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Venezuela struggles with debt; court omits Odebrecht testimony from Temer case

* Brazil's top electoral court decided not to include testimony from executives at engineering firm Odebrecht SA in a case alleging that President Michel Temer received illegal campaign financing in the 2014 elections, Reuters reported. The exclusion of that testimony improves Temer's line of defense in the trial, according to the newswire. A final ruling could emerge on the morning of June 9.

* Someone has anonymously asked the International Swaps and Derivatives Association to determine whether Venezuela's reported default on about $950 million of loans from Russia can be considered as a wider default on the South American country's debts, the Financial Times reported. The Latin American Herald Tribune earlier reported that Russia's Audit Committee has confirmed a Venezuelan default on obligations to Moscow.

* Venezuela this week missed a $30 million loan interest payment to Banco De Desarrollo De América Latina, a development bank headquartered in the capital city of Caracas, two anonymous legislative sources told Reuters. The country has entered a 30-day grace period to meet the payment.


* Fitch Ratings said Mexican corporations face varying degrees of exposure to a potential renegotiation of the NAFTA trade pact, with the automotive, manufacturing, alcoholic beverage, property and real estate, and retail industries being most exposed to protectionist U.S. policies.

* Costa Rica's central bank decided to raise its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 4.5%, effective June 8, El Financiero reported. The benchmark rate is now almost 3 percentage points higher than at the start of 2017.

* Panama and Mexico signed an agreement to share financial information between the two countries for tax-related purposes, El Capital Financiero reported. Panama is also in talks to reach similar agreements with Spain, Italy, Germany, the U.K. and Switzerland.


* Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago Ltd. said it appointed Janet Boyle to its board, effective June 6. Boyle has held progressively senior roles within the Scotiabank group over the last 13 years.

* FirstCaribbean International Bank Ltd. declared an interim dividend of 2.5 U.S. cents per share, payable July 7 to shareholders of record as of June 23.


* Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said a presidential decree signed June 8 to raise the maximum amount of fines that can be imposed on banks for rule violations will enable the central bank and securities regulator to enhance transparency, Reuters reported. Congress has six months to decide whether it will turn the decree, which also empowers the central bank to enter leniency deals with companies, into permanent law.

* Banco do Brasil SA said unit BB Banco de Investimentos SA's stake in Neoenergia SA will fall to 9.34% from 11.99% as a result of a planned merger of Elektro Holding SA into Neoenergia. The merger is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social CEO Paulo Rabello de Castro said the bank plans to soon launch a new system similar to Treasury Direct, which allows individuals to buy government securities directly, Valor Econômico reported.

* Brazil's central bank said the terms of any leniency agreements it strikes with financial institutions that admit to wrongdoing may be kept confidential if there is a perceived risk to financial stability, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. However, the companies who enter those deals can disclose the details at their own discretion.

* Banco do Brasil SA CEO Paulo Caffarelli said the bank has not seen a decline in credit demand in recent weeks despite rising political uncertainty, adding that the bank expects to accelerate loan disbursements in the second half of 2017, Reuters reported.

* Caixa Econômica Federal is seeking early repayment of a 50 million reais loan to Flora, a cleaning and hygiene company that belongs to the J&F group, citing concerns over a corruption scandal that has engulfed the firm's owners, Folha de S. Paulo reported.

* Brazil's window of opportunity to approve a key social security reform is gradually closing as 2018 nears, as politicians will then likely shift their attention to presidential elections scheduled for next year, Lisa Schineller, a director at S&P Global Ratings, told Valor Econômico in an interview. The country's credit rating hinges on progress in the government's reform agenda, she said.

* Brazilian banking federation Febraban and stock exchange operator BM&FBOVESPA SA – Bolsa de Valores Mercadorias e Futuros have started testing the application of blockchain technology in the local financial system, Valor Econômico reported.


* Banco Central de Reserva del Perú maintained its monetary policy interest rate at 4.0%, noting that certain supply shocks that impacted inflation in the first quarter continued to reverse in May. The pace of economic expansion in Peru is still below its potential growth level, but activity is expected to recover in the coming quarters due to increased government spending and the impact of higher export prices so far in 2017, the central bank said.

* Peru's Congress approved a reform law that raises minimum capital requirements for the country's municipal savings and credit funds and strengthens the sector's overall regulatory framework, El Comercio reported.


* Fitch Ratings downgraded the long-term national credit ratings of Credicorp Capital Chile and Credicorp Capital SA Corredores de Bolsa to AA-(cl) from AA(cl). The downgrade follows a similar action on Banco de Crédito del Perú, which is also owned by Credicorp Group.

* Argentina's central bank gave its approval for the country's first fully digital bank to start operating by the end of 2017, La Nacion reported. Called Wanap, the bank will begin operating with initial capital equivalent to $10 million.

* Uruguayan government representatives are meeting with institutional investors from Europe and the U.S. in advance of a possible global bond issuance next week, El Pais reported.

* Chile's Banco Ripley is appealing a labor ministry order that requires only 139 of the bank's employees to work during strikes in order to maintain a minimum level of service, Pulso reported. The bank had originally proposed that 400 employees, or around half of its total workforce, should work in the event of a strike.

* Chilean central bank Gov. Mario Marcel called on local lenders to begin adopting Basel III standards even though the country's general banking law has been significantly delayed and is yet to be forwarded to Congress, Diario Financiero reported. Banks will find it easier to adjust to the new standards once the law is passed if they start preparing now, he said.


* Asia-Pacific: Citi to boost Asia wealth biz; UK's Conservatives lose majority, exit poll shows

* Middle East & Africa: Qatari group eyes UK lender; Central Africa mulls emergency liquidity facility

* Europe: UK poll shock clouds Brexit outlook; consortium circling Co-op Bank

* North America: Zames wants to run his own business; Financial CHOICE Act moves to Senate

* North America Insurance: NY insurers seek rate hikes; McConnell supports pre-existing illness protection

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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.