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Diamond Bank confirms Access Bank merger deal; Moody's lifts Bahrain outlook

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

* Moody's raised the outlook on Bahrain to stable from negative, citing reduced government and external liquidity risks, and affirmed the country's issuer ratings at B2.

* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Saudi Arabia's A+/A1 long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer ratings and revised the outlook on the long-term ratings to stable from negative.

* The Qatar Financial Centre said CEO Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida's recent comments regarding Qatar's plans to invest in Germany is its "overall commitment to the German market" and "does not reference any specific German entity," Reuters wrote. The statement comes after a report by Handelsblatt saying Qatar, which currently has a 6.1% stake in Deutsche Bank AG, is looking at raising its stake.

* Bank Dhofar SAOG said it received applications totaling 61.2 million Omani rials for its 55-million-rial rights issue.

REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Trade Bank of Iraq Chairman Faisal al-Haimus said the state-owned lender is considering acquiring an unspecified bank in Turkey, The National reported, noting that talks with the Turkish bank have started earlier this month.

* Fitch Ratings assigned ratings to Trade Bank of Iraq, including long- and short-term issuer default ratings of B-/B, with a stable outlook on the long-term rating.

* Moody's revised the outlook on the long-term deposit and long-term national scale ratings of Bank Audi SAL, BLOM BANK SAL and Byblos Bank SAL to negative from stable, and affirmed certain ratings of the three Lebanon-based banks. The outlook revision follows a similar action on the sovereign.

* CI Ratings affirmed Export Development Bank of Egypt SAE's B+/B long- and short-term foreign currency ratings, with a stable outlook.

* CI Ratings affirmed Banque de Tunisie SA's BB+ financial strength rating and revised the outlook on the rating to negative. The rating agency also affirmed the financial strength ratings of Union Bancaire pour le Commerce et l'Industrie SA and Société Tunisienne de Banque at BB and B+, respectively.

* Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said Saudi Arabia has pledged to provide around $830 million in financial aid to his country, Reuters reported.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* Diamond Bank PLC confirmed reports that it has reached an agreement to merge with Nigerian peer Access Bank PLC, paving the way for the creation of the largest retail bank in Nigeria and Africa by customers. Under the deal, expected to complete in the first half of 2019, Access Bank will acquire the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank, whose shareholders will receive 3.13 Nigerian naira per share, comprising 1.00 naira per share in cash and 2 new Access Bank ordinary shares for every 7 Diamond Bank ordinary shares.

* Sam Okojere, director of payment system management at the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the regulator will no longer condone failure of banks to report fraud-related cases, ThisDay reported.

* Kenya Deposit Insurance Corp. said eligible depositors of failed lender Imperial Bank Ltd. will have to open accounts with KCB Group PLC to receive a partial payment of their money stuck in Imperial Bank, according to Business Daily Africa.

* Family Bank Ltd. has agreed to pay 64.5 million Kenyan shillings for its role in the suspicious transactions related to money stolen from the country's National Youth Service, according to Standard Digital.

* India-based Bank of Baroda decided to shut down its branch in Ghana by June 30, 2019, along with two other overseas branches, to comply with the Indian government's guidelines to rationalize banks' overseas presence, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a regulatory filing.

* Gambia's finance ministry named U.S.-based Potomac Group as international financial adviser and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as international legal adviser to help the country put its external debt on a "sustainable path," according to Reuters.

* Société Générale de Banques en Côte d'Ivoire SA changed its name to Société Générale Côte d'Ivoire, as part of the group's pan-African expansion plans, Financial Afrik reported.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Standard Bank de Angola SA has listed the first installment of a 9.5 billion kwanzas bond issue on the private equity market of the Angola Debt and Securities exchange, or BODIVA, Macauhub wrote.

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo is set to hold a presidential election on Dec. 23, with 21 candidates running, including former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, Reuters wrote. The election marks the end of President Joseph Kabila's 17 years in office.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: CBL shareholder opposes liquidation; Bank of Baroda to close overseas branches

Europe: TP Icap sues NEX; BAWAG to buy BFL Leasing; Novo Banco sells NPLs

Latin America: Advent said to have closed deal with Prisma; Banco BMG mulls IPO postponement

North America: Malaysia sues Goldman Sachs units over 1MDB scandal; Citi to exit Chinese JV

Global Insurance: Zurich, Catalina in $2B transfer; ACA ruled unconstitutional; ProSight eyes IPO

Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Padraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 4 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. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.