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SSA news through Oct. 11

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SSA news through Oct. 11

EAST AFRICA

* Kenya's Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd. is setting up a digital platform that will record small businesses' commercial transactions and generate a data-based financial history for each borrower, Business Daily Africa reported.

* One of Imperial Bank Ltd.'s depositors, Kenya Tea Development Agency, accused the Kenyan central bank of failing to disclose due diligence and the steps it took to protect the interests of the collapsed lender's depositors during its receivership, Business Daily Africa wrote.

* Filimbi Ltd., an investment vehicle equally owned by billionaire investors Peter Munga and Jane Njuguna, sold shares in Kenyan insurer Britam Holdings PLC, reducing its stake to 18.9 million shares in August from 58.4 million shares in December 2017, Business Daily Africa reported.

WEST AFRICA

* World Bank Country Director for Ghana Henry Kerali urged the country's central bank to increase regulations on Ghanaian microfinance firms and rural banks, Joy Business reported.

* Ghana's Association of Savings and Loans Companies has backed the Ghanaian central bank's plan to rid the system of insolvent firms, Citi Business News reported.

* Ghanaian lender Prudential Bank Ltd. denied recent reports claiming that the lender has collapsed and that its customers must withdraw their funds, Joy Business reported.

* The joint receivers of Ghanaian lenders UT Bank Ltd. and Capital Bank Ltd., which went into receivership in August 2017, said they realized 400 Ghanaian million cedis from the sale of the lenders' assets and recovery of outstanding loans, Joy Business reported.

* Ghana's National Insurance Commission will announce a new minimum capital requirement for insurers before the end of 2018, Citi Business News reported, citing the commission's head of supervision, Seth Eshun.

* Ghana-based UT Life Insurance Ltd. rebranded to miLife insurance, according to Joy Business. CEO Kwaku Yeboah-Asuamah denied that the rebranding was triggered by the collapse of UT Bank Ltd., saying the move was necessary to increase the insurer's offerings to consumers, according to a separate report.

* Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele will meet with executives from South African telecommunications firm MTN Group Ltd. and lenders Standard Chartered PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, Citibank and Diamond Bank PLC to discuss the dispute over the repatriation of $8.1 billion that MTN allegedly transferred abroad, in violation of foreign-exchange rules, insiders told Reuters.

* The Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria is eyeing a "quick" sale of Polaris Bank, the lender established to assume the assets and liabilities of now-defunct Skye Bank PLC, Amcon CEO Ahmed Kuru told Bloomberg News. The agency plans to hire financial advisers for the sale of the bank following a probe into the cause of Skye Bank's collapse. Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings said the Central Bank of Nigeria's recent moves to address Skye Bank's problems do not imply that sovereign support for the country's banking system will always be available.

* The Nigerian central bank plans to introduce and license payment service banks in the country, with a minimum capital requirement of 5 billion naira, Nigeria's Business Day reported.

* The Banque de Développement du Mali-SA launched a new branch in Bamako, Le journal de l'économie Malienne wrote.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accepted the resignation of embattled Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and appointed former South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni as his replacement.

* South African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo said new banking licenses will be granted to new entrants "within reason" and in a manner that will not threaten the stability of the country's banking industry, Bloomberg reported.

* South Africa-based Sanlam Ltd. and Santam Ltd. closed their acquisition of the remaining 53.37% ownership of Saham Finances SA.

* Meanwhile, Sanlam will proceed with the sale of a 5% stake in the company to black investors as part of South Africa's plan to put more control of the economy to the black majority, CEO Ian Kirk told Bloomberg. Kirk said the deal will help the South African financial services group restore its capital reserves to between 2 billion rand and 3 billion rand.

* South Africa's Competition Commission approved Sanlam Investment Holdings Ltd.'s acquisition of a 69% stake in Catalyst Fund Managers (Pty.) Ltd., according to Business Day.

* Audit firm KPMG is facing renewed backlash in South Africa over its role in the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank following the publication of a report into a corruption scandal at the bank, the Financial Times wrote. At least 53 individuals and companies may have profited from the looting of nearly 2 billion South African rand from the bank, according to Bloomberg, which cited a report by Terry Motau.

* Angola's Finance Minister Archer Mangueira said the government will use a part of the $2 billion loan granted by China's Development Bank to settle its debt with Chinese creditors, Macauhub wrote.

* Mozambique's central bank authorized Banco Oportunidade de Moçambique SA to change its commercial name to MyBucks Bank Mozambique, Macauhub wrote.

* Fitch downgraded Zambia's long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings to B- from B, with a negative outlook, following the substantial rise in the government's budget deficit targets.

* Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd. changed its name to First Capital Bank Ltd., following a change of ownership in 2016.

CENTRAL AFRICA

* Fitch raised its outlook on Gabon to stable from negative and affirmed the long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at B. The stable outlook reflects the improvement in the African country's reform efforts.

* United Bank for Africa Gabon has launched Magic Banking, a mobile platform aimed at enabling its customers to carry out banking transactions anywhere in the country, without an internet connection or a smartphone, but rather by dialing a number, Gabonews reported.

Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.