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Mashreqbank, UBA 9-month profits rise YOY; Fitch acts on Kuwaiti lenders


* Mashreqbank PSC reported third-quarter unaudited profit attributable to owners of the parent of 560.8 million United Arab Emirates dirhams, up from 415.0 million dirhams a year earlier. Unaudited attributable profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30 rose year over year to 1.66 billion dirhams from 1.49 billion dirhams.

* Fitch Ratings upgraded the viability ratings of Warba Bank KSCP to "bb-" from "b+" and Boubyan Bank K.S.C.P. to "bbb-" from "bb+", as well as the viability ratings of Gulf Bank K.S.C.P. and Kuwait Finance House K.S.C.P. to "bb+" from "bb". The four Kuwaiti lenders' A+ long-term issuer default ratings, with stable outlooks, were affirmed.

* Meanwhile, Fitch affirmed National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.P.'s AA- long-term issuer default rating, with a stable outlook, and downgraded its viability rating to "a-" from "a".

* Kuwait Finance House K.S.C.P. reported net profit of 137.9 million Kuwaiti dinars for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up from the year-ago 123.1 million dinars, according to The National.

* Meitav DASH Investments Ltd. is acquiring Bank of Jerusalem Ltd.'s customer portfolios for 21 million Israeli shekels as part of plans to expand its brokerage business, Globes reported.

* Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer said Saudi Arabia and the UAE have agreed to extend the maturity of $4 billion worth of deposits with the central bank, which are originally due in 2018, Reuters reported, citing Egyptian daily Al-Shorouk. Amer also said that China approved the renewal of a three-year, $2.7 billion bilateral currency swap agreement it signed with the central bank last year.

* The Tunisian government will sell its 38.89% stake in Banque de Tunisie et des Emirats SA, Il Boursa said. Sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will also sell its stake of the same size in the lender.

* Ridha Said, an economic adviser to Tunisia's prime minister, said the country plans to raise 7.4 billion Tunisian dinars from foreign loans, including 1.4 billion dinars from a sale of bonds, according to Reuters. The plan is part of efforts to trim Tunisia's budget deficit and improve its economy.


* United Bank for Africa Plc reported group profit attributable to owners of parent of 59.47 billion Nigerian naira for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up from the restated 48.16 billion naira a year earlier. Net interest income rose year over year to 152.30 billion naira from 112.07 billion naira. Net fee and commission and commission income also increased on a yearly basis, to 46.68 billion naira from 44.87 billion naira.

* Equity Bank (Kenya) Ltd. and Ecobank Kenya Ltd. are reportedly finalizing an agreement with Kenya Airways to convert the airline's loan into shares, which could pave the way for the airline to move forward with its recovery plan, according to Business Daily Africa. Eight other Kenyan lenders have already approved the initial debt conversion proposal.

* Shareholders of Britam Holdings Plc will next month vote on whether to waive their pre-emptive rights to pave the way for the conclusion of a deal in which private equity firm AfricInvest is acquiring a 14.3% stake in the Kenyan insurance firm, or approximately 360.8 million shares at a subscription price of 15.85 Kenyan shillings per share, Business Daily Africa reported.

* The rights issue of dfcu Bank Ltd. was undersubscribed by 4.79%, raising only 190.67 billion Ugandan shillings, The East African reported. The lender launched a rights issue of 263,157,895 ordinary shares with a goal to raise 200 billion shillings.


* South Africa-based FirstRand Ltd. said it will not waive the completion of due diligence as a condition for a proposed takeover of U.K.-based Aldermore Group Plc. FirstRand last week made an indicative proposal to acquire Aldermore's entire issued and to-be-issued share capital for 313 pence per share in cash, valuing the British lender at roughly £1.08 billion.

* The South African Registrar of Banks granted a banking license to NewDisc Ltd., a unit of local insurer Discovery Ltd. The insurer said the granting of the banking license is still subject to specific regulatory conditions, including approval by the South African Competition Commission. NewDisc will be renamed Discovery Bank Ltd.

* Sanlam Ltd. unit Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd. entered into agreements to acquire the entire issued share capital of Absa Consultants and Actuaries from Absa Financial Services for a consideration of 285 million South African rand, African News Agency reported.

* Barclays Africa Group Ltd. and think tank OMFIF launched the Africa Financial Markets Index, which ranks the maturity, openness and accessibility of 17 financial markets in Africa, based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria.

* Zimbabwe-focused, Mauritius-registered investment firm Brainworks Ltd. debuted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange last week with a market capitalization of just under 1 billion South African rand, Independent Online reported. The company was the first Zimbabwean company to have a primary listing on the JSE main board under the equity investment instruments sector.

* Moody's said in a report that the Republic of the Congo's credit profile reflects relatively high default and expected loss risks for private creditors due to its acute liquidity pressures and weak balance sheet.


Asia-Pacific: China cracks down on financial fraud; IOOF to buy ANZ's wealth biz

Europe: Aldermore in M&A talks with FirstRand; Austria set to have new chancellor

Latin America: Banco Agrário recovers Navelena debt; Diviso Grupo to up Edpyme stake

North America: JPMorgan, BlackRock CEOs say bitcoin tool for criminals; Kansas bank fails

North America Insurance: Oregon orders rate hike as ACA payments end; Nate losses may be under $500M

Sheryl Obejera, Sarah Raslan, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

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