* Mexico's central bank kept its target for the overnight interbank interest rate at 7.75%, citing an expected continued decline in core inflation and decreased trade uncertainty after the country reached a new deal with the U.S. and Canada.
* Argentina's competition body, the CNDC, has given Prisma Medios de Pago SA's owners another 10 to 12 weeks to sell the credit card and payment processing company after the initial deadline expired in September, although Prisma had asked for a delay of up to 17 weeks, El Cronista reported. Potential buyers for Prisma could include U.S. private equity firm Advent International Corp., which could pursue the sale alone or in partnership with Bain Capital LP, a source told El Cronista.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Fitch Ratings downgraded Mexico-based Old Mutual Life SA De CV's insurer financial strength rating to BBB+(mex) from A-(mex), due to the perceived change in the insurance company's strategic importance to its last owner, Old Mutual plc. Due to a change in strategy, Old Mutual retired its business on several continents, except for Africa, and agreed to sell its Latin American businesses to Singapore-based financial holding company CMIG International.
* Payment services company Cielo SA abandoned the guarantee control system created by the Febraban banking federation to protest against the non-participation by some competitors, Valor Econômico reported. Other firms such as Itaú Unibanco Holding SA's card network and Banco Santander (Brasil) SA's Getnet, are mulling the same action. The system enables an establishment's receivables to be locked to secure loans from a particular bank.
* The Institute of International Finance says that the current Brazilian political context raises doubts among investors about the continuity of the reform agenda expected to alleviate the fragility of the country's public finances, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. "A fiscal deficit of more than 7% of GDP could raise the cost of loans and reduce growth," the institute said. On the other hand, the IIF cut the growth projection of Brazil's GDP this year to 1.1%, against the forecast of 2.8% in April, still due to the political uncertainty.
* A Datafolha poll gave presidential candidate and former army officer Jair Bolsonaro 35% of voter intentions ahead of an Oct. 7 vote, while rival candidate and former Education Minister Fernando Haddad garnered 22%, Reuters reported.
* Brazilian investment funds attracted 24.9 billion reais in the third quarter, compared to 12.4 billion reais in the previous quarter, O Estado de S. Paulo reported, citing the Anbima capital markets group. From January through September, the funds attracted 71.1 billion, 68% less than a year earlier.
* Brazilian savings accounts posted a liquid inflow of 8.54 billion reais in September, the best performance since the central bank started recording the data in 1995, Reuters reported.
* Peru's Congress approved a referendum calling a Dec. 9 public vote on anti-corruption reforms, including adding a second chamber to Congress and barring legislators form running for re-election, Reuters reported.
* Colombian financial institutions recorded 232 million transactions through their mobile applications in the first half of the year, valued at 8.1 trillion pesos, La República reported, citing a report from the financial superintendency. The number went up 63.5% year over year.
* The average monthly value of online transfers in Peruvian banks increased 55% to 130 billion soles from January through August, El Comercio reported, citing a central bank report.
* Chile's Bolsa de Comercio de Santiago Bolsa de Valores is creating six management areas and two subdivisions as part of an internal restructuring and a new service model, and will gradually implement the plan starting Oct. 8. The new management areas include Stock Market Services, Management Services, Customers and Business, Corporate Relations and Sustainability, Administration and Finance along with Audit and Control Management, with subdivisions for technology, and risks and procedures.
* Fitch Ratings revised the outlook on Chile-based Ohio National Seguros de Vida SA's international scale rating to positive from stable. The rating agency currently believes Ohio National Seguros is of limited importance to parent Ohio National Financial Services Inc., but actions by its parent suggest its Chilean operations could become more strategically important over time.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: Luxembourg, Australia sign fintech deal; Moody's downgrades Suruga Bank ratings
* Middle East & Africa: Saudi lenders finalize merger deal; Sudan to set daily exchange rate
* Europe: Danish FSA asks Danske to bolster capital; court to probe CaixaBank/BPI deal
Pablo Jiménez Arandia contributed to this article.
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