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XP Investimentos plans $1B IPO; BNDES lending hits 9-year low

* Brazilian brokerage XP Investimentos is planning to raise $1 billion through an initial public offering that is expected to take place in July, O Estado de S. Paulo reported, without citing any sources. Investment banks that will structure the offering should be selected in the coming weeks, according to the report.

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social's loan disbursements fell 35% to 88.3 billion reais in 2016 from 135.94 billion reais a year earlier, data from the bank showed. The 2016 total is the lowest amount for the Brazilian development bank since 2007, when it disbursed 64.89 billion reais.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Mexico's GDP grew 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016, slowing from 1.0% growth in the prior quarter, according to initial estimates from national institute of geography and statistics INEGI. Compared to the year-ago period, fourth-quarter 2016 GDP grew 2.2%.

* Consumer credit granted by commercial banks in Mexico grew 8.7% in December 2016, marking the lowest growth rate in over a year, according to central bank data. The portfolio of the commercial banking private sector showed an annual growth of 11.5% in December 2016, while housing loans increased 7.1% year over year.

* S&P Global Ratings moved its CreditWatch status on Investa Bank SA Institución de Banca Múltiple to negative from developing, pointing to the ongoing money laundering and tax evasion investigation by U.S. authorities into one of the bank's partners. The probe has resulted in a significant increase in past-due loans and lower turnover, as some of the funding lines are unavailable at present, which has significantly affected the generation of income, S&P said.

* Mexican authorities will issue new guidelines in February instructing financial institutions to adopt a risk-based approach to preventing money laundering and terrorism financing, El Economista reported. The new guidelines will be in line with recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force.

* Bank lending in Mexico is very low compared to both advanced economies and emerging markets, El Financiero reported, citing a study by the IMF. Lending in Mexico is about a quarter of the level seen in other emerging markets like Brazil, IMF economists said.

* Grupo Financiero Interacciones SA de CV CEO Carlos Rojo Macedo has been elected vice president of Mexican banking association ABM's group A segment, which represents 32 medium-sized lenders, El Economista reported.

BRAZIL

* The Brazilian government intends to revamp the country's bankruptcy law to assist troubled firms in navigating through a deep economic slowdown, Reuters reported, citing a senior member of the government's economic team who requested anonymity. President Michel Temer also plans to unveil new measures in the week of Feb. 6 to boost productivity and support the construction industry, the source said.

* The unemployment rate in Brazil increased to 12.0% in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 11.8% in the linked quarter, with a total of 12.3 million jobless people at the end of the year, Reuters reported, citing government statistics agency IBGE.

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social expects both Brazil's economy and demand for loans from the bank to recover gradually during the course of 2017, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported, citing Fabio Giambiagi, the bank's head of research and planning. In 2016, the lender's loan disbursements fell to the lowest level since 2007.

* Brazil's government will not forward a bill aimed at granting more independence to the central bank in 2017 and will instead delay the move until the local economy recovers in 2018 or 2019, Reuters reported, citing a senior member of the government's economic team. "Our legislative agenda is already overloaded and it's too premature to discuss this subject," the source said.

* Brazilian credit and debit card operator Cielo SA said it expects financial volume at Cielo Brasil to grow between 4% and 6% in 2017, while total costs and expenses are projected to rise in the same range. The company also declared dividends of 376.9 million reais to be paid March 31 to shareholders of record as of March 15.

* Brazil's central bank plans to add so-called "voluntary deposits" to its monetary policy tools in a move that will reduce the bank's reliance on repo operations to control the amount of money in circulation, Valor Econômico reported, citing central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn.

* An agreement between Brazil's federal government and the state of Rio de Janeiro to provide debt relief to the state was based on inflated growth estimates that, even if accurate, would leave Rio carrying a deficit by 2021, Bloomberg News reported, citing "two people with direct knowledge of the matter."

ANDEAN

* Banco Ripley Perú SA said it plans to offer between 25.0 million Peruvian soles and 50.0 million soles worth of 30-month bonds on Feb. 2. The series B securities will be issued at par.

* Peru's BBVA Banco Continental SA will allow people to open savings accounts at the bank online starting from Feb. 15, Semana Economica reported. The bank expects 15% of its total sales in 2017 to be digital.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Chilean banks saw total net income fall 12.6% year over year in 2016 to 1.965 trillion Chilean pesos, largely due to lower interest income and a sharp drop in net foreign exchange revenue, according to data from banking regulator SBIF. Loan growth across Chile's banking system hit 2.66% for the year in real terms and 2.84% on an adjusted basis.

* Industrial production in Argentina declined 2.3% in December 2016 compared to a year ago, representing the 11th consecutive month of output contraction, Reuters reported, citing national statistics agency Indec.

* Banco Central de la República Argentina kept its benchmark interest rate at 24.75%, saying that indicators from state and private sources showed "mixed signals" for inflation in January. The central bank, which will start making monetary policy decisions every two weeks instead of every week in March, said it expects core inflation to drop in the coming months.

* Paraguay's central bank said it will offer $5 million in foreign currency sales per day in February in order to protect the local currency from potential volatility related to U.S. policy decisions, La Nación reported.

* Banks in Paraguay increased lending to the housing sector by 11% annually in 2016, with such loans representing 3.5% of the banking industry's total loan portfolio for the year, La Nación reported, citing central bank data.

* Banco Patagonia SA has become the first Argentine bank to start using digital signature technology, eliminating the need for multiple client signatures on paper documents, El Cronista reported.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA said its net attributable profit in Mexico came to €1.98 billion in 2016, growing 11.0% year over year. The bank's net interest income and commissions and fees in Mexico grew 11.6% and 10.2%, respectively, in 2016. Net attributable profit in South America jumped 1.1% to €771 million in 2016.

* High-yield debt issuance in Latin America will continue at a moderate and selective pace in 2017 amid slowly improving credit conditions, Moody's said, noting that companies in the region sold a record $22.3 billion of debt in 2016. However, despite the high volume of sales, a closer analysis of the market indicates a degree of investor risk aversion toward issuers in the region, the rating agency added.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Middle East & Africa: 3 UAE banks post Q4 results; Njoroge warns of 'Trump effect' on Kenya

* Europe: BBVA, Julius Bär post FY'16 results; ECB happy with UniCredit plan

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

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.