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Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: October 30, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

The White House and others await anxiously for the first charges tied to special counselor Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Russia interfered with the presidential election, which has reportedly included a wide variety of targets, from those currently and formerly within the Trump White House.  No details on exact timing but the official announcement will no doubt interpret all news reporting. 

Elsewhere:

  • CVS is talking to Aetna about a potential $66BB acquisition, revving up the deal machines on Wall Street as Amazon continues to force industry combinations and some untraditional tied-ups;
  • Carlyle’s David Rubenstein passes the torch after some 30-years as the one of the fathers of private equity to co-CEOs;
  • Political journalist Mark Halperin of Bloomberg and MSNBC has gone dark amid a string of accusations of sexual harassment when he worked at ABC;
  • Amazon is entertaining bids from some 238 cities, regions, territories for its second city headquarters, including New York and Puerto Rico;
  • An Alibaba executive is buying a 49 percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets, estimated but not confirmed at $1.13 billion;
  • The JFK files are released (well, most of them);
  • Stocks got a big boost last week in large part from tech gains as the big names like Alphabet, Amazon and #evenTwitter reported strong results; the Dow closed at 23,434.
  • Honolulu passed a law where pedestrians can be fined $35 for crossing at the green focused on their smartphones, making cellphone zombies municipal revenue generators; and
  • Fats Domino, of New Orleans boogie-woogie rock ‘n roll fame, died. – “now ain’t that a shame.”

LATAM GAZE

  • Galileo Technologies, an Argentine company has proposed “virtual gas pipelines,” an innovative method of transporting gas to make the exploitation of hydrocarbons more profitable in Vaca Muerta, Patagonia one of the largest unconventional deposits in the world which requires a multi-million dollar investment for its development.
  • Brazil, Petrobras faces R$144bn liability from tax cases, more than half of that amount is linked to administrative proceedings from the Administrative Council of Tax Appeals.
  • Fitch, the risk assessor, maintained Colombia's sovereign risk rating at BBB, leaving the outlook stable, reflecting a long record of credible, flexible and consistent macroeconomic policies. Fitch doesn’t expect major changes to the country's macroeconomic policy framework in the next government, regardless of who gets the presidency.
  • Chile’s Chamber of Commerce projects that its eCommerce would reach about US $5 billion in 2018, a growth of 35% compared to 2017. By 2020 the figures are expected to exceed US $8 billion.
  • In Chile, BBVA has become the fifth bank to file a suit against BancoEstado, the only Public Bank in Chile, alleging that the state bank would have incurred practices that violate free competition. BBVA specifically claims that it would have been affected by the alleged imposition of prices on electronic banking transfers.
  • In Mexico, a federal judge issued the formal imprisonment of Elba Esther Gordillo, former leader of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) for money laundering and organized crime.
  • On Thursday, Principal Financial Group announced it had signed an agreement to acquire MetLife, Inc.'s pension fund management business in Mexico for an undisclosed amount. This will make Principal, the fifth largest pension administrator in Mexico in terms of asset management.
  • In Peru, on Friday, the Congressional commission investigating the Lava Jato Case, will evaluate the responses made by the President of the Republic, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski ( PPK ), about the role he played in the bidding of the Interoceanic highway in favor of Odebrecht during the government of Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006).

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