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Banco de Costa Rica chair suspended; Banco do Brasil assumes Banco Postal costs

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Banco de Costa Rica chair suspended; Banco do Brasil assumes Banco Postal costs

* Costa Rica's government suspended five directors from the board of state-owned Banco de Costa Rica, including Chairman Monica Segnini, after they refused a request by the country's president to step down, El Financiero reported. The other suspended board members include Evita Argudas, Francisco Molina, Paola Mora and Alberto Raven.

* Banco do Brasil SA will assume security-related costs at Banco Postal for the next four months in order to maintain the provision of banking services at around 1,827 post offices across Brazil, Valor Econômico reported. The monthly expense for the bank is estimated at 8 million Brazilian reais. Brazil's postal service is reportedly dealing with a shortage of funding.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Mexico, Canada and the U.S. should not focus on the issue of trade deficits as they hold talks to renegotiate the NAFTA trade pact, Reuters reported. "Discussing the theme of the deficit would generate a war of protectionism that would dismantle the advance of the agreement," he was quoted as saying.

* S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term foreign and local-currency sovereign credit ratings on El Salvador to CCC+ from SD, or selective default. The upgrade follows the country completing a restructuring of its certificates for pension investments.

* Mexico's foreign currency reserves fell by $245 million in the week ending Sept. 29, mainly due to a decline in the valuation of the central bank's international assets, El Economista reported.

BRAZIL

* Bankruptcy filings in Brazil declined 15.6% in September from a year earlier, according to data from credit research firm Boa Vista SCPC. "Companies are now showing stronger signs of solvency indicators, a trend that should be maintained due to improvements in interest rates, spreads [and] inflation, among other factors," the firm said.

* Fitch Ratings assigned BB+ long- and B short-term foreign currency issuer default ratings to Banco BBM SA. The bank was also assigned long- and short-term local currency issuer default ratings of BBB- and F3, respectively, as well as a viability rating of "bb-."

* The Brazilian government issued 10-year bonds worth $3 billion at an annual yield of 4.625%, Reuters reported, citing the finance ministry.

* Brazilian pension regulator Previc said pension funds need to invest more in riskier assets if they want to avoid a rise in their actuarial deficits amid an environment of low interest rates, Valor Econômico reported.

* Brazil's Treasury has authorized the early redemption of about 15.13 billion reais worth of bonds issued by Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social as part of the state-run bank's recent repayment of 33 billion reais of debt to the Treasury, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. Meanwhile, a BNDES director said the bank will require additional sources of funding in order to be able to repay a total of 180 billion reais to the government by 2018, Reuters reported.

* Brazilian banking association Febraban expects local banks' credit spreads to narrow in the coming years amid government efforts to reduce financial sector overheads, Reuters reported. Brazil has the highest banking spreads among 12 countries analyzed in a study commissioned by Febraban, Valor Econômico reported.

* Caixa Econômica Federal will sell 1 billion reais worth of repossessed properties to a private fund, Valor Econômico reported. The state-run bank has repossessed 39,000 properties worth 6 billion reais in 2017 alone, according to the report.

ANDEAN

* Peruvian farming groups have expressed concern over the government's plan to reorient state-run Banco Agropecuario's lending strategy, saying that the move could make agricultural loans more expensive and harm the interests of small-scale producers, Gestión reported.

* Rocío Pérez, a vice president at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Colombia SA, said a new Colombian regulation that allows bank customers who fall behind on loan payments to renegotiate their debts does not necessarily mean they will be given lower interest rates, La Republica reported. The debt renegotiations are more likely to lead to longer repayment terms, the executive said.

* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the country's debt payments to Russia may have to be restructured, although he reaffirmed the government's commitment to honor all of its debt commitments, Reuters reported.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Grupo Supervielle SA said its board approved the appointment of Pablo Di Salvo as chief credit officer. He will replace Javier Martínez Huerga, who resigned for personal reasons.

* The Chilean government's 2018 draft budget permits the country to issue up to $8.5 billion of debt, down from the $10.5 billion debt amount that was approved for 2017, Reuters reported, citing a copy of the document seen by the newswire.

* The board members of Chile's central bank were unanimous in their decision to hold the benchmark interest rate steady at 2.5% at the bank's most recent monetary policy meeting, Reuters reported, citing the meeting's minutes. However, the board members did consider a rate cut before deciding to leave the rate unchanged.

* Mobile banking application Ualá, which offers low-cost banking services including money transfers, has launched operations in Argentina with financial backing from businessman George Soros, La Nación reported.

* Argentina should see higher foreign capital inflows in 2018 as the economy returns to growth and the country undergoes fiscal consolidation, El Cronista reported, citing comment from the Institute of International Finance.

* Overall profits for Paraguay's banking sector increased 12.41% in the first eight months of 2017 compared to the same period a year ago, 5días reported, citing central bank data.

* Eric Parrado, the head of Chilean banking regulator SBIF, said debate over the country's general banking law reform should be kept separate from discussion over legislation that seeks to hold banks accountable for card-cloning fraud, Pulso reported. Two legislators recently proposed that the card fraud issue should be included in the new banking law.

* Banco Santander Chile has reached an agreement with labor unions on the minimum level of services that will be maintained in the event of an employee strike, Diario Financiero reported. Under the agreement, about 21% of the bank's permanent staff members will work through strikes to make sure essential services are uninterrupted.

* Chile's new financial markets commission, which is being created as part of the country's banking law reform, should start operating in December, Diario Financiero reported, citing Carlos Pavez, the head of the SVS securities regulator.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Unisys Corp. hired Eduardo Almeida as vice president and general manager for Latin America, a region that represents 10% of the company's global revenue.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Middle East & Africa: UAE banks intensify talks about Qatar exposures; Moody's reviewing Kenya

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.