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Argentina hikes key rate to 45%; BNDES H1 profit soars 253.9%

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Argentina hikes key rate to 45%; BNDES H1 profit soars 253.9%

* In an unscheduled meeting, Argentina's central bank hiked the policy rate to 45% from 40%, citing an "ongoing external situation" and lingering risks for inflation increasing further, and added that it will not lower the rate until October at the earliest. The regulator's monetary policy committee also announced a plan to gradually halve the current stock of Lebac notes, after which they will only be held by Argentine banks. The first of the auctions will be held on Aug. 14.

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social posted 4.76 billion reais in profits for the first half of 2018, up 253.9% from 1.34 billion reais earned a year earlier. Gross income from financial intermediation amounted to 6.5 billion reais in the half-year period, while provisions sank to 1.06 billion reais from 4.73 billion reais a year prior.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Mexican banking executives expect greater demand for credit in the third quarter of 2018, particularly from nonbanking and mortgage financial intermediaries segments, according to a survey by the central bank. Meanwhile, banks with lower market share are expected to see higher credit in the segments of nonbanking financial intermediaries, credit cards and mortgage loans. The expectations are in spite of a perceived deterioration in the domestic and international economic environment.

* Marcos Martínez, president of Mexico's ABM banking industry association, has rejected criticism from the Condusef financial consumers' defense commission over the level of commissions charged by the country's lenders, El Financiero reported. The Condusef published a report earlier this month which noted that foreign banks operating in Mexico charged far more for their services than they did in their home countries. Martínez said the comparison was misleading, arguing that low levels of banking penetration in Mexico explained the higher rates.

BRAZIL

* Bradespar S.A. said it will issue 2.4 billion reais in debt to help fund a fine imposed by a court, Reuters reported, citing a source knowledgeable with the matter. A court in Rio de Janeiro ordered Bradespar and other shareholders in mining company Vale SA to pay 4 billion reais to fellow Vale shareholder Elétron SA, after Elétron sued the others.

* Itaú Asset, the asset management arm of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, has started testing three of its investment funds on third-party investment platforms such as Órama and Easynvest, Valor Econômico reported. It said it was not yet clear if the funds would be offered by XP Investimentos SA, following Itaú's purchase of a 49.9% stake in the company.

* Brazil's ABCB cryptocurrency industry association will meet the board of Brazil's Cade antitrust watchdog on August 15 to call for a ban on the closure of bank accounts belonging to companies operating with virtual currencies, Valor Econômico reported.

* Both Brazil's central bank and the treasury are poised to act in case ongoing turmoil in emerging markets continues amid the sharp depreciation in the Turkish lira, Reuters reported, citing a source from the Finance Ministry who requested not to be named.

ANDEAN

* Peru's BBVA Banco Continental SA will offer bonds worth 100.0 million Peruvian soles as a part of its seventh corporate bond program worth $1.00 billion. The five-year series B bonds, with a nominal value of 5,000 soles each, will be issued Aug. 15.

* Peru's Ohio National Seguros de Vida SA said Victor Hugo De la Cruz Cano resigned as the life insurer's technology project manager to take up another role with the company.

* Banco Ripley Perú SA launched a third issuance of bonds as part of an ongoing debt program for up to 250.0 million soles. The latest issuance will be for up to 100.0 million soles in 3.5-year paper.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Uruguay's fintech industry has expressed concern about draft regulations on peer-to-peer lending presented by the central bank, saying some of the measures would stifle the sector's development, El Pais reported, citing Sofía Lanza, an executive at a fintech industry chamber and co-founder of the Socius platform. Fintech firms have called for regulation and Lanza said executives would meet central bank officials to propose alternatives.

* Banco de Chile has started paying more than 140,000 customers some $30 million in compensation following a court ruling over undue commission charges filed earlier this year, La Tercera reported. The compensation will range from 3,000 pesos to 2.5 million pesos per customer, averaging 130,000 pesos per recipient, the newspaper said.

* BCI Corredor de Bolsa SA aims to become the third-biggest in its sector by 2020, General Manager Tomás Flanagan told La Tercera. The firm aims to increase its customer base by tapping the bank's infrastructure and digital transformation, and also plans to strengthen its investment banking operations.

* Chile's government unveiled a package of measures to shield against cyberattacks and boost data security at public and private sector companies, including financial institutions, Diario Financiero reported. Jorge Atton, the presidential adviser on cybersecurity, outlined the steps and the deadlines for their implementation during a special hearing at the lower house that was called after a cyberattack that hit Banco de Chile and the leak of confidential credit card data.

* Chile's Tanner Servicios Financieros SA placed 1 million unidades de fomento, or UF, in AB series bonds that expire in 19 years and seven months, paying an annual cover rate of 3.75%, according to a securities filing.

* Banco Macro SA reacquired 972,500 common book-entry class B shares, with a par value of 1 Argentine peso per share. The bank spent an average of 145.527 pesos per share, totaling about 141.5 million pesos.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Credit Suisse Group AG will expand its international wealth management division to cover seven regions from the four at present, Bloomberg News reported, citing people briefed on the matter. The regions will cover Latin America, Brazil, Western Europe, Southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.

* Jud Linville, CEO of Citigroup Inc.'s global cards and consumer services, is leaving the company, Reuters reported, citing a memo from Stephen Bird, CEO of Citigroup's global consumer banking business. David Chubak, head of global retail banking for Citigroup, will supervise the company's global branded cards and consumer lending.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Middle East & Africa: Bahrain's Bank ABC, Gulf International Bank post results; Uganda holds key rate

* Europe: Esure, Bain Capital reach £1.21B deal; Swiss Life names CFO; Aareal posts profit

* Global Markets: Lira rebound buoys European markets; weak data drags China stocks

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. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.