GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* Dubai-based Network International Holdings PLC's first-half profit from continuing operations fell on a yearly basis to $15.8 million from $35.3 million due to higher specially disclosed items driven by one-off costs incurred in relation to its IPO in London. Total specially disclosed items for the period amounted to $28.1 million, including $15.7 million of IPO and mergers and acquisitions-related costs.
* United Arab Emirates-based Bank of Sharjah PJSC plans to raise roughly $500 million through a potential issuance of U.S. dollar-denominated bonds in September or October to help it repay existing debt maturing in June 2020, insiders told Bloomberg News.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Bank Leumi le-Israel BM posted a year-over-year increase in second-quarter net income, to 923 million shekels from 903 million shekels, despite booking loan loss expenses of 288 million shekels, compared to an income of 14 million shekels a year ago.
* Israel Discount Bank Ltd.'s second-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders came in at 545 million shekels, a 28.8% increase from the year-ago 423 million shekels.
* The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the Israel Securities Authority are looking to expand Israel's retail trading base by urging investment houses and financial technology companies to offer retail brokerage services, Reuters reported. The two entities also plan to promote regulatory changes, including lowering capital requirements, to ease the work of retail brokers in the country.
* The Bank of Israel is looking at changing its method for intervening in the foreign exchange market as part of measures to lower the effective interest rate and increase inflation, according to Globes.
* The process of selecting a new CEO for Tunisia's Banque de l'Habitat SAL has reached an impasse due to delays in the government's appointment of a cabinet that will interview candidates, government sources told IlBoursa.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* The Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday auctioned 34.4 billion naira worth of treasury bills at higher rates, in a bid to attract foreign investors, Reuters wrote. The move comes after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the central bank to ban foreign exchange access for food importers.
* Tanzania-based FBME Bank Ltd., a now-defunct lender that carried out most of its business in Cyprus, won a legal battle in the U.K. against two former Scotland Yard detectives, The Citizen reported. The high court ruled that the investigators reported "premature and speculative" allegations of money laundering and terrorism financing against the bank to Cypriot and U.S. authorities, thus violating their contract with the lender.
* Victoria Commercial Bank Ltd. secured a five-year loan worth 1 billion Kenyan shillings from the Swedish Investment Fund for Emerging Markets to support the growth of its lending business and expand its customer base, Business Daily Africa wrote.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Investors have been selling South African government bonds, with nonresident holders having sold a net of 14.4 billion rand so far this month, amid investor fears that the country's last-remaining investment-grade rating from Moody's could be downgraded to junk status, Bloomberg reported, citing data from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
* Mauritius-based SBM Holdings Ltd. reported group profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of 617.1 million rupees for the second quarter, compared to a loss of 590.6 million rupees a year ago. For the first half, the group's attributable profit rose on a yearly basis to 1.22 billion rupees from 156.0 million rupees, mainly due to lower impairment charges over the period.
* Namibia's central bank reduced the repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.50%, in a bid to spur economic activity and maintain the local currency's peg to the South African rand. The move marks the Bank of Namibia's first rate cut since August 2017 and follows the South African Reserve Bank's July decision to trim its interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.50%, Namibia Economist noted.
* The Banco de Moçambique cut its key lending rate, or MIMO rate, by 50 basis points to 12.75%, citing the continuous improvement in medium-term inflation prospects, according to state news agency AIM. The central bank also lowered the standing lending facility to 15.75% from 16.25% and the standing deposit facility to 9.75% from 10.25%. The regulator last reduced its benchmark lending rate in June, by 100 basis points.
* A.M. Best assigned a financial strength rating of B and a long-term issuer credit rating of "bb" to Mozambique-based insurance firm Seguradora Internacional de Mocambique SARL, with a stable outlook.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: StanChart to boost Asia private banking; Blackstone eyes Anbang property assets
Europe: Orcel interested in top HSBC role; MPS sells bad loans; PKO posts profit rise
Latin America: Banco Pan prepares for follow-on offer; Banrisul stops guidance
North America: Virginia banks in $21.4M deal; bank trading rules set for overhaul
Global Insurance: Arch Specialty sues USC; UK's Admiral, Pru post earnings; Aflac TSX delisting
Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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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.