* The U.S. Department of Justice said former Credit Suisse Group bankers Surjan Singh, Andrew Pearse and Detelina Subeva were arrested in London on charges relating to a $2 billion fraud scheme involving loans to state-owned firms in Mozambique, The Wall Street Journal reported. The recent arrest of former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang in South Africa at the request of U.S. authorities was also revealed to be related to charges linked to the loans, Reuters noted.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* Noor Bank PJSC secured the right to swap the $100 million loan it provided Abraaj Group Ltd. for stakes in the troubled private equity firm's funds that were pledged against the loan, insiders told Bloomberg News. The stakes will reportedly be held by Noor Bank as well as other investors and limited partners.
* Gulf Union Co-operative Insurance Co. has offered 1 share for 1.74 shares of Al Ahlia Insurance Co. for Cooperative Insurance under a swap deal agreement for their planned merger, Argaam reported.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Bank Leumi le-Israel BM is weighing plans to list the shares of Bank Leumi USA in a move that could value the unit at more than $1 billion, Reuters reported, citing financial news website Calcalist.
* Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority has approved a new draft law regulating consumer credit activities, excluding those with loans that have payment terms of less than six months, Daily News Egypt reported. The regulator noted that the draft law, which is subject to lawmakers' approval, will not be applicable to financing activities of lenders under the central bank's supervision.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* KCB Group PLC, Kenya's biggest mortgage lender, aims to double its home-loan business by the 2020-end by offering loans with longer repayment periods, CEO Joshua Oigara told Bloomberg. The bank, with 70 billion shillings in home loans, is targeting about 20,000 mortgages on its books in two years.
* Cytonn Asset Managers Ltd. has been registered and authorized by Kenya's Retirement Benefits Authority to provide fund management services for retirement benefit schemes, Business Daily Africa wrote.
* Kenya's Capital Markets Authority has warned the public against participating in any initial coin offering or trading in any coin exchange, particularly one styled as www.kenicoinexchange.com, offered by Wiseman Talent Ventures.
* Stanbic Bank Ghana Ltd. has assumed all deposits and loan portfolio of Bank of Baroda (Ghana) Ltd., effective Jan. 2, Joy Online reported. The unit of India-based Bank of Baroda stressed that the move was part of efforts to comply with the Indian government's guidelines to rationalize banks' overseas operations and dismissed suggestions it was avoiding the Bank of Ghana's 400 million cedi minimum capital requirement.
* The Bank of Ghana has reportedly given its final approval for the merger between Omni Bank and Banque Sahélo-Saharienne Pour L'Investissement et Le Commerce (Ghana) Ltd., or Sahel Sahara Bank, according to Graphic Online. The combined entity will be named Omni-BSIC Bank Ghana Ltd.
* Former Bank of Ghana Governor Paul Acquah was named chairman of the country's newly created Fiscal Stability Council, which is tasked of ensuring fiscal discipline by the government, according to Modern Ghana.
* Ghana, Nigeria and other West African Monetary Zone member countries agreed to develop a national currency swap agreement in a bid to stimulate trade in the region, Vanguard wrote.
* Under an agreement signed between Cape Verde's finance ministry and Banco Comercial do Atlântico SA, the government will repurchase around 6.4 billion escudos worth of financial compensation securities held by the lender, Macauhub reported.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Angola's Banco Prestígio is set to begin offering credit for investment, after having bolstered its capital to 7.8 billion kwanzas from 2.5 billion kwanzas to meet the central bank's requirement, Angola Press reported. The bank has so far only provided short-term credit.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: Goldman Sachs veteran to head SoftBank investment unit; AMMB sells NPLs
Europe: No deal for NordLB, Helaba; ex-Deutsche Börse CEO settles; Carige administrators
Latin America: Brazilian stocks hit record high; Caixa to explore IPOs for 2 units
North America: Bakkt raises $182.5M; Bank Leumi USA looking to go public
Global Insurance: AmTrust's new quota share; Wells insurance settlement; Suncorp hail claims mount
Deza Mones, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Mariana Aldano contributed to this report.
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