* Investment group Orange Equity Partners acquired a 5% stake in Argentine futures exchange Rofex SA for about US$10 million, El Cronista reported. The stake was acquired from Bolsa de Comercio de Rosario, which now owns 37.6% of Rofex.
* Crédito Real SAB de CV launched a tender offer to purchase for cash up to about US$313.1 million in aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 7.250% senior notes due 2023. The consideration is US$980 for each US$1,000 in principal amount of validly tendered notes.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Fitch Ratings downgraded Panama-based Promerica Financial Corp.'s long-term issuer default rating to B+ from BB-, while revising the outlook to negative from stable. The rating action follows Fitch's recent downgrade of Costa Rica, the third Promerica Financial location to see a negative rating action from Fitch since November 2018.
* Fitch Ratings took various rating actions on six Costa Rican and two Panamanian financial institutions following the downgrade of Costa Rica's sovereign rating. Fitch lowered the foreign currency long-term issuer default ratings of Banco BAC San José SA and Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica) SA to BB- from BB+, among other actions.
* A Brazilian court will examine a so-called popular action case seeking to annul the appointment of Rossell Mourão to a special advisory role at state-run Banco do Brasil SA, Folha de S.Paulo reported. The legal complaint seeks to annul the appointment on grounds of nepotism as Rossell Mourão is the son of Brazil's new vice president, Hamilton Mourão. The bank has defended the appointment as being purely merit-based.
* Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's economic team is aiming for trade to represent 30% of GDP by the close of the president's four-year term, Reuters reported, citing a senior administration source.
* Itaú Unibanco Holding SA CEO Candido Bracher is taking on direct oversight of the bank's ombudsman, which previously reported to the company's legal department, Valor Econômico reported. The change is part of a broader initiative to put customers at the center of the bank's business.
* Caixa Econômica Federal President Pedro Guimarães has initiated a selection process for the 30 director-level positions at the bank, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
* Brazil's central bank launched a 60-day public consultation on new anti-money laundering proposals that aim to align local regulations with Financial Action Task Force recommendations, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported.
* Six Brazilian states are currently operating under a state of financial emergency, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. The states are Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Roraima, Rio Grande do Norte and Mato Grosso.
* New Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social President Joaquim Levy is expected to announce a new management team for the state-run bank in the coming days, Valor Econômico reported.
* Colombia needs to implement further fiscal adjustment in order to achieve its deficit target for 2019, especially with a watered-down tax reform bill that reduced its original revenue forecasts, Fitch Ratings said. After a central government deficit of 3.1% of GDP in 2018, the Colombian government aims to achieve a 2.4% deficit this year.
* Peru closed 2018 with a fiscal deficit equivalent to 2.5% of GDP, down 0.6 percentage points from the previous year, El Comercio reported, citing central bank data.
* Andrés Acevedo resigned as general manager of Chile's Administradora General de Fondos Sura SA, effective Feb. 20, La Tercera reported.
* Argentine banks expect lending activity to decline in the first quarter of 2019 in terms of both corporate and individual credit, El Cronista reported, citing the central bank's latest credit conditions survey.
* Argentina's government presented a settlement offer to holders of yen-denominated samurai bonds in default, Clarín reported. The proposal involves the payment of about US$25.9 million from Argentina to the bondholders, who rejected swap proposals in 2005 and 2010.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: SWIFT to set up Beijing unit; Indonesia keeps key rate
* Middle East & Africa: NBK posts FY'18 profit rise; Angola to close more banks; South Africa holds rate
* Europe: RBS to buy back government shares; CaixaBank to cut jobs; Nasdaq eyes Oslo Børs
Helen Popper contributed to this article.
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