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Grupo Aval Q1 profit up 27.6%; Jamaica cuts key rate

* Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores SA reported net income attributable to the parent of 762.9 billion Colombian pesos, a 27.6% annual improvement from 597.7 billion pesos. Net interest income jumped 2.5% to 2.730 trillion pesos, while net income from the sale of goods and services more than doubled to 574.5 billion pesos from 205.8 billion pesos.

* The Jamaican central bank decided to cut its policy interest rate by 50 basis points to 0.75% due to subdued inflation expectations. Although the central bank expects inflation will rise to an average 4.5% over the next eight quarters, the indicator will sometimes fall below the lower limit of its 4.0%-6.0% target.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* The hacker who allegedly targeted banks who was arrested in Mexico last week is not thought to have any links to the attack on the country's SPEI interbank payment system that affected several banks in 2018, El Financiero reported, citing Luis Niño, president of the ABM industry association.

* Mexicans are slowly becoming less wary about e-commerce but only 23.7% of internet users make purchases and payments online, El Financiero reported, citing a 2018 survey on internet availability and usage conducted by statistics agency INEGI. In 2015, only 12.8% of internet users made payments or bought goods and services online.

BRAZIL

* Payment processor Cielo SA increased its market share to reach 41.8% in the first quarter, up by 0.6 percentage points from the previous quarter, Reuters reported, citing company figures verified by industry analysts.

* Brazil's government is downbeat about the country's chances of being accepted as a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, O Estado de S. Paulo reported. It said the United States was the main obstacle to Brazilian membership of the group.

ANDEAN

* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reiterated his proposal to hold early elections for the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Reuters reported. The next legislative elections are supposed to be held in late 2020. The president has not specified a date but has previously said he would want to move the elections earlier.

* Senior officials from Colombia's central bank told Congress a proposal for local credit bureaus TransUnión and Datacrédito to grant an amnesty to debtors with bad payment records risked backfiring by driving up the cost of borrowing for good payers, El Tiempo reported. Economic analysts say the annual cost of borrowing could rise by up to 8 percentage points if the bill becomes law. The bill has been passed by the Senate but still needs lower house approval.

* FID Perú SA, the local unit of Portugal-based Fidelidade - Companhia de Seguros SA, has purchased 23,213,666 shares in La Positiva Vida Seguros y Reaseguros S.A., equivalent to 5.69% of the share capital of the latter company and completing its public offer for shares in the life insurer. FID Perú bought a controlling stake in La Positiva earlier this year.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Argentina-based Banco Macro SA has closed its branch number 423 in General Acha, in the city of San Juan. Clients from the branch will now be serviced at branch number 410 in the same city, the capital of San Juan province.

* Banco Central de Chile recorded annual GDP growth of 1.6% in the first quarter of the year, Reuters reported. Mining activity for the quarter was down 3.6% year over year, due to a mix of lower prices and lower ore grades, as well as heavy rains.

* A lawmaker in the Argentine capital has presented a bill to the local legislature that would force state-run Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires to offer a discounted interest rate on loans to consumers and small businesses, El Cronista reported. The text of the bill says the bank should lower rates to soften the impact of the current economic downturn and reduce insolvency rates.

* Argentine markets reacted cautiously to the weekend announcement that former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner would seek the vice presidency in the October elections, with stocks and ADRs closing slightly higher after losses earlier in the session, El Cronista reported. JPMorgan's risk rating for Argentina also fell on the surprise news that Fernandez would stand as the running-mate to moderate Peronist former aide Alberto Fernandez.

* Paraguay's banks are subject to strict regulatory controls and there has been significant progress to clean up the country's financial system due to the "fair" supervision of the central bank and input from the Financial Action Group of Latin America, 5días reported, citing César Maidana, coordinator of the money laundering prevention committee at the Asoban industry association.

* Chile's SII tax agency is putting the final touches on new taxes to be levied for virtual currency trading, Diario Financiero reported. The tax agency, which started work on the subject just over a year ago, is currently finalizing rules on digital wallets that offer services related to virtual currencies.

* Several Chilean banks will file legal complaints over the cloning of some 1,700 bank cards at a service station over the weekend, Diario Financiero reported, citing the ABIF banking industry association.

* Banco Internacional Administradora General de Fondos SA, the fund manager of Chile's Banco Internacional, said Javier Barrenechea Parra and Hernán Cerda Jaramillo have been appointed board chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: BoComm Life gets OK on wealth subsidiary; Pakistan raises key interest rate

* Middle East & Africa: Mizrahi Tefahot Bank posts rise in Q1 profit; Israel's central bank holds rate

Helen Popper 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. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.