MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* United Arab Emirates-based private equity firm Abraaj Group Ltd. is in discussions with potential buyers, including Abu Dhabi Financial Group, regarding a possible sale of part of its investment management business, insiders told Reuters.
* Bank Hapoalim BM reported fourth-quarter 2017 net profit attributed to shareholders of 612 million Israeli shekels, up from 138 million shekels in the prior-year period.
* Metlife - AIG - ANB Cooperative Insurance Co. said its accumulated losses had exceeded 50% of its capital.
* Al Waha Capital PJSC CEO Salem Rashid al-Noaimi was elected board chairman, succeeding Hussain Jasim al-Nowais. Michael Raynes will take over as CEO.
* Emirates Investment Bank PJSC CEO Khaled Sifri said the bank plans to close a number of acquisition transactions in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait this year, according to Al Bayan.
* Qatar International Islamic Bank (QPSC) intends to raise between $300 million and $500 million through a sukuk issuance this year and may hold roadshows next month to assess investor interest, The Peninsula reported.
* Bahrain-based investment bank Securities and Investment Co. BSC (c) has rebranded and will now be officially known as SICO.
* The Central Bank of Oman issued guidelines allowing commercial banks to take into account their local interbank transactions when calculating lending ratios, potentially enabling them to increase corporate lending, Reuters said.
* Bank Muscat SAOG appointed Saleh Nasser al-Habsi deputy general manager of global institutional and investment banking, according to the Times of Oman.
* First Takaful Insurance Co. KSC (Public) promoted Khaled Fadhel Alaswad to director general and Mohammed Ahmed Abdelghani to vice CEO of the non-motor department.
* Burgan Bank KPSC completed a three-year, $350 million syndicated loan with a group of regional and international banks.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* The Bank of Ghana trimmed the monetary policy rate by 200 basis points to 18% as both the inflation rate and inflation expectations continue to decline.
* Separately, the Bank of Ghana issued a directive banning executives from serving as both chairman and CEO of any regulated financial institution, Citi Business News wrote. The central bank also set a maximum tenure limit for a CEO or managing director at three terms of four years each.
* Sierra Leone's National Electoral Commission said the country's presidential election run-off, initially set for today, will now take place March 31.
* Sidian Bank Ltd. shareholders approved raising the company's capital by 1.5 billion Kenyan shillings through a rights issue, with Centum Investment Co. Ltd., the bank's largest shareholder, taking up its full rights amounting to 1.1 billion shillings.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Angola's attorney general has charged José Filomeno dos Santos, son of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, with fraud for allegedly transferring $500 million in funds abroad from the country's central bank while serving as head of the sovereign wealth fund, the Financial Times reported, citing state radio.
* Former South African President Jacob Zuma is due to appear in court April 6 to face charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering, among others, over a controversial deal in the 1990s to purchase European military kit, Reuters reported.
* Carlo Palmers, head of market infrastructures at financial messaging services provider SWIFT, told Moneyweb that a South African team of financial institutions, payments associations and the SARB had met to discuss measures to overhaul the national payments system, including through linking bank accounts to customers' mobile numbers or email addresses.
* South Africa-based Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. has signed a partnership deal with Evo Financial Services as part of plans to expand its healthcare business, Bloomberg News wrote. Under the partnership, Alexander Forbes will have access to Evo Financial Services' healthcare consulting clients in exchange for operational support.
* Finbond Group Ltd.'s board of directors resolved to implement a capital raising of about 412 million South African rand through a partially underwritten rights offering to partially repay loans that allowed the company to conclude its acquisitions of Americash Holding LLC and CreditBox.com LLC.
* Malawi became the 18th member of Africa Finance Corp., a pan-African multilateral development finance institution.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Goldman Sachs in Indian M&A talks; Australian wealth manager files for IPO
Europe: Aberdeen Standard sues Provident Financial; BoE to update Brexit approach
Latin America: Indusval's loss expands in Q4'17; Banrisul prepares for card unit's IPO
North America: Goldman Sachs targets 1,000 new i-banking clients; 2 Illinois banks strike deal
North America Insurance: AIG circles Australian bank's general insurance biz; Safepoint cat bond grows
Leo Magno, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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