News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

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Brazil news update, September 28th

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2009 at 8:07 pm

POLITICS

The de facto government of Honduras denied entry on Sunday to an Organization of American States delegation and threatened to close Brazil’s embassy, where ousted President Manuel Zelaya has taken refuge (Reuters).

Brazil’s president demanded on Wednesday a greater role in global affairs for big developing nations, while asking rich countries to do more to spur free trade and fight climate change (Reuters).

– Brazilian President Lula da Silva said he’ll visit President Amadinejad in Tehran next year after the Iranian leader comes to Brazil, adding he can’t judge Iran’s elections or nuclear ambitions (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

Brazilian economists expect higher interest rates and faster economic growth next year, according to a central bank survey of about 100 economists (Bloomberg).

OLYMPICS

A sporting duel between U.S. President Obama and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva heated up on Friday over who — if either of them — gets to host the 2016 Summer Olympics (Reuters).

BUSINESS

Eike Batista, a Brazilian industrial magnate, said on Monday he may consider buying a stake in Vale, the world’s largest iron ore exporter, if given the chance (Reuters).

Brazil state development bank BNDES may support consolidation in the country’s steel industry as the government looks to create “global champions,” the bank’s president Luciano Coutinho told Valor Economico newspaper (Reuters).

Brazil’s plan to reform its mining code and potentially raise the royalties paid by mining companies must ensure the mineral-rich country can compete with up and coming resource providers increasingly vying for investment, miners said (Reuters).

FINANCE

Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, Scotland’s largest money manager, is opening an office in Brazil after increasing its Latin American holdings by a third with the purchase of Credit Suisse Group AG’s funds unit this year (Bloomberg).

OIL

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer, expects areas off the coast of Bahia state may hold so-called pre-salt oil reserves, Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli said (Bloomberg).

Panama to sign tax treaties

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Panama will share tax information with at least 10 countries to prevent sanctions over banking secrecy laws, Finance Vice-Minister Frank De Lima said.

Read the full story at Bloomberg

Angola news update, September 28th

In Angola on September 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

AGRICULTURE

The Portuguese oenologist Mário Louro said in Lisbon, Portugal, that Angola may start producing quality wine from 2014 to supply local market with national product and compete with international marks (Angop).

U.S. Chiquita Brands International Inc and a partner have quit plans to enter Angola’s once-thriving banana industry after failing to secure the best land to grow and export bananas (Reuters).

CHINA

Angola is the main trade partner of China in Africa and the second in the world, in an economic interchange that reached around USD 25.3 billion during 2008, reported Friday the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary ambassador of China to Angola, Zhang Bolun (Angop).

POLITICS

Angola’s President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos marked 30 years in power on Monday, with no public celebrations or even a murmur in state media about the milestone reached by Africa’s second-longest serving leader (Mail & Guardian).

Angolans are tired of waiting for presidential elections and may soon take to the streets in protest against delays, the head of the main opposition UNITA party said (Reuters).

There were no military bands to mark Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ three decades in power this week. Just another day in the life of Africa’s second longest serving — and perhaps most enigmatic — leader (Reuters).

OIL

Angola state-owned firm Sonangol will buy Marathon Oil’s 20 percent stake in Angola’s Block 32, valued at $1.3 billion, after blocking the sale of the stake to two Chinese companies, a Sonangol spokesman said (Reuters).

French oil company Total plans to end the year with investments of over US$4 billion in Angola, a rise of around 50 percent against 2008, a company source said (Macauhub).

ECONOMY

Angola, which has averaged 10 percent annual growth in its gross domestic product since 2004, is attracting workers and professional from its former colonial master, Portugal, which is suffering a shrinking economy and increased unemployment, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing interviews (Bloomberg).

INVESTMENT

Portuguese business group Mostratus has invested around US$25 million in installing a water collection and bottling factory in Mazozo, in Angola’s Bengo province, according to Angolan news agency Angop (Macauhub).

Angolan business group GEMA (Sociedade de Gestão de Partticipações Financeiras e Gestão de Empreendimentos) annouced, Thursday, that it would build a cement factory in the city of Lobito, in Angola’s Benguela province at na estimaed investment of US$400 million (Macauhub).

The Caixa Totta bank, which was recently set up in Angola, plans to invest over US$100 million in expanding its network to all of Angola’s provinces (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, September 28th

In Cape Verde on September 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

REAL ESTATE

Portugal, Spain, Brazil and the Spanish autonomous region of the Canary Islands are among the countries and regions slated to take part in the first edition of the International Housing Fair in Cape Verde (A Semana).

INVESTMENT

The People’s Republic of China will make US$ 7.5 million available to Cape Verde for investment in sectors to be defined by the two countries’ governments (A Semana).

TOURISM

The 53 stands made available for the first edition of the International Cape Verde Tourism Fair, Expotur, which will take place in Mindelo between September 25 and 27, have sold out (A Semana).

AIR TRAVEL

Private Cape Verdean airline Halcyonair has announced the resumption of regular inter-island flights beginning today, September 25. As a way of enticing passengers and making up for the complications caused during the period in which its aircraft was not flying, the company is offering special fares on its Sal-São Vicente and Praia-São Vicente route (A Semana).

FISHING

Chinese technicians in partnership with Cape Verde’s National Fishing Development Institute´(INDP) has begun work on drawing up a Strategic Pisciculture Development Plan (PNDP) for Cape Verde aimed at developing, at sea or in nurseries, farming of some species, namely shrimp and lobster (Macauhub).

South Africa’s president still on a roll

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2009 at 9:36 pm

When Jacob Zuma came to power in May, there were doubters aplenty. So far he has handsomely confounded his critics.

Read the full story at The Economist

Forbes: Rio happiest lifestyle city on earth

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Ever since Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers appeared in the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio, the world has been fascinated with Rio de Janeiro. Popular perception of the city is infused with images of starry-eyed youngsters dancing into the dusk, backed by imposing mountains and dark sea.

Read the whole story at Forbes

Brazil news update, September 20th

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2009 at 9:41 pm

INVESTMENT

Brazilian companies are prepared to step up international takeovers as the domestic economy recovers from a recession and the local currency gains, according to Rothschild, the country’s top mergers and acquisitions adviser (Bloomberg).

Votorantim Cimentos Ltda., which controls 40 percent of Brazil’s cement market, is seeking international acquisitions (Bloomberg).

Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, whose EBX conglomerate controls oil, energy, mining and transportation assets in the country, plans to invest $10.3 billion through 2012 as he bets on a rebound in global growth, Valor Economico newspaper reported (Reuter).

American billionaire Sam Zell’s Equity International real estate investment fund plans to expand its investments in Brazil to commercial property, farms, industrial warehouses and infrastructure and logistics in coming years, Valor Economico said (Reuters).

Hyundai,  South Korea’s largest automaker, will begin construction of a factory in Brazil next year after suspending the plan due to the global recession (Bloomberg).

Morgan Stanley, the top adviser on takeovers in Brazil, doubled the investment-banking staff in Latin America’s biggest economy and plans to add more as local capital markets develop, an executive said (Bloomberg).

AGRICULTURE

Brazil’s biosecurity regulator, CTNBio, approved two new varieties of genetically modified corn, both of which have been engineered to resist pests and glyphosate-based herbicide (Reuters).

OIL

The Brazilian government’s proposal to develop vast oil reserves faces several obstacles in Congress but is on track for a first vote by November, key congressional leaders said (Reuters).

Brazil’s plan to capitalize state-run oil company Petrobras with 5 billion barrels of crude reserves in exchange for new shares may yield $15 billion to $25 billion in oil rights for the company, analysts said (Reuters).

Brazil’S oil giant Petrobras will boast crude reserves of 30 billion to 35 billion barrels within three years, thanks to huge finds in deep water off the nation’s coast, the company’s CEO said (Reuters).

ELECTIONS

Brazil’s Senate approved a bill late on Tuesday that could change the rules for general elections in October 2010 (Reuters).

MEAT

Brazil’s JBS, the world’sbiggest beef producer, agreed to buy a controllingstake in bankrupt U.S. poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride and JBS’ Brazilian beef rival Bertin (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s government is considering new measures to nurture the country’s economic recovery, focusing on cutting the high costs of doing business, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said (Reuters).

AMAZON

Brazilian President Lula will propose a ban on new sugar-cane planting in 82 percent of the country, including the Amazon, as part of efforts to preserve forests and avoid restrictions from ethanol- importing countries (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s beauty business

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm

In her apartment in a tough Rio de Janeiro suburb, Geni Monteiro Coimbra pauses as she ponders a teasing dilemma — the tutti-frutti or the strawberry lipstick?

Read the full story at Reuters

Angola news update September 20th

In Angola on September 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm

INVESTMENT

About USD 600 billion is required in the next 15 years for the country to reduce its dependence on oil, the Angolan economist Alves da Rocha stated. According to him the country will need to invest that amount in order to have an industrial economy in transition to one of services by 2025, with the manufacturing industry representing 30 percent of the GDP and services sector 25% ANGOP).

OIL

The Angolan fuel distributing company SONANGOL is ready to face competition that will result from the opening of the national market to others operators of the fuel trading area (ANGOP).

Angola’s daily crude oil shipments are scheduled to drop about 6 percent in November, bringing exports from Africa’s second-biggest producer closer to its OPEC quota (Bloomberg).

GAS

Angola’s first liquified natural gas (LNG) plant is on track to start shipping gas in January 2012, Oil Minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos said Reuters).

EXPANSION

Angola’s state oil company Sonangol is interested in acquiring a minority stake in Portuguese utility EDP, Sonangol CEO Manuel Vicente said (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Angolan government officials will meet representatives of the International Monetary Fund in Istanbul later this month as the African country seeks help to shore up its economy (Bloomberg).

ATLANTICO

South Africa’s power utility Eskom recently agreed to assist Angola develop its large hydroelectric power potential of up to 10,000 megawatts following a state-visit by South African President Jacob Zuma to Luanda last month (Reuters).

A group of thirty businessmen from Argentina will attend a seminar on “Business Opportunities” from sept 27 to 29 in Luanda, the Argentine ambassador to Angola, Ricardo Victor Roggero, disclosed (ANGOP).

PORTS

Angola’s Sociedade Gestora de Terminais (Sogester) has invested US$8 million in construction of a provisional second line terminal, in the Viana industrial area, whilst it waits for conclusion of its permanent terminal being built in Cacuaco municipality in Luanda (Macauhub).

Sea transport company Maersk Angola is investing US$95 million in Angola in the construction of a second line terminal in Luanda in order to boost its port infrastructure area, Angolan newspaper O País reported (Macauhub).

BANKING

The National Bank of Angola (BNA) has given the “green light” to the creation of an investment bank by Angolan oil company Sonangol and Portuguese state bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) (Macauhub).

TOURISM

Around 300,000 tourists visited Angola in 2008, a rise of around 60 percent against the previous year, according to official figures published in Luanda (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, September 20th

In Cape Verde on September 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm

INFLATION

The average variation in the Consumer Price Index over the previous twelve months stood at 4.3% in August, 0.7 percentage points below the figure registered in July. Data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) confirms the downward trend in the country’s inflation rate, which stood at 6.8% in 2008 – 2.4 percentage points higher than the rate registered in 2007 (A Semana).

ATLANTICO

A joint initiative on the part of entrepreneurs from Brazil and Cape Verde will bring a shrimp breeding facility to Cape Verde. The superintendant of the Small Business Support Service (SEABRA) from the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará, Carlos Cruz, reveals that the project, which is in the final phase of implementation, will being together technology from Ceará and resources from the Netherlands (A Semana).

The online version of Globo, one of Latin America’s most important media conglomerates, highlighted the participation of Cape Verdean agricultural producers in this year’s edition of Frutal – the International Fruit, Flower and Agribusiness Fair, which is currently taking place in the Brazilian state of Ceará (A Semana).

Brazil news update, September 13th

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2009 at 9:03 pm

POLITICS

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called on the country’s iron ore miner Vale, the world’s largest, to favor local industry in the purchase of large items such as ships to create more jobs in the South American country (Reuters).

Brazil’s Environment Minister Carlos Minc said that U.S. targets for greenhouse gas emissions are unacceptably weak and that Brazil will place new restrictions on its huge farm sector to cut deforestation (Reuters).

OIL

Brazil’s state-run Petrobras this month will launch a bid round on 28 oil rigs to be built in Brazil and used for massive offshore subsalt fields, the company said (Reuters).

BANKING

Brazil’s stringent banking sector rules, once seen as burdensome, are suddenly being viewed as admirable as the Group of 20 nations look to fortify financial institutions against future crises (Reuters).

Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest bank, would like to expand in Brazil and Colombia to increase its Latin American banking platform (Bloomberg).

TELECOMS

French media giant Vivendi’s unexpected foray into Brazil’s telecommunications market could spark a bidding war for its takeover target, GVT, as rivals jostle for control of its broadband assets and license to operate nationwide (Reuters).

INVESTMENT

The richest man in the world by 1927, Henry Ford wanted to do more than make cars. He bought two and a half million acres in the Brazilian Amazon to create a utopian American community. A new book tells the story of the rise and fall of Fordlandia (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s gross domestic product grew more than analysts forecast in the second quarter, pulling the economy out of its first recession since 2003 thanks to rising domestic demand (Bloomberg).

Angola news update, September 13th

In Angola on September 13, 2009 at 8:47 pm

BANKING

CEO-designate Sizwe Nxasana, soon to lead one of South Africa’s big banks, FirstRand, has said the group plans to set up a commercial bank in Angola (Reuters).

CONSTRUCTION

Mota-Engil SGPS SA, a Portuguese construction company, aims to have contracts for projects in Angola’s energy industry next year, Jornal de Negocios reported, citing Chairman Antonio Mota (Bloomberg).

INFRASTRUCTURE

A new road bridge over the Catumbela river in central Benguela province has been inaugurated. On the coast, the port of Lobito handled over 1.5 million tonnes in the first half of 2009. Announced was the construction project of a dry port in Bairro Luz and the construction of a quay for loading and unloading mineral material (ANGOP).

OIL

An oil exploration project dubbed Tômbua-Lândana, with 46 wells, started producing on Tuesday at Block 14, with view to reach 100,000 barrels of oil/day by the year 2010 (ANGOP).

ECONOMY

The chairman of Angola’s National Private Investment Agency (ANIP), Aguinaldo Jaime, said that despite the international financial crisis the Angolan government’s projection for this year was to reach growth of around 6 percent (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, September 13th

In Cape Verde on September 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm

SECURITY

Cape Verde currently has more than 900 deportees, sent back to the archipelago by various different foreign countries. The United States tops the list of countries that have deported the most Cape Verdeans. According to Cape Verde’s Institute of Communities, “the number of Cape Verdeans deported to the country has increased in recent times (A Semana).”

PORTS

The Cape Verdean government will move forward with the privatization of the country’s port facilities in 2010, according to Portuguese newspaper Diário Económico (A Semana).

Cape Verde will be prepared to compete with any of the world’s ports in 2012, when a huge investment plan across several islands is concluded, the chairman of port management company Enapor told Portuguese news agency Lusa (Macauhub).

AGRICULTURE

Cape Verde will participate next week in the 16th International Agriculture and Agribusiness Fair in Fortaleza, the capital of the Brazilian state of Ceará. The Cape Verdean delegation is made up of a multi-disciplinary team of 65 members, 48 of them farmers (A Semana).

AIR TRAVEL

Low-cost airline Ryanair is studying the possibility of entering the Cape Verdean market. The Irish company opened its new northern Portugal headquarters in the city of Porto this week, and has already announced its plans to be a strong competitor of TAP Air Portugal in flight routes to Cape Verde (A Semana).

South African Standard bank in big Chinese deal

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Standard Bank, Africa’s top bank by assets, has signed a $1-billion loan facility with four major Chinese banks in Macau. Standard Bank named the four banks as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau), the Bank of China, the China Development Bank and the China CITIC Bank.

Read the story in the Mail & Guardian

Santander in Brazil

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Spain’s biggest bank offers shares in its Brazilian business.

Read the report in The Economist

Brazil news update, September 7th

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm

OIL

Brazil has no interest in joining the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) because it does not aspire to become a crude oil exporter, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said (Reuters).

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva rejected demands by congressional leaders to take his proposed legislation for more government control of oil production off a fast track, the ruling party chief in the Senate said (Reuters).

The pace of bidding rounds in Brazil’s offshore subsalt fields will depend heavily on local industry’s capacity to provide goods and services required by local content rules, state-run Petrobras said (Reuters).

BUSINESS

Pfizer, the world’s largest drug company, may pay up to 1 billion reais ($525 million) to buy Brazilian generic drugmaker Neo Quimica, stepping up smaller acquisitions in fast-growing emerging markets, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo said (Reuters).

RIO 2016

The four bid cities competing to host the 2016 summer Olympics are locked in a tight race with no clear frontrunner emerging from the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation report released (Reuters).

Brazil’s resilience to the global financial crisis has boosted Rio de Janeiro’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics, the city’s mayor said (Reuters).

AMAZON

The annual rate of destruction of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest has fallen 46 percent to its lowest level in over two decades due partly to increased police patrols, Environment Minister Carlos Minc said (Reuters).

POLITICS

Brazil’s 2010 budget outline foresees a 12 percent increase in primary spending, the budget and planning ministry said, a day after the government presented its proposal to Congress (Reuters).

SECURITY

French President Sarkozy, on a two-day visit to Brazil, is lobbying the South American nation to become the first foreign buyer of Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale fighter jet (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s economy is making a “sound” recovery from the global financial slump as domestic demand for goods rises and access to credit returns, central bank President Meirelles said (Bloomberg).

Brazil Trade Africa 2009

In Angola on September 6, 2009 at 8:14 pm

The Brazil Trade Africa 2009 fair has been running since Tuesday in Johannesburg, organised by Apex-Brasil with the aim of increasing the participation of small and medium-sized companies in Brazilian exports (Macuahub).

Angola news update, September 6th

In Angola on September 6, 2009 at 8:13 pm

AIR TRAVEL

The director of the Belgian Brussels Airlines in Angola, Paul Delafaille, said that the company intends to increase from two to three the number of connecting flights on the Brussels-Luanda route, with view to respond to the demands of passengers (ANGOP).

Angolan national air carrier Taag plans to increase its flights to China from two to three per week in order to meet current demand, said the company’s representative in Beijing, António Inácio Silva (Macuahub).

Kuito airport in Angola’s Bié province, with a new 2,750-metre runway, re-opened following building work that took five years (Macuahub).

ATLANTICO

Brazil’s volume of business in Angola from January to June 2009 reached a total of USD 900 million, revealed the Brazilian ambassador, Afonso Cardoso (ANGOP).

BANKING

A new branch of the International Business Bank (BNI) was opened in the premises of the Dry Port, in Luanda’s Viana Municipality (ANGOP).

The international expansion of Banco do Brasil (BB) may include Angola, according to Brazilian newspaper, O Globo, which reported, however, that the bank’s priority would be to focus on the Americas (Macauhub).

PALM OIL

Angolan National Institute of Coffee (Inca) said that the country can reach, in five years, satisfied level of palm oil production, to avoid importing this product estimated at 3,000 tones litres/year (ANGOP).

An inventory project of palm-tree plantations has been implemented since last May in the province of Kwanza Norte, by Sonangol and EN, an Italian consortium, aiming at producing palm oil and processing bio-fuels (ANGOP).

OIL

Chevron Corp. said it expects to report the start-up of its Tombua-Landana oil facility in Angola shortly, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an interview with George Kirkland, executive vice president for global upstream and gas (Bloomberg).

MEAT

The provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Directorate (DPADR) in Angola’s Benguela province estimated that, within the next ten years, the province will have an average of 1 million head of beef cattle, as a result of a programme to boost and repopulate cattle underway in the region (Macuahub).

Cape Verde news update, September 6th

In Cape Verde on September 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm

BANKING

Cape Verdean commercial bank Banco Cabo-verdiano de Negócios (BCN) is planning to open a branch in the United States. The announcement was made by the vice-president of the bank’s administrative council, António Rocha Moreira, in a press conference in Fall River, Massachusetts (A Semana).

AIR TRAVEL

The State of Cape Verde’s operational air safety system will be audited, beginning on September 14, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The audit will continue until the end of the month and will be conducted by a group of specialists from the organization (A Semana).

INFRASTRUCTURE

With the summer heat being felt all over the island, the new road linking the villages of Norte Baía and Calhau is the newest tourist attraction on São Vicente. The modern, asphalted road has seen a pilgrimage of locals and foreigners, especially on weekends (A Semana).

China is to support infrastructure development projects in Cape Verde, particularly for social housing, energy, cement production and the restoration of Cabnave shipyards, to the tune of over US$240 million (Macauhub).

TOURISM

Promoting the island of Santo Antão and its tourist sector is the main objective of a project intended to capture aerial views of Cape Verde’s most mountainous island (A Semana).

Brazil’s new oil policy

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm

The government has unveiled plans to give the state the lion’s share of the money from vast new oil discoveries. Will this wealth be invested or squandered?

Read the opinion of The Economist