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Esteves announces return to BTG, but exact role unclear

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Esteves announces return to BTG, but exact role unclear

* Following his release from house arrest, André Esteves addressed employeesof BTG Pactual Group atthe bank's headquarters to announce his returnto the company, but he did not specify what his exact role would be, Bloomberg Newsreported, citing "three people with knowledge of the impromptu gathering."It appears unlikely that Esteves will become CEO again in the near future, but hecould assume a leading advisory position, the sources said. Valor Econômico reported that Esteves helddiscussionswith BTG's top seven partners over what his position will be. The publication reportedseparately that Esteves is still being investigatedas part of the wider Lava Jato corruption probe.

MEXICO AND CENTRALAMERICA

* has away a group of Mexican wealth managersfrom UBS Group AG, theFinancial Times reported, citing "bankersclose to the deal." While the exact number of employees involved in the moveis not clear, the FT put estimates atbetween 12 and 30.

* Fitch Ratings assignedforeign and local currency long-term issuer default ratings of BB+ and short-termissuer default ratings of B to CréditoReal SAB de CV Sociedad Financiera de Objeto Múltiple. The ratings reflectthe firm's moderate franchise in Mexico's financial market, its well-proven businessmodel and gradual diversification of its credit portfolio to segments other thanpayroll loans.

* Grupo Financiero Interacciones SA de CV posted of 508 million Mexicanpesos for the first quarter, up 24.21% from the 409 million pesos earned in theyear-ago period. The company's loan portfolio expanded 10.71% year over year toreach about 87.35 billion pesos.

* Infonavit, Mexico'snational housing fund for workers, and local banking association ABM signed an agreementto reduce interest rates on mortgage loans in order to boost access to home financing,El Financiero reported.

* AXA Seguros SA de CV has launched a new productthat offers life insurance for pensioners and allows them to supplement their savings,El Economista reported. According to officialdata, only 13% of Mexicans have saved for their retirement.

CARIBBEAN

* Atlas Mara Ltd.said it held discussionswith a consortium of investors exploring a potential acquisition of 's 62.3% stake in and apotential combination of Atlas Mara with the Johannesburg-listed company.

* Fitch Ratings affirmedAruba's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at BBB-, witha stable outlook. The ratings are based on the government's progress in stabilizingits public finances.

* Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term issuer creditratings on Republic Financial HoldingsLtd. to BBB from BBB+. S&P maintained its BICRA score on Trinidadand Tobago at group 5, which anchors banks operating in the country at "bbb-."

BRAZIL

* Moody's long- and short-term globallocal currency issuer ratings of Ba2 and Not-Prime, respectively, to . The Ba2 rating reflects the bank's development role in the relativelyprosperous southern states of Brazil, its deteriorating but still sound asset quality,as well as its adequate capitalization and strong profitability.

* The Brazilian parliamentcommission in charge of a national tax-fraud investigation voted in favor of callingbanker Joseph Safra to testifyon allegations that his organization bribed government tax officials in order tolower corporate tax debts, O Estado de S.Paulo reported. The date for the commission's hearing has not been set yet.

* Disbursements fromBanco Nacional de DesenvolvimentoEconômico e Social reached 18.1 billion Brazilian reais in the firstquarter, falling 46% fromthe same period a year ago, the bank said.

* Brazil's biggest listedbanks are receiving a flood of requestsfrom companies to renegotiate the terms of at least 100 billion Brazilian reaisin troubled loans, Reuters reported. Amid the country's deep recession, banks arelooking to contain defaults by reducing borrowing costs and extending maturitiesfor small and large corporate clients.

* Brazil's Supreme Courtwill rule April 27 on the government's appeal of its decision to allow three statesto recalculatedebts owed to the government using simple interest rates as opposed to compoundrates, Bloomberg News reported. Brazil's sovereign bonds may drop if the decisionis upheld, Citigroup Inc.analysts warned.

* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA reported a managerial netprofit of about 1.66 billion Brazilian reais for the first quarter, up 1.7%from 1.63 billion reais in the year-ago period.

* Brazilian Vice PresidentMichel Temer plans to replacethe board of Banco Central do Brasilif he assumes power as a result of ongoing impeachment proceedings against PresidentDilma Rousseff, Reuters reported, citing "three people familiar with the plan."

* Moody's said Brazilianlenders will issue less mortgageloans in 2016 as default rates rise amid a deep recession in the country, BloombergNews reported.

* Banco Gerador SA is preparing to submit to Banco Centraldo Brasil a proposal for its saleto another financial institution, Valor Econômicoreported, citing anonymous sources. The proposal includes a corporate and operationalrestructuring for Banco Gerador, which has had an inadequate solvency ratio forthe last two years.

* Banco Santander (Brasil)SA and Banco Bonsucesso SAare aiming for their joint venture, called Olé Consignado, to increase its sharein Brazil's payroll loans market to 10% during the next five years from 1.8% currently,Valor Econômico reported.

ANDEAN

* Gruposura Financesaid it issued 10-yearsenior unsecured notes in an offering that raised $550 million, Reuters reported.The notes are guaranteed by Grupode Inversiones Suramericana S.A.

* Venezuelan PresidentNicolás Maduro announced that public employees will only worktwo days per week, on Mondays and Tuesdays, to conserve electricity amid a worseningenergy crisis, The Wall Street Journalreported. The president said this measure "will last at least for a coupleof weeks."

* The Colombian Congressgave its preliminary approvalto a law that will allow consumers to make early repayments on their loans at anytime without incurring a penalty, Portafolioreported. The legislation would apply to entities supervisedby the country's Superintendencia de Economía Solidaria.

* Venezuela's electoralcouncil provided opposition leaders with the necessary paperwork for them to proceedwith a referendum to oust President Nicolas Maduro from office, Reuters reported.The move follows the country's Supreme Court rejecting a proposed constitutionalamendment to cut the president's term.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Moody's assigneda Baa2 global scale local currency rating and Aaa.uy national scale insurance financialstrength rating to MAPFRE UruguaySA, with a stable outlook. The ratings are based primarily on the company'sstrong position in the Uruguayan insurance market, its good product diversificationand its adequate asset quality.

* Banco Macro SAsaid its shareholders approvedthe reorganization of the bank's board, which will establish a composition of 13regular directors and three alternate directors. Delfín Jorge Ezequiel Carballowas appointed vice chairman, along with several new director appointments, whichare subject to central bank approval.

* Banco Santander ChileCEO Claudio Melandri said the bank anticipates its loanportfolio growing by $2.8 billion in 2016, Reuters reported. The company plansto invest $430 million through 2018 to improve technology and service, as well asenlarge its distribution networks, the executive said.

* The World Bank has agreed to provide $2 billion in financingto Argentina through July 2017, La Nacionreported.

* Banco Central de Chilehas asked Chile's Finance Ministry to present a billto stop the issuance of 1 Chilean peso and 5 pesos coins as the cost of productionis higher than their value, Pulso reported.The move would result in estimated savings of about $60 million.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Aspen Insurance HoldingsLtd.'s Aspen Re said it appointed HugoCardona managing director for Latin America and the Caribbean. He succeeds PeterEmblin, who will continue in his roles as managing director for the Middle Eastand Africa, and head of casualty reinsurance at Aspen Re.

IN OTHER PARTS OFTHE WORLD

* introduced a mobile bankingservicein India that uses a virtual assistant to help its customers in completing transactions,Today reported. The Singaporean lenderplans to make the service available in other countries soon.

* Commonwealth Bank of Australia will attend a Senate EconomicsCommittee hearingregarding allegations into its insurance division's intentional delay and denialof claims, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

* Australian insurerSuncorp Group Ltd. tooka US$5 million equity stakein U.S.-based startup Trov Inc. in a bid to launch an on-demand insurance platform,The Australian reported.

* Barclays Plc reportedfirst-quarter group profitattributable to ordinary equity holders of the parent of £433 million, down from£465 million in the year-ago period. Litigation and conduct charges reached £78million in the first quarter, dropping year over year from £1.04 billion. The bankdid not book provisions for U.K. customer redress in the period, compared to £182million in the first quarter of 2015.

S&P Ratings and Global Market Intelligenceare owned by McGraw Hill Financial Inc.

Paula Mejia contributedto this article.

TheDaily Dose has an editorial deadline of 8:00 a.m. São Paulo time, and scans newssources published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Some external links may requirea subscription.