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* Incoming Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, who takes office on Dec. 10, named Martin Guzman as economy minister and Miguel Angel Pesce as central bank chief, Reuters reported. The 37-year-old Guzmán is part of a research team led by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. Angel Pesce, meanwhile, served as vice president of Argentina's central bank between 2004 and 2015.
* Colombia's Gilinski Group, which is controlled by billionaire Jaime Gilinski, has filed an application with local regulators to launch a new bank called Lulo Bank, La República reported. Gilinski, who has signed a number of M&A deals in the financial sector in recent months, hopes to launch the digital bank in the first half of 2020 with initial capital of 100.00 billion Colombian pesos, a source familiar with the plan told the newspaper.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* The U.S. House of Representatives and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are closing in on an amended trade pact with Canada and Mexico, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the negotiations. The negotiations could complete by the Christmas holiday, the Journal reported, citing an official who said talks are "very, very close to completion."
* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA hired Renato Boranga as head of mergers and acquisitions and appointed Pedro Leite da Costa head of equity capital markets, Reuters reported. The bank also tapped Giovanni Bosco as head of energy banking, including M&A and equity capital markets. The appointments were decided by Gustavo Miranda, who was recently named head of investment banking, as part of an investment banking overhaul aimed at boosting the bank's market share.
* The office of Brazil's comptroller general called for new operating rules at antitrust regulator Cade, saying there is a significant risk of conflicts of interest given that some of the watchdog's officials simultaneously hold positions with private law firms, Folha de S.Paulo reported.
* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the country has agreed to pay 12 million reais to the Mercosur regional trade bloc "despite Brazil's difficult fiscal situation," UOL reported. The amount represents just 2.85% of the total debt Brazil owes to Mercosur, according to the report.
* Brazil's benchmark IPCA inflation index increased 0.51% in November from the previous month, Reuters reported, citing government statistics agency IBGE. The country recorded a monthly inflation reading of 0.10% in October.
* Fitch Ratings raised Brazil's real GDP growth forecasts to 1.1% and 2.2% for 2019 and 2020 from 0.8% and 2.0%, respectively. The revisions follow better-than-expected economic performance in the third quarter.
* Consumer prices in Chile inched 0.1% higher in November, bringing annual inflation in the country to 2.7%, Reuters reported, citing national statistics agency INE.
* Fitch Ratings affirmed Paraguay's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at BB+, with a stable outlook. The ratings reflect the country's track record of prudent and consistent macroeconomic policies, low general government debt level and robust external liquidity relative to similarly rated peers.
* Uruguayan stock brokerage Montaldo & Cía. Corredor de Bolsa will close its doors at the end of December due to stricter regulations and "high costs" of doing business in the country, El País reported, citing Pablo Montaldo, the firm's director. Montaldo served as president of the Montevideo stock exchange between 2011 and 2013.
* The Chilean government said ongoing protests over social inequality that erupted in mid-October have so far affected more than 14,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as 75,000 jobs, La Tercera reported.
* Incoming Argentine President Alberto Fernández offered José Ignacio de Mendiguren the chairman role at state-run Banco de la Nación Argentina, but Mendiguren has asked for the same position at public bank Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior SA, anonymous sources told El Cronista. Mendiguren is currently a national deputy for the province of Buenos Aires.
PAN LATIN AMERICA
* Professional services provider PwC believes assets held in mutual funds, institutional mandates and alternatives in Latin America will grow to $5.3 trillion by 2025 from $2.4 trillion at the end of 2018, the Financial Times reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: KB Financial to cancel shares; China eases ownership rules for life insurers
* Middle East & Africa: Boubyan Bank to acquire BLME; S&P acts on Senegal; GCB Bank's digital drive
* Europe: HSBC risk chief to leave; Swedbank revamps executive team; M&G suspends 2nd fund
Pablo Jimenez Arandia contributed to this article.
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