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Balboa-BCT deal approved; Prisma's potential buyers named

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Balboa-BCT deal approved; Prisma's potential buyers named

* Superintendencia de Bancos de Panamá, the Panamanian banking regulator, authorized the transfer of 100% of the shares of troubled Panamanian lender Balboa Bank & Trust Corp. to Costa Rica-based Corporación BCT SA. SBP said it would now give the company a 90-day transition period to normalize the bank's operations.

* U.S. investment fund Advent International Corp. and Brazilian card payment firm Cielo SA are the most likely to acquire Argentine credit card and payment processing network Prisma Medios de Pago SA, El Cronista reported, citing unnamed market sources. The sources added that U.S. bank Goldman Sachs, which was tasked to administer the sale of Prisma, is expected to begin sale talks in mid-November 2017, at a price tag reportedly close to $1.50 billion.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed its B- long- and B short-term issuer credit ratings on El Salvador-based Banco Agrícola SA, while revising the outlook to stable from negative. S&P also revised Banco Agrícola's stand-alone credit profile to "b+" from "bb-" after it revised El Salvador's banking industry country risk assessment to group 10 from 9.

* Panama's Towerbank International Inc. plans to issue on Oct. 16 one-year bonds worth about $5.0 million. They will carry an interest rate of 3.75% and will mature on Oct. 11, 2018.

* The Institute of International Finance estimates that the Mexican market will attract $12.30 billion in foreign investments by the end of 2017, a little more than half of the $23.40 billion received in 2016, El Economista reported.

* A study from Panama's anti-money laundering commission showed that the country is the only one in Latin America that does not list fiscal fraud as a criminal activity, El Capital Financiero reported. Panamanian Finance Minister Dulcidio De La Guardia said it is high time that the country needs to criminalize tax fraud in compliance with international taxation standards.

* Financial savings in Mexico, pressured by inflation, had the worst performance in 11 years, with only a 0.2% increase in August, El Financiero reported, citing data from Banco de México.

BRAZIL

* Brazilian brokerage XP Investimentos SA will fully compensate four clients who lost about 5 million reais in what it described as "rogue trades" performed by a "former affiliate trader," Reuters reported, citing a statement.

* Marcelo Kopel, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA's investor relations officer, is transitioning to a new role as executive officer in charge of the bank's cards and vehicles division. As a result, Alexsandro Broedel Lopes was named the bank's new investor relations officer.

* Gilmar Mendes, the head of Brazil's top electoral court, said a public campaign fund worth 1.7 billion reais, meant to finance campaigns amid a ban on corporate donations, requires more money, Reuters reported.

* Data from the Brazilian central bank indicated that the most disappointing service to bank customers is credit portability, Valor Econômico reported. From the 347,148 complaints registered between January and August, 28% were related to difficulties in fund transfers.

* Mergers and acquisitions in Brazil decreased 5.32% during the third quarter of 2017, Valor Econômico reported, citing a report from business intelligence firm Transactional Track Record. During the period, 267 operations were registered with an increase of 1.43% in value, to 56.3 billion reais, compared to the same period in 2016.

* Brazil's sovereign risk measured by credit default swaps dropped 34% from 283 basis points to 187 basis points, following a general improvement in emerging markets, O Globo reported. Despite the slight progress amid the internal political tensions, Brazil has been ranked as the 12th riskiest country for investments.

* While the real estate market in Brazil is showing signs of recovery, Caixa Econômica Federal has tightened rules for housing loans, resulting in fewer potential customers, Reuters reported. Caixa has been refusing to reflect cuts from the benchmark Selic on loan rates, thus leading potential clients to other banks.

* Banco Central do Brasil has agreed on the proposed bill that will change the country's legal framework on the financial system resolution process, Valor Econômico reported. Among the processes included in the new bill are intervention mechanisms for distressed banks.

* Brazilian companies with at least 29 years of market presence may be entitled to make use of resources from the FGTS state workers' funds collected between 1966 and 1988, Folha de São Paulo reported.

* Brazil's association of market entities, Anbima, said that multimarket funds with the option of foreign investments have increased 23.4% in the 12 months through August as interest rates are decreasing, Folha de São Paulo reported.

ANDEAN

* Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly said inflation in the country stood at 536.2% for the first nine months of 2017 through September, Reuters reported. Inflation for the month of September was reportedly at 36.3%, up from 34% for August.

* BMC Bolsa Mercantil de Colombia SA said Luis Fernando Cruz Araujo resigned as the company's deputy director, and Jaime Eduardo Gómez Gómez was named his replacement.

* Colombia's Créditos y Ahorro Credifinanciera SA Compañía de Financiamiento named Carlos Iván Vargas Perdomo as board director, while director Gustavo Humberto Vega will now serve as a deputy director.

* Analysts in Colombia have been discussing alternatives to the pension funds system, after figures from the pension fund administrators group Asofondos pointed to a 38-billion Colombian peso deficit, La República reported. Among the reforms specialists suggest are an increase in retirement age and a reduction in pension benefits.

* Colombian banks registered a 10.6% increase in net commission income, which includes collections made from withdrawals, consultations, and use of credit and debit cards, among others, La República reported. Until July, the services generated 4 billion pesos for banking entities, against 3.6 billion pesos recorded the year before.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Payments in installments in Argentina have decreased, as more consumers are opting to pay in cash, La Nación reported, citing data from credit card issuer Visa.

* Argentine banks have increased the availability of UVA-adjusted real estate loans to 37 billion Argentine pesos, but the amount of UVA-adjusted deposits contracted 16%, falling from an average of 1.60 billion pesos to 1.30 billion pesos, La Nación reported.

* Argentine banks have been working to improve the conditions of UVA-adjusted deposits, with interest rates now ranging from 0.2% to 2.5% for customers who keep deposits for at least 180 days in the bank, La Nación reported.

* A court in the Chilean capital, Santiago, decided it has no jurisdiction to rule on Banco de Chile's action against the Labor Department amid a disagreement over the number of workers to maintain minimum services during a strike, La Tercera reported.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has allowed countries to fix their own net stable funding ratio for the treatment of derivative liabilities, while lowering the minimum requirement to a floor of 5%, the committee said. The net stable funding ratio would have required a 20% stable funding factor for trading derivative liabilities.

* French reinsurer SCOR SE estimated that the total private insured market loss from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria — which largely affected parts of the Caribbean and the U.S. — and Mexico's recent earthquakes, will reach about $95 billion, and it expects to incur additional costs in the third quarter. Separately, U.K.-based Lancashire Holdings Ltd. estimated its net ultimate losses arising from the catastrophes to range between $106 million and $212 million.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: Far Eastern International Bank hacked; SBI Life gets nod to open Bahrain branch

* Middle East & Africa: S&P revises Ghana outlook; Iran unveils fintech policy; US lifts Sudan sanctions

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

Mariana Aldano 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.