* The stock exchanges of Chile, Colombia and Peru are in talks over the possibility of integrating their systems and services, Diario Financiero reported. According to a Gestion report citing a filing from the Lima stock exchange, the talks are aimed at accelerating regional integration efforts.
* Brazil's Banco BV, formerly known as Banco Votorantim, plans to hold its initial public offering on the B3 stock exchange in April, according to Estado de S. Paulo's Broadcast column. It said the bank planned to lodge a formal request for the IPO with the CVM securities regulator in mid-February.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Alejandro Giammattei will take his oath as president of Guatemala today, Reuters reported. Giammattei will take over from Jimmy Morales, who signed a deal with the U.S. to allow Guatemala to serve as a buffer country for Central American asylum seekers. The new president said he has not yet studied the deal, which he earlier opposed.
* Brazilian pension fund administrators could be allowed to invest up to 20% of their equity in privately owned companies under a proposal due to be evaluated by the National Monetary Council in March, Valor Econômico reported. Eligible companies would need to have consolidated annual revenues of at least 500 million reais and have been operating for three years or more.
* France-based BNP Paribas has announced that Sandrine Ferdane will step down as head of the bank's Brazilian unit to assume a new role in Paris in April, Valor Econômico reported. Ferdane headed the Brazilian unit since 2014.
* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA is aiming for its Empréstimo Sim guaranteed personal loan platform to win back market share from fintech companies and reach 1 billion reais in credit by the end of the year, O Estado de S. Paulo's Broadcast column reported, citing the platform's chief, Gustavo Andres.
* Fondo MIVIVIENDA SA will auction seven-year bonds for up to 180.0 million Peruvian soles, expandable up to 250.0 million soles. Up to a total of 50,000 bonds will be issued at a nominal value of 5,000.00 soles each.
* Banco Popular SA will issue ordinary bonds for a minimum of 350 billion Colombian pesos up to a maximum amount of 500 billion pesos on Feb. 4, La República reported, citing information from the Colombian financial regulator.
* The U.S. levied sanctions on seven Venezuelan politicians who were said to have participated in a move by President Nicolas Maduro to wrest control of the country's congress from opposition leader Juan Guaido by installing Luis Parra as head of the legislature, Reuters reported, citing a statement by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The U.S. assets of Parra and six other politicians will be frozen, according to the report.
* The Argentine government said would-be home buyers would be allowed to loan up to US$100,000 without paying a new 30% levy on foreign currency purchases, La Nación reported. However, the exemption will apply only for those borrowing the money for the purchase of their sole residence. Most Argentines pay for mortgages in dollars. Meanwhile, Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez said Argentina's tourism minister has promised to review the said tax that is also levied on Argentines making purchases abroad in U.S. dollars, Reuters reported.
* Argentine lenders have cut their interest rates on deposits in line with last week's central bank rate cut, with only one commercial bank now offering more than 40% per year on fixed-term peso deposits, El Cronista reported. It noted that the reduction meant savings rates had again fallen behind inflation.
PAN LATIN AMERICA
* Switzerland's UBS Group AG is working on a new office in Miami, with an eye on "potentially tens of billions of dollars managed by Latin American financial intermediaries booking assets in the U.S.," Bloomberg News reported, citing bank executive Stefano Veri.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: India mulls new regulatory body; AMP to consolidate operations
* Middle East & Africa: Bank Audi mulls unit sale; Beltone eyes expansion; SCB Cameroun gets new boss
Helen Popper contributed to this article.
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