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Brazil grows 1% in Q1, but doubts remain; Peru mulls another rate cut

* Brazil's economy grew 1.0% in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 helped by a strong expansion in the agricultural sector, according to data from statistics agency IBGE. The growth marks an end to eight straight quarter-over-quarter declines, breaking the country's severe recession. However, when compared to the year-ago period, Brazil's economy still contracted 0.4% in the first quarter.

* Renowned Brazilian economist Regis Bonelli said it is too premature to conclude that Brazil has exited a recession after official data showed 1% GDP growth in the first quarter from the linked quarter, Valor Econômico reported. He said there is a possibility that the economy will contract again in the second quarter.

* Peruvian central bank Chairman Julio Velarde said the bank is considering another cut in its benchmark interest rate, following a reduction of 25 basis points in May, to spur domestic demand, El Comercio reported.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Banco La Hipotecaria SA said it will offer bonds worth $4.0 million on Panama's stock exchange on June 8. The two-year series AG bonds will carry an annual interest rate of 4.25%.

* Minutes of the Mexican central bank's last policy meeting, at which it increased its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 6.75%, show that board members were divided on whether the bank is almost done with its cycle of rate hikes, Reuters reported. The central bank has elevated the rate by 375 basis points since the close of 2015.

* S&P Global Ratings placed its BB+ long-term global scale and mxA+/mxA-1 national scale ratings on Banco Monex SA Institución de Banca Múltiple Monex Grupo Financiero on CreditWatch with negative implications. The placement reflects pressure on the bank's risk-adjusted capital ratio due to the termination of an agreement that would have resulted in a 1 billion Mexican pesos capital injection in the company.

* Tropical Storm Beatriz neared Mexico's Pacific coast on June 1, bringing with it landslides and strong rains that caused at least two deaths, Reuters reported, citing the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

* Remittances to Mexico grew 6.2% year over year in April to about $2.31 billion, the highest amount for that month since 1995, El Economista reported, citing central bank data.

* Mexican federal competition commission Cofece fined México Multifamily Fund VIII, Invex, CIBanco SA Institución de Banca Múltiple, HSBC and Monex 365,000 Mexican pesos each for having closed a deal to buy certain HSBC assets in Mexico without proper authorization, El Financiero reported.

BRAZIL

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social CEO Paulo Rabello de Castro said the controlling shareholders of firms in which the bank has a stake must be pushed out if they are found guilty of corruption charges, Reuters reported.

* Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said the central bank's indication that it will decelerate its pace of interest rate cuts amid heightened political volatility was "normal" since the rate has already been substantially reduced in recent months, Reuters reported.

* Moody's lowered its global long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings on Banco Original SA and Banco Original do Agronegócio SA to B2 from B1, while revising the outlook on both banks to negative from stable. The downgrade reflects contagion risks stemming from an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged corrupt practices by executives of sister company JBS SA.

* Brazil's unemployment rate has reached a record high of 13.6%, up from 6.5% before the country dipped into recession, with more than 14 million people currently without a job, CNNMoney reported.

* The investment rate in Brazil remained at 15.6% of GDP in the first quarter, stable from the linked quarter and the lowest level since 1995, Valor Econômico reported, citing national statistics agency IBGE.

* A new law that requires Brazilian credit card providers to pay taxes at the origin of each transaction instead of where the company is based will raise their costs significantly by forcing them to monitor the different tax rates and rules in Brazil's 5,570 municipalities, Folha de S. Paulo reported, citing credit card company association Abecs.

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social CEO Paulo Rabello de Castro said the bank will apply rigorous criteria when it analyzes loan requests despite having liquidity in excess of 150 billion reais, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. The executive also said the bank does not create investment opportunities, it only responds to demand for credit, Folha de S. Paulo reported.

ANDEAN

* Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said he will hold a referendum on his divisive plan to form a new constituent assembly that would have the authority to redraft the constitution, Reuters reported.

* Venezuela's opposition-controlled Congress criticized Japanese investment bank Nomura Securities Co. Ltd. for its recent purchase of roughly $100 million of Venezuelan state oil firm bonds, saying that the move helped finance a "dictatorship," Reuters reported. Julio Borges, the president of Venezuela's National Assembly, said in a letter to Nomura Holdings Inc.'s CEO that President Nicolas Maduro's government will use at least $300 million in proceeds from the sale of bonds to Nomura and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to buy weapons from Russia, Bloomberg News reported.

* Banco Agrario de Colombia SA suffered a loss of about 135.81 billion Colombian pesos on investments in troubled construction consortium Navelena, which is linked to scandal-plagued Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht, Portafolio reported, citing Colombia's comptroller general.

* Colombian central bank chief Juan José Echavarría said local lenders are doing what they can to lower interest rates, but it isn't a good idea to force them to reduce borrowing costs, Portafolio reported.

* Banco Agropecuario took control of 5 million Peruvian soles worth of assets belonging to a debtor after conducting the required legal proceedings, marking the first time the bank has recurred to the legal system to recover a loan, La República reported.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Itaú CorpBanca filed a mixed shelf registration statement for the sale of an undisclosed amount of common shares, American depositary shares representing common shares, rights to subscribe for common shares and debt securities. The bank will use proceeds from the sale of these securities for general corporate purposes.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* ING Groep NV appointed Gerald Walker as its regional head in the Americas, effective July 1. Walker will succeed Rudolf Molkenboer, who has headed the Americas since March 2013.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: Nomura involved in controversial bond buy; Deutsche eyes Asian wealth expansion

* Middle East & Africa: Barclays Africa share placing upsized; Egypt ratifies investment law

* North America: Goldman Sachs' Blankfein condemns Trump's decision over Paris climate accord

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

Matthew Craze contributed to this article.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 8 a.m. São Paulo time, and scans news sources published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Some external links may require a subscription.