MIDDLE EAST & TURKEY
Qatari banks Masraf Al Rayan, Barwa Bank, and International Bank of Qatar are in advanced talks over a three-way merger, a deal that could create the second largest regional lender after NBAD and FGB, which agreed to join forces earlier this year. The combined entity, which would exclusively focus on Sharia-compliant products, would have assets exceeding US$44bn.
Qatar's United Development Co (UDC) secured a QAR730mn (US$200.5mn) from Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), it said in a regulatory filing this week. The proceeds of the loan will be put towards the development of Abraj Al Mutahida, a real estate scheme in Doha.
Nigeria is rumoured to be seeking advisors as it prepares to issue its inaugural sukuk. The country's Debt Management Office (DMO) is looking to raise up to NGN30bn in the domestic market to help fund the country's growing deficit.
Kenya's High Court has stopped the country's Capital Markets Authority from taking enforcement action against directors over a KES2bn bond issued by Imperial Bank just before its collapse. The country's high court argued that the involvement of some CMA directors in allowing Imperial Bank’s bond to be executed would make it difficult for the authority to remain unbiased during the proceedings.
Financial group FNB Namibia Holdings announced its intention to purchase PointBreak Holdings,a private equity firm based in South Africa.
The Mozambican government could refuse to recognise a government guarantee accorded to US$2bn in loans provided to Mozambique Asset Management (MAM) and Proindicus by Credit Suisse and VTB, according to a report in AllAfrica.
Amandi Energy Limited announced that it has reached financial close and begun construction of the US$552mn Amandi Energy Power Plant in Aboadze, Ghana. The US$418mn in debt financing includes a US$250mn tranche provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and a US$83mn tranche provided by CDC Group plc, Nedbank Limited and Rand Merchant Bank. Once fully operational, the combined cycle power plant will produce up to 1,600GWh per year.
Brazilian pulp and paper company Fibria printed BRL1.25bn in local market debentures this week, the company's fourth, split between 5 and 7-year tranches.
PetroEcuador signed two oil prepayment-backed loans worth US$900mn with Thailand's PTT and Omani state-owned Oman Trading International (OTI), according to Reuters.
A surprise rate cut last week by the Colombian Central Bank could trigger underperformance in global markets next year, analysts at BBH suggest. Despite the fact that Colombian bonds and the peso have outperformed this year, soft fundamentals and an aggressive easing cycle are likely to keep the peso under pressure.
Brazilian economists once again lowered their estimates for growth in the country, revising GDP expansion forecast for next year from 1.36% to 0.58%.
Chilean policymakers reduced their growth forecasts for 2016 from 1.5-2% to 1.5%, suggesting the country's Central Bank could implement fresh easing measures to stimulate spending.
RUSSIA, CIS & EUROPE
Russian commodities giant Norilsk Nickel approved its 2017 budget this week. The firm expects to spend roughly US$2bn next year, including US$450mn on its Bystrinsky project.
Gazprom announced its investment programme for 2017. It plans to put RUB910.67bn to work next year, including RUB625.455bn for construction projects and RUB285.09bn on long-term financial investments. The company recently issued a series of foreign currency-denominated bonds, used to partially take out a long-term euro-denominated loan secured from the Bank of China earlier this year.
Otkritie Group, owner of Russia's largest private bank, and insurer Rosgosstrakh are currently in talks about a possible merger, according to local news outlet Vedomosti. While neither company has commented officially on the reports, Vedomosti claims the talks are at an advanced stage and involve the Central Bank of Russia Chairman Elvira Nabiulina.
Russia's VTB has announced plans to sell BM bank in Ukraine, with plans to finalise the sale by the end of the first quarter next year.
Slovenian metal products maker Unior secured a €112.8mn loan from a syndicate of international lenders including Abanka and Gorenjska banka, Nova KBM, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Sberbank. The loan proceeds were used to consolidate its existing debt as it eyes privatisation, which is on the agenda for next year.
India is to offer tax incentives to small businesses engaged in cashless transactions, the country's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley revealed Tuesday. The move is intended to help stem criticism of the country's recent demonetisation move, and promote a cashless economy.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will include wealth management products held off lenders’ balance sheets in its framework for gauging risks to the financial system, according to reports in a local newspaper. Volumes of these products more than doubled in the past two years to a record CNY26.3tn (US$3.78tn) as of June 30, according to analysts at Schildershoven.
China Life Insurance, China Life Property and Casualty Insurance plan to invest a combined CNY2.1bn (US$302.16mn) into the Qingdao Metro Line 4 PPP project, according to a statement released by the firms.