News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly, February 21st

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm

POLITICS

Dilma Rousseff, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s chief of staff, vowed to continue Brazil’s investor-friendly economic policies if she won the Oct. 3 presidential race as the ruling Workers’ Party candidate (Reuters).

Rousseff is believed to favor an expanded role for state firms in the economy, a position that became more popular during the global financial crisis. This could entail reducing private sector participation in industries such as banking, oil and gas, and utilities (Reuters).

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has no plans to run for office in 2014 and says his chosen successor has the right to stand for re-election should she win this October’s poll, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported (Reuters).

Sao Paulo state Governor Jose Serra, the principal opposition candidate in Brazil’s Oct. 3 presidential election, holds a large but narrowing lead over the ruling party contender with 36 percent of voter intention (down two percentage points from November. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s chosen candidate, his chief of staff Dilma Rousseff, jumped to 25 percent from 17 percent in November (Reuters).

Brazil has told the U.S. and France that it doesn’t support tougher UN sanctions on Iran and will continue, over the objections of the Obama administration, to seek more trade with the Islamic government (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s presidential election in October looks less risky to investors than any other in the last quarter of a century and the economy has bounced back after a brief recession due to the global financial crisis, but there are still investment risks to watch in Brazil this year. Find those risks at Reuters.

Brazil created a record number of jobs or the month of January, increasing the odds that policy makers may start raising the benchmark interest rate as early as next month to keep inflation in check (Bloomberg).

ETHANOL

Brazilian ethanol and sugar company ETH has agreed to take over smaller, debt-laden rival Brenco to create one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, the latest in a series of large acquisitions in the sector (Reuters).

BANKING

State development bank BNDES, Brazil’s main source of long-term corporate credit, expects private banks to increase lending this year, taking up some of the slack they left at the height of the worst meltdown in credit markets in decades, its president said (Reuters).

BNDES may lend about 14 billion reais ($7.5 billion) through 2013 to support investment in the petrochemicals industry, O Estado de S. Paulo reported, without saying where it got the information (Bloomberg).

REAL ESTATE

BR Properties and its shareholders plan to raise up to 1.71 billion reais ($914 million) by selling shares of the Brazilian real estate developer (Reuters).

Since the announcement of the 2016 Olympics here in Rio de Janeiro, there has been much speculation the effect such news would bring about to the local real estate market. This speculation has been especially buzzing in Barra de Tijuca, the neighborhood where the majority of the events will take place (Rio Times).

AGRICULTURE

Brazil and Argentina, the biggest soybean producers after the U.S., may harvest as much as a combined 120 million metric tons of the oilseed this year as rain boosts yields, Cargill Inc. said (Bloomberg).

OIL

Petrobras may issue $75 billion of shares in what would be the world’s biggest stock sale ever, Folha de S. Paulo reported (Bloomberg).

PORTS

Brazil’s government is planning to auction licenses for about 100 port terminals whose contracts are due to expire by 2013, O Estado de S. Paulo reported, citing Fernando Fialho, general director of the country’s water transportation regulator (Bloomberg).

RIO

Set up in 2005 by Dutch entrepreneurs Sebas Van den Ende and Lucille Holtel as a consultancy firm, Real Alliance has grown in five short years to become responsible for some of the largest trade shows of their kind in Latin America, and with huge construction and development plans across Brazil during the next decade, they are well placed to reap the benefit of this rapidly expanding sector with two major events this year (Rio Times).

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