* Financial services firm XP Investimentos Corretora de Câmbio Títulos e Valores Mobiliários SA has resumed talks with banks in preparation for its IPO, scheduled to take place in January 2020 in the U.S., Valor Econômico reported. XP had planned the IPO in 2017 but put the plan on the backburner after Itaú Unibanco Holding SA bought a stake in the online broker.
* U.S. President Donald Trump said he is thinking about a quarantine or blockade of Venezuela as part of efforts to force President Nicolas Maduro out of office, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross presented a strategy to help re-establish Venezuela's struggling economy, contingent on opposition leader Juan Guaido replacing Maduro, The Wall Street Journal reported. The proposal includes loans and investments.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Mexico's economy is expected to grow more slowly, expanding 0.79% this year compared with the last projection of 1.13%, El Financiero reported, citing a central bank survey of analysts. They estimated GDP growth to fall to 1.47% from 1.66%.
* Remittances to Mexico reached the highest level on record at $16.85 billion in the first half of the year, up 6.5% year over year, El Financiero reported, citing data from the central bank.
* Mexican credit union Caja Popular Mexicana wants to fully digitalize its services by 2022, Alfonso García Moreno, deputy commercial director of the cooperative, told El Financiero. He said 70% of its 2.6 million customers wanted mobile and digital services.
* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA launched a new service enabling small merchants to process payments through its own GetNet subsidiary without purchasing the bank's card reader machine, Reuters reported. GetNet hopes to add between 300,000 and 400,000 new clients through the service.
* Carlos Viana, the economic policy director at Brazil's central bank, will step down in September, Reuters reported, citing a statement by the monetary authority. He will be replaced by Fábio Kanczuk, the country's World Bank representative.
* U.S. payment platform PayPal plans to offer credit in Brazil as it expands services with a focus on meeting the underserved needs of small retailers, Valor Econômico reported.
* Analysts say the cut in Brazil's benchmark Selic rate this week boosts expectations for 100 billion reais in stock offerings this year, Valor Econômico reported. The last two months have seen record volumes of share offerings.
* Colombia's Banco de Comercio Exterior de Colombia SA – BANCÓLDEX signed an agreement with China's credit and export agency Sinosure for the issuance of bonds to fund businesses in both countries, La República reported, citing Bancóldex President Javier Díaz.
* S&P Global Ratings affirmed its long- and short-term foreign and local currency ratings on Argentina at B, saying that the country continues to comply with difficult targets under its financing deal with the International Monetary Fund. The outlook on the long-term ratings is stable, reflecting the rating agency's assumption of broad policy continuity through the national elections later in 2019.
* Argentine asset managers are moving toward more conservative strategies, with a focus on liquidity and foreign investments, as financial conditions in the country remain unfavorable ahead of presidential elections, Moody's said. The country's fund industry suffered huge losses as the exchange rate crisis last year struck peso-denominated short-term securities, prompting asset managers to look into funds with lower risk profiles.
* Argentina's tax revenue reached 450.9 billion pesos in July, increasing 53.4% from a year earlier, although much of the rise is attributable to inflation, Reuters reported.
* Argentine financial exchanges ROFEX SA and Mercado A Termino De Buenos Aires SA, or MATBA, officially merged on Aug. 1 and will now operate as MatbaRofex, El Cronista reported. The merged entity has an estimated valuation of US$274 million.
* Argentina's central bank exceeded its inflation-beating targets to contain the monetary base during July, according to the latest central bank data, El Cronista reported. The monetary base averaged 1.381 trillion pesos as of July 31, 2.8% above the monetary authority's target for 1.343 trillion pesos.
* Banco Santander Río SA appointed Juan Cerruti to be its new chief economist, El Cronista reported. He replaces Sergio Galván, who will continue to lead the bank's wealth management business.
* A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit near Chile's coast Aug. 1, but did not cause any immediate damage or injuries, Reuters reported, citing local authorities and the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake did not trigger a tsunami warning, Chile's national emergency office said.
* Legislators in Paraguay backed down from calls to impeach President Mario Abdo after he apologized for his handling of an energy deal with neighboring Brazil, Reuters reported. Abdo's government also canceled the energy deal, which was only recently made public and was criticized for the costs it would entail for Paraguay.
* Seguros CLC SA appointed María Jesús Canelo Salinas finance manager. Canelo Salinas, who was general manager at Clínica Las Condes for the past five years, replaces Tomás Riveros Cristoffanini.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: S&P outlook on APAC financial firms to remain stable; Bank of China enters India
* Middle East & Africa: Samba profit down; Ecobank names CFO; Qatar, Jordan central banks cut rates
* Europe: Crédit Agricole profit falls; RBS' £1.7B dividend; Aviva mulls sale of Asian ops
Helen Popper 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.
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