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February 10, 2014

EXCLUSIVE Mexico and U.S. step up anti-corruption
Business deals resulting from Mexican reforms to be scrutinized by both governments

Mexico's series of structural reforms approved late last year will lead to increased contracting between private firms and state-owned companies. Such agreements will be monitored by Mexico's 2012 anti-corruption law and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, with important considerations for business, Latin Business Chronicle reports.

Creditors agree to inject $215 million to Batista's OGX
Deal will strip control of the company from Eike Batista

Creditors led by Pacific Investment Management Co. and Deutsche Bank have agreed to inject $215 million in funding to former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's oil and gas firm OGX. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, will completely remove control of the company from Batista, and is part of a restructuring plan the company has to deliver by February 17, Bloomberg reports.

Toyota to stop production in Venezuela
Carmaker lacks hard currency to import parts

Toyota announced it will close down its Venezuela plant, as it lacks hard currency to import parts due to tight government controls. The carmaker will suspend production at its only plant in the South American country for six weeks starting February 13, while it seeks a solution. The plant, in the western city of Cumana, produced nearly 9,500 vehicles last year, SBS reports.

Argentina risks credit default, says U.S. Senator
Republican Senator Marco Rubio accused Kirchner's government of failing to keep promises

U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio warned the Argentine government it risks a credit default. "It looks like they're headed for another default because all the actions they're taking today seem to be designed to avoid a short-term default, but long term, their structural problems are extraordinary," Rubio said, AFP reports.

Wal-Mart de Mexico falls to two-year low after tax hike
Sales dropped 3.8 percent in January in stores opened for at least a year

Wal-Mart de Mexico's shares fell 2 percent to $2.30 Friday last week, the lowest since September 2011, after its sales were hit by new taxes in Mexico. The company's sales took a hit after the Mexican government last month raised a sales tax on regions bordering the U.S. from 11 to 16 percent, and introduced a new 8 percent levy on junk food, Bloomberg reports.


Will Mexico surpass Brazil as region's largest economy? Investing

Telecom Italia says no Brazil merger talks Reuters

Starbucks strengthens Latin America expansion plans Seattle Times

How wealthy Latinos are transforming Miami housing CNBC

Pacific Alliance leaders meet to boost trade Global Times

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