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Old Mutual to enter South Africa's banking market; Oman Arab Bank names new CEO

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Old Mutual to enter South Africa's banking market; Oman Arab Bank names new CEO

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

* S&P Global Ratings placed Bahrain-based The Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. BSC (c)'s BBB- long-term issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings and "gcAA-" regional scale ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications, then withdrew the ratings at the company's request.

* The board of Oman Arab Bank SAOC approved the appointment of Rashad al-Musafir as CEO, according to a statement by parent Oman International Development & Investment Co. SAOG. Al-Musafir has been acting CEO since Feb. 1.

REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* S&P affirmed Lebanon's B-/B long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings, with stable outlooks.

* U.K. media and telecommunications firm Sky PLC plans to invest $4 million in an Israeli venture capital fund Remagine Ventures, Reuters reported.

* The International Monetary Fund urged Tunisia to cut its fiscal deficit, adding that it reached a staff-level agreement with the country on the next reforms Tunisia will have to carry out for additional funding.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* Kenyan lawmakers junked a proposal that would have forced banks to increase their core capital to 5 billion shillings from 1 billion shillings over the next four years, Business Daily Africa wrote.

* Kenyan insurers are facing legal and regulatory hurdles that are delaying the full implementation of a directive to insure marine cargo locally, Business Daily Africa reported, citing the Association of Kenya Insurers.

* Access Bank PLC reported group profit attributable to equity holders of the bank of 34.83 billion Nigerian naira for the period ended June 30, compared to 45.26 billion naira a year ago.

* Nigeria-based United Bank for Africa PLC's board declared a first-half interim dividend of 20 kobo per share for every ordinary share of 50 kobo held as of Sept. 5, as first-half group profit attributable to owners of the parent increased year over year to 42.19 billion naira from 41.45 billion naira.

* S&P affirmed Cape Verde's long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings at B/B, with stable outlooks.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Ghana's B/B long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings and its B country ceiling, with stable outlooks on the long-term ratings.

* Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said his country is looking at floating a so-called century bond worth $50 billion to finance its infrastructural and industrial development.

* A group of 29 Senegalese insurers have created a co-insurance pool for oil risk underwriting and management, Financial Afrik reported.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Old Mutual Ltd. reported a year-over-year increase in first-half profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent by 41.9% to 10.65 billion South African rand. CEO Peter Moyo said the insurer would enter the increasingly competitive banking market for South African low-income earners, joining Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd., a revived African Bank Ltd., and other possible entrants including the Post Office and a new state-owned lender. He added that the company will return 46.8 billion rand to shareholders in a series of dividends at the end of the year.

* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Absa Bank Ltd.'s financial strength rating at BBB.

* CBZ Holdings Ltd. said it is confident that it will avoid paying a $385 million fine that the U.S. government imposed on the bank for several transactions it carried out on behalf of ZB Bank while the latter was placed under economic sanctions, New Zimbabwe reported. CBZ reported first-half consolidated profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of $34.3 million, up from $11.9 million a year earlier.

* Mozambique's Moza Banco SA made an offer to purchase the entire share capital of Banco Terra SA, Jornal Noticias noted. The news follows reports that Portuguese savings bank Caixa Económica Montepio Geral caixa económica bancária SA had sold its 45.78% stake in Banco Terra to Netherlands-based investment firm Arise for an undisclosed amount, Jornal de Negócios wrote.

* Angola-based Banco Postal has increased its capital to 10.5 billion kwanzas in line with new solvency rules issued by the central bank, Jornal de Angola wrote. The bank began its operations two years ago with an initial capital of about 2.5 billion kwanzas.

* The Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale will make 265 billion CFA francs of liquidity available, remunerated at a minimum rate of 2.95%, to several commercial banks in the six nations of the Economic Community of Central African States, Financial Afrik wrote.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: Fubon Life/Hyundai Life deal gets nod; Macquarie said to exit Yellow Brick Road

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.