Daily Archives: Jun 9, 2011

Western majors are battling to protect their patch as increasingly assertive national oil companies gain greater control over world energy supplies.

So it’s odd that ExxonMobil would even consider ceding its stake in Kazakhstan’s vast Kashagan oil field, let alone to a state-owned group. Read more

By Evie Burrows-Taylor of mergermarket

In what is becoming a popular sector for investors, Turkey’s retail market has seen one of its largest players – Migros Turk – sell off its discount store chain Şok, in order to focus on its core business of supermarket business and hypermarket operations.

Gozde Finansal (GOZFN:IST) and Bizim Toptan (BIZIM:IST), which are both owned by large Turkish food manufacturer Yildiz Holdings, along with undisclosed foreign investors, snapped up the discount chain for the tidy sum of TL 600m (US$ 382m). Read more

By Norma Cohen

How many ways are there to say “speculative bubble”?

Easily overlooked in the quarterly reports of banking statistics from the Bank for International Settlements are the tracks of money flows to emerging markets economies.

But the latest report, published earlier this week, includes a few eye-popping numbers. Read more

With oil hovering just below $120 a barrel for Brent crude,  investing in hydrocarbons has an irresistible appeal. And that mostly means investing in emerging markets, often in troubled countries. So it’s something for the bold.

The latest to try their luck are two businessmen with no shortage in the boldness department – Nathaniel Rothschild, the City financier, and Tony Hayward, the former chief executive of BP.  As ft.com has reported, on Thursday they announced plans to raise up to £1bn from listing of a new cash shell to target investments in emerging markets oil and gas.

 Read more

The renminbi might be a spotlight stealer, but it’s not the only restricted emerging market currency to have won attention lately.

Trade in an unusual Indian rupee/dollar future offered on a Dubai exchange had jumped over 1000 per cent this year as speculators and arbitrageurs take advantage of emerging market volatility and an increasingly liquid trade in that contract. Read more

The Telkom branded telecommunications tower, center, is seen at dusk in the Hillbrow district of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. After two reports this week highlighted a dip in the confidence of South Africa’s business community, the last thing the economists would have wanted to see was a sharp decline in manufacturing. But that is exactly what happened on Thursday when figures showed that growth in manufacturing output fell to 0.4 per cent in April, down from 4.9 per cent the previous month.

As Barclays Capital Research pointed out that was “significantly lower” than its forecast of 5.5 per cent and Bloomberg’s consensus forecasts of 5 per cent. Read more

Vice-president of Popular Republic China, Xi Jinping, visits the Monument of General Artigas at Plaza Independencia as part of his official visit to Uruguay on June 8, 2011 in Montevideo, Uruguay.Government officials on official visits are usually required by protocol to talk of taking bilateral relations to a higher level.

But when Xi Jinping, China’s vice president, uttered the words during a visit to Uruguay, it smacked of the latest chapter in China’s concerted campaign to boost ties with the region’s big agricultural, energy and mineral providers.

China has poured millions into the region and is actively eyeing strategic opportunities, as the FT and beyondbrics have highlighted in the past. Is it now Uruguay’s turn? Read more

Turkey’s government is unlikely to change in this Sunday’s parliamentary elections.  But but that has not stopped foreign investors having an attack of nerves ahead of the vote.

Worried about inflation and an unorthdox monetary policy, they have no doubt that the ruling AK Party will retain power – but are concerned about what might come next. Read more


China bear By Alexandra Stevenson and Stefan Wagstyl

Can we hear the sound of the bears trampling over Chinese shares?

The main Shanghai Composite index is down 10 per cent since its recent peak in April, which is bad enough, given that the general shift away from risk has seen emerging market stocks fall only 4 per cent from their recent highs.

But Shanghai’s dollar-denominated China B index, which tracks 53 stocks that foreigners can own, is down around 20 per cent from its 2011 peak,  with a whopping 8 per cent drop on Thursday. That comes a day after Martin Wheatley, Hong Kong’s former securities regulator, warned in an interview that China was “the new dot-com” of the investment world. What is going on? Read more

No surprise that Brazil’s central bank raised its policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 12.25 per cent a year on Wednesday night. The question now is, what next?

Wednesday’s hike was the fourth in the current tightening cycle. Before the central bank’s decision the consensus was that it would be the last or penultimate before a pause. Now analysts are not so sure. Read more

Lee Kun-hee, the emperor-like chairman of Samsung Electronics, has just identified corruption as one of the most serious problems that the technology giant has to tackle immediately.

The 69-year-old tycoon has expressed strong disapproval over unspecified irregularities of his employees at Samsung Techwin, a group subsidiary that makes defence equipment and precision machineries, and has signalled group-wide house-cleaning and stronger internal auditing. Read more

* Legendary, Huayi form HK studio venture

* Oil leaps as Opec descends into acrimony

* China is the new dot-com,’ says outgoing securities chief

* Temasek executive director likely to step down in August

* Brazil in fourth interest rate rise

* China hopes for Russian gas breakthrough Read more

Wine-tasting June 2011It’s quite a challenge making good wine from ex-Yugoslav vineyards which once produced a plonk called Lutomer Laski Riesling. It’s even harder to market the tipple to the world, given the tough global competition from the likes of Chile and Australia.

But that’s just what Danilo Snajder and two pals, once employees of the former state-owned winery in Ormoz, north-east Slovenia, have done – and in double-quick time. Read more

Thursday’s best picks from the beyondbrics team: do emerging markets deserve to graduate to developed status? And, a Beijing street sweeper gets fired after becoming a celebrity. Read more

Interesting signals from Malaysia that Petronas may be tiring of being used as a piggy bank by the government, which relies on the state owned national oil company for more than a third of its revenues.

Shamsul Azhar Abbas, chief executive, disclosed to local reporters in Kuala Lumpur that Petronas is in talks with ministers over proposals for a dramatic shift in the way it pays dividends to its sole owner. Read more

Burma says it is reforming but evidently some habits die hard.

According to The Irrawaddy magazine, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce has asked the government to crack down on employers who have the temerity to offer their employees better wages. Read more

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is chairing a meeting today to discuss India’s “New Manufacturing Policy”.  The meeting is well-timed. With labour shortages across southern China, Western companies are moving clothing and shoes manufacturing to countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh – but India is rarely mentioned.

The reason for this has a lot to do with its demographics, which along with China’s were put under a spotlight last month when both Asian giants released the results of their 2010 censuses. Read more

* Oil leaps as Opec descends into acrimony

* China is the new dot-com,’ says outgoing securities chief

* Temasek executive director likely to step down in August

* Brazil in fourth interest rate rise Read more

It’s a $6bn bet on Chinese toilet paper… well almost.

Suzano, one of Latin America’s biggest paper and pulp producers, said on Wednesday it would invest about R$10bn ($6.3bn) over the next three years.

That’s R$3.5bn this year, R$4bn in 2012 and R$2.2bn in 2013 – a large chunk of which will go on two new pulp factories in Brazil’s north-east to supply the booming Chinese paper market. Read more

Software developers gather at a computer terminal at IBM in Bangalore, India on Friday, May 19, 2006Indian IT companies are globally renowned as providers of low-cost IT and outsourcing services. But when it comes to their domestic IT sector, they often play catch-up with global rivals.

India’s biggest provider of IT services is the US giant IBM.

 Read more