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SSA news through Oct. 24

* PAO Sberbank of Russia, Vnesheconombank, Russian Export Center JSC and U.K. investment firm Gemcorp Capital LLP signed a $5 billion agreement to create a framework to finance between Russia and African countries.

EAST AFRICA

* Kenya could remove the cap on interest rates that banks charge on loans, as lawmakers would be unable to get enough votes in parliament to oppose President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to scrap the limits, Bloomberg reported, citing acting Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani.

* Uganda-based East African Development Bank is seeking more than 1.4 billion Kenyan shillings from a restaurant in Nairobi over an unpaid loan, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Djibouti's financial sector remains fragile despite progress in cleaning up banks' balance sheets, according to the IMF.

* U.S.-based payments giant Visa Inc. named Corine Mbiaketcha general manager for East Africa, effective Nov. 5, according to The Kenyan Wall Street.

WEST AFRICA

* Zenith Bank PLC reported unaudited group profit attributable to equity holders of parent of 150.61 billion Nigerian naira for the nine months to September-end, up from 143.75 billion naira a year earlier.

* Nigeria-based FBN Holdings PLC reported third-quarter unaudited consolidated profit attributable to owners of the parent of 19.36 billion naira, up from 11.12 billion naira a year earlier.

* United Bank for Africa PLC saw its third-quarter group profit attributable to owners of the parent increase to 24.02 billion naira from 17.16 billion naira a year ago.

* Nigeria-based Fidelity Bank PLC ordered its directors, managers and other high-ranking staff to temporarily stop trading of the lender's shares that they own until the release of its third-quarter earnings report to prevent insider trading, Business Post noted.

* A credit stress test carried out by the Nigerian central bank at 2018-end revealed that banks could endure a shock of up to a 75% increase in industry bad loans due to their capital adequacy ratio, or CAR, remaining above 10%, Business Day wrote, adding that the industry was susceptible to a 100% increase in nonperforming loans, as that would bring its CAR below 10%

* The Nigerian government blocked local nonbanking companies and individuals from purchasing high-yielding central bank bonds in a bid to spur bank loans for purposes other than market speculation, according to Bloomberg News.

* Nigeria's central bank said it will sanction banks and their customers if they are found to be involved in gaming its loan-to-deposit ratio requirement for lenders, TheCable reported.

* Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange aims to partner with Togo-based Ecobank Transnational Inc. to allow seamless settlement of trades across Africa, Business Day reported.

* Ecobank Transnational and Airtel Africa PLC signed a partnership aimed at improving Airtel Money and Ecobank customers' access to mobile financial services.

* The IMF said the Bank of Ghana is "well advanced" in its cleanup of the savings and loans and finance house subsectors, noting that the recapitalization of the remaining locally owned banks and the reduction of the overhang of nonperforming loans will be key to increasing credit to the private sector and supporting growth in non-extractive activities.

* Ghana wants to go cashless, with plans to transact payments for all government services electronically by 2020, the Financial Times reported, citing Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.

* The IMF also urged Guinea to maintain a prudent monetary policy and continue to limit the central bank's lending to the government.

* African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said the Ivorian lender will launch a financing index that will determine credit lines for financial institutions based on their lending to women, TheCable reported.

* Ivorian insurer Génération Nouvelle d'Assurances raised its share capital by 3 billion CFA francs in cash to 6.5 billion CFA francs, Agence Ecofin reported.

SOUTHERN AFRICA AND CENTRAL AFRICA

* Standard Bank Group Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. where the South African lender will transfer its 20% stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (Argentina) SA to the Chinese group.

* Standard Bank Group cut the value of its 40% stake in ICBC Standard Bank PLC to $220 million from $383 million at September-end, citing deteriorating market conditions and lower client flows at the British bank.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s U.S.-based units have acquired a stake of 5.03% in South Africa-based Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd.

* Former Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. CEO Andrew Darfoor reached a settlement with the South African pension fund administrator in a case related to his allegations of unfair dismissal against the company, South Africa's Business Day reported.

* South African financial services firm Peregrine Holdings Ltd.'s wholly owned unit, Stenham Group Ltd. agreed to sell a 50% stake in Stenham Asset Management Holdings Ltd. for £16 million.

* The Angolan central bank increased the cash reserve ratio requirement for banks to 22% from 17%, Reuters reported.

* Russian lender VTB Bank PJSC and its partners plan to sell a 20% stake in Banco VTB Africa SA to the Angolan unit's management, news agency Prime reported.

* The Paris Commercial Court ordered Gabon-based financial techology startup E-Doley Finance to compensate BGFIBank Gabon SA , effectively granting all of the latter's claims in its case against the firm, according to Agence Ecofin.

Sophie Davies contributed to this report.

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.