Bloomberg Línea — Six months on from the implementation of Bitcoin (XBT) as legal tender in El Salvador, its penetration among the population has been rapid, although its use as a means of payment in businesses has been slow and is even showing signs of deceleration.
The governor of São Paulo state, João Doria, signed a decree Wednesday that puts an end to the mandatory use of masks in outdoor spaces in the state. He justified the measure by citing data on the reduction of Covid-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations.
On the region’s stock markets, Brazil’s Ibovespa (IBOV) rose by 2.43%, thanks to the performance of sectors such as information technology, industrials and consumer commodities, giving it the best performance among the region’s markets, while Mexico’s stock market continued its positive performance and accumulated two consecutive upward sessions, with the S&P BMV/IPC (MEXBOL) ending the day with a gain of 1.17%.
Following is a roundup of Wednesday’s news from Bloomberg Línea and Bloomberg reporters across Latin America.
- The director of the EconViews consulting firm, Miguel Kiguel, said in an interview with Bloomberg Línea that the fiscal deficit goal set forth in the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be met, but that the agreement was brokered before the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out.
- Miguel Pesce, head of the Argentine Central Bank, assured that the strengthening of Argentina’s international reserves should occur with or without the agreement with the IMF.
- The governor of São Paulo state, João Doria, signed a decree Wednesday that puts an end to the mandatory use of masks in outdoor spaces in the state. He justified the measure by citing data on the reduction of Covid-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations.
- Pix, the instant payment system launched in 2020, is a success in Brazil and last Friday set a new record in daily transactions, with 58.5 million in real time.
- Chile’s center-right government leaves power confident that its energy agenda largely transcends politics and is shared by the general population. However, the same cannot be said for mining, with a significant portion of the population opposed to the industry due to its environmental impact, despite its benefits to the economy, with Chile as the world’s largest copper producer.
- Members with more radical proposals in Chile’s Constituent Convention, which is charged with drawing up a new constitution to replace the document that dates back to the 1973-1990 Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, must rewrite their ideas if some of them are to be approved in plenary, said Gaspar Domínguez, vice-president of the Convention.
- The tender launched by the Colombian government to create a public-private partnership to salvage the treasure from Spanish galleon San José has received no bids. The ship was sunk in battle by English corsairs off the coast of Baru in the 18th century and the shipwreck was discovered in 2015, causing tension with the Spanish government over which country has the right to claim the treasure the ship was carrying.
- Colombian flower growers are concerned about the future of the premium roses that have already been planted and were destined for Russia, as the blockade of the SWIFT global financial system has generated uncertainty about payments.
- Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny will perform in the Dominican Republic in October with his “World’s Hottest Tour”, and tickets for just the preferential, front-of-stage, special guest and VIP seats will rake in the equivalent of $2.1 million for each show for the artist.
- Ecuador’s former president Abdalá Bucaram has been barred from entry to the United States for “his participation in significant acts of corruption” while he was president between 1996 and 1997, “including misappropriation of public funds, acceptance of bribes and interference in public processes”.
- Shrimp farmers expect to lose between $12 and US$14 million per month due to the impossibility of selling to Russia, and are now seeking to place their products in other markets.
- Six months on from the implementation of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, its penetration among the population has been rapid, although its use as a means of payment in businesses has been slow and is even showing signs of deceleration.
- Aluminum prices have risen to record levels and supply from Russia is expected to be interrupted, and Guatemalan industry is looking for alternative sources to avoid the increase in the price of products, such as canned foods.
- The Mexican government is analyzing the economic convenience of continuing to export oil in the face of the escalation of prices on the international crude market after Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
- President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s electricity reform proposal is stalled in Congress and the main opposition legislators say they will not support the reform initiative unless significant changes are made to it.
- Underlying inflation in Mexico is expected to exceed 6.7% in March, according to Jonathan Heath, a member of the board of directors of the central bank.
- The Panamanian Embassy in Havana was crowded with Cubans Wednesday as, from March 8, all Cuban travelers in transit through Panama must have a visa to continue their onward or return journey.
- Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou said on Wednesday that the government is looking for “mechanisms” to contain the price increases for basic foods as a consequence of the rise in commodity prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lacalle Pou said at a press conference that he is working together with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Livestock to define the guidelines to be followed, although he ruled out imposing price controls.
- The Ministry of Ecological Mining Development in Venezuela has revoked the mining rights of the joint venture Siembra Minera, 55% owned by the Venezuelan State and 45% owned by Gold Reserve, according to a statement from the Canadian mining company.
- The leader of the Venezuelan opposition, Juan Guaidó, warned that the lifting of sanctions by the United States against the government of Nicolás Maduro, without political and electoral concessions, “would strengthen the authoritarianism that today threatens the world”.