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Clash over Bolivia election results; Chile extends scope of state of emergency


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Clash over Bolivia election results; Chile extends scope of state of emergency

* Bolivian President Evo Morales had 46.85% of votes while rival candidate Carlos Mesa had 36.73% in recent elections held over the weekend, Reuters reported, citing the latest count from the country's Supreme Electoral Tribunal. The results give Morales a lead big enough to avoid a runoff election. Mesa and some protesters slammed the figures, which widened Morales' lead after the tribunal had paused its preliminary vote count for almost 24 hours.

* Chilean President Sebastián Piñera extended the state of emergency in the capital Santiago to the cities of Antofagasta, Valparaiso, Valdivia, Chillan, Talca, Temuco and Punta Arenas, Reuters reported. The Chilean peso was trading 0.75% lower against the dollar as of 2:50 a.m. ET on Oct. 21.


* BAC Credomatic, a subsidiary of Colombia's Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores SA has opened new digital branches in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Honduras, La República reported, citing Credomatic CEO Rodolfo Tabash. By early 2020, another 10 such branches are expected to be operating in the region.


* PagSeguro Digital Ltd. closed a follow-on public offering, wherein the selling shareholder Universo Online S/A divested 16,750,000 shares for an aggregate amount of about $653.3 million and granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 2,512,500 additional shares. Following the offering, PagSeguro Digital will have a total of 328,834,268 common shares, of which 179,963,407 shares will be Class A common shares.

* Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of Brazil's lower house, said he is looking to have approved by year-end the so-called "golden rule" bill that will stop the government from borrowing money to fund its deficit, Reuters reported.

* Brazilian payment processor Cielo SA is setting up a network of branches across the country aimed at serving mainly retail customers and small business owners, Valor Econômico reported. It noted strong competition among payment companies in the segment of small-scale entrepreneurs.

* Banco de Desenvolvimento de Minas Gerais SA signed an agreement for a €100 million credit line from the European Investment Bank, Valor Econômico reported. The loan will be used to finance companies operating in Minas Gerais and working on sustainable energy generation.

* Caixa Econômica Federal will concentrate on immediate withdrawals from FGTS workers' severance fund accounts in 2019, a measure that should inject some 12 billion reais into the economy, Reuters reported, citing the bank's new schedule of withdrawals. Account holders can withdraw up to 500 reais per account.


* Colombia's Finance Ministry said it will swap some of its TES-UVR bonds expiring in 2021 for later bonds with maturities as far in the future as in 2037, though an exact amount was not given, Reuters reported. The government reportedly has 20.7 trillion Colombian pesos worth of the TES-UVR bonds.

* Peru's SBS banking regulator has approved new guidelines governing reverse mortgages operations, El Comercio reported. The Economy Ministry approved the launch of such loans in 2018, but the detailed regulations were left to the SBS.


* Chilean Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said the unrest in Chile would "undoubtedly" affect the economy, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Alfredo Coutiño, the director for Latin America at Moody's Analytics, told Diario Financiero that their growth forecast for the country could drop between 2.2% and 2.3% from its current 2.5% estimate. Fitch Ratings director Richard Francis said the unrest highlights some of the obstacles to raising Chile's sovereign credit rating, while S&P Global Ratings' analyst Manuel Orozco said the events "could lead the government to modify some of its social and fiscal policies to meet popular demand," La Tercera reported in separate articles.

* Chile's financial system operated with relative normality on Oct. 21 despite damage to ATMs, bank premises and branch closures due to the violent protests that swept much of the country, La Tercera reported. It added, 94% of pension payments had been made. Following a meeting of the financial stability council, Finance Minister Felipe Larraín said the payment system was operating as normal and that the government was working to ensure cash machines were stocked, Diario Financiero reported.

* Chilean banks reported increased demand for mortgages during the third quarter, though demand for construction financing was softer, according to the central bank's latest credit survey, La Tercera reported. On the supply side, credit conditions changed little during the quarter, though there was some restriction in the small and medium-sized company segment.

* Paraguay's central bank decided unanimously to hold its monetary policy rate steady at 4.0%, citing a worsening global economic outlook and a complex regional situation, especially in neighboring Argentina, its statement read. It added that inflationary pressures were not seen as risk in the months ahead.

* Argentine fintech Wenance has bought the Fenix Bursatil brokerage firm and plans to transform it into an investment platform aimed at retail investors and small businesses, El Cronista reported, citing Wenance CEO Alejandro Muszak.


* Middle East & Africa: KFH Q3 profit rises YOY; Visa to open new HQ in Dubai; Ghana aims to go cashless

Helen Popper contributed to this article.

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