Banking: The week in 10 stories

BRAZIL

Brazil's GDP expanded 1% in 2017 to 6.6tn reais (US$2.03tn) after contracting 3.5% in 2016 and the same amount in 2015, according to statistics office IBGE.

The volume of loans in the financial system contracted in January despite the country's economic improvement, as companies showed no demand for new loans.

The supreme court approved an agreement signed between banks and their clients, ending a lengthy legal dispute regarding monetary correction of savings accounts, applied during the government's economic stabilization plans in the 1980s and 1990s.

MEXICO

To great applause from the public and private sectors, legislation establishing a much-needed regulatory framework for Mexico's burgeoning fintech industry was passed by 264-61 votes Thursday in the lower house of congress, establishing much-needed rules governing tech firms working with disruptive technologies, including cryptocurrencies, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer financial tools..

ARGENTINA

Argentina's central bank held the country's key interest rate steady at 27.25% amid signs of rising inflation and following a weakening of the peso.

COLOMBIA-CHILE

The CEO of Chilean lender Itaú CorpBanca said its Colombian unit may climb out of the red in 2018 after having posted losses in the country over the past few years.

CHILE

Chile's banking sector continued to fatten its bottom line in January.

Changes to Chile's pension system proposed by the outgoing government of President Michelle Bachelet would "go in the right direction," the OECD said.

CARIBBEAN

Closing a two-day conference of Caribbean governors and representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), regional leaders called for a coordinated approach towards the digital transformation of local economies.

VENEZUELA

Presidential elections in Venezuela have been postponed by a month to May after a group of opposition parties struck a deal with the government, according to the national election council (CNE).

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