Daily Archives: Sep 17, 2010

Latin American stocks finished the day lower on Friday, after US consumer confidence unexpectedly fell, casting doubt on the strength of the economic recovery. In September, the US consumer sentiment fell to its weakest level in more than a year, while in August, the consumer price index showed inflation pressures were muted. Read more

China was 30 years ago. Dubai was 20 years ago, and Kazakhstan 10. If you want to go to the next boom country, go to mineral-rich Mongolia.

In fact, the boom has already started. A construction surge has reshaped much of the capital, Ulan Bator. A Louis Vuitton boutique has been open for almost a year. And here’s another milestone: the first Mongolia-focused investment bank has opened – and the head of UBS’s London mining team is on board. Read more

A corruption scandal has brought down President Lula’s chief of staff – two weeks before his ally Dilma Rousseff is likely to be elected Brazil’s new president.

The scandal has not dented Dilma’s opinion-poll dominance over centre-right opposition candidate José Serra (both pictured). But it could do – if this weekend sees further relevations linking her directly to alleged corruption. Read more

November 2010: Tom Cruise and dozens of crew are expected to arrive in Dubai to film the fourth “Mission: Impossible” feature film.

November 2009: that was the month the city-state almost self destructed like one of the messages in the classic spy series. The government told the international financial community that despite months of assurances it would not be able to repay its debts.

With $20bn in help from oil-rich neighbour Abu Dhabi, a default crisis was averted and refinancing plan cooked up. Read more

The Russian rouble recovered from Thursday’s slump, enjoying its biggest rise against the dollar in a month. Debate continued as to whether the currency’s weakness reflects lower growth and higher speculation.

Stocks markets were down, led by the Micex and the Prague stock exchange, although Turkey’s ISE 100 consolidated its strong week.  Read more

If there’s a bandwagon in emerging markets these days, it’s the endless competition to coin a catchy new group name for some or all of them. The ways of squeezing the relevant countries into acronyms have been well and truly flogged. So it’s nice to see a new approach: the “7 per cent club”.

It’s been cooked up by Standard Chartered and is different because it doesn’t fix who’s in the club and out; instead it sets a bar for entry and allows countries to climb in or fall out depending on how their economies fare. Read more

Petrobras’s IPO just got a little more intriguing. The Brazilian oil giant has announced that it will add another 376m shares to its offering, under an over-allocation option. That could take the IPO to a total of $79bn – three-and-a-half times the world record set by AgBank earlier this year. Read more

By Mintoi-Chessa-Florea of mergermarket

While South Korean oil company KNOC steps up its efforts to buy Dana, another of the country’s businesses is making quieter steps abroad. In an $101m deal, Lotte Chilsung Beverage Company – Korea’s top soft drinks company - has become the biggest shareholder in Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines.

Lotte Chilsung is betting that the Philippines’ beverage market can sustain its recent growth, which has averaged 12 per cent annually over the past three years. The company may now look for further buys in China, Vietnam, Japan, and Russia. Read more

Just one year ago, there was nowhere to turn – apart from the International Monetary Fund – for cash-strapped countries hit hard by recession. The credit crunch and recession kept risk appetite too low, and borrowing costs on debt markets too high. But debt market appetite is back for emerging markets, including countries like Ukraine whose finances were completely out of whack a year ago.

By raising $2bn through two separate Eurobond placements on Friday, this still fiscally-troubled economy has shown that a year, and a bit of reforms, can make a big difference. Read more

China is rich in coal-bed methane, a gas that can be used for fuel. But production has not proved easy. This year output of the gas will be less than a quarter of the official target.

Transport is a key obstacle. China’s pipeline network is dominated by oil giants CNPC and Sinopec, making it difficult for gas suppliers to get access. Now one company, Green Dragon Gas, has found a way to skirt the issue – by selling its coal-bed methane directly to customers. Read more

Investors get ready. After a year of speculation, Cebu Pacific Air, the Philippines’ leading low-cost airline, has finally confirmed its IPO. It said on Friday that it plans to raise up to $730m in the offering, which will take place on the Philippine stock exchange on October 25.

Cebu wants the additional investment to expand internationally, ahead of an “open skies” agreement across southeast Asia. And that’s bad news for its rival – troubled national carrier Philippine Airlines. Read more

In the latest move to shed its title as Inflation King of the G20, India’s central bank raised interest rates for a fifth time this year. But the increase, which took some analysts by surprise, was far more conservative than seems at first glance.

The bank left the most powerful lever untouched, revealing its concerns about current deficits, as a note by Lombard Street points out. What’s more, by using the least relevant lever to raise interest rates, the bank may be helping to blow more hot air into what some are saying is an equity market bubble. Read more

* China online food sales on the up

* Turkey aims to triple Iran trade

* Brussels probes Czech energy market plan

* India plans policy options to boost pharmas

* India’s Bharti selects IBM to manage IT for African operations Read more

For at least six months Charlene Chu, chief China banking analyst at Fitch Ratings, has been warning about the deteriorating health of Chinese banks. A recent report she wrote on off-balance sheet lending by banks – a practice she dubbed “informal securitisation” – was hugely influential and is widely seen as having triggered a strict policy change by the country’s banking regulator. Read more

With global sentiment improving, Asian indices mostly rose on Friday and Indian stocks hit a 34-month high in spite of Thursday’s interest rate rise.

Chinese stocks again underperformed after the central bank reiterated its warnings on excessive loans. In Thailand, telecoms stocks shed over 10 per cent, reacting to the suspension of a long-awaited 3G auction. Read more

From the FT,

From elsewhere,

Cause and effect? China’s renminbi rose to a new record high after Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, called for “significant” gains in his widely-watched Congressional testimony on Thursday.

But nobody should jump to the conclusion that US pressure is about to force some radical changes in Beijing’s currency policy. The renminbi is rising only very slowly. And Chinese officials continue to insist nothing dramatic can happen, with the central bank on Friday publishing a report warning that big dollar swings threaten the global economic recovery. Read more

* IPO marks milestone for Indian ‘cram’ schools

* China online food sales on the up

* Brussels probes Czech energy market plan

* India plans policy options to boost pharmas

* Chinese acquire taste for French wine Read more