Bloomberg Línea — A roundup of Monday’s news from our reporters across Latin America.
Argentina has one of the world’s worst pension systems, according to a ranking drawn up by Mercer FCA Institute, which compares the systems in 43 countries, and in which Argentina is in 42nd place. The ranking takes into consideration a number of factors, such as retirement income depending on gender, and in many cases women’s pensions are well below those of men. The top three countries in the ranking are Iceland, Netherlands and Denmark.
Sixteen U.S. Democratic congress members have sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury calling for a review of the interest rates charged by the IMF on loans granted by the lender, and which serves as a gesture of support to the administration of Argentine President Alberto Fernández as he seeks to renegotiate his country’s debt with the IMF.
This Monday Argentina is required to pay $700 million to private bondholders, and, at the end of the month, $750 million to the IMF. The maturities do not come at a good time for the country as its Central Bank reserves are at a critical point.
Congressional candidates are beginning to enter the world of cryptocurrencies in Brazil by selling non-fungible tokens to help fund their campaigns for the midterm elections. Despite making up the minority of fundraisers, crypto asset donations have been gaining traction in election campaigns.
Brazil’s main airlines Azul (AZUL4), Gol (GOLL4) and LATAM have been forced to cancel flights and adjust itineraries due to the rise in cases of crew members affected by Covid-19 and influenza.
President-elect Gabriel Boric announced that he will present his cabinet in the penultimate week of January, but declined to say whether he will appoint members of the Socialist Party. What he did promise is “gender parity, representation of different generations and social diversity”. Boric, a 35-year-old left-winger and former student leader, takes office in March.
The BHP-owned Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile has filed a request for an environmental court to lift a ban on groundwater extraction. The mining company is expected to present its arguments before the court in the coming days. BHP says that the Lagunillas aquifer is recovering its water levels.
Colombia’s government is offering rental subsidies for up to 20 years to new hotels and parks to encourage the construction of new buildings in the tourism sector. There will also be tax breaks for those who remodel or expand their existing tourism infrastructure.
The government forecasts that Ecuador’s mining exports this year will grow by 40% compared to 2021. The Ministry of Energy estimates that the country will sell some $2.23 billion in minerals, compared to the $1.6 billion it exported in 2021. In addition, it expects mining investments to exceed $1 billion this year.
Tax collection in 2021 exceeded pre-pandemic levels, reaching $13.97 billion, 13% more in relation to 2020, according to Ecuador’s internal revenue service (SRI). The tax that was most collected during last year was VAT.
After an economic rebound in 2021 in which GDP is expected to have increased between 5.5 and 5.6%, the Mexican economy is expected to grow by only around 2.8% in 2022 as recovery weakens, according to estimates by Citibanamex and a survey of the expectations of private sector analysts carried out by the central bank.
Omicron has become the dominant variant in Panama in less than a month. Evidence analyzed up to January 3 indicates that the probable proportion of the variant in relation to the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country is 80%.