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Banco do Brasil expects lower payroll costs; Fitch cuts outlook on Mexico

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Banco do Brasil expects lower payroll costs; Fitch cuts outlook on Mexico

* Banco do Brasil SA said it expects payroll costs to decline by 2.3 billion reais in 2017 after slightly more than 9,400 employees decided to participate in the company's early retirement program, Reuters reported. The bank also expects to record one-time costs of 1.4 billion reais related to the program.

* Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on Mexico's sovereign ratings to negative from stable as the country faces risks on its growth outlook which could impact the stabilization of its public debt burden. Mexico's underperforming growth compared to peers is accompanied by an increasing general government debt burden, Fitch said, adding that the plans of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to tighten trade and immigration policies also pose uncertainty and asset price volatility in Mexico.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* An increasing number of companies operating in Mexico have shelved their growth plans until more details emerge on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's trade and other policies, Reuters reported, citing business leaders. "If he puts an import duty on Mexican goods, it's going to be a total disaster," said Maurizio Rosa, CEO of Codan Rubber Mexico.

* Belize and its creditors have started debt restructuring negotiations over the country's $530 million of 2038 bonds, IFR reported, citing "sources close to the matter." A statement by the country's central bank said the "government is approaching the matter with an open mind" and is looking to "put the 2038 bonds on a permanently sustainable footing."

* Mexico's central bank is expected to increase its benchmark interest rate by between 25 and 50 basis points this week, in line with a similar hike expected to be announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve, El Economista reported, citing estimates from financial groups.

BRAZIL

* Caixa Econômica Federal is looking to replace its vice president for third-party assets, a position currently held by Flávio Arakaki on an interim basis, Valor Econômico reported. The search for a replacement follows a recent revamp of the state-run bank's board.

* Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul SA said its board has decided to pay a net amount of about 14.5 million reais in interest on equity for the fourth quarter, corresponding to 3.53 centavos per common share. The payment will be made Dec. 29 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 14.

* The disapproval rating for Brazilian President Michel Temer's administration jumped to 51% in December from 31% in July, Reuters reported, citing a Datafolha poll published by Folha de S.Paulo. According to the poll, 63% of Brazilians want Temer to resign by the end of 2016.

* Brazil's government denied reports in the local press that President Michel Temer is prepared to lower the 65 years minimum retirement age he set in a recent pension reform proposal, Reuters reported. The government will do everything in its power to make sure there are no changes to the minimum retirement age, Temer's office said in a statement.

* Itaú Unibanco Holding SA said its board approved the payment of interest on capital in the net amount of about 40.07 centavos per share as a mandatory dividend for 2016. Shareholders of record as of Dec. 22 will be eligible to receive the payment.

* An expected decline in Brazil's benchmark Selic rate could result in mortgage lending in the country rising to 50 billion reais in 2017 from a projected 45 billion reais in 2016, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported, citing Gilberto de Abreu Duarte Filho, the president of local mortgage lenders association Abecip.

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social's board has approved the early repayment of 100 billion reais of debt owed to Brazil's Treasury, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. The funds are expected to be returned to the government by the end of 2016.

* Brazil's insurance sector is considering offering D&O civil liability insurance for public sector executives and the product may be available in 2017, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported, citing João Francisco Borges, president of local general insurance association FenSeg.

* Banestes SA - Banco do Estado do Espírito Santo said Elcio Alvares, the CEO of insurance unit Banestes Seguros, died on Dec. 9. Alvares had assumed the position in February 2015.

* The recent departure of Sérgio Clemente as Banco Bradesco SA's senior vice president for wholesale banking has increased the chances of Vice President Marcelo Noronha eventually succeeding Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi in the CEO role, O Estado de S. Paulo reported.

ANDEAN

* La Positiva Seguros y Reaseguros SA said Roberto Rodrigo Freyre, the firm's deputy CEO, has left the company. He had served in the position since May 2010, the insurer said without giving a reason for his departure.

* Banco Ripley Perú SA said it plans to issue 359-day negotiable bonds worth up to 30 million Peruvian soles, expandable to 50 million soles, on Dec. 14. The bonds will be part of the first issuance under the bank's fourth negotiable bonds program for up to 200 million soles.

* Colombia's central bank will elect a new governor on Dec. 12 to replace José Darío Uribe, who has been at the bank's helm for the last 12 years, Portafolio reported. The new governor will be elected for the period from Jan. 4, 2017, to Jan. 3, 2021.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Grupo Security SA Chairman Francisco Silva said the Chilean lender is looking to consolidate its business in Peru, where it has two subsidiaries, La Tercera reported. The company is also evaluating growth opportunities through M&A.

* The legal battle between Chilean banking regulator SBIF and CorpBanca, which is now known as Itaú CorpBanca, over a $30 million fine imposed in late 2015 is entering its final stage at the Supreme Court, Diario Financiero reported. The SBIF is looking to overturn an appellate court ruling against the fine, which was levied as a result of the bank allegedly exceeding limits on certain loans.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. has launched a search for a replacement for Gustavo Raitzin, the head of the bank's Latin American operations, Reuters reported, citing "two sources familiar with the matter." Raitzin, who has served in the position since 2005 and is nearing 60 years of age, is aware of the search.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: China to roll out interbank yuan trading; ASEAN to cut nontariff barriers

* Middle East & Africa: Non-OPEC countries join in oil cuts; Gambian president rejects loss

* Europe: UniCredit, Amundi strike Pioneer deal; UK banks could face fresh PPI bill

Matthew Craze contributed to this article.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 8 a.m. São Paulo time, and scans news sources published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Some external links may require a subscription.