News from Brazil

Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Politics & Government

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

ELECTIONS

Brazil’s ruling party presidential candidate, Dilma Rousseff, pledged to eradicate poverty and propel Latin America’s largest economy to a middle class society and developed-nation status if she wins October’s election (Reuters).

Brazil’s leading opposition candidate, Jose Serra, said that he would trim fat from Brazil’s budget and make the central bank head follow government policy if he wins October’s vote (Reuters).

Brazil’s Green Party presidential candidate Marina Silva proposed to cut taxes and social security benefits, giving a market-friendly slant to her platform of clean government and environment (Reuters).

DEFENCE

Should Brazil build the bomb? Speculations are rife since september 2009 when the Vice-President remarked Brazil should become a nuclear power. A recent article in Der Spiegel suggested Brazil has an atomic secret. But why shouldn’t Brazil have the bomb? What do you think? Vote here or comment and debate below.

Valor Economico reported that Brazil’s defence ministry favours buying the French Rafale fighter in a deal that would in turn see the French Airforce buy Embraer refuelling planes (Brazil Weekly).

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Brazil has suspended exports of heat-treated meats to the United States pending a review of the differences in sanitary standards in the two countries which caused a cargo to be sent back (Reuters).

The United States brushed aside Brazil and Turkey’s efforts to craft a nuclear fuel deal for Iran, saying Tehran must face new U.N. sanctions as soon as possible over its escalating atomic violations (Reuters).

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that the U.S. and Brazil have “very serious disagreements” over Iran’s nuclear program (AlJazeera).

Lula’s visit to the Middle East was not all about Iran’s bomb. Brazil also has been seeking to strengthen its commercial ties with Middle Eastern countries of late as an emerging economy aiming to expand its scope, reach into new markets, and establish new trade partnerships (The Rio Times).

Brazilian government has been “very tolerant” with Bolivia, said senator Eduardo Azeredo (PSDB-MG), president of the Committee on External Relations and National Defense, on Thursday (27), as he commented on statements made the day before by former governor José Serra, PSDB’s pre-candidate to the Brazilian Presidency, who mentioned that the Bolivian government would be an “accomplice” to cocaine traffic to Brazil (Senado Federal).

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega suggested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) include China’s yuan and Brazil’s real as conversion currencies for Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of the institution (Xinhua).

FISCAL POLICY

Brazil’s government is managing to put its fiscal house in order thanks to strong activity in Latin America’s largest economy, further highlighted by a falling jobless rate (Reuters).

Advertisements

Business & Economy

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

ECONOMY

Brazil’s economy could surge this year by 7%, a stark contrast to the risks the euro zone debt crisis pose to the global economy, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director said (Reuters).

Forecasts for Brazil’s inflation in 2010 were raised further as economists in a weekly central bank survey see a steep rebound stoking consumer prices (Reuters).

The current debt crisis in Europe will hit Brazil’s exports in the near future, as the eurozone is a main destination for its products, the president of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) said (Xinhua).

Brazil needs to invest 183.5 billion reais (99.1 billion dollars) for maintenance work on its road network and construction of new roads and bridges, according to a report released by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) (Xinhua).

OIL & GAS

Petrobras signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), aiming to expand deep-water exploration research in the Black Sea region of Turkey (Petrobras).

Petrobras said it had discovered two separate reserves of light crude in Brazil’s offshore Campos Basin which it estimated contain around 105 million barrels (Reuters).

China reached an loan-for-oil agreement with Petrobras. The Brazilian oil company agreed to export oil to China Petrochemical Corp. for 10 years, the report said. China Development Bank will make a 10-year, $10 billion loan to Petrobras (Bloomberg).

ENI, Italy’s biggest energy company, sold Gas Brasiliano Distribuidora SA to Petrobras Gas SA for $250 million and said it will continue upstream activities in Brazil (Bloomberg).

BUSINESS

Spanish billionaire Enrique Banuelos has taken control of Maeda, one of Brazil’s biggest cotton and grain producers, in a deal that could spark further consolidation in the sector (Reuters).

General Electric Co has selected Brazil as the base for its fifth research and development center due to geographical advantages, tax breaks and chances for government contracts to grow (Reuters).

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, said it will invest $1.2 billion in Brazil to boost output of steel products for the burgeoning construction industry (Reuters).

Vale, the Brazilian mining company pushing into potash, said that the $1.03 billion purchase of Mosaic’s stake in Brazilian fertilizer producer Fosfertil is likely to be concluded soon (Reuters).

Commodity trader Noble Group will invest about $150 million to build its first soy crushing plant in Brazil (Reuters).

Cosan, the world’s largest sugar-cane processor, said fiscal fourth-quarter net sales rose 87 percent as sales of the sweetener more than doubled and fuel distribution-unit revenue gained (Bloomberg).

Poor weather conditions hitting crops in the world’s two biggest sugar-producing nations, Brazil and India, sent the price of the sweet stuff soaring on international markets (BBC).

TELECOMS

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, plans to merge his mobile and fixed-line businesses in Brazil in a bid to slash costs (Reuters).

FINANCE

Brazilian insurance company SulAmerica is in advanced talks to buy a controlling stake in the local brokerage unit of Portuguese bank Banif (Reuters).

Banco Santander Brasil may be only the third-biggest private sector bank in Brazil, but it has become No. 1 with some of the world’s top hedge funds as they seek to tap into the Brazilian economic success story (Reuters).

Culture & Regional

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

An impression of a new cultural centre for Brasilia, the SESC Beira Mar.

CULTURE

How’s this for an unlikely power trio: three of the top-selling recording artists in Brazil are Catholic priests (Reuters).

One of the biggest events in the Brazilian fashion calendar kicked off last week with the opening of the 17th edition of Fashio Rio, featuring major Brazilian designers as well as introducing some of the most exciting emerging young talent. The event runs from Thursday May 27th to Tuesday June 1st at Praça Mauá, showcasing the hottest collections for Spring/Summer 2011 (The Rio Times).

AMAZON

Beptum Xikrin contemplates the Bacaja River from his village of thatched-roof huts, wondering how he will catch fish or take Brazil nuts to market if a planned dam on the Amazon’s mighty Xingu River will, as ecologists expect, all but dry up this tributary. Read the story at Reuters.

FORTALEZA

Sunlight, caipirinhas, ocean views, soccer games, samba, mpb and bossa nova are all perfect accessories for the favorite Brazilian pastime: lounging and relaxing. With a culture that values leisure as much as Brazil does, it is only natural that Brazilazy, a brand known for its large, comfortable lounge pillows, is on its way to becoming a widely recognized, in-demand commodity (The Rio Times).

RIO

Rio’s bid for to host the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016 has set the real estate industry into a boom. With prime locations Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana experiencing continued transformation, foreigners and Brazilians alike are buying, often as vacation rental properties (The Rio Times).

The La Suite boutique hotel with only seven bedrooms has one of the most stunning views of the city (Rio Official Guide).

DOG’S LIVES

Hundreds of tightly packed zinc-roofed shacks dot a hillside slum, one of thousands of “favelas” that are home to samba stars, drug lords and millions of poor Brazilians. But this slum in the southern city of Caxias do Sul is a home for dogs, not humans (Reuters).

SALVADOR

Coconut milk and heady spices dancing on the pallet bring to mind India, Africa or the Caribbean but these flavors are also the hallmarks of Bahian cuisine. The state located in the Northeast of Brazil with Salvador as its capital has long been famed for its stunning landscape, beaches, music and colonial architecture. However it also has a lot to boast about when it comes to cuisine, and does so in the Museu da Gastronomia Baiana (Bahian Gastronomic Museum) (The Rio Times).

Politics & Government

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

ELECTIONS

Readers of Brazil Weekly put Dilma Rousseff clearly ahead in a poll that ran for the week of May 16th-23rd. Some 48% of you,  Brazil buffs and experts, think Dilma Rousseff will become the next president of Brazil, as opposed to 40 % of you, who believe it will be Jose Serra. Marina Silva still got 12 % of total votes. We will repeat the poll in a few months time.

Presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff said she favors a careful reduction in the country’s inflation target during the next few years (Reuters).

Dilma Rousseff also said financing by state-controlled banks has “reached its limit” and one of the challenges of the next government will be to stimulate financing through pension funds and equity markets (Bloomberg).

The three main parties competing for the presidential elections have now announced their potential Vice Presidents to help drum up further support for their bids. Marina Silva, front runner of Partido Verde (PV/The Green Party) officially declared businessman Guilherme Leal as their candidate on May 16. José Serra’s Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB) named his co-PSDB member Aécio Neves, whilst Dilma Rousseff’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT/Labour Party) also announced PMDB and current President of Lower House Michael Temer as her running mate (Rio Times).

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Some observers have yet to see whether Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (flanking Mr Ahmadinejad above), really have succeeded in enticing Iran a step in from the cold in its row with the UN Security Council over its nuclear ambitions (The Economist).

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva put his country in the global spotlight this week when he helped broker a controversial fuel swap deal for Iran’s nuclear program. Is this a boost or bust for Brazil’s diplomacy (Reuters)?

DEFENCE

France is mounting a last-ditch bid to prevent another fighter sale slipping from its grasp as upcoming Brazilian presidential elections threaten to spoil its hopes of winning a first foreign sale of its Rafale combat jet (Reuters).

Brazil has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but experts suspect it may be working on a nuclear bomb. The country is allowed to legally enrich uranium for its nuclear submarines, but nobody knows what happens to the fuel once it is on restricted military bases (Der Spiegel).

PENSIONS

Brazil’s Senate approved today a 7.7 percent raise in retirement payments for some of the country’s pensioners (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY & STATE

Brazil’s government raised its forecast for growth this year in the 2010 budget to 5.5 percent from 5.2 percent previously, the Planning Ministry said (Reuters).

Brazil’s government is unlikely to alter the primary budget surplus target for the year, even though the result could be above 3.3 percent of gross domestic product, Treasury Secretary Arno Augustin said (Reuters).

The International Monetary Fund may raise its 2010 economic growth forecast for Brazil because of a rapid recovery from a brief recession last year, the fund’s deputy director, Murilo Portugal, said (Reuters).

Petrobras Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa said Brazil’s government will buy enough shares of the state-run company in an offering to at least keep its 32 percent stake and may increase it, ensuring demand for the sale (Bloomberg).

Business & Economy

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 10:23 am

ECONOMY

A burst of Chinese-level growth cannot be sustained. But it hints at Brazil’s new-found strength, and is perfectly timed for the presidential election (The Economist).

Brazil isn’t prepared for economic growth of 6 percent or 7 percent a year because of inflationary pressures and infrastructure “bottlenecks,” Arminio Fraga, former president of the central bank, said (Bloomberg).

Itau Unibanco, Brazil’s biggest bank by market value, may raise its growth estimate for the country’s economy this year to as much as 8.5 percent, economist Guilherme da Nobrega said (Bloomberg).

TELECOMS

Portugal Telecom and Spain’s Telefónica squabble over Brazil (The Economist).

Spain’s Telefonica plans to invest around 5 billion Brazilian reales ($2.78 billion) in fixed and mobile telecommunications in Brazil this year (Reuters).

Brazil will reach 300 million mobile phones by 2013 (Bloomberg).

OIL

Sinochem Corp. won the bidding for a $3.07 billion stake in a Statoil offshore oilfield in Brazil, Statoil said, marking China’s second major oil and gas deal in Latin America since March (Reuters).

Petrobras would consider delaying plans to sell as much as $25 billion of shares should global equity markets worsen, Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli said (Bloomberg).

Petrobras sees domestic oil output rising 6.5 percent in 2010 over the 2009 average as new fields come on line (Reuters).

Petrobras said its board will seek shareholder authorization to issue as much as 150 billion reais ($80 billion) worth of new shares, paving the way for an offering to help fund investments (Bloomberg).

MEAT

The world’s largest beef processor, Brazil’s JBS,  said exports to the United States from one of its plants had stopped after U.S authorities detected traces of medicine in its meat above permitted levels (Reuters).

TAKEOVERS

Brazil’s Industrias Romi SA, a maker of precision metal-cutting tools, said its sweetened $10-a-share offer for rival Hardinge Inc was “final and best,” and that it intended to let the offer expire on May 26 (Reuters).

BANKING

Banco Cruzeiro do Sul and some of its shareholders canceled plans to sell stock in primary and secondary offerings, citing current market conditions (Reuters).

Bank of America Corp agreed to sell preferred and common shares of Brazil’s Itau Unibanco in a deal valued at 8.16 billion reais ($4.5 billion), ending a partnership started in 2006 when the Brazilian bank took over the local unit of FleetBoston Financial (Reuters).

Banco do Brasil plans to sell its stake in health insurance company Brasilsaude to joint owner Sul America SA (Bloomberg).

AGRI

Global agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd is gauging investor interest for the launch of an investment fund that would buy land in Brazil to take advantage of demand for sugar and sugar-based ethanol, the company’s chief financial officer said (Reuters).

Coffee output in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will increase 23 percent in the year starting July 1 as trees enter a more-productive phase of a two-year cycle (Bloomberg).

POWER

China’s state-run electricity grid firm has agreed to buy seven Brazilian transmission companies from Plena Transmissoras for 3.1 billion reais ($1.72 billion) (Reuters).

MINING

Mining giant Vale SA is seeking to raise its stake in Australia’s Belvedere coking-coal project to 75.5 percent by taking over an interest owned by AMCI (Reuters).

REAL ESTATE

 Billionaire investor Sam Zell’s Equity International is seeking to raise about $500 million to step up investment in Brazilian real estate, betting interest rate increases will fail to stem demand as the economy grows at the fastest pace in two decades (Bloomberg).

Culture, Regional & Travel

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

SALVADOR

Salvador, otherwise known as the ‘Capital de Alegria’ (Happiness Capital) for its rocking street parties and infamous carnival, was the first capital of Brazil and now presides over the state of Bahia. It is most famous as the home of graceful martial arts dance capoeira, its distinctive colonial architecture, tantalizing African-influenced dishes and fifty kilometers of beaches, and with so much to offer it is little wonder that many are interested in taking up a more permanent residence there (Rio Times).

RIO

Rio Folle Journée is characterized by delving, each year, into a theme, or into the work of a great composer. The Carioca version of this event, created in France, dedicates this edition to Frédéric Chopin, whose bicentennial anniversary is celebrated this year (Rio Offical Guide).

The 17th Fashion Rio 2010 brings together designer labels to show their Summer 2011 collections. From May 29, the Mauá Pier warehouses will also be presenting the 10th edition of Rio à porter, Fashion Rio’s official fashion and design business center (Rio Official Guide). 

PARATY

Paraty and the Costa Verde’s sandy beaches and hot, tropical climate are two of the region’s main draws but this also makes the area synonymous with rain and for many that can cause a panicked sense of ‘My vacation is ruined!’ Far from spelling out holiday disaster, though, there are many activities to do when the heavens open that can save the trip (Rio Times).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Regional, Culture & Travel

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

SAO PAULO

Brazilian artists are helping lead the country’s economic recovery, after recording skyrocketing sales at the country’s biggest commercial art fair. Let’s look at why art-lovers from around the world have flocked to the Sao Paulo Arte fair (Xinhua).

RIO

The seasonally adjusted fiscal and primary balances of the State of Rio de Janeiro were stronger than in 2009 (primary non-seasonally adjusted balance was of R$ 1.6 billion), while tax collection including royalties grew 17% in relation to the first two months of 2009.  This increase is explained by the buoyancy of the economy, as well as results from stronger tax enforcement and greater participation of consumers in informing Receita about sales values, through the CUPOM MANIA program. CUPOM MANIA rewards consumers who send key information about their purchases to the Receita through SMS on their cellular phones (RIO STATE).

The Institute of Public Security (ISP) has published details of a sizable drop in homicide rates in the State of Rio De Janeiro for the month of February 2010, along with other indications pointing towards significant decreases in smaller crimes. The picture outside the state capitals, however, appears to be getting bleaker, with an upward trend in crime uncovered in the municipalities (The Rio Times).

The cultural buzz in Santa Teresa takes a literary bent this weekend as the city’s bohemian village on the hill plays host to the second annual FLIST, the Santa Teresa Literary Festival. FLIST returned on Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th with a program full of literary talks, workshops and musical performances (The Rio Times).

In Rio, drowning out the rest of the world can be a daunting task. The constant, rhythmic “clank” of chisels breaking concrete and the hum of drills cutting tile can be heard from nearly any corner throughout the city. It is a symbol of the country’s increased economic power and transition from “Developing” to “Industrialized” status (The Rio Times).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

BRASILIA

The Centro Cultural do Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS) in Rio de Janeiro, hosts until July 25th, the exhibition “As Construções de Brasília” (The Construction of Brasilia), with 157 pictures taken by IMS photographers and a selection of 44 works of modern and contemporary visual art about the capital and its importance over the past 50 years (Rio Official Guide).

AMAZON

The controversial Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in the Amazon rain forest will bring returns of more than 10 percent a year, Jose Antonio Muniz Lopes, chief executive of Brazil’s state-controlled power utility Eletrobras told local media (Reuters).

Large shopping malls are under development for the Amazon’s main cities. Check the map at the Wall Street Journal.

Vale, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Caixa Econômica Federal workers’ pension fund (Funcef) and Petrobras workers’ pension fund (Petros) are forming one of the biggest reforestation funds in Brazil. The fund will invest R$605 million up to 2014, with initial resources to be invested by a new company, Vale Florestar S.A. The financial structuring of the fund will be carried out by Global Equity Administradora de Recursos, which will also be responsible for identifying and evaluating new investment opportunities (Vale).

SOCCER

As South Africa prepares to kick off its World Cup next month, soccer-crazy Brazil is coming under fire for dragging its feet and missing deadlines on preparations for the event four years from now, which include building five stadiums from scratch and carrying out major overhauls of others (Reuters).

Brazil may reduce the number of cities hosting soccer games during the 2014 World Cup to six from 12 (Bloomberg).

TRAVEL

For those seeking an enclave of tranquility and shockingly beautiful scenery, Praia da Pipa has long been a favored destination. However upon arrival in Pipa visitors often find it hard to tear away. Luckily there are plenty of real estate options to provide the addicted with a place to stay for weeks, months or even years (The Rio Times).

Business & Economy

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

BUILDING OF THE WEEK

Artist’s impression of the Ventura Office Towers in downtown Rio, almost completed (Camargo Correa).

AVIATION

TAM, Brazil’s largest air carrier, posted a net loss in the first quarter of 2010 due in part to a rise in spending on marketing and higher fuel costs (Reuters).

OIL

Petrobras said it will increase oil output by around 22 percent in 2010 as it begins ramping up production in the vast deep water subsalt fields that have drawn global attention (Reuters).

Brazilian state oil company Petrobras’ oil-for-shares capitalization plan is on track to be launched as scheduled by the first half of 2010, Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli said (Reuters).

A second major offshore oil prospect was reveiled in a week. Brazilian regulators said preliminary estimates suggest the Libra prospect may hold even more oil than the nearby 4.5 billion-barrel Franco find, though they are still waiting to finish drilling a well there to have a solid volume estimate (Reuters).

Brazilian oil and gas start-up OGX released estimates showing the offshore BM-C-41 block in the Campos Basin holds between 1.4 billion and 2.6 billion barrels of oil (Reuters).

Oil major Shell says it believes a block in the Santos basin off the coast of Brazil holds 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Reuters).

Chinese oil companies Cnooc Ltd. and Sinochem Corp. submitted separate bids for a stake in a large, offshore Brazilian oil field in which Statoil ASA is selling a 40% share (Wall Street Journal)

MEAT

JBS SA, the world’s largest beef producer, posted a first-quarter profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, on a surge in sales and cost-cutting at its U.S. unit (Reuters).

POWER

Finnish engineering firm Wartsila said it had won a power plant deal in Brazil worth close to 200 million euros ($254 million) (Reuters).

AGRI

Brazilian orange juice companies Citrosuco and Citrovita agreed to combine their businesses, creating a global giant with 2 billion reais ($1.1 billion) in annual revenue (Reuters).

TELECOMS

Portugal Telecom rejected a 5.7 billion euros ($7.2 billion) bid from Telefonica to buy out its stake in Vivo, Brazil’s top wireless carrier, at a 140 percent premium (Reuters).

MINING

Eldorado Gold Corp said it has agreed to acquire gold exploration company Brazauro Resources Corp in an all-stock deal worth about C$122 million that will expand its asset base in Brazil (Reuters).

BANKING

Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s biggest lender by assets, said first-quarter profit rose 41 percent as the bank made more loans and defaults fell (Bloomberg).

The Banco do Brasil was given the green light to operate as an underwriter in debt and equity operations in the U.S. capital market (Xinhua).

REAL ESTATE

Gavea Investimentos Ltda., the Brazilian investment firm managed by former central bank President Arminio Fraga, bought a 14.5 percent voting stake in Odebrecht SA’s real-estate unit (Bloomberg).

SHIPBUILDING

Usiminas offered the best price and won the bid for the purchase of 7,700 tons of steel plates to be used to build vessels under the Transpetro Fleet Modernization and Expansion Program (Promef). The steel will be used by the Mauá Shipyard, located in Niterói (state of Rio de Janeiro), which is building four oil derivatives ships for the program (Petrobras News Agency).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Politics & Government

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

BRAZIL WEEKLY OPINION POLL

ELECTIONS

Dilma Rousseff is Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party candidate in October’s presidential election and was President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s former chief of staff. She trails her main rival, former Sao Paulo state governor Jose Serra of the centrist opposition PSDB party. But most analysts make Rousseff the favorite because she can count on support from the hugely popular Lula and will be helped by a rebounding economy. Read about her policies at Reuters.

Comments by candidate Jose Serra on a series of key campaign issues can be found at Reuters as well.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Although Europe is still Latin America’s biggest aid donor and foreign investor, its trade with the region has grown much more slowly than China’s over the past decade. Moreover, the global balance of power is starting to shift to countries like Brazil (The Economist).

Brazil and Iran are likely to sign a memorandum which would open the way for Brazilian companies to participate in the modernization of Iran’s oil sector, the head of Brazil’s energy regulator said (Reuters).

Brazil’s Iran Diplomacy Worries U.S. Officials, the New York Times reported.

In the last days of his tenure, the Brazilian president is reaching for his crowning foreign-policy glory. Will it go horribly, horribly wrong? (Foreign Policy).

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for closer business and investment ties with Russia, saying the two BRIC states should use their own currencies for trade, not the dollar. “From 2002 to 2008, trade between Russia and Brazil grew five times,” Lula said in a speech to a business forum during a visit to Russia (Reuters).

A Business Centre to promote the internationalization of Brazilian companies will be launched in Moscow by the Brazilian Agency for Export Promotion and Investment, Apex-Brazil (Brazil Global).

India and Brazil launched a trade dispute against the European Union and the Netherlands, saying their seizures of generic drugs were hurting healthcare in poor countries and disrupting international trade (Reuters).

Finance Minister Guido Mantega urged the United States to raise interest rates and allow the U.S. dollar to appreciate as a way of combating global economic imbalances (Reuters).

DEFENCE

Selex Galileo and Brazil’s ATMOS Sistemas have concluded an agreement to establish ATMOS as the Brazilian active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar centre of excellence. The agreement, which follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) announced in January, will see the two companies collaborate in the development of the Vixen 1000E/ES05 Raven AESA radar for the Saab JAS 39 Gripen NG combat aircraft (Jane’s).

Russia is discussing the sale of air- defense systems to Brazil, Mikhail Dmitriev, head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said. Russia is also discussing the possible delivery of additional Mi-35 attack helicopters to Brazil (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s government plans to cut 31.5 billion reais ($17.77 billion) from its 2010 budget, seeking to put the brakes on a red-hot expansion that has stoked inflation in Latin America’s largest economy (Reuters).

JUSTICE

The Supreme Court has rejected a motion to modify an amnesty law so that officials accused of human-rights abuses under Brazil’s military dictatorship would have to stand trial (New York Times).

ENVIRONMENT

The BP oil leak raises questions as regards the preparedness of Brazil to exploit its recently discovered oil fields. The Minister of Environment, Izabella Teixeira met with the Secretary of State for the Environment Marilene Ramos, to discuss preventive strategies for Brazil as regards oil extraction (The Rio Times).

Politics & Goverment

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm

ELECTIONS

Brazilian presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff said she would maintain strict fiscal discipline to push down public sector debt and revamp the country’s tax code if she wins October’s election (Reuters).

FOREIGN AFFIARS

Iran voiced optimism about Turkish and Brazilian mediation efforts in its nuclear dispute with the West, saying it welcomed in principle ideas aimed at reviving a stalled nuclear fuel deal with major powers (Reuters).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Brazilian police in the Amazon city of Manaus have arrested eight men for trafficking drugs along jungle rivers to finance Colombia’s leftist FARC rebels (Reuters).

ECONOMY

The government announced long-awaited measures to boost exports at a time when the trade surplus in Latin America’s largest economy is shrinking rapidly on a yearly basis. The government will create a lender, named EXIM Brasil, to help finance exports (Reuters).

Brazil posted a higher-than-forecast trade surplus in April as imports fell at nearly double the pace of exports, trade ministry data showed (Reuters).

Brazilian Planning Minister Paulo Bernardo said he will recommend that President Lula da Silva veto a 7.7 percent increase to pension payments that may add 11 billion reais ($6.2 billion) to the fiscal deficit (Bloomberg).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS