Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page
President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Brazil this week vindicates Iran’s strategy of cosying up with Latin America. Read the full story in The Economist
Brazil’s share of those in poverty fell by half from 17% to 8%, an annual reduction of 3.2%. Read how it compares with China and India in The Economist.
Brazil’s economy will grow 6.1 percent in 2010, bolstered by rising domestic demand, increasing exports and higher investment, according to Banco BradescoSA, the country’s second-largest bank by market value (Bloomberg).
Brazil’s Gerdau, the world’s second-largest maker of long steel, will focus growth in Brazil where investment in infrastructure is surging, the company’s chief executive told newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo (Reuters).
Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, plans to invest up to 6.2 billion reais ($3.5 billion) in Brazil from 2010 through 2014 as it aims to become the country’s biggest carmaker, the company’s Brazilian head said (Reuters).
Iron ore miner Vale said it planned to invest in another steel mill — this time in Para, the northern Brazilian state where its main Carajas iron ore mine is (Reuters).
Votorantim Participacoes SA, a closely held Brazilian producer of materials from aluminum to cement, plans to invest 4.5 billion reais ($2.6 billion) next year, a local newspaper reported, citing the company’s General Director (Bloomberg).
State-owned Brazilian bank Caixa Economica Federal plans to announce the purchase of a stake in at least one more bank besides Banco Panamericano by year-end, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported (Reuters).
Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s largest bank by assets, may seek acquisitions in the United States, looking to benefit from “devalued” prices among regional lenders, Chief Executive Aldemir Bendine said (Reuters).
Banco do Brasil is likely to pay the city of Sao Paulo 726 million reais ($413 million) to handle its payroll, the largest of any municipality in the country, Valor Economico newspaper reported (Reuters).
Brazil’s largest banks are too expensive after an “absurd” rally this year spurred by prospects they will accelerate lending to meet rising consumer demand, according to Mercatto Gestao de Recursos (Bloomberg).
Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega confirmed that the government will extend tax breaks to certain vehicles deemed environmentally friendly (Reuters).
Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, aka as Eletrobras, Latin America’s largest power utility, aims to invest in U.S. electricity transmission in coming years, an executive said (Bloomberg).
Angola is considering setting up a Norwegian-style sovereign wealth fund to manage its oil revenues, Norwegian daily Aftenposten reported (Reuters).
Angola’s foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly fell for the first time in three months to $12.1 billion in October from $12.8 billion the previous month, despite a sharp recovery in oil prices, the central bank said (Reuters).
The International Monetary Fund said its board approved a $1.4 billion standby loan arrangement for Angola to help it cope with the effects of the global recession (Reuters).
The non-oil sector of the Angolan economy may grow 10,5 per cent as forecast in the national plan 2010/2011 (ANGOP).
Officials from Angola’s Central Bank and Finance Ministry have illegally transferred money abroad, prosecutors said, promising to recover the missing funds (Reuters).
A forum for the promotion of investments is scheduled for November 30 to December 1 in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, aimed to develop partnership between small and medium companies from Angola and Brazil manufacturing industry and agriculture (ANGOP).
Angolan bank Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI) is due to open a representative office in South Africa before the end of the year in order to do business in the continent’s largest economy, the bank’s chief executive said in Luanda (Macauhub).
Angolan state oil company Sonangol is set to acquire a controlling stake of a Brazilian oil company, at a cost of US$180 million, Brazilian financial newspaper Valor Económico reported (Macauhub).
The state owned insurance company (ENSA) inaugurated a temporary branch in the northern Malanje Province, in the ambit of the programme to expand its activity in the country (ANGOP).
A total of Usd 4 million will be invested next year by the business group “Admar Damião”, for the construction of a vegetable and fruit processing and transforming plant in Chibia district, whihc is situated some 45 kilometres to the south of Lubango in Huila province (ANGOP).
Portuguese electricity company EDP – Energias de Portugal is looking into solutions to build a combined-cycle electric power plant in Angola, the group’s chief executive, António Mexia said in Figueira da Foz (Macauhub).
The process of selling 24 percent of the capital of Banco Espírito Santo Angola (BESA) to Angolan investors will be concluded soon, the chairman of Portuguese banking group Banco Espírito Santo (BES), Ricardo Salgado said in Lisbon (Macauhub).
The World Bank (WB) will grant to Angola a credit of USD 30 million aimed at supporting the farmers in the provinces of Bié, Huambo and Malanje (ANGOP).
The government has proposed the elaboration of partnerships with the private sector to create management corporations for water and electricity utility Electra on an island-by-island basis (A Semana).
The Bank of Cape Verde (BCV) is expecting a “slight recovery” of the economy in 2010, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth of between 4 and 5 percent, after “continues slowdown” due to an “unfavourable international climate” (Macauhub).
The government of Cape Verde wants to turn the Archipelago into a “cybernetic island” and to do this will be supported by India, specifically in creating a technological hub, Cape Verde’s Foreign Affairs Minister said in Praia (Macauhub).
Banco Interatlântico has opened its first branch on the island of Santiago outside of the city of Praia. The new branch, in the city of Assomada, is its eighth in the country. The central region of the island of Santiago has grown economically over the past several years, and is now third in the growth ranking in Cape Verde, following the city of Praia and the island of São Vicente (A Semana).
Cape Verde is currently under the influence of a zone-specific anti-cyclone flow that is favoring the transportation of dust from the coast of Mauritania to the archipelago. The phenomenon, known in Cape Verde as “dry haze,” has led TACV Cabo Verde Airlines to cancel flights from the island of Sal to other islands (A Semana).
Cape Verde’s airline has become a fully-fledged member of the International air Transport Association (IATA), the company’s commercial director said (Macauhub).
Whoever wins, Brazil should remain in capable hands after its presidential election. Read the analysis in The Economist’s The world in 2010
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Brasilia seeking support for his controversial nuclear program, the first leg of a South American tour that critics say could dent Brazil’s ambitions on the global diplomatic stage (Reuters).
Brazil will have created 1.3 million payroll jobs by the end of 2009, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said, as Latin America’s largest economy recovered from a brief recession (Reuters).
The U.S. is responsible for the crisis in the Middle East and shouldn’t be coordinating peace talks for the region, Brazilian President Lula said. Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians ought to be managed by the United Nations, Lula said in an interview today with two local radio stations in Salvador, Bahia state, where he met Palestinian Authority President Abbas (Bloomberg).
Ford Motor Co unveiled plans to invest 4 billion reais ($2.26 billion) to boost output in Brazil as record-low borrowing costs and a rapid economic recovery in Latin America’s largest country stoke demand for new cars (Reuters).
ArcelorMittal is seriously considering a feasibility study for a new steel plant in Brazil as it sees strong prospects for demand there, a senior executive said (Reuters).
Mozambique has signed two accords with Brazil for a $6 billion investment in biofuel exploration, the daily independent O Pais reported, citing António de Godoy, chairperson of the Brazilian confederation of biofuel companies Arranjo Produtivo Local do Alcool (APLA) (Bloomberg).
Four Seasons and Jumeirah Group plan to open their first hotels in Brazil as rising incomes in Latin America’s largest economy and the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic games generate demand (Bloomberg).
Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved a law creating a state holding company to manage new projects in the country’s recently discovered “sub-salt” oil reserves. The creation of the company, called Petrosal, is one of four laws sent to Congress by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva aimed at boosting state control over the huge oil reserves (Reuters).
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale said that it was building 16 vessels with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes each to carry iron ore between Brazil and Asia (Reuters).
Embraer has signed a $177.5 million deal with Oman Air for five 175 aircraft, its chief executive said (Reuters).
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos on Saturday urged his party to implement a zero tolerance policy on government corruption, as Africa’s biggest oil producer struggles to improve its image abroad (Reuters).
Angola’s foreign exchange reserves fell for the first time in three months to $12,1-billion in October from $12,8-billion in September, despite a sharp recovery in oil prices, the central bank said (Mail & Guardian).
The 13th edition of the Cape Verde International Trade Fair (FIC) began on November 18, on the island of São Vicente, with the participation of businesses from Cape Verde, Portugal and Brazil, at a time when the government has expressed its intention to turn the archipelago into a business center for the Middle Atlantic. The nearly one hundred companies occupy a total of 92 stands distributed through two pavilions (A Semana).
Macau-based company, Geocapital has become the biggest private shareholder in Cape Verdean bank, Caixa Económica de Cabo Verde (CECV), by acquiring 27.1 percent of its capital, the bank said in Praia (Macauhub).
The Spanish hotelier group Sol Meliá has reached an agreement with The Resort Group PLC to manage two new 5-Star Hotel Resorts on the Island of Sal, Cape Verde, under the MELIÁ brand (Hotelnews).
Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s preferred successor, is a more interesting politician than she appears to be. But would she be different from her boss? Read the analysis in The Economist.
Politics, morality and dresscodes. A student gets suspended for wearing very short skirts. Read the story in The Economist.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva joined forces to step up pressure for an agreement at next month’s climate change meeting in Copenhagen (Reuters).
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva rejected criticism over the Iranian president’s visit to the South American country later this month, saying all sides needed to be involved to achieve peace in the Middle East (Reuters).
Brazil takes off! Now the risk for Latin America’s big success story is hubris, says The Economist.
Brazil used to be all promise. Now it is beginning to deliver, says John Prideaux in The Economist special report on Brazilian finance.
Brazil’s currency, the real, is overvalued, said the country’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, speaking at a televised event in Sao Paulo. The country welcomes foreign investors, he said, but has concerns about the “exaggerated” valuation of the currency (Reuters).
President Lula is confident Brazil’s economy will grow by 5 percent in 2010 and expects foreign reserves to reach $300 billion soon, he told the Financial Times in an interview published (Reuters).
Brazil’s economy may have expanded about 9 percent in the third quarter, Lula said in his weekly newspaper column published today on Diario de Pernambuco website (Bloomberg).
Spanish oil group Repsol may tap the stock market with its Brazilian unit to help finance an expected $10 billion plus in oil exploration in Brazil in the next decade, its president said (Reuters).
Petrobras said it found oil in deep waters off Angola (Reuters).
Brazilian energy company OGX said it boosted estimated hydrocarbon resources to 6.7 billion barrels from 4.8 billion barrels (Reuters).
Brazil’s president denied that underinvestment was to blame for the worst power outage in a decade, which left a huge swath of the country in the dark for more than five hours and raised doubts about the reliability of its energy infrastructure (Reuters).
Nacional Minerios SA, the mining unit of steelmaker CSN, plans to invest $1.3 billion in two iron-ore pellet plants in Brazil (Bloomberg).
Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third- largest bank, wants to have a “small niche” in Brazil to expand in Latin America, its Chief Executive Officer said (Bloomberg).
Until the end of last month, Eskom, the state-owned power company, was mainly known for its inefficiency and incompetence. Power cuts have been maddeningly common throughout the country. But now the company has been engulfed by another, much more South African, sort of row, about race. Read the story in The Economist
International medical teams have landed in Cape Verde to fight a dengue fever epidemic that has killed six and is suspected to have hit 12,000 in a country of just over 400,000 inhabitants, authorities said (Reuters).
Prime Minister José Maria Neves is expected to return to work on Monday, November 16, after a week of rest, during which he has been recovering from a case of classic (non-hemorrhagic) dengue, according to cabinet spokeswoman Janira Hopffer Almada (A Semana).
Beginning on November 20, Portuguese tourist agency Soltrópico will suspend its charter flights from Portugal to the island of Sal “for a limited time” because of the dengue epidemic that has engulfed Cape Verde. The company affirms, however, that its charter operations to the island of Boa Vista will continue (A Semana).
Portugal’s retail-heavy conglomerate Sonae plans to expand to Angola and open its Continente hypermarkets in the southwest African country, Diario Economico newspaper said (Reuters).
Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras said it found oil in deep waters off Angola. The oil, in the Cabaca Norte-1 well, around 350 kilometers (219 miles) north of Luanda, is the second discovery within the 15/06 bloc in which Petrobras has a 5 percent stake (Reuters).
Petrobras is interested in exploring for oil in “deep and ultra-deep” waters off the coast of Angola, the Brazilian Trade and Industry Minister said (Bloomberg).
The chairman of Portuguese oil group Galp Energia said in Lisbon that production has seen a ”strong drive” with the start of production at the Tômbua-Lândana oil field, at which the company expects production of 90,000 barrels of oil per day in 2010 (Macauhub).
Armed Angolan gangs are targeting Chinese workers in “mafia-style” attacks, a construction boss said, creating a climate of fear among the Chinese community in Luanda Read the full story in the Mail & Guardian.
Angolan national airline Taag launched a direct flight between Luanda and Cape Town, with flights twice a week, Angolan news agency Angop reported (Macauhub).
Brazil will publish on Monday a preliminary list of U.S. goods it intends to hit with trade sanctions in retaliation for Washington’s cotton subsidies, a senior government official told Reuters.
Emboldened by emergency measures that helped pull Brazil out of a brief recession, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is intervening more aggressively in the economy and betting on big government (Reuters).
Brazilian congressional committees passed two of four bills designed to overhaul the country’s oil legislation and give the government greater control over vast new offshore reserves (Reuters).
Mexico’s state oil company Pemex said it signed a letter of intent with a consortium led by Brazil’s Braskem SA to supply raw materials for a proposed petrochemicals plant the consortium may build in Mexico (Reuters).
Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer will produce its 120-seat E-190 jet in China to respond faster when the country’s aviation market recovers, O Estado de S. Paulo said (Reuters).
Brazilian iron ore mining company Vale signed an agreement worth 900 million reais ($520 million) over three years granting access to its railway and port operations to local steel maker Usiminas (Reuters).
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, will partner with mining giant Vale to build a steel mill in southeastern Brazil as part of a plan to spend $5 billion in the South American country, Chief Executive Officer Lakshmi Mittal told daily Valor Economico (Reuters).
OIL & GAS
Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras said it signed an agreement to buy Chevron Chile, a producer and seller of industrial lubricants under the brand name Texaco in Chile, for around $12 million (Reuters).
Brazil’s Petrobras has found natural gas in Peru’s Amazon jungle and the discovery of about 1 trillion cubic feet could turn out to be much larger, Peruvian President Alan Garcia said (Reuters).
Gerdau, Brazil’s largest steelmaker, plans capital expenditures of 9.5 billion reais ($5.5 billion) for the 2010-2014 period, with around 80 percent of the investments within Brazil, Chief Executive Andre Gerdau Johannpeter said (Reuters).
Brazil, a future host of the World Cup and the Olympics, is drawing global investor interest to its real estate sector. As investors and analysts predict a wave of investment in Brazil in coming months, read a sampling of recent deals at Reuters.
America Movil Chief Financial Officer Varlos Garcia Moreno said Brazil’s economic resilience will help its wireless industry outpace other Latin American countries through 2010 (Bloomberg).
Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, will become a major financial center, “just like the City of London, Frankfurt and New York,” said Emilio Botin, chairman of Banco Santander SA (Bloomberg).
Angola, which vies with Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer, is seeking to raise $4 billion in the sub-Saharan African region’s largest sale of bonds (Bloomberg).
The Angolan economy will expand by 8.2 percent in 2010 and this will largely be driven by the country’s non-oil sector, Economy Minister Manuel Nunes Junior said (Macauhub).
Banco International de Credito of Angola may bid for Portugal’s state-owned Banco Portugues de Negocios SA, Reuters said, citing Fernando Teles, the chief executive officer of the Angolan bank (Bloomberg).
Angola named Carlos Sumbula chairman of the state-owned National Diamond Company of Angola, known as Endiama E.P, Radio Nacional de Angola reported, without saying where it got the information (Bloomberg).
Agola expelled more than 69,000 illegal immigrants in 2009, Radio Nacional de Angola reported, citing Teresa Silva, chief of the Refugees Department at the country’s Foreign Service. The immigration looks organized as “masses of people” enter the country at once, the broadcaster cited Silva as saying (Bloomberg).
Portuguese airline TAP, that may be associated with Brazilian airline TAM, sees itself as a future partner for Taag, in the wake of the restructuring underway in the Angolan airline sector, aimed at turning it into a benchmark within Africa (Macauhub).
With the increase in the number of charter flights to the islands of Sal and Boa Vista, Cape Verde was the tourist destination that showed the highest growth this year, with the number of passengers traveling from Portugal more than doubling. One of the interesting pieces of data revealed is that the number of charter flights to Sal increased despite the new “competition” from Boa Vista (A Semana).
Brazilian entrepreneurs are attending this week’s Cape Verde International Fair as the archipelago could offer an opening into African markets, says Ruby Arauju, head of the Brazil-Cape Verde Chamber of Commerce in Brazil’s Ceara state (Macauhub).
Cape Verde’s Finance minister last week contradicted the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s forecast about the growth rate of the country’s economy in 2009, saying that her data indicated a 4.5 to 5 percent growth rate (Macauhub).
Brazil’s primary budget fell into deficit last month, posting its worst result for the month of September on record, as tax revenues continued to trail an incipient rebound in Latin America’s largest economy (Reuters).
Brazil extended stimulus tax cuts on home appliances even as an economic recovery shows signs of gaining momentum (Bloomberg).
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer expects a reduction in spending on research and development and an increase in revenue to boost profit margins in the fourth quarter, Chief Financial Officer Luiz Carlos Aguiar said (Reuters).
The company, the world’s third-largest maker of commercial aircraft, foresees a 10 percent drop in revenue in 2010 (Reuters).
The Brazilian unit of French commodities group Louis Dreyfus said it agreed to take over Brazilian firm Santelisa Vale to create the world’s second largest sugar cane processor (Reuters).
General Motors said Brazil’s car market has “a very good outlook” and the automaker will reinvest profits from the country’s unit locally, Chief Executive Fritz Henderson told newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo in an interview (Reuters).
Honduras de facto government has started proceedings at the U.N. court in The Hague to stop Brazil giving refuge to ousted President Manuel Zelaya in its embassy in Tegucigalpa (Reuters).
Brazil’s Senate foreign relations committee approved Venezuela’s request to join the South American trade bloc Mercosur despite concerns over President Hugo Chavez’s thwarting of democracy (Reuters).
Brazil’s Congress began discussing proposals to change oil sector laws including one measure that would create a production-sharing model to replace the existing concession system in future oil projects. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is trying to boost state control over the massive subsalt oil deposits that could turn Brazil into a major energy exporter (Reuters).
Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras may change a plan to process more heavy crude at its Okinawa refinery, currently dedicated to lighter grades, its top executive said (Reuters).
A private initiative for the development of Paramaribo’s waterfront received approval from the Surinam government. The Riverside Harbour Village, as the project is known, includes a marina, a new hotel as well as commercial space and a promenade. Though the project still needs some additional financing, the backers, who hail from Surinam, Curacao and the Netherlands, think the Village will be ready by 2015. The project is worth 46 million Euros in investment (De Ware Tijd).
The Surinam Planning Dept annouced economic growth is expected to drop from 5% this year ot just 1% in 2010. The Dept. blames this disappointing outlook among other things on diminishing exports of oil and bauxite (De Ware Tijd).
In a new publication “Best in 2010” Lonely Planet travel guide recommends Surinam for the top places to go to in 2010 (Reuters).
South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd is likely to win a $300 million order from Angolan state-owned oil firm Sonangol for five tankers, online news outlet eDaily reported (Reuters).
Angola on Wednesday called the conviction of the son of the late French President Francois Mitterrand and others over illegal arms sales to the African country as unjust, biased and politically motivated (Reuters).
Angola’s council of ministers approved the oil producing nation’s 2010 budget that increases spending to 3.9 trillion kwanzas ($45.8 billion) from 2.6 trillion in the previous year, according to a government statement (Reuters).
Chevron’s crude oil production in Angola will rise by a quarter in the next two years and it expects new discoveries to boost the country’s oil production further, Ali Moshiri, Chevron’s president for Africa and Latin America said (Reuters).
The Angolan State-owned oil firm Sonangol and ENI Angola announced the discovery of a new oil well of Cabaça Norte-1, Block 15/06 in deep waters of the country’s offshore, 350 kilometres to the north of the capital city (ANGOP).
Angola’s Oil Minister, José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, said in Recife, Pernambuco state (Brazil), that soon new oil concessions would be auctioned and granted for exploration (Macauhub).
Banco Espírito Santo Angola (BESA) will have new Angolan shareholders before the end of this year, the bank’s chairman, Álvaro Sobrinho said (Macauhub).
Brazilian group Odebrecht in 2010 plans to launch production of sugar and ethanol in Angola, said Humberto Rangel, Odebrecht Angola’s communications director said in Luanda (Macauhub).
TOURISM & REAL ESTATE
Prime Minister José Maria Neves presided over the opening of the Public-Private Forum on Residential Tourism on October 30. The forum, whose theme is Residential Tourism – An opportunity for the future of Cape Verde, is being promoted by Promitur and is held at Jotamont Music Academy in Mindelo. The event is intended as a way to share impressions and ideas by both the private and public sectors and the various stakeholders in the residential real-estate and tourism market in the country (A Semana).
US air company Delta Airlines will begin flying to the island of Sal in the first quarter of 2010, after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) gave a positive evaluation to the island’s Amílcar Cabral International Airport. Delta Airlines is expected to carry out two weekly flights between Atlanta, Georgia and the island of Sal in Cape Verde (A Semana).
Dutch charter company ArkFly starts operating flights from Amsterdam to Sal and Boavista later this month, with stops at Las Palmas.
Angolan flagcarrier TAAG has started weekly flights between the capitals of Luanda and Praia as of last week.
The Morabeza Hotel on the island of Sal has been named Cape Verde’s “Leading Hotel,” a classification given by World Travel Awards (A Semana).
The driver of the ambassador of France in Cape Verde, Fernando Delgado Fortes, was killed in the city of Praia with five shots at a close range, two of them in the head (Visaonews).
According to figures collated between September 2008 and April of this year, Cape Verde in 2007 had 7,512 companies, as compared to 5,460 in 2002, which is a rise of 38 percent. Most companies are active on the islands of Santiago (3,233 companies), Sao Vicente (1,531), Sal (775) and Santo Antao (522) (Macauhub).
Stability and security and the level of civic participation and respect for human rights distinguish Portuguese speaking African countries, particularly Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe, from their continental counterparts (Macauhub).