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Another key ally splits from Rousseff's ruling coalition

* Brazil's Progressive Party decided to splitfrom President Dilma Rousseff's ruling coalition ahead of a key vote on herimpeachment, The Wall Street Journalreported. The PMDB party parted way with the coalition in March.

MEXICO ANDCENTRAL AMERICA

* Panama'sattorney general searchedthe offices of local law firm Mossack Fonseca for evidence of unlawfulactivity, Reuters reported. The raids follow the Panama Papers leak.

* Panama's FinanceMinister, Dulcidio De La Guardia, will travel to Paris and meetwith his French counterpart Michel Sapin to argue against the Europeancountry's reinstatement of Panama on a blacklist of uncooperative taxjurisdictions, La Prensa reported.

* German lenderKfW has extended a€50 million loan to SociedadHipotecaria Federal SNC to help the Mexican bank fundthe construction of more than 5,000 energy-saving homes during the coming sixyears, BNamericas reported.

* Mexico'sinsurance sector has fallen behind other countries in terms of implementing newtechnologyto boost sales, El Economistareported, citing Recaredo Arias, head of local insurance industry associationAMIS.

* Mexican financialconsumer protection agency Condusef said four of the 12 local insurancecompanies it evaluated failed a financial transparency test.

* Commercial banksin Mexico posted a total profit of about 17.04 billion Mexican pesos inFebruary, up 11.8% compared to the same month a year ago, El Economista reported,citing data from local banking and securities commission CNBV.

* Guatemala'sCongress approved a law to boost the supervisionof the country's microfinance sector, PrensaLibre reported. The law also governs the authorization process for microfinanceinstitutions, as well as their reporting and capital requirements.

CARIBBEAN

* Cuba's creditors hiredRodrigo Olivares-Caminal, an expert on sovereign debt, to lead their effortsfor a debt settlement with the country, the FinancialTimes reported.

BRAZIL

* Brazil'sFinance Ministry criticizeda decision by the Supreme Court that allows certain states to reduce debtrepayments to the federal government, arguing that the ruling could generate aloss of 313 billion Brazilian reais for the government, Valor Econômico reported.

* does notcurrently anticipate raising interest rateson mortgages, but the bank may do so later in 2016 if necessary, Reutersreported, citing Teotônio Rezende, the lender's housing director.

* A Brazilianparliamentary commission that is investigatingalleged fraud at the country's largest pension funds said the misappropriatedamount in the case could be as high as 4.26 billion Brazilian reais, up fromearlier estimates of 3 billion reais, OEstado de S. Paulo reported.

* BrazilianPresident Dilma Rousseff is looking to decrease banks' reserve to boost credit andrevive a recession-struck economy, Reuters reported, citing an unnamedpresidential aide. Measures to keep the economy afloat will be put up in caseCongress proceeds with an impeachment vote against the president, the sourcesaid.

* Brazilian bankingassociation ABBC said it obtained an injunction against a decree that limited to five thenumber of financial institutions authorized to grant payroll loans to civilservants of the state of Pernambuco. The judge who granted the injunctionargued that the decree affronts free competition rights and harms the interestsof both banks and borrowers.

* Arminio Fraga, aformer Banco Central doBrasil chief, has voiced supportfor Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer's economic proposals, but said he isnot interested in taking up a government position due to personal reasons,Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, Temer is drafting a strategyto create a transitional government amid an upcoming congressional vote onPresident Dilma Rousseff's impeachment.

* Banco Central doBrasil auctioned off 160,000 foreign-exchange reverse swapson April 12 in a record $8 billion intervention, Bloomberg News reported.

* is readying aloanof up to $300 million for firms constructing a toll road in Colombia, BloombergNews reported, citing "people with direct knowledge of the matter."

* Brazilian banksare looking to prevent a group of large companies from defaultingby renegotiating loans and assessing the possibility of asset sales to coverdebts, Folha de S.Paulo reported. Thetotal debt owed by the group is estimated to be 200 billion Brazilian reais.

* The 16 majorbanks listed on Brazil's stock exchange recorded total profitsof 67.7 billion Brazilian reais in 2015, up 30% compared to the previous year, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviçosreported, citing data from Brazilian association of listed companies Abrasca.

* Due to a steeprecession and political volatility in Brazil, dealmakers in the country arefinding it difficult to reach agreementsamid different opinions on valuations, Reuters reported. In the first quarter,local companies announced about $3.81 billion worth of deals, down 34% from ayear ago.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in Argentina's debtdispute with holdout creditors, said the country reached a settlementwith Yellow Crane Holdings LLC for a total of about $255 million.

* Standard & Poor's Ratings Chile Clasificadora de Riesgo Ltda. saidit opened an officein Santiago, Chile. The office is the company's first ratings operation in thecountry.

* Banco Central deChile said it maintainedits monetary policy interest rate at 3.5%. "The Board reiterates itscommitment to conduct monetary policy with flexibility, so that projectedinflation stands at 3% over the policy horizon," the central bank said.

* Grupo SecuritySA's share price jumped 5.82% on April 12 amid rumorsthat it may receive a merger offer from Scotiabank or another competitor, Diario Financiero reported.

* An appeals court in Chile ruled that local economic development agencyCorfo must be compensatedby BBVA Corredores de BolsaLimitada for damages in the so-called Inverlink case, Diario Financiero reported.

* Argentine insurance companies are threatening legalaction over a central bank ruling that allows commercial banks in thecountry to sidestep insurers and directly offer certain insurance products toclients, La Nación reported.

* Banco Central delUruguay said it will step up regulationof the country's financial sector through 2018 to align practices withinternational standards, El Paísreported. The central bank will also increase its scrutiny of public offerings.

* Carlos Pereira, the president of Paraguay-based , called on asenate finance committee to rejecta bill that would pardon the debts owed by rural farmers, La Nación reported.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* The International Monetary Fund downward its growth projectionsfor Latin America, as it now expects the region's economy to contract 0.5% in2016 before recovering to 1.5% growth in 2017. Meanwhile, the United Nations'Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said it forecasts anaverage contraction for the region of 0.6% in 2016.

* The World Bank said it expects the economy in Latin America and theCaribbean to contractby 0.9% in 2016.

IN OTHER PARTSOF THE WORLD

* TaiwaneseFinance Minister Chang Sheng-ford said Taiwan will no longer applyfor membership in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank under preconditionsof dignity and equality, the island's Central News Agency reported.

* China's FinanceMinistry will issueabout 15 billion yuan of national debt in Hong Kong at a nominal interest rateof 3% in May at the earliest, the ChinaSecurities Journal reported. It has been a long-term arrangement for theChinese government to issue yuan-denominated national debt in Hong Kong twice ayear since 2011.

* Australia-basedbitcoin exchange Igot, which owes thousands of dollars to Australian customers,is on the verge of insolvency,The Sydney Morning Herald reported,citing an ABC News program. The incident has renewed calls for regulating thesector, as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it wasunable to act in the absence of regulations governing the industry.

* co-CEO Jürgen Fitschenand ex-CEOs Josef Ackermann and Rolf Breuer look increasingly likely to be clearedby a Munich court of attempted fraud in a criminal trial related to thecollapse of Leo Kirch's media empire in 2002, Bloomberg News writes.

S&P Ratings and Global MarketIntelligence are owned by McGraw Hill Financial Inc.

Matthew Crazecontributed to this article.

TheDaily Dose has an editorial deadline of 8:00 a.m. São Paulo time, and scansnews sources published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Some external linksmay require a subscription.