Brazil: The Brazilian government is expected to soon announce the creation of a credit guarantee fund for small and medium-sized businesses in order to encourage bank lending to such entities. The fund would be used to guarantee a percentage of bank loans made to qualifying businesses.

Chile: FAF International, an affiliate of U.S.-based First American Corporation, has become the first company authorized to sell title insurance in Chile. The availability of title insurance may greatly simplify real estate transactions in Chile, where such transactions previously required on average a 60-120 day period for investigation of title.

Costa Rica: The ninth annual Central American and Caribbean Insurance Congress, entitled “Global Tendencies of Insurance Markets: Regulation and Supervision,” will take place in San Jose, Costa Rica on July 29, 30 and 31, 2009. The event, organized by the national associations of Costa Rican and Panamanian insurance producers (CANECOS and COPAPROSE, respectively), will consist of various panels on legislation, regulation and market strategies and trends and will have exhibitors from various countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Costa Rica.

Venezuela: Jose Manuel Gonzalez, the president of the national association of Venezuelan auto repair shops (Canatame) has reportedly stated that the organization opposes the proposed new Venezuelan insurance law because it would restrict free competition in the business. In particular, Mr. Gonzalez reportedly stated that the law’s requirement that insureds only use “authorized repair shops” would exclude 95% of the repair shops in the country. For more information on the proposed law, please click here.