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.


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.