News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Brazilian livestock firm JBS world player

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm

It may have escaped your notice that a Brazilian company, JBS, is about to become the world’s largest processor of meat.

Read the full story in The Economist

Panama’s financial industry

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2009 at 8:06 pm

The country’s business and political leaders insist its financial system has become a paragon of integrity, and that Panama is being unfairly targeted by rich countries starved of revenue by the recession.

Read the full story in The Economist

Brazil news update, October 25th

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2009 at 10:47 pm

LAW ENFORCEMENT

In just a few weeks, the image of the Brazilian city has lurched from scenes of joyful revelers on Copacabana beach soaking up the victorious bid to host the 2016 Olympics to ones of a city embroiled in a bloody war with itself (Reuters).

OIL

Petrobras launched $4 billion of 2020 and 2040 global bonds in what may be the largest-ever sale of corporate debt by a Brazilian company, sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters.

ETHANOL

Brazil sugar-ethanol sector is emerging from crisis. The sector, which took on huge debts in recent years to expand, was hammered by the credit crunch that ensued from the global financial crisis and drove many heavily leveraged mills into rivals’ hands (Reuters).

ELECTIONS

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s chosen candidate for next year’s presidential election has won the support of one Brazil’s largest political parties, giving her bid a much-needed boost. Dilma Rousseff ia now assured of the backing by both her own PT as well as the PMDB, which will select her running mate (Reuters).

POLITICS

Jewish leaders criticized Brazil’s plans to receive Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad next month and urged the South American nation to condemn his denial of the Holocaust and “support of international terrorism.” (Reuters)

INVESTMENT

Brazil’s government wants to improve its investment climate by passing several bills in Congress before President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s term ends late next year, a senior political advisor told Reuters.

RIO

Rio de Janeiro state officials will meet with executives from China Development Bank Corp. to seek financing for infrastructure investments tied to the 2016 Olympics, said Joaquim Levy, the state’s finance secretary (Bloomberg).

Drugs and violence in Rio

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm

ALL of Brazil’s big cities have a vigorous market in illegal drugs. If surveys of drug use are to be believed, consumption of cocaine, crack and cannabis per head in Rio de Janeiro is near the median when compared with other state capitals. So why is the city that has just won the 2016 Olympics so prone to paroxysms of drug violence, as seen on the weekend of October 17th-18th, in which about 25 people were killed (including three policemen), ten buses were set on fire and a police helicopter was shot down?

Read the full story in The Economist

Angola news update, October 25th

In Angola on October 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm

ATLANTICO

Angola has withheld $2 billion in payments to Brazilian builders, such as Construtora Norberto Odebrecht, underscoring the tumble in oil prices and the recession that have stymied the African nation, Valor Economico newspaper (Reuters).

OIL

French oil major Total has made an offshore oil discovery in Angola, the company said. Total said its TEPA Ltd subsidiary and Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola (Sonangol E.P.) had discovered oil on Block 17/06, in the deep waters of the Angolan offshore (Reuters).

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co, a unit of Asia’s largest refiner, and Angola’s Sonangol will sign contracts this year to explore and develop oil fields in Ecuador, PetroEcuador said (Bloomberg).

BANKING

Angola Millennium Bank opened on Monday its 14th branch in Luanda and the 20th in the country, taking thus a step in the materialisation of its strategy for expansion of its network, ANGOP has learnt.

ECONOMY

The current situation of the Angolan economy allows for “cautious optimism” under “continued prudence” in managing macroeconomic policies, thanks to a rise in the price of oil on the international market, the World Bank said (Macauhub).

TOURISM

In 2008 Angola received over 294,000 tourists, according to a statistical bulletin from the Hotels and Tourism Ministry presented in Luanda and cited by Angolan newspaper, Jornal de Angola (Macauhub).

AIRPORTS

Angola’s Minister for Transport, Augusto Silva Tomás, said Monday in Luanda that the government programme for investment in airport infrastructures, which is already underway, is expected to cost at least US$400 million (Macauhub).

ATLANTICO

A tile factory with capacity to produce 300,000 square metres of tiles per month will be built in Luanda in 2010 by Brazilian ceramics industry equipment company Entec, the company’s chief executive said  in Luanda.

INVESTMENTS

Stanley Ho, known as the “king of gambling”, is preparing to enter the gaming market in Angola at full force, via a weighty partnership with local businesswoman Isabel dos Santos. The daughter of the Angolan president has joined up with Stanley Ho to develop casinos in Angola and is negotiating available and planned casinos for the country with Kundy Paihama’s Plurijogos, according to last week’s Africa Monitor newsletter (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, October 25th

In Cape Verde on October 25, 2009 at 9:59 pm

LAW ENFORCEMENT

The Supreme Court of Justice has granted a request submitted by Manuel Corsino Barbosa’s lawyer and ordered him released, but has prohibited the drug trafficking suspect from leaving Cape Verdean territory. The Supreme Court of Justice dispatch, dated Monday, October 19, also claims that there is no strong evidence indicating that the suspect collaborated with Zany Filomeno’s criminal organization, which was involved in drug trafficking and money laundering (A Semana).

ATLANTICO

Brazilian President Luís Inácio “Lula” da Silva has accepted the invitation extended to him this week by Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves to make an official visit to Cape Verde next year. Lula is expected to visit the archipelago in the first half of 2010 (A Semana).

POLITICS

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities José Brito has announced that the government of Luxembourg is going to maintain its € 51 million financing program for Cape Verde for the third Indicative Cooperation Plan, which will cover the period between 2011 and 2015. In a press conference, Brito also announced that relations between the two countries could evolve to include business partnerships in the coming years (A Semana).

AIRPORTS

Sao Vicente airport in Cape Verde is expected to receive international flights before the end of this year, Cape Verde’s prime minister said, noting there had been delays in approval of the runway, which was initially expected in June (Macauhub).

IMPORTS

Cape Verde importa 80 percent of the food it consumes, has just 10 percent of its land apt for agricultural production and its climate conditions are a permenent threat to agriculture, according to a United Nations (UN) study (Macauhub).

Brazil news update, October 18th

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2009 at 8:58 pm

MINING

Brazilian mining giant Vale will boost investment by more than 30 percent to around $12 billion next year, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said, citing a source with links to the company (Reuters).

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he will meet the head of mining giant Vale next week amid tensions between the company and the government, which may slap an export tax on iron ore (Reuters).

Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man, gave up “for the time being” on his bid to join the shareholder group that controls miner Vale, newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported (Reuters).

ETHANOL

The chief executive of Cosan, one of Brazil’s largest sugar and ethanol groups, unexpectedly resigned (Reuters).

OIL

Brazil’s government is seeking to capitalize state-run oil company Petrobras by transferring rights to 5 billion barrels of oil in the offshore subsalt fields in exchange for new shares in the company (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Brazil could grow at 5 percent annually in coming years but must address economic weaknesses, such as the need for more investment friendly policies, Jim O’Neill, head of global economic research at Goldman Sachs, said (Reuters).

Angola news update, October 18th

In Angola on October 18, 2009 at 2:18 pm

OIL

Petrobras plans to invest $3 billion in Angola’s oil industry by 2012, Angola Press reported, citing Brazil’s ambassador to the country, Afonso Cardoso (Bloomberg).

MINING

A closely held Angolan company, Lualica, said it has discovered gold in the southern African country’s Cabinda region, Radio Nacional de Angola reported, citing Jose Serra, a director of the company. “We found great reserves of gold,” the Luanda-based broadcaster quoted Serra as saying. The company has applied for exploration rights from the Angolan Ministry of Geology and Mining, RNA said (Bloomberg).

AIR TRAVEL

Luanda’s new international airport was approved by Angola’s council of ministers. It will be capable of receiving 10 million passengers per year. The new airport is being built on the outskirts of Viana municipality some 40 kilometres from Luanda, in an area of 1,324 hectares. It is being built by China International Fund Limited and will be concluded in 2010. The new airport, which will have double runways with the capacity to land the world’s biggest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380. The airport’s northern runway will be 4,200 metres long, whilst the southern one will be 3,800 metres lone, and each will be 60 metres wide (Macauhub).

BANKING

Angolan bank Banco de Negócios Internacional (BNI) has joined Portuguese partners with the aim of opening an investment bank and an insurer in Portugal, a project that is headed up by Homero Coutinho, formerly the head of Deutsche Bank in Portugal, Portuguese newspaper Público reported (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, October 18th

In Cape Verde on October 18, 2009 at 2:07 pm

OIL

Cape Verde would like to have Brazilian petroleum giant Petrobrás in the archipelago to carry out deep-water prospecting work, according to information provided to news agency Lusa by Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves in Brasília (A Semana).

FREE PRESS

The administrative council of Cape Verdean Radio and Television (RTC), which runs Cape Verde’s state-owned national television and radio broadcasters, is not allowed to interfere in Cape Verdean National Television’s journalistic reporting. The affirmation is part of the response by RTC administrative council president Horácio Semedo to a letter from São Vicente mayor Isaura Gomes expressing outrage at the broadcaster’s coverage (A Semana).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

In November, the island of Maio will be the stage for a military exercise to be carried out by troops from the 3rd Military Region Command on the island of Santiago, the Coast Guard and the French Marine Corps. The exercise is aimed at preparing military personnel for disembarkation and patrol missions aimed at fighting drug trafficking (A Semana).

ENERGY

The government of Cape Verde has created a company to manage the four wind farms to be set up on the islands of Santiago, Sal, São Vicente and Boa Vista, Pan-African news agency Panapress reported (Macauhub).

The fight for control over Brazil’s telecoms

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Foreigners vie for a bigger slice of Brazil’s telecoms market.

Read the full story in The Economist

South Africa and corruption

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Can President Jacob Zuma fulfil his promise to root out corruption?

Read the full story in The Economist

Brazil’s technocrats and the recovering economy

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 at 7:36 pm

With the return of growth comes a different set of problems. They include the political ambition of Henrique Meirelles, the governor of the Central Bank.

Read the full story at The Economist

Brazil news update, October 12th

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2009 at 7:02 pm

INVESTMENT

Russian natural gas giant Gazprom is close to opening an office in Brazil that will run its growing Latin American business and is examining business opportunities there, a senior executive said (Reuters).

Brazil’s state development bank disclosed that it boosted its stake in government-run power holding company Eletrobras last month, a move that should help the utility gain financial muscle for investment (Reuters).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s government will increase its target for the primary budget surplus in 2010 to improve public finances as the economy rebounds, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said (Reuters).

MINING

Brazilian miner Vale is in talks to form a consortium with utility holdings Neoenergia and CPFL for the Belo Monte hydroelectric project, the president of one of Vale’s shareholders said (Reuters).

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, is restarting a $5 billion investment program for Brazil that was delayed by the world economic crisis, Valor Economico  said, citing Chief Financial Officer Aditya Mittal (Bloomberg).

ArcelorMittal has chosen Brazil, India and iron-ore mining as its three platforms for investment following the crisis, Mittal told the Sao Paulo-based newspaper. The company may build another plant in Brazil, he added, without elaborating.

ETHANOL

Brazilian ethanol and sugar groups ETH Bioenergia and Brenco said they have signed an agreement to study a merger which could create one of Brazil’s largest biofuel producers (Reuters).

BUSINESS

Hypermarcas, the largest Brazilian maker of toiletries and over-the-counter medicines, agreed  to buy two domestic condom makers for $221 million to increase its presence in Brazil’s beauty care and medicine sectors, Chief Executive Claudio Bergamo told Reuters in an interview (Reuters).

TELECOM

Spain’s Telefonica offered to buy Brazilian telecommunications company GVT for 6.5 billion reais ($3.7 billion) in cash, seeking to trump a bid by French rival Vivendi (Reuters).

TIM Participacoes, Brazil’s third-largest wireless carrier, will speed up its 7 billion reais ($4 billion) investment plan for 2009-2011 to expand voice and data services across the country, its chief executive said (Reuters).

OIL

Brazilian oil and gas company OGX said it found traces of oil in shallow water in the offshore Campos Basin (Reuters).

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will have to pay Brazil’s Petrobras $400 million when it signs a final deal for a tentative 40 percent stake in the Abreu e Lima refinery, a Petrobras director said (Reuters).

Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras may explore for deep-sea oil reserves to the north of existing subsalt prospects, possibly extending the range of the vast offshore deposits, a company director said (Reuters).

Odebrecht SA, a Brazilian engineering company, said it obtained $1.5 billion from banks to finance the construction of two drilling rigs it will lease to state-controlled oil producer Petrobras (Bloomberg).

BANKING

Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s largest bank by assets, plans more takeovers in the insurance market as it expands its pension, health and other units, Chief Executive Aldemir Bendine said. The bank may also expand a joint venture with Spain’s Mapfre to other countries in Latin America, Africa, Japan and the United States, Bendine said (Reuters).

Angola news update, October 12th

In Angola on October 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm

OIL & GAS

Sonangol SA, the state-run oil firm of Africa’s biggest crude exporter, is seeking other markets for its liquefied natural gas after prices in the U.S. fell, the head of its gas unit said (Bloomberg).

ATLANTICO

Angola and South Africa are ready to boost cooperation in the mining sector and enable businessmen from both countries to obtain mutual advantages in their  activities, taking into account the potential of both countries and positions in the existing market (ANGOP).

The chairman of Angola’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIA), António dos Santos, expressed the availability of the Angolan private sector to co-operate with the South African one, as long as risks be shared, ANGOP has learnt.

Micro and small companies from Portuguese-speaking African countries are to be supported as part of a technical cooperation agreement with Brazil, a Sebrae official said Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro (Macauhub).

MINING

Also Germany intends to increase co-operation with Angola in the economic sector, essentially in the areas of mining exploration and energy, the counsellor of the German Embassy in Angola said (ANGOP).

BANKING

Angola’s Sol bank has currently yielded 33 million dollars, chairman Coutinho Nobre Miguel announced. Speaking to Angop, on the fringes of the inauguration of the 47th branch in Luanda, he explained that the institution has had a positive performance, as its funds are estimated at 65 million US dollars. According to him, Sol bank’s credit line is worth USD 230 million, whereas deposits are USD 1.225 billion (ANGOP).

Retail banks operating in Angola saw “excellent performance” in 2008 according to a study presented in Luanda by international consulting and auditing company Deloitte. At the presentation of the study entitled “Banking Under Analysis,” Rui Santos Silva, of Deloitte, said the sector’s results were “good news” and also noted that the analysis was of 2008, a year that was very different to 2009 for the Angolan economy (Macauhub).

ENERGY

Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-Estruturas do Alqueva (EDIA), the Portuguese company that manages the Alqueva dam, is to provide technical advice to Angolan state irrigation company Sociedade de Desenvolvimento de Perimetros Irrigados (Sopir) in the area of water resource management (Macauhub).

HUMAN

Angola was the Portuguese-speaking country to see the greatest rise in its position in the United Nations Human Development index, rising from 157th to 143rd place. Although in 2008 only Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe were part of the medium development nations, in 2009 Angola joined this list by rising 14 places in the ranking (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, October 12th

In Angola, Cape Verde on October 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm

DIPLOMACY

Cape Verdean President Pedro Pires will begin an official visit to Germany tomorrow, on the invitation of German President Horst Köhler. The official visit will be the first by a Cape Verdean head of state to the largest economy in Europe and the third-largest economy in the world. Discussions are expected to center on matters related to Cape Verde’s special partnership with the European Union, cooperative security and renewable energy. German authorities are also expected to request Cape Verde’s support in its bid to occupy a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (A Semana).

Venezuela plans to install an oil refinery in Cape Verde, the Cape Verdean Foreign Minister said last week on announcing the signing of a deal in the energy sector with that Latin American country. José Brito, who represented Cape Verde at the recent South America-Africa summit in Venezuela, said that the deal also outlined the installation of a fuel supply warehouse on the archipelago, which is located on the route between the American, African and European continents (Macauhub).

GOVERNANCE

The 2009 Ibrahim African Governance Index was published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an organization which encourages quality leadership in Africa. Cape Verde came in second of the 53 African counties classified by the Index, which is considered the most important indicator of governance in Africa (A Semana).

Cape Verde fell three positions on the United Nations Human Development Index rating, and is now in 121st place. Angola, on the other hand, was the Portuguese-speaking country that showed the greatest improvement in the list, going from 157th to 143rd place (A Semana).

TOURISM

Minister of Labor, Professional Training and Social Solidarity Madalena Neves presided over the grand opening Thursday of the Gira Lua Tourist Space, located in Pai António, in the municipality of Mosteiros. The space is intended to encourage residential tourism in this coffee-producing zone of the island of Fogo (A Semana).

SHIPPING

The up-and-coming company Continental Shipping has announced its intention to enter the US-Cape Verde cargo transport market. Its first shipment is scheduled to depart from the United States in November, with its cargo arriving in Cape Verde on time for the Christmas season (A Semana).

TRADE & INVESTMENTS

Cape Verde is the second-largest market of Portuguese exports among Africa’s Portuguese-language countries, the Bank of Portugal has revealed. Cape Verde received a total of € 259.1 million in exports from Portugal. Portuguese investment abroad also grew 7.8% last year. Cape Verde received 1.9% of the € 628.8 million invested by the Portuguese in Africa’s lusophone countries, the largest receptor of Portuguese investment of which was Angola, with 92.5% of the total (A Semana).

The Boa Vista and Maio Integrated Tourist Development Corporation (SDTIBM) will promote a meeting with some 50 Cape Verdean and foreign investors on October 15 in order to present tourist investment opportunities on the two islands. The meeting will take place on Boa Vista (A Semana).

ATLANTICO

Micro and small companies from Portuguese-speaking African countries are to be supported as part of a technical cooperation agreement with Brazil, a Sebrae official said in Rio de Janeiro. José Marcelo de Miranda of Sebrae said that cooperation with Mozambique had been in place since 2008 in the areas of handicrafts and family farming and added that in Cape Verde’s case activities would begin this year (Macauhub).

Brazil banks: Big bets on Santander

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Banco Santander succeeds in a historic equity sale at its Brazilian unit, but its investors make a pricy, risky wager.

Read the analysis at the Economist Intelligence Unit

Rio’s expensive new rings

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Winning the contest to stage the Olympics in 2016 was the easy part…

Read the analysis in The Economist

Brazil news update, October 4th

In Uncategorized on October 4, 2009 at 9:48 pm

BANKING

Itau Unibanco, Latin America’s biggest bank by assets, said it plans to build up overseas once it completes its merger, but that will take at least a year and it’s not tempted by distressed assets (Reuters).

The leading emerging BRIC nations maintain their demand for a 7 percent shift in voting power to developing countries at the International Monetary Fund, Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega said (Reuters).

OLYMPICS

Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympics has raised the tantalizing prospect that Brazil’s faded former capital, known for its beauty and high crime, will be rejuvenated into a modern, thriving city (Reuters).

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he was the proudest president in the world on Saturday, hours after Rio de Janeiro had won the right to host the 2016 Olympic Games (Reuters).

Rio de Janeiro’s successful bid to host the Olympics in 2016 crowns Brazil’s remarkable rise over the past decade from a near basket case to an economic and diplomatic heavyweight (Reuters).

AGRICULTURE

A freak tornado and floods last month may be a harbinger of a troubled future for Brazilian farmers, who worry that climate change could severely disrupt production in one of the world’s breadbaskets (Reuters).

REAL ESTATE

Cyrela, Brazil’s largest real estate developer, and rival Rossi Residencial should benefit from a government decision to ease limits on mortgage loans for low-income households, Barclays Capital said in a report (Reuters).

BUSINESS

Daimler will hire 800 more staff for its Brazilian commercial vehicles business and keep open a U.S. truck plant as the two key markets show signs of reviving, the world’s biggest truckmaker said (Reuters).

POLITICS

Brazil’s government is facing rising criticism at home over its handling of the Honduran crisis as senior lawmakers accuse it of allowing the ousted president to use its embassy as a political platform (Reuters).

OIL

Brazilian state oil company Petrobras plans to re-inject carbon dioxide in massive offshore oil fields to boost recovery and reduce emissions, a company official said (Reuters).

Iran wants Brazilian state- controlled oil producer Petrobras to be its main exploration partner in Africa, the South American country’s energy minister, said (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

Brazilian President Lula da Silva said his country will post economic growth this year and that the nation’s gross domestic product will expand 5 percent next year (Bloomberg).

Angola news update, October 4th

In Angola on October 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm

ECONOMY

Angola’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew up in the last 19 years at an annual average rate of nine percent, the minister of Economy, Manuel Nunes Júnior said (Angop).

OIL

Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol and BP have discovered a well named “Tebe-1”, at block 31 in deep waters on the Angolan offshore, a press note delivered to ANGOP says.

INVESTMENT

Angolan firm Multitel invested this year 10 million US dollars to improve telecommunications services, mainly aspects related to internet, its general director António Geirinhas has said (ANGOP).

MINING

he re-launch of exploration and processing of iron at the Cassinga project, in Jamba municipality, 315 kilometres to the east of the city of Lubango in Huíla province requires investment of US$1 billion, said Angola’s Geology and Mining minister (Macauhub).

Cape Verde news update, October 4th

In Cape Verde on October 4, 2009 at 9:07 pm

TRADE

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once again praised Cape Verde’s political and economic performance during the US-Africa Business Summit, which took place at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. The event was organized by the Corporate Council on Africa, a structure made up of various private companies that is aimed at promoting economic relations between the United States and Africa (A Semana).

CORRUPTION

Cape Verde is among the 50 best-scoring countries in the world, according to a list published by the NGO Transparency International. The archipelago comes in 47th place on the list, with 5.1 points on a scale of 0 to 10. A total of 180 countries are included on the list, which in 2007 ranked Cape Verde 49th (A Semana).

BUSINESS

The World bank’s annual report points to a slight growth in business conditions in Cape Verde. The archipelago rose one slot on the Doing Business 2010 ranking, and now occupies 146th position on a list of 183 countries (A Semana).

CRIME

The United States has pledged to assist the Cape Verdean government in the fight against drug trafficking in the West African region. The announcement was made by Cape Verde’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities, José Brito, during the 2nd South America-African Summit, which was held on Margarita Island in Venezuela (A Semana).