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Financial irregularities detected at Agrobanco; B&MA gains final approvals

* Peruvian Agriculture Minister José Manuel Hernández said his ministry has detected financial irregularities at Banco Agropecuario stemming from loans that were approved under the country's previous government, El Comercio reported. Many of the entities that obtained loans from the bank in the past did not have the collateral required under local regulations, Hernández said, adding that he will publicly disclose the findings in mid-January 2017.

* The Bolsas y Mercados Argentinos, or B&MA, has received all final legal and regulatory approvals to start operating as Argentina's principal stock exchange, El Cronista reported. The B&MA, which is getting ready to become operational in 2017, will be created by merging the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires stock exchange with the Buenos Aires securities market Merval.


* Banco de México expects the county's economic growth to decelerate in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter, according to the minutes of the central bank's latest monetary policy meeting. The bank's board members are also concerned that Donald Trump's victory in U.S. presidential elections has jeopardized Mexico's relations with the U.S., Reuters reported. Trump's win may have already had an impact on private investment in Mexico, most board members said.


* Republic Financial Holdings Ltd. said it listed 44,125 ordinary shares on the Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchange, increasing the company's issued share capital to 162,347,778 ordinary shares.


* There were 116,747 formal job layoffs in Brazil in November, Reuters reported, citing data from the country's labor ministry. A total of 858,333 jobs were lost in the first 11 months of 2016, compared to 945,000 in the same period of 2015.

* Brazilian President Michel Temer said his government will work to streamline the country's tax code in 2017, Reuters reported. The reform could include modifications to taxes on the financial sector as well as a revamp of the finance ministry's tax appeals board, CARF, a "government source familiar with the matter" told the newswire.

* Brazil's federal government intends to cut more than 4,600 jobs in a move that will allow it to realize up to 240 million reais in annual cost savings, Reuters reported, citing Planning Minister Dyogo de Oliveira.

* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA said its board has approved the payments of 1.40 billion reais in dividends and 3.35 billion reais in interest on equity. The payments will be made Feb. 23, 2017, to shareholders of record as of Jan. 4, 2017.

* The implementation of a credit rating system in Brazil could inject 1.1 trillion reais into the country's economy in the form of higher loan demand, Valor Econômico reported, citing a study by credit research firm Serasa Experian.

* In the last decade, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social made a profit of more than 6.5 billion reais through equity investments in various sectors such as banking, telecommunications, steel, and food and beverage, among others, O Estado de S. Paulo reported.


* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro again delayed a plan to pull the country's 100 Venezuelan bolivar notes from circulation to Jan. 20, 2017, after the proposal triggered countrywide protests and social unrest, Reuters reported. The president had earlier delayed the plan to Jan. 2, 2017, from around mid-December.


* BBVA Seguros de Vida SA said its board appointed Eduardo Olivares Veloso as a director to replace Mauricio Fuenzalida, who resigned in October.

* Chilean insurers are optimistic that the central bank will increase the limit on foreign investments local insurers are allowed to make in the first half of 2017, Diario Financiero reported. Although the central bank has not yet determined the new limit on foreign investment, insurers have reportedly asked for it to be doubled to 40% of their technical reserves.

* Chilean banking regulator SBIF has authorized Scotiabank Chile to acquire the remaining assets and liabilities of Banco Paris. As a result of the deal, Banco Paris, which is a subsidiary of retail group Cencosud, will be dissolved and liquidated. Banco Paris' portfolio is comprised mainly of mortgages worth around 9.5 billion Chilean pesos, as well as other loans totaling 1.1 billion pesos, Pulso reported. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.


* Companies across the globe raised $648.9 billion in equity in 2016, down from $873 billion in 2015, according to data from Thomson Reuters Equity Capital Markets. Funds generated from initial public offerings fell by almost a third to $130.6 billion.


* Asia-Pacific: Mackenzie to buy China Asset Management stake; RBI to set up NBFC ombudsman

* Middle East & Africa: Popularizing e-money in Africa; looming layoffs at Kenyan banks

* Europe: US expels Russian diplomats in hacking scandal; cyber insurance demand to rise

Matthew Craze 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.