Bloomberg Línea — Twitter has made an investment in Argentine digital marketing company Aleph, of an undisclosed amount, to aid the company’s educational efforts around the world, and in Chile, the government has tightened movement restrictions in the capital Santiago and 45 other municipalities in a bid to stem the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Following is a roundup of Monday’s news from our reporters across Latin America.
Aleph Group Inc, a digital advertising company founded by Argentine entrepreneur Gaston Taratuta, announced it has received a minority investment from Twitter, which will help “support Aleph’s educational efforts around the world”, the company said.
Amid negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Argentine government plans to implement cuts in public spending during 2022, according to the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office. Because the government’s budget for this year was not approved by Congress, the 2021 will also apply for this year, but with spending modifications to the tune of 224.44 billion pesos ($2.15 billion).
Argentine private oil company Vista Oil & Gas, owned by Miguel Galuccio, has reached an agreement to purchase from German Wintershall DEA Argentina an additional 50% of two concessions that both companies shared in the country’s Vaca Muerta shale play.
The European Union has removed Argentina from its list of safe countries from which it is possible to travel into the bloc without Covid-19-related restrictions. According to an official communiqué, the decision is due to the increase in the number of infections that the country has experienced in the last few weeks.
Brazil’s new Foreign Exchange Law was enacted on Sunday, the Central Bank said in a note on Monday. The new legislation eliminates restrictions for exporters to freely use their resources, in addition to allowing more financing mechanisms for buyers of their products. With the new legal framework, there will be more stimulus for the insertion of Brazilian companies —including small and medium-sized ones — in global value chains, the central bank said.
The next government will have to increase public spending, albeit temporarily, to combat rising poverty and unemployment, according to Nelson Barbosa, former finance minister of Dilma Rousseff and one of the economic advisors to former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is leading in the polls for October’s elections. That would require a review of the spending ceiling, he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Chile’s Health Ministry has tightened mobility restrictions in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago and 45 other municipalities across the country, as the government faces an increase in Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant.
While the Chilean peso and stocks have been recovering in the first weeks of this year, appetite for new bonds in the local market remains decidedly depressed. Faced with a lack of liquidity in the debt market and concerns about the new government, companies are looking abroad for financing.
Colombian company Vozy, which combines voice and AI technologies to make business communication more efficient, has received an investment from the Latin Leap fund with a view to expanding its service in Latin America. The transaction, the amount of which was not specified, aims to improve “the user experience and accelerate the digital transformation in Latin America”, according to Latin Leap’s CEO, Stefan Krautwald.
Ecuador’s exports increased by 31% between January and November 2021, leaving a total positive trade balance of $2.64 billion, the country’s export agency Fedexpor reported on Monday. However, the non-oil trade balance was in the negative, by $1.47 billion.
The increase in Mexico’s investor base would attract new companies to list in the country’s capital markets, according to Sergio Dueñas, director general of Individuals at GBM, the brokerage firm with the largest number of accounts in the country.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants the extensive art collection owned by the local unit of Citigroup Inc. (C) to remain in the country when the bank divests part of its business. The U.S. bank is preparing to sell its Mexican retail operation, known as Citibanamex, and the fate of the art and heritage pieces owned by its Fomento Cultural Banamex foundation have become an important part of the debate.
The shareholders of Grupo Aeromexico (AEROMEX*), which operates one of Mexico’s leading airlines, have approved a capital increase of86.87 billion pesos ($4.26 billion) as part of a restructuring agreement under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Despite the logistics crisis that hit all industries worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic, Panama’s port traffic achieved a milestone last year by moving more than eight million TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, the unit used to measure space in container transport.