News from Brazil

Business & Economy

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2010 at 9:38 am

ECONOMY

The month-long slump that has made Brazil’s real the worst performer in Latin America may deepen as Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc say investment will slow before the vote to replace President Lula (Bloomberg).

Brazilian factories slowed their output in April as the government withdrew stimulus measures that once pulled the economy out of recession but have recently prompted fears of overheating (Reuters).

But Brazil’s industrial output grew 17.4 percent in April from a year ago, the national statistics agency said (Bloomberg).

The Brazilian steel industry experienced a swifter rebound in volume demand compared to most developed markets, mainly due to the global recession being shallower and shorter-lived in Brazil, according to a Fitch Ratings report (Reuters).

Economists in a weekly central bank survey kept their forecasts for Brazil’s benchmark inflation index steady for the first time in almost five months in a sign that inflation expectations are leveling off (Reuters).

OIL & GAS

Petrobras said it found as much as 380 million barrels of oil equivalent in a deep-water well in an offshore area, following a string of major offshore finds (Reuters).

The second block being explored by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency in the “pre-salt” offshore region may be bigger than the first (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s government is seeking to move up a Senate vote on a bill to swap oil rights for Petrobras stock in a bid to avoid debates that could delay the state-run company’s $25 billion shares sale (Bloomberg).

BG and Petrobras signed a letter of intent with SBM Offshore NV of Rotterdam for a long- term charter of an oil-producing vessel at the Tupi North East field as part of a plan to expand output off Brazil (Bloomberg).

Petrobras is seeking a large-scale gas discovery off New Zealand’s North Island to support a potential liquefied natural gas project (Bloomberg).

Sonangol SA, Angola’s state oil company, will seek partners to help fund the development of Brazilian offshore blocks after buying exploration company Starfish (Bloomberg).

Petrobras kicked-off production at the FPSO Capixaba, in the Cachalote field. The FPSO (Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading unit) is also connected to the Baleia Franca field, both located in the “Parque das Baleias” region, off the southern coast of Espírito Santo, in the Campos Basin (Petrobras).

BANKING

Portugal’s state-run bank Caixa Geral de Depositos agreed to pay 57.8 million euros ($70.22 million) for a 70 percent controlling stake in the Brazilian brokerage unit of Portuguese bank Banif (Reuters).

Loan disbursements by BNDES, Brazil’s state development bank, surged by a sizzling 58 percent in the 12 months ended in April, driven by buoyant demand for credit to fund expansion and machinery purchases (Reuters).

Roberto Setubal, chief executive officer of Itau Unibanco, and Pedro Moreira Salles, the bank’s chairman, agreed to pay to settle a probe by Brazil’s securities regulator (Bloomberg).

Two of the Brazilian central bank’s former monetary-policy directors, Mario Toros and Rodrigo Azevedo, plan to open an asset management company (Bloomberg).

Barclays plans to increase staff in Brazil by 43 percent this year, betting on the country’s economic growth and the bank’s global expansion after it purchased Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 (Bloomberg).

BUSINESS

Steelmaker Gerdau offered to pay up to $1.7 billion to take full ownership of its North American unit, looking to reduce borrowing costs and increase efficiency (Reuters).

Michelin will invest nearly $400 million in Brazil to expand its two factories in Campo Grande and Itatiaia (Reuters).

Acucar Guarani SA will become Brazil’s third largest sugar and ethanol group with the purchase of the Mandu mill in Sao Paulo state (Reuters).

Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, owner of the industrial conglomerate EBX, said his group is considering entering the Internet broad band business (Reuters).

General Motors will invest an additional 700 million reais ($384.62 million) to modernize and boost production at a plant in Brazil, one of the world’s largest auto markets (Reuters).

Mining company Vale will raise iron ore prices about 35 percent to as much as $145 per tonne in July as part of a switch to quarterly pricing (Reuters).

Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore exporter, agreed to buy the 24.5 percent stake it didn’t already own in the Belvedere coking coal mine in Australia (Bloomberg).

Vale also said its market share in China may drop this year as it expands shipments to other countries (Bloomberg).

Spain’s Telefónica SA has sweetened its bid for Portugal Telecom SA’s indirect stake in Vivo Participacoes SA to €6.5 billion ($8 billion) from an earlier offer of €5.7 billion (Wall Street Journal).

Brazil, the world’s fourth-largest fertilizer consumer, will still need to import crop nutrients as domestic supply expands, according to Eduardo Daher, executive director of the Brazilian Crop Protection Association (Bloomberg).

Ferrous, the iron-ore company seeking funds for a Brazilian mine, shelved an initial public offering in London for the second time in two years as a slump in stock markets hurt demand for share sales (Bloomberg).

Twitter, the world’s most popular ‘microblogging’ platform, is to unveil a version of their site in Portuguese (The Rio Times).

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