Daily Archives: Sep 30, 2010

Brazil's BovespaLatin American markets gained on Thursday as oil prices surged and the growth outlook brightened, capping off a strong quarter. Brazil’s Bovespa surged 14 per cent in the third quarter, its best quarterly performance in a year, while the real firmed to 1.69 per dollar. Read more

Why is Blackstone entering Brazil? The US private equity group, which has announced that it’s investing $200m in its Brazilian counterpart Pátria, is excited about stable growth and a growing middle class. But given the importance of Brazil, Blackstone seems to have also realised, like many competitors, that it had little choice.

Interestingly, Blackstone has decided that partnership is the best route into Brazil – whereas in China and India, it has set up its own subsidiaries. For Pátria, however, the logical next step is to “become part of the Blackstone family”. Read more

Strong US data lifted central and eastern European stocks on Thursday, with the Russian Micex up 1.5 per cent. Turkish stocks confirmed their status as the region’s best performers in September, and Mark Mobius said he would soon invest $250m in the country.

Ahead of Sunday’s municipal elections in Hungary, the forint slipped slightly against the dollar, but remains 10 per cent up for the month. The central bank governor proposed that parliament enshrine central bank independence in the country’s new constitution. Read more

Over the last eight years, Brazil’s President Lula has developed a foreign policy quite independent of its traditional ally, the US. Its rapid expansion of diplomatic and economic relations has led to embraces of Iran and Venezuela and elicited no small amount of criticism on the way. Now here is a new business partner that some westerners would consider even more unpalatable: Sudan. Read more

Walmart’s possible arrival on South African soil, through a mooted $4.2bn swoop for local retailer Massmart, has got shoppers’ mouths watering at the prospect of lower food prices. But not everyone is happy.

Unions – which have long used “Walmartisation” as a shorthand for exploitation of workers and suppression of organised labour – have shown particular discontent. Read more

By Tony Volpon, head of emerging market research for the Americas, Nomura

Brazil’s recent economic success owes much to the pragmatism of Lula da Silva and his predecessor as president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Their policies – steadying the currency, opening up markets – created the foundations for Brazil to take advantage of growing demand for its commodities from China, today its biggest trading partner.

On Sunday, Brazilians will elect a new president, and the probable winner, Dilma Rousseff, is unlikely to make major changes to the country’s economic model. However, if she chooses, she can break the biggest anomaly of Brazil’s economy: it’s very strong currency and steep market interest rates. Read more

The FT publishes a giant special report on Nigeria on Thursday that examines the still unfulfilled promise of Africa’s most populous country – and its biggest energy producer – as it approaches the 50th anniversary of its independence on Friday, and elections due next January.

The report has interviews with Nigeria’s reformist central bank governor, and with sub-Saharan Africa’s wealthiest businessman during a flight in his Bombardier jet. It covers host of other issues too, including the piracy problems faced by protest musicians such as Femi Kuti.

Asian stocks consolidated a strong September on Thursday, on continued foreign confidence. Indices in India, Indonesia and the Philippines were the month’s best performers – gaining between 11 and 15 per cent.

Currencies also continued their rise against the dollar, with the Indian rupee and the South Korean won leading gains; both are up over 4 per cent for the month.  Read more

* US to press India on retail access

* Tougher measures to cool Chinese property market

* Japan takes stake in Indonesia’s future

* World Bank chief urges rethink of development economics

* Blackstone’s deal on Pátria signals rising Brazil interest Read more

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have passed the China test, or at least endured it. On Wednesday they held a dinner to talk philanthropy with Chinese billionaires – and, in spite of unwillingness to participate in a shake-down, around 50 attendees turned up and some made “very generous” donations.

Suitably encouraged, the do-gooding duo has repeated its next stop – India. The number of dollar millionaires there grew by 50 per cent last year, according to one new wealth report, while Forbes’s  the top 100 Indians are as almost rich as the top 400 Chinese. So will Gates and Buffett have it easy? Read more

The latest development on the China-US trade war was summed up yesterday after the US House of Representatives passed legislation targeting China’s currency: “China is merely pretending to take significant steps on its currency,” Senator Charles Schumer said. “This suckers’ game is never going to stop unless we finally call their bluff.”

The question now is whether China is taking steps to call America’s bluff. The People’s Bank of China today fixed the renminbi’s daily mid-point against the dollar lower Thursday at 6.7011.The current tit-for-tat nature of the game doesn’t appear to have an end in sight just yet. Read more

From the FT:

From elsewhere:

* US to press India on retail access

* Tougher measures to cool Chinese property market

* Japan takes stake in Indonesia’s future

* World Bank chief urges rethink of development economics

* Blackstone’s deal on Pátria signals rising Brazil interest Read more

Satyajit Khachar is a renowned cattle breeder in the west Indian state of Gujarat. He owns around 150 of the best Gir dairy cows, which are native to India. But he is suffering from a case of Brazilian cow envy.  Read more

For those worried about the inexorable rise of Thailand’s currency, and the instability that speculative cash inflows might bring, recent activity in the country’s bond markets will provide little comfort. Read more

Can a foreign investor make money in China? You bet, if it is Goldman Sachs.

The US investment bank is selling a US$2.25bn chunk of its its shares in the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by value, in a deal that gives it a 300 per cent profit on an investment made only four years ago.

Beijing, which once saw Goldman as a strategic partner for ICBC, may not be too happy to see the Wall Street group reducing its stake from an original 4.9 per cent to 3 per cent. But with Chinese banks, including ICBC, preparing for heavy rights issues, Goldman shareholders may be glad to see their profits crystallising before this great wave of stock hits markets. Read more

By Girija Shivakumar in New Delhi

As competition hots up, multinationals operating in emerging markets are making ever bigger efforts to tailor their products to local tastes.

Nestle, the Swiss food and beverages group, has become the latest to establish a research and development centre in India to  adapt its offerings for consumers in India – and in other markets. Read more