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.

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 invests $67 MM in the drilling of the Villa Montes X7 well.

Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) will invest $67 million in the Villamontes X7 well drilling project, located in the department of Tarija. The objective is to determine the hydrocarbon potential of the Huamampampa formation, with a view to strengthen Villamontes' participation in the gas business, said YPFB president Wilson Zelaya.

In the Gestora Pública they move $6.2 mn, despite being prohibited.

Despite being prohibited, six officials of the Gestora Pública (Public Management Agency) sold securities with a capital movement of Bs.43 million ($6.2 million). One person has been arrested for the case, two were summoned to the city of Santa Cruz and the rest are at large. Prosecutor Johan Muñoz reported that the investigation began as a result of a complaint from authorities of the Gestora Pública, following an internal audit process that detected the irregularities committed by the officials.

Freight transport on the Paraguay-Paraná waterway to reach 3 million tonnes by 2025

International river trade moved $980 million in 2019. The transport of goods by the Paraguay-Paraná waterway (Tamengo Canal) reached 2.1 million tonnes, which means a value of $979 million, 2.4% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Ichilo-Mamoré axis transported 1,200 tonnes of cargo worth $1.1 million, according to a report by the Santa Cruz Chamber of Exporters. According to projections, exports and imports via the Paraguay-Paraná waterway could increase by 50 per cent by 2025, reaching a cargo movement of 3 million tonnes.