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SSA news through Oct. 17


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SSA news through Oct. 17

* A World Bank arbitration court ordered Tanzania to pay $185 million to Standard Chartered PLC's Hong Kong unit over a breach of an energy contract, Reuters reported. The amount was less than the $352.5 million the bank initially sought.

* A U.S. prosecutor told jurors that Jean Boustani, a salesman at Lebanese shipbuilding company Privinvest, was the mastermind of an alleged conspiracy to defraud U.S. investors involving $2 billion in loans for government projects in Mozambique, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, former Credit Suisse Group AG banker Andrew Pearse said he accepted at least $45 million in bribes for his role in helping arrange the controversial loans to Mozambique, Bloomberg News reported.

* Kenya-based Equity Group Holdings PLC plans to reopen discussions to buy the Zimbabwe unit of ABC Holdings Ltd., or BancABC, The Kenyan Wall Street wrote. BancABC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara Ltd.

* Morocco-based Banque Centrale Populaire reportedly purchased a 100% stake in Groupe BPCE's Republic of the Congo unit, Banque Commerciale Internationale.

* Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd. began its shift toward the Absa Group Ltd. brand and plans to change its name to that of the South African group by the middle of next year, Seychelles News Agency reported.


* Ethiopia is confident of securing an additional $1 billion from the World Bank over the next fiscal year, Bloomberg reported. The lender assigned some objectives to the country that will need to be met every year, National Bank of Ethiopia Governor Yinager Dessie said. Meanwhile, Ethiopia could use some of the proceeds from part-privatizing state companies to pay off government-guaranteed debts issued by lenders, Dessie said in a separate interview.

* Kenya is poised to sign 44 loan deals with 15 external lenders, as it seeks to borrow 422 billion shillings after lawmakers cleared a proposal to increase the governments' debt limit, Bloomberg reported.

* Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta sent back to parliament a bill seeking to retain limits on interest rates, Bloomberg reported, citing Patrick Njoroge, the country's central bank governor.

* The Kenya Revenue Authority is looking at bank accounts in its crackdown against tax evaders, prompting concerns about banking secrecy in the country, Business Daily Africa reported.

* NIC Group PLC and Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., following their merger, started the process for the combination of their investment banking units, NIC Capital Ltd. and CBA Capital Ltd., and securities brokerage business, NIC Securities Ltd.


* The five largest Nigerian banks by assets — Access Bank PLC, Zenith Bank PLC, FBN Holdings PLC, United Bank for Africa PLC and Guaranty Trust Bank PLC — will have to hike their loan-to-deposit ratio before the end of 2019 to avoid penalties, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Meanwhile, the Nigerian central bank began refunding some of the 500 billion naira it collected from a few banks that did not meet a minimum loan-to-deposit ratio requirement, after they bridged their shortfalls, Ahmad Abdullahi, the head of banking supervision, told Bloomberg News.

* Nigerian lending platform Lidya plans to loan €1 billion to small businesses unable to get bank loans in Poland and the Czech Republic over the next five years, Ercin Eksin, the company's co-founder, told Bloomberg.

* The IMF recommended to the Nigerian central bank to unify the exchange rate system in the country to eradicate distorted public and private sector decisions, The Punch reported.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Ghana's long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings at B, with a stable outlook on the long-term ratings.

* Ghana's Economic and Organized Crime Office is poised to probe directors of over 65 insolvent microfinance firms for not rendering an account of their stewardship or explain how depositor funds were spent, Joy Business reported.

* Cape Verde's economy is expected to grow by 5.0% next year, according to the latest monetary policy report by the country's central bank, Expresso Das Ilhas newspaper reported.

* The Rwanda Insurers Association and the National Bank of Rwanda proposed a risk-based pricing scheme that would take effect in January 2020, according to The New Times.


* South African sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Corp. SOC Ltd. is separating the roles of chief investment officer and CEO after receiving criticism that too much power was concentrated in the role of CEO, Bloomberg News reported.

* Charles Russon, CEO of Absa Group Ltd.'s corporate and investment banking business, said the lender is looking to establish a physical presence in China, Bloomberg reported. The firm also aims to strengthen its footing in African markets such as Nigeria, he added.

* South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Stanlib Asset Management Ltd. combined their index-tracking businesses into a single entity dubbed 1nvest, Business Day reported.

* Angolan President João Lourenço said the economy should return to growth in 2020 after a four-year slump linked to falling oil production and lower crude prices, Bloomberg reported. The IMF expects Angola's GDP to increase by 1.2% next year, Novo Jornal reported.

* The net profits of Angola's biggest five private banks — Banco Económico SA, Banco BIC SA, Banco Angolano de Investimentos SA, Banco de Fomento Angola SA and Banco Millennium Atlântico SA — fell 18.9% year over year in the first half to 170 billion kwanzas, Expansão reported.

* Jose Massano, Angola's central bank governor, said more lenders in the country could have their licenses withdrawn following the release of the results of an asset quality review by October-end, Reuters reported.

* The Gabonese insurance sector generated a consolidated turnover of 45.73 billion CFA francs in the first six months of 2019, up from 42.04 billion in the same period in 2018, Agence Ecofin reported.

* Standard Bank Namibia Ltd. plans to sell through an IPO on the local stock exchange a 16% stake for 8.90 Namibian dollars per share, The Namibian reported. The shares to be sold are among the 90% held by South Africa's Standard Bank Group.

* The International Development Association, part of the World Bank Group, signed a $200 million financing deal with Cameroon, aimed at promoting consolidation of the budget and inclusive growth, Agence Ecofin reported.

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.