* Barclays Plc appointed Stephen Dainton, previously co-head of markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Credit Suisse Group AG, as global head of equities, City A.M. reported.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Saudi Arabia's budget deficit decreased to 46.5 billion Saudi Arabian riyals in the second quarter from about 58.4 billion riyals a year earlier, Reuters reported, citing finance ministry data. The decline is attributed to higher oil prices. On a quarterly basis, the deficit expanded from 26.2 billion riyals in the first quarter.
* Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman may pick the New York Stock Exchange as the stage for Saudi Aramco's IPO due to the longstanding ties between his country and the U.S., insiders told Reuters. Reuters previously reported that Saudi Aramco's advisers have recommended the London Stock Exchange for the IPO.
* Elyas Algaseer, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.'s co-head in the Middle East and North Africa, said the Japan-based lender intends to initially hire 20 employees in Saudi Arabia as part of its expansion plans in the country, Bloomberg News reported. The lender is set to open a branch in Riyadh next year, making it the first Japanese bank to commence full banking operations in Saudi Arabia.
* Banque Saudi Fransi appointed Francois Jean Marion as a member of the bank's board of directors following approval from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, Argaam reported. Marion succeeds Sebastien Abel Raymond Belhoul.
* Israeli conglomerate Delek Group Ltd. may soon announce a new agreement in principle for the sale of insurer Phoenix Holdings Ltd., according to market sources, Globes reported. The group's attempt to sell Phoenix to Chinese firm Yango Investment Pte. Ltd. was called off in June after failing to obtain regulatory approval.
* Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. postponed the release of its second-quarter financial results to Aug. 29 from Aug. 14 due to an ongoing strike by its employees, according to a Reuters report carried by The Times of India.
* Kuwait-based Ahli United Bank K.S.C.P. named Tareq Muhmood senior deputy CEO of banking group, the Kuwait Times reported.
* Jordan has asked banks to submit proposals to arrange a U.S. dollar conventional or Islamic bond issue, sources told Reuters. Proceeds from the planned offering, which is expected to be of benchmark size, would be used to cover a budget shortfall.
* The Central Bank of Iran has increased by 50 million Iranian rials the ceiling for interest-free microcredit loans, or Qarzol-Hassaneh, to individuals, bringing the loan cap to 200 million rials, the Financial Tribune reported.
* Morocco's Market Authority said financier Moulay Hafid Elalamy no longer directly holds shares in Saham Group, which he founded and where he is president, Financial Afrik reported.
* Morocco's Hightech Payment Systems, an electronic payment solutions provider, has opened a Singapore location to strengthen its ties to the Asian market, Financial Afrik said.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Incumbent Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the country's Aug. 8 election, defeating opposition leader Raila Odinga, who has made claims of vote-rigging, the Associated Press reported. Kenyatta was re-elected to a second term after obtaining 54.27% of the votes, ahead of Odinga's 44.74%.
* Meanwhile, Odinga ignored calls from the international community for him to concede defeat in the recent Kenyan election, and instead called for a strike to support his claim to the presidency, Reuters wrote.
* Securities Kenya Ltd., which is part of stockbroking and financial services firm Securities Africa Group, obtained approval from Kenya's Capital Markets Authority to commence brokerage operations in the country, Business Daily Africa reported.
* Kenyan financial services firm Alexander Forbes East Africa has changed its trade name to Zamara following ownership changes, Business Daily Africa reported. The firm, in which South Africa-based Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. previously held a majority stake, is now owned by Kenyan investors and the employee share ownership plan. Alexander Forbes Group cut its stake to 31.3% from 60% in compliance with recent changes to Kenya's Retirement Benefits Act that restrict foreign ownership in a pension fund administrator at a maximum of 40%.
* The African Development Bank's capitalization has declined compared to its commitments, and unless there is significant increase in capital or reduction in debt, capital will not cover outstanding debt starting in 2019, Financial Afrik reported.
* Ecobank Transnational Inc. has lured Atlas Mara's Eric Jones Odhiambo to head its risk division, Financial Afrik reported. Odhiambo will report directly to CEO Ade Ayeyemi.
* Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari faces calls to come home or resign three months after he left for London for health reasons, Agence France-Presse reported.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Anglo-South African financial conglomerate Old Mutual Plc reported first-half after-tax profit attributable to equity holders of the parent of £531 million under International Financial Reporting Standards, up from a restated £284 million profit in the year-ago period. Old Mutual said it was on track to split its four stand-alone businesses, with plans to float Old Mutual Wealth and South Africa-based Old Mutual Ltd. at the "earliest opportunity" in 2018, after the group's 2017 full-year results.
* Meanwhile, South Africa-based Old Mutual Emerging Markets Ltd. named Mike Ilsley CFO, replacing Iain Williamson, who will take on the role of COO. Ilsley was also appointed CFO-designate of Old Mutual Ltd.
* The BRICS New Development Bank confirmed the appointment of National Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane as the new director representing South Africa, replacing Tito Mboweni, whose term as director expired last month. Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi was also confirmed as alternate governor of the bank for South Africa. Separately, South Africa's National Treasury said the African regional center of the New Development Bank will officially launch Aug. 17.
* Mozambique's foreign currency reserves rose to $2.45 billion as of Aug. 9, the central bank said in the minutes of a monetary policy meeting last week when it cut the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points, news website Macauhub reported. The country's reserves are now enough to cover 6.1 months of imports, according to the report.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial expands Saudi Arabia ops; Bank of Baroda profit slips
Sheryl Obejera, Sarah Raslan, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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