News from Brazil

Business & Economy

In Brazil on October 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

ECONOMY

China’s surprise decision to raise interest rates was a move “in the right direction” and could help ease pressure on Brazil’s currency, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said (Reuters).

Brazil registered a record-high federal taxes collection of 573.6 billion reais (340 billion U.S.dollars) in the first nine months of 2010, up 13.1 percent from the same period in 2009, the country’s Federal Revenues Secretariat announced (Xinhua).

Economists in a weekly central bank survey raised for a fifth straight week their forecasts for Brazil’s benchmark inflation index in 2010, to 5,2 %, the bank said (Reuters).

Ruling party candidate Dilma Rousseff would run an “austere” government if she wins Brazil’s presidential election while also aiming to raise public investment, Planning Minister Paulo Bernardo told Reuters.

Brazil’s unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent from 6.7 percent in August, the national statistics agency said (Bloomberg).

Registered formal jobs in Brazil reached a record high of 2.2 million in the first nine months of 2010, up 136 percent year on year, the country’s Labor Ministry said (Xinhua).

AGRI, SUGAR & ETHANOL

Some of Brazil’s main sugar and ethanol groups see a possible drop in cane and sugar output in the coming crop as a result of below-average rainfall in recent months and low investments in cane replanting (Reuters).

Coffee output in Brazil, the world’s biggest producer, may be lower than expected next year as growers prune trees to improve productivity and the plants enter a lower yielding cycle (Bloomberg).

Glencore may acquire 70 percent of the Rio Vermelho mill, in a deal that could be concluded in November, Claudio Piquet, a director for the company, said (Bloomberg).

AUTOMOTIVE

Fiat will invest 10 billion reais ($6 billion) in Brazil by 2015 in operations that include production of cars, auto parts and agricultural machinery (Reuters).

BANKING

Swiss bank UBS, which has expanded in Brazil in recent months, hired veteran banker Lywal Salles as its chairman in that country, as part of a push to rebuild its operations in one of the world’s fastest-growing financial markets (Reuters).

Qatar is to take a 5 percent stake in the Brazilian unit of Spanish lender Banco Santander, with a $2.7 billion investment that adds to its big bank deals in recent years (Reuters).

AVIATION

Embraer and NetJets, Inc., have signed a Chasseur Agreement for 50 Phenom 300 executive jets, plus 75 options. The total value of the deal may exceed US$ 1 billion, at current list price (Embraer, pdf).

Embraer is buying into BAE Systems’ advanced avionics to upgrade its aircraft’s performance as it expands a global customer base. The deal with BAE Systems gives Embraer access to BAE’s advanced flight control technologies for its aircraft (UPI).

TWITTER & LINKEDIN

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MINING

Brazil’s government will likely wait at least until the next administration takes office in 2011 before changing a mining law and discussing a possible royalty hike, a government official told Reuters.

Vale will need $26 billion to $28 billion over the next two years to complete projects it has already started with a priority on copper and fertilizer investments, the company’s CEO said (Reuters).

Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party (PT) has denied allegations that some of its officials pressured mining giant Vale for jobs, O Globo newspaper reported (Reuters).

Vale may become the largest nickel producer by next year as it begins output at new projects in Brazil and New Caledonia, Chief Executive Officer Roger Agnelli said (Bloomberg).

OIL & GAS

Odebrecht said its oil and gas division has received a $400 million investment from Singapore state investor Temasek. “This represents the most important step in the growth of OOG,” the company said in a press release, referring to Odebrecht Oleo e Gas (Reuters).

RETAIL

Chile’s Cencosud, one of Latin America’s biggest retailers, said it had clinched a deal to buy Brazilian supermarket chain Bretas for 1.35 billion reais, or about $813 million (Reuters).

SHIPPING

STX Pan Ocean said it had won a 25-year shipping contract from Brazil’s Fibria, the world’s largest supplier of pulp to paper makers. The contract is valued at 5.6 trillion won ($5.02 billion), it said in a filing with the Korea Exchange (Reuters).

Sugar loading at Brazil’s two main ports is accelerating and reducing a backlog by half as dry weather allows vessels to speed up shipments. Ships waiting to load at the ports of Santos and Paranagua, Brazil’s first and second largest, fell to 68 today from a record backlog of 135 in August, according to research firm Santos Associados Consultoria Ltda. and shipping agency Unimar Agenciamentos Maritimos (Bloomberg).

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