* Credicorp Ltd. posted attributable net income of about 1.10 billion Peruvian soles in the second quarter of 2019, 12.3% higher than the 977.8 million soles a year earlier. The profit was up despite a 43.1% yearly increase in provisions for credit losses, which grew to 448.3 million soles. Banking unit Banco de Crédito del Perú booked an 11.3% year-over-year increase in profit to 790.4 million soles.
* Peru's central bank cut its benchmark rate to 2.50% from 2.75%, as year-on-year inflation, at 2.11% in July, was within the target range. The central bank also cited weak performance in primary industries due to temporary supply shocks, persistent global growth risks, and recent escalation of trade issues.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Mexico-based QPAGOS entered into a stock purchase agreement with Vivi Holdings Inc. for the sale of U.S.-based subsidiary Qpagos Corp., subject to customary conditions. The sale consideration consists of 2,250,000 common shares of Vivi Holdings. Under the agreement, Vivi Holdings will give QPAGOS piggyback registration rights for 1,000,000 of its common shares.
* Mexico's statistics institute recorded inflation of 3.78% in the year through July, down from 3.9% in the year through June, Reuters reported. The figure was the lowest since December 2016. Meanwhile, the inflation reading will give the central bank more scope to reduce borrowing costs as the economy grinds to a virtual halt, El Financiero reported separately. Economists recently surveyed by Citibanamex expected the monetary authority to cut its benchmark rate in September.
* Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales lambasted the board of directors at Banco de Desarrollo Rural SA for failing to disburse credit resources available for coffee farmers, leaving thousands of loan application unanswered, Prensa Libre reported. The bank issued a statement saying it was not responsible for disbursing the funds that Morales referred to as it was only a trustee of the Coffee Mutual Fund.
* Development bank credit in Mexico registered a yearly increase of 10.7% in real terms in the first half of 2019, despite an economic slowdown that has cooled corporate credit growth among private banks, El Financiero reported.
* Fitch Ratings said Brazil's economy will still continue to face headwinds despite the passage of a key pension reform bill which will help address economic policy uncertainty. Fitch does not expect the country's primary fiscal deficit, which was 1.6% of the GDP in 2018, to stabilize in the next two years.
* B3 SA - Brasil Bolsa Balcão revised its adjusted expenses estimate for 2019, to a range of 1.06 billion reais to 1.11 billion reais, from the previous range of between 1.03 billion reais and 1.08 billion reais.
* Eliane Lustosa, who will soon leave her post as capital markets managing director at Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social, said a divestment policy framework drawn up by her team will help the government meet its target to increase sales from its 110 billion reais corporate stock portfolio in the second half of 2019, O Estado de S. Paulo reported.
* Banco do Brasil SA CEO Rubem Novaes said the bank was not considering selling its 29% stake in card processor Cielo SA, Reuters reported, denying an O Estado de S.Paulo report last week that caused Cielo shares to rally by 15%. Banco do Brasil's Chief Retail Officer Marcelo Labuto said Cielo was a core part of the bank's operations.
* BRB-Banco de Brasília SA will start choosing financial advisers to develop a model for operating over-the-counter insurance product sales and also plans to seek partners for its brokerage and card unit, CEO Paulo Henrique Costa told Valor Econômico in an interview.
* Norway said it is still in contact with both the Venezuelan ruling administration and the opposition, after President Nicolas Maduro called off the Norway-mediated talks to protest new U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported. "The facilitation continues under the principle that the parties would like it to, and that there are realistic prospects of a negotiated solution," Norway's chief facilitator for the talks, Dag Nylander, reportedly said.
* Venezuela's opposition-led congress estimated inflation of 33.8% in July, with annual inflation of 264,872%, Reuters reported.
* Peruvian digital foreign exchange house Kambista will start operating in Argentina this month, two years since the start-up was established, Gestión reported, citing CEO Daniel Bonifaz. The company, which will operate under the name "Tu Kash," aims to have a presence throughout the region by 2023.
* Banco Macro SA thinks the Argentine economy is going through the "worst part of the recession" and that it should see a gradual improvement that would temper rising non-performing loan levels toward 2.0% by year-end. CFO Jorge Scarinci also said in a conference call that "as soon as "we have credit demand coming, we are going to allocate funds into new loans instead of Leliqs."
* South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd. will sell its remaining 20% stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.'s Argentine business, subject to certain conditions and regulatory approvals in China and Argentina. The transaction is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2019 or first half of 2020.
* Leading credit rating agencies are warning about the heightened risk posed by Argentine corporate debt over the coming years due to economic and exchange rate volatility, as well as possible changes to the tax regime, El Cronista reported. Moody's said the risk would remain elevated until mid-2020. S&P Global Ratings, meanwhile, highlighted similar concerns but said they expected the next administration to keep fiscal and monetary policies in place for the next 18 months.
* Juan Curutchet, president of Argentina's state-run Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, said financial conditions would improve rapidly if Mauricio Macri wins reelection this year, warning that if he loses, asset prices would plunge, El Cronista reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: Philippines cuts rates; APRA fines Westpac; AMP overhaul faces opposition
* Middle East & Africa: Standard Bank eyes expansion; Consolidated Bank's rescue; Investec faces revolt
* Europe: UniCredit chair dies; UBS eyes i-bank revamp; VTB posts profit
* North America: Malaysia sues Goldman execs over 1MDB; big banks aid Trump-related investigation
Helen Popper 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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