Daily Archives: Sep 3, 2010

Mexico's IPC indexA better-than-expected US jobs report helped Latin American stocks finish off the week with strong gains, and Petrobras surged again ahead of its share offer.

“It’s approaching ‘the pay your money, take your chance time’, with all the back to school money needing to find a home”, wrote emerging markets strategists at RBS. “For the bulls the US non-farm payrolls could have been worse and the hope will be that this will generate a mini risk-on rally which might just pull global sentiment back from the brink of the double dip scenario.” Read more

Sunbathers enjoy Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilGrowth in the Brazilian economy slowed down less-than-expected in the second quarter, indicating it could do even better than the previously predicted 7 per cent GDP expansion this year. Things look quite good for Brazil.

But could that be too fast? That was the worry early this year, but now the government seems to be a lot more sanguine. Read more

Another day, another deal. It seems like Brazilians are consuming everything in large quantities these days, from beer to high tech gadgets. Even foreign advertising companies are crowding at the gates to link up with local companies.

Now it looks like private equity fund Actis has caught Brazil fever. In its first move into the country, it is investing $58m in Companhia Sulamericana de Distribuição, operator of supermarket chains São Francisco and Cidade Canção. The deal reveals something very interesting about the opportunities in Brazil’s modern retail sector: that some regions have yet to be tapped. Read more

By Virginia Garcia-Martinez of mergermarket

In a country that produces more beef exports than anywhere else in the world, it’s little surprise that hamburgers are big business.

Now three of Brazil’s best-known businessmen are betting on Burger King’s potential. Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira are behind US private equity firm 3G Capital, which has a record of long-term investments in global consumer brands and has now had a $3.25bn bid for Burger King acceptedRead more

“Modernisation” has been the buzzword of Russian policy since President Dmitry Medvedev last autumn launched a campaign to create a more diversified economy. The spur was Russia’s unexpectedly sharp 8 per cent economic contraction last year – worst of the Brics or G20 economies – which exposed its over-reliance on digging oil and other commodities out of the ground. But what are his programme’s chances of success?

Not great- at least according to Russian and foreign academics and journalists meeting this week at the annual Valdai Discussion Club, organised by state-owned RIA-Novosti news agency. Read more

By Jane Rickards in Taipei

Taiwan’s Premier Wu Den-yih this week urged the island’s Environmental Protection Agency to draw up plans for a cap-and-trade system. At a time when the US and Australia have all but abandoned the idea, Taiwan’s preparations for a green house gas emissions trading system could eventually resemble the one used by the European Union.

But two big obstacles stand in the way of making the system work: local businesses, and Beijing. Read more

Sir Bob Geldof – the Irish aid campaigner and former rock star – is preparing a foray into private equity in Africa, as the FT reports today. But why has he called the fund “8 Miles?” There are plenty of potential explanations. Read more

Moscow’s decision to extend Russia’s grain ban for another year may have caught world commodity markets by surprise, but the catalyst seems pretty clear: buckwheat prices have risen 60 per cent in the past 2 weeks.

With food prices in some Russian regions rising 30 per cent, authorities are now finding themselves in a two-fronted battle against food inflation, and against fear. Read more

* China orders action to cool food prices

* Gazprom to double gas imports from Azerbaijan

* Argentina gold mine sparks rival bids

* Stable Brazil expected to grow 7% this year

* Seven die in Mozambique food rioting Read more

Having successfully embarrassed many of their billionaire peers in the US into giving up chunks of their fortunes, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates (pictured) are now travelling to China.

According to wealthy Chinese tycoons who have been invited, the crusading duo will host a dinner in Beijing on September 29 for a “large group of Chinese wealthy people”. Read more

Asian equities gained on Friday, as positive data from the US boosted hopes of an export-led recovery. Thai and Philippine indices were among the best performers.

Indonesia’s central bank, as expected, kept its benchmark rate at 6.5 per cent, for a thirteen month running. Yet rising inflation and excess liquidity led the bank to increase reserve requirements. Read more

Romania’s sacked finance minister, Sebastian Vladescu, who lost his job Thursday evening, offered a succinct assessment of his dismissal, and that of five other ministers, from the Romanian cabinet: “It was a political decision, I think it was a mistake”.

Prime minister Emil Boc was under huge political pressure to do something to turn around the fortunes of his government, which has faced an onslaught of criticism since announcing in May a package of harsh austerity measures – including a 25 per cent public sector pay cut. Read more

So the secret is out. After years of silence, China has disclosed that around 65 per cent of its $2,450bn of foreign exchange reserves is in US dollars, with 26 per cent in euros, 5 per cent in pounds and 3 per cent in yen.

As the China Securities Journal, an official newspaper, reported, that’s broadly in line with the global average – and it is roughly in line with long-standing estimates. So, no surprise there. But the numbers highlight why China is worried about a possible depreciation of the US dollar.

Beijing will have another chance to voice its concerns when Larry Summers, US president Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, arrives in China on September 4th for three days on a visit announced on Thursday by the White House. Read more

From the FT:

From elsewhere:

* Functionality remains Baidu’s priority

* Mahindra Satyam plans to tap opportunities in US health sector

* Seven die in Mozambique food rioting

* China pet industry set to grow leaps and bounds

* Geldof seeks $1bn for African investment plan Read more

China’s monster traffic jam tells us something clear about transport: Chinese people are buying lots of cars and the roads aren’t ready for them. But the jam also tells another story – of China’s growing appetite for coal, specifically steam coal used in power generation which China has in rich supply. Read more