Daily Archives: Sep 14, 2011

The race is on. With little more than a year to go, the date for Venezuela’s next presidential election has been fixed for October 7th 2012, and it has rapidly become a hot conversation topic.

Already, both sides are predicting their respective victories; both sides are warning that the other is playing dirty. Read more

Moody’s, the US credit rating agency, has added its voice to the chorus arguing that South Korea is taking the wrong path in its attempts to protect ailing small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Specifically, Moody’s grumbled in a research note on Wednesday that Seoul risked eroding profits at department stores such as Lotte and Shinsegae by demanding they reduce the rents they charge their SME tenants by between 3 and 7 per cent. Read more

Jerome Booth, head of research at Ashmore Investment Management and a seasoned watcher of emerging markets, has joined the debate on whether the Bric nations should ride to the rescue of the eurozone.

His conclusion is a pretty resounding “No”. Here, after the break, are his five reasons why not. Read more

Egypt’s stock market took a fall this week after relations deteriorated with its neighbour Israel and the government hastily reversed new rules that might have hurt tourism, reports Camilla Hall, the FT’s Middle East correspondent.

Israel evacuated its Cairo-based diplomatic staff on Saturday after parts of its embassy were breached in a violent protest that left three dead and more than 1,000 injured.

 Read more

China's Choices logoCan China beat inflation? Are its banks in trouble?  Can Beijing generate growth if the global economy stagnates?  Will it be conflict or cooperation in China’s relations with the west?

Lionel Barber, editor of the FT, is hosting China’s Choices – a debate on these and other key questions facing China before an invited audience at the Financial Times. We have reserved 20 places for this exciting event for beyondbrics readers. If you’re interested  read on, and find out how you can join us. Read more

Arkady Dvorkovich, president Dmitry Medvedev's economic adviserNow Russia has shown itself less than enthusiastic about the great Bric plan to save the world, sorry, Europe.

Echoing Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, a senior Russian official said on Wednesday that Europe must come up with a clear strategy for rescuing its debt-ridden states  before Moscow could commit to increasing its eurozone bond holdings. With India also cautious about the Brazilian-inspired assistance proposal, it seems that a Bric-wide agreement is a long way off. Read more

Amid a three-day decline in the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex index, India’s largest property developer, DLF, saw a spike in its share price on a report that it might sell a big block of land in central Mumbai for an eye-watering $850m.

DLF declined to comment and analysts doubted whether the price tag could ever be justified. But at least the story breathed a bit of life into India’s depressed property sector which, in the face of regulatory uncertainty, high inflation and interest rates, and low sales and registrations, is facing a severe cash crunch. Read more

By Gregory Chin of the Centre for International Governance Innovation

As the world economy slips into financial turmoil, governments around the world are looking for answers. Some are looking at new solutions. Italy is reportedly the latest European country to turn to China to help rescue it from financial crisis by making large bond purchases and strategic investments in its companies.

Buying bonds is fine in the short term but China must become much more engaged internationally if the crisis is to be resolved. Read more

An Indian street vendor prepares a traditional dish at a roadside shopEvidence from India that the Bric plan to rescue the eurozone is being put together in a hurry: “The idea has been thrown at us by the Brazilian finance minister,”  R Gopalan, a senior Indian finance official, told the Financial Times on Wednesday.

He declined to say how India might respond but said it would wait to see what was discussed at the planned Bric meeting in Washington next week.  With China, which has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, also very cautious, it seems the Brazilians will have a lot of persuading to doRead more

* Indian inflation rate at 13-month high

* Asian falls spark contagion fears

* Brics to debate possible eurozone aid

* ADB reduces China growth estimate

* Nokia hits at India low wage claims

 Read more

thai farmer plants riceThe ramifications of a controversial new rice intervention buying scheme in Thailand, designed to boost farm incomes, are starting to become clear.

Nomura is saying that it could give a significant boost to Thailand’s already high inflation, and others are warning of upsets in the international markets. Read more

104-year-old Chinese womanThe idea that China will get old before it gets rich has become a commonplace as the population of the world’s second biggest economy ages rapidly. But it is not as widely recognised that this demographic time bomb is also ticking in most of the rest of emerging Asia.

The ageing process matters because it has profound implications for future economic growth. Fewer workers and more pensioners means a slower rate of increase in output over the next 40 years for countries from Singapore to South Korea. Read more

Plenty of good reads out there on Wednesday. Here are the top picks from the beyondbrics team: who are the new champions – the Davos Asia special report, what decisions BofA faces in Asia, and whether China will save the euro. Read more

Wen Jiaobao, Chinese premier, at the opening of the World Economic Forum, Dalian, China, Sept 2011The grand rhetoric of the Brics helping to rescue crisis-hit Europe has quickly run into some harsh political and economic realities. As Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, made clear on Wednesday, you don’t get something for nothing.

Wen indicated that Beijing might possibly consider supporting vulnerable eurozone states but only if  countries “fulfill their responsibilities and put their own houses in order” and recognise China as a market economy. Like a banker, he wants proof that  you don’t actually need the money and guarantees that you’ll run your business the way he wants. Read more

India mangoFor Coca-Cola in India, one of its most popular offerings is a mango drink called Maaza, an indigenous brand, made with real mango pulp, that was launched in the 1970s, and acquired by the global soft drinks giant in the 1990s.

Its popularity has now inspired growing competition from newer imitators, like Pepsi’s more recently introduced mango beverage, Slice, and Parle Agro’s mango drink Frooti. Read more

An Indian labourer carries a sack of vegetables on his head at a wholesale market in Kolkata on September 14, 2011The chances of a rate hike in India on Friday increased with the publication today of inflation figures showing an annual 9.78 per cent increase in wholesale prices last month – above the consensus forecast of 9.6 per cent and July’s 9.22 per cent.

While central banks retain a capacity to surprise, the Reserve Bank of India is widely expected to raise rates on Friday even though some other emerging market countries have recently eased monetary policy, notably Brazil with last week’s shock rate cut. Read more

* ‘Brics’ to debate possible eurozone aid

* ADB reduces China growth estimate

* Nokia hits at India low wage claims

* ADB sees Asian growth staying robust Read more

Yiping Huang, chief Asia economist at Barclays Capital, tells the FT’s Robert Cookson that China’s outbound investment is set to increase greatly, driven in part by rising domestic land and labour costs.