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Santander México to invest 15B pesos; 2 Bradesco execs leave

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Santander México to invest 15B pesos; 2 Bradesco execs leave

* Banco Santander (México) SA Institución de Banca Múltiple CEO Héctor Grisi said the bank will invest 15 billion Mexican pesos over the next three years for various strategic projects and the modernization of the company's channels, systems and infrastructure. The bank is also planning to explore new business lines.

* Sérgio Clemente, Banco Bradesco SA's senior vice president for wholesale banking, has left the company and his duties will be assumed by Marcelo Noronha, the lender's vice president of cards and marketing, Reuters reported, citing a Bradesco spokeswoman. Marlene Morán, the bank's managing director for international businesses and currency, has also departed. Her responsibilities will be taken over by André Prado, the firm's managing director for corporate credit.

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA

* S&P Global Ratings lowered its long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on El Salvador to B- from B and removed them from CreditWatch with negative implications. The rating agency attributed the downgrade to the continued erosion of the country's fiscal and debt profiles, as well as concerns about its access to liquidity to meet funding requirements for the next two years.

* EFG International AG said it will close its BSI Panama operation by the third quarter of 2017. EFG also agreed in December to a partial sale of BSI Bahamas client portfolios.

* S&P Global Ratings revised its banking industry risk assessment on El Salvador to group 8 from 7 and revised its economic risk score to 9 from 8. The weaker BICRA economic risk score reflects a continuing drop in the country's economic resilience. As a result, the rating agency also lowered its ratings on El Salvador-based commercial bank Banco Agrícola SA to B-/C from B/B.

* Fitch Ratings said its outlook on the Central American insurance sector remains stable for 2017, reflecting the rating agency's expectations of higher growth in the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan sectors, the strengthening of underwriting conditions in major insurance lines, and ample reinsurance protection favored by soft pricing conditions.

* The government of Mexico City issued a green bond worth 1 billion Mexican pesos on the local stock exchange, becoming the first city in Latin America to issue this type of debt, El Economista reported.

CARIBBEAN

* Cuba's Caa2 rating reflects weaknesses related to the country's current political climate, and the death of Fidel Castro will only have a marginal effect on the country's politics, Moody's said. Cuba's rating also reflects limited access to external financing, a high dependence on imported goods, and a lack of transparency in official economic and fiscal data, the rating agency noted.

BRAZIL

* Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social's plans to ditch its image as the lender for the national champions of Brazilian industry, and refocus on its traditional role as a development bank, are positive for the lender, according to Moody's. The shift will aid in cutting the bank's concentration risks and will also help reduce distortions in the credit market caused by the bank's increased lending.

* Brazilian President Michel Temer appointed Arno Meyer, José Antonio Eirado Neto, Marcelo Campos Prata, Paulo Henrique Angelo Souza and Roberto Derziê de Sant'anna as vice presidents at state-run Caixa Econômica Federal, according to a notice in the country's official gazette. Joaquim Lima de Olivera and José Galli were dismissed from their vice president positions.

* Fitch Ratings changed its outlook on Banco Triângulo SA's long-term national rating of A-(bra) to positive from stable. The revision reflects the growth in the bank's operating results since 2014 with a balanced appetite for risk, despite operating in a recessionary economic environment, Fitch said.

* Brazilian President Michel Temer intends to call Donald Trump in the week of Dec. 12 as the South American country believes the U.S. president-elect's campaign promise to rework the NAFTA trade pact could create opportunities for Brazilian businesses, Reuters reported, citing a senior Brazilian official.

* Renan Calheiros, the president of Brazil's Senate, said a final vote on the government's proposal to cap public spending will take place on Dec. 13, Reuters reported. In a note to clients, Credit Suisse said Brazil risks prolonging its recession in 2017 if fiscal adjustment measures are rejected, Valor Econômico reported.

* Banco Bradesco SA said its executive board has proposed the payment of additional interest on shareholders' equity of about 1.49 billion reais, corresponding to a net amount of 21.82 centavos per common share and 24.00 centavos per preferred share.

* Caixa Econômica Federal has agreed to extend a 120 million reais loan to real estate developer Rossi Residencial, Valor Econômico reported.

ANDEAN

* Ecuador raised $750 million by issuing a 10-year note in the U.S. dollar bond market on Dec. 8, Reuters reported. The note was priced at par to yield 9.65%, according to market sources.

SOUTHERN CONE

* The International Monetary Fund raised its 2016 economic growth forecast for Uruguay to 0.7% from a previous estimate of 0.1%, noting that the country has proven resilient to the problems in neighboring Argentine and Brazil, El País reported.

* Banco de la Nación Argentina will extend $100 million in subsidized loans to finance renewable energy projects in Argentina, El Economista reported, citing Chairman Carlos Melconian.

* Alberto Chang, the founder of Chilean investment firm Arcano who is under investigation for allegedly defrauding American investors for $7.4 million, has been arrested in Malta, Diario Financiero reported.

* Chilean insurer Consolidada-Zurich plans to invest an additional $150 million during the next five years in order to grow its leasing portfolio, Pulso reported, citing Ramiro Figueroa, the firm's head of real estate investment.

PAN LATIN AMERICA

* Moody's assigned a negative outlook on Latin American banks for 2017 with weak economic growth expected to impact their operating environments and asset quality, while higher credit costs will hit profitability. Economic uncertainties following the recent U.S. presidential election will impact the region's lenders, especially in Mexico and Central America.

* Bank of Nova Scotia and QED Investors LLC will launch a partnership to provide a venture capital platform catering to financial technology startups in Latin America, the companies said. QED will serve as the manager of the fund while Scotiabank will assist in determining potential strategic investments in Pacific Alliance countries, including Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

* Middle East & Africa: Creditors call in Saudi Oger debt; 2nd South African exchange to debut

* Europe: ECB to extend but cut QE; France's Cahuzac handed jail term over tax fraud

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

Matthew Craze contributed to this article.

The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 8 a.m. São Paulo time, and scans news sources published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Some external links may require a subscription.