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SSA news through Feb. 15

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SSA news through Feb. 15

EAST AFRICA

* Moody's downgraded Kenya's issuer rating to B2 from B1 and assigned a stable outlook, citing an erosion of fiscal metrics and rising liquidity risks. Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings revised the outlook on Kenya's long-term issuer default ratings to stable from negative and affirmed them at B+.

* The Central Bank of Kenya gave local banks a five-year waiver from higher capital requirements brought about by the adoption of the IFRS 9 accounting standards, which took effect Jan. 1, Business Daily Africa wrote.

* Standard Investment Bank Ltd., Genghis Capital Ltd. and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC are among five companies that submitted bids to provide advisory services on state-owned Consolidated Bank of Kenya Ltd.'s planned rights offering, Bloomberg News reported. The bank is seeking to raise 2.5 billion Kenyan shillings in the second half.

* The Bank of Uganda reduced its benchmark lending rate by 50 basis points to 9.0%.

* Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned Feb. 15, Reuters and BBC News reported. Desalegn said his resignation was "vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy" in the country.

WEST AFRICA

* Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo appointed Elsie Awadzi second deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, replacing Johnson Asiamah, according to Citi Business News.

* The Central Bank of Nigeria is seeking the abolition of shell banks in the country and additional powers to revoke licenses of banks, according to Premium Times.

* Equity Assurance Plc, a unit of French insurer Sunu Finances Holding SAS, changed its name to Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* The South African parliament Cyril Ramaphosa as the country's new president. Ramaphosa replaces Jacob Zuma, who resigned Feb. 14 after the ruling African National Congress said it would support a no-confidence motion sponsored by an opposition party. Zuma has led the country since 2009.

* The South African Reserve Bank confirmed that India-based Bank of Baroda intends to cease banking operations in South Africa, with effect from March 31, amid a probe by local regulators into the bank's dealings with the politically connected Gupta family.

* Liberty Holdings Ltd. appointed Yuresh Maharaj group financial director, effective immediately. Maharaj replaces Casper Troskie, who resigned in early January.

* Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc. completed the acquisition of an additional 5% interest in Bank Frick & Co. AG for CHF10.4 million, increasing its stake in the Liechtenstein-based bank to 35%. Net 1 also plans to introduce banking products and services to under-served consumers after its contract with the SA Social Security Agency ends in March, Moneyweb wrote.

* Viceroy Research issued a new report casting doubt on Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd.'s lending practices, again accusing the South African lender of overstating its loan book and having inadequate provisioning for bad debts, Fin24 reported. In response to the allegations, Capitec again described the report as filled with factual inaccuracies.

* The Bank of Botswana maintained its policy rate at 5%, while the Bank of Namibia also maintained its repo rate at 6.75%.

* Zambian President Edgar Lungu appointed Margaret Mwanakatwe as finance minister as part of changes to his cabinet, Reuters wrote. Mwanakatwe replaces Felix Mutati, who has been given the works and supply portfolio, according to the Lusaka Times.

* MCB Group Ltd. reported profit attributable to ordinary equity holders of the parent of 1.96 billion Mauritian rupees for the fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, compared to 1.77 billion rupees in the year-ago period.

* The Banco Nacional de Angola has implemented a new exchange rate framework under which only commercial banks are allowed to sell foreign currency to companies and the public, while the central bank will only sell forex to large importers of medicines or foodstuffs, Reuters reported.

* NBS Bank Ltd. named Vera Zulu CFO, replacing Mathias Silumbu, the Nyasa Times reported. Zulu served as CFO at Nedbank (Malawi) Ltd. prior to joining NBS Bank.