* Member countries of the Western Africa Economic and Monetary Union and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa show a lower level of external vulnerabilities, but there is little evidence that their GDP growth and institutional development are stronger than in non-member countries, according to Moody's.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* Banque Saudi Fransi named former Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. executive Abdullah Ali al-Khalifa as its new CFO, insiders told Bloomberg News. Al-Khalifa, who held the same role at Al Rajhi, will reportedly join Banque Saudi Fransi this week.
* Banque Saudi Fransi's shareholders approved the appointment of Timothy Clark Collins as an independent member on the bank's board of directors.
* Alinma Bank's board of directors recommended a 33.33% capital increase to 20 billion Saudi Arabian riyals from 15 billion riyals through issuance of bonus shares. The capital hike aims to boost the bank's resources, which would contribute to achieving positive growth rates.
* Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will only pay a combined $64 million in initial base fees to banks that worked on its IPO, with the top local lenders to receive three times the amount top foreign banks are set to be paid, insiders told Bloomberg News. The oil giant will reportedly decide on the size of discretionary incentive fees at a later date, with most of the amount likely to go to the local banks.
* Adel al-Essa, spokesperson for Saudi insurance companies, said insurance firms do not intend to unify insurance policies, Al Watan reported. Al-Essa also said that insurance companies and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority are in discussions regarding the decision of some insurers to impose 100% liability charges to come up with a unified solution.
* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Saudi Arabia's long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency ratings at A+/A1, with a stable outlook.
* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Corp. for the Development of the Private Sector's long-term issuer credit rating at A, with a negative outlook.
* The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates approved a new regulation pertaining to dormant bank accounts presented by the banks control committee, and discussed the project of opening a financial technology office along with 19 other initiatives to execute the project, Al Bayan reported. The bank also approved a new framework for foreign investments.
* Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor al-Mahmoud said the sovereign wealth fund plans to boost investments in technology firms despite recent declines in the sector, Bloomberg News wrote.
* Osoul Investment Co. K.S.C.P elected a new board of directors for a three-year term, with Abdullah Mussaad Abdulla al-Dekheel and Sulaiman Ahmed Hamad al-Ameeri as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
* National Bank of Oman SAOG has decided to exit Egypt and close its last branch and operations in the country, subject to regulatory approvals. The lender said it expects to carry out the exit by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Bank of Israel Operations Manager Andrew Abir said he expects FTSE Russell's inclusion of Israeli government bonds to its World Government Bond Index to generate $3 billion to $5 billion of inward investment and boost the shekel, Globes wrote.
* Lebanese Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil proposed a draft law increasing the limit covered by National Institute for Bank Deposit Insurance to 75 million pounds from 5 million pounds to help restore calm amid the country's worsening financial crisis, Bloomberg News reported.
* Bank Audi (SAE) Managing Director Mohamed Bedeir said the Egyptian lender plans to increase loans to small businesses to 5 billion pounds by the end of the year, in line with an initiative by the central bank, Daily News Egypt reported.
* The IMF completed the second review under its two-year precautionary and liquidity line arrangement for Morocco, noting that the country could boost the soundness of its financial sector by continuing to make its supervisory framework more risk-based and forward-looking, as well as addressing weaknesses in rules against anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Nairobi Securities Exchange Plc warned that it expects net profit attributable to shareholders for full year 2019 to fall on a yearly basis by more than 25% compared to 2018 after its performance for the period suffered due to a challenging economic environment and lower capital inflows from global frontier market investors.
* A.M. Best affirmed Kenya-based East Africa Reinsurance Co. Ltd.'s B financial strength rating and "bb+" long-term issuer credit rating, with a stable outlook.
* Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd. appointed Kwabena Nifa Aning and Sheikh Jobe to its board as independent nonexecutive director and executive director, respectively, effective Dec. 4.
* The IMF urged Ghana to complete the cleanup of its financial sector while mitigating the fiscal costs of the endeavor, saying this will require addressing weaknesses in a state-owned bank and speeding up measures to reduce the nonperforming loan overhang, among other things.
* The World Bank will lend Ethiopia $3 billion to help boost reforms in the East African nation, Reuters reported, citing Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Ahmed also said several unnamed development partners pledged more than $3 billion in addition to the funds from the World Bank and IMF, the latter of which agreed last week on a three-year $2.9 billion financing package for the country.
* The IMF called on Mauritania to strengthen prudential requirements and bank supervision to improve the soundness of its financial sector and boost banks' ability to finance economic growth and small businesses, adding that further strengthening rules against anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism will also be key.
* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Uganda's foreign- and local-currency long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings at B/B, with a stable outlook.
* The IMF's executive board completed the fifth review of its three-year extended credit facility arrangement with Benin, enabling the disbursement of about $22 million to the West African nation.
* Fitch Ratings revised the outlook on Cabo Verde's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to positive from stable on easing government debt and improved growth potential, among other things.
* The United States African Development Fund and Senegal's Délégation Générale pour l'Entreprenariat Rapide, an initiative that supports the entrepreneurship of women and young people, have signed a $20 million agreement aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Senegalese SMEs on national and international markets, Financial Afrik wrote.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* South African Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said the South African Reserve Bank has failed to cooperate in her investigation of the scandal at VBS Mutual Bank, Jacaranda FM reported. In response, the central bank said it has always fully cooperated with the public protector and that it has been waiting for the agency to respond to some concerns.
* Meanwhile, an official from the South African State Security Agency was behind Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's June 2017 order to nationalize the South African Reserve Bank, according to an affidavit seen by News24 and the AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.
* Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. said its acquisition of fellow South African lender Mercantile Bank Holdings Ltd. has resulted in a 5.5% decrease in its capital adequacy ratio as of Nov. 30, but noted that the impact was partly offset by higher appropriated profits and the placement of excess funds in investments with lower risks.
* Foreign direct investment inflows in South Africa fell to 17 billion rand in the third quarter from 26.3 billion rand in the second quarter, but portfolio investment inflows jumped to 40.2 billion rand from 10 billion rand over the same period mainly due to the government's issuance of $5 billion of international bonds, Reuters reported, citing central bank data.
* NMBZ Holdings Ltd. Group CEO Benefit Peter Washaya said the Zimbabwean bank's board decided not to declare an interim dividend for the nine months ended Sept. 30 to fund the lender's growth initiatives.
* Zimbabwe-based GetBucks Microfinance Bank Ltd. also decided against paying a dividend for the first quarter ended Sept. 30 to fund its growth, adding that it expects the contribution of its bureau business to its overall profitability to increase due to the central bank's interventions to stabilize the foreign exchange market.
* Moody's assigned First National Bank of Namibia Ltd. long-term foreign- and local-currency deposit ratings of Ba3 and Ba1, with stable and negative outlooks, respectively. The rating agency also assigned the lender Not Prime short-term deposit ratings, among other ratings.
* The IMF's executive board completed the fifth review of Chad's economic program supported by an extended credit facility arrangement, allowing the disbursement of roughly $38.8 million to the country.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Ant Financial, Vanguard in China retail JV; Thai bank eyes SE Asia expansion
Erin Tanchico, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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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.