* Banco do Brasil SA booked adjusted net income of about 3.03 billion reais for the first quarter, up 20.3% from 2.52 billion reais a year earlier. The result was driven by higher fee income and lower loan-loss allowance expenses. When including a negative impact of 277 million reais from one-off items, the bank's quarterly net profit improved 12.5% from a year ago to 2.75 billion reais.
* Bank of Nova Scotia unit Scotiabank Perú SAA has agreed to acquire a 51% controlling interest in Lima-based Banco Cencosud SA for about C$130 million. As part of the deal, the two Peruvian banks will enter into a 15-year partnership to manage the credit card business and provide additional products and services to customers. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval.
MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
* High-level negotiations to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement trade pact resulted in little progress on May 9 as the U.S. and Mexico have so far been unable to resolve differences over the crucial issue of automobile production and content, sources told Reuters.
* Mexico's CNBV banking regulator is closely monitoring five popular finance companies, or sofipos, that were found to have capital levels below the minimum regulatory requirement, El Economista reported. The companies are Proyecto Coincidir SA De CV SFP, Caja de la Sierra Gorda, Perseverancia, DeVida Hipotecaria and Operadora Reforma.
* S&P Global Ratings withdrew all of its ratings on Mexico's Fincomún Servicios Financieros Comunitarios SA de CV SFP at the issuer's request.
* Alelo, a benefit card line owned by Banco Bradesco SA and Banco do Brasil SA, has launched a toll payment service called Veloe, Folha De S.Paulo reported. Veloe launched with initial capital of 110 million reais and will reportedly receive an additional 290 million reais investment from Alelo by 2020.
* Prosecutors in Brazil have opened a probe into an alleged data leak at Banco Inter SA, asking the bank to detail the extent of the breach that was first reported by the TecMundo blog, Reuters reported, citing documents obtained by the newswire. Banco Inter, which recently carried out an initial public offering, earlier denied reports of the cyberattack and said it had been a victim of an "internal blackmail" attempt.
* Banco Daycoval SA booked net income of 165.4 million reais for the first quarter, up 35.2% from 122.3 million reais in the year-ago period. The bank's adjusted gross income from financial intermediation improved 27.9% year over year to 477.8 million reais.
* The Financial Action Task Force of Latin America is conducting a national assessment of Peru's compliance with the anti-money laundering recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, Gestión reported, citing financial regulator SBS. The evaluation will also look into the country's national police, judiciary, public prosecutor's office and other anti-money laundering systems.
* U.S. insurance company BMI has launched a new unit in Colombia called BMI Seguros Colombia through an initial investment of 28.0 billion Colombian pesos, La Republica reported. BMI Seguros President Carlos Sánchez Rodríguez said the company will focus on life and health insurance.
* Intercorp Financial Services Inc. booked a first-quarter profit of 290.0 million Peruvian soles, up 22.0% from 237.7 million soles in the year-ago period. Net interest and similar income improved 15.0% year over year to 769.4 million soles, while provisions for loan losses, net of recoveries, fell 22.7%.
* Fitch Ratings affirmed Colombia's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at BBB, with a stable outlook. The rating reflects the country's track record of prudent and consistent macroeconomic policies as well as its record of macroeconomic and financial stability.
* Argentina's lower house of Congress passed a capital markets reform bill that aims to boost financing for small and medium-sized companies, bolster activity in the local capital market and open new financing channels for the country's burgeoning mortgage market. The reform bill includes new regulations for mortgage notes, streamlined tax rules for business as well as the creation of tax-exempt closed investment funds.
* Argentine Finance Minister Luis Caputo said his government will ask the International Monetary Fund for a stand-by financing arrangement at a "very good" interest rate of around 4%, Reuters reported. The deal would be "flexible" and would provide funding through the end of President Mauricio Macri's first term in December 2019, he added.
* Argentina's central bank has borrowed $2.0 billion from the Bank for International Settlements to bolster its foreign currency reserves following days of heavy selling aimed at averting the peso's depreciation, El Cronista reported. The loan, which carries a below-market interest rate, is a facility available to all central banks that have deposits with BIS.
* Chile's comptroller general, Jorge Bermúdez, has asked that he be given access to banking information related to public sector entities in order to help avert large-scale frauds, Pulso reported. His request comes amid an ongoing congressional debate on the country's general banking law reform.
* S&P Global Ratings affirmed its BBB long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Uruguay, with a stable outlook. The ratings are supported by the country's track record of implementing prudent policies and its well-established institutions, which have underpinned consistent GDP growth over the last 15 years.
* Banco Santander Río SA said it is facing a class-action lawsuit filed by Argentine consumer defense association ADUC alleging that the bank attached illegitimate insurance contracts to certain financial services in 2015 and 2016.
IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD
* Asia-Pacific: AMP posts Q1 results; New Zealand holds rate; India mulls new insurance rules
* Middle East & Africa: Samba Q1 profit rises 6% YOY; Bahrain says reserves enough to keep dollar peg
* Global Markets: New York Markets Pre-Open: Dollar slips, yields fall ahead of inflation data
Helen Popper contributed to this article.
This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.
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