* XP Investimentos Corretora de Câmbio Títulos e Valores Mobiliários SA is set to postpone this year's planned IPO until the end of 2019 or more likely, 2020, due to lingering political and economic uncertainty, Valor Econômico reported, citing four sources linked to the financial services firm.
* Banco Indusval SA shareholder Roberto de Rezende Barbosa will buy up about 80% of the bank's planned capital hike, which will increase his total voting capital stake to between 55% and 70%, Valor Econômico reported. Indusval plans to create a new executive board, including Fernando Fegyveres as its new general director and Alexandre Teixeira as executive director and head of products and services.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Banco de Guatemala will launch its financial inclusion strategy between April and May as officials put the finishing touches to the policy document, El Periodico reported, citing central bank chief Sergio Recinos.
* Mexican economists said the Finance Ministry's plans to use the Budget Stabilization Fund to prepay the debts of state-owned petroleum company Pemex and create a countercyclical fund would foster investor confidence and help the state-run oil company avert a credit downgrade, El Financiero reported.
* Analysts and economists surveyed by Reuters expect Mexico's central bank to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 8.25% on March 28.
* Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina and Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua met March 25 and reached two new agreements to boost economic ties, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Dominican government.
* A federal judge in Brazil ordered the release of former President Michel Temer, who was recently arrested on corruption allegations, Valor Econômico reported. The judge said Temer's arrest was based on "old facts, possibly illicit, but [there was] no evidence of criminal reiteration after 2016, or any other factor that warrants preventive custody."
* Franklin Templeton Investments is considering acquiring an asset manager in Brazil, "especially one with a credit desk," Bloomberg News reported, citing Marcus Vinicius Goncalves, the company's CEO for Brazil. "We have credit funds everywhere else in the world, but not in Brazil," the executive said.
* Caixa Econômica Federal's insurance arm has started new discussions to potentially adjust or expand its partnership agreement with France-based CNP Assurances SA. The move comes after Caixa Seguridade Participações SA and CNP renegotiated their existing partnership in August 2018 through a memorandum of understanding that only included certain parts of their earlier arrangement.
* Banco ABC Brasil SA's board approved a share buyback program allowing the bank to repurchase up to 7.10% of its preferred shares. The program for the repurchase of up to 7,730,093 shares will run for 18 months
* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social is seeking to identify alternative credit distribution channels as it works to facilitate more financing to small and medium-sized businesses, Valor Econômico reported. The segment accounted for 44.7% of BNDES disbursements in 2018.
* Brazil's current account deficit fell to $1.13 billion in February from $2.04 billion a year earlier, according to central bank data. At the same time, foreign direct investment shot up to $8.40 billion in February from $4.71 billion a year ago.
* The use of debit cards in digital and mobile payment apps in Brazil is expected to grow strongly this year and in 2020, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. However, security remains an issue two years since the payment means was launched.
* Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said he expected the government's pension reform to be passed within three or four months, O Estado de S.Paulo reported. He also called on legislators not to dilute targeted savings under the reform to less than 1 trillion reais over 10 years, Reuters reported separately.
* Brazil's CVM securities commission has eased the rules governing the issue of infrastructure investment funds, Reuters reported, citing regulations published on March 25. The changes include allowing the instruments to be sold to non-professional investors.
* Paraguay's Banco Familiar SAECA will launch a microinsurance firm called Familiar Seguros on April 22, 5días reported. Familiar Seguros will target small and medium-sized businesses, and will be led by former Finance Minister César Barreto.
* Fitch Ratings assigned A+ long- and F1 short-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to Scotiabank Chile, while S&P Global Ratings assigned an A global scale issuer credit rating to the bank. Both rating agencies noted that Scotiabank Chile benefits from being a strategically important unit for Canadian parent Bank of Nova Scotia.
* Banco de Chile will announce the final payment on its subordinated debt to the central bank at a shareholder meeting on March 28 and propose the liquidation of holding firm Sociedad Matriz del Banco de Chile SA, Diario Financiero reported.
* Chilean Finance Minister Felipe Larraín said the government would accelerate cybersecurity legislation, saying along with the banking industry superintendent that the threat requires continued vigilance, Diario Financiero reported. The officials commented days after local banks halted some remote services due to a malware alert.
* Argentina's central bank completed the early repayment of a $500 million "repo" loan to Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., El Cronista reported. It said the monetary authority paid $356 million in interest and capital on the loan, part of which had already been cleared.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: FWD completes insurer acquisition; Suncorp to sell general insurance business
* Middle East & Africa: NBK launches French unit; Moody's affirms UAE; African Bank eyes digital push
* Europe: ABN Amro eyes US; Mastercard's £300M payments bet; LendInvest's IPO mandates
Helen Popper contributed to this article.
This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.
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