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Argentina tweaks Leliq auctions; Caixa plans management change at insurance arm


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Argentina tweaks Leliq auctions; Caixa plans management change at insurance arm

* Argentina's central bank said it will reduce the number of auctions for Leliq notes to twice per week from twice per weekday currently, Reuters reported. The bank will also start auctioning longer-term 14-day notes on Jan. 21 to "better control liquidity conditions" in the recession-hit economy.

* Caixa Econômica Federal will announce management changes for certain subsidiaries in the coming days in order to strengthen the units before it sells stakes in them, Valor Econômico reported, citing anonymous sources. Insurance unit Caixa Seguridade Participações SA CEO Marco Barros will step down from the role and join the company's board. He will be replaced by Eduardo Dacache, currently vice president of wholesale at the parent company, the sources said.


* The Brazilian government expects to raise between 3 billion reais and 4 billion reais through the sale of minority stakes in listed companies, including Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Estadão reported. The government currently holds minority stakes in 57 listed companies, according to the report.

* State-run Caixa Econômica Federal could generate 15 billion reais if it sells a 25% stake in insurance unit Caixa Seguridade Participações SA through a planned initial public offering, Estadão reported. The bank has reportedly hired an underwriter syndicate to manage the unit's IPO but has not yet finalized the terms of the offering.

* State-run banks Caixa Econômica Federal, Banco do Brasil SA and Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social are together expected to sell more than 60 billion reais of assets in the first half of 2020, Estadão reported. The three banks sold 36.5 billion reais of assets in 2019, in line with a government strategy to reduce their scale.


* International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the organization has had "very constructive" dialogue with Argentina's new administration, led by President Alberto Fernández, and will do whatever it can to support the troubled country, Reuters reported.

* Small and medium-sized enterprises in Argentina reduced their workforce by 11,700 employees in 2019, while the total number of SMEs operating in the country fell 2.1%, El Cronista reported, citing government data.

* Argentina's central bank appointed economist Sergio Woyecheszen, the son-in-law of Defense Minister Agustín Rossi, as vice chairman, El Cronista reported.


* AM Best said it expects economies in Latin American to rebound somewhat in 2020, which should help domestic insurance markets better realize their growth potential. Insurance penetration rates in the region average 2.3%, and given this low penetration rate, the region has significant potential for growth, the rating agency said.


* Middle East & Africa: Access Bank to complete acquisition; NBB set to own controlling stake in peer

* Europe: Deutsche mulls 30% i-bank bonus cut; HSBC cuts equities jobs; mBank gets offers

Pablo Jimenez Arandia contributed to this article.

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