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S&P downgrades Argentina to selective default; new Leliq notes in demand

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S&P downgrades Argentina to selective default; new Leliq notes in demand

* S&P Global Ratings downgraded Argentina's local currency sovereign credit ratings to SD, or selective default, from CCC-/C, saying that the country's voluntary exchange offer of peso-denominated short-term paper is a distressed debt exchange that amounts to a default. "Significant uncertainty remains about the plans to service some sizable peso-denominated obligations that come due over the coming months," the rating agency said, adding that it will not raise the ratings as long as it believes that the likelihood of a next default is virtually certain.

* Argentina's central bank auctioned 700.00 billion pesos of Leliq notes on Jan. 21, with demand for new 14-day notes accounting for 78% of the placement, La Nación reported. Regular seven-day Leliq notes represented the remaining 22% of the issuance.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Annual inflation in Mexico likely rose to 3.17% in the first half of January from 3.02% in the second half of December 2019, according to the median forecasts of 13 analysts surveyed by Reuters.

BRAZIL

* Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said the country's economy is on track to expand 2.5% in 2020, Reuters reported. According to the median estimate of 43 economists polled by the newswire, Brazil's GDP is expected to increase 2.1% this year.

* B3 SA - Brasil Bolsa Balcão is one of the most expensive stock exchanges in the world with an average rate of 4.5 basis points for every dollar traded, Valor Econômico reported, citing an analysis by JP Morgan analysts. B3 recently announced a reduction in fees investors pay to trade stocks and over-the-counter products.

* Brazil's central bank approved Banco Inter SA's purchase of a 70% stake in asset manager DLM Invista Gestão de Recursos for 49.0 million reais, Valor Econômico reported. The deal was signed in November 2019.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman said the government sent a "debt sustainability" bill to Congress aimed at establishing a legal framework to improve the terms of debt owed to global creditors, Reuters reported. "This bill, this law will give us the conditions to be able to structure and execute the operations needed to achieve the aim of restoring the sustainability of public debt," he said.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Global alternative investment managers continue to face increased competition driven by low rates and late-cycle behavior, Fitch Ratings warned. Downside risk is mounting amid elevated valuations and increasing amounts of deployable capital that could yield lower-than-expected fund returns, the rating agency said.

* Friss, a fraud detection company, and Sistran, which provides software solutions for insurance firms in Latin America, have partnered to combat insurance fraud in the region, La República reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Middle East & Africa: KFH-AUB merger timeline; Shuaa's asset management deal; Tunisia's fintech focus

* Europe: Sabadell, Amundi reach €430M deal; Aviva chair to leave; Tryg Q4 profit jumps

Pablo Jimenez Arandia 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.

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.