Chile Plans More Bond Issuances; Mexico’s CFE Eyes Geothermal Projects

A roundup of Tuesday’s news from across Latin America

Bloomberg Línea
January 18, 2022 | 07:40 PM

Bloomberg Línea — Chile’s government plans to issue foreign currency bonds worth $20 billion this year, in comparison with $19 billion last year, in a bid to finance social development projects, and Mexico’s state utility CFE is mulling the development of new and existing geothermal-driven electricity generation projects in the country.

Following is a roundup of Tuesday’s news from our reporters across Latin America.

Argentina

In search of support during a key moment due to the proximity of large maturities with the IMF, Argentina’s Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero was scheduled to meet Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, followed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Argentina is attempting to renegotiate its $44 billion debt with the IMF, a loan secured during the 2015-19 presidency of Mauricio Macri.

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Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet in Washington on January 18, 2022.dfd

Argentines will now be able to invest in exchange-traded funds with accessible amounts in pesos after the country’s securities commission gave its authorization.

Eight out of ten Argentine business leaders said their first concern was macroeconomic volatility, while the second was social inequality and the third health and cyber risks, according to a private survey of CEO sentiment in the country.

Brazil

Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) has conceded to airlines’ requests and authorized the reduction of the number of flight attendants on airplanes during the high tourism season. The objective is to minimize the impact on the airline network amid the increase in cases of Covid-19 and influenza cases, which has caused the absence of professionals working in the sector.

A survey of the most consumed products in supermarkets, the Brazilian shopping basket in 2020 was composed of 20.8% of low-cost products, 51.9% of brands considered intermediate and 27.3% of premium brands. Last year, however, the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (ABRAS) began to identify a change in consumption habits.

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Systematica Investments’ founder, Brazilian Leda Braga, and Affiliated Managers Group Inc. have jointly acquired Blue Crest Capital Management’s entire stake in Systematica.

Chile

The Chilean government plans a second year of heavy borrowing in local and international markets in 2022 to finance social spending, even as the impact of the pandemic wanes. The government’s bond issuance this year will total around $20 billion in foreign currency, compared to $19 billion last year.

Inflationary pressures will continue to be on the economic agenda in 2022. The market estimates that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will register a cumulative increase of 4.7% this year in Chile, while the Central Bank believes it will reach 3.7%. Bloomberg Línea consulted economists to find out which products would increase their prices the most in the short term.

Colombia

At the end of January, the shareholders’ assembly of the Colombian Stock Exchange (BVC) will meet to approve or reject the agreement signed with the Chilean and Peruvian stock exchanges to integrate the three companies into a single company, Juan Pablo Córdoba, president of the BVC, told Bloomberg Línea.

Colombia’s economy grew 9.6% in November, which represented a growth of 13 percentage points against the same month of 2020, according to the country’s statistics agency DANE.

Fears regarding the impact of the Omicron variant, inflation, which closed 2021 at 5.6%, and the presidential elections in Colombia are moderating the immediate expectations of Colombian traders for 2022 regarding the situation of their businesses, according to a survey by retail federation FENALCO.

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Ecuador

Adventus Mining and Salazar Resources have secured $235.5 million for the development of the Curipamba mining project in central Ecuador following a gold and silver pre-sale agreement with Wheaton and Trafigura. Of that total, $23.5 million will be available for pre-construction activities at the mine.

Ecuador is gearing up for its next population census, the country’s most important statistical operation, which will take place at the end of 2022, 12 years after the last such study. The National Population and Housing Census was supposed to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Mexico

Mexico’s state utility CFE is working on new clean energy projects, including geothermal, a company executive revealed during his participation in the Open Parliament on electricity reform in the Chamber of Deputies, which began on January 17.

Grupo Financiero Banorte (GFNORTEO) could be the most likely buyer of the consumer banking business of Citibanamex, Citigroup Inc.’s (C) consumer banking business in Mexico, according to a note published Tuesday by analysts at Bank of America (BAC).

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Jonathan Heath, deputy governor of Mexico’s central bank, highlighted in a series of tweets some indicators that he described as “concerning” and foresees where the economy’s growth could lie in 2021.

Mexico's Central Bank deputy governor Jonathan Heath.dfd

Venezuela

Four months have passed since the arrival of the first Russian tourists to Venezuela’s Margarita Island. In that time, there have been more than 8,500 visitors, who in some cases have been moving to other destinations in Venezuela, as part of a cultural agreement between the governments of both countries.

This is how the region’s markets and currencies closed on Tuesday, January 18: