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Davivienda's Q1 profit falls 13.4%; Mexico's Monex probes missing funds

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Davivienda's Q1 profit falls 13.4%; Mexico's Monex probes missing funds

* Banco Davivienda SA's net profit for the first quarter declined 13.4% to 393 billion Colombian pesos from 454 billion pesos a year earlier. Provision expenses, net of recoveries, jumped 25.4% year over year to 582 billion pesos, while financial expenses rose 6.7% to 949 billion pesos.

* Mexico's Monex Casa de Bolsa SA de CV Monex Grupo Financiero said it has resolved 70% of the claims it received from U.S. origin clients who were allegedly defrauded by an employee, Bloomberg News reported. The company is investigating the disappearance of about $40 million from up to 158 accounts. "Legal action is continuing in the case, and details cannot be disclosed so as not to hinder the investigation," the company said.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* The issuance of stock certificates by Mexican companies has slowed amid global economic uncertainty and higher interest rates, El Financiero reported, citing José Oriol Bosch, the head of the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores SAB de CV.

* In a central bank survey of Mexican companies, 78.6% of the respondents said they did not obtain new bank loans in the first quarter of 2019, up from 74.9% in the previous quarter, El Economista reported.

* Guatemala's finance ministry placed US$1.2 billion of 10- and 30-year eurobonds on May 23, Prensa Libre reported. The proceeds will be used to finance public spending.

BRAZIL

* Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes expressed confidence that the government's proposed pension reform would be approved within 90 days, Reuters reported. He added the government will raise its 2019 GDP growth forecast in two or three months.

* Brazil's Abvcap private equity and venture capital industry association expects that lower risk of exchange rate volatility will boost investments by funds in 2019, Reuters reported, citing Abvcap board member Fernando Borges. "Last year, uncertainties brought by Brazil's presidential elections hindered investments," Borges said.

* Caixa Econômica Federal is expected to return 3 billion reais of debt to Brazil's treasury next week, Estadão reported. In total, the government expects to receive about 30 billion reais of repayments from five public banks in 2019.

* Financial technology firm Neon Pagamentos SA is on track to soon conclude a second round of funding, subject to central bank approval, Valor Econômico reported. Asset manager General Atlantic is expected to participate, along with other investors.

* BRB-Banco de Brasília SA is searching for a partner to launch a new investment platform, Valor Econômico reported. The bank is looking to win back clients following an investigation into alleged irregularities earlier this year.

* Saque e Pague Ltda., which operates a network of ATMs in Brazil, plans to open a branch that can be used by all 22 of its partner companies, which include banks and financial technology firms, Valor Econômico reported.

* Brazil's central bank said it eased certain reserve requirements for time deposits, effective July 1, in a move that will free up about 8.2 billion reais for local lenders.

* The U.S. government has officially announced its support for Brazil's bid to become a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Reuters reported, citing a statement from Brazil's foreign ministry.

ANDEAN

* S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Bancolombia SA to positive from stable, citing improving consolidated capitalization metrics. The outlooks on units Bancolombia Panamá SA and Banistmo SA were also changed to positive from stable.

* Moody's changed Colombia's outlook to stable from negative, citing the country's recovering economic activity and fiscal consolidation efforts that will likely ease the government's debt burden. Meanwhile, Fitch revised Colombia's outlook to negative from stable, pointing to a deterioration in the country's external metrics due to a higher current account deficit, lower external liquidity and rising net external debt.

* BTG Pactual Colombia issued about 305.69 billion Colombian pesos of three-year ordinary bonds, La República reported. Demand for the notes, which carry a fixed rate of 7.39%, reached 344.19 billion pesos.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Argentina posted a trade surplus of $1.13 billion in April, down from about $1.18 billion in the previous month, Reuters reported, citing government statistics agency INDEC.

* Argentina's finance ministry placed about 5.89 billion Argentine pesos of Bote treasury bonds on May 23, receiving 24 purchase orders from local banks, El Cronista reported.

* Argentina's Banco Columbia SA appointed Brian Anthony general manager, El Cronista reported. He previously worked as head of strategic planning and management control at Banco Macro SA.

* Chile's SBIF banking regulator said the details of more than 3,500 cards have been leaked, possibly from a compromised Transexpress point of service, Diario Financiero reported. The affected cards were issued by 11 banks and one savings and loans cooperative, which blocked the cards upon being notified of the leak.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: Nomura Securities faces penalty; South Korean securities firm sells assets

* Middle East & Africa: PE firms to take over Phoenix; Egypt holds rates; Moody's downgrades Zambia

* Europe: Deutsche pledges tough cutbacks; BNP eyes German growth; LCF collapse probed

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. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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