MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Saudi Arabia could push backbond issue: Saudi Arabia's plans to issue next month its firstinternational bond, of at least $10 billion, may be postponed due to a U.S. voteon the bill which would allow families of victims of the 9/11 attacks in 2001to sue the kingdom, insiders tellBloomberg News.
* SaudiHollandi Bank named Abdullah Aloraini CFO, Reuters reports.Aloraini was previously SaudiBritish Bank's head of accounting, asset and liability managementand investor relations.
* Amana Cooperative Insurance Co. submitted arequest to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency to decreaseits capital.
* Bank Leumile-Israel BM agreed to sell 80% of a 2 billion shekel mortgage loanportfolio to Menorah MivtachimHoldings Ltd., Reuters writes.
* The mandatoryreserve of UAE banks declinedby 1.7 billion dirhams in August to 118.2 billion dirhams, Argaam writes,citing data from the central bank.
* Dubai will penalizecompanies that do not provide health insurance to employees from 2017, Al-Khalij writes.
* The Bahraini centralbank expects the retail insurance sector to grow 9% to 10% in 2016, Al-Ayam writes,noting that the number of licensed insurance companies operating in the countryreached 150.
* Jordan's King Abdullah swore in a new government, withPrime Minister Hani Mulki reappointed for a second term, accordingto Reuters. Abdullah made minimal changes to the cabinet and mandated thegovernment to advance economic reforms in an aim to revive the economy.
* Central Bank of Iran Governor Valiollah Seif is seekingthe support of European banks and firms to help "explain to U.S. authoritiesthat they must keep their side of the nuclear deal" in order to acceleratethe implementation of financing projects with Tehran, Reuters reports.
* Fitch Ratings said sovereignwillingness to provide support for banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council hasremained "extremely strong." However, sovereign ability to providesupport has diminished in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain due to the slump inoil prices. Impaired loan ratios have benefited from strong growth and loanrestructuring, especially in the UAE, but are expected to worsen if oil pricesremain at their current low levels for a protracted period.
* Moody's said Egypt's economic and fiscal conditions aregradually improving and support its B3 rating and stable outlook, despite thecountry facing large financing needs. The rating agency noted that Egypt'seconomic growth has started to pick up and investor sentiment has improved.Moody's anticipates a gradual decline in the sovereign's high fiscal deficitsand government debt levels.
* Egypt's pound declined to 13.05 pounds to 13.10 pounds tothe U.S. dollar after President Abdel al-Sisi earlier this week promised tolower the price of commodities, EgyptIndependent reports.Airline Lufthansa is considering halting ticket sales in Egyptian pounds, Al-Masry al-Yaum adds.
* Morocco will delay the implementation of a flexiblecurrency system until the second half of 2017, instead of the start of nextyear, to give the government and other involved entities more time to preparefor the changes, Reuters writes,citing Bank Al-Maghrib Governor Abdellatif Jouahri. The central bank willinitiate an awareness campaign to explain to involved parties, including banksand the finance ministry, that the shift is a "structural turningpoint," Jouahri said.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
Ghana seeks to curbe-fraud: Bank of Ghana Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku called on banks toincrease efforts to thwart electronic fraud and help prevent the country beingblacklisted again by the Financial Action Task Force, Business & FinancialTimes notes.Issahaku said the rising number of e-fraud cases in the country could causereputational damage to banks.
* The Bank of Ghana said it will allow banks more time tomeet new capital requirements which will be disclosed soon, Citi Business News reports,citing First Deputy Governor Millison Narh. Insiders tellJoy Business that new capital requirement for commercial banks could be liftedto 500 million cedis starting next year.
* The IMF said a provision allowing the Ghanaian governmentto borrow from the central bank in the amended Bank of Ghana Act undermines thecredibility of the nation's monetary policy "in the context of theinflation targeting framework," Ghana Business News notes,citing a spokesperson for the fund.
* Rumors continue of significant irregularities atBANK OF AFRICA –MALI, although the bank's first-half results show a 23% yearlyincrease in net profit to 4 billion CFA francs, Financial Afrik reports.Lejecos adds that thebank's shares rose 7.49% following the release of the earnings report.
* Economists interviewedby Jeune Afrique called for reformingthe CFA franc, criticizing the role of the French Treasury in holding thecurrency's external trading account reserves, and calling its monetary policyoverly restrictive.
* Mauritian Finance Minister Pravind Jugnauth opened Bank ofChina's first branch in the African country and called on banks to show greaterinterest in financing government projects, L'Expresssays.Mauritius Commercial BankLtd., SBM Bank(Mauritius) Ltd. and Barclays Bank Mauritius Ltd. control 48% of Mauritianbanking assets, the paper adds, noting thatthere are now 23 banks operating in the country.
* KCB GroupLtd. resumed lending on its M-Pesa platform following a six-daymoratorium due to a technical issue caused by a surge in loan applications, Business Daily Africa writes.The surge came after the bank said it will cap the interest rate on its mobileloans in accordance with Kenyan law.
* Large Kenyan banks will benefit most from the new law cappinginterest rates, with medium and small banks' profit margins expected to betightened, Capital Business notes,citing a report by Britam Asset Managers.
* Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said thecentral bank will soon lend county governments up to 5% of their audited grossrecurrent revenues, The Star reports.The government will introduce guidelines for county borrowing by October-end.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
IMF praises Mozambique'sefforts to restore investor confidence: The head of an IMF mission to Mozambique praised thegovernment's efforts to restore investor confidence following revelationsearlier this year that state companies had taken on more than $1 billion in"hidden" debt, Jornal deNotícias reports.The IMF, which suspended loans to Mozambique due to the scandal, began an auditof Mozambique's debt last week.
* Mozambique's economic growth is anticipated to speed up to5.5% in 2017 from a projected 4.5% in 2016, Reuters notes,citing cabinet spokesman Mouzinho Saide.
* Gabon has a new prime minister in Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet,a career diplomat who previously was foreign minister, Agence Ecofin reports.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific:ING to sell Kotak Mahindra stake;China, Europe to extend currency swap
Europe:StanChart's new US woes; KBC lookseast; Credit Suisse cost cuts
LatinAmerica: Cade probesBM&FBOVESPA; Fenaban proposes 2-year wage agreements
NorthAmerica: Stumpf to forfeit $41Min unvested equity; 2 Minnesota-based banks merging
NorthAmerica Insurance: Wellmarkshrinks health coverage options in Iowa; Aetna to subsidize Apple watches forsome customers
Xana Kakoty, HenniAbdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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