Dilma Rousseff’s chances of winning a first-round outright majority in Brazil’s presidential election next weekend have taken a small hit after a scandal brought down her successor as President Lula’s chief of staff, but prospects are still looking quite difficult for her opponents.
According to the latest Datafolha poll, she is garnering 49 per cent of intended voters, compared to 31 per cent for centre-right PSDB candidate José Serra and 14 per cent for the Green party’s Marina Silva. That is 5 points less of a lead over her rivals than she had a week ago, but with those numbers, she would still avoid having to face a run-off on October 31. Read more
Brazilian stocks gained as investors awaited the pricing of state-controlled oil giant Petrobras’s share issue, sending the Bovespa index to its highest level since late April. But Mexico’s IPC followed Wall Street down as US jobless claims unexpectedly climbed for the first time in a month, reviving worries about the economy of Mexico’s biggest trading partner. Read more
Hugo Chávez is a formidable salesman. He has sold huge swathes of the Venezuelan population on his brand of Bolivarian socialism. And despite the multiple challenges his revolution faces (violent crime, inefficiency, racing inflation – the list goes on), the likelihood is that he will maintain a majority in parliamentary elections this Sunday (and, if lucky, maintain the two-thirds majority his party needs to push through major legislation).
But never mind his prowess at selling socialism – lately he has shown a particular talent for selling cheap Chinese fridges and washing machines, a new scheme designed to give voters the impression that 30 per cent inflation isn’t having the nefarious effects that some say it is. Read more
By Caleb Lauer of mergermarket
Looks can be deceiving. What may seem like a confusing set of Turkish glass deals is actually the second stage of a reshuffle of the assets of IsBank, Turkey’s second largest bank by assets. Read more
A steady increase in deal making in China’s financial sector activity suggests that banks remain fearless in the face of financial adversity and unstable global markets. In the year to date, the dragon has clocked up a record high of $36.2bn in mergers and acquisitions, leaping past US volumes of $26.2bn, according to data from Dealogic. But beware, because a large part of the “record” volume comes not from strict M&A deals but rather from fund raising in China’s capital markets by lenders seeking extra financing. Read more
Central and eastern European stock markets saw small losses on Thursday, after a eurozone manufacturing activity indicator fell to an eight-month low. Turkish bank stocks fell, in response to increased deposit requirements.
After the Czech government approved an austere 2011 budget, the country’s central bank held its key interest rate at 0.75 per cent. The koruna fell against the dollar, as did most other CEE currencies. However, the Russian rouble rose from its seven-month low against the euro. Read more
These days it doesn’t seem that any good can come of a strong currency. Brazil’s government has intervened to arrest the appreciation of the real; China is resisting pressure for a big revaluation of the renminbi; and Japan, that emerging market of yesteryear, is splashing out to weaken the yen for the first time since 2004.
Now upward pressure on emerging market currencies is likely to increase after the US Federal Reserve signalled it is prepared to ease monetary policy further, because that means “global investors can now sell the dollar with confidence”, says ING. So which currencies have the most room to appreciate? Read more
Get ready. The world’s biggest share issue will be priced on Thursday – and the indications are it will be a resounding success, at least for the company, Petrobras, and its controlling shareholder, the Brazilian government.
Brokers and fund managers are suggesting the offer will be between 30 and 100 per cent oversubscribed. And expectations of such an oversubscription appeared to have boosted Petrobras’s shares: as of 1500 BST, they were outperforming the market in São Paulo – up 1.8 per cent. Read more
Indian and Malaysian stocks led falls on Asian markets, as rising inflation increased expectations of rate rises. The Philippine and Thai indices did extend their 2-year and 13-year highs respectively.
Currencies lost ground against the dollar, as central banks appear poised to intervene to halt rises from capital inflows. Read more
* Turkey tightens policy with banks’ reserve rate rise
* Perella Weinberg heads for Abu Dhabi
* Citigroup focuses on SE Asia growth
* Brazil seeks to lower real’s temperature
* US Congress to attack renminbi valuation Read more
Poland’s stock market has often been viewed as expensive compared to its neighbours, but things could now be different according to one analyst. The Warsaw market’s current price-earnings ratio is in fact slightly below historic norms, says Michael Harris of BofA Merrill Lynch in the FT’s View of the Day on Thursday.
In the Europe and Middle East region, Turkey tends to have garnered much more attention as foreign equity investors scour the planet for potential growth, but Harris says Poland should no longer be overlooked, not least because the risk of prices being held down by privatisations and pensions reform is also now receding.
Ever wondered how to make money out of unwanted mince pieces, Christmas fruitcakes or Yuletide logs? The Chinese have found a way. This week’s mid-autumn festival is celebrated with the exchange of mooncakes – round pastries filled with lotus paste and other delicacies.What began as a tradition among relatives and friends has become big business, with officials, executives and entrepreneurs furiously exchanging glossy tins of expensive cakes with each other. Read more
* Brazil seeks to lower real’s temperature
* Pakistan urging Persian Gulf loans for farmers
* US Congress to attack renminbi valuation
* Indian retailers now woo global consumers
* Potash Corp sues BHP as takeover struggle escalates Read more
If you believe Malaysia’s government-supervised media, the country is about to be transformed by a torrent of government initiatives ranging from a dramatic reduction in racial privileges to a half-trillion dollar private sector-led infrastructure boom. But is there real substance behind the proposals, or is it all smoke and mirrors? Read more