloomberg News. The amount surpasses for the first time the value ofNigerian shares traded, which stood at $139 million last month.

* Nigeria intends to list an agriculture-focused bank thatwill be owned by the government together with farmers and other stakeholders inthe agricultural sector, Vanguard writes,citing Audu Ogbeh, the country's minister of state for agriculture and ruraldevelopment. The government is also mulling restructuring and recapitalizingBank of Agriculture.

* Members of Nigeria's House of Representatives debatedwhether to replace central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele amid the continuousweakening of the naira in the currency market, Vanguard reports.

* Tanzania secured approximately $1.6 billion in loans andgrants from the World Bank to improve its power generation capabilities and thebusiness environment for the private sector, accordingto Reuters.


Zimbabwe toamend black empowerment law: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said hiscountry will amend the indigenization and economic empowerment law thatrequires foreign-owned firms, including lenders, to transfer at least 51% ofthe shares in the local firms to black Zimbabweans, Reuters writes.Mugabe had said the law was confusing businesses and repelled investors.

* StandardBank Ltd., StandardBank Group Ltd.'s Malawian subsidiary, launched the so-calledKachikena loan, which will allow clients to top up their existing loans within24 hours, the Nyasa Times says.

* Zambian Ministry spokesman Chileshe Kandeta refutedreports that President Edgar Lungu has turned his back on committing to an IMFprogram due to tough conditions, the LusakaTimes reports.Kandeta said the IMF will visit the country before October-end to discuss aneconomic stabilization program.


Asia-Pacific: Goldmanbuys Postal Savings Bank shares; RBI eases interbank loan norms

Europe: IMFstresses NPL issue; SVG accepts Goldman, CPPIB offer; RBI, RZB tomerge

Latin America: Banco do Brasil ends partnership with postal service; Fenabansweetens wage proposal

North America: Caldwell Holding to buy Progressive National in Louisiana; 2Wisconsin banks strike MOE

North America Insurance: MetLife to spin off retail biz; insurers, reinsurers brace forMatthew losses

LeoMagno, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to thisreport.

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