News from Brazil

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on September 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

ECONOMY

The public sector is Brazil’s weakest point in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report. Its government is the seventh most wasteful spender. Its regulatory burden is the heaviest, and its taxes are the most complex. According to the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report, medium-sized Brazilian firms spend 2,600 hours a year paying taxes—over twice as long as the next-slowest country and nearly ten times the average (The Economist).

The Brazilian economy expanded at its fastest pace in six months in July, even as the central bank bets on slower growth to curb the fastest inflation in six years (Mercopress).

Retail sales in Brazil rose more than expected in July and sped up sharply from June, prompting worries that interest rate cuts could be premature (Reuters).

Recently, The Rio Times reported on the expected 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics legacy for the city and country in terms of infastructure. In the second part of this series, they now turn our attention to the predicted legacy of the mega-events on the Brazilian economy (The Rio Times).

Historically, the thorn in the side of Brazil’s economy has always been inflation and last week the rolling twelve month inflation rate was reported as 7.23 percent by the Central Bank. This is the first time that inflation figures have not been inside the government target rate of 4.5 percent, give or take two points in either direction, since the rate was adopted in 2006 (The Rio Times).

Brazil raised a tax on cars with a high content of imported components to protect jobs following a surge in shipments from China and elsewhere that has been fueled by a rally in the currency (MercoPress).

AGRI ETC.

Brazil may need as much as $490 billion in investments to meet rising demand for sugar and ethanol, C. Czarnikow Sugar Futures Ltd. said (Bloomberg).

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BANKING

Banco Bradesco, Brazil’s second biggest non-government lender, expects its loan book to grow about 18 percent next year, a pace similar to this year’s, the company’s chief executive said (Reuters).

Profit at Itau Unibanco Holding SA, Latin America’s largest bank, may jump 15 percent next year as interest-rate cuts in Brazil reduce loan delinquencies, Chief Executive Officer Roberto Setubal said (Bloomberg).

BIOFUELS

Brazilian scientist Expedito Jose de Sá Parent, 70, who is considered the creator of bio-diesel died this week in Fortaleza. President Dilma Rousseff paid tribute to the researcher who developed the ‘green’ fuel from oilseeds (MercoPress, picture source).

British oil giant BP said it is taking over Tropical BioEnergia after purchasing a 50-percent stake in the Brazilian biofuel company. BP acquired a 25-percent stake from LDC-SEV Bioenergia and the other 25-percent stake from Maeda Agroindustrial group, one of Brazil’s main cotton producers (Xinhua).

INFRA & ENERGY

Brazil is completing construction of its third nuclear plant and will build four more plants to increase its nuclear energy production, Energy Minister Edison Lobao said (Xinhua).

Brazil’s government may retake control of almost 1,700 kilometers (1,060 miles) of railways as other rail lines undergo renovation, O Estado de S. Paulo reported (Bloomberg).

President, Dilma Rousseff, took part in the laying of the cornerstone for the Rio Tietê Shipyard in Araçatuba (São Paulo). Orders placed under Transpetro’s Promef Waterway program made the yard feasible. The program is a milestone in Brazilian ethanol logistics, as it will make widespread use of the Tietê-Paraná Waterway to flow production from Midwestern and Southeastern Brazil (Petrobras).

President Dilma Rousseff has signed a letter of intent to allocate 900mn reais (US$526mn) in federal funding for improvements to the Tietê-Paraná waterway. The project aims to build 2,400km of navigable waterway through work including dredging, improvements to locks and channeling work (Dredging Today).

A federal court in Brazil has ordered an immediate halt to work on a new terminal at the main international airport in Sao Paulo. The judge said the state airport authority ignored the proper bidding process when awarding the contract for the project at Guarulhos airport (BBC).

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MINING

The first shipment from Moatize Coal Mine, operated by Vale in Tete Province, left Mozambique on board the Orion Express vessel. The batch of 35,000 metric tons of thermal coal was transported for 575 km along the Sena-Beira Railroad, on various trains. This was the first operation of its kind along the railroad in 28 years (Vale).

REAL ESTATE

BR Properties, Brazil’s largest commercial real estate developer, agreed on Wednesday to buy rival WTorre Properties, growing by another leap as demand for office and warehouse real estate booms (Reuters).

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