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Abraaj to file for provisional liquidation; Swiss Re snaps up stake in Britam

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Abraaj to file for provisional liquidation; Swiss Re snaps up stake in Britam

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Abraaj Group Ltd. unit Abraaj Holdings is set to file for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands as soon as this week, ahead of a scheduled June 29 court hearing of a petition by Kuwait's Public Institution for Social Security to liquidate the Dubai-based private equity firm, insiders told Bloomberg News. Meanwhile, another Abraaj creditor, Auctus Fund Ltd., has also initiated legal proceedings in the Cayman Islands against the group, seeking an orderly restructuring of its liabilities, Reuters reported.

* Burgan Bank KPSC said it received regulatory approval to increase its issued and paid up capital to 250 million Kuwaiti dinars from roughly 225.9 million dinars through the issuance of 240,581,530 shares.

* S&P Global Ratings downgraded Kuwait-based Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co. KSCP's long-term issuer credit and financial strength ratings to B from B+. The ratings remain on CreditWatch with negative implications.

* Citigroup Inc. will provide financing for a part of a margin loan of former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani's after the value of his holdings in Deutsche Bank AG shrank, insiders told Bloomberg News. The move comes after Bank of America Corp. withdrew from the financing deal to reduce potential risks linked to the German lender, which saw the value of its shares plunge in recent weeks.

* The Central Bank of Bahrain granted a regulatory sandbox license to Palmex, a digital asset exchange platform by Dubai-based blockchain startup ArabianChain, making it the first cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East and North Africa to receive such a license, Arabian Business wrote.

* Société Générale Marocaine de Banques will launch an investment program totaling 784 million Moroccan dirhams aimed at implementing its strategic objectives during the 2018-2019 period, reported Financial Afrik. The investment will be used mainly on improving the lender's network of branches, strengthening its IT security and supporting regulatory changes and business projects.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* The Bank of Uganda maintained the central bank rate at 9.0%.

* Swiss Re AG will purchase a 13.81% stake in Kenya-based insurance company Britam Holdings Plc from shareholder Plum LLP, with 348.5 million Britam shares under consideration, Reuters reported. The Kenyan insurer's shares were trading at 13.60 Kenyan shillings, giving the deal a potential value of 4.7 billion shillings, the newswire noted.

* African Trade Insurance Agency CEO George Otieno said the Kenya-based pan-African insurer expects its annual insured trade and investment portfolio to rise to $3.5 billion this year and to double to roughly $7 billion by 2022, Reuters wrote. Otieno said the increase is expected to be driven by the addition of 20 new member countries, including Ghana and Nigeria, in the next five years.

* Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said his country is looking at adopting the Chinese yuan as a reserve currency, Xinhua reported.

* Nigeria-based Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc changed its name to Custodian Investment PLC after obtaining regulatory approval.

* Enterprise Group Ltd. Group CEO Keli Gadzekpo said the Ghana-based financial services firm is looking for opportunities to acquire a stake in a local commercial bank, according to Joy Business.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* The IMF said downside risks to South Africa's economic outlook are "prominent," with spending pressures potentially increasing financing costs and weighing on growth. The fund projects the economy will grow 1.5% this year but noted that this is "insufficient to make a meaningful dent in unemployment, poverty, and inequality."

* Madagascar's president, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, named a new cabinet following a court ruling that ordered the establishment of a consensus government in a bid to end the nation's political crisis, Reuters wrote. Rajaonarimampianina said the government intends to organize an "inclusive" presidential election, which is set to take place this year.

* Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila does not intend to seek a third term in an election set for Dec. 23, Reuters reported, citing Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala. The country's constitution bars Kabila, who became the nation's leader in 2001, from seeking another term.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: China eases foreign investment rules; Malaysia to review insurer ownership rules

Europe: French banks told to hold more capital; HSBC maps out new $17B strategy

Latin America: Arrest warrant for JPMorgan Mexico chief; Banco Macro investors file claims

North America: Wells Fargo bans cryptocurrency buys; Seacoast Banking buying First Green

North America Insurance: ISS supports AmTrust deal; Allianz hunting for M&A; Axa sells healthcare broker

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

The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.