BRIEF-IMF Bentham updates on settlement of an Australian matter it funded
* refers to its previous announcement on 22 July 2016 concerning conditional settlement of an australian matter it has funded.
* Mantega says rates, not FX, are right tool to fight inflation * Brazil rate futures signals Selic could rise in May * Brazil real weakens 0.2 pct as central bank intervenes * Mexico peso up 0.2 pct, other Latam currencies little changed By Paula Laier and Natalia Cacioli SAO PAULO, Feb 15 Brazil's interest-rate futures soared on Friday as investors increased bets that policymakers will tighten monetary policy this year, while the real trimmed gains after the central bank intervened to stop it from strengthening past 1.95 per dollar. The jump in interest-rate contracts, which priced in a strong chance that the central bank will lift the base Selic rate as soon as in May, followed comments by Finance Minister Guido Mantega. In Moscow for a meeting of the G20 group, Mantega said that inflation above the government's target raises a yellow flag and that monetary policy, not the exchange rate, is the right tool to control prices. "Mantega signaled the possibility of an interest rate hike. Markets may start to change their view that the central bank is stuck (with the current Selic rate), even as bank indicated that in the minutes" of its latest monetary policy meeting, said a fixed-income specialist at the proprietary trading desk of a bank in Sao Paulo. Interest-rate contracts maturing in January 2014, one of the most traded, jumped 12 basis points to 7.51 percent, on track to close at their highest level in four months. Concerns about inflation have been causing domestic interest rates to rise and the real to strengthen as investors bet policymakers would initially favor a stronger currency to cheapen the price of imported goods, but would still be forced to raise the Selic later. Even as Mantega denied once more that the exchange rate would be used as a tool to fight inflation, the Brazilian real continued to gain early on Friday. It briefly strengthened past the level of 1.95 per dollar for the first time in nine months when the central bank intervened with an auction of reverse currency swaps - derivative contracts that are designed to weaken the exchange rate. The real last traded at 1.9610 per dollar, 0.2 percent stronger on the day, although analysts still believed it would soon test the 1.95-per-greenback level again. "The central bank will probably keep using a stronger currency to curb inflation, but there probably won't be any sharp move in the foreign exchange rate," said the treasury head of a Brazilian bank on condition of anonymity. On Thursday, a source on President Dilma Rousseff's economic team said policymakers are more worried about curbing volatility in the foreign exchange market, indicating the real could strengthen past the level of 1.95 per dollar as long as the appreciation is gradual. Latin American FX prices at 1510 GMT: Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 1.9611 -0.20 4.02 Mexico peso 12.6700 0.16 1.53 Chile peso 471.1000 -0.08 1.61 Colombia peso 1785.5000 -0.15 -1.09 Peru sol 2.5680 -0.04 -0.66 Argentina peso 5.0050 0.00 -1.85 Argentina peso 7.6600 0.00 -11.49
* Car-loan securitisations buck downbeat trend for corporate credit
SAO PAULO, May 28 Brazilian federal prosecutors on Sunday made a new offer to JBS SA's controlling shareholder, J&F Investimentos, that it pay a 10.99 billion real ($3.37 billion) fine for its role in massive corruption scandals.