* BAC Credomatic has signed an agreement to sell its Mexican credit card portfolio to Banco Invex SA Institución de Banca Múltiple INVEX Banco de México in a deal that will allow BAC to focus on its growth in Central America and Panama, El Financiero reported. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
* BM&FBOVESPA SA – Bolsa de Valores Mercadorias e Futuros said it has set an adjusted expenses budget of between 675 million reais and 705 million reais for 2017, as well as an investment budget of between 165 million reais and 195 million reais. The company will review both budgets if it gains approval for and completes its pending merger with Cetip SA – Mercados Organizados.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Fitch Ratings revised its rating and sector outlooks for Mexican commercial banks to negative following a similar outlook revision on Mexico's sovereign rating. The prospects for loan growth and asset quality in 2017 look less certain now and depend on the feasibility of the implementation of U.S. protectionist measures and the evolution of investor and consumer confidence. Fitch expects loan growth to slow to a range of 6% to 8% in 2017.
* S&P Global Ratings placed its issuer credit and financial strength ratings on Istmo Cia. de Reaseguros Inc. on R, which stands for "under regulatory supervision." The placement follows Panama's insurance regulator saying it will intervene and assume control of the company for a period of 180 days after the firm failed to execute a three-month plan to improve its financial position.
* Analysts believe that the numerous rate hikes by Mexico's central bank in the past year will result in higher credit costs and could also lead to slower loan growth, which has been in the double digits in recent years, El Economista reported. Earlier in December, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.75%.
* Consumer credit demand in Brazil increased 5.3% in November from the previous month and jumped 16.7% from a year earlier, according to data from credit research firm Serasa Experian. In the first 11 months of 2016, consumer loan demand rose 3.9% compared to the same period a year ago.
* Itaú Unibanco Holding SA CEO Roberto Setubal said the bank will work with the Brazilian government to enhance credit card lending and receivable prepayment practices, Reuters reported. The executive noted that the bank will also propose measures to reduce lending spreads as the government aims to boost credit.
* Banco Pan SA said it will make equity interest payments of about 3.15 million reais tied to its 2015 results. The amount, which equates to 0.34 centavo per share, will be paid Dec. 28 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 1.
* Brazilian credit card association Abecs said the volume of credit and debit card purchases in the country may reach 1.22 trillion reais in 2017, up 6.5% from a projected 1.14 trillion reais in 2016, Reuters reported.
* Brazilian President Michel Temer said the country risks government insolvency if his proposed austerity measures, including a bill to reduce public spending, are not implemented, Reuters reported. "If we do not do the reforms, the state will go broke, and we [will] be stuck in a quagmire of fiscal irresponsibility," the president was quoted as saying.
* In a survey of Brazilians by pollster Ibope, the number of respondents who believe President Michel Temer's government is "bad" or "terrible" increased to 46% from 39% in a previous October survey, Reuters reported.
* Banco Agiplan has launched an application, created in partnership with technology firm Stefanini, that serves as a digital wallet and allows users transfer payments at no cost, Valor Econômico reported.
* Banco Agropecuario said it will increase its loan provisions through the end of 2016 to prepare for a possible decline in credit quality as a result of the impact of climate-related factors on borrowers' ability to repay debts. The move will negatively affect the bank's financial results, but will improve its financial stability in the long term, the company said.
* Bolivian President Evo Morales said he might run for a fourth successive term in office in 2019, Reuters reported. In a February referendum, voters rejected a constitutional reform that would have enabled him to run for president again.
* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has delayed until January 2017 a move to take all of the country's 100 bolivar notes out of circulation after the measure resulted in cash unavailability and countrywide protests, Reuters reported.
* Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who recently signed a revised peace agreement with FARC rebels, and opposition leader Alvaro Uribe, who has criticized the deal for being too lenient on the rebels, failed to reach a compromise during a Dec. 16 meeting mediated by Pope Francis, Reuters reported.
* Colombian prosecutors filed theft charges against seven individuals, including an employee of Banco de Bogotá S.A., for their alleged role in the irregular transfers of more than 1.20 billion Colombian pesos to various bank accountholders in 2015, La República reported.
* Penta Vida Compañía de Seguros de Vida SA said it completed a capital increase worth nearly 30 billion Chilean pesos through the issuance of new shares. Shareholder Inversiones Banpenta II Limitada subscribed and paid for 32.71 million new shares worth 29.96 billion pesos.
* Fitch Ratings affirmed Paraguay's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at BB, with a stable outlook. The ratings reflect the country's long track record of macro policy prudence, low fiscal deficits and debt levels, and increased resilience to external shocks. These are counterbalanced by constraining factors such as high output volatility due to weather-related shocks and weaker governance indicators.
* Credit to the private sector in Argentina increased 3.3% in October from the previous month, marking the third consecutive month of growth, El Cronista reported, citing central bank data.
* Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior SA Chairman Pablo García said the company plans to disburse about 13.00 billion Argentine pesos in funding to banks and direct loans to companies in 2017, almost double the 6.8 billion pesos amount for 2016, El Cronista reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Middle East & Africa: Oman bucks the Fed trend; bitcoin piques Nigeria's interest
* Europe: Deutsche Bank settles US 'dark pool' probe; Generali denies French ops sale
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
Paula Mejia 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.