MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer said the first $2.75 billion tranche of an IMF loan received in November 2016 was added to the regulator's foreign-currency reserves and not used to pay any foreign debts so far, Daily News Egypt reports. The total value of foreign exchange reserves amounted to $24.3 billion by the end of December 2016, up $1.2 billion from a month earlier.
* Banque Misr - SAE and National Bank of Egypt (SAE) said they have received definitive judicial approvals to proceed with selling most of the assets of hotel operating company Dreamland Group, Daily News Egypt reports. They also obtained judicial rulings obligating Dreamland Group head Ahmed Bahgat to pay 600 million Egyptian pounds to both lenders.
* National Bank of Kuwait SAKP reported a full-year 2016 net income of 295.2 million dinars, compared to 282.2 million dinars a year ago.
* The Central Bank of Kuwait did not order local banks to increase prudential provisions for the first time since 2008, an insider tells Al Qabas. The change signals a shift in the central bank's policies.
* The Bank of Israel kept its benchmark interest rate at 0.1% for February, citing an upward inflation trend and a positive picture of real economic activity.
* Deutsche Bank AG named Fred Hilal head of wealth management in the Gulf region excluding Saudi Arabia, CPI Financial reports. Hilal previously worked at Merrill Lynch, where he held various senior leadership positions in its wealth management division.
* Bermuda-based Enstar Group Ltd. unit StarStone entered into a joint venture with Dubai-based managing general agent Malakite Underwriting Partners Ltd. Malakite will target specialty business in the Middle East and North Africa, offering multiclass insurance for energy, marine and property terrorism risks.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* Ecobank Transnational Inc. Deputy Director Evelyne Tall-Daouda will leave the banking group at the end of the month, Financial Afrik reports. She has worked at Ecobank since 1998 and has been deputy director since January 2012.
* The Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the United Nations pledged to ensure that former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh retains his assets and is safe from prosecution after stepping down and leaving his country, Bloomberg News reports. Separately, new Gambian President Adama Barrow appointed Fatoumata Tambajang vice president and said his administration will establish laws to ensure a smooth transfer of power and presidential term limit in the country, Premium Times reports.
* The Bank of Ghana kept its main monetary policy rate unchanged at 25.5% in view of the balanced risks to inflation and growth. Separately, Governor Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku said the central bank supports the new government's plan to review and renegotiate a three-year, $918 million deal with the IMF, saying the plan will not hamper efforts to stabilize the country's economy, Reuters reports.
* The African Development Bank launched a 7-year, €1 billion bond issue as it moves to diversify funding sources away from the U.S. dollar, Financial Afrik writes.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth stepped down and was replaced by his son Pravind Jugnauth, prompting accusations of nepotism from opponents and calls for a referendum on the succession, Reuters reports. Pravind Jugnauth, who has served as finance minister since May 2016, said he would remain at the head of the ministry, Bloomberg News writes.
* Equatorial Guinea has applied to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, potentially becoming the cartel's sixth member from Africa and 14th across the globe, according to Reuters. The central African nation recently agreed with other OPEC members and nonmembers to cut oil production by a combined 1.8 million barrels per day, The Wall Street Journal notes.
* Amílcar Silva, president of the Association of Angolan Banks, said he is aware that the country's banks are facing liquidity problems arising from foreign exchange shortages, but noted that he has no knowledge about any requests by lenders for a bailout package from the government, Reuters writes. Bloomberg News reported yesterday that some banks are asking for the government's help in setting up a bailout package to protect account holders.
* The controversial Gupta family is suing South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for allegedly spearheading a "severe and devastating onslaught" against Gupta-owned businesses, South Africa's Sunday Times reports. The lawsuit comes after major South African banks decided to cut links with the family's businesses, actions in which the finance minister claimed he had no power to intervene.
* Tyrone Soondarjee will resign as Sasfin Holdings Ltd. group financial director and step down from the boards of the group and its relevant subsidiaries with effect from June 30.
* Letshego Holdings Ltd. intends to expand into Zimbabwe, Zambia and Ivory Coast this year, Mmegi reports. Letshego, which is already present in 11 African countries, has secured $20 million in funding from a French entity and also expects to secure a local debt deal.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: South Korea, HK sign financial data deal; 2 foreign banks get Indian license
Europe: Bank execs back London; HSBC to cut senior jobs; SocGen hit with fine
Latin America: Itaú delays CorpBanca Colombia deal; new chief at Venezuela's central bank
North America: Tenn. bank pays almost $2B for one in NC; UK's George Osborne joins BlackRock
North America Insurance: Trump era begins with healthcare law rollback; severe weather outbreak hits US
Leo Magno, Henni Abdelghani, Pádraig Belton and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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