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Attijariwafa to buy Barclays Egypt; South Africa's FSB backs new exchange

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Attijariwafa to buy Barclays Egypt; South Africa's FSB backs new exchange

IMF further lowersSSA's 2016 growth forecast: The IMF reduced its growth forecast forsub-Saharan Africa for the year by a further 0.2% to 1.4%, noting that braindrain in the form of emigration to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developmentcountries had increased sharply in the last 15 years, Jeune Afrique reports.

MIDDLE EASTAND NORTH AFRICA

AttijariwafaBank to acquire Barclays Bank Egypt: Barclays Bank Plc agreed to its retail and corporate bankingbusiness in Egypt to Morocco-based Attijariwafa Bank SA, in a transaction expected toreduce the U.K. lender's risk-weighted assets by approximately £2 billion. Thetransaction is expected to be completed by 2016-end. The $500 million deal isprojected to boost Barclays Bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio and reduce itsworkforce by about 1,500 employees, the FinancialTimes notes.

* Egypt-based Beltone Financial Holding SAE acquired a 60% stake inNew York-based broker Auerbach Grayson, which specializes in emerging markets,for $24 million, Daily News Egypt says.

* The Central Bank of Egypt kept the Egyptian pound steadyagainst the U.S. dollar in yesterday's weekly foreign currency auction, despiteexpectations of a devaluation that had helped boost the stock market, Reuters reports.The central bank sold $117.9 million, with the cutoff price stable at 8.78pounds per dollar.

* The World Bank will lend Egypt $1 billion to lift thecountry's fiscal balances and support energy reforms, Amwal Al Ghad says.The World Bank also approved a $5.2 billion loan for the Middle East and NorthAfrica region to support 15 projects this fiscal year.

* The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency is examining howcommercial banks should reschedule housing mortgage loans, taking into accountstriking a balance between mortgage borrowers' financial situation andcreditors' loan policies, following the government's implementation ofausterity measures, Reuters reports,citing Saudi paper Al-Riyadh. Thecentral bank is trying to retain interest paid by borrowers as a percentage oftheir incomes.

* Bank loans to Saudi Arabia's private and public sectorsreached 1.5 trillion riyals at the end of August, up 8% from a year earlier,Argaam writes,citing central bank data. Private sector lending grew 7% year over year to 1.4trillion riyals.

* The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency approvedGulf Union Co-operative InsuranceCo.'s plan to reduce its capital to offset accumulated losses.

* Ali Hamoud Badr resignedfrom his position as head of conformity and adherence at

* Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority amendeda law regulating brokerage activities in the country's stock exchange,increasing the required deposit and capital for activity.

* Qatar-based Ahli Bank QSC secureda three-year, $195 million club loan from eight banks. The facility, pricingdetails of which were not revealed, will be used for general corporate fundingpurposes.

* Oman's Capital Market Authority cancelled the license ofInternational Financial Services Co. to operate in the financial securitiessector after the company failed to meet the regulatory requirements, Argaam writes.

* BahrainIslamic Bank B.S.C. appointedMohammed Essa Hamada chief information officer.

* Eskan BankBSC received central bank approval to set up and register Bahrain'sfirst retail real estate investment trust, Eskan Bank Realty Income Trust,Thomson Reuters' Zawya reports.Ahmad Tayara, the lender's chief business officer and deputy general manager,said Eskan plans to invite private and public sector real estate players toinclude their assets in the Sharia-compliant REIT, which has a total valueexceeding the regulatory minimum of $20 million.

* Abu DhabiIslamic Bank PJSC laid off more than 200 employees over the pastthree months, most of whom were from its retail business, insiders tellBloomberg News. Roughly 100 layoffs were from last month, mostly affectingjunior staff.

* Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launched a partnershipwith Germany-based Fidor BankAG to establish the Gulf region's first community-based digitalbank targeted at millennials, Thomson Reuters' Zawya notes.

* The Qatar Central Bank is working on improving itsprograms and systems to further accelerate the development of the localinsurance sector, The Peninsula writes,citing central bank Governor Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani.
* Qatar Insurance Co.SAQ's QatarReinsurance Co. Ltd. obtained a license from the Monetary Authorityof Singapore to start branch operations in the Asian country.

* The Middle East and North Africa reinsurance markets areanticipated to harden over the next 12 months amid a series of major insuredlosses in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the retrenchment of some leadingmarket participants, the Qatar Financial Centre saidin it 2016 MENA Reinsurance Barometer. While MENA remains an attractivehigh-growth, low-catastrophe market, with positive effects on thediversification of global risk portfolios, many reinsurers operating in theregion have recently suffered significant losses and view current pricinglevels as technically insufficient, the report noted.

EAST ANDWEST AFRICA

Nigeria secures AfDB support: The African Development Bankwill support Nigeria in getting out of recession but the "too big tofail" nation should raise taxes and increase hard currency curbs to easeits U.S. dollar shortages, Reuters reports,citing Akinwumi Adesina, the bank's president.

* Kenya is close to signing a deal to establish a regionalheadquarters for the African Export-Import Bank in Nairobi, Business Daily writes.Afreximbank had signaled that it would move to Ethiopia if Kenya does not grantit diplomatic status by September-end.

* The Kenyan central bank extended for six months from Oct.13 the appointment of Kenya Deposit Insurance Corp. as a receiver manager ofcollapsed Imperial BankLtd., accordingto the Daily Nation.

* CommercialBank of Africa Ltd. plans to offer by December its M-Shwari loansto the Rwandese market, after successfully bringing the products to Kenya,Uganda and Tanzania, the Daily Nation writes.

CENTRALAND SOUTHERN AFRICA

South Africa's FSB backs new stock exchange: The JohannesburgStock Exchange failed in an "urgent application for interim relief"to block the granting of an operating license to ZAR X Stock Exchange, a newrival stock exchange, Reuters reports,citing South Africa's Financial Services Board. The FSB said it found "noevidence that the JSE would suffer harm or prejudice" if it allowed theZAR X Stock Exchange to operate. ZAR X had obtained its operating license Aug.31.

* The South African Revenue Servicesuspended Kelly-Anne Elksie, the common-law wife of SARS head Jonas Makwakwa,amid investigations into suspicious deposits made between both employees, fin24notes.

* The IMF said in its WorldEconomic Outlook Report publishedyesterday that it cut its 2017 economic growth outlook for South Africa to 0.8%from its 1% forecast in July, Bloomberg News writes.The fund also cut its 2017 economic outlook for Nigeria to 0.6% from itsearlier forecast of 1.1%. The outlook cuts were due to the fall in commodityprices, policy uncertainty and weak investor confidence, the IMF said.

* Angolan central bank Governor Valter Filipe and hisPortuguese counterpart, Carlos Costa, recently met in Lisbon to discusscooperation on banking supervision, as Angola plans to gradually adjust itsstandards to fit into the EU banking rules, Jornalde Angola reports.

* The IMF estimates that the Angolan economy will stagnate in2016. In a newly released World Economic Outlook, the fund said Angola, whichwas previously expected to grow 1.5% in 2017, is likely to register zerogrowth, Observador reports.

* Joseph Mwanamvekha, Malawi'sminister of industry, trade and tourism, called on insurers to developinnovative products to boost the uptake of insurance services as low insurancepenetration, currently at 3%, has continued to weigh on GDP growth, The Times of Malawi writes.

IN OTHERPARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Sompo Holdings to acquire Endurance Specialty; India cuts policyrates

Europe: INGfaces union ire; Novo Banco sees Chinese interest; Russian central bankoverhauls

Latin America: Porto Seguro, AIG Seguros in auto portfolio deal; BNDES shifts focusto clean energy

North America: Wells says loss from Illinois suspension only $50,000, not'millions'

North America Insurance: Hurricane Matthew poses threat to reinsurers; insurer to exit ACAexchange

SherylObejera, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed tothis report.

TheDaily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. Londontime. Some external links may require a subscription.