* Former Colombian senator Iván Duque, who supports oil and mining exploration and lower corporate taxes, won the second round of the country's presidential elections June 17, receiving 54% of the votes with 99% of polling stations counted, Reuters reported. Duque's rival, leftist candidate Gustavo Petro, acknowledged his loss after securing 41.8% of votes. Duque will take his oath of office Aug. 7, succeeding Juan Manuel Santos, and serve until 2022.
* Chile's Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA said it completed the acquisition of Miami-based TotalBank for $528.9 million. The bank achieved all authorizations needed for the transaction after receiving approval from Chilean financial regulator SBIF early in June.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Mercader Financial SA SOFOM ER said CEO Miguel Ángel Velasco Martínez has left the company, effective June 15, and will be replaced by Francisco Deaquino Vargas, the company's finance director. Meanwhile, Deaquino will be replaced by Jorge Trinidad Mendoza Ramos as finance director.
* Fitch Ratings upgraded Mercader Financial SA SOFOM ER's long-term national scale rating to A-(mex) from BBB+(mex) and affirmed the short-term rating at F2(mex). The upgrade of the rating reflects a consistent strengthening of the Mexican company's franchise compared with its peers, as well as a "modest improvement" in Mercader's tangible leverage indicator following a recent capital injection of 200 million pesos in April.
* DBRS discontinued and withdrew its ratings on Mexico's Nacional Financiera S.N.C. Institución de Banca de Desarrollo, upon the rating agency's discretion. At the time of withdrawal, Nacional Financiera had long and short-term issuer ratings of BBB(high) and R-1(low), respectively.
* Itaú Unibanco Holding SA secured a court injunction that freezes a multi-million dollar tax bill ordered by the Carf tax agency, Valor Econômico reported. Itaú Unibanco vowed to continue fighting the order earlier this month when the Carf rejected an appeal by the bank against the bill, which stems from the merger of Itaú and Unibanco in 2008.
* Banco do Brasil SA customers will be able to check on their accounts through messaging application WhatsApp and Twitter as the new service is rolled out over the coming weeks, according to an O Estado de S. Paulo report carried by Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços.
* Banco do Brasil also carried out a real estate swap with the Planning Ministry, estimating that the exchange would boost the bank's second quarter results by some 73 million reais, Reuters reported. The bank swapped properties in Brasilia, Campo Grande, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro for a piece of land valued at 162 million reais.
* S&P Global Ratings affirmed Peru's long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings at BBB+ and A-, respectively. The short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings were also both affirmed at A-2, while the transfer and convertibility assessment was affirmed at A.
* Bancolombia SA is responsible for more than 90% of the financing granted to so-called high impact entrepreneurs in Colombia, La República reported, citing the findings of a study by the iNNpulsa Colombia consulting firm. Last year, the financial sector granted 75.96 billion pesos to such companies, 74.00 billion of which was disbursed by Bancolombia.
* Banco de Chile agreed to pay compensation exceeding $30 million after settling a class-action lawsuit over alleged abusive charges by the bank over a "covenant overdraft line" product, national consumer service agency Sernac said. Under Sernac's conciliatory agreement with the bank, 140,630 customers will receive amounts ranging from about 3,000 pesos to 2.5 million pesos.
* Chilean Congressman Sebastián Torrealba asked the financial regulator SBIF to perform an audit of Itaú CorpBanca's cybersecurity standards, Diario Financiero reported. Chile's national consumer service agency Sernac reportedly received 138 complaints from the bank's clients over alleged unauthorized transactions due to computer security failures, though Itaú CorpBanca maintained that its security systems had not been breached when the consumer agency first contacted it in March
* Chile-based Seguros CLC SA said Humberto Mandujano Reygadas has left his position as CEO, according to a regulatory filing.
* Outgoing Argentine Production Minister Francisco Cabrera will become the president of Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior SA, Reuters reported. Dante Sica will replace Cabrera.
* Argentina's new central bank chief Luis Caputo is planning to launch a series of measures this week aimed at stemming a renewed sell-off of the peso, Clarín reported. The new measures aimed at cooling demand for greenbacks will include a daily auction of dollars to ensure banks have sufficient access to the dollar as well as a deal for exporters to sell at least $300 million worth of goods per day.
* At least four directors at Argentina's central bank will depart following the appointment of Luis Caputo as president of the entity, Clarín reported, noting that a former Deutsche Bank colleague of Caputo – Gustavo Cañonero – would become vice president, replacing Lucas Llach. Andrés Neumeyer, Mariano Flores Vidal and Damián Reidel also quit following former president Federico Sturzenegger's departure.
* The amount of financing secured by companies in Argentina's credit markets plunged by 80% in May year-over-year due to market turbulence triggered by a sell-off of the peso, El Cronista reported, citing data from the CNV securities commission. Total financing in the capital markets was 5.73 billion pesos during the month, compared to 28.57 billion pesos a year ago.
PAN LATIN AMERICA
* Banco do Brasil SA said on June 15 it had increased its stake in Argentina's Banco Patagonia SA to 80.38% after three minority shareholders in the Argentine bank exercised the option to sell their stake to the Brazilian bank in an operation valued at just over $202 million, Reuters reported. The combined stake of shareholders Jorge Guillermo Stuart Milne, Ricardo Alberto Stuart Milne and Emilio Carlos Gonzalez Moreno was equivalent to 21.42% of Patagonia's share capital.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: 2 Japanese banks to merge in 2019; Australian regulator takes Westpac to court
* Middle East & Africa: Barclays Africa to ax top retail bank jobs; Sudanese central bank chief dies
* Europe: CYBG, Virgin Money announce £1.7B tie-up; Allianz considers large-scale M&A deal
* North America: BOK to buy CoBiz Financial; Citibank to settle LIBOR complaint for $100M
* Global Markets: New York markets pre-open: Equities fall on trade risks, 'dieselgate' arrest
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, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here.
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