* Eleven African exchanges lost value in 2016, with the Lusaka Stock Exchange losing 26%. However, the Casablanca Stock Exchange, the Egyptian exchange and the Zimbabwean bourse had positive 2016 performances, Agence Ecofin reports.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Oman Investment Fund, Oman International Development & Investment Co. SAOG and Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.'s recently established Ubhar Capital SAOC received regulatory approval to acquire Oman Arab Bank SAOC's investment management group division. The acquisition will encompass the entire existing investment management group platform, including systems, licenses, assets and liabilities.
* The board of directors of Arab National Bank recommended a cash dividend of 45 Saudi Arabian halalas per share for the second half of the year, down from 55 halalas per share paid in the year-ago period, Reuters writes.
* United Cooperative Assurance Co. hired accounting firm Ernst & Young to advise on restructuring its auto insurance business and insurance claims settlement operations. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority banned the company, effective Dec. 7, from accepting new subscribers to its auto insurance segment or renewing current policies because it failed to meet regulatory requirements regarding insurance claims.
* Warba Bank K.S.C.P. picked nine banks to arrange a planned sukuk issuance of up to $250 million as it seeks to bolster its capital reserves, Reuters reports. The issue is expected to take place early in the first quarter of next year.
* Standard Chartered UAE launched its Islamic saving accounts for corporate and institutional clients in the Middle Eastern nation, CPI Financial writes.
* The Central Bank of the UAE approved the applications of a number of banks and financial institutions to expand their operations and set up new branches in the country, Abu Dhabi City Guide writes.
* Kuwait central bank Governor General Mohammad al-Hashel said the regulations issued regarding governance of Islamic banks will replace the regulation issued in 2003 and complement those issued in 2012, Kuwait News Agency writes.
* Kuwait International Bank K.S.C.P. named Ahmad Abdulrazzaq AlKazemi general manager of its commercial banking division, Kuwait Times writes. In his new role, AlKazemi will lead both commercial and international banking functions.
* Following the merger of Willis Group and Towers Watson to become Willis Towers Watson, Gras Savoye Kuwait changed its name to Willis Towers Watson-Kuwait, Al Anbaa writes.
* Ithmaar Bank received the regulatory nod to change its name to Ithmaar Holding.
* The World Bank yesterday approved a new $1.49 billion loan package for Iraq to help the war-torn country implement reforms. The latest aid brings the World Bank's total loans to Iraq to nearly $3.4 billion.
* The Moroccan central bank yesterday kept its key rate unchanged at 2.25% and said it expects the economy to grow 4.2% next year and 3.7% in 2018. Bank Al-Maghrib revised its growth outlook for 2017 down to 1.2%.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* The Central Bank of Nigeria intends to put measures in place to eliminate the currency black market, Reuters reports, citing Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun.
* Mitchell Elegbe, CEO of Nigeria-based payments firm Interswitch Ltd., said the firm has put on hold plans to raise up to $1 billion in an IPO as investors grow wary of potential naira valuation and foreign currency shortage, Bloomberg News writes.
* At least six financial firms, including Barclays Africa Group Ltd. and First National Bank of South Africa, have met with officials from Uganda's central bank and finance ministry to acquire Crane Bank Ltd., Daily Monitor reports.
* Ghanaian Finance Minister Seth Terkper said the country will fail to meet its budget deficit target for the year of 5.3% of GDP by 1.5 percentage points to 2 percentage points due to low crude output and higher-than-expected expenses on elections and energy sector debts, Bloomberg News reports.
* Ghanaian pension fund manager Social Security and National Insurance Trust acquired a 10% stake in Access Bank Plc unit Access Bank (Ghana) Ltd. during its recent IPO, Citi Business News reports.
* Nigerian insurer Continental Reinsurance named former Niger Insurance CEO Ajibola Ogunshola its new chairman. The group, which is being reconstructed, has ambitions to be the first pan-African private reinsurer, Financial Afrik reports.
* Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ltd. CEO Kweku Bedu-Addo was named CEO of Standard Chartered Plc's southern Africa region comprising Mauritius, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and South Africa, Joy Business writes.
* Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said he will not step down and denounced calls by West African regional bloc ECOWAS for him to hand over power after he lost a Dec. 1 election to opposition leader Adama Barrow, Reuters writes.
* Côte d'Ivoire and the IMF reached final agreement on a $658 million economic support program, Jeune Afrique reports.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* New York-based technology firm Boloro Global Ltd. launched its debit authentication system in South Africa. The mobile authentication technology can prevent debit order abuse and fraud by enabling users to authenticate each transaction on their mobile phone before it is processed.
* Angolan state oil company Sonangol, headed by Isabel dos Santos, has the European Central Bank's go-ahead to raise its stake in Millennium BCP to more than 20%, Jornal de Negócios reports. It is said the ECB gave its approval to guarantee Sonangol's support for a shareholder vote earlier this week to raise the Portuguese bank's voting cap to 30% from 20% as demanded by Chinese group Fosun.
* Angola's central bank maintained foreign exchange sales in its latest weekly auction as yields on short-term Treasury bills fell for the first time in several months, O País reports. The Banco Nacional de Angola sold €302.2 million, down slightly from €306.3 million a week earlier, the newspaper said, noting that the central bank continued to make foreign currency sales in euros rather than in scarce dollars.
* The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe raised the cap on daily and weekly bond note withdrawals to $100 and $300, respectively, The Financial Gazette writes. The limits were previously set at up to $50 per day and $150 per week.
* Three employees of Société Générale de Banques en Guinée Equatoriale were arrested by authorities in Equatorial Guinea, Jeune Afrique reports. The three were arrested for passing documents to the French financial prosecutor regarding Vice President Teodoro Obiang, who is being tried in January in Paris for money laundering and other offences.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Macquarie to get nod for Green Bank buy; Cognizant to acquire Australian insurer
Europe: Lloyds to buy MBNA; Credit Suisse could face up to $7B US penalty
Latin America: Itaú names CEO for US unit; new testimony threatens Temer's presidency
North America: Wells preparing to launch its first ETF; Lloyds buying BofA's MBNA
North America Insurance: Canada's Fairfax grows bullish on US; Greenlight Capital Re CEO to leave
Xana Kakoty, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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