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Kenyan banks face new headache; Aramco seeks IPO advisers


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Kenyan banks face new headache; Aramco seeks IPO advisers

* Netherlands-based Robeco Groep NV named Graham Elliot to the new role of head of distribution for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. He will combine his new role with his existing responsibilities as country manager and head of sales for the Middle East and Africa.

* Swiss insurer Chubb Ltd. promoted Nikolay Dmitriev to regional director of property and casualty for Eurasia and Africa.


* The Bank of Israel yesterday issued the first permit to the controlling shareholders of a financial group managing customer funds to hold up to 7.5% of the means of control in a banking corporation. The permit was issued to Israeli investment bank Meitav Dash, according to Reuters.

* Oil and gas firm Saudi Aramco has invited banks, including Morgan Stanley and HSBC, to pitch for an advisory role on its IPO, insiders tell Reuters. The firm is expected to select banks before 2017-end.

* The Saudi Capital Market Authority wants its planned parallel market to have at least 10 firms listed when it is launched in February, Al Watan writes.

* Alawwal Bank decided not to distribute dividends for the 2016 fiscal year, saying the decision will support the bank's financial position and future plans.

* BBK BSC named Adel Salem assistant general manager at its retail banking division. He succeeds Mohammed Malik, who became a deputy CEO.

* Jordan Ahli Bank appointed Saad al-Machir chairman, Ad-Dustour reports. He succeeds Omar Razzaz, who was recently named Jordan's education minister.

* Egypt launched its first eurobond issue, Agence Ecofin reports. The transaction also marks the first sovereign bond from Africa in 2017.

* Egypt is considering a currency swap agreement with Russia, following a similar one reached with China in October 2016, Egypt Independent reports.

* Moody's said Tunisia's subdued economic growth, evolving regulation and significant asset risk pressure will maintain pressure on the performance of banks in the country. Moody's Vice President Oliver Panis said the agency expects banks' nonperforming loans to remain at high levels of around 17% at the end of 2016.


* Kimani Ichung'wah, vice chairman of the Kenyan parliament's public investments committee, proposed a law placing restrictions on bank deposits by state-owned companies, Bloomberg News reports. Enactment of the bill, which would only allow public bodies to deposit funds in banks in which the government owns at least 20%, would negatively affect Kenyan lenders and could incite a liquidity crisis, ApexAfrica Capital Ltd. warned in a research note.

* The Central Bank of Nigeria retained its monetary policy rate at 14% and cash reserve ratio at 22.5%. Governor Godwin Emefiele said the regulator will continue to provide hard currency to manufacturers needing to import raw materials and spare parts, adding that it will intervene in the foreign exchange market to ensure that the exchange rate does not deviate from its expectations, Reuters reports.

* Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that the country's foreign exchange reserves rose 8.9% to $27.49 billion as of Jan. 20, 2017, from a month ago, Reuters reports.

* Africa Finance Corp. issued a three-year, $150 million Islamic bond, the first sukuk to be issued by an African supranational entity and also the first such bond issued in 2017.

* A spokesman for new Gambian President Adama Barrow said deposits at the country's central bank appear intact, following reports that Barrow's recently exiled predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, took some $11.5 million with him out of Gambia, according to Financial Afrik.


* The Banco Nacional de Angola hopes to receive technical help from U.S. Treasury experts this year in a bid to repair the transparency of the Angolan financial system, Portuguese news agency Lusa writes. Governor Valter Filipe da Silva said correspondent banks cut ties with local commercial banks due to the perceived reputational risks of doing business in Angola.

* Meanwhile, the IMF commended Angolan authorities for taking steps to mitigate the impact of the oil price shock that started in 2014, but stressed the need to address the effects of the loss of U.S. dollar correspondent banking relationships. The IMF also called on the Angolan central bank to improve its data collection and analysis and develop contingency plans to mitigate the risks from the loss of such relationships.

* Banco BIC SA Chairman Fernando Teles said the bank has a loan portfolio of $6.2 billion, of which $3.4 billion are loans to government institutions, Angop and Novo Jornal report. Teles said the bank is not facing liquidity problems despite the current cash crunch in Angola.

* Fundo Soberano de Angola Chairman José Filomeno dos Santos said the sovereign wealth fund intends to start managing more of its own assets over the next four years and will inject more cash into the fund as oil prices improve, Bloomberg News reports.

* The South African Reserve Bank kept its benchmark repurchase rate unchanged at 7%, noting that the near-term inflation outlook has deteriorated since the previous monetary policy meeting, but the longer-term outlook is more or less unchanged.

* South Africa-based Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc. agreed to acquire a 30% interest in Liechtenstein-based Bank Frick & Co. AG. Upon closing of the investment, Net 1 UEPS will have a two-year option to acquire a further 35% stake in the bank.

* AfrAsia Capital Management, the investment management arm of AfrAsia Bank Ltd., named Bilal Adam CEO. Bilal previously worked at Investec Ltd., where he served in a role focused on capital markets and investment management.

* The Democratic Republic of Congo's central bank injected $50 million into the interbank exchange market in an effort to bolster the Congolese franc, which has dropped nearly 40% in the last year, Reuters reports.


Asia-Pacific: China urged to join Trans-Pacific Partnership; AMP shutters venture capital biz

Europe: Generali reacts to Intesa; Deutsche faces class action; Brexit news expected

Latin America: Scotiabank Chile open to deals; Banregio's Q4'16 profit up 45%

North America: Bankers sell on Trump rally; British Parliament gets to vote on Brexit

North America Insurance: Berkshire '16 P&C profit at risk from AIG deal; ACA replacement unveiled

Leo Magno, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.

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