Fitch: Latin America political, social risks could delay recovery, pressuring bank operating environments

Volatility caused by ongoing political and social unrest, as well as policy uncertainty, could delay the economic recovery. It could also delay the stabilization of LatAm banking systems’ Operating Environment (OE) scores, which capture the risk of doing banking business in a country or jurisdiction. In Fitch Ratings’ opinion, the OEs of Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and, to a lesser extent, Peru face more downside risks.

Drought will last until November, warns the CAO

Bolivia's Cámara Agropecuaria del Oriente (CAO) warned that the drought will last until November.The business entity said that the drought period was brought forward by the heavy frosts that were recorded throughout the department of Santa Cruz and generated losses of $240 million in the agricultural sector.

Natura Bolivia, Selfless by Hyram join forces to protect Amazon region

Fundación Natura Bolivia, the indigenous people of the Bajo Paragua forest, and Selfless by Hyram have joined forces to hold the line on deforestation in the Amazon, announcing the creation of the 2.05-million-acre Bajo Paragua San Ignacio and Concepcion Municipal Protected Areas. With support from the partnership, the communities will manage the new protected areas which are also home to spider monkeys, jaguars and at least 1,273 vertebrate species. Conservation of the forest permanently locks up 337,162,504 metric tons of carbon dioxide which would otherwise contribute to climate change.

Remittances grow 50.6% in the first half of 2021

Remittances from abroad in June reached $116.1 million and the first-half cumulative amounted to $687.7 million, a 50.6% growth compared to the first semester of 2020, says a Bolivian Central Bank (BCB) report. Remittances came mainly from Spain (35.1%), Chile (20.3%), the United States (20.3%), Argentina (5.5%) and Brazil (4.2%).

Forest fires consumed more than 147,000 hectares in Santa Cruz

Forest fires this year have consumed more than 147,000 hectares (360,000 acres) in Santa Cruz department, the regional government reported. As in neighboring Brazil, the fires have been aggravated by widespread deforestation aimed at expanding farming or pasture land. Each year Bolivia confronts forest-fire outbreaks started by settlers in remote areas or by agribusinesses trying to expand their production. Bolivian NGO the Friends of Nature Foundation estimates that forest fires last year destroyed more than 2.3 million hectares of forests and grassland.

YPFB expects revenues of $140 million annually after reactivating the urea plant

The state-owned oil company YPFB estimates annual revenues of between $120 and $140 million once the Ammonia and Urea Plant (PAU) reactivates fertilizer production. The plant's stoppage caused economic damage to the State, quantified at $291.19 million, related to lost profits, stoppage costs, repair of damaged equipment and lack of adequate maintenance.