News from Brazil

Brazil Business & Economic News

In Brazil on March 18, 2011 at 11:39 am

ECONOMY

Can Brazil’s record employment rate get any better? . Although unemployment rose from 5.3% to 6% in January, new employment data beat market expectations (Forbes).

Economists covering the Brazilian economy cut their growth forecast for next year for the first time in 12 months on bets that policy makers will need to slow the economy to cool inflation running at a 26-month high (Bloomberg Businessweek).

The Brazilian government said GDP is expected to grow by more than 5% a year through 2014. The Finance Ministry says in a release argued that increased long term investments by the private sector will be fundamental in achieving the projected growth (MercoPress).

The Brazilian government is tightening a law that restricts the amount of land foreigners can buy. The decree prohibits non-Brazilians from buying controlling shares of companies that own vast tracts of territory in the country (MercoPress).

Ministry of Labor and Employment has granted more than 56 thousand permits to foreigners last year, 13 thousand more than in 2009 (Portal Brasil).

Brazil’s federal tax agency wants to investigate publicly traded companies that award stock options to employees for tax-avoidance purposes, Valor Economico reported (Bloomberg).

AGRI

The Gross Value of Agricultural Production (GVAP) for the of the 20 main crops in Brazil will total RS$ 189.6 billion in 2011 (about U$ 114 billion). Based on the estimate for the 2010/2011 harvest and the prices up to February of this year, this result is 5.8% up on the GVAP achieved in 2010 (Portal Brasil).

Dow AgroSciences has won approval from Brazil regulators for a new corn seed containing five genes that protect plants from insects and weed-killing treatments, an executive told Reuters.

AUTOMOTIVE

Germany’s BMW looks set to replace rival Mercedes-Benz as the only luxury carmaker in Brazil, if it decides to assemble cars there for the first time, underlining the region’s growing ecomonic importance (Reuters).

AVIATON

Embraer delivered the 19th EMBRAER 195 jet to Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras. This is the 100th E-Jet to go into operation in Latin America and the Caribbean, where Embraer is the absolute leader in accumulated sales of commercial jets from 61 to 120 seats, with a 79% market share (Embraer).

Gol Linhas Aereas topped largest rival TAM as Brazil’s biggest domestic air carrier in February for the first time since at least the start of 2006, as competition in the red-hot market intensifies, government data showed (Reuters).

A Chilean regulator said it would probe the proposed merger of regional airline LAN with Brazil’s TAM, in a setback for a push to create Latin America’s biggest carrier (Reuters).

Embraer could make business jets at its idled plant in China, the newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo reported (Reuters).

MINING

Vale continues to conduct its activities in Japan and is taking all possible measures to contribute to minimize the impacts of the earthquake and tsunami that the country has suffered (BW).

Vale plans to start production at its iron ore project in China with annual capacity of 1.2 million tonnes by end-March this year (Reuters).

President Dilma Rousseff may push major shareholders of Vale SA to name Suzano Papel e Celulose SA’s Antonio Maciel Neto to replace Chief Executive Officer Roger Agnelli, O Estado de S. Paulo reported (Bloomberg).

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OIL & GAS

Petrobras announced that its operations in Japan were not affected by the earthquake that struck the northeast coast of the country. Company employees are safe and no injuries have been reported. There was also no damage to Petrobras’ facilities in Japan (BW).

The U.S. Interior Department said it gave final approval for Petrobras to use the first ever deepwater floating production storage facility in the Gulf of Mexico (Reuters).

BG Group will invest up to $30 billion in Brazil over the next decade, seeking to tap fast-growing reserves of crude and natural gas, Chairman Sir Robert Wilson said (Reuters).

Billionaire Eike Batista said he received five potential offers for stakes in Brazilian oil fields controlled by his OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA as crude prices trade near their highest in 29 months (Bloomberg).

Portuguese oil company Galp Energia plans to raise 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion) by selling shares in its Brazilian unit to finance ambitious growth plans, Chief Executive Officer Manuel Ferreira de Oliveira said (Reuters).

Oil major BP has agreed to buy a Brazilian sugar and ethanol group for $680 million, expanding its presence in the country’s biofuels industry in what it said was the largest deal to date for its alternative energy unit (Reuters).

The U.S. Export-Import Bank plans to provide a loan of $1 billion for deep-water oil exploration in Brazil, the Valor newspaper reported (Bloomberg).

PORTS

The railway system that hauls soybeans, meal, corn and other goods to Brazil’s No. 2 port of Paranagua reopened, its operator said (Reuters).

REAL ESTATE

A total of 9.1 million families plan to buy real estate in Brazil over the next 12 months which is a huge increase since the Minha Casa Minha Vida (My House, My Life) program was introduced in 2009 (MercoPress).

TELECOMS

The head of Telecom Italia’s Brazilian unit, tipped to lead the company’s Latin America division, is being investigated on fraud charges as part of a wider probe into fake SIM cards, judicial sources said (Reuters).

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