* S&P Global Ratings raised its outlook for global bond issuance growth to roughly 4% year over year in 2019, higher than its prior forecast of a 1.2% expansion, amid a shift in monetary policy guidance by the world's major central banks.
* Saudi Arabia's finance ministry said the country has deposited $250 million into Sudan's central bank to support its financial position, Reuters reported.
* Nairobi-headquartered payment service provider Direct Pay Online Group has acquired South African payment processor PayFast (Pty) Ltd. in a deal carried out through a mix of shares and cash.
* Overseas investment in sub-Saharan African financial technology firms quadrupled during 2018 to $357 million, with Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria receiving the largest shares, according to a report from the GSM Association, Financial Afrik reported.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* The central banks of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut their key interest rates by 25 basis points, following a similar decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates also said it will lower interest rates on the issuance of certificates of deposits beginning Aug. 1, Reuters reported, while Kuwait's central bank maintained its discount rate at 3.0%.
* Saudi Arabia-based National Commercial Bank reported a year-over-year rise in second-quarter net profit to 2.69 billion riyals from 2.17 billion riyals, which it attributed to an 8.5% rise in total operating income and lower operating expenses. The lender's board recommended the distribution of a dividend of 1.10 riyals, after deduction of zakat, for the half.
* Emirates NBD Bank PJSC completed the acquisition of PAO Sberbank of Russia's 99.85% stake in Turkish unit DenizBank AŞ. Emirates NBD CEO Shayne Nelson said the United Arab Emirates-based lender would support DenizBank should it need a capital increase, Reuters noted.
* S&P Global Ratings downgraded UAE-based Al Wathba National Insurance Co. PJSC's long-term issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings to BBB- from BBB and placed the ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications.
* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Bahrain-based United Gulf Bank B.S.C. (c)'s long- and short-term foreign-currency ratings at BBB/A3.
* The UAE Finance Ministry signed a deal with local telecommmunications company Etisalat to provide e-payment services through e-Dirham, Argaam reported.
* Oman-based United Finance Co. SAOG said Deputy CEO D. Stanley has resigned for personal reasons, effective Sept. 1.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in June directed at the country's supreme leader following attacks on a U.S. Navy drone and tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.
* Moody's affirmed Iraq's long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings at Caa1, with a stable outlook.
* Lebanon-based BLOM BANK SAL reported first-half unaudited net profit of $238.7 million, down 2.09% from the same period in 2018.
* Morocco's Crédit du Maroc SA said Bernard Muselet would take over as chairman of the board on Oct. 1, replacing Baldoméro Valverde. who held the position for six years, according to Financial Afrik.
* NI Capital appointed Mohammed Kamal Metwali CEO, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
* Egypt's investment minister Sahar Nasr met with 25 Japanese companies to discuss increasing Japanese investment in the country, Al-Masry Al-Youm wrote. Currently, 106 Japanese companies invest $880 million in Egypt.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Nigeria-based C & I Leasing PLC Chairman Chief Chukwuma Okolo said the company plans to inject fresh capital into its operations through a rights issue and a conversion of a $10 million loan stock into equity to boost future performance, The Punch wrote.
* NPF Microfinance Bank PLC Managing Director and CEO Akinwunmi Lawal said the Nigerian lender plans to carry out a public offer on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to shore up its working capital, Business Day reported.
* Association of Kenya Insurers Executive Director Tom Gichuhi said the group expects heightened mergers and acquisitions activity between insurers struggling to meet minimum capital adequacy ratios required for operations beginning July 2020, Business Daily Africa reported.
* Kenya-based Metropolitan Sacco appointed Deputy CEO Benson Mwangi as CEO, as part of a wider reorganization of its management, Standard Digital reported. Mwangi, replaces Francis Ng'ang'a, who will retire, while Cyrus Kariamwere was appointed deputy CEO and head of business development.
* The Ethiopian parliament has passed a bill to open the country's financial sector to citizens who have assumed other nationalities and allow them to purchase shares in local banks and open lending businesses, among other things, Reuters reported.
* South Sudan expected its foreign direct investment would increase more than $1 billion in the current fiscal year, said Abraham Maliet Mamer, South Sudan Investment Authority's secretary general, Agence Ecofin reported.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* South African insurer Old Mutual Ltd. said it will appeal the High Court decision to grant former CEO Peter Moyo temporary reinstatement following his dismissal in June, adding that Moyo will not allowed to resume work at the company pending the outcome of the appeal proceedings. Moyo turned up for work yesterday and was allowed into Old Mutual's Johannesburg offices but not allowed to resume his duties, Reuters noted.
* South African insurer Liberty Holdings Ltd. agreed to sell its 100% stake in asset manager Stanlib Ghana Ltd. to Standard Bank Group Ltd.'s wholly owned unit Stanbic Africa Holdings Ltd. for a purchase consideration of 70 million Ghanaian cedi, saying it sold its only asset management business in West Africa as the region is no longer prioritized as a strategic area for the company.
* Mozambique will push for the extradition of former Finance Minister Manuel Chang, who has been in custody in South Africa since his arrest in December 2018 over his alleged involvement in a $2 billion debt scandal, Reuters reported, citing a letter from South African law firm Mabunda Inc. A former South African justice minister decided to extradite Chang before leaving his post, but his successor and a Mozambique civil society organization have applied to set the decision aside to consider whether Chang could be extradited to the U.S., where he faces charges, including money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud.
* Botswana-based microfinance firm Letshego Holdings Ltd. said it expects pretax and posttax first-half profit to be in line with the prior trading period to June 30 and that it has commenced a review of all aspects of the business, which is expected to close in the second half.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: China Development Bank ex-chair under probe; Myanmar OKs Japanese insurers' JVs
Europe: Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas Q2 profits up; Lloyds hit with higher PPI charge
Latin America: Itaú CorpBanca's Q2 profit down 7%; Trump wants US-Brazil free trade deal
North America: Simmons First National buying Landrum; Carlyle Q2 profit grows; Capital One sued
Global Insurance: Arch confirms Barbican deal; FedNat meeting sought; Guy Carpenter headwinds
Erin Tanchico, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton 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.