Daily Archives: Sep 7, 2011

Chile is poised to issue $1.5bn in debt by reopening a global peso-denominated bond due in 2020 for the equivalent of $350m and issuing $1bn in new 10-year bonds, a new benchmark in dollars, according to analysts. Read more

Rodolfo Favila, with the Agave de Cortes mezcal distillery, at the Expo Comida Latina trade show in San Diego California, August 2011There were no doubt pats on the back at Mexico’s economy ministry on Wednesday  when they woke up to find that their country rose eight places on the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness index this year.

The rise, to 58th place from 66th last year, was among the biggest moves in rankings which generally saw emerging markets gain ground at the expense of the developed world Read more

When Guido Mantega, Brazil’s finance minister, was asked what he thought of the Swiss central bank’s move to peg the franc at a ceiling of SFr1.20 against the euro, he was characteristically blunt. Describing the move as an act of “desperation”, Mantega said Brazil believed in floating exchange rates and would not be following suit.

Brazil’s reluctance to experiment with pegged exchange rates is understandable – its experience with them in the past, albeit under different circumstances, was unpleasant. But a look at the chart below explains why Mantega is looking a little more confident than usual about the prospects for the real. Read more

It’s as if the global economic rout never happened. 360Buy, the Chinese online retail giant is looking to raise $4-5bn in an IPO next year, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication. It would be the largest Internet IPO ever in the US.

The announcement comes just over a month after Qiangdong Liu, the founder of the company also known as Jingdong Mall, said he anticipated “tough days” this year or next for e-commerce companies. What’s with the optimism? Read more

Sec_sickbricsSerbia’s long-debated law to restrict public smoking, which went into effect last November to please the European Union, appears to be helping to curtail the public’s craving for tobacco.

More than a third of Serbian adults are smokers, according to pre-ban statistics, among the highest in Europe. While the resulting health benefits will take time to materialise, the immediate economic impact has been hard for tobacco producers and retailers, as the demand for cigarettes – normally a dependably profitable fast-moving consumer product – falls in already difficult times. Read more

A Russian jet carrying a top ice-hockey team crashed while taking off on Wednesday in western Russia, killing dozens, officials say. Read more

The wealthy in China are credited with propping up everything from the fine wine market in Bordeaux to property prices in Hong Kong. They have certainly been a formidable force in the international art market, where they have moved from making up just 5 per cent of Asian demand, to nearly half today.

Chinese art collecters have been particularly keen on works from their own country. So it came as a surprise that the highly anticipated Meiyintang sale in April fetched substantially less than pre-sale estimates.

 Read more

Who wants to bet on the future of Mexico’s domestic economy? With private-sector economists revising down their 2011 growth forecasts, the number of takers may be starting to dwindle. But Aureos is piling on the chips.

This week, the private equity fund management company announced that it had bought a majority participation in Handell, a Mexican outfit that imports and distributes some of the world’s leading brands of toys. Read more

China's rich listIt takes more and more money all the time to qualify as wealthy in China: today’s publication of a list of China’s 50 richest people, by the Hurun Rich List, shows that it is increasingly tough to make the cut.

To qualify as one of the top 1,000 wealthiest Chinese, one must have personal or family wealth of $310m – double the amount required two years ago and triple that needed in 2008, in the midst of the last global financial crisis, the report finds. Read more

A colourful fruit market, UP 2011 - Citigroup

Image by Citigroup

What do you get when you send three analysts on a road trip to the back of beyond in India? A heart attack in HR? A Mercedes on expenses?  Three lost analysts?

The answer in the case of Citigroup is a 56-page report on Uttar Pradesh, the heart of northern India and a perfect example of the semi-rural/semi-urban life that most Indians live. In their 500km on the road, the three men from Mumbai noted everything from the abundance of mobile phones to the frequency of power cuts. Overall, they concluded that there certainly is economic progress but it’s mostly driven by government spending and comes with “big gaps”. Read more

* Delhi court bomb attack kills 10

* The SNB’s gift to CEE banks

* Ex-BP chief strikes Kurdistan deal

* String of Asian IPOs to test market’s strength Read more

The Swiss National Bank’s surprise decision to put a ceiling on the franc’s rapid rise against the euro brought relief to hundreds of thousands of unwary central Europeans who had taken out Swissie mortgages. It is also proving to be a respite for the region’s banks. Read more

First there was the notion of decoupling: Asia would power ahead while the west wallowed in debt and recession. Then came the global reaction to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which showed that all equity markets react the same way.

But the sell-off of summer 2011 points to a different form of decoupling – within Asia itself. Read more

Wednesday’s top picks from the beyondbrics team: FT’s Martin Wolf on why we must listen to the bond markets, why Telefónica’s success in Latin America is not enough and Gordon Brown’s take on the current downturn.   Read more

A bomb apparently hidden in a suitcase exploded Wednesday morning outside a crowded gate leading to the High Court in New Delhi, killing nine people and wounding 45 others, officials said. Read more

The Chinese investors that were the biggest buyers of the China Construction Bank stake sold by Bank of America last month all have one thing in common, and it is not investment acumen. They are all state-run entities.

For the decade-long reform of the Chinese banking sector, this reversion to greater government ownership is a significant step backwards. Read more

* Russia opens $10bn Nord Stream tap

* String of Asian IPOs to test market’s strength

* Chevron announces Gulf of Mexico oil find

* WTO clears US block on Chinese tyres Read more

By Ifty Islam of Asian Tiger Capital Partners

Asia emerged from the global economic crisis faster than the rest of the world and it is increasingly clear that the world’s centre of gravity is shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Within the Asian Century debate, there has been a great deal of focus and analysis on the opportunities in “Chindia”. However, another important global macro dynamic is the relocation of low-cost production from southern China to other countries in Asia. Read more