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Argentina unveils economic relief measures; StoneCo's Q2 profit jumps 172.7%

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Argentina unveils economic relief measures; StoneCo's Q2 profit jumps 172.7%

* Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced measures to soothe severe economic volatility following opposition candidate Alberto Fernández's win in Sunday's primary elections. However, analysts say the measures are "too little, too late," adding they are politically motivated, and would not have a significant economic effect, El Cronista reported.

* StoneCo Ltd.'s second-quarter 2019 profit jumped 172.7% to 171.9 million reais, up from 63.0 million reais in the 2018 period. Other financial income spiked 879.0% to 37.1 million reais, boosted by interest income from the IPO proceeds on StoneCo's cash balance and short-term investments.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador predicts the U.S. would ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement, in September, Reuters reported. Mexico has already ratified the agreement.

BRAZIL

* Brazil's central bank will sell dollars outright in the spot market for the first time in 10 years, Reuters reported. The central bank said it will hold daily dollar sales of up to $550 million in the spot market and also reverse currency swaps of the same amount from Aug. 21 to 29.

* Banco do Brasil SA's board voted to resume the search for international partners for its investment unit, Valor Econômico reported. The bank's objective is to convert the unit into an independent investment bank with a greater weight in the group's state business.

* The Brazilian government said that the approval of the economic freedom law will generate 3.7 million new jobs in the next 10 years and a 7% increase in GDP, Estadão reported, citing a senior government official.

* In contrast to other Argentina-based funds, the Optimum Renta Fija Estrategica fund, managed by BNP Paribas Asset Management Argentina's Emilio Botto, was up 21% in local currency on Aug. 12, a day after the opposition won the primary elections, Bloomberg News reported. "Our fund only has Brazilian and Chilean bonds, so we avoided the Argentine risk and benefited from the peso devaluation," Botto reportedly said.

* Itaú Unibanco Holding SA's card unit Redecard SA is changing its card acquisition operations strategy toward large merchants and focusing on niches with a larger business margin, while trying to launch its own instant payment solution, Reuters reported. "For large clients, our solution is no longer acquisition," the president of the firm, Marcos Magalhães, told the newswire.

ANDEAN

* Moody's withdrew Venezuela's C local- and foreign-currency issuer ratings due to its own business reasons. The rating agency downgraded Venezuela's rating to C in 2018 due to the government's "severely impaired" debt servicing capacity.

* Peru's economy grew 2.62% yearly in June while first-half growth figures ticked at 1.73%, Reuters reported, citing data from the country's statistics institute. Economy Minister Carlos Oliva predicted "the worst is over" in July, after the country suffered weak growth in April and May.

SOUTHERN CONE

* The Argentine central bank on Aug. 14 sold $198 million to support the peso, amid a sell-off after the opposition won in Sunday's primary elections, Reuters reported.

* Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.'s purchase of the remaining 20% stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (Argentina) SA that it does not own is credit positive for the latter, Moody's said. The sale reinforces ICBC's commitment to its Argentine operation amid the country's macroeconomic crisis and significant market volatility.

* Paraguayans surveyed by two media entities in the country gave President Mario Abdo high disapproval ratings, Reuters reported. The results were released amid an economic slowdown and a political crisis related to the construction of a hydroelectric plant along its border with Brazil.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: StanChart to boost Asia private banking; Blackstone eyes Anbang property assets

* Middle East & Africa: Q2 profits rise at Israel's Leumi, Discount Bank; Namibia, Mozambique cut rates

* Europe: Deutsche chair hunts for successor; Rabobank profit drops; Aegon, NN results up

Pablo Jimenez Arandia 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.