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Argentina's economy shrinks 2.1% in Q2; Brazil's banking labor strike continues

* Argentina's economy contracted2.1% in the second quarter from the linked quarter, while shrinking 3.4% comparedto the second quarter of 2015, Reuters reported, citing national statistics agencyIndec. The country's recession is exacerbated by an inflation rate of around 40%.

* Banking labor unions in Brazil estimate that 60,000 memberstook part in an ongoing strikeon Sept. 22, Valor Econômico reported.The strike began on Sept. 6 after unions were unable to reach a wage agreement withbanks. The publication reported separately that the headquartersof several major banks, including ItaúUnibanco Holding SA and BancoSantander (Brasil) SA, were shut down as a result of the strike.


* Annual inflationin Mexico reached 2.88% in mid-September, up from 2.80% in early August, Reutersreported, citing the country's national statistics institute. According to a pollby the newswire, inflation was expected to fall to 2.71%.

* Grupo FinancieroScotiabank Inverlat SA de CV expects to completethe migration of 400,000 customers to a new online banking platform by October,El Financiero reported. More than 30%of the bank's customers have already shifted to the new platform.

* Gerardo Fernández Mena and brother Oliver Fernández Mena, whoare directors at Mexican multipurpose financial entity Crédito Maestro, are amongthe 432 Mexicans that have been namedin the so-called "Bahamas Leaks," ElEconomista reported. Mexican Finance Minister José Antonio Meade said the countrywill expandits investigation into the Panama Papers leak to include people named in the BahamasLeaks, the publication reported separately.

* Mexican community financial institution Te Creemos announcedthe acquisitionof microfinance firm Felicidad Financiera in a deal that expands Te Creemos' presenceto two more Mexican states, El Economistareported. As a result of the purchase, Te Creemos will add 30 branches to its networkand gain 32,000 new clients.


* Consumer credit demandin Brazil jumped 9.4% in August from the prior month, but fell 6.8% from a year-ago,according to data from credit research firm Boa Vista SCPC. The firm said it expectsconsumer credit demand to remain muted in the coming months, though it does expecta positive uptick in 2017.

* Police arrestedformer Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega on Sept. 22 as part of a corruptioninvestigation, but a judge ordered his release later the same day, citing his cooperationwith authorities and his wife's surgery, Reuters reported.

* Proceeds from an amnesty program that encourages Braziliansto repatriate undeclared foreign assets will allow the country's government to sidestepa spending freezein 2016, Reuters reported, citing a government official familiar with the matter."We will not announce a freeze," the source said. "The repatriationprogram will cover that hole."

* Inflation in Brazil increased0.23% in the month to mid-September, compared to a rise of 0.45% in the previousmonth, Reuters reported, citing government statistics agency IBGE. Slowing inflationincreases the likelihood of the central bank reducing its benchmark interest ratein October.

* Kinea Investimentos, an investment platform run by Itaú UnibancoHolding SA, said it raised a totalof 1.1 billion reais to invest in real estate receivable certificates, or CRIs,and mortgage-backed securities known as LCIs, Reuters reported.


* Colombian banks posted an overall of 7.91 trillion Colombian pesos inthe first seven months of 2016, up 35.7% from 5.83 trillion pesos in the same perioda year ago, according to data from financial regulator Superintendencia Financiera.For Colombian credit institutions overall, including banks and other financial companies,total profits reached 8.41 trillion pesos, up 29.8% from a year earlier.

* The dollarizationof credit in Peru fell by three percentage points annually to reach 30% in August,driven by measures implemented by BancoCentral de Reserva del Perú to encourage lending in Peruvian soles,Gestión reported, citing the central bank.

* Banco BilbaoVizcaya Argentaria Colombia SA CEO Óscar Cabrera Izquierdo told La República in an interview that the bankwill launcha digital wallet service in the coming weeks, following in the footsteps of otherColombian banks that have already launched such applications amid a rise in theuse of mobile banking.


* Some banks in Argentina have started offering personalloans of up to 400,000 Argentine pesos to people who want to participate in a governmentamnestyprogram for undeclared assets, El Cronistareported. The borrowers would use the loans to pay fines associated with the program.

* Annual consumer lending growth in Uruguay slowedto 1.2% in July from 6.1% in the previous month, mainly due to a decline in lendingby private banks, El Observador reported.The country's public banks have registered nine consecutive months of annual growthin consumer lending, according to the report.


* The presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduraswill meetwith the vice president of the U.S. and Inter-AmericanDevelopment Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno on Sept. 23 to reviewprogress on economic objectives and identify steps to deepen cooperation, amongother things. The meeting will also be attended by the foreign ministers of Chile,Colombia and Mexico.


* Asia-Pacific: FSCto reveal Mega Bank's NY branch accounts; China to crack down on fake overseas M&A

* Middle East & Africa: Egypt, South Africa hold rates; Ugandan banks in insurance foray

Paula Mejia contributedto this article.

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