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Itaú completes BMG stake purchase; Cielo to pay 247.8M reais interest on equity

* Itaú Unibanco Holding SA said it completed its acquisition of Banco BMG SA's entire 40% stake in payroll lender Banco Itaú BMG Consignado SA for 1.46 billion reais. When the deal was announced in September, Itaú said the two companies will remain partners through a new commercial agreement for the distribution of Banco Itaú BMG's payroll loans through distribution channels linked to Banco BMG and its affiliates.

* Cielo S.A. said its board approved the distribution of 247.8 million reais in interest on equity for the second half of 2016. The payment will be made on March 31, 2017, to shareholders of record as of Jan. 3, 2017.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Banco Mercantil del Norte SA Institución de Banca Múltiple increased its 2017 inflation forecast for Mexico to 4.7% from 4.3% after the government announced that it will raise gasoline costs by up to one-fifth in January 2017, Reuters reported.

* Mexican state housing lender Fovissste said it issued approximately 40.61 billion Mexican pesos of loans in 2016, El Economista reported. Of the total 94,208 mortgage loans granted by the entity during the year, 60,890 loans were for the purchase of homes while 33,318 loans were used for the improvement or repair of houses.

* Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros S.N.C. has decided that it will no longer have delegated representation in the Mexican state of Querétaro starting from 2017, El Economista reported. The decision was partly driven by a desire to reduce the bank's operating costs, although its branches in the state will continue to function normally.

BRAZIL

* Brazilian President Michel Temer vetoed a section of a debt-relief bill for states that would have excused them from adopting austerity measures, Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement from the finance ministry. The president insists that states must commit to cost-cutting measures in exchange for government assistance with their debt. The government will now send new legislation to Congress similar to its initial proposal that was watered down by lawmakers, "an official familiar with the matter" said.

* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA said its shareholders approved the appointments of Álvaro Antônio Cardoso de Souza as the bank's chairman, effective Dec. 31, and Sérgio Agapito Lires Rial as vice chairman, effective the same day.

* Brazil's central bank recorded gains of about 74.86 billion reais from its currency-swap operations in the year through Dec. 23, compared to a loss of 89.66 billion reais in 2015, Valor Econômico reported.

ANDEAN

* Colombian legislators passed a law that grants amnesty to FARC rebels for minor crimes but not for war crimes or human rights abuses, Reuters reported. The amnesty law is an integral part of a recent peace agreement between the rebels and the government to end the country's decades-long war.

* Peru's government will issue sovereign bonds worth up to 88 million Peruvian soles to finance 24 public works projects in the city of Cajamarca, Gestión reported, citing Prime Minister Fernando Zavala.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Scotiabank Chile, Banco BICE, Banco Consorcio and Banco del Estado de Chile recorded the best efficiency metric improvements in Chile during the 12 months through October, Diario Financiero reported, citing data from local banking regulator SBIF. Scotiabank's operational efficiency ratio improved by 4.06 percentage points. BICE and Consorcio recorded improvements of 2 percentage points, followed by BancoEstado with an improvement of 1.72 percentage points.

* The Chilean central bank's recent decision to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 3.5% was not unanimous, as one board member voted to cut the rate by 25 basis points, Reuters reported, citing the minutes of the central bank's last monetary policy meeting. The market expects the central bank to reduce the rate in January 2017.

* Argentina's government issued 60 billion Argentine pesos in treasury securities subscribed by local social security agency ANSeS, and about $4.7 million in treasury securities subscribed by the country's hydrocarbon fund, El Cronista reported.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Michael Hasenstab, a bond-fund manager at Franklin Templeton, has a bullish outlook on Latin America's orthodox political gains due to three of the region's leaders: Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski from Peru and Michel Temer from Brazil, Bloomberg News reported. The company now favors investments in debt tied to specific local emerging market currencies, including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: China suspends banks for illegal FX deals; Hannover Re to set up Indian branch

* Middle East & Africa: Mozambique bond sale under SEC scanner; Bahrain regulator seals Future Bank fate

* Europe: African bond sale haunts European banks; US to sanction Russia on election hacks

Paula Mejia contributed to this article.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 8:00 a.m. São Paulo time, and scans news sources published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Some external links may require a subscription.