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Argentine central bank chief stepping down; Chile holds key rate at 1.75%

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents the week's latest news and trends in Latin American banking.

Central banks moves

* Banco Central de Chile maintained its key interest rate at 1.75% and said it plans to leave the rate unchanged over the coming months as inflation approaches its target.

* Banco Central de la República Argentina decided to keep the floor for its benchmark Leliq interest rate at 63% in December. In announcing the decision, the central bank highlighted "the importance of sustaining a real positive performance for savers."

* Guido Sandleris said he will step down as Banco Central de la República Argentina's president on Dec. 10, the same day that Alberto Fernández will be sworn in as Argentina's new president.

M&A deals

* Credicorp Ltd. completed its acquisition of a 77.46% stake in Colombian microfinance bank Bancompartir SA for about $76 million.

* Republic Financial Holdings Ltd. signed an agreement to acquire Scotiabank (British Virgin Islands) Ltd. for $120.0 million, subject to regulatory approvals.

* Chile's Itaú CorpBanca completed the acquisition of a 20.82% stake in Itaú CorpBanca Colombia SA from Helm LLC and Kresge Stock Holding Co. for $334 million. Itaú CorpBanca now owns about 87.10% of Itaú CorpBanca Colombia's equity.

In other news

* Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior SA said it closed a three-year senior loan facility of $130 million for Panama-based Banco Aliado SA.

* The APDP, Peru's personal data protection agency, is investigating a 2018 data leak at Banco de Crédito del Perú to determine if the case warrants sanctioning the bank.

* Banco do Brasil SA will introduce inflation-linked real estate credit lines that will be based on Brazil's IPCA national consumer price index, sources told Reuters. Banco do Brasil said it "will announce news on the subject very soon."

* Mexican financial technology company Konfio Ltd. will receive $100 million in funding from a group of investors led by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.

* Brazil's XP Inc. set an indicative price range of between $22.00 and $25.00 per share for its upcoming initial public offering, in which up to 83,387,237 class A common shares will be sold.

* Brazil's economy grew 0.6% in the third quarter from the linked three-month period in seasonally adjusted terms, and expanded 1.2% from a year earlier, according to data from national statistics agency IBGE.

Featured this week on Market Intelligence

* As SoftBank goes big in LatAm, VC funds cautious on valuation inflation: Foreign investments have supported a new phase of capital building across Latin America's financial technology sector, but industry experts caution that valuations are rising rapidly as investment rounds grow larger.

* SoftBank sees LatAm startup investments slowing after spending $2.5B this year: A managing partner at SoftBank says the company has placed all of its "obvious bets" in Latin America and now expects its investment flow to slow.

* Hires and Fires: A weekly rundown of executive management, board and other personnel moves at Latin American financial institutions.

* Ratings Roundup: A summary of various ratings actions on Latin American financial institutions and economies.