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Zimbabwe clinches IMF deal; Ghana kicks off microfinance sector cleanup

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Zimbabwe clinches IMF deal; Ghana kicks off microfinance sector cleanup

* Regulators could adopt a forward-looking approach to monitoring crypto-assets to help identify potential gaps on their oversight, according to the Financial Stability Board.

* Nathan Belete, an Ethiopian who has worked in the World Bank since 2000, was appointed head of the institution's operations in Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Cape Verde, replacing Louise Cord, who held the post for four years, Financial Afrik wrote.

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

* The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority warned that a slowdown in the global economy and its potential impact on the global oil market could indirectly impact the growth of the Saudi economy, Reuters reported.

* Ammar Abdullah al-Ali resigned as CEO of Oman-based Al Madina Investment Co. SAOG for personal reasons, effective June 30.

* First Takaful Insurance Co. KPSC sacked Mohammed Ahmed Abdelghani from his role as deputy CEO of its nonmotor insurance department, with his last day scheduled Sept. 1.

REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

* Capital Intelligence Ratings lowered Jordan's long-term foreign-currency rating to B+ from BB- and its long-term local-currency rating to B+ from BB, affirmed its short-term foreign- and local-currency ratings at B and revised the outlook for all the ratings to stable from negative.

* Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd. said U.S. financial services firm Jefferies Financial Group Inc. will join the bourse as a remote member, Reuters wrote.

* The Israel Securities Authority and French regulator Autorité des marchés financiers signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at establishing cooperation to spur innovation in the financial sector.

* Tunisia's central bank kept its interest rate unchanged at 7.75%, Reuters noted.

EAST AND WEST AFRICA

* The Bank of Ghana revoked the licenses of 192 insolvent microfinance firms and another 155 companies that have ceased operations, effective May 31. The regulator noted that there will be no job losses from the more than 200 firms that have already ceased their operations and that it does not expect a large number of layoffs from the firms that did not do so, saying many of the firms had downsized their activities.

* Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison downplayed projections by the U.K.-based Economist Intelligence Unit that the country's currency will depreciate to 6.50 cedis against the U.S. dollar by 2023, saying the projections are not plausible "because the horizon is too far out," GoldStreet Business noted.

* Kenyan central bank Governor Patrick Njoroge said the country plans to withdraw an old version of its 1,000 shilling banknote to fight counterfeiting and illicit financial flows, Reuters reported. Njoroge added that the banknote would be invalid after Oct. 1. Meanwhile, the Kenya Bankers Association has pledged to tighten controls over Kenya's 1,000 shilling banknotes to curb illicit funds, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Kenyan microlender Key Microfinance Bank is seeking a capital injection of 276.6 million shillings from existing shareholders in exchange for 13.83 million shares worth 20 shillings each, after auditors voiced their doubt on the bank's ability to continue doing business without fresh capital, Business Daily Africa wrote.

* Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Ltd. acquired a further 16.34% stake in its Burundi subsidiary from International Finance Co for 152.2 million Kenyan shillings, with the deal increasing its stake in the unit to 83.67% from 67.33%, Business Daily Africa reported.

* Jamii Bora Bank Ltd. sold an outstanding 412 million Kenyan shilling Kenya Airways loan to NIC Bank for an undisclosed amount of cash in January 2018, Daily Nation wrote.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Stanbic Bank Kenya Ltd.'s long- and short-term issuer default ratings at BB-/B, its national long- and short-term ratings at AAA(ken)/F1+(ken), its support rating at 3 and its viability rating at "b," with stable outlooks on the long-term ratings.

* The Nigerian banking sector's nonperforming loans stood at 1.676 trillion naira as of March-end, down from 1.792 trillion naira at the end of 2018, Punch reported, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

* Several stakeholders in Nigeria's insurance sector held a meeting to discuss ways on how insurers could raise more capital in response to the National Insurance Commission's higher capital requirements for firms, including carrying out mergers and acquisitions and asking for an extension on the June 30, 2020 deadline, Punch wrote.

* Mohamed Boubrik took over as CEO of Attijari Bank Mauritanie from Othman Boudhaimi, who had held the post since 2014, Financial Afrik wrote.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

* IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde approved a staff-monitored program for Zimbabwe aimed at assisting authorities in setting a track record of setting coherent economic and social policies that could facilitate a return to macroeconomic stability and help the country reengage the international community. Under the program, Zimbabwe will be required to stop relying on its central bank to finance deficits and will have to adopt reforms to allow the effective functioning of market-based foreign exchange and debt markets, among other things.

* Mozambique's finance ministry has agreed a restructuring deal in principle with holders of its defaulted 2023 bonds and said it will issue a $900 million bond maturing September 2031 instead of sharing future revenues from gas projects as part of the bond restructuring, Reuters reported.

* The South African Reserve Bank warned that deteriorating government finances is a key risk to the local financial sector's stability "and is one of the main potential determinants of further sovereign credit rating downgrades," Mail & Guardian wrote.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

Asia-Pacific: China explains Baoshang Bank takeover; Mitsubishi UFJ cuts London workforce

Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.

The Daily Dose Middle East and Africa has an editorial deadline of 5 a.m. London time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.

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.