News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Brazil news update, December 20th

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 at 7:28 pm

OIL & GAS

Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars more per year for imported Bolivian natural gas after a price dispute that has dragged on for years (Reuters).

Brazilian increases in oil production, along with Russia, is threatening the OPEC’s (Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries) control over oil prices. The current view of petroleum reserves may be deceptive as production, and most of all exportation, seem to be the determinant variable of the oil market equation (Rio Times).

Petrobras will get a 2.6 billion-real ($1.46 billion) loan from Brazil’s development bank, known as BNDES, to help finance construction of the Suape petrochemical complex (Bloomberg).

BUSINESS

Brazil’s CSN offered to buy Portuguese cement producer Cimpor for 3.86 billion euros ($5.6 billion) as the steelmaker slowly diversifies from its core business outside its home base (Reuters).

Brazilian meat processor Marfrig Alimentos received European Union regulatory approval for its takeover of local poultry export company Seara in a deal worth about $900 million (Reuters).

Fiat’s commercial vehicles unit Iveco has won a $3.37 billion contract to supply 2,044 armoured personnel carriers to the Brazilian army, Iveco said (Reuters). The vehicles will be produced in Brazil.

Junior miner MMX, owned by Brazilian magnate Eike Batista, will invest up to $1.2 billion to more than triple iron ore production capacity by 2015, the company’s president said (Reuters).

POLITICS

Brazil’s central bank chief, Henrique Meirelles, said he was not interested in running for the vice-presidency in next October’s election and had not decided whether to step down in April (Reuters).

The governor of Brazil’s central Minas Gerais state said he would no longer seek to become the presidential candidate for the opposition PSDB party in next October’s election (Reuters).

Brazil’s president will propose a truth commission this month to investigate torture during the country’s 1964-85 military dictatorship. The move by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva could mark a rare step by Brazil toward tackling the thorny question of dictatorship-era abuses (Reuters).

FINANCE

As Brazil emerges stronger than many other countries from the deepest global recession in decades, the time may have come for the largest private equity firms to plant roots in Latin America’s biggest economy (Reuters).

Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s largest bank by assets, is in talks to buy a stake in Argentina’s Banco Patagonia in what would be the state-run bank’s biggest international foray (Reuters).

SECURITY

One minute Victor Javier was rapt in a carefree game of beach soccer; the next he was a hapless victim of Rio de Janeiro’s “shock of order” crackdown. Rio state this month hired former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who takes credit for cleaning up the Big Apple, to help advise it on the Brazilian city’s crime problems (Reuters).

ECONOMY

After months of bullish forecasts from analysts in Brazil and around the world, the economic recovery has proven to have progressed at a significantly slower rate than has been anticipated over the last financial quarter (Rio Times).

The Brazilian government has announced that the bidding process for the construction and operation of a high-speed rail line that will link Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Campinas is to begin (Rio Times).

Chile and Brazil form part of 10- country group called ‘advanced emerging markets,’ Barclays Plc said. Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Israel, China, South Africa, Poland and the Czech Republic are also part of the group, Barclays analysts including Eduardo Levy-Yeyati wrote in a report (Bloomberg).

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