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Indusval's loss expands in Q4'17; Banrisul prepares for card unit's IPO

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Indusval's loss expands in Q4'17; Banrisul prepares for card unit's IPO

* Banco Indusval SA reported a net loss of 61.6 million Brazilian reais for the fourth quarter of 2017, extending from a loss of 28.8 million reais in the year-ago period. The result from financial intermediation was a negative 36.6 million reais, following a negative result of 11.9 million reais year over year. Revenues from loan operations and agro bonds were down to 21.3 million reais in the quarter from 39.2 million reais a year earlier.

* Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul SA is looking into putting card payment unit Banrisul Cartões SA up for an initial public offering. The operation will create 204,487,238 preferred shares in Banrisul Cartões, representing 50% of the unit's share capital.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Fitch Ratings assigned long and short-term foreign currency issuer default ratings of BBB- and F3, respectively, as well as a viability rating of "bbb-," to Panama-based MMG Bank Corp. Fitch noted that the bank's issuer default ratings are based on its intrinsic creditworthiness as reflected in its viability rating, with the latter in turn reflecting the company's moderate credit profile, its position within an increasingly competitive operating environment and its strong liquidity.

* Moody's changed its outlook on several ratings of Mexico's Volkswagen Bank SA Institución de Banca Múltiple and Volkswagen Leasing SA De CV to stable from negative. The companies' outlook mirrors that of their German parent.

* Mexico's federal mortgage lender Fovisste has announced a nationwide debt restructuring program as it seeks to recover non-performing loans, El Economista reported.

* Costa Rica's financial regulator has recommended merging troubled state-run Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago, or Bancrédito, with another state bank, saying its liquidation would be more damaging, La Nación reported. The regulator said Bancrédito was no longer financially viable, and called on lawmakers to back legislation for the merger to recover Bancrédito's assets.

* Guatemala's ABG banking industry association has elected Federico Linares Martínez and Luis Rolando Lara Grojec as president and vice president respectively, El Periodico reported.

BRAZIL

* Banco do Brasil SA has reorganized its foreign trade department into a single structure as part of a drive to increase the access of micro and small companies to international markets, Valor Econômico reported.

* Brazil's central bank is set to be given veto power over government nominations for appointments to the boards of state-owned banks including Banco do Brasil SA, Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social, Valor Econômico reported. President Michel Temer said the measure would be included in a decree or bill that would be unveiled this week.

ANDEAN

* Martin Vizcarra, who was just sworn in as Peru's president on March 23, promised to fight corruption "at any cost," Reuters reported. Meanwhile, a Peruvian judge imposed an 18-month travel ban on former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who resigned as president the previous week. While the travel ban is in place, the former leader will be investigated for ties to Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht. Kuczynski's lawyer Cesar Nakazaki said the former president will adhere to the order and cooperate with authorities.

* Peru's central bank will lower dollar reserve requirements to 36% from 37% at present, effective April, Reuters reported. The central bank expects the move will free up $181 million for immediate use in the local economy.

* The profits of Peruvian banks rose 16.8% year-over-year in February to reach 1.30 billion soles, partly reflecting an improved credit market, El Comercio reported, citing data from the SBS industry supervisor. However, the default rate rose to 3.24% from 2.9% year over year, the highest in 12 years, SEMANAeconómica reported. The Asbanc industry association said deterioration in corporate loan portfolio quality was mainly responsible for the overall higher default rate.

* Venezuelans are skeptical that a move by President Nicolas Maduro to remove three zeros from the bolivar will have the intended desire of addressing hyperinflation, Reuters reported. Local economist Asdrubal Oliveros said that the move was purely "cosmetic," and the government will have to keep issuing new bills or remove another three zeros after a few more months.

* Shareholders of Colombia's Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana SA approved at a March 23 meeting plans for the holding company to absorb its subsidiaries, Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana Panamá S.A. and Gruposura Finance, the company said in a securities filing.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Jose Luis Lupo, a representative for the Inter-American Development Bank, commented that the bank expects to loan out to Argentina in 2019 an amount similar to the $2.35 billion it has planned for this year, Reuters reported. Loans from the bank for 2018 are currently earmarked for 13 different projects, the report added.

* Regulations obliging all Argentine businesses to accept debit card payments will come into force on March 31, Clarín reported. The new rules issued by the AFIP tax agency involve fines for businesses who fail to offer card payment facilities.

* Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup Latin America, said the bank's Argentine business has grown by $3 billion since it sold its retail operations in the country just under a year ago, La Nación reported. She said the bank had invested at least $1 billion since selling the retail assets to Banco Santander Río SA.

* The CEO of Google Argentina, Federico Procaccini, has left the company to become the new local head of Openbank, Banco Santander SA's digital banking arm, La Nación reported.

* Argentina's central bank has sold almost $1.50 billion of its foreign reserves to halt the peso's depreciation against the dollar since the start of March, El Cronista reported.

* Argentine stock exchange operator Bolsas y Mercados Argentinos SA and S&P Dow Jones Indices said they had signed a strategic agreement to launch new co-branded Argentine financial market indices, El Cronista reported.

* Cryptocurrency trading platforms BUDA and CryptoMKT have called on Chile's ABIF banking industry association to clarify its position on virtual currencies after some banks closed their accounts, Pulso reported. In a statement, BUDA, which mainly operates with Bitcoin, and CryptoMKT, which mainly trades Ether, said their bank accounts were closed without justification.

* Uruguay's economic growth should accelerate to 3.0% in 2018 from 2.7% last year, boosted by the reopening of the state oil company's refinery, El Observador reported, citing Economy and Finance Minister Danilo Astori. He added that the government's plan to launch international bond sales is "imminent."

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: China adds role at central bank; Mongolia cuts rates; CBA insurer lures buyers

* Middle East & Africa: Moody's keeps South Africa above junk; Capitec, Sanlam plan bancassurance JV

* Europe: Aberdeen Standard sues Provident Financial; BoE to update Brexit approach

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides links to external sites where these offer further, relevant information to our readers. While we ensure that such links are functional at the time of publication, we are not responsible in instances where those links are unavailable later.

Helen Popper 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.