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Agrobanco revival push gets OK; Inverlink, BTG Colombia to open real estate fund

* Peru's Congress approved a proposal that would revive and financially strengthen Banco Agropecuario, the distressed state-run agricultural lender known as Agrobanco, according to an El Comercio report. Subsequently, Congress rejected an alternative option to create a new institution called Mi Agro to take over Agrobanco's assets and liabilities.

* Investment banks BTG Pactual Colombia and Inverlink SA have formed a partnership in the country to launch a real estate collective investment fund, La República reported. Called Tandem Capital, the new company aims to foster Colombia's real estate asset management business and develop a secondary market in real estate financing instruments including the fund. Regulatory approval has not yet been granted to the new entity.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Mexico's insurance sector grew 3.3% in the third quarter year over year and is expected to expand by 6.5% over the course of the year, according to the AMIS industry association, El Economista reported. It said the growth was being driven by life premiums as well as pensions.

* Some savers with deposits in failed Mexican sofipo Proyecto Coincidir SA de CV SFP fear they will not be able to recover all of their savings because of limits on the country's deposit guarantee insurance, El Economista reported. Those savers with deposits greater than 1.2 million pesos said they feared being left out the scheme, meaning they would have to wait for the entity's resolution to recover their funds.

* Eugenio Nájera was named CEO of Mexico's Nacional Financiera SNC Institución de Banca de Desarrollo, effective Dec. 16, 2018, El Economista reported. Nájera's appointment was announced early in November.

* The monetary policy board at Guatemala's central bank chose four new representatives from private banks and business to serve on the panel until January 2020, Prensa Libre reported. They include Luis Rolando Lara Grojec and Luis Fernando Samayoa Delgado from the banking sector, and Jorge Eduardo Briz Abularach and Mariano Rubén Ventura Zamora from the business sector.

* Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior SA closed a $50 million five-year senior, secured, amortizing acquisition finance facility for G.B. Group Corp., the parent company of Global Bank Corp. The proceeds of the loan were used to support Global Bank's acquisition of Banco Panameño de la Vivienda SA.

* Banco La Hipotecaria SA will offer $3.45 million worth of three-year notes on Jan. 7, 2019, to fund growth in its mortgage loan book. The notes mature Jan. 10, 2022, though the bank has the option to redeem after a two-year period.

BRAZIL

* A São Paulo business court has granted an injunction favoring XP Investimentos SA in its lawsuit against Banco BTG Pactual SA, in which the financial services firm accused the investment bank of unfair competition for allegedly using confidential information gleaned while it served as an adviser on an initial public offering, Valor Econômico reported. The injunction ordered by Judge Luis Felipe Ferrari Benendi prohibits BTG from using information about XP clients to which it has had access.

* Itaú Unibanco Holding SA has signed a partnership with private healthcare provider Amil Participações SA, the latest step toward making its insurance brokerage an open platform for distributing policies from other companies, Valor Econômico reported.

* Brazil's central bank is due to publish regulations this week to clarify the possible use of credit card receivables as collateral on the outstanding debts of shopkeepers to banks, Valor Econômico reported.

* Brazil's Banco Inter SA has committed to pay 1.5 million reais to the government as part of a judicial agreement to "strengthen public institutions that fight against cyber crimes," Valor Econômico reported. The bank did not give the reason for the payment, saying only that it stemmed from a civil court case filed in Brasília.

ANDEAN

* Itaú Comisionista de Bolsa Colombia SA is in discussions to sell its entire stake in Panama-based unit Itaú Casa de Valores SA, according to a statement from Itaú CorpBanca Colombia SA. The decision to sell the unit is based on a business strategy that involves searching for opportunities that provide greater value to clients. A sale agreement has not been signed yet.

* Colombia's Scotiabank Colpatria SA aims to boost its wealth management, investment banking and business services as part of the Canadian bank's efforts to grow in the Pacific Alliance countries of Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico, Portafolio reported, citing CEO Jaime Alberto Upegui. He said the bank was also planning to open two digital branches in the Colombian capital Bogotá in the first half of 2019, La República reported.

* Banco Internacional del Perú SAA's board approved the sale of a 100% stake in subsidiary Interfondos SA Sociedad Administradora de Fondos Mutuos to Inteligo Group Corp. Interbank did not disclose the price of the transaction.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Argentina's economy went down 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018, recording a decrease in GDP for two straight quarters, Reuters reported, citing a report by the Indec statistics agency.

* Francisco Cabrera, the president of Argentina's state-run Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior SA and a close ally of President Mauricio Macri, is not being lined up as an eventual replacement for Javier González Fraga at the helm of Banco de la Nación Argentina, El Cronista reported, citing sources at the trade development bank.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Global insured losses in 2018 are estimated to be around US$79 billion, down from US$150 billion in 2017 but higher than the previous 10-year annual average of US$71 billion, according to preliminary estimates from Swiss Re AG. Based on its records, 2018 was the fourth-costliest year in terms of losses covered by the insurance industry.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: IDFC Bank, Capital First close merger; Bank of China names employee supervisors

* Middle East & Africa: Ecobank says unaware of probe; Fitch downgrades Oman; Morocco holds key rate

* Europe: Natixis, Sydbank profit warnings; Lloyds CEO faces heat; Italy budget deal

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.