FiNETIK – Asia and Latin America – Market News Network

Asia and Latin America News Network focusing on Financial Markets, Energy, Environment, Commodity and Risk, Trading and Data Management

Latin America: Investor News Letter 18 January 2013

Mexico
Mexican Peso Slides on Carstens Hint at Interest-Rate ReductionMexico’s peso fell the most in four weeks after central bankers signaled that a further slowdown in inflation could prompt them to lower interest rates.
Nieto seeks to open Mexican energy sector
Los Tres Amigos: Positioning Your Portfolio In Mexican Peso Denominated Deb
Most U.S. funds missed Mexico gains, Brazil drop in 2012
Japanese investments in Mexico steady
Region completes work on international infrastructure project with Mexico

Brazil
Brazil’s Real Declines on Inflow Concern; Swap Rates Climb
Brazil: Daylight piracy
“SQUEEGEE merchants of the seas”: that is the nickname shipping companies have bestowed on the pilots who guide ships into Brazilian ports. Their legal monopoly and unregulated fees place them among the country’s highest earners: 150,000 reais ($73,500) a month, estimates the shipowners’ association. It costs twice the OECD average to import a container to Brazil, says the World Bank—and since that excludes bribes and fees for go-betweens, the true figure is surely greater.
Brazil Seeks Private Partners to Operate Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte Airports
Brazil announces regional airport infrastructure investment plans
Brazil aviation faces turbulence after rapid ascent
Brazil ports starved of investment, buried in red tape-group
Guyana, Brazil sign on to infrastructure plan
Brazilian municipality of São Bernardo do Campo to improve sustainable urban mobility with loan from IDB

Latin America
Argentina: Tax & Estate Planning
Argentina rapidly changing oil/gas industry levies to attract foreign investment
Bolivia takes over Spanish-owned Iberdrola energy suppliers
Colombia: ANI to launch four new public infrastructure concessions valued at US$1.95bn
Colombian Peso Advances on Foreign Investment Outlook
Chile: First Solar Stakes Claim in Latin America
Peru’s investment opportunities attracts Qatar’s firms Peru: Infrastructure gap put at $88bn
Peru-based AFPs invest over US$3.5bln in infrastructure
Cement Industry Figures In Peru: Btg Pactual Begins Coverage Of Cpac With A Buy Recommendation
Peru to invest over US$701mln in access infrastructure projects
Peru: Ezentis shifts focus to Latin America, helped by $64M Telefónica Peru contract
Peruvian entrepreneurs expect investment to continue growing in 2013
Venezuela: What Hugo Chavez’s Illness Means for Venezuelan Mining

Latin America and Caribbean PhotoVoltaic Demand Growing 45% Annually Out To 2017 
Latin American ports record strong performance in 2012
South America: A Powerhouse, Not a Circus
10 Latin American startups to look out for in 2013

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Filed under: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, News, Peru, Risk Management, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mexico City-Based Broker CI Casa de Bolsa Signs with Perseus Telecom

  •  For the Fastest, Market-To-Market Connection with Mexico
  • Partnership enables New York and Mexico City trading communities to receive market signals and send transactions at the lowest latency rates available

Perseus Telecom, a leading global provider of connectivity, today announced that it has signed CI Casa de Bolsa to its ultra-low latency network between the New York and Mexico City markets. The launch of this partnership represents a landmark development as the fastest trading route between the two marketplaces and creates new opportunities for trading firms across the globe.

CI Casa de Bolsa, a leading Mexico City-based brokerage house, has a global client base seeking liquidity in the Mexican marketplace. With US-listed stocks displayed in Mexico, CI Casa de Bolsa has chosen Perseus Telecom for its high-speed, ultra low-latency network connection from New York to Mexico City for the fastest execution capabilities possible for foreign investors.

“We are very happy with our decision to use Perseus Telecom. Their network is built for performance and customer satisfaction without the overbearing costs that low-latency technology can sometimes bring to our bottom line,” states Mauricio Suarez, Head of International Sales at CI Casa de Bolsa. “The beneficiaries of lower costs and lower latency are our clients and serving them stands as CI Casa de Bolsa’s primary objective.”

Dr. Jock Percy, CEO of Perseus Telecom, explains, “We are quite pleased to have a reputable firm like CI Casa de Bolsa join the Perseus Telecom global network. As Perseus Telecom looks to bring more value to investment communities at different corners of the globe, markets like Latin America, led by Brazil and Mexico, are important to us and our customers. CI Casa de Bolsa coming on-net is a testament to our commitment to these markets.”

Source: Perseus Telekom, 07.01.2013

Filed under: Mexico, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , ,

GFI Group to Supply Market Data to Mexico’s PiP LATAM

GFI Market Data, a division of GFI Group Inc. (NYSE:”GFIG”) announced today that it has signed an agreement with Mexico’s Proveedor Integral de Precios “PiP” under which GFI Market Data will become an official price contributor to PiP’s eurobond pricing and curve calculations.

PiP started operations in the year 2000 and was the first price vendor company authorized by the Mexican Securities Commission (CNBV) to provide prices for the valuation of financial assets. They currently have operations in Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

Francesco Cicero, Head of eTrading at GFI Group said: “We are very happy to be working with PiP and to be able to supply them and their clients with an independent view of the eurobond markets derived from our highly experienced brokers as well as from our premier electronic trading screen for fixed income, GFI CreditMatch®”.

PiP distributes official closing prices via its PiP- Latam© system.

GFI Market Data provides real bid and offer prices and spreads for a broad range of instruments including asset backed securities, corporate bonds, emerging market bonds, floating rate notes, high yield bonds and structured products. Sourced directly from GFI CreditMatch®, our award-winning electronic trading platform for bonds and fixed income derivatives GFI data reflects market sentiment rather than indications gleaned through aggregated pricing.

Source: Bobsguide 03.01.2013

Filed under: Colombia, Data Vendor, Latin America, Market Data, Mexico, Peru, , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investor News Letter 14 December 2012

Mexcio

With a little help from my friends; Mexico´s new Government
The rise of Mexico The US needs to look again at it´s increasingly important neigbour
Mexico’s New President Offers Much to U.S. Investors
Macquarie Mexico IPO Offers REIT Where Murder Reigned
Thor Urbana Capital Launches $500M Investment in Mexico
HSBC became bank to drug cartels, pays big for lapses
Pemex Sues Siemens Claiming Bribery in Refinery Project
How to Invest in Mexico
Peru, Chile and Mexico are Societe Generale’s favourites for LatAm investments Cemex crumbles and Latin America starts to look weak
 
Brazil
Brazil stimulates construction to spur economy
Deutsche Bank Reduces Investment Bank, Research Teams in Brazil
Brazil Subsidizes Uncertain Shipyard Success
Rousseff Seeks Investment From Spain
Alstom handed Sao Paulo infrastructure contract
GE to Build Oil, Gas Facility at LLX’s Brazil Acu Port
New trains for World Cup host cities
Brazil´s Ceará to receive $66.5 million IDB loan to improve urban infrastructure and business environment

Latin America

LatAm Wealth Management Overview
The world has gotten wealthier, but not the whole world. The engine of growth for private wealth is by far the emerging markets such as LatAm and, particularly, East Asia ex-Japan, which is outpacing the rest of the world by a long shot …

South American airports need more investment: ALTA head
Can South America Become the New European Union?
IDB Approves $153 Million in Loans to Set Up IDB-China Eximbank Equity Investment Platform

Argentina

Argentina May Abandon International Court, Treaties Over Debt Ruling
Argentina raising energy tariffs to fund investment
Argentina’s YPF buys majority stake in natgas distributor

Chile

Chile approves Endesa 740 MW coal-powered project

Colombia

Colombia is Fast Becoming a Rising Oil Giant in Latin America
Southern Cross Group Invests in Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Barranquilla (Columbia)
Holcim to double capacity in Colombia by building new US$600mn cement plant
As Panama Canal expands, Latin America rushes to be ready
Embezzlement stalling Colombia’s infrastructure development: Minister
Infrastructure in Colombia

Peru

Peru Is Clear Investment Destination In Latin America: Minister
Peruvian ports in peril?
 
FiNETIK News Summarier, 14.12.2012

Filed under: Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Latin America, Mexico, News, Peru, Risk Management, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alternative Latin Investor: Hedge Fund Latin America Issue 19

We are proud to announce the launch of our 19th issue of Alternative Latin Investor, with a special focus on Hedge Funds within the region.

Special Issue: Hedge Funds Latin America

 LatAm’s Maturing Hedge Fund Industry  – The Need for More Managers in the Andean Region

Why LatAm Equity Funds are Looking Beyond Brazil

LatAm Hedge Fund Experts Weigh in on the Current Political and Economic Context

Hedge Fund Marketing Post-JOBS Act: Concepts to Begin the Advertising Conversation

Victor Hugo Rodriguez of LatAm Alternatives
LatAm’s Maturing Hedge Fund Industry

As they did in 2011, LatAm hedge funds are leading the world in returns in 2012. According to the November Eurekahedge Report, which tracks global returns through October, LatAm is up 8.17% in 2012, well head of Asia ex Japan, with 6.40%, and emerging markets in general, with 6.14% …

Latin American Art
2012 Auction Recap
Following inconsistent results during the 2-week stretch of mega-auctions of Impressionist/Modern and Art Post-War/Contemporary art at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips, anticipation for the Latin American art sales ran high. Evening sales featuring Latin American masterworks at both major auction houses preceded considerable day-sale offerings …

…and much more. Banking, Regulations, Political Risks,  Foreign Direct Investment, Renewable Energy, Agri Business, Wine Investment, Infrastructure, Art Investment

Please view and access Issue 19  in the following formats

Virtual Viewer    http://www.alternativelatininvestor.com/issue19-preview.htm

For more details and information please view http://www.alternativelatininvestor.com

Source: AlternativeLatinInvestor 14.12.2012

Filed under: Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Latin America, Mexico, News, Peru, Risk Management, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investor News Letter 17 November 2012

Mexico

Slim Acquires Controlling Stake in Real Oviedo, El Pais Reports

Billionaire Carlos Slim agreed to invest 2 million euros ($2.5 million) to acquire a controlling stake in Spain’s soccer team Real Oviedo, newspaper El Pais reported today.

Mexico lawmaker introduces bill to legalize marijuana
Sherwin-Williams to buy Mexico’s Comex for $2.34 billion
Mexico Third-Quarter GDP Rose at Slowest Pace in Over Year
Cemex Latam Falls in Bogota After $1.14 Billion Initial Sale
Mexican banks invest domestically
Mexico: Investors’ New China
TransCanada to build, operate Mexican natural gas pipeline; will invest US$1B

 

Brazil

Top names drop off list of Thyssen Americas bidders

FRANKFURT – Several top steelmakers are sitting out ThyssenKrupp’s auction of its U.S. and Brazilian mills and there appears little interest in the latter, suggesting the German firm may fall well short of its $9 billion asking price.

Eletrobras to take over bankrupt Brazil power utility
Cuba opens sugar sector to foreign management
Microsoft’s investment in Brazil to spur Rio research boom-execs
Telecom Italia looking at GVT, other opportunities
Wuhan Steel shelves plans to build Brazil mill
A new wave of Brazilian infrastructure investment
Brazil’s Itaqui port plans $3.2 billion upgrade
Rio Olympics, World Cup at risk with royalty bill, governor warns

 

Latin America

Paving the Way  High-­Tech Financial Infrastructure Hits LatAm

Foreign market leaders such as Fidessa, Direct Edge and Navatar are challenging local providers in the race to meet the booming region’s needs. The growth in size and sophistication of LatAm capital markets has both fueled and been fueled by the implementation of high-tech financial infrastructure in the region, as the hardware and software that have  been the foundation …

 Latin American yields fall further in a warning to bond investors
Impoverished Iberians, booming Latin America eye new relations
Africa and Latin America Still Fight Vulture Funds
More LatAm ETFs Your Broker Forgot to Mention
UN asks LatAm firms to grow with social responsibility
Private Equity Lures Pensioners as Bond Yields Sink
Argentina’s Debt Restructuring Argument Could Be Very Significant For The Global Economy
Argentina’s YPF 3rd-Quarter Profit Down 51% on Year at $159 Million
Bolivia Returns to the Global Bond Market
Chile pension fund-ordered estimate lowers Endesa Latam asset value
Chilean regulator to put new limits on pension fund investments
Germany’s Solarstrom enters Latin America with 2MW in Chile
Colombia opens criminal probe into Interbolsa collapse
Colombia’s Interbolsa brokerage to be liquidated
Public-Private Partnerships in Colombia: Scaling-up Results
Paraguay, Worst LatAm Economic Result of 2012
Peru May Invest About $5.2 Billion in Water, Wastewater Projects
Aeropuertos del Peru mulling over opportunities in Brazil and Chile
Overseeing Peru’s international appeal at ProInversión

Filed under: Argentina, Banking, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investor News Letter 2 November 2012

MEXICO

Mexico 2013 inflation view steady despite price spike
Credit Suisse Raises $420 Million to Create Mexico Fund
Mexico: Big investment for citrus producers
Indigenous Groups Protest Mexico’s Biggest Wind-Energy Project
FOX BUSINESS – Mexican fishermen and indigenous groups from the southern state of Oaxaca protested Wednesday in front of the Mexico City offices of participants in a wind-energy project that would be one of the largest ever in Latin America, targeting Coca-Cola bottler and convenience-store operator Femsa (FMX), the Inter-American Development Bank and the Danish government, among others.

BRAZIL

The Brazilian Law on Money Laundering
Precautions Investors Must Take when Investing in Brazil. Brazil has recently altered its money laundering law. The new bill has tightened the government’s grip on most of the investment operations and has significantly broadened financial institutions’ and investment brokers’ duties to report suspicious activities …

ThyssenKrupp Brazil mill fined for pollution, could face closure
The long, brutal haul from farm to port in Brazil
Brazil hit by new blackout, infrastructure in spotlight
Brazil Gives Tax Exemption to Foreign Mortgage Investors
Brazil Power Generators Ask to Renew 106 of 123 Concessions

LATIN AMERICA

Private Aviation takes off in Latin America
The growth of private wealth in LatAm has led to a rise in demand for private aircraft and private aviation services. For the region’s mounting numbers of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, a plane can be purely a luxury item, of course; but for increasingly global and mobile professionals and business owners, it meets a demand unsatisfied by local transportation alternatives, as well .

Colombia Regulators Seize Interbolsa Brokerage on Funding

Colombia’s financial regulators seized Interbolsa SA’s brokerage, the country’s largest, after the company said it faces a “temporary” funding shortage.

 Latin America stocks rise on China, U.S. data
20 Latin American in the World’s 200 Richest People
Argentina bonds close lower after S&P downgrade
Argentina Plans Regulatory Overhaul to Spur Investments
Increase in pension fund investments makes for headwinds in Andean market
Colombia Equity Fund targets European countries for distribution
Protests in Peru Scaring Off Mining Investment, Government Responds With Social Programs
Honduran supreme court rejects idea of building independently governed ‘model cities’
CAF and OFIC ink agreement to promote energy efficiency projects in Latin America
Modern airport terminal to be opened in Bogota
IDB approves $200m financing for Latin America hydro plant

Filed under: Argentina, Asia, Banking, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Latin America, Mexico, News, Peru, Risk Management, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cemex aims for $950m Latin American float in Colombia

Cemex, the Mexican cement producer, hopes to raise up to $950m from the partial sale of its Latin American subsidiary, people familiar with the deal told the Financial Times on Monday.

The company has set a price range of 11,000-13,500 Colombian pesos a share for the sale of about 24 per cent, or 126.6m shares, in Cemex Latam Holdings, Cemex’s Central and South American unit, in a forthcoming initial public offering on the Colombian stock exchange.

 
FT related CEMEX news:
The IPO of Cemex Latam, which includes Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama, is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to pay down its high debt. As of end of September, gross debt, which includes perpetual notes, stood at $17.7bn.

The planned IPO follows a recent refinancing agreement for about $7bn in loans, which extends maturities by three years from 2014 to 2017. At the time, analysts welcomed the agreement, saying that it bought the company valuable time to allow global cement markets to recover.

“The refinancing lays to rest any residual concerns about the company’s solvency,” one analyst who asked not to be named, told the FT recently.

That, coupled with positive results during the third quarter – Cemex said that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) between July and the end of September grew 9 per cent compared with last year to reach $730m, the highest ebitda generation in three years – has fuelled a rally in the company’s share price this year.

For years, Cemex was considered one of the most successful “multilatinas” as Latin American multinationals are known, as it embarked on a 20-year acquisition spree that turned it into the world’s third-largest cement producer by volume.

But the Monterrey-based company came unstuck following its purchase of Rinker, the Australian building-materials supplier, for $15.3bn – an acquisition it financed with short-term loans and that came on the cusp of the US housing crash.

Source: Financial Times, 22.10.2012

Filed under: Colombia, Exchanges, Mexico, News, , , , , , , ,

Alternative Latin Investor: Wealth Management Issue 18

The Alternative Latin Investor Issue #18 is focusing on Wealth Management in Latin America.

Special Issue: Wealth Management

The World’s First Diamond Fund
Lack of Transparency in Colombia: Root Causes
LatAm Wealth Management Overview
Private Aviation Takes Off in Latin America
High-Tech Financial Technology Hits LatAm

…and much more. Regulations,  Tax & Money Laundering, Structured Finance, Political Risks,  Agri Business, Impact Investment, Wine Investment, Infrastructure, Art

Please view and access Issue 18  in the following formats

Virtual Viewer http://www.alternativelatininvestor.com/Issue18-Preview.htm

For more details and information please view http://www.alternativelatininvestor.com

Source: AlternativeLatinInvestor 18.10.2012

Filed under: Argentina, Banking, BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Islamic Finance, Mexico, News, Services, Trading Technology, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investor News Letter 19.October 2012

Mexico

Elektra to offer No-Fee Banking and Long Term loans to US low income population
Billionaire Ricardo Salinas said he wants to offer no-fee banking deposits and longer-term loans to low-income U.S. consumers, aiming to export his Mexico business model, successful in 8 Latin American countries to the world’s biggest economy.

Mexico’s market shines as reforms, confidence take hold
NYSE Technologies, Bolsa Mexicana and ATG build Mexican trading infrastructure
Slim-backed Mexican firm plans IPO, new cement company
Alsea to invest $110 million in Mexico, Argentina Starbucks cafes
Mexico passes law to combat cartel money laundering

Brazil

Itau Sinks as Rousseff Plan Hurts Bank Profits: Corporate Brazil

Brazil’s push to drive down consumer borrowing costs is eroding the value of its biggest banks.

Brazil wants to restrict strikes in public sector
Monsanto suspends collection of royalties in Brazil following state court ruling
Brazil M&A hits five-year low on turmoil, state intervention
Brazil and South Africa Form Partnership On Future Investment Promotion Initiatives
Brazil’s Water Sector Benefits From Investment Ahead of World Cup, Olympics

Latin America

Cencosud of Chile to Acquire Carrefour Colombia Division

Cencosud SA agreed to buy Carrefour SA’s Colombian unit for 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) as it taps rising consumer spending in Latin America and the world’s second-largest retailer retreats from markets it can’t dominate.

Venezuela/Paraguay rift spoils Brazil’s plans for a ‘normal’ Mercosur summit
Singapore, the fastest growing market for Latin America
CAF Encourages Singapore to Invest in Latin America
Cuba Praises China-Latin America Ties
Latin America can produce double-digit investment returns over next decade
Arab and Latin American leaders agree to investment bank
LatAm’s Largest Solar Power Plant  in Peru receiving 40 MW of Solar PV Modules from China
Arab and LatAm leaders agree to investment bank
Peru central bank could allow more pension funds invested abroad
Latin American Ratings Strong Enough to Weather a Commodity-Cycle Downturn
Latin American gold rush brings riches, conflict
Latin lithium output mired in controversy

Source: Various 19.10.2012

Filed under: Argentina, Banking, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nyse Technologies, Bolsa Mexicana and ATG build Mexican trading infrastructure

Nyse Technologies, the commercial technology division of Nyse Euronext (NYX: NYX) today announced that in collaboration with Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) and Americas Trading Group (ATG) it has built and deployed a state-of-the-art trading infrastructure complete with global connectivity, risk management functionality and direct market data distribution for customers trading in Mexican markets.

Designed to support the launch of Bolsa Mexicana’s new matching engine and midpoint hidden order book, this solution incorporates advanced technology developed specifically for every part of the trade cycle to provide unprecedented accessibility, performance and risk management for trading on Bolsa Mexicana’s exchanges with the aim of establishing Mexico as a premier Latin American investment destination.

Initially, this collaboration will provide:
• A new co-location model for access to cash and derivatives markets (through ATG directly at the KIO Data Center)
• Global connectivity for buy side, sell side and vendors from the US, Europe, Asia and also other Latin American markets such as Brazil and Chile.
• Sophisticated risk management functionality for international order routing (solution implemented by NYSE Technologies)
• Low touch order stamping by Bolsa Mexicana’s members to settle orders
• Global Market Data distribution via NYSE Technologies Secure Financial Transaction Infrastructure (SFTI) with direct contracting with BMV

“We are excited to again work with one of Latin America’s leading market operators in Bolsa Mexicana and market participants in ATG to deliver dramatic improvements across critical elements of the trade cycle,” said Dominique Cerruti, NYSE Technologies. “By continuing to improve access to key Latin American exchanges and customers, we continue to realize our vision of creating a global capital markets community with cutting-edge connectivity, performance and risk management.”

“Today’s announcement with NYSE Technologies and ATG demonstrates our ongoing commitment to grow and enhance our markets in Mexico to deliver highly flexible multi-market, multi-asset trading,” said Jorge Alegria, Head of Market Operations, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores. “We look forward to extending our relationship and cooperation with NYSE Technologies in several important areas that will f further expand that growth and performance in the near future.”

Source: FinExtra, 18.10.2012

Filed under: Asia, BMV - Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Data Management, Data Vendor, Latin America, Market Data, Mexico, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BMV – Mexico’s Stock Exchange to change trading hours from October 29 – November 1st, 2012

Mexico’s Stock Exchange  will change its trading hours from 08:30-15:00 local time (09:30-16:00 EST) to 07:30-14:00 local time (8:30-15:00 EST) from October 29 thru November 1 to adjust to the daylight savings time difference between Mexico and the US. Mexico’s Stock Exchange will continue to trade the same trading hours that the NYSE is open, during that period.

Source: BMV,10.10.2012

 

Filed under: Exchanges, Mexico, , , ,

What’s Wrong With The Global Banking System

Robert Mazur, the U.S. Customs special agent who led one of the most successful undercover operations in U.S. law enforcement history, gave us some insight into international money laundering and said the Federal Reserve needs to do more to help.

In the 1980s Mazur spent five years infiltrating the highest circles of Colombia’s drug cartels as a money launderer, transforming more than $34 million in cocaine cash into traceable, paper-trailed bank transactions under the pseudonym Bob L. Musella.

His book, The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel, explains how “Operation C-Chase” led to the indictment of 85 individuals – including several officials affiliated with the then-seventh largest privately-held bank in the world, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)—and the conviction of General Manuel Noriega.

Now he is on a mission to “share information with the public about how this money laundering activity has engulfed the will of the financial institutions of the world.”

Mazur says that “the international community is today doing the same thing that BCCI and their officers were doing 20 years ago”—citing the HSBC money-laundering scandal and the tax havens of the super-rich—and told BI that the problem is much larger than the estimated $2.1 trillion that crime generates each year.

“What [the corrupt bankers at BCCI] did was market flight capital, and they identified it as basically money seeking secrecy from governments,” Mazur said. “Yes it does include the items that the $2.1 trillion identifies but it’s bigger than that because there are times that you take legal money and use it for an illegal purpose, and that money is as big if not bigger than the illegal money.”

He calls the practice “a major moneymaker for the banking world” and cites the Standard Chartered scandal, in which bankers “took $250 billion worth of basically legal money and used techniques to hide from governments the fact that the money was being moved in these otherwise-legal transactions on the behalf of sanctioned nations, including Iran.”

He said the HSBC ruling listed six or seven methods “traditionally used by banks in a big way facilitate relationships with people who want to hide money from governments” and explained that bankers provide these services “to entice these people to bank with them” so that the bank is able to increase their deposits.

Mazur said that banking regulators are “not as focused on the issue of criminal conduct as they are on … making sure that the institution itself stays healthy” so investigations take years and result in a lengthy report.

There’s nothing built in the system to engage criminal investigations up front,” Mazur said.” They always come in a very rusty state after they’ve been played with by the regulators. By then everyone’s built in their plausible deniability and it’s a very difficult task to expect the investigators to then come up with the intent evidence,” which is essential for criminal prosecution.

He added that the current regulatory process ignores the fundamental problem, which is that “there are two brains in a bank—there’s this profit brain that’s motivated by earning money … and then we have a compliance department and their whole agenda has nothing to do with profit, it has to do with identifying risk and minimizing it. But when the compliance and the sales brain meet, upper management sides with sales because that’s their gig too—profits. And there has to be a way to try to begin to change that chemistry of the interaction of the two brains.”

One straightforward ways to do that, according to Mazur, would be to crack down on bankers who solicit shady business—like the ones at HSBC—by putting a few “behind bars for a very long period of time” instead of just giving them a fine.

Another simple way is to require the Federal Reserve to share information about member banks who are in the bulk bank note business. If regulators and prosecutors knew which institutions were moving much larger amounts of money through wire transfers (which the Fed tracks), they would know where to focus investigations or covert-type operations.

“You’re honing down all your information to go after, proactively, the institutions most involved in moving this type of money,” Mazur said. “It’s not complicated but the Federal Reserve doesn’t give that information out freely and that’s something that needs to change.”

He noted that concerned individuals in the military, law enforcement and intelligence community have accessed more of that information in the last 2 years than ever before, but emphasized that more has to be done.

“That’s one of the barriers that’s slowly crumbling, and it’s an important barrier to wind up crumbling, but it’s not completely accessed,” Mazur said.

Filed under: Banking, Colombia, Latin America, Mexico, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investor News Letter 21.September 2012

Mexico

Analysis: China worries spur Mexico stock market flows

MEXICO CITY – Mexico has been on the wrong side of China’s economic boom for the last decade, but is now seeing an upturn in its fortunes as the Asian powerhouse’s economy slows and international stock pickers look to hedge their bets.

Can Mexico live up to its investment potential?
Deutsche Bank Downbeat On Brazil In Wake of Intervention; Mexico Retail Sales Up

Mexico, the “Forgotten” Emerging Market


Brazil

Brazil mulls raising Mexico car trade quota – sources

Brazil is considering raising a three-year bilateral auto trade pact quota it agreed to with Mexico in March, potentially allowing Mexican exporters to sell around $350 million worth of additional vehicles to the Brazilian market annually.

Brazil: PE cools in Brazil, warmes in Mexico and Andes

US urges Brazil in “clear terms’ not to hike tariffs

Brazil reacts to US stimuli saying it will keep the Real ‘devalued’ and competitive

Brazil ethanol returns to US as biofuel rules pave way

Goldman Sachs Plans Private-Equity Comeback in Brazil


Latin America

Colombia rapidly becoming another “positive surprise” from Latinamerica

Uruguay’s economy suffers slight deceleration in 2Q but on track to the 4% target

IMF calls on Argentina to implement measures on the quality of official data

Moody’s changes Argentina rating outlook to negative from stable

Deal Analysis: Panama City Metro Line 1

Gazprom in talks with Argentina’s YPF on LNG supplies

Private equity in LatAm: less new money, more deals

Shadow banking to dominate in LatAm projects

Cuba struggles with foreign investment, growth

China Steps Up Push Into Latin America

Korean Art fair highlights Latin American art

Filed under: Argentina, Banking, Brazil, Central America, Chile, China, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Events, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Risk Management, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mexico: BMV Mexican Stock Exchange Aims to Attract High Frequency Traders with Platform Upgrade

Mexican stock exchange operator Bolsa Mexicana de Valores detailed its investment in a new trading platform that the bourse hopes will reduce execution time for trades while also boosting trading activity.

The platform will enable the bourse to complete a trade in 90 microseconds, or to facilitate around 100,000 transactions per second, putting it on par with the Singapore Stock Exchange and besting the New York Stock Exchange’s completion rate of 150 microseconds per trade, the Mexican exchange said. The platform, which began handling stock transactions on Sept. 3 and will handle derivatives trades starting in December, cost the bourse 150 million pesos ($11.5 million.)

The Mexican exchange hopes the updated platform will attract a greater number of sophisticated international market participants who are interested in executing algorithmic trades. Currently, such high-frequency trades account for 17% of the volume operated on the bourse, versus 70% of the volume in the U.S., the exchange said. In August the exchange averaged 1.9 million stock transactions a day.

The new platform also incorporates filters to prevent erroneous trades, for example by detecting price action that is out of sync with the market or unusually high volumes. In April the local brokerage house of Bulltick Capital Markets triggered a mini “flash crash” by entering an erroneous trade, knocking Mexico’s benchmark IPC stock index down about 2 percentage points.

Source: FIF Financial Information Forum, 17.09.2012

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