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Cielo cancels guidance, cuts dividend payout; BancoEstado's profit falls


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Cielo cancels guidance, cuts dividend payout; BancoEstado's profit falls

* Brazilian card processor Cielo SA withdrew its net profit guidance for 2019, which the company earlier set at between 2.3 billion reais and 2.6 billion reais, Reuters reported. The company said the cancellation reflects strong competition in the industry. Cielo also lowered its dividend payout ratio to 30% of its net income from 70% previously, the newswire reported separately. CEO Paulo Caffarelli said the dividend cut will allow the company to increase capital expenditure.

* Banco del Estado de Chile posted net income attributable to owners of about 36.33 billion Chilean pesos for the first quarter, down 18.7% from 44.67 billion pesos in the year-ago period. Net income from inflation adjustments fell 93.1% year over year to 2.32 billion pesos, while income tax expenses jumped 90.1% to 62.68 billion pesos.


* Mexico's first-quarter GDP contracted 0.2% from the prior quarter, statistics agency INEGI said, confirming preliminary figures released in April. Compared to the first quarter of 2018, the country's economy grew 0.1%, slightly lower than the 0.2% preliminary growth figure released earlier.

* Jaime Cortina plans to resign as the Mexican central bank's general director of operations and payment systems in the coming weeks to join the Bank for International Settlements, El Financiero reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.


* Brazilian competition regulator Cade approved Caixa Participações SA's acquisition of Banco Pan SA shares held by Banco BTG Pactual SA. Once the deal is complete, Caixa Participações and BTG Pactual will each hold a 41.7% stake in Banco Pan, with minority shareholders owning the remaining 16.6%.

* In an interview with magazine Veja, Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said he would step down if the government's sweeping pension reform proposal fails to pass or is diluted too much in Congress. He argued that if the pension reform results in anything less than 800 billion reais of savings, it would only be a temporary fix. His initial proposal promised some 1.2 trillion reais in cost savings over 10 years.

* The Brazilian government has offered to sell its stake in IRB-Brasil Resseguros SA to Banco Bradesco SA and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Valor Econômico reported. Both Bradesco and Itaú own minority stakes in IRB-Brasil, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

* Brazil's central bank is working on a program, in partnership with local lenders, to lower the cost of credit for borrowers who take courses in financial education, Valor Econômico reported.

* Alvaro Augusto Vidigal has resigned as chairman and CEO of Banco Paulista SA after testimony in the so-called Lava Jato investigation linked him to the corruption scandal, UOL reported.

* The International Monetary Fund said it expects Brazil's economy to grow between 1% and 1.5% in 2019, with significant downside risks. "Conditional on the approval of a robust pension reform and favorable financial conditions, growth is expected to accelerate in 2020, supported by a recovery in private investment," the IMF said. The agency's previous 2019 growth forecast for Brazil was 2.1%, Valor Econômico reported.

* Caixa Econômica Federal has selected Morgan Stanley as a co-adviser to help its insurance unit find partners for health, dental, assistance and large risk policies, Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.

* IRB-Brasil Resseguros SA said its board elected José Levi Mello do Amaral Júnior as chairman. He has been working as the general attorney for Brazil's national treasury since January.


* A magnitude 8 earthquake struck Peru early May 26, killing at least one person and wrecking dozens of houses, Reuters reported. The quake, which also rocked neighboring Ecuador and Colombia, was the biggest in Peru since 2007.

* Norway will host a second round of talks between officials from Venezuela's government and the opposition to help settle the South American country's political conflict, Reuters reported. "We reiterate our commitment to continue supporting the search for an agreed-upon solution between the parties in Venezuela," Norway's foreign ministry said. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said demonstrations will continue until President Nicolas Maduro steps down.


* Chile's Sura Seguros De Rentas Vitalicias SA said it named Juan Eduardo Correa Garcia chairman of the company and life insurance unit BICE Vida Compañía de Seguros SA.

* A poll by consultancy CEOP shows that presidential candidate Alberto Fernández and running mate Cristina Fernández would receive 39.3% of votes in the first round of elections set for Oct. 27, Reuters reported. Current President Mauricio Macri would receive 29.7% of votes in his re-election bid, the poll showed.

* The shareholders of Zurich Administradora General de Fondos approved the company's merger into Zurich Chile Asset Management Administradora General de Fondos SA, according to a filing.


* Asia-Pacific: HDFC Bank sells stake in unit; South Korea rejects 2 internet bank bids

* Middle East & Africa: Old Mutual CEO exits; Ghana's GCB to start i-bank unit; Angola cuts key rate

* Europe: UK PM confirms resignation; EU election results; Groupe BPCE gets new chair

Pablo Jimenez Arandia contributed to this article.

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