* Brazil's central bank has approved the first part of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA's deal to acquire a stake in brokerage firm XP Investimentos SA at an overall price of 6.3 billion reais, subject to contractual adjustments, with the acquisition to be completed on Aug. 31. In May 2017, Itaú reached a deal to acquire, in an initial tranche, 49.9% of XP Investimentos' total share capital. In a separate Reuters report, XP Investimentos CEO Guilherme Benchimol also said the company seeks to resurrect plans of going public after the central bank's restrictions expire, with two shareholders also planning to divest their stakes.
* Brazil's central bank on Aug. 8 approved China's Fosun International Ltd. acquisition of Guide Investimentos SA Corretora de Valores from Brazilian lender Banco Indusval SA. The deal is pending special approval from Brazil's CMN monetary council and a presidential decree, which will decide if the foreign company can enter the Latin American country's financial sector.
* Corporación Financiera Colombiana SA, appointed former Colombian trade and industry minister María Lorena Gutiérrez as its new president, El Tiempo reported. Gutiérrez replaces Bernardo Noreña Ocampo, who resigned from the post last month. She is due to start on August 16.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* The current consumer credit portfolio in Mexico's banks grew by 2.84% year over year in second quarter of 2018, slowing from the 4.25% pace in the previous year, while credit card loan totals grew 2.41% in the quarter, the slowest growth rate since the second quarter of 2010, El Financiero reported, citing data from the country's central bank.
* Banco de Costa Rica said it would pay $500 million due on a 2013 international debt issue on August 13 after transferring the funds on August 10 to Bank of New York Mellon, El Financiero reported. The bank tapped international credit markets to help cancel short-term debts that it had at the time.
* Mexico's banks have reaffirmed planned investments of 60.00 billion pesos scheduled for this year and 2019 following the election of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, El Economista reported, citing industry sources. Most of the investments will be used to improve the banks' infrastructure and promote digital banking, among others.
* Banco Indusval SA posted a net loss of 51.8 million reais for the second quarter, 6.4% lower than the loss of 55.4 million reais a year ago. Allowance for loan losses ticked 9.2% higher to 20.6 million reais while the bank also saw negative financial intermediation results of 29.4 million reais.
* Banestes SA - Banco do Estado do Espírito Santo said it has been accredited as an open market dealer by the Brazilian central bank, allowing the former to perform operations with government securities effective Aug. 10. In 2017, Banestes had revoked its open market dealer accreditation due to its "strategic positioning" and "the convenience and opportunities evaluated by the company."
* Banco do Brasil SA plans to take on more risk in its loan portfolios in 2018 and 2019, Valor Econômico reported, citing Bernardo Rothe, the bank's vice president of financial management and relations. Despite this, the bank still expects to cut provisions for bad loans in the short and medium term, Rothe noted. It also expects to expand in free credit at 7.3% for 2019 and 7.9% for 2020.
* Caixa Econômica Federal launched a recruitment campaign on August 10 to find new vice presidents to serve in the corporate, government, lottery and housing sections at the state-run bank, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. President Michel Temer fired the vice presidents of the three sections in January amid corruption allegations.
* Caixa Econômica Federal CEO Nelson Antonio de Souza has called for the National Monetary Council to introduce changes to real estate funding regulations in September instead of in January 2019, Reuters reported. Under the changes, the maximum property value for low-cost pró-cotista mortgages, which use resources from the FGTS workers' severance fund, will be raised. That would help Caixa boost mortgage lending amid tougher competition from private banks.
* Peru-based Banco Cencosud SA has named Carlos Americo Morante Ormeño to be its general manager, effective Aug. 16, to replace Bruno Antonello Novella Zavala, who stepped down last month. Morante is currently the CEO of CrediScotia Financiera SA. Meanwhile, Crediscotia also appointed Víctor Andrés Zuñiga Flores as general manager to replace Morante, also effective Aug. 16.
* Peru's central bank is confident that the economy will grow 4.0% this year, El Comercio reported, citing the entity's economic studies manager, Jorge Estrella. The central bank will next review its forecast in September.
* The number of banking transactions conducted by Peru's private banks rose 14.5% in the first half of 2018 year over year to 548.8 million, according to the latest data from the Asbanc industry association, El Comercio reported. Mobile banking transactions increased as a share of the total by 1.9 points, while ATMs and internet banking transactions declined.
* Peruvian banks added an extra 1,023 staff in the first half of 2018, up 1.66% year over year to reach a total of 62,615, Gestión reported, citing data from the Asbanc banking industry association. Women accounted for 52.6% of the total banking sector workforce and their participation in management-level positions rose to 35.5% in June 2018 from 32.6% a year earlier.
* The Argentine province of Tucumán has transferred its 10% stake in Banco del Tucumán SA, composed of 43,960 class B ordinary shares, to Banco Macro SA. In conjunction to the stake transfer, Jorge Salvador Gassenbauer and Pablo Raúl Yédlin resigned as director and alternate director, respectively, of Banco del Tucumán.
* Banco Macro SA reacquired 949,824 common book entry class B shares with par value of 1 Argentine peso each, at an average acquisition price of 151.321 pesos per share. The bank spent about 143.7 million pesos in total.
* As a mission from the International Monetary Fund will visit Argentina this week, government officials are expected to ask the IMF for greater flexibility to use the country's foreign reserves to help prop up the peso, which was pressured by renewed selling last week, Clarín reported. The newspaper said officials would also ask the fund to allow the next $3 billion installment in standby financing to be used to reduce the stock of Lebac short-term central bank debt in circulation.
PAN LATIN AMERICA
* Pablo Barahona Flores, president of Chilean insurer Liberty Compania de Seguros Generales SA and the company's regional representative, told El Financiero that the firm aims to expand its sales of general insurance policies in Latin America and take advantage of significant growth potential. The company already operates in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: State Bank of India posts Q1 loss; CIMB gets M&A nod; S&P changes ORIX outlook
* Middle East & Africa: Turkish lira turmoil hits MEA markets; S&P revises outlook on Rwanda
* Europe: Lira woes weigh on European markets; Talanx Q2 profit dips; Fitch hikes Greece
Helen Popper contributed to this article.
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