Editor's note: The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa will not be published March 30 and April 2 on account of the Easter holidays. The Daily Dose will return April 3.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Saudi Arabia has been included in the emerging markets list of global index provider FTSE Russell and will be classified as a "secondary emerging" market. FTSE Russell said it will include the country's stocks into its Global Equity Index Series in a phased timeline, starting from March 2019. Saudi Arabia's previous status was "unclassified." The move is expected to attract billions in additional stock investor inflows to the country, Bloomberg News noted.
* The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia is considering setting up offices in New York and San Francisco, in the U.K. and in Japan as it seeks to expand its AUM to $400 billion by 2020 through overseas and domestic investments, Managing Director Yasir al-Rumayyan told the Financial Times.
* Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said a number of requests submitted by foreign banks are currently under review, and that operating licenses will be delivered once all reviews are completed, Al-Hayat reported.
* Medgulf Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance Co. Chairman Saleh al-Sagri stepped down from his post, effective March 27, according to Reuters.
* The executive director of financial control at the Central Bank of Bahrain, Khalid Hamad, said the regulator has issued a memo to local banks to set limit of fees imposed on services, adding that discrepancies in charges is unacceptable, Al Ayam reported.
* GFH Financial Group BSC CEO Hisham Al Rais told CNBC Arabia TV that the company is in talks to acquire a financial institution that will open new business for the firm, Argaam reported.
* Jan Erik Back, who most recently served as executive vice president and CFO at Sweden's Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, will join Bahrain-based Investcorp Bank BSC as group CFO in the summer.
* The Qatar Financial Market Authority and Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority signed a memorandum of understanding on regulating operation of corporate investment funds, Lusail News reported. According to the agreement, licensed companies by either regulators will be allowed to operate without the need to have another permission if they already had an authorization of one of the two authorities.
* Ahli Bank SAOG's board of directors has accepted the resignation of board member Rashad Khamis Hamad Al-Battashi, effective March 28, for personal reasons.
* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Bank Muscat SAOG's BBB+ financial strength rating.
* Morocco's Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur SA, also known as BMCE Bank of Africa, plans to open a branch in Shanghai, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Moroccan financial daily L'Economiste.
* Bank Al-Tamweel wa al-Inma, the Islamic bank launched by BMCE Bank of Africa and Al Baraka Banking Group BSC in December 2017, has opened two new branches in Casablanca and Rabat, Morocco, Finance News wrote. About 37 branches of the new entity, also known as BTI Bank, are expected to open in Morocco before 2022.
* Morocco's Société Nationale d'Investissement, the parent company of Attijariwafa Bank SA, has changed its name to Al Mada as part of its strategy to transition from a national to an international group, Financial Afrik reported.
* Early after-poll estimates indicated that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is set to win another term by a landslide, Reuters reported.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* The Kenyan government plans to inject more capital into National Bank of Kenya Ltd. to bolster the lender's growth, with the recapitalization expected to complete within six months, Capital FM reported.
* The proposed acquisition of Chase Bank (Kenya) Ltd. by Mauritius-based SBM Holdings Ltd. could potentially be delayed further as Kenyan lawmakers want to look into the terms of the intended acquisition to "safeguard the interests of depositors, creditors and the wider public," The Daily Nation wrote.
* Rwanda's central bank maintained the key repo rate at 5.5% in the second quarter to encourage the banking sector to continue financing the economy.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* The South African Reserve Bank reduced its repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%, effective March 29, citing an improved inflation outlook despite the adverse impact of a value-added tax increase to be implemented in April.
* Sanlam Ltd. raised gross proceeds of roughly 5.70 billion South African rand, or approximately $490 million, through the sale of a total of 65,517,241 new ordinary shares to institutional investors, at a price of 87.00 rand per share. The South Africa-based financial services group's share capital will increase to 2,231,989,047 shares from 2,166,471,806 upon admission of the new shares to trading.
* South Africa's High Court has dismissed the application of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for leave to appeal a previous ruling that she must pay out of her own pocket 15% of the costs incurred by the South African Reserve Bank in a case related to a report Mkhwebane released in June 2017 about a series of bailouts provided by the central bank to Bankorp during the apartheid era, fin24 reported.
* Standard Chartered Plc said the $500 million in funds allegedly siphoned abroad from the Banco Nacional de Angola were transferred out of the central bank's account in the British lender, Reuters reported, citing an emailed statement from StanChart. The Angolan prosecutor general's office earlier charged José Filomeno dos Santos, son of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, and former central bank Governor Valter Filipe da Silva with fraud over the case.
* Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd. CEO Alain Min said the lender intends to expand its presence in the sub-Saharan Africa region, particularly in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Pulse Ghana wrote.
* The Reserve Bank of Malawi maintained the policy rate at 16%, the liquidity reserve requirement at 7.5% and the Lombard rate at 200 basis points above the policy rate.
* Ian Khama is expected to step down April 1 as Botswana's president, according to Bloomberg News. Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi will lead the country until the next presidential election set for October 2019.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Chinese bank FY'17 profit up; Japan's ORIX exits Sri Lanka; Thailand holds rate
Europe: More banks reveal UK gender pay gap; Deutsche Bank to sell certain Portugal ops
Latin America: Caixa Q4'17 profit spikes; BNDES president to resign this week
North America: Chicago may pursue Wells Fargo over predatory lending; Wedbush faces SEC charges
North America Insurance: Iowa Senate OKs association health plans; Oscar valued at $3.2B post new funding
Sheryl Obejera, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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