Monthly Archives: August 2010

By Ronald Buchanan in Mexico City

A woman makes a mobile phone call in San Jose, Costa RicaCosta Rica finally on Tuesday announced the terms of a tender that will open the last frontier of the free market in cellular service in Latin America.

The tender will invite bids for three bandwidths to compete with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, which currently controls the state monopoly on mobile phones. Read more

Brazil's BovespaLatin American markets were buoyed by today’s better-than-expected US economic data, which boosted risk appetite.

“Concerns about the US economy continue to increase. However, a linear deterioration of US economic data is unlikely”, Benito Berber of Nomura wrote in a note about Mexico’s peso. “If anything, the release of US consumer confidence for August at 53.5 significantly above expectations points to a muddle through scenario in US economic activity.” Read more

Central and eastern European stocks were mixed on Tuesday, as weak global sentiment combined with some positive data from the region.

Russia’s central bank held its benchmark rate at 7.75 per cent, while Hungary’s forint continued to tumble against the Swiss franc, heightening concerns about whether the country can finance its foreign-denominated debt.

 Read more

By Yukyeong Kim of mergermarket

The world’s third biggest steelmaker, Pohang Iron and Steel Company (Posco), has completed its acquisition of Daewoo International for $2.8bn, three months after being chosen as the preferred bidder for the South Korean trader and resource developer.

The acquisition is the largest deal between two Korean companies and signals the steelmaker’s ambition to expand in Africa and southeast Asia. Read more

By Andrew Downie in São Paulo

First, the good news: after years of indecision, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has finally confirmed that the city of São Paulo will host the opening game of the 2014 World Cup. In a brand new stadium owned by Corinthians.

Now the bad news. The stadium isn’t built yet – and is unlikely to be ready by Fifa’s 2012 deadline. Read more

By Patti Waldmeir in Shanghai and John Reed in London

As General Motors announced the arrival of its long-awaited Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle in China, there was a feeling that the age of the electric vehicle may finally have dawned.

The Volt – which will be sold in the US from the end of this year, and in China next year – will be among the first in a wave of mass-produced electric cars powered by lithium-ion batteries from global automakers. It’s as if Henry Ford and Thomas Edison got together to design a car: posthumously. But will anyone in China buy it? Read more

Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s dictator, tends to grab the headlines as the root-cause of the “Korea discount”. But unfortunately there’s another factor at play: corporate responsibility.

If Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron chief executive, was South Korean, you could imagine him back at his desk, taking key decisions. And can shareholders in Korea stop that kind of thing happening? Don’t be silly. Read more

What does India’s largest private sector oil refining and production group have in common with a five-star luxury hotel company? Nothing.

So it was with surprise this week that the market greeted the entry of Reliance Industries, the oil-focused conglomerate controlled by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, into East India Hotels, the luxury business and resort hotel group controlled by the Oberoi family. Read more

Economists and farmers alike can be grateful for India’s better winter harvests, which helped the country’s Q2 GDP figure to match the consensus – at 8.8 per cent growth year-on-year.

But with some confusing domestic demand data, analysts aren’t sure whether to start tinkering with their growth forecasts. Read more

* Russia’s multi-billion dollar privatization unlikely this year

* NEC to offer cloud computing in China

* Indian economy shows 8.8% growth

* Sony Ericsson launches smartphone for China Mobile

* China Railway discusses high-speed projects Read more

Asian markets fell on Tuesday, with the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan failing to convince investors with responses to their countries’ disappointing recoveries.

However, a boost in manufacturing, trade, transport and services continues to stimulate Indian growth: the statistics office said second-quarter GDP rose 8.8 per cent compared to 2009, up from 8.6 per cent in the first quarter. Read more

From the FT:

From elsewhere:

By Ronald Buchanan in Mexico City

A Mexican federal police officer stands guardForeign investors in Mexico have shown no visible signs of flinching at the violence plaguing northern Mexico. Not so much the locals, it would appear.

The Mexican Oil Congress and Expo was being wound up in Mexico City over the weekend after a second postponement caused a change in the original plans to hold the event in the northern gulf port of Tampico. Tampico is in Tamaulipas, the state where 72 migrants were massacred last week. Read more

* India’s iEnergizer set to break trend with Aim float

* China Railway discusses high-speed projects

* ONGC says consent necessary for Cairn deal

* Egypt’s food inflation feeds social unease

* Billionaire Ambani’s Reliance invests in luxury Oberoi Hotels Read more

Brazil's BovespaUncertainty over Petrobras’s oil-for-shares swap and disappointing US income data weighed on Latin American markets today amid at atmosphere of faltering risk appetite in global markets.

“It’s more of the same: fear about global growth and commodities weak again,” Mirela Rappaport of Investport in São Paulo told Bloomberg.

Chile, however, was a bright spot; stocks rose after the government reported better-than-expected industrial production dataRead more

Chinese children playWang Chuanfu, head of BYD, the Chinese electric car company that Warren Buffett loves best, is famous for saying he does not understand the concept of leisure. He told the FT recently, “I enjoy working very much, if you ask me to go sightseeing for a day I probably wouldn’t enjoy it”.

He predicted that the next generation in China may adopt the post-modern Western habit of putting play before work – and he made clear where he thought that would land them. But now there are signs his nightmare is beginning to come true: elementary schools in one Shanghai district, which starts a new academic year this week, will abolish homework on WednesdaysRead more

Polish zloty against US dollarCentral and eastern European stocks were mixed today as upbeat growth figures from Poland showed positive signs for domestic demand, but risk appetite showed some signs of waning.

Poland’s 3.5 per cent GDP growth in the second quarter from a year earlier was better than expected. The figures showed domestic demand strengthening and companies beginning to rebuild their inventories. Read more

Miss India International 2010 Neha Hinge models jewelry at a diamond industry eventIndia, the world’s largest polisher of diamonds, is taking steps to move aggressively into the procurement of roughs by setting up its own syndicates.

Over 120 years after De Beers, the global diamond group, set up its own central selling organisation, India’s diamond city of Surat, which cuts and polishes nine out of 11 of the world’s diamonds, is seeking to guarantee its own supply of the raw material. Surat Diamond Sourcing India has been established to source diamonds directly from mining firms across the globe. Read more

* India meets for decision on BlackBerry ban

* Rising China wages cut advantage over Mexico, Flextronics says

* Mining mogul with a mountain to climb

* Japan, Qatar funds may bid for AIG Taiwan unit: report

* China’s Lenovo to launch video games console Read more

* Rising China wages cut advantage over Mexico, Flextronics says

* Mining mogul with a mountain to climb

* Japan, Qatar funds may bid for AIG Taiwan unit: report

* Doubts over Chinese coal-bed methane

* Hungary ‘can’t afford’ to delay deficit cuts, EU’s Rehn says Read more