News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly, February 14th

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm

POLITICS

Brazilian central bank president Henrique Meirelles could forgo running for a seat in the Senate, Planning Minister Paulo Bernardo said, in the latest signal that Meirelles could remain at the helm of monetary policy through the end of his term in December (Reuters).

President Lula da Silva’s party pledged to keep in place the country’s current monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies should Cabinet chief Dilma Rousseff win the October election (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s Supreme Court decided that Federal District Governor Jose Roberto Arruda may be kept in custody, turning down his request for release. Arruda was placed under arrest yesterday while corruption allegations against him are investigated. He has taken a leave of absence, putting Vice Governor Paulo Octavio in charge of the country’s capital district (Bloomberg).

Brazil will be able to break U.S. patents or suspend remittances from royalties on intellectual property under a decree issued today to allow retaliation against the U.S. in a dispute over farm subsidies (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

The Central Bank now sees signs of overheating. Inflation, at 0.75%, was surprisingly strong in January, pushing the rate for the past 12 months to 4.6%. The minutes of the latest meeting of the bank’s monetary-policy committee suggest that it will raise its benchmark interest rate in March or April, for the first time since September 2008 (The Economist).

OIL

Brazil’s state-oil company Petrobras said it maintained its estimate for recoverable oil reserves in its Tupi field off Sao Paulo state’s coast at 5 billion to 8 billion barrels  (Reuters).

Brazil’s Congress is “unlikely” to approve by April a package of oil legislation that includes a share capitalization of Petrobras, Bank of America said in a note to clients (Bloomberg).

BUSINESS

The battle between  Camargo, Votorantim and CSN for control of Portuguese cementmaker Cimpor is still raging.  CSN raised its bid but offered to buy a smaller stake, in a change of tack aimed at luring shareholder approval for its bid (Reuters).

Vale, Eletrobras and three other Brazilian companies have teamed up to bid for the rights to build the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in Brazil’s Amazon region (Bloomberg).

Sao Paulo’s government has abandoned a plan to sell Cia. Energetica de Sao Paulo, Folha de S. Paulo reported, citing Vilson Daniel Christofari, the state-controlled utility’s chief executive officer, who was appointed in January (Bloomberg).

Brazil may invest up to 20 billion reais ($10.8 billion) to revive Telebras, allowing the state-owned phone company to sell broadband service for half the price charged by local carriers (Bloomberg).

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