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S&P upgrades Argentina; Caixa selects banks for insurance unit IPO

* S&P Global Ratings raised Argentina's long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings to CCC- from CC, reflecting the government's willingness and commitment to fulfill upcoming credit obligations. In the coming months, the rating agency expects the government to create a restructuring plan for its long-term debt with the private sector, though the timing and terms are uncertain.

* Caixa Econômica Federal has selected 10 banks to oversee insurance unit Caixa Seguridade Participações SA's initial public offering, Reuters reported, citing three sources with knowledge of the matter. The IPO will be managed by the investment banking units of Morgan Stanley, Banco Bradesco SA, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Banco Plural, Banco BTG Pactual, Banco do Brasil SA, Credit Suisse AG, Banco Santander (Brasil) SA, Bank of America and Caixa Economica Federal, the sources said.


* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is in favor of privatizing the national postal service, but is waiting for state-run development bank Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social to complete a technical analysis of the move, Reuters reported, citing presidential spokesman Otavio Rego Barros.

* Revenue from capital markets and financial advisory activities for Brazilian investment banks increased 36.7% in 2019 from the previous year to $1.05 billion, Valor Econômico reported, citing consulting firm Dealogic.

* Banco Bradesco BBI SA has proposed expanding its board of directors to 20 members from 18 and is expected to appoint executives Alan Marinovic and Rui Marques to the board, Folha de S.Paulo reported.


* The U.S. government is evaluating sanctions on Venezuelan officials who tried to help President Nicolas Maduro seize control of Congress from opposition chief Juan Guaido, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

* Bolivia recorded annual inflation of 1.47% in 2019, down from 1.51% in the previous year, as food prices remained stable, Reuters reported. The country's INE statistics agency said the official inflation forecast for 2020 is 3.98%.


* A judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Aurelius fund that accused the Argentine government of tampering data to avoid coupon payments for GDP-linked bonds, La Nación reported. However, the judge has given Aurelius until Feb. 7 to file an extended lawsuit with new arguments.

* Small and medium-sized enterprise financing in Argentina's capital market increased 142% in 2019 from the previous year to about 106.23 billion Argentine pesos, El Cronista reported, citing data from the Mercado Argentino de Valores SA stock market.

* Argentina's so-called solidarity tax, a 30% levy on dollar purchases, will not be applied when foreign currency is bought for the purpose of repaying debt, the EFE news agency reported, citing a resolution published in the country's official gazette.


* Middle East & Africa: Absa Group to boost lending in Africa; UBS to split EMEA wealth unit into 3

* Europe: UK suspends no-deal Brexit plan; Barclays urged to end fossil fuel lending

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.

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.