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SSA news through April 7

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SSA news through April 7

* A nephew of South African President Jacob Zuma and thetwin sister of Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila are amongAfricans named in the Panama Papers, Voice of America reported.The jailed former governor of Nigeria's oil-rich Delta State and the petroleumminister of Angola were also named in the papers, which detailed how banks andPanama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca allegedly helped clients hide assetsoffshore. CNBC Africa notedthat former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and his banking executiveassociate also featured in the documents.

* Alain Ebobissé was appointed CEOof pan­-African infrastructure investment platform Africa50. A citizen of Cameroon,Ebobissé currently serves as the global head of the World Bank Group's GlobalInfrastructure Project Development Fund.

* The Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute ofEastern and Southern Africa called on central banks in the region to implementand maintain international standards of compliance despite the departure ofskilled personnel, The Herald reported.The MEFMI mapped out draft guidelines based on its study of risk-basedsupervision for central banks.

* Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor Bwalya Ngandu called onAfrican countries to adopt strong monetary and fiscal policies to ensuremacroeconomic stability amid a global economic meltdown, The Times of Zambia reported.

EAST AFRICA

* The Central Bank of Kenya underreceivership for 12 months, saying the lender faced "liquiditydifficulties" following "inaccurate social media reports" andthe departure ofChairman Zafrullah Khan and Managing Director Duncan Kabui. The bank saidMuthoni Kuria will chair the bank's board, replacing Khan.

Chase Bank declared a loss of 742 million Kenyan shillingsfor full year 2015, compared to a profit of 2.3 billion shillings in 2014, theDaily Nation reported.Central bank Governor Patrick Njoroge said shareholders are committed torecapitalizing the lender to help it reopen as soon as possible, Bloomberg Newssaid.Chase Bank is the third lender in Kenya to be put under central bank control inthe last nine months, Reuters noted.

* Meanwhile, the central bank indicated that the mountingwoes in the Kenyan banking sector were caused by weak lending policies andmanagement failures, Business Daily Africa wrote.Njoroge said the central bank will go for "stringent auditing" ofbank books. Separately, Njoroge said an interest rate "corridor"could be introduced by 2016-end to improve the transmission of interest ratesignaling in the economy, Reuters reported.

* The Kenyan central bank is probing the unusually highnumber of intra-bank transactions at Imperial Bank Ltd., which was placed under receivershipin October 2015, Business Daily Africa reported.A review of the bank's books found that such transactions account for 70% ofall transactions, compared to the normal industry practice of up to 20%.

* Banks in Kenya increased provisioning for nonperformingloans by up to 85% in 2015, the Daily Nation reported,citing a report by Cytonn Investments. Tougher regulations prompted lenders tore-categorize their loans, resulting in their taking on more bad loans on theirbooks. Business Daily Africa notedthat Standard Chartered BankKenya Ltd., Chase Bank, National Bank of Kenya Ltd and are amonglenders that more than doubled their bad loan provisions between 2014 and 2015.

* CommercialBank of Africa Ltd. secured 2.5 billion Kenyan shillings in aone-year loan from Standard Bankof South Africa Ltd., Business Daily Africa reported.Commercial Bank used Kenyan government bonds as collateral for the horizontalrepo transaction.

* KCB GroupLtd. plans to launch a rights issue to raise to up to 10 billion Kenyanshillings, Reuters reported.Shareholders will vote on the rights issue at the bank's April 29 annualgeneral meeting. The bank will also propose at the meeting a of 2 shillings per share for2015.

* StandardBank Group Ltd. unit CfC Stanbic Bank Ltd. signed a dual-tranche loanfacility worth $135 million. The bank will use proceeds from the , which wasoversubscribed from the launch amount of $100 million, for general corporatepurposes.

* Kenya-based Sidian Bank, formerlyknown as K-Rep Bank, plans to use mobile banking platforms to grow its customerbase to 12.5 million from 325,000 by 2021, Bloomberg News reported,citing CEO Titus Karanja. The bank will build partnerships with smalltechnology startup companies on a revenue-sharing basis to develop theapplications.

* For the first time since June2014, the Bank of Uganda reduced its key lending rate to 16% from 17%, Reuters reported.Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said the central bank believes that it iswarranted to cautiously ease monetary policy given that the inflation outlookhas improved.

WEST AFRICA

* Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama Abdul-Nashiru Issahakugovernor of the country's central bank. Issahaku succeeds Kofi Wampah, who tookearly retirement. Issahaku was previously a deputy governor of the Bank ofGhana.

* The government and the central bank of Ghana are expectedto contribute a combined €20 million to the country's deposit protectionscheme, Ghana Web reported.Under the law paving the way for the establishment of the scheme, participants,which include lenders and deposit-taking institutions, would contribute aninitial one-off premium equivalent to 0.1% of the required minimum paid-upcapital and annual premium.

* The Central Bank of Nigeria said it is prepared towithdraw up to 1 trillion naira from circulation as part of efforts to stabilizethe economy, Leadership reported.The central bank has already pulled out 525 billion naira from circulation sincethe measure to tighten money supply was launched and a further 219 billionnaira will be withdrawn next week.

* The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corp. called on depositorsof the four banks that had their licenses revoked recently — Crown, FirstOmasi, Tri-Star and Harvard Trust Savings and Loans — to file claims forpayment, Leadership reported.

* Although EcobankGhana Ltd. saw the level of loans that might go bad increase byroughly 200% in 2015, it said it does not intend to reduce lending in 2016, JoyBusiness reported.

* Diamond BankPlc said the publication of its approved 2015 financial statement will now happen on orbefore April 30. The Central Bank of Nigeria's review of the accounts forapproval made it impossible to publish the data by the March 31 deadline.

SOUTHERN AFRICA

* Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Mozambique's long- andshort-term foreign-currency sovereign credit ratings to SD/D from CC/C andrevised the outlook on the country's long-term local-currency sovereign creditrating to stable from negative. The ratings actions followed the acceptance ofthe government's debt exchange offer.

* Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa foreign-owned lendersaffected by the country's Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act havesubmitted credible plans on how they intend to transfer at least 51% of theirshares to locals, Reuters reported.

* The new African Bank commenced business April 4 following the final executionof a restructuring program necessitated by the collapse of African BankInvestments Ltd. in August 2014. Bloomberg News wrotethat the bank is struggling to encourage investors to invest in its debtinstruments. Farzana Bayat, a senior portfolio manager at Cape Town-basedPrescient Investment Management, noted that there is still "so muchuncertainty" around the lender "that it's really hard to analyze andascertain the way forward."

* S&P assigned the new African Bank long- and short-termcounterparty credit ratings of B+/B. The outlook is negative. Moody's,meanwhile, withdrewall the ratings of Residual DebtServices Ltd., formerly known as African Bank Ltd.

* Tom Winterboer, who led the curatorship of African Bank,is due to retire from his job as financial services leader for Africa atPricewaterhouseCoopers at June-end, Moneyweb reported.Winterboer is considering producing a white paper on African Bank's curatorship.

* Capping cash withdrawals at $500 per transaction is amonga number of stringent measures that banks in Zimbabwe took amid a liquiditycrisis in the country, The Herald reported.Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya said it is now "a nationalresponsibility for everyone" to use cards instead of cash, New Zimbabwe reported.

* FDH BankLtd.'s merger with Malawi Savings Bank Ltd. is expected to result in theredundancy of some 250 employees, the Nyasa Times reported.FDH acquired an 80% shareholding in Malawi Savings Bank in July 2015.

CENTRAL AFRICA

* Deogratias Mutombo Mwana Nyembo, governor of Congo'scentral bank, said steps will be taken to stabilize , Bloomberg News reported.The central bank chief made the remark after a liquidity squeeze forced thelender to close its branches for the second time in a week.

S&P Ratings andS&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by McGraw Hill Financial Inc.