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Sura eyes sale of Chilean life annuity biz; Venezuela's 'petro' nears launch

* Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana SA is considering selling its life annuities business in Chile, a move that market sources say could generate up to $30 million for the Colombian group, Diario Financiero reported. Grupo Security SA and BICECORP SA are reportedly among the parties interested in buying the business.

* Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said "it is a matter of days" before the country announces its first issuance of the "petro" cryptocurrency, which will be backed by around 5 billion barrels of Venezuelan oil, Bloomberg News reported.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Mexico's Grupo Coppel SA de CV announced a $50 million investment in a joint venture with Insikt, a microcredit startup, to provide loans to migrants and people without a bank account in the U.S., El Economista reported.

* Some of the board members of Mexico's central bank believe additional hikes to its benchmark interest rate may be required in order to keep inflation in check, Reuters reported, citing minutes from the bank's most recent policy meeting. The central bank raised its key rate by 25 basis points to 7.25% in November.

BRAZIL

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social said it agreed to extend the payment term on 1.2 billion reais of loans owed to the bank by the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais by 10 years, Reuters reported.

* Banco Bradesco SA said Antonio Chinellato Neto resigned from his director position on the bank's board. A replacement was not immediately named.

* Brazilian insurers expect a rebound in the sale of corporate products to boost premiums in 2018 as the country's economy continues to recover, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. Total market revenue for the insurance sector increased 14.5% year over year in October, according to data from industry group CNseg.

* The Brazilian financial system board of appeals, or CRSFN, has annulled a 2010 decision by the CVM securities commission and ordered it to reconsider a case related to allegedly fraudulent transactions in the sale of real estate loans by the now-defunct Banco do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Valor Econômico reported. The CVM previously imposed more than 500 million reais of fines in the case.

* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA's board approved the payment of 2.50 billion reais in interim dividends. It also approved a payment of interest on equity in the net amount of about 1.96 billion reais.

ANDEAN

* Around 30% of the funds declared in a Peruvian tax amnesty program have been repatriated, El Comercio reported, citing data from the Sunat tax agency. More than 5,000 people had participated in the program as of Dec. 28.

* Peru's SBS financial regulator has proposed changes to the investment rules governing local pension funds, or AFPs, El Comercio reported. The proposal seeks to expand the range of investment possibilities available to AFPs by allowing them to invest in foreign infrastructure funds and unsecured bank loans.

* Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is considering reshuffling his cabinet in the coming days after triggering public outcry by pardoning former strongman Alberto Fujimori, Reuters reported, citing Prime Minister Mercedes Araoz.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Argentine President Mauricio Macri's government hiked the 2018 inflation target to 15% from the previous 8% to 12% range, according to a central bank statement. The new target will allow the central bank to start lowering its benchmark policy rate, which currently stands at 28.75%, central bank chief Federico Sturzenegger said.

* Paraguay's central bank said the country's inflation rate will end 2017 at 4.5%, within the bank's target range of 2.0% to 6.0%, Reuters reported. The central bank did not make any changes to the inflation target for 2018.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: Nomura eyes China retail brokerage biz, to boost US ops; Sri Lanka holds rates

Helen Popper 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.