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Banco de Bogotá Q4'17 profit down; Garantía de Valores acquisition gets nod

* Banco de Bogotá SA reported attributable net income of 409.7 billion Colombian pesos for the fourth quarter of 2017, down 25.2% from 547.7 billion pesos a year earlier. Provisions for impairment loss and financial assets rose sharply to 614.8 billion pesos from 435.0 billion pesos a year ago.

* The board of Argentina's Banco Industrial SA approved the acquisition of reciprocal guarantee firm Garantía de Valores S.G.R. In February, Banco Industrial won an auction to buy the company from asset manager Caja de Valores SA, in partnership with stockbroker Nápoli Inversiones S.A. The deal reportedly was worth $2.3 million.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* Moody's said that Banco Mercantil del Norte SA Institución de Banca Múltiple's partnership with Amazon.com Inc. to launch a rechargeable debit card in Mexico is credit positive for the bank. Moody's said the partnership "will increase the bank's retail customer base by attracting clients currently unable to use Amazon's online services because they have no bank accounts."

* Mexico's Banco Ahorro Famsa SA Institución de Banca Múltiple aims to increase its credit portfolio among small and medium-sized companies to 3.50 billion Mexican pesos from 1.50 billion pesos today, El Economista reported, citing board chairman José Luis Ochoa Bautista. He said the bank also wants to attract younger clients with new digital products and services.

* Panama's Banco Aliado SA said it will offer bonds worth about $5.2 million on March 22 through two series of notes. The BO bond series is worth nearly $2.1 million and carries a fixed annual interest rate of 3.00% for a six-month term, while the BP bond series is worth about $3.1 million, has a one-year term and a fixed annual interest rate of 3.75%.

BRAZIL

* Banco do Brasil SA has launched tender offers to repurchase for cash up to $600.0 million of its 8.500% perpetual noncumulative junior subordinated notes, and up to $100.0 million of its 9.250% perpetual noncumulative junior subordinated notes. Both offers will expire on April 16.

* Caixa Econômica Federal has a budget of 82.1 billion reais for housing investments in the country this year, most of it from the FGTS workers' severance fund, CEO Gilberto Occhi told Reuters. He added that the bank's interest rates on home loans would be reduced by the end of March, according to a report from Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços.

* Caixa Econômica Federal is also about to announce a net profit of 10 billion reais for full year 2017, a sum that will be retained by the state-run lender to boost its capital and bolster lending, O Estado de S. Paulo reported, citing preliminary information from the government lender. Although Brazilian law requires Caixa to return 25% of its profit to the Treasury, it will not be obliged to do so this year, the report added.

* Banco Bradesco SA said the central bank had approved its capital increase of 8.00 billion reais by using its reserves and granting new shares to existing shareholders, Valor Econômico reported. The deal was already approved at a general shareholder meeting last week.

* The Brazilian central bank's economic activity index registered a 0.56% drop in January 2018 from December 2017, compared to a median forecast drop of 0.80% made by economists, Reuters reported.

ANDEAN

* U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning U.S. individuals from transacting with cryptocurrencies issued by the Venezuelan government on or after Jan. 9 as of 12:15 p.m. EST on March 19. The order authorizes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to take any actions necessary to implement the order.

* Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived at The Hague in the Netherlands to ask the International Court of Justice to pressure Chile to enter talks over Bolivia's access to the Pacific Ocean, Reuters reported. Currently, Bolivia, a landlocked country, must access the ocean by paying fees to use Chilean ports, while Chile argues that Bolivia can already access the sea under favorable terms.

SOUTHERN CONE

* Argentina's FCA Compañía Financiera SA on March 21 will auction simple, nonconvertible negotiable obligations for up to 300.0 million Argentine pesos, expandable up to 500.0 million pesos. The class XV notes have two series, with one series carrying a 12-month term and the other a 36-month term, both of which will have variable interest rates.

* Non-binding offers to buy Argentine credit card and payment processing network Prisma Medios de Pago SA must be submitted by mid-April as part of the government-ordered break-up of the company, El Cronista reported. The firm's possible buyers include Visa, Brazil's Cielo SA and private equity firm Advent International.

* Chile's banking regulator has given Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia one year to conclude the merger of Scotiabank Chile with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Chile SA following the conclusion of the public acquisition offer, Pulso reported. Both the Chilean and Canadian banking regulators have already approved the deal, but Chile's antitrust watchdog still has to give the go-signal.

* New regulations on calculating bad loan provisions presented by Chile's banking regulator could cost the industry $500 million, almost twice the cost estimated by the regulatory authority, Pulso reported. The regulator launched a consultation period on the reforms in March.

* Chile's Luksic family has written to Ana Botín, president of Spain's Banco Santander SA, to ask for the return of 113 million they invested in Banco Popular Español SA, which was wiped out when Popular was sold to Santander for €1 in June 2017 after EU authorities declared the bank insolvent, Pulso reported. The Luksic's Aeris Invest owned 3.45% of Banco Popular's shares at the time and has threatened Santander with legal action if no settlement is reached.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* G20 country leaders will probably not take any stances to regulate cryptocurrencies during a meeting, as policymakers so far do not have a plan on handling the issue, Reuters reported, citing "sources at the summit" taking place in Argentina. Policymakers noted that "crypto assets" do not threaten financial stability, but may be used for money laundering or terrorism financing.

* Latin America's growing fintech industry needs a homogenous regulatory framework to maintain a sustainable expansion, El Economista reported, citing Giorgio Trettenero Castro, secretary general of the regional Felaban banking federation. He said that integrating new technology was a key challenge for the region's banks as they seek to reduce costs. Meanwhile, Bernardo González, president of Mexico's CNBV banking regulator, said the entity is making adjustments in its structure in line with the country's new fintech law, newswire Notimex reported.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Asia-Pacific: Bandhan Bank IPO 14.6x oversubscribed on final day; ANZ weighs NZ unit's float

* Middle East & Africa: Kenya rate cut for 1st time since 2016; Saudi eyes Tadawul-only Aramco IPO

* Europe: EU, UK reach Brexit transition deal; RBS mulls online bank; HSBC eyes $4B CoCos

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.