* Chile's Said family is trying to raise $250 million through bank loans to help it maintain a 25% stake in the combined entity that will be created following the merger of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Chile SA and Scotiabank Chile, Pulso reported. A 25% stake would allow the family to appoint four directors on the merged bank's board, according to the report.
* Brazil's central bank lowered its benchmark Selic rate by 50 basis points to 7.0%, saying that recent indicators of economic activity have been consistent with the gradual recovery of the Brazilian economy. The central bank said it could opt for another, smaller rate cut at its next policy meeting in February 2018.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* The Organization of American States said it may call for a fresh presidential election in Honduras if any "irregularities" damage the credibility of final results, which are not certain yet, Reuters reported.
* A group of senators from Mexican opposition parties have proposed a constitutional amendment that would allow sitting presidents to be put on trial for corruption for up to three years after they step down from the position, Reuters reported.
* Mexican banks booked an overall profit of 110.40 billion Mexican pesos in the first 10 months of 2017, up 22.3% from the same period a year earlier, El Economista reported, citing regulatory data.
* Moody's revised its outlook on Banco del Bajío SA to positive from stable, reflecting an increase in the bank's capitalization levels and improvements in its asset quality.
* HSBC México SA Institución de Banca Múltiple Grupo Financiero HSBC CEO Nuno Matos said the bank expects to book a profit of $600 million in 2018, up from a projected $450 million in 2017, El Economista reported. The bank also expects its loan portfolio to grow between 10% and 12% next year.
* Panama recalled its ambassador to the European Union from Brussels after Panama was included in the EU's blacklist of tax havens, Reuters reported. "Given the unfortunate incorporation of the country in this discriminatory list, the Republic of Panama has decided to call its Ambassador to the European Union, Dario Chiru, to assess the steps to be followed moving forward," the government said.
* Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide said it now estimates insured losses from Hurricane Maria to be between $27 billion and $48 billion in the Caribbean. In September, AIR projected insured losses in the Caribbean to be between $40 billion and $85 billion.
* The government of Rio Grande do Sul has postponed a planned offering of Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul SA shares, citing current market conditions. "The intention of completion of the offer remains in progress and the conditions of the financial and capital markets for the final execution of the offer will continue to be observed," the bank said.
* Brazil's lower house passed a bill that allows the government to use resources from the FGTS workers' severance fund to capitalize state-run Caixa Econômica Federal, Valor Econômico reported. The bill will now move to a Senate vote.
* Banco do Brasil SA CEO Paulo Caffarelli said the bank expects its return on equity to be higher than 10% in 2018, Reuters reported. "We expect to have profitability levels closer to our private sector rivals in 2019," the executive was quoted as saying.
* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social CEO Paulo Rabello de Castro said the bank wants to increase its loan disbursements in the coming years and reach 150 billion reais in 2022, Valor Econômico reported. He also said the bank plans to announce the sale of part of BNDES Participações SA's investment portfolio in early 2018, Reuters reported.
* Brazilian savings accounts registered a net inflow of about 3.92 billion reais in November, the highest level for the month since 2013, Reuters reported, citing central bank data.
* Fitch Ratings said Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA's planned acquisition of U.S.-based TotalBank for about $528 million will have a "relatively neutral" effect on Bci's credit profile. The rating agency also does not see a material deterioration of Bci's capitalization after the deal's completion.
* Banco de la Nación Argentina is planning to issue debt in the second half of 2018 to finance strong demand for mortgage credit, Clarín reported, citing Chairman Javier González Fraga.
* Banco de la Nación Argentina Chairman Javier González Fraga defended the recent, controversial appointment of Mariana Triaca, the sister of Argentina's labor minister, as a director at the state-run bank, El Cronista reported. The chairman rejected accusations of nepotism.
* Moody's upgraded its ratings and assessments on 14 domestically owned Argentine banks, two finance companies and Grupo Supervielle SA. The actions follow the rating agency's recent upgrade of Argentina's government bond rating.
PAN LATIN AMERICA
* Credit growth among banks in Latin America and the Caribbean is headed for a turnaround in 2018 as economic conditions in the region become more favorable, S&P Global Ratings analysts said in a conference call. Excluding Argentina, credit growth in nominal terms should reach 8% on average next year, a modest improvement from an expected 6% for 2017.
* Moody's said the outlook for global banking is stable as a broad economic recovery and improved solvency will boost bank creditworthiness in 2018.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Middle East & Africa: Bahrain banks launch fintech firm; Ghana asks banks to submit bad loan plans
* Europe: Ping An ups stake in HSBC; US tax plan could hit Swiss banks
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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.