Bloomberg Línea — Chile’s President-elect Gabriel Boric has named his cabinet, which includes Central Bank chief Mario Marcel as finance minister, a nomination welcomed by the markets as a sign of economic and fiscal responsibility.
Colombia opened its first new wind farm in 17 years, while Mexico’s new oil refinery, under construction in the southeastern state of Tabasco, will likely run 40% over budget and is unlikely to be completed on deadline.
Following is a roundup of Friday’s news from our reporters across Latin America.
- Argentine bonds are hitting new lows amid the government’s negotiation with the International Monetary Fund. Argentina’s notes due 2046 fell to 28 cents per dollar this week, their lowest level since they were issued in September 2020. At the same time, the currency depreciation continues and the first month of 2022 has been characterized, in its first weeks, by high volatility in parallel exchange rates. The Ministry of Economy said that, according to the latest estimates, the primary deficit for 2021 would close at around 3% of GDP, while the financial deficit, at 4.5%.
- Ministers from the political wing of the government have been advising President Jair Bolsonaro to be more conciliatory in his re-election campaign. The assessment is that the president should stop criticizing the Supreme Court and embrace vaccination against Covid-19, Bloomberg reported.
- In the stock market arena, B3′s expectation was to close 2021 with at least seven investment funds in listed agribusiness production chains. The target was not achieved, but in the first 20 days of 2022 alone, three funds have already made their shares available for trading on the market.
- Colombia on Friday opened a wind farm with installed capacity of up to 20MW, the first new farm to start operating in the country after 17 years, informed the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
- Tourism portals reacted to the regulation of the payment of taxes. Airbnb indicated that it will help hosts to become familiar with tax responsibilities and Colombian portal Viajala agreed that players in the sector must “play by the same rules”.
- President-elect Gabriel Boric presented the 24 ministers who will form his cabinet, and named Mario Marcel, president of the Central Bank, as finance minister. The cabinet is led by politicians close to the former student leader, but also incorporates figures from the traditional center-left parties.
- The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a $100 million loan for Ecuador to improve its water and sanitation infrastructure. The project is backed by the European Union and will improve access to such services throughout the country, benefiting some 500,000 Ecuadorians.
- Ecuador will likely set a new record for remittances in 2021, once figures for the full year are released later this month.
- Mexico’s Dos Bocas mega-refinery project could cost 40% more than previously estimated and is unlikely to be completed before the 2022 deadline set by the government, Bloomberg reported.
- The Omicron variant in Mexico is preventing companies from making new hires.
- The eight classes of creditors entitled to vote on Aeroméxico’s (AEROMEX*) restructuring plan have accepted it, and the holders of around 88% of credit voted in favor.
- President Pedro Castillo condemned the environmental disaster caused by the La Pampilla refinery owned by Repsol in a series of tweets. The state is preparing criminal, civil and administrative actions “in order to safeguard the sovereignty and welfare of the country”, said Castillo.
- The recent agreement between the administration of President Laurentino Cortizo and First Quantum Minerals implies an increase of at least 500% in the royalties that the Canadian company will pay to the Panamanian government’s coffers. And the figure could be as much as 700% higher, as previously Minera Panama only referred 2% of the revenues from its copper operation to the Panamanian treasury.
- The U.S. Treasury Department has banned transactions in a key bond issued by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA for a year, the longest period since it first intervened to protect its U.S.-based refining arm from creditors.