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KCB in search of fintech partners; Moza Banco put under administration

French central bankchief defends CFA franc: French central bank Governor François Villeroy deGalhau strongly defended the CFA franc in its biannual financial ministerialmeeting in Bercy, saying the currency was not overvalued or undervalued and wasan important countercyclical mechanism against low commodity prices, Financial Afrik reports.


Israel's paycap passes High Court hurdle: Israel's High Court turned down a petition bybankers and insurers against a new law capping executive pay in the financialservices sector at 2.5 million shekels annually, or not exceeding 35x thelowest earner at the company, Haaretz reports. Thecourt said the law was neither "illegitimate nor illegal," althoughit noted that agreements on pension and severance pay that predated thelegislation will not be altered.

* Turkish investment bank Ünlü & Co. intends to concludeits acquisition of a majority stake in an unnamed Iranian brokerage firm in thenext three to six months, Reuter writes.Ünlü Chairman and CEO Mahmut Ünlü said the deal would be worth between $60million and $70 million.

* Iranian state-owned lender is in discussions with theIranian central bank and the Securities and Exchange Organization of Iran toissue 100 trillion rials of mortgage-backed securities within the fiscal yearending March 2017, the Financial Tribune reports,citing Mohsen Azizi, a board member at the bank. The issuance is in line withthe government's plan to sell 400 trillion rials of Islamic securities by theend of the current fiscal year.

* German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel will meet withIranian industry executives for the first time in 15 years to restore economicties between the two nations, Reuters reports.

* The Greek central bank and the country's lenders haveshown willingness to help boost economic ties with Iran, according to the IslamicRepublic News Agency, citing Greek deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis.

* Kortright Capital, a small New York-based hedge fund issuing Investcorp, claiming that the Bahrain-based alternative investment firmput it out of business by backing out of a deal that should have seenMan Group Plcacquiring Kortright, the New York Postreports.

* Saudi Arabia and Kuwait remain on FTSE Russell's secondaryemerging market watch list, as both countries are still in the process ofadjusting their regulations to meet the requirements for secondary marketstatus. Saudi Arabia was added to the watch list in September 2015 followingthe introduction of a qualified foreign investor system, Al-Jarida writes.

* Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Co. will completethe required paperwork to increase and decrease its capital and resubmitrequests for regulatory approval. Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, which regulatesthe kingdom's insurance sector, withdrew its approval for Gulf Union's plan toincrease its capital by 220 million Saudi riyals as the insurer failed tosubmit the documents required for the planned transaction by August 31.

* Kuwait's banks have started calling borrowers to ask themto submit invoices related to the loans they received in order to justify thereason of the loan and whether it served its main purpose, in line with centralbank requirements, Al-Jarida writes.

* Kuwait is working on implementing a mandatory healthinsurance on visitors of the country, Al-Anbawrites.

* Kuwait's government is preparing a study aimed atrestructuring public sector wages by 2018-2019, Al-Eqtisadiah writes.

* According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group,payment solutions comprise about 40% of all financial technology business inthe Gulf Cooperation Council region, which has seen the most notable growthglobally, Gulf News says.

* Bank ofBeirut SAL plans to increase its medium-term revenues from itsinternational operations by up to 50%, TheDaily Star reports,citing Salim Sfeir, the lender's chairman.

* AttijariwafaBank SA CEO Mohamed El Kettani said the bank is "still innegotiations for the purchase of a bank in Egypt" — presumably BarclaysEgypt, Finances News Hebdo reports.

* NationalBank of Egypt (SAE) intends to launch 50 new medium and largebranches during the current financial year, Vice Chairman Yehia Aboul Fotouh tellsAmwal Al Ghad. The bank also plans toestablish 72 centers for small and medium-sized projects in a bid to acceleratethe process of securing loans.

* Egyptian President Abdel Al-Sisi and Central Bank of EgyptGovernor Tarek Amer held a meeting over the weekend, with Amer reporting talksbetween Egypt and the IMF are moving forward as plans, Daily News Egypt says.Separately, Egypt is anticipated to sign a $500 million loan agreement with theWorld Bank this week, Ahram Online says.

* Rumors of the partial floatation of Egypt's pound havepushed its value down in informal-sector trading, Egypt Independent says.

* The Egyptian Group for Securities, a brokerage group,recorded operations of 23.78 billion pounds, and 10.2% of the Egyptian market'stransactions in the first nine months of 2016, Daily News Egypt reports.Coming second was the Commercial International Brokerage Co., with 9.2% ofbrokerage trading, and Hermes with 8.7% at third.

* There are 10.2 trillion dinars in circulation now inTunisia, compared with 5.2 trillion in 2010, La Presse reports, citingcentral bank data.

* Tunisia's growth rate dropped sharply in the secondquarter, falling 0.5% from 4.2% last year, LaNouvelle Tribune reports.

* Morocco's newest retail lender CFG Bank saw its first-halfloans grow by 47% year over year to 795 million dirhams, and its deposits by40% to 2.19 billion dirhams, Finances News Hebdo says.


KCBlooking for fintech partners: KCB Group Ltd. is in discussions with firms includingAlibaba Group HoldingLtd., AppleInc. and FacebookInc. about cooperation on digital payments through KCB Fintech, theKenyan lender's new financial technology unit, Bloomberg News reports,citing KCB CEO Joshua Oigara. The bank aims to increase its mobile-phoneplatform client base to 20 million by 2017-end, with the unit to launchoperations in June of the same year.

* The Kenyan central bank and the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corp. isasking the High Court of Kenya to order directors and shareholders ofImperial Bank Ltd. topay a refund amounting to 45 billion shillings, The Standard reports.The central bank also wants the court to freeze assets of 44 firms linked withthe troubled lender's directors and shareholders.

* Kenya's economy saw a 6.2% growth in the second quarter, comparedto 5.9% in the year-ago period, mainly driven by expansion in the agricultureand real estate sectors, among others, accordingto the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

* MCB GroupLtd. reportedgroup profit attributable to shareholders of 6.63 billion Mauritian rupees forthe year ended June 30, up 15.8% from a year earlier.

* Khwima Nthara, the World Bank's lead economist for Nigeria,warned that the West African nation should be more concerned about thepercentage of its revenue that goes into debt servicing rather than the size ofits debts, the Punch reports. Ntharasaid the Debt Management Office is working on strategies to shore up externalfinancing and address the issue.

* Uganda's financial regulators will soon implement rulesthat will allow bancassurance operations in the country in a bid to boostinsurance penetration, ignoring protests from insurers that will mostly beaffected by the move, The East African writes,citing Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda CEO Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega.

* Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile calledfor a spontaneous meeting to discuss proposals to cap the country's interestrates amid pressure from politicians and other activists, The East African reports.


Moza Bancoplaced under administration: The Bank of Mozambique under emergencyadministration, saying the lender's financial and prudential situation hasbecome unsustainable. The central bank decided to suspend the members of MozaBanco's board and executive committee, and to designate an interim boardchaired by João Filipe Figueiredo. Observador and OPaís cover.

* ZambiaNational Commercial Bank Plc named Hendrik Gezienus Mulder managingdirector, effective Nov. 1, the LusakaTimes writes.Mulder will succeed Bruce Dick, who will retire and depart the lender Oct. 30.

* South Africa issued two tranches of bonds totaling $3billion in international capital markets to help fund its foreign-currencycommitments, Reuters reports,citing the country's Treasury. The issuances were 2.5x oversubscribed, with the12-year bond carrying a 4.3% coupon and the 30-year bond a 5% coupon.

* Investment firm African Rainbow Capital will pay 753.5million rand for 10% of the Alexander Forbes financial services group, AgenceEcofin reports.African Rainbow Capital, launched in April by South Africa's Patrice Motsepeand now has 17 billion rand in assets under management, is also reportedlyeyeing acquiring a stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd..

* An anti-money laundering action group has trackedfinancial flows from extremist groups to NGOs in Cameroon, Agence d'Informationd'Afrique Centrale reports.  In some cases, the flows are as much as 2.5billion CFA francs, according to the Groupe d'action contre le blanchimentd'argent en Afrique central.


Asia-Pacific: AXA, Allianz proceed with StanChart deal; CBA offers clients A$11Mover poor financial advice

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

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