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Caixa revises outsourcing rules; IRB-Brasil income up 15%

* Caixa Econômica Federal has revised rules that allow for the outsourcing of employees for certain roles, Reuters reported. Under the reform, services not directly linked to banking activities could be performed by a "temporary pool" of contractors.

* IRB-Brasil Resseguros SA reported a net profit of 232 million reais for the second quarter, up 15% from 202 million reais earned a year earlier. The insurer showed an 85% improvement in its underwriting result, which jumped to 174 million reais from 94 million reais year over year. Gross written premiums for the insurer were up 12% to 1.51 billion reais for the quarter, and total retained premiums were up 16% to 1.03 billion reais.


* The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, under the World Bank Group, issued catastrophe bonds that will provide $360 million in financial protection for Mexico against losses from tropical cyclones and earthquakes. Annual bond coupons fall between 4.12% above the six-month U.S. dollar LIBOR benchmark rate, to 8.92% above the LIBOR, depending on the bond class. Two of the bonds mature Dec. 20, 2019, while one matures Aug. 11, 2020.

* Panama's information ministry disclosed the country will send some of its officials to China for talks scheduled to begin Aug. 8, aimed at cementing relations between the two, Reuters reported.

* Venezuelan refugees seeking asylum in Mexico have increased to 1,420 in the first six months of 2017, from 361 for 2016 in total, amid Venezuela's political and economic situation, Reuters reported. Socorro Flores, Mexico's deputy foreign minister for Latin America and the Caribbean, said about 40% of the refugees were already approved to receive protection and benefits such as potential work.

* Tropical Storm Franklin was sited about 325 miles off Chetumal, an east coast city in Mexico, early on Aug. 7, Reuters reported, citing the National Hurricane Center. It is forecast to pass north of Honduras later in the day.

* Costa Rica's Corporación Tenedora BAC Credomatic SA is reorganizing its branches in order to focus staff members on customer service as opposed to administrative matters, deepening an overhaul that began with the opening of digital branches in 2016, El Financiero reported.

* Mexico's financial consumers' defense commission plans to start asking financial services customers who are requesting their credit history or lodging a complaint to register their fingerprints for identity authentication, El Economista reported.

* Banco de México is expected to hold its benchmark lending rate steady at 7% at a monetary policy meeting on Aug. 10, which would end a run of seven consecutive hikes, El Economista reported, citing analysis by Banco Nacional de México SA Integrante del Grupo Financiero Banamex.


* Scenius, an accounting and business consultancy cooperative in Cuba, said the government has ordered it to close down within 30 days, newswire El Toque reported. The finance ministry said the cooperative was offering services outside what is officially allowed.


* Brazil's new rule establishing a net stable funding ratio in 2018 will further strengthen banks' liquidity framework and should be a credit positive for the system, Fitch Ratings said. Fitch also expects the ratio will help banks manage funding risks and limit excessive risk-taking, and will have no significant direct impact on banks' profitability, growth or business models.

* Brazil's consumer default rate declined 0.8% in the seven months through July, and was down 0.6% year over year for the month of July alone, according to data from credit research firm Boa Vista SCPC. The general decline in delinquency was driven by greater caution among families that limited their consumption amid the economic weakness during the past two years.

* Deposits in Brazil surpassed withdrawals in July by 2.34 billion reais, Banco Central do Brasil said in a report. For the year-to-date total through July, withdrawals outpaced savings by 9.95 billion reais, the central bank data added.

* Banco do Brasil SA CEO Paulo Rogêrio Caffarelli said mortgage loans granted by the bank could be negatively affected if the government removes tax exemptions on debt instruments backed by local real estate credit bills known as LCIs, Reuters reported. About 40% of the bank's mortgage credit comes in the form of those real estate notes.

* A group of former partners from XP Investimentos have joined forces to invest in five fintech startups following their departure from the independent brokerage firm, Folha de S. Paulo reported. Marcelo Maisonnave and Guilherme Benchimol, founding partners of XP, are working with Eduardo Glitz and Pedro Englert on the new venture.


* Venezuela on Aug. 4 inaugurated a newly elected constituent assembly that could rewrite the constitution. The 545-member assembly is expected to hold parallel sessions with the existing opposition-controlled congress in the same building, and may remove opposition lawmakers' constitutional immunity from prosecution, according to Reuters and the BBC. In a separate Reuters report, the Vatican also called on Venezuela to suspend the newly formed constituent assembly, and to end violence.

* Venezuela's Socialist Party Deputy Diosdado Cabello announced that a military base near the central city of Valencia was attacked by military rebels, Reuters reported. Troops have already controlled the situation, Cabello tweeted Aug. 6. Meanwhile, state prosecutor Luisa Ortega, a critic of President Nicolas Maduro, was fired and was ordered to stand trial, Reuters wrote separately.

* Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was brought back to house arrest from prison, Reuters reported, citing a tweet from Lopez's wife. Meanwhile, another opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, said they are looking for allies among socialists who are breaking away from President Nicolas Maduro, the Financial Times reported separately.

* Venezuela was indefinitely suspended from the Mercosur trading bloc Aug. 5, Reuters reported. Peru's Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna added that a group of foreign ministers from across Latin America are expected to meet Aug. 8 ahead of potentially forming a monitoring council over Venezuela.

* Gladys Genua is set to leave her post as country director for Uruguay at Venezuela-based Banco De Desarrollo De América Latina, making way for her compatriot Germán Ríos, Busqueda reported, citing sources.

* Peru's Mibanco Banco de la Microempresa SA has signed a partnership deal with Globokas Perú, which manages the country's largest multibank correspondent network Kasnet, El Comercio reported. The alliance will let Mibanco customers carry out transactions through the more than 6,000 Kasnet agents all over the country.

* BBVA Banco Continental SA has launched a new online app called T-Cambio that allows companies to perform exchange rate operations immediately, according to a SEMANAeconomica interview with Frank Babarczy and Ernesto León, the global markets manager and executive director of networks for the bank, respectively.

* Mortgage lending rates are falling in Colombia, ahead of a government subsidy for loans on lower-priced homes that has not yet come into force, El Tiempo reported. Annual interest rates on home loans have fallen, with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Colombia SA offering as low as 9%, Bancolombia SA offering 9.6%, and Banco Davivienda SA offering 9.75%, compared with the banking average of 12.3% a year ago.


* S&P Global Ratings affirmed the ratings of nine Chilean financial institutions but assigned them negative outlooks. S&P also maintained the economic risk trend of its banking industry country risk assessment, or BICRA, on negative and the BICRA score on Chile at group 3. The economic risk assessment within BICRA is 4 while the industry risk assessment is 3.

* Chile's Liberty Cia. de Seguros Generales S.A. will distribute around 2.20 billion shares to the shareholders of Compañía de Seguros Generales Penta S.A. on Aug. 10, according to a security filing. The share issuance is a part of Penta's acquisition by Liberty International Holdings Inc., the U.S.-based owner of Liberty Seguros.

* Moody's believes a new measure allowing Argentine mutual funds to manage investors' purchases and redemptions in both foreign and local currencies, as opposed to the previous single-currency limit, is credit positive for asset managers. The rating agency said the new rule will enable foreign investors to invest directly in Argentine mutual funds without having to access the forex market.

* Argentina extended its Bonar 2024 bond issuance denominated in U.S. dollars by another $4 billion, Reuters reported. Argentina first sold the bonds in 2014 for $3.25 billion, carrying a coupon rate of 8.75%, and later increased the issuance by $4 billion in June 2017.

* Argentina's Grupo Financiero Valores, which wholly owns the country's securities exchange, will launch its shares on Aug. 8 with the price estimated between 3.80 pesos and 4 pesos, El Cronista reported. The operation will proceed following final approval from the CNV securities commission.

* Small and medium-sized Argentine manufacturers need an estimated US$1.4 billion in financing despite government efforts to stir up bank lending to the sector, El Cronista reported. These companies received 22% of all investment financing last year, compared with 35% a year earlier.

* Argentina's stock of chattel mortgages, or mortgages guaranteed with movable property, increased by 3% in July from a month earlier and surged 65% from July 2016, despite jitters about the upcoming mid-term election, El Cronista reported, citing data from the Banco Central de la República Argentina. Chattel loan credit reached about 71.456 billion pesos through July.

* Ricardo Valderrama, president of the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange, died Aug. 5 after a long illness, El Cronista reported.


* Europe: UBI Banca swings to profit; Banco BPM sells unit; Goldman to sell Rothesay stake

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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.