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EXCLUSIVE Latin Hotel Index
Accor is now the region's largest hotel chain

With 38,143 rooms in Latin America, France's Accor Hospitality is now the region''s largest hotel chain, Latin Business Chronicle's latest Hotel Index shows. Accor's climb to number one comes from InterContinental, the world's largest hotel chain, which reduced its number of hotel rooms in the region by more than 20,000. Other notable gains in this year’s list came from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which grew from the sixth to the fifth largest hotel chain in the region.

Mexican central bank cuts 2014 growth forecast
Country's GDP seen growing 2.3 to 3.3 percent this year

Mexican policy makers lowered their 2014 growth forecast for the second time following stagnation in the U.S., the nation’s top export market, and a drop in consumer spending. Gross domestic product will rise 2.3 percent to 3.3 percent this year, down from the previous forecast of 3 percent to 4 percent, the central bank said in its quarterly inflation report, Bloomberg reports.

Colombia industries push for leaner regulations 
Oil and mining sectors hit by lower output and resistance to projects

Colombia's oil and mining industries are pleading for help from the next government to streamline slow and erratic regulations. Both sectors have been hit by lower production and resistance to key projects. The country's commodities sector, once a darling of foreign investors, has lost its luster in recent years as shifting environmental rules, delays in obtaining permits and local community resistance leave many projects stuck on paper, Reuters reports.

Kerry visits Mexico to discuss Venezuela crisis
U.S. Congress mulls sanctions against Venezuelan officials

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to Mexico to discuss potential next steps in erasing the crisis in Venezuela. The United States may have to take a larger role in curbing the crisis if a South American effort to broker talks between the government in Caracas and the opposition remains stalled, the State Department said. The U.S. Congress is considering issuing sanctions against Venezuelan officials to punish them for human rights abuses, Fox News Latino reports.

Cemex seeks to recover investment grade
Exiting junk status is cement maker's top priority, says CEO

Mexico's Cemex, the largest cement maker in the Americas, is studying new bond offerings as it seeks to cut interest costs, extend debt maturities and win back its investment grade rating. Refinancing more debt with lower-paying bonds would bolster Cemex’s efforts to win back an investment grade rating as Chief Executive Officer Fernando Gonzalez targets profit gains in the U.S. and Mexico, Bloomberg reports.

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