* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social is evaluating the possibility of a secondary public offering to divest up to its whole stake in Brazilian state oil firm Petróleo Brasileiro SA - Petrobras, currently at 10% of the issued common shares as of Nov. 30. Petrobras said BNDES has approved starting the selection process of hiring advisors for the transaction, and also began studies to detail its terms and conditions.
* B3 SA - Brasil Bolsa Balcão released its cost guidance for 2020, saying adjusted expenses should be between 1.13 billion reais and 1.18 billion reais next year. Depreciation and amortization are forecast to be between 1.03 billion reais and 1.08 billion reais, while revenue-linked expenses should come in at between 105 million reais and 125 million reais.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister for North America Jesus Seade said the country will not tolerate labor inspectors entering the country under disguise, saying "Mexican law prohibits it," Reuters reported. The country signed an updated trade deal with Canada and the U.S. in the previous week, but labor concerns remained amid the signing.
* Fitch Ratings affirmed Mexico's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at BBB, with a stable outlook. The ratings reflect Mexico's diversified economy and track record of robust and disciplined policy framework anchoring macroeconomic stability and containing imbalances.
* The monetary policy board at Guatemala's central bank voted unanimously to suspend operations at Financiera de Occidente SA, which only accounts for 0.35% of total banking system assets. In a statement, the central bank said the move is intended to "preserve the stability of the national banking system."
* Mexican credit activity is expected to accelerate next year in tandem with forecasts for a slight recovery in GDP growth, El Economista reported, citing the president of the ABM banking industry association, Luis Niño de Rivera. He noted that credit to the private sector had grown by about 6.5% this year even with almost zero economic growth.
* Banco Indusval SA approved the sale of its minority stake in Guide Investimentos SA Corretora de Valores to the bank's controlling shareholder and chairman, Roberto de Rezende Barbosa. The sale, which represents about 20% of Guide's capital stock, was reported by Reuters to be at 120 million reais. However, it is still subject to possible adjustments of plus or minus 1 million reais, due to liquidity events.
* Brazil's largest pension fund, Previ, will adopt a more flexible and diversified investment policy in response to lower interest rates, including entry into multimarket funds, Valor Econômico reported, citing investment director Marcus Moreira. Previ manages the pensions of state-owned Banco do Brasil SA and has some 200 billion reais in assets.
* Banco Santander (Brasil) SA aims to continue expanding its branch network in its quest to become the country's leading private bank in the microcredit and agricultural segments, CEO Sergio Rial told Valor Econômico in an interview. He said he expected to see a convergence between traditional lenders and financial technology companies in the country in the coming years. In a separate report by Valor, Rial announced to staff that the bank should make a net profit of 16 billion reais next year.
* Brazilian financial services company XP Inc. is set to launch a new investment fund aimed at staff members who want to buy shares in the firm, with a minimum investment of 500 reais, according to a report from O Estado de S. Paulo's Broadcast column.
* Fitch Ratings expects Ecuador's recently approved tax reform to help support the country's financing outlook, but it will not remove the country's financing woes. The reform, expected to generate $600 million through taxes on large companies and digital platforms, is diluted and will only yield a modest contribution to the $2.0 billion target fiscal adjustment of the country's extended fund facility with the International Monetary Fund, the rating agency said.
* Fitch Ratings expects downside risks would further pressure Bolivian bank ratings if political and social tensions in the country continue over a long period. Banks may be forced to turn to external and alternative funding to support liquidity if deposits continue to decline, and they would likely observe higher funding and credit costs if income and profitability continue to be hit by declining credit growth.
* Peruvian statistics agency INEI recorded annual growth of 2.09% in October, bringing growth for 2019 so far to 2.16%, Reuters reported.
* Colombian fintech Alegra, which provides electronic invoicing and payment software to small business, plans to launch operations in the United States and Africa next year, CEO and co-founder Jorge Soto told La República in an interview. The company already operates in 11 countries including Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
* Scotiabank said it completed the sale of its 51% majority stake in Colombian pensions administrator Colfondos S.A. Pensiones y Cesantias to a unit of Chile's Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones Habitat SA, La República reported. As part of the $170 million deal, AFP Habitat will also acquire the 49% stake that Mercantil Colpatria has in Colfondos, giving it full ownership of the company.
* Argentina's new central bank chief, Miguel Ángel Pesce, said the government was committed to bringing inflation down into single-digit figures by the end of 2021, La Nación reported. He said maintaining fiscal and commercial surpluses, as well as accumulating foreign currency reserves, are key to achieving "macroeconomic consolidation."
* Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires President Juan Curutchet told El Cronista in an interview that the state-run bank is "undoubtedly" in better shape than when he assumed the post four years ago. He noted that the bank's net equity had risen to 53 billion Argentine pesos from 9 billion pesos four years earlier and that liquidity levels were at their strongest in decades.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Middle East & Africa: National Bank of Oman to exit Egypt; Fitch revises outlook on Cabo Verde
* Europe: Deutsche eyes bonus cut; 2 German banks to begin M&A talks; Italian bank rescue
Helen Popper contributed to this article.
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