News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Cape Verde news update, May 22nd

In Cape Verde on May 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

BIOFUELS & ENERGY

The Ministry of the Environment, Rural Development and Marine Resources signed a memorandumwith Macau based company Geocapital for the creation of an international scientific investigation and technological development center dedicated to bio-fuels (A Semana).

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is “very interested” in taking part in the renewable energies project Cape Verde is carrying out, the bank’s vice president, Plutharcos Sakellaris said (Macauhub).

CABO VERDE INVESTIMENTOS

Rui Cardoso Santos, up to the present the coordinator of the Privatization Office, is the new president of investment and tourism promotion agency Cabo Verde Investimentos. The agency’s new administrative council also includes Carlos Rocha, a Bank of Cape Verde employee, and the young Eileen Barbosa, who has left Cabo Verde Development to embrace this new and challenging function (A Semana).

ECONOMY

The governor of Cape Verde’s central bank admitted today that the country’s economy had cooled somewhat, but even so predicted that growth for 2009 would stand at approximately 5%. Inflation, which has slowed considerably in recent months, is expected to be below 2% (A Semana).

STOCK EXCHANGE

Prime Minister José Maria Neves presided over the launch of the Public Sale Offer of Cape Verde Stock Exchange-listed bonds for Cabo Verde Fast Ferry, a sea transportation company owned by Cape Verdean businessmen residing in the United States and in Cape Verde itself. The 1.5 billion-escudo Public Sale Offer is aimed at raising capital for the purchase of two high-speed passenger transportation vessels to operate in Cape Verde’s Leeward Islands (Santiago, Fogo, Brava and Maio) (A Semana).

INFRASTRUCTURE

The road connecting the villages of Calhau and Norte de Baía on the island of São Vicente will be opened on July 4, according to the director of the Department of Infrastructures, Carlos Dias. Dias expressed satisfaction with the quality of the work carried out so far by construction company Armando Cunha (A Semana).

SECURITY

In the struggle against drugs related crime, the National Police scored several small victories with the arrest of several persons, including a 25-year-old São Vicente native  with five capsules containing 346.872 grams of cocaine in her digestive system. The woman had disembarked from a flight arriving from Fortaleza, Brazil (A Semana).


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Brazil news update, May 22nd

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and business leaders visited Istanbul to secure a stronger foothold in Turkey’s domestic market and make good on its regional ties (Reuters).

BUSINESS

Brazil’s Embraer closed a deal to sell 20 planes to Argentina’s recently nationalized flag carrier airline (Reuters).

Brazilian mining giant Vale cut its investment plans for 2009 to $9 billion from $14.2 billion (Reuters).

Weaker demand for iron ore should force Vale to concede price cuts to Asian clients in annual negotiations, but any cut should be less than Australian rivals face (Reuters).

Brazilian insurance company Maritima expects to grow sharply in the next five years after selling a stake to Yasuda, a local unit of Sompo Japan Insurance Inc (Reuters).

Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Cosan agreed to sell its aviation fuel business to Shell Brasil Ltda, the domestic unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, for $75 million (Reuters).

The merger of Brazilian food companies Perdigao and Sadia creates a global behemoth that looks poised to dominate the world poultry market (Reuters).

Itau Unibanco, Latin America’s largest bank by assets, said it is considering expanding in Brazil by acquiring small and mid-sized financial institutions to complement its line of products (Reuters).

Drogasil, Brazil’s second-biggest retail pharmacy, will stick with its plan to add about 40 stores this year as the pharmaceutical industry withstands the country’s economic slump (Bloomberg)

PETROBRAS

Investors have largely shrugged off a Senate investigation into Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras but uncertainty over the probe’s findings could eventually weigh on the share price of the Latin American energy powerhouse, analysts said (Reuters).

The China Development Bank may offer financing to Petrobras SA beyond the $10 billion, 10-year loan given to  company this week, Petrobras Chief Executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli said (Reuters).

Petrobras  sees its investments in the Black Sea totaling $300 million over the next two years, International Director Jorge Zelada said (Reuters).

BIOGENETICS

Brazil’s biosafety regulator CTNBio has approved the use of Monsanto’s Bollgard 2 genetically modified cotton seed (Reuters).

ELECTIONS

A new health scare for Dilma Rousseff, the presidential hopeful for Brazil’s ruling party, has raised further uncertainty over next year’s election with some coalition partners calling for the president to consider backing other candidates or running himself (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent in April from March (Bloomberg).

Brazil looking for allies in the South Atlantic

In Angola, Cape Verde on May 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Brazil is trying to forge an alliance with African and South American countries to defend seabed mining rights and strategic shipping lanes in the South Atlantic.

Read the full story at Reuters

New boosts for Brazil’s wind energy

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm

The strong, consistent winds that for centuries have powered the colorful wooden “jangada” fishing boats off Brazil’s northern coast are now making the area the center of the country’s fastest-growing energy sector.

Read the full story at Reuters

A new Amazon land grab?

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm

A law expected to be approved by Brazil’s Congress granting 1.2 million people and numerous companies titles to a huge chunk of the Amazon rain forest could provoke a new wave of land-grabbing and deforestation, conservationists warn.

Read the full story at Reuters

Sao Tome news update, May 22nd

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm

OIL

Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria are expected as of 2011 to auction off four new oil blocks, which are smaller than those currently under prospection, the president of the Joint Development Authority (JDA) said (Macauhub).

LOAN

The President of Nigeria, Umaru YarÁdua has requested that parliament approve a government proposal to grant a subsidised loan of US$10 million to Sao Tome and Principe, to help the country to solve its financial difficulties (Macauhub).

RETAIL & BRAZIL

Over 150 containers of various food stuffs are due to arrive in Sao Tome from Brazil on 29 April, as part of the first imports by local retailers, thanks to a credit line of US$5 million from the Brazilian government (Macauhub).

PRIVATISATION

The government of Sao Tome and Principe intended to privatize the water and electricity company and should shortly launch an international tender, said the minister for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment Monday in Sao Tome (Macauhub).

Angola news update, May 22nd

In Angola on May 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm

ECONOMY

Angola’s economy would perform better in 2009 if the country does not comply with its OPEC oil production target, the World Bank said (Reuters).

The Angolan economy may contract 3 percent this year, thus bringing an end to six consecutive years of two digit growth, the chief economist of the World Bank said (Macauhub)

CONSTRUCTION

Portugal’s biggest construction firm Mota-Engil is setting up a consortium with local and foreign partners to bid for hydroelectric plant licenses in Angola under a government programme, CEO Jorge Coelho said (Reuters).

SECURITY

Angola has recently invested $13 million to increase military patrols along the Congo border and stop the flow of illegal immigrants and diamond smugglers (Reuters).

COFFEE

The Angolan minister of Agriculture, Afonso Canga, said that the culture of coffee will become a significant element among the country’s exports and an important pillar in the diversification of the national economy (ANGOP).

Small-scale coffee producers are to have access to a US$100 million credit line to be launched in 2010, João Ferreira, the director of the National Coffee Institute (Inca) told Angolan newspaper O País (Macauhub).

PORT & LOGISTICS

The CEO of the Commercial Port of Luanda, Sílvio Vinhas, guaranteed that the creation of logistics centres for handling port merchandises will help clearing ships from the coast and containers on the ground (ANGOP).

TELECOMS

The Angolan mobile-phone operator Unitel plans to expand its services until the end of the current year to 150 districts of the country (almost 90 per cent of national territory) (ANGOP).

At least 7.5 million citizens residing in Angola are mobile phone users and nearly 200.000 people use fixed telephone services (ANGOP).

BANKING

The Millenium Angola and Privado Atlântico banks have opened a credit line to the value of US$100 million to promote investment projects in Angola , Portugal’s MIllenium Bcp bank said (Macauhub).

Angolan kuduro on the march

In Angola on May 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm

It’s not break-dance, it isn’t rap either. The name is kuduro and its beat is electrifying dancers from Luanda to Lisbon and New York City with elements of rap, break-dance and hip-hop.

Read the news feature at Reuters

US-Panama trade deal postponed

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm

A U.S. trade accord with Panama, which is opposed by labor unions, won’t be submitted to Congress for approval until President Obama offers a new “framework” for trade, an administration official said (Bloomberg).

Panama coffee in trouble

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Panama’s specialty coffee growers say they harvested fewer high-priced beans this year and struggled to meet contracts with buyers because of bad weather and problems with labor and investments (Reuters).

Brazil rates the US no longer as AAA

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm

SR Rating, a Brazilian firm, will soon issue a judgment on American government bonds.

Read the full story in The Economist

Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court under attack

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Brazil’s Supreme Federal Tribunal is the most overburdened court in the world, thanks to a plethora of rights and privileges entrenched in the country’s 1988 constitution. A critic from within found his audience.

Read the full article in The Economist

Brazil’s religious struggle

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm

The share of Brazilians who described themselves as Catholic fell from 99.7% in the first census to 73.9% in 2000. But a new trend is emerging.

Read the full story in The Economist

Brazil news update, May 17th

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2009 at 10:01 pm

BANKING

Brazil’s state development bank BNDES said on Friday it disbursed 2.0 percent more in loans in the first four months of this year than last, as companies hit by the global recession deferred investments or turned to commercial creditors (Reuters).

FRAUD

Brazil’s Senate launched an investigation on Friday into alleged tax and procurement fraud at state-owned oil company Petrobras. The inquiry will investigate indications of fraud in the procurement of oil platforms, the construction of an oil refinery in the northeastern city of Recife and in the use of sponsorship funds (Reuters).

MEAT

Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest beef producer and owner of JBS-Swift, reported a bigger first-quarter loss, citing a surge in debt servicing costs and losses at its Argentine unit (Reuters).

Perdigao, Brazil’s second-largest food company,  posted a net loss of 226 million reais ($108.4 million) for the first quarter, versus a 51 million reais profit for the year-ago period (Reuters).

Sadia, Brazil’s largest poultry and pork producer posted a net loss of 239.2 million reais ($114.8 million) for the first quarter, after a net profit of 248.3 million in the year-ago period (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Brazilian telecommunications group Oi Participacoes said  its first-quarter profit fell 98 percent after it took over smaller rival Brasil Telecom (Reuters).

AIR TRAVEL

Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas posted its first profit in six quarters as fuel costs dropped and the company trimmed financial and operational expenses (Reuters).

OIL

Brazil should create a new state-run oil company to manage some of its subsalt oil reserves and adopt a production-sharing model in other areas, the head of the National Petroleum Agency said (Reuters).

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) also said it had denied state-run oil company Petrobras a time extension to exploit five blocks in the subsalt cluster (Reuters).

STEEL

Cia. Siderurgica Nacional, Brazil’s third-biggest steelmaker, announced on Wednesday the appointment of Paulo Penido Pinto Marques as its new chief financial officer (Reuters).

CHEMICALS

Brazilian petrochemical giant Braskem SA won a 555.6 billion-real ($268 million) loan commitment from the Brazilian government as part of a plan to produce polyethylene through the use of ethanol (Reuters).

Brazil slum beacon for economic independence

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm

At a time when big financial firms are reviled by many for leading the world into crisis, a ramshackle bank on a potholed street has lessons in economic independence that are catching on around the world.

Read the full story at Reuters

Cape Verde halts money laundering

In Cape Verde on May 17, 2009 at 9:35 pm

The end of banking confidentiality and the creation of the Institute for Confiscation of Assets are the two biggest novelties in the new Cape Verdean Anti-Money Laundering Law, Cape Verde’s Attorney General Julio Martins  said.

Read the full story at Macauhub

Angola news update, May 17th

In Angola on May 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Angola will provide in the next eight years about USD 3.5 million of funding to the African Development Bank  (ANGOP).

LUANDA

Angola will soon restart work on a $2 billion facelift of the bay of Luanda that includes new luxury hotels and public parks built on parcels of land along the city’s shoreline (Reuters).

GAS

A liquefied natural gas project in Angola could cost about $10 billion, an executive at consortium member Chevron Corp told a trade magazine, putting a higher figure on it than previously reported (Reuters).

CONSTRUCTION

Portugal’s largest construction company, Mota-Engil, beat forecasts with a 9 percent rise in first-quarter profit and its order book was swelled by new construction and engineering deals at home and in Angola. Net profit rose to 2.4 million euros ($3.25 million) as revenue increased 12 percent to 430 million euros (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Revenue in Angola’s mobile-phone industry may more than quadruple over the next seven years amid “high” demand for services (Bloomberg).

HOTELS

Angolan state oil company, Sonangol plans to open the hotel it is building in south Luanda in August. The hotel is designed to serve the Talatona Convention Centre (Macauhub).

BANKING

Angolan owned Banco BIC Portugal will end the first half of the year with six branches in Portugal, continuing with its expansion plan, the bank’s chairman, Luís Mira Amaral said (Macauhub).

Cape Verde democracy at top level

In Cape Verde on May 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

The international association e-Parliament, which works to promote parliamentary democracy in the world, released a survey of countries with the most democratic elections on Friday, May 8. Cape Verde earned the highest possible score on a scale going from zero to 12 points.

Read the full story at A Semana

Nedbank remains ‘solidly profitable’

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2009 at 11:28 am

South Africa’s banking system was stable and performing better than systems in many developed markets, Nedbank Group chairman Reuel Khoza said.

Read the full story in Business Day