* The World Bank Group expects growth of 1.7% in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2019, down 0.4 percentage points from the previous forecast. Argentina is expected to contract by 1.2%. Global growth is estimated at 2.6% for the year, down from 3.0% in 2018.
* Credicorp Capital Ltd., the company in charge of the sale of Banco Santander Chile's 25% stake in Transbank SA, has valued the company at about $700 million, Diario Financiero reported. About four investment funds have signified interest in the stake.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* A Reuters poll forecast annual inflation in Mexico will slow to 4.36% for the year through May, from 4.41% in April.
* Mexico's blockchain association called on the central bank to change its rules on the transaction of virtual assets by opening these to external clients, instead of limiting it to internal clients only, El Economista reported.
* Moody's changed the outlook of Brazil's Banco Fibra SA to stable from negative, reflecting modest improvements in the bank's profitability driven by lower credit costs and controlled operating expenses.
* The Brazilian central bank is discussing a possible change in the benchmark rate for real estate loans to securitize these operations in the capital market and cheapen the loans, Valor Econômico reported.
* Caixa Econômica Federal plans to execute the joint ventures and initial public offerings of its subsidiaries with a single financial adviser to maximize the value of the units, Valor Econômico reported, citing two sources.
* Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said the country can expect growth "above 3% and 4% for several years" if the government's pension reform is approved, Valor Econômico reported.
* Caixa Econômica Federal has raised about 184 million reais in its Você no Azul debt renegotiation program, six days after its launch, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. The bank expects to collect 1 billion reais from the campaign.
* Brazil's central bank has authorized peer-to-peer loan startup Nexoos to act autonomously, without linking to another financial institution, Diário Comércio Indústria & Serviços reported. The company expects to reach 1 billion reais in volume traded by the end of 2020.
* Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes linked the "high profits" of the banks with the lack of competition in the sector, Reuters reported. Guedes also said the government is mulling taxes on bank dividends, except when they are reinvested.
* Banco W SA issued 150.00 billion Colombian pesos in bonds, with demand reaching 2.4x that amount. The offer carried a fixed interest rate of 7.13% and will mature in May 2022.
* Eduardo Torres Llosa Villacorta has resigned as Banco BBVA Perú's general manager. Fernando Eguiluz Lozano will take over the post starting July 1.
* Peru's Congress will return to debating on a confidence vote in President Martin Vizcarra later today, Reuters reported. Debates on the vote began yesterday. A no-confidence vote may trigger a dissolution of Congress.
* Colombia posted a current account deficit of $3.6 billion or 4.6% of GDP for the first quarter, compared to $2.8 billion or 3.5% of GDP in the year-ago period, Reuters reported.
* Sura Asset Management SA expects to obtain a license in Luxembourg this year to create a variable capital investment company, La República reported, citing Pablo Sprenger, Sura Investment Management CEO.
* Chile's Finance Ministry said the country's macroeconomic scenario "makes it more difficult to meet" the fiscal deficit commitment the government set for this year at 1.8% of GDP, Diario Financiero reported. Analysts say the deficit has reached 2.2% of GDP this year.
PAN LATIN AMERICA
* The largest banks in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are well-positioned to withstand slower economic growth in the region in 2019, S&P Global Ratings analysts said. Brazilian banks' profitability will likely remain "resilient," while the profitability of Argentine banks has also been relatively safeguarded. However, the ability of Mexican banks to brave declining investor confidence will depend on how long the economy can rebound.
Pablo Jimenez Arandia contributed to this article.
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