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BUILDING OF THE WEEK
The Alto Morabeza residential complex in Mindelo, Sao Vicente.
Commercial banks Banco Comercial do Atlântico (BCA) and Banco Interatlântico could merge to form a single institution, while Portuguese bank Banco Espírito Santo has confirmed its plans to go ahead with the opening of a branch in Cape Verde (A Semana).
Did you know you can buy your organic coffee from Fogo or Santo Antao online at Cafes FAMA?
Minister of the Environment, Rural Development and Marine Resources José Maria Veiga participated in an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting in Senegalese capital Dakar aimed at mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of its National Agricultural Investment Plan, evaluated at UUS$ 100 million (A Semana).
Cape Verde and the European Union (EU) signed an agreement on a bilateral horizontal air instrument that reinforces the traditional connection between the parties in this strategic sector (Inforpress).
Due to some computing problems the newest edition of Atlantico Weekly will be published on Monday May 10th.
We apologize for being invisible on Sunday May 9th.
Please be welcome to check out the new edition of Brazil Weekly
Please be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly‘s latest edition.
Please be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly‘s latest edition.
Be welcome to visit the latest edition of Brazil Weekly
From now on Brazil will have its own pages on Atlantico Weekly, which of course does justice to the country’s size and importance. The first issue of Brazil Weekly is now online. It deals with political, economic, business and related news in the same way as you may expect from Atlantico Weekly.
Go to Brazil Weekly
Surinam insurance company Self Reliance announced it will take over Clico-Surinam, another local insurance company that was hit hard by the global crisis. The bail-out by Self Reliance was made possible with financial support from the Surinam Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Surinam (DWT).
A trio of local banks, DSB-bank, Hakrinbank and RBTT will loan an amount of 28 million SRD to Surinam Port authority NV Havenbeer. This sum is needed to co-finance a second phase of the expansion and improvement of Paramaribo’s Nieuwe Haven Terminal (DWT).
SLM, Surinam Airways, is considering hiring a second Airbus A340-300 for the expansion of its route Paramaribo-Amsterdam and the development of new routes to the US, Canada and Europe (DWT).
Gandhi had to wait until 34 years after his death before he appeared on cinema screens around the world. George Bush junior, by contrast, was the victim of an Oliver Stone biopic during the last year of his presidency. Now a Brazilian director, Fábio Barreto, has done the same for Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as he starts his final year of office (The Economist).
It is 25 years since Brazil moved from dictatorship to democracy, but its army remains surprisingly unreformed. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was rudely reminded of this just before Christmas when he signed a decree calling for a truth commission to investigate torture, killings and disappearances during military rule between 1964 and 1985. Within 24 hours the heads of the three armed forces threatened to resign along with Nelson Jobim, the defence minister. Lula seemed quick to retreat. He was reported as saying the government would think again (The Economist).
Speculation is intensifying over the political future of Henrique Meirelles, Brazil’s central bank chief, as October’s general elections draw closer, raising concerns over the continuity of monetary policy (Reuters).
2010 will mark the election of the 36th official President of the Brazilian Republic. Although the official calendar for campaigning does not begin until October 3rd, the political atmosphere is already dense with debate. The deadline for candidate registry isn’t until July 5th, but with parties looking to affiliate themselves to recent Brazilian political triumphs – such as the Olympics – a handful of pre-candidates for the presidency are already popping into the limelight. Amongst the many who plan to run, the current forerunners are: Marina Silva (PV-AC), José Serra (PSDB-SP), Dilma Rousseff (PT), and Ciro Gomes (PSB-CE). Check them out at Rio Times.
Brazilian households like to buy the newest gadget and prefer to spend on items that will enhance their short-term wellbeing rather than save for a rainy day. This partly explains Brazil’s low saving rate – which has fluctuated around 17 per cent of GDP over the last decade, a number that contrasts sharply with China’s 45-50 per cent. Read the view by Arminio Fraga.
Brazil’s economy should grow 5.2 percent in 2010, the country’s finance minister said, underscoring a strong rebound in Latin America’s largest economy (Reuters).
The European Union and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc led by Brazil and Argentina, are studying restarting talks this year to reach a free-trade agreement, an EU trade official said (Bloomberg).
Brazilian exports to the US fell by 42 percent in 2009, to US$15.7 billion, with China replacing the US as Brazil’s top export market, with US$19.9 billion of exports, or more than 13 percent of all Brazil’s exports, according to figures released by the Ministry of Trade (Rio Times).
BANKING & FINANCE
Banco Bradesco, Brazil’s second-largest private-sector bank, said it agreed to buy Mexican bank Ibi Mexico for an undisclosed sum, marking its first international foray in retail banking as it seeks to take advantage of rising credit demand (Reuters).
Brazil’s state-run utility holding Eletrobras plans to raise $4 billion this year to hedge costs associated with the commercialization of energy from the giant Itaipu dam. However, that money will not go to paying overdue dividends, company president Jose Antonio Muniz said. Eletrobras will pay those dividends from its own funds, he said. The company agreed earlier on Friday to pay 10.33 billion reais ($5.65 billion) in overdue dividends dating to the 1970s (Reuters).
Qatar is interested in buying minority stakes in Petrobras and Banco do Brasil, a Brazilian cabinet official told Reuters. The country’s investment agency already owns a $300 million stake in Brazil’s Vale, the world’s largest iron ore miner (Reuters).
Brazilian oil and gas start-up company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes saidit had found signs of hydrocarbons in a well in the southern part of the offshore Campos basin (Reuters).
A Brazilian scientist is developing a method of purifying contaminated waste water that accumulates at mining sites by using a genetically modified bacteria that can absorb heavy metals (Reuters).
Carrefour SA, Europe’s biggest retailer, plans to invest 2.5 billion reais ($1.4 billion) in Brazil in the next two years to expand in the north and northeast regions of Latin America’s largest economy (Bloomberg).
Housing prices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will jump as much as 40 percent in the next year as record-low interest rates and a growing Brazil economy boost demand, according to the chief executive officer of Gafisa SA (Bloomberg).
The continuing growth of the domestic airline industry has stimulated investors and over the last few months more airlines have obtained permits to begin operations while others have obtained concessions for new domestic routes (Rio Times).
Brazil’s government will turn its focus to investment and away from stimulus measures, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said, as the country’s economy makes a robust exit from recession (Reuters).
Brazil’s state development bank BNDES will focus its 2010 lending on energy projects and infrastructure to support continued economic growth, bank president Luciano Coutinho said (Reuters).
Brazil’s tax collection may rise 11 percent next year, allowing the government to boost spending while still meeting its fiscal targets (Bloomberg)
‘The Olympic Effect’ may already be well underway in Rio’s real estate market with prices expected to double in many of the city’s neighborhoods by 2016, but values in one of the most fashionable parts of the city will receive another significant boost later on this month (Rio Times).
American agribusiness company Bunge is more than doubling its sugar cane milling capacity in Brazil, by acquiring sugar and ethanol producer Moema for US$452 million in stock (Rio Times).
Brazilian lender Itau Unibanco is considering buying stakes in one of the United Kingdom banks rescued by the government during the height of the global credit crisis of 2008, the U.K. Sunday Times reported (Reuters).
Brazilian mining company Vale expects iron ore production in 2010 to reach about 300 million tonnes, Chief Executive Roger Agnelli said (Reuters).
Brazil’s state-controlled energy firm Petrobras bought a 40.4 percent stake in a mill that produces ethanol biofuel from sugar cane, the company said in a filing with the local securities market regulator (Reuters).
Goldman Sachs plans to start a private pension fund in Brazil in the first quarter of 2010. New York-based Goldman is negotiating a partnership with an insurance company to distribute the fund (Bloomberg).
PORTS & AIRPORTS
LLX Logistica, the Brazilian logistics firm controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, said it obtained a loan of 408 million reais ($234 million) for its Sudeste Port from state development bank BNDES (Reuters).
Brazil’s government will raise investments in airports to prepare for the 2014 World Cup, Budget Minister Paulo Bernardo said. Brazil may have 10 percent more passengers during this period, Bernardo said in an interview to government radio Radiobras (Bloomberg).
Brazilian oil and gas start-up company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes said it had found signs of more hydrocarbons in well 1-OGX-3-RJS, off Rio de Janeiro’s coast in the southern part of the Campos basin (Reuters).
Demand for electricity in Brazil will probably soar next year as factories ramp up output and household income continues to rise, a government agency said (Reuters).
With the World Cup nearing, 2010 will be South Africa’s year. The self-proclaimed Rainbow Nation will receive a rainbow crowd of visitors, the largest and most diverse group of tourists in its history. The spotlight on the country’s progress since apartheid will be more intense than ever. Read the analysis in the Mail & Guardian.
South Africa is set to bounce back strongly in headline-growth terms in 2010, asset manager and investment bank Nomura said. This was due to continuing infrastructure spending, a contribution from net trade and restocking from low levels (SA Goodnews).
In a global survey commissioned by HSBC Bank International, it was revealed that South Africa is the sixth best country in the world to live in, according to expatriates based there. In addition to making the top 10 overall, South Africa scored highly in the categories of making local friends (2), organising schools (3), finding somewhere to live (3), social life (3), quality of life (3), and accommodation (4) (TradeInvestSA)
In light of South Africa’s position as the largest and most important economy in Africa, it is imperative that South Africa aligns itself with the growth potential of the BRIC nation. Can it become BRICS? (TradeInvest).
The automotive industry in South Africa was hit very hard by the financial crisis over the past year. With vehicles sales down and with many major automotive companies experiencing major financial difficulties, it has been an extremely testing year (TradeInvest).
With 2010 around the corner and most South Africans reflecting on a year that has seen an economic recession that spared very few, what does the New Year hold in store (TradeInvest)?
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
At present, Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world and has the fifth-largest population as well. But in 17 years’ time, it will also be the fifth-largest economy in the world, says its finance minister, Guido Mantega. Read the full article at the BBC.
Brazil’s government said it will lend an additional $80 billion reais ($45.3 billion) to the national development bank over the next two years to boost investment and keep the economy’s strong recovery on track (Reuters).
Brazil’s economy created a record number of jobs in November, in the latest sign the country’s labor market has fully recovered from this year’s recession, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said (Reuters).
Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest beef processor, said it plans to raise the equivalent of $2 billion in a bond offering, part of a plan to fund its U.S. unit after the takeover of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp (Reuters).
China’s Lenovo, the world’s fourth-largest seller of personal computers, is “open” to buy rivals in Brazil, where it wants to triple market share by 2014, if it strikes the right acquisition price, the company’s top two officials said (Reuters).
Brazil’s Embraer, the world’s third largest aircraft maker, has signed an agreement with CDB Leasing Co worth $2.2 billion over three years to help finance the sale of regional jets in Asia (Reuters).
Brazil’s Embraer, the world’s third-largest aircraft maker, will likely sell a record $500 million worth of planes in Brazil this year, helping offset a tumble in global demand amid the worst civil aviation market in years (Reuters).
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer will be invited to join a tender to supply narrow-bodied planes to United Airlines, the head of United’s parent company UAL Corp said (Reuters).
France’s Renault SA plans to invest about 1 billion reais ($571 million) in Brazil over the next three years, the company’s chief for the Mercosur trade bloc said (Reuters).
Iron ore prices will likely rise in 2010, underpinned by growing demand from China, the chief executive of Brazilian mining giant Vale said, without offering estimates of how much prices could rise (Reuters).
The $7.7 billion Santo Antonio dam on the Madeira river is part of Brazil’s largest concerted development plan for the Amazon since the country’s military government cut highways through the rain forest to settle the vast region during its two-decade reign starting in 1964. Read the full report at Reuters.
Brazil took a step forward in protecting the Amazon rainforest, starting satellite surveillance of the cattle ranches that are among the chief culprits in the forest’s destruction (Reuters).
Brazilian authorities have approved the use of a new genetically-modified soy seed which was developed jointly by BASF and state agricultural researchers in the world’s No. 2 soy exporter (Reuters).
Sugar output in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will rise to a record after declining supplies from India boosted demand for sweetener from the South American country, the government said (Bloomberg).
BTG Pactual, the securities firm led by Andre Esteves, is set to launch a private equity-backed Brazilian infrastructure fund, to take advantage of massive road, port and dam projects (Reuters).
Brazil’s lower house of Congress has approved the second of four bills designed to overhaul the country’s oil legislation and give the government greater control over vast new offshore reserves (Reuters).
Brazil’s Petrobras expects to raise more than $10 billion in a sale of shares it is planning as part of an ambitious expansion effort, the company’s Chief Executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli said (Reuters).
Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras said tests confirmed that Iara oil field, off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, contains a potential of 3 billion to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Reuters).
Spain’s Telefonica plans to spend more than 2 billion reais ($1.14 billion) in Brazil next year, compared with expected capital expenditures of 2.4 billion reais earmarked for 2009, the chief executive of its Brazilian unit Antonio Carlos Valente said (Reuters).
Investors have piled back into Brazilian assets in the wake of the global financial crisis, sending the stock market soaring 83 percent and the currency up 37 percent this year. Are Brazil’s asset markets overvalued? Read the analysis at Reuters.
Car manufacturing in Brazil will climb in 2010, along with sales and export revenue, the national automakers’ association Anfavea said, with expectations for strong economic growth set to stoke domestic demand. Brazilian automobile production in 2010 could grow 5.4 percent, the group said, with sales to jump 9.3 percent (Reuters).
Brazil’s central bank said that dollar inflows into the country totaled $3.558 billion last month through Nov. 27 (Reuters).
Since the start of the year the price of sugar futures has almost doubled. For Brazil’s big sugar companies the timing is perfect: the credit crunch set off a wave of consolidation in an industry that had been resistant to it. The firms that have survived now have more scale and lots of cash. Read the full story in The Economist.
Sao Martinho, one of Brazil’s main sugar and ethanol companies, will sell a 40 percent stake in its Boa Vista mill for 140 million reais ($81.9 million) to U.S-based Amyris (Reuters).
Brazil’s largest sugar and ethanol group, has closed a deal to buy the local Petrosul chain of filling stations based in Sao Paulo (Reuters).
Brazilian retail group Pao de Acucar reached an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in rival Casas Bahia in a noncash deal, gaining a commanding grip over the South American country’s booming home appliances market (Reuters).
Votorantim Group has signed a deal to join Trinidad and Tobago’s government-owned Alutrint in a project to build a 125,000 tonnes-per-year aluminum smelter in the Caribbean nation (Reuters).
Brazil’s crude steel output is forecast to rise to 33.1 million tonnes next year, up 24 percent from an estimated 26.7 million tonnes this year, the Brazilian Steel Institute said (Reuters).
Brazilian mining company Vale plans to invest 1 billion reais ($573 million) in a steel rolling mill in Rio de Janeiro state (Reuters).
Mirabela Nickel Ltd., an Australian miner, may build a smelter to process nickel ore from its Santa Rita mine in Brazil’s northeastern Bahia state and start underground mining (Bloomberg).
China’s Wuhan Iron and Steel Co agreed to pay $400 million for a 21.52 percent stake in Brazilian miner MMX, according to a regulatory filing (Reuters).
Brazilian oil upstart OGX said it had found a 50 meter column of hydrocarbons with net pay of 15 meters from a well it is drilling in the BM-C-41 block in the Campos basin (Reuters).
Earlier OGX had said it had made a promising discovery of hydrocarbons in the Albiano field in the Campos basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro (Reuters).
The Abreu Lima refinery in Brazil, a joint venture between state-run oil companies Petrobras and Venezuela’s PDVSA, will cost roughly 23 billion reais ($13.3 bln), more than triple its previous estimate (Reuters).
Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer, plans to expand its $174.4 billion investment program as it develops offshore fields in the so-called pre-salt region (Bloomberg).
Trade between Brazil and Africa is incipient and needs to be worked on. African countries imported around US$500 billion, of which less than US$10 billion or 2% was from Brazil (Macauhub).
Dubai is the nation state as mortgage bubble: hype, leverage, and a lot of concrete mixers. But in Cape Town, Dubai World’s bubble burst a year ago, with the ousting of provincial premier, Ebrahim Rasool, the state-owned investment company’s local champion. Read the full story in the Mail & Guardian.
Land reform in South Africa is lagging behind its schedule. Read the report in The Economist.
More than 2.2m additional foreign tourists will visit South Africa between 2008 and 2015, thanks to next year’s World Cup soccer tournament. Foreign visitors’ spending is alone expected to contribute R14.3bn (News24).