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Standard Bank eyes new biz; Angola's Recredit to buy $2B of bad loans

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Standard Bank eyes new biz; Angola's Recredit to buy $2B of bad loans

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Several lenders based in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, refuse to extend deposits with Qatari banks when they mature, for fear of repercussions for continuing to do business with Qatar after the four states severed ties with the country in early June over its alleged ties to terrorism, insiders told Bloomberg News.

* An undisclosed Qatari financial firm acquired a £50 million portfolio from British retailer Marks & Spencer, City A.M. reported.

* Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. is considering selling its 25.4% stake in BBK B.S.C., which is valued at roughly $250 million, insiders told Reuters. Ithmaar, which is said to be working with an investment bank regarding the sale, has also talked to other lenders about the matter.

* Commercial Bank of Dubai PSC has appointed Mark Zanelli as head of treasury and asset management and Adim Allwi as head of payments cards department, Al Khaleej reported.

* Apple Inc.'s Apple Pay is set to launch in the United Arab Emirates before the end of the year, Khaleej Times reported.

* The Mediterranean Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance Co. said it has received a letter from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority warning of legal procedures against the insurer if it does not rectify irregularities in its accounting or if it delays the release of its financial statements. SAMA said legal procedures could include preventing or limiting the company from accepting new subscribers or investors.

* The board of directors of Saudi Arabia-based Samba Financial Group recommended a cash dividend for the first half of 75 halalas per share, amounting to a total of 1.5 billion riyals.

* United Insurance has appointed Nawaf Ghobash Ahmed Ghobash as chairman of the board and Riccardo Morris Sulaiman as vice chairman. The board of directors also approved the change of the company's name to Fidelity United Insurance Co.

* CIH Bank issued a profit warning regarding its results for the first six months of 2017, saying that the Moroccan lender was subject to a tax audit during the said half, Morocco World News wrote. The lender expects its first-half net income to decrease by 54.2 million Moroccan dirhams compared to a year before. The bank's board of directors is expected to approve the first-half financial results Sept. 6.

* Moroccan Islamic banking institution Bank Al Yousr has started operating and is headquartered in Casablanca, La Nouvelle Tribune wrote. The bank, a subsidiary of Banque Centrale Populaire, is the third Islamic bank to open in Morocco after Bank Assafa and Umnia Bank.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* Cote d'Ivoire's government has approved the sale of a 51% stake in Banque de l'Habitat de Côte d'Ivoire to Canada's WestBridge Mortgage, Jeune Afrique reported. Tunisia's Banque de l'Habitat had also been vying to take the stake. The privatization of Banque de l'Habitat de Côte d'Ivoire is now complete and the sale is expected to complete before the end of the year.

* Ghana Home Loans PLC, which obtained its banking license from the Ghanaian central bank last month, is set to begin its banking operations in the fourth quarter, Joy Business reported.

* Cal Bank Ltd. launched a new brand image as part of efforts to stimulate financial technology and inclusion to grow the Ghana-based lender's operations, Joy Business wrote.

* The Law Society of Kenya has applied to join the suit filed by the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corp. against collapsed lender Chase Bank (Kenya) Ltd. in a bid to recover about 2 billion Kenyan shillings of its clients' cash, Business Daily Africa reported.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* The South African Reserve Bank said it would ask the high court to set aside Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's finding that it did not recover interest from bailout funds provided during the apartheid era to Barclays Africa Group Ltd. unit Absa Bank Ltd., Reuters reported. The central bank said this is separate from the application heard by the Gauteng North High Court for the urgent review of Mkhwebane's proposal to amend the regulator's powers.

* Andy Hall, head of global markets at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said the South African lender intends to start next month a prime brokerage business within its global markets division and expects to have five hedge-fund clients by year end, Bloomberg News wrote. The business will be led by Andrew Cairns and Francois Henrion.

* Angolan bad bank Recredit intends to spend $2 billion on buying nonperforming debt from the country's lenders, according to the company's CEO, Filipe Duarte, state newspaper Jornal de Angola reported. News website Macauhub quoted Recredit Chairman Vicente Leitão as saying the company was negotiating the purchase of bad loans from Banco de Poupança e Crédito SA, Banco de Comércio e Indústria SA , Banco Angolano de Investimentos SA, Banco Regional do Keve SA and Banco de Negócios Internacional SA. The officials said the process would focus on recovering credits that were in the national interest.

* Cape Verde's central bank has started proceedings against six former directors at defunct state-run microfinance bank Novo Banco to punish "mismanagement" at the lender, according to Governor João Serra, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported. He also defended the resolution of the bank announced in March, saying it was the "least costly solution."

* Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya said the country plans to inject $300 million more of its so-called bond notes into circulation, increasing the issuance to $500 million, Reuters reported. The bond notes, a local quasi-currency, were introduced in November 2016 as a solution to Zimbabwe's cash shortage problem.

* Meanwhile, Mangudya said the country will continue using foreign currencies, instead of reintroducing a local currency, until the fundamentals of the local currency had been attained, Premium Times reported. Zimbabwe switched from its local currency to the U.S. dollar and South African rand eight years ago after the central bank printed a copious amount of local currency in 2007 and 2008, triggering inflation.

* The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe raised to $2,000 from $1,000 the amount of foreign currency an individual can carry when traveling outside Zimbabwe, effective immediately, The Herald reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: NZ community trust buys Fisher Funds stake; Noah Holdings to expand overseas

Europe: Crédit Agricole, UniCredit Q2 profits up YOY; AXA, Aviva H1 profits also rise

Latin America: Bradesco faces online glitch; Temer eludes corruption trial

North America: Home Capital posts Q2 net loss; Invesco eyes retail funds biz

North America Insurance: Governors urge continuance of insurance payments; 3 insurers reveal '18 rates

Sheryl Obejera, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription.