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4 more LatAm nations in EU tax haven blacklist; Santander Río Q4'18 profit rises


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4 more LatAm nations in EU tax haven blacklist; Santander Río Q4'18 profit rises

* The European Union added 10 more countries to its tax haven blacklist, four of which are the Latin American nations of Aruba, Barbados, Belize, and Dominica. The EU said these countries have declined to engage with the EU or to address shortcomings on tax good governance.

* Argentina's Banco Santander Río SA reported net profit of 3.25 billion pesos in the fourth quarter of 2018, 18% higher than the 2.75 billion pesos earned in the year-ago period. The bank's net interest income rose to 7.91 billion pesos from 6.04 billion pesos.


* A Mexican court ruled that banking regulator CNBV acted irregularly and late in the case of popular finance company Ficrea, which involved fraud to 6,800 clients, El Economista reported. According to the ruling, the CNBV knew about Ficrea's irregularities since 2011, but did not act on them until 2014.


* First Data Corp. agreed to acquire Software Express, a Brazil-based provider of electronic funds transfer solutions to more than 100,000 merchants. Software Express will still independently support clients under its brand. Gustavo Marin, executive vice president of First Data Latin America, said the two companies expect to process more than 15 billion transactions in Brazil in 2019.

* Rogerio Marinho, secretary of social security and labor for Brazil's Economy Ministry, said the government is maintaining its target of saving over 1 trillion reais with a pension reform proposal, Reuters reported. The lower house of Congress is scheduled to vote on the proposal in May.

* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA hired Pedro Leite da Costa as head of equity capital markets, Reuters reported.

* The Brazilian capital market moved 8.8 billion reais in February, down from the 9.4 billion reais registered in the same month a year ago, Valor Econômico reported, citing data from the financial and markets association Anbima.


* Venezuela gave all U.S. diplomats the country 72 hours to leave, saying that their presence "represents a risk for the peace, unity and stability of the country," Reuters reported. The order comes after the U.S. State Department ordered its remaining diplomats to withdraw from Venezuela. U.S. Admiral Craig Faller said in an interview that diplomatic personnel were expected to leave the South American country via commercial means, the newswire reported separately.


* Banco Santander Chile placed a CHF150 million bond in the Swiss market. The bond has a term of five years and six months, and carries a fixed interest rate of 0.384%, equivalent to a spread of 67 basis points above the mid-swap.

* The Chilean government reduced the urgency of a bill that transfers responsibility for fraud on lost or stolen credit cards to banks, La Tercera reported. The country's legislature now has a month to analyze the project and make a decision. Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA CEO Eugenio von Chrismar slammed the bill, saying this will "[encourage] more fraud."


* S&P Global Ratings warned in a report that another global debt crisis is likely, but it will not be as severe as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis despite a 50% spike in global debt since a decade ago. Global debt-to-GDP ratios have surged to greater than 231%, higher than the 208% registered in June 2008.

* Argentine and Brazilian officials said they are supporting Ricardo Hausmann's nomination as the Venezuelan representative to the Inter-American Development Bank, Reuters reported. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido named Hausmann. The bank is scheduled to vote on Hausmann's nomination at the end of the week.


* Asia-Pacific: Ping An plans 10B yuan share buy back; Samsung Life eyes Vietnam M&A deal

* Middle East & Africa: FirstRand fiscal H1 earnings up YOY; EU adds UAE, Oman to tax haven blacklist

* Europe: Standard Life Aberdeen shakeup; 2nd Brexit deal defeat; Värde eyes Carige

Pablo Jiménez Arandia contributed to this article.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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