* Peru's SBS banking regulator has proposed changes to the approvals framework for financial sector mergers, El Comercio reported. The regulator wants itself and competition watchdog Indecopi to have equal say in approving M&A transactions. The proposal was presented as part of a congressional debate over broader changes to regulations governing corporate takeovers, the publication reported separately. Peruvian regulators are looking to eliminate a 40% market share threshold that is currently used as a trigger for regulatory oversight of M&A deals.
* Brazil's economy ministry has sent a letter to Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social asking the bank to repay 126 billion reais of debt to Brazil's treasury in 2019, up from a planned repayment of 26 billion reais this year, O Estado de S.Paulo reported. Waldery Rodrigues Júnior, special secretary of finance at the ministry, said the bank should be in a position to repay the full amount by the end of the year.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Mexican financial system stability board CESF said a possible delay in the approval of the T-MEC North American trade deal and weakness in investment levels are two of the biggest risks facing the country's economy and financial sector, El Financiero reported.
* A technical fault caused Mexico's SPEI interbank electronic payment system to crash for more than an hour on March 19, although the service resumed once the fault was corrected, El Financiero reported.
* Brazil's Senate passed legislation to allow for the creation of so-called simple credit companies, which aim to offer cheap financing for micro and small enterprises, Valor Econômico reported. The measure still requires approval from Brazil's president.
* U.S. President Donald Trump voiced support for Brazil's application to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and said he is also considering NATO membership for the South American country, Reuters reported.
* The number of employment-related legal complaints against Brazilian banks has declined by roughly 50% since new labor legislation came into force in November 2017, Valor Econômico reported. However, financial institutions have adopted a cautious approach and have maintained their provisions to deal with such claims.
* The volume and value of banking transactions conducted online in Colombia overtook branch-based operations for the first time in 2018, El Tiempo reported, citing regulatory data.
* Lucas Llach has been appointed vice chairman of Banco de la Nación Argentina, replacing José Gómez Centurión, El Cronista reported. Llach joined the bank as an adviser to its board nearly a month ago.
PAN LATIN AMERICA
* Global green bonds issuance nearly tripled in the first two months of 2019, marking the best start to a year on record, according to a report by ABN Amro. Gross issuance of euro- and U.S. dollar-denominated green bonds of at least €250 million in size reached €17 billion in January through February, surpassing the €6 billion issuance in the year-ago period.
* The governments of Mexico and Brazil have reached a free-trade agreement for light vehicles, subject to a regional content requirement of 40%, Reuters reported.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: State Bank of India, Bank of China ink MOU; SBI opens new unit
* Middle East & Africa: Attijariwafa Bank FY'18 net income rises YOY; Alexander Forbes gets new CFO
* Europe: UBS fined; Italy to extend bad loan guarantees; BBVA, Nordea sell CoCos
Helen Popper contributed to this article.
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