EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil stocks drop on oil, Citi exit; Colombia peso down before cenbank meeting

viernes 19 de febrero de 2016 11:36 GYT

By Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier
    SAO PAULO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Brazilian stocks dropped on
Friday as oil prices resumed their decline, while shares of
Santander Brasil SA slumped after rival Citigroup
Inc announced plans to exit retail banking operations in
Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.
    Citigroup's move means Spanish Banco Santander SA's 
Brazilian unit will be the last foreign bank in an increasingly
concentrated market. 
    Friday also marked the first day that many Santander Brasil
executives were allowed to sell shares from their stock options,
according to a source familiar with the matter. 
    Shares of BM&F Bovespa SA fell after Brazil's
sole financial exchange posted an unexpected fourth-quarter loss
on impairment charges. 
    Traders also assessed the implications of a potential
acquisition of rival clearinghouse Cetip SA Mercados Organizados
    Citigroup's announcement also helped drive down Colombia's
peso, which had rebounded over the last two sessions.
Slumping prices of oil, a main export and source of tax revenue,
drove the currency to an all-time low last week.
    Traders expect Colombia's central bank to react by
increasing its benchmark rate by 25 basis points for the sixth
consecutive month later this Friday. Some say the bank could
even increase the pace of tightening and hike rates by 50 basis
points, a move so far supported only by a minority of
    Yields paid on short-term futures contracts in Brazil were
nearly unchanged after Alexandre Tombini, president of the
central bank, said it was not considering cutting its benchmark
rate. Short-term yields had risen on Thursday after a central
bank director expressed a similar view. 
    Data showing U.S. core inflation rose at the fastest pace in
almost four and a half years also reduced demand for
high-yielding assets. Traders said price pressure could allow a
gradual rate of U.S. rate hikes, reducing the allure of emerging
market bonds. 

    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1455 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                 daily %   YTD %
                                                change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                739.95     -0.84   -6.03
 MSCI LatAm                          1743.53     -1.51   -3.25
 Brazil Bovespa                     41208.73     -0.65   -4.94
 Mexico IPC                         43522.62      0.01    1.27
 Chile IPSA                          3744.99     -0.62    1.76
 Chile IGPA                         18361.17     -0.53    1.16
 Argentina MerVal                   11791.62     -1.66    1.00
 Colombia IGBC                       9016.03     -0.31    5.48
 Venezuela IBC                      15922.55      -0.7    9.15
 Currencies                                    daily %   YTD %
                                                change  change
 Brazil real                          4.0611     -0.37   -2.81
 Mexico peso                         18.3250     -0.25   -5.98
 Chile peso                            699.8      0.53    1.41
 Colombia peso                       3350.54     -0.34   -5.41
 Peru sol                             3.5111     -0.12   -2.77
 Argentina peso (interbank)          15.0100      0.40  -13.51
 Argentina peso (parallel)             15.15      1.32   -5.81
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier; Editing
by Daniel Flynn and Meredith Mazzilli)