* Saudi Arabia's Islamic Corp. for the Development of the Private Sector said it stopped plans to launch a $1 billion Africa-focused infrastructure fund with India's Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. while the latter undergoes a restructuring, Reuters reported.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
* Qatar-based bank Masraf Al Rayan QPSC reported a net profit of 1.63 billion riyals for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, up from 1.56 billion riyals a year ago. For the third quarter, the lender's net profit increased year over year to 566.1 million riyals from 542.0 million riyals, Reuters reported.
* The extraordinary general meeting of Qatar Islamic Insurance Co. QSC's shareholders approved the change of the company's name to Qatar Islamic Insurance Group, as well as the establishment of a real estate company to be wholly owned by the group.
* The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates said the newly approved law allowing the federal government to begin issuing sovereign debt will create a more resilient market, add diversity to funding sources and benchmark the yield curve, Reuters wrote.
* Dubai-based investment firm Alcazar Capital Ltd. and InQvest Partners struck a partnership to launch a $100 million global fintech fund, Arabian Business reported.
* A.M. Best downgraded Bahrain-based Trust International Insurance & Reinsurance Co. BSC's financial strength rating to B++ (Good) from A- (Excellent) and its long-term issuer credit rating to "bbb+" from "a-", and maintained the ratings under review with negative implications.
* SABB Takaful Co. said it has appointed Feras bin Abdulaziz Aba Alkhail as an independent board member.
REST OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
* Bank Hapoalim BM is said to be considering selling its 9.47% stake in Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd., given the recent rise in the company's share price, Globes reported.
* Israel's central bank is expected to focus more on asset prices under next Governor Amir Yaron, Reuters reported.
* Israeli venture capital firm Glilot Capital Partners closed its third investment fund, Glilot III, at $110 million.
* Shares in Egypt-based Sarwa Capital dropped 15.1% in first day of trading on the Egyptian Stock Exchange yesterday, closing at 6.25 Egyptian pounds per share, Reuters reported.
* Egypt is in early discussions with international banks about a plan to hedge against the global rise in commodity prices, Reuters reported.
EAST AND WEST AFRICA
* BFL Microfinance Bank's management has sued Nigeria's central bank for illegally revoking its license, Daily Trust reported.
* Ghana's Financial Intelligence Centre has received 2,010 reports of suspicious transactions from Ghanaian banks and nonbank financial institutions, with the number still increasing on a monthly basis, Joy Business reported, citing FIC Head of Business William Nutakor.
* Former Kenyan Parliament member Kennedy Nyagudi informed Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji that he intends to privately prosecute NIC Bank over the lender's refusal to disclose the account details of gambling firm Amaya Gaming Group, which has been accused of embezzling millions of shillings in aid funds, Daily Nation reported.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
* Old Mutual Ltd. completed the unbundling of its majority stake in Nedbank Group Ltd., reducing its stake in the lender to 19.9%. The move marks the final step in Old Mutual's managed separation.
* Following the unbundling, Nedbank confirmed its intention to implement an odd-lot offer to all of its eligible shareholders holding less than 100 ordinary shares in the group to repurchase the shares, subject to shareholder approval. Under the offer, the shares will be purchased at a 5% premium to the 10-day volume-weighted price at the Dec. 3 business close. Nedbank said the move will reduce complexity and administration costs associated with its newly enlarged shareholder base.
* South African President Cyril Ramaphosa rejected a City Press report saying that he knew of the looting at VBS Mutual Bank but failed to take any action, saying the allegation was "baseless and unsubstantiated," Reuters wrote. South Africa's Institute of Chartered Accountants, meanwhile, said it will hold accountable and discipline all of its members who have been named in the report, City Press reported.
* The African National Congress' top leaders will meet with party officials from the province of Limpopo after two senior officers in the province were said to have benefited from the looting at VBS Mutual Bank, Eyewitness News reported.
* Mireille Levenstein has been appointed an executive director of South Africa-based investment firm Long4life Ltd with immediate effect and will take over as CFO, effective Nov. 1.
* Discovery Life Ltd. is moving to seal court papers containing the personal information of its clients, saying the data was not meant to be publicly revealed, Business Day reported.
* Angola's Capital Markets Commission has fined Banco Económico SA, Banco de Fomento Angola SA and Banco Millennium Atlântico SA for failing to provide financial information required by the regulator, state news agency Angop reported. Millennium Atlântico and Banco Económico were fined 900,000 kwanzas each, while Banco de Fomento Angola paid 450,000 kwanzas in penalty. A further 900,000 kwanza fine was imposed on the local asset management unit of Odell Global Investors.
* SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd.'s Indian unit said it was able to recover about 90% of the funds stolen from the bank in a cyberattack in early October, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
Asia-Pacific: NAB flags extra A$314M costs; Suncorp mulls unit sale; Star Health deal gets nod
Europe: UK firms warned on climate change; German online bank N26 in breach of rules
Latin America: Itaú ups stake in Chilean unit; Argentine economic slump contagious, IMF warns
North America: BofA's Q3 earnings rise; Jamie Dimon drops out of Saudi conference
Global Insurance: Prudential SIFI vote due; insurers to absorb Michael hit; Manulife criticized
Sheryl Obejera, Henni Abdelghani, Sophie Davies and Helen Popper contributed to this report.
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