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Mizrahi Tefahot Q2 profit rises; Euroclear joins TASE; Discovery shares slump

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

* KBL European Private Bankers SA CEO Jürg Zeltner is expected to join the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank AG to represent the interests of the Qatari royal family, who is among the German lender's top shareholders, insiders told Reuters. Zeltner is a former head of UBS Group AG's wealth management unit.

REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Israel-based Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. reported second-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders of the bank of 576 million Israeli shekels, a 178.3% increase from the year-ago 207 million shekels. The bank had resumed dividend distributions to shareholders this quarter and would pay out 392 million shekels for the first half.

* Euroclear Bank SA/NV will become the first financial institution to join the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange as a custodial member, allowing the Belgium-based firm to directly access the exchange without engaging in any trading activity and provide settlement and asset services for domestic Israeli securities. The membership will take effect in September, Reuters noted.

* The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a complaint in a local federal court against five entities and four individuals, including Israel-based binary options firm Yukom Communications Ltd., Linkopia Mauritius Ltd. and former Yukom CEO Lee Elbaz, for a fraud scheme related to a global retail binary options enterprise that targeted and victimized U.S. residents. The move comes after a U.S. jury in Maryland convicted Elbaz of wire fraud and conspiracy charges over a scheme to defraud investors. Bloomberg News covered this.

* National Bank of Egypt SAE secured a license from the Egyptian Financial Supervision Authority that will allow it to promote and cover IPOs, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

* The Egyptian Financial Supervision Authority and local insurance firms have agreed to issue compulsory motor insurance policies and receive payments online after securing necessary approvals and preparing all IT-related infrastructure, Al-Masry Al-Youm noted.

* Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will run in the country's presidential election set for Sept. 15, Reuters reported. Other candidates include former President Moncef Marzouki and former premier Mehdi Jemaa.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* GN Bank Ltd. founder Papa Kwesi Nduom said the challenges that the Ghanaian firm is facing are being resolved, noting that the company had undergone a restructuring and completed its transition from a universal bank to a savings and loan company at the end of June, according to Citi Newsroom. In January, GN Bank saw its license downgraded to that of a savings and loans company and the firm became GN Savings and Loans after it failed to meet the country's minimum capital requirement.

* KCB Group PLC urged shareholders of National Bank of Kenya Ltd. to swap their shares for KCB shares, saying shareholders would get an average return on equity of more than 20%, Capital FM wrote. KCB's takeover offer for NBK is currently awaiting regulatory approval, amid a recommendation by lawmakers that the state, NBK's main shareholder, reject KCB's bid.

* Tanzania's central bank warned that it will take stringent measures against individuals engaging in black market foreign exchange as well as those selling fake currencies, The Citizen reported.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* South African lender Absa Group Ltd. said it had completed the process to appoint a group CEO, who will be named in due course and take up office in January 2020. René van Wyk has been interim CEO of the group and unit Absa Bank Ltd. since March, after Maria Ramos stepped down from the roles.

* South Africa-based insurer Discovery Ltd.'s shares fell as much as 11% yesterday due to investor concern after the South African government unveiled plans to roll out a national health insurance program over the next seven years that could infringe on the insurer's health business, Bloomberg wrote. The bill reportedly suggests that health insurers will be unable to cover the same procedures or illnesses covered by the health insurance program.

* Old Mutual Ltd. denied the "untrue assertions" in two articles published by South Africa's City Press last week regarding its ongoing case with the South African financial services group's former CEO Peter Moyo. Old Mutual said the authors of the articles "unfairly attacked" the company, cast aspersions on the reputation of its entire executive and board and engaged in a personal attack on the integrity of Chairman Trevor Manuel. Last month, the High Court granted former CEO Peter Moyo temporary reinstatement following his dismissal in June, with Old Mutual saying it will appeal the ruling.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Old Mutual Life Assurance Co. (South Africa) Ltd.'s BB+ global scale long-term issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings and its zaAAA/zaA-1+ long- and short-term South Africa national scale ratings. The outlook is stable.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: China resumes open market operations; NZ legalizes cryptocurrency salaries

Europe: Rose said to take RBS helm; UK eyes bailout fund; Salvini denies euro exit plan

Latin America: Opposition bet leads in Argentine primaries; Chile's Habitat buys Colfondos

North America: IEX to introduce connectivity fees; Stifel buying George K. Baum & Co.

Global Insurance: NN Group CEO joining Aegon; Rothesay Life £520M pension buy in; Brit pullout

Deza Mones, 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.