Bloomberg Línea — Argentina’s opposition bloc in Congress, Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change), said Wednesday that it will enable the two-thirds majority necessary for the government’s latest deal with the International Monetary Fund to pass to the Senate for debate, and which hands the government the definitive approval of the bill, allowing the IMF’s board to discuss the agreement prior to debt maturity payments due March 22.
U.S. refiners Valero Energy Corp and Marathon Petroleum Corp, along with Shell Plc’s trading unit Shell Western Supply and Trading, are looking to source Ecuadorian barrels following Washington’s ban on imports of Russian crude.
All of the region’s stock markets closed with gains on Wednesday, led by Argentina, whose Merval (MERVAL) index closed with a 4.04% hike.
Following is a roundup of Wednesday’s news from Bloomberg Línea and Bloomberg reporters across Latin America.
- Argentina’s opposition bloc in Congress, Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change), said Wednesday that it will enable the two-thirds majority necessary for the government’s latest deal with the International Monetary Fund to pass to the Senate for debate, and which could hand the government the definitive approval of the bill, allowing the IMF’s board to discuss the agreement prior to debt maturity payments due on March 22.
- Apple Pay has landed in Argentina through an alliance with local banks and fintechs, with iPhone users now able to use their devices for electronic payments in stores.
- Brazil’s Central Bank has adjusted the regulatory loopholes for fintechs, tightening capital requirements for payment institutions that want to offer credit. After regulatory changes in 2013 to spur competition in the Brazilian financial market, the Central Bank has now raised the bar so that large fintechs do not generate systemic risk for the financial system.
- While opinion polls continue to point to former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as the favorite to win October’s elections, President Jair Bolsonaro has begun to show signs of a recovery in popularity.
- The 2022 presidential elections have been identified by economic analysts as one of the major risks facing Colombia this year. For Standard & Poors, the makeup of the elected Congress will force the next government, regardless of the winner, to be pragmatic and conciliatory.
- Chilean President Gabriel Boric and Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro are aligned in their position on pension reform, with similarities such as maintaining the retirement age, guaranteeing a minimum retirement payment, and allowing voluntary contributions.
- Latin American countries such as Chile, Colombia and Panama have a long way to go in the development of green hydrogen technology, but Costa Rica already has a clean energy matrix that could give it a competitive advantage in the industry.
- Remittances received by citizens in the Dominican Republic between January and February declined by 2.9% compared to the first two months of 2021, but the amount wired remains above pre-pandemic levels. According to data from the country’s central bank (BCRD), between January and February 2022, remittances received totaled $1.50 billion, compared to $1.55 billion in the first two months of last year.
- The motivations for migration of Dominicans are diverse. Most do so stimulated by the economic, social and cultural benefits they can obtain in the country of settlement. There are more than 2.5 million Dominicans residing abroad, equivalent to about 19.5% of the total population of the Caribbean country.
- U.S. refiners Valero Energy Corp and Marathon Petroleum Corp, along with Shell Plc’s trading unit Shell Western Supply and Trading, are looking to source Ecuadorian barrels following Washington’s ban on imports of Russian crude.
- Banco Pichincha, Ecuador’s largest bank, said in a shareholders’ meeting Wednesday that it doubled its profits in 2021, from $50 million to $102 million.
- Education is the first step for the implementation of Bitcoin (XBT), but this should not be limited to explaining the mere functioning of the technology, but rather to explore its use and the potential for establishing businesses. That is the approach of La Casa del Bitcoin (Bitcoin House) in El Salvador, a space that cryptocurrency exchange Paxful has established in the country’s capital San Salvador.
- Mexico has been left without new wind energy projects, as eight projects have been halted due to lack of commercial authorization, and no other wind farms are on the drawing board for the near future.
- Shares of Mexican airline Aeromexico (AEROMEX*) continue to fall. The company’s shares, which are listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange, reached an all-time low, dropping below 50 cents of the Mexican peso.
- The trust fund applied by Argentina to limit the price of wheat has generated concern among Uruguayan businesses, which warned the government of President Luis Lacalle Pou about possible distortions in the market. At the same time, the restrictions on exports of soybean oils and flour imposed by Argentina have raised tension between the government of President Alberto Fernández and the Argentine farmers, and which may also have repercussions in Uruguay due to the eventual loss of competitiveness in the face of products from the neighboring country.