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Argentina taps central bank reserves to pay debt; FX outflows in Brazil

* The Argentine government borrowed about $1.33 billion from Banco Central de la República Argentina's reserves to pay off debt, El Cronista reported. The borrowed funds were channeled to the national treasury through 10-year notes, which will expire on Dec. 30, 2029, according to Argentina's official gazette.

* Brazil recorded foreign exchange outflows of $16.1 billion during the first four weeks of December 2019, putting Latin America's largest economy on track to register a record annual FX outflow of more than $43 billion for 2019, Reuters reported, citing central bank data.


* In the minutes of its most recent monetary policy meeting, Mexico's central bank said the government's recent decision to increase the daily minimum wage by 20% could make it difficult to bring inflation to the bank's 3% target in 2020, Reuters reported. The bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25% in December 2019.

* Remittances to Mexico totaled about $2.90 billion in November 2019, down from more than $3.00 billion in the previous month, El Economista reported, citing central bank data.


* Brazil's trade surplus contracted 20% to $46.67 billion in 2019, the smallest since 2015, Reuters reported, citing official data. The surplus could shrink further in 2020, according to Lucas Ferraz, trade secretary at Brazil's economy ministry.

* Brazilian stock exchange operator B3 SA - Brasil Bolsa Balcão said it is lowering fees charged for the trading of stocks and over-the-counter products, Reuters reported. The move could reduce overall annual fees for B3's clients by roughly $62.5 million, based on trading volumes seen over the past 12 months.

* The Brazilian attorney general's office has launched an investigation into alleged irregularities in the provision of payroll-deductible loans for the elderly by local banks, Folha de S.Paulo reported. Brazil's consumer protection agency called for an inquiry into the matter in 2019.

* Caixa Econômica Federal President Pedro Guimarães said the bank closed 2019 with the highest annual profit in its history despite a policy of reducing interest rates, UOL reported. The results will be disclosed in February, the executive said.


* Real credit to the private sector in Argentina, denominated in the local peso currency, plummeted 23% in 2019, according to central bank data. The regulator attributed poor loan demand over the last year to low levels of economic activity, consumption and investment, as well as very high borrowing costs.

* Economic activity in Chile fell 3.3% in November, driven by a slowdown in the mining sector, Reuters reported, citing central bank data.

* Gross international reserves at Argentina's central bank fell by about $21.03 billion, or 32%, in 2019 from the previous year, El Cronista reported. The result marks the biggest decline in reserves in 18 years in both nominal and percentage terms, according to the report.


* Middle East & Africa: Equity, Atlas Mara still in talks over deal; Nigerian banks could be fined

* Europe: Credit Suisse launches new CHF1.5B share buyback; HSBC hit by Hong Kong protests

Pablo Jimenez Arandia 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. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.