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Brookfield drops bid for Abraaj's Turkish assets; Italy's Azimut enters Egypt


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Brookfield drops bid for Abraaj's Turkish assets; Italy's Azimut enters Egypt

* Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has walked away from its bid to acquire certain assets in Turkey managed by Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group Ltd., insiders told Private Equity News. The Canadian asset manager reportedly decided to withdraw its bid largely because of Turkey's unstable economy and concerns over previous cases of mismanagement at Abraaj. The proposed deal would have seen Brookfield take over management of Abraaj's $526 million buyout fund.

* Italian asset manager Azimut Holding signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Rasmala Egypt Asset Management from Rasmala Group, marking Azimut's first move in Africa. Upon completion of the deal, Rasmala Egypt will be renamed Azimut Egypt Asset Management.

* Virtu Financial Inc.'s head of markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Christiaan Scholtes, has left the U.S.-based trading firm, an insider told Financial News.


* Commercial Bank of Dubai PSC said it has not agreed to any structural change with its exposure to Abraaj, following media reports that the lender is set to take stakes in Abraaj's funds that were offered as security against the approximately $170 million loan it lent the troubled private equity firm.

* Dubai Financial Services Authority COO Waleed Saeed al-Awadi said the regulator issued 69 licenses in 2018, bringing the number of companies under its supervision to 494, up from 471 a year earlier, Al Bayan wrote.

* Nasdaq Dubai has launched futures trading on shares of 12 Saudi Arabian companies, including Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. and Alinma Bank.

* Saudi Venture Capital Co. named Nabeel Koshak CEO, according to Argaam.

* A court rejected Wafa Insurance Inc.'s request to conduct a financial reorganization process as it failed to submit all necessary documents, the company said.

* Qatar Insurance Co. SAQ promoted Fahad al-Suwaidi to deputy CEO of QIC Qatar Operations, Ahmad M. Zebeib to deputy CEO of QLM Life and Medical WLL, and Ahmed al-Jarboey to senior vice president of QIC MENA retail and motor claims.


* Raed Khoury, Lebanon's caretaker economy minister, denied that the country has any plans to restructure debt, Bloomberg News reported. The statement comes after local daily Al-Akhbar quoted Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil as saying plans for fiscal reforms are being studied, including a debt restructuring.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Bank Leumi le-Israel BM's A/F1 long- and short-term issuer default ratings, among other affirmations. The outlook on the long-term rating is stable.

* Iran's Money and Credit Council has approved rules for launching an official foreign exchange market as part of efforts to regulate the forex market, the Financial Tribune wrote.

* The Central Bank of Iran said foreigners with special residence certificate are now allowed to open bank accounts and use other banking services in the country, Trend News Agency reported, citing IRNA.

* Banque du Caire SAE seeks to request a $30 million loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development by the end of the first half to help boost its lending capacities, according to Agence Ecofin.


* Jamii Bora Bank Ltd. Deputy CEO Timothy Mwaniki Kabiru will take over as the Kenyan lender's CEO, replacing Samuel Kimani, who is retiring "to pursue other interests," Daily Nation reported. Kimani, however, will remain as a board member to smoothen the transition.

* Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Ltd. will increase the daily ATM withdrawal limit to 80,000 shillings, effective Feb. 1, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Tanzanian President John Magufuli said the country's central bank must start purchasing gold for its reserves, Agence-France Presse reported.

* The Bank of Tanzania does not plan to close or clamp on community groups offering microfinance services, Daily News reported. The central bank is preparing regulations for such providers, including requiring them to obtain a formal license.


* Democratic Republic of the Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was declared the winner of last month's presidential election, multiple news outlets reported, including Reuters and Bloomberg News. However, the country's Catholic church said the electoral commission's results "do not correspond to the data collected by our observation mission from polling stations and vote counts," which showed Martin Fayulu as winner.

* Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. Group Chief Risk Officer Vishnu Naicker has resigned, along with Alexander Forbes Investments CEO Leon Greyling, amid a review of the South African group's strategy, Moneyweb reported. Estelle Viljoen will act as interim chief risk officer, while Group CEO Dawie de Villiers will oversee the investments business.

* Former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang's court hearing has been postponed until Jan. 18, Reuters reported. Chang, who denies wrongdoing, has been detained since Dec. 29 in South Africa on U.S. charges related to a $2 billion fraud scheme involving loans to state-owned firms.

* Six former board members at failed Mozambican lender Nosso Banco were fined 500,000 meticais each and banned from holding positions at financial institutions for three years, O País reported, citing a central bank statement. Nosso Banco was ordered to stop operating by the central bank in 2016 due to insufficient capital and management failings.

* Angola's Banco Mais, one of two banks recently stripped of their licenses after failing to meet new capital requirements, said it respects the central bank's decision and is awaiting instructions on how to compensate customers, Novo Jornal and Jornal de Angola reported. The bank also denied that it was bankrupt. The other lender, Banco Postal, has condemned the central bank's move.

* Portugal's central bank fined three former executives of failed lender Banco Espírito Santo, including former CEO Ricardo Salgado, for concealing the risks of a €3 billion loan granted by the bank to its Angolan unit, Banco Espírito Santo Angola, Expresso and Jornal de Negócios reported.


Asia-Pacific: Hong Kong fines FWD Life; Woori Bank ex-CEO sentenced to prison

Europe: US investor sues Danske Bank; Deutsche Bank shares take another beating

Latin America: Moody's LatAm outlook for 2019 stable; 2 Banxico board members named

North America: BlackRock promotes likely CEO successor; State Street firing 15% of senior execs

Global Insurance: Zurich sued over NotPetya; Fed backs NAIC capital regime; European winter storm

Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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