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Argentina holds benchmark rate; Brazil justifies bank bail-out bill


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Argentina holds benchmark rate; Brazil justifies bank bail-out bill

* Banco Central de la República Argentina left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 26.25%, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the central bank. The bank said that while core inflation should be slightly lower in the third quarter compared to the previous quarters, it remains above target levels.

* Ilan Goldfajn, Brazil's central bank governor, confirmed a bill was in the works that, if passed, would allow the central bank to partly bail out cash-strapped firms, Reuters reported. "We must have a plan for such occasions," Goldfajn reportedly said, defending the bill. Current laws allow the regulator to step in when companies are facing problems, but the central bank cannot use taxpayer money to help them in doing so.


* A U.S. business lobby warned that proposals from the administration to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico were already sabotaging talks, Reuters reported. Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray also said that scrapping the agreement would not just affect trade ties between the two countries, but also relations in other areas. In a separate report by the newswire, Videgaray said that Mexico will only stay in the trade agreement if the new treaty is ultimately beneficial for them.

* Mexico's finance ministry said the country will receive $150 million in a catastrophe bond as the Sept. 7 earthquake met conditions, Reuters reported. The Carlos Slim Foundation also donated over $105 million to earthquake recovery efforts in the country, and collected over $21 million more in donations that will also be contributed, Reuters reported, citing billionaire Carlos Slim.

* Banco Delta, S.A. is the first Panamanian bank to receive the Customer Protection certification, granted by international microfinance organization Smart Campaign, El Capital Financiero reported. The certification means the bank follows adequate standards when dealing with clients.

* The president of Mexico's commission for the protection of financial service users, Mario Di Constanzo, said that banks will absorb mortgage loans from earthquake victims in Mexico, in cases where the funds paid by insurance companies are insufficient, Reforma reported.

* Juan Miró has been appointed director of Banco Ficohsa (Guatemala) SA.


* Banco Central do Brasil expects to continue cutting its interest rates amid an unchanged outlook that the country's economy would gradually recover, Reuters reported, citing comments from central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn.

* Banco Bradesco SA said that Lázaro de Mello Brandão resigned as chairman of the board. He will be replaced by Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, currently the director-president of the bank.

* Caixa Econômica Federal's new statutes determine that the bank's vice presidential appointees have to meet not only technical standards, but also pass an evaluation made by an external consultancy, to be presented to the board of directors, Valor Econômico reported.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed the AMP-1 (Very Strong) rating on Votorantim Asset Management Distrib. de TVM Ltda., then withdrew it at the company's request. At the time, the rating continued to reflect the asset manager's clear corporate strategy, along with a wide variety of products managed by an experienced team.

* Brazilian President Michel Temer should not face trial for obstruction of justice and membership in a criminal organization because the charges against him were based on "bogus" plea bargain statements that do not merit criminal prosecution, according to a recommendation from Congressman Bonifacio de Andrada, Reuters reported. Temer was charged for alleged bribes to meatpacking company JBS SA.

* Brazil's central bank is studying ways to change the country's foreign exchange regulation to facilitate market operations without eliminating the mechanisms to prevent criminal activities, such as money laundering, Valor Econômico reported.

* Interest rates of overdraft protections increased 64.1 percentage points in the last two years, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported, citing a report from Brazil's central bank. In August 2017, the average rate reached 317.3%, from 253.2% in August 2015.

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social's Planning Director Carlos da Costa said that despite a lower cash scenario due to the repayment of 180 billion reais to the Treasury, the bank's current situation is "difficult but happy," Valor Econômico reported. In a separate report, the optimism reflects market specialists surveyed by the publication, saying that despite the payment, the institution has plenty of resources to get recapitalized.

* Brazilian companies pulled in 176.3 billion reais in local and international capital markets, through fixed income and stock offers, from January to September in the current year so far, Valor Econômico reported. The amount is 32% higher than in the same period in 2016.


* Colombia collected 15.5 trillion pesos in taxes in September, a 9% growth compared to the same period in 2016, when 14.2 trillion pesos was raised, La República reported.


* S&P Global Ratings, Moody's and Fitch Ratings' Argentine subsidiary Fix made positive comments about the growth of mortgage lending in the country during the past year, noting that lower interest rates help consolidate the fall of inflation, La Nación reported.

* An Argentine fintech has been using a robot to perform technical and fundamental analysis and make investment decisions in the stock exchange, El Cronista reported.

* Banco Central de la República Argentina said the 2-peso bill will lose value, and consumers may have this exchanged for the new 2-peso coin after the October elections, La Nación reported. There are an estimated 415.1 million bills in circulation.

* Consumer credit for small loans in Chile fell 4.7% in June 2017, Diario Financiero reported, citing the Chilean banking association ABIF.


* U.S. insurer Assurant Inc. expects to record in the third quarter pretax catastrophe losses from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria of $287 million to $293 million. In addition to the hurricanes, which affected both the U.S. and the Caribbean, Assurant expects about $4 million in pretax losses in the third quarter related to the Sept. 19 earthquake in Mexico.

* In its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund revised its expectation for global growth to 3.6% in 2017 and 3.7% in 2018, slightly up by 0.1 percentage point from the April report for both years. For Latin America and the Caribbean, the IMF projected growth of 1.2% for 2017, slightly up from the 1.0% growth estimate made in July, Reuters reported.


* Europe: Capital rules compromise; Santander ups ROE target; Italy bad loans decrease

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

Mariana Aldano contributed to this article.

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