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BTG selling 2B reais of shares in banking unit; Alignvest-Sagicor deal approved

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BTG selling 2B reais of shares in banking unit; Alignvest-Sagicor deal approved

* BTG Pactual Holding SA intends to sell about 2 billion reais worth of shares in banking unit Banco BTG Pactual SA. Banco BTG is also planning to transfer approximately 25% of its stake held in Switzerland-based EFG International AG to BTG Pactual Holding, leaving EFG with about 5% of the stake. Banco BTG Pactual will also launch a specific business unit for digital initiatives in the retail sector, which will include retail banking services.

* The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has approved Alignvest Acquisition II Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Barbados-based Sagicor Financial Corp. Ltd. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter, subject to approval of Sagicor's shareholders, the Supreme Court of Bermuda and other customary approvals.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Fitch Ratings lowered Mexico-based Seguros Centauro, Salud Especializada SA de CV's national scale insurer financial strength rating to BBB+(mex) from A-(mex). The downgrade reflects Fitch's view of a deterioration in Seguros Centauro's financial profile due to structural changes that have pressured its operational efficiency.

* Fitch Ratings downgraded the long-term national rating of Nicaragua's Banco de Finanzas SA to AA+ (nic) from AAA (nic). Fitch said the downgrade reflects the higher transfer and compatibility risks brought about by the deteriorating operating environment in the sovereign.

BRAZIL

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social CEO Joaquim Levy said the Brazilian state-owned bank will return another 30 billion reais to the National Treasury on May 31, O Estado de S. Paulo reported. Levy previously said BNDES would pay the amount early in May.

* Roberto Campos Neto, head of Brazil's central bank, said the entity will file a bill on May 29 that will simplify laws on foreign exchange markets and make it easier to do business using the Brazilian real, Reuters reported. "There is a lot of demand for reais-based accounts in small countries doing business in Brazil," Campos Neto reportedly said.

* The Brazilian Senate approved President Jair Bolsonaro's proposal to overhaul the executive branch by lowering the number of ministries to 22 from 29, Reuters reported. The Senate also voted to retain the Council for Financial Activities Control, which monitors possible suspicious transactions, under the economy ministry.

* Brazilian federal prosecutors requested a court to issue arrest warrants for two Rio de Janeiro-based branch managers of Banco Bradesco SA and a businessman, Reuters reported. Prosecutors allege the three individuals were part of a money laundering scheme, wherein they allegedly helped launder almost 1 billion reais.

* Caixa Econômica Federal launched a campaign to restructure the debts of around three million customers, both individuals and companies, under the "Você no Azul" program, Valor Econômico reported. Under the program, debts that are more than 360 days overdue will have discounts ranging from 40% to 90%.

* Brazilian securities and exchange commission CVM opened the sanctioning process against businessmen Wesley and Joesley Batista for the alleged misuse of insider information in interest rate derivatives at Banco Original SA, Valor Econômico reported. In a statement sent to the newspaper, J&F Participações, Banco Original's holding company, said the derivative transactions the CVM is reviewing are common and regular.

* Ana Botín, executive chairman of Spain's Banco Santander SA, said that the pension reform and technological changes underway in Brazil can help reduce the country's bank interest rates, Valor Econômico reported.

* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA will receive 2.7 billion reais from Spanish parent Banco Santander SA this year to reinforce the bank's digitization process, Folha de S. Paulo reported, citing Ana Botín, the group's executive chairman. This figure represents 30% of the global contribution for the different brands of the bank around the world this year, which has reached 9.04 billion reais.

ANDEAN

* Loans to the private sector in Peru denominated in U.S. dollars fell to 38.7% in April, down from 40.3% in the same month in 2018, according to figures from the central bank. Credit to individuals declined to 10.0% in April 2019 from 11.7% a year ago. Lending to small and medium-sized enterprises fell to 6.0%. Total credit in dollars shrank to 27.5% from 29.5% the year prior.

* Moody's revised the outlook on Bancolombia SA to stable from negative, following the outlook revision on the sovereign bond ratings earlier in May. The outlook revision reflects the country's improving economic conditions and continuing fiscal consolidation efforts that will stabilize debt metrics.

* AM Best believes that the recent magnitude 8 earthquake in Peru that was felt as far as Ecuador will not result in significant insured losses in either country because the tremor has had limited impact so far and there is low insurance penetration in the affected regions.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Chile-based Zurich Administradora General de Fondos said Emmy Moreno Acuña resigned as general manager and will take on other functions within the Zurich group. Nicolás Marchant Morales, a director at the company, will step down from the board to take over Moreno Acuña's role.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: Pakistan bourse CEO resigns; Kenanga gets regulatory nod to buy Libra Invest

* Middle East & Africa: Israel's First International Bank sees Q1 profit up; MTN's mobile money push

* Europe: Scope cuts Deutsche; Abanca closes in on Liberbank bid; NordLB, Helaba post Q1

Pablo Jiménez Arandia 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. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.