* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social President Joaquim Levy has decided to freeze advertising spending at the bank pending a review of expenditure, Reuters reported. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro earlier criticized state-run banks for spending excessively on advertising.
* Banco Bradesco SA is reshuffling its management in a move that will see Vice Presidents Eurico Ramos Fabri, Cassiano Ricardo Scarpelli and Marcelo de Araújo Noronha take charge of retail, high income and wholesale, respectively, O Estado de S. Paulo reported. Meanwhile, André Cano will lead the information technology and human resource area.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* New measures in Mexico aimed at strengthening the financial sector are credit positive for local pension funds, known as Afores, Moody's said. The announced regulations include fiscal incentives for initial public offerings and a more flexible investment regime for Afores, which will allow the funds to invest in new categories of securities.
* Mexico's financing requirements for 2019 total 7.2% of GDP, the finance ministry said, adding that the government anticipates covering most of its needs in the domestic market, the Financial Times reported.
* Bernardo González Rosas, the former president of Mexico's CNBV banking and securities commission, has been appointed executive president of the Amafore association of pension fund managers, El Financiero reported. He replaces Carlos Noriega Curtis, who left the position in December 2018.
* Mexican regulators are due to publish new and tougher anti-money laundering rules for nonbank financial intermediaries in the coming days, El Economista reported. The new rules will include measures to prevent terrorism financing.
* S&P Global Ratings withdrew Banco Pine SA's B-/B global scale and brBBB- national scale issuer credit ratings at the company's request. The outlook on both ratings was negative at the time of withdrawal.
* Higher-than-expected vehicle sales in Brazil entail greater profitability for local captive auto lenders, as more demand for new cars will raise demand for loans, Moody's said. The development is a credit positive for banks such as Banco RCI Brasil SA, Banco PSA Finance Brasil SA and Banco Ford SA.
* Banco ABC Brasil SA is looking to gain a foothold in Brazil's investment banking market through the provision of financial advisory services for merger and acquisitions, Valor Econômico reported. The bank is also in private negotiations with investors for the potential issuance of perpetual subordinated financial notes, the publication reported separately.
* The number of new investors in the Brazilian government's Treasury Direct debt-trading program nearly tripled in the second half of 2018 after major banks eliminated charges for transactions, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported.
* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's administration is looking to save 1 trillion reais over 10 years through his upcoming pension reform proposal, Valor Econômico reported. A previous pension overhaul proposed by former President Michel Temer envisioned savings of 800 billion reais.
* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro increased the minimum monthly wage by 300% to 18,000 bolivars, or $6.70, Reuters reported.
* Argentina's central bank purchased $50 million in the foreign exchange market on Jan. 14 at an average price of 37.131 pesos per U.S. dollar, Reuters reported, citing traders.
* Moody's assigned global and national scale local currency deposit ratings of B1 and Aa3.ar, respectively, to GPAT Compañía Financiera SAU. The company was also assigned global and national scale foreign currency deposit ratings of B3 and Baa1.ar, respectively.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: ANZ buys stake in online loan broker; China raises foreign investors' quota
* Middle East & Africa: Egypt plots international bond sale in Q1; Zimbabwe to introduce new currency
* Europe: MPS shares suspended; Swiss Re sees $1B nat cat claims burden; Tandem eyes IPO
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.
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