Daily Archives: Nov 3, 2011

Ever wondered how to break it to your shareholders that your company is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for corruption?

Well, Embraer decided to opt for the more discreet approach on Wednesday. The airline manufacturer, one of Brazil’s biggest and most transparent companies, waited until the release of their third-quarter results on the night of a national holiday to make the announcement. 

While Romania this week became the latest emerging market to cut interest rates – in line with monetary easing in the developed world – Kenya and Uganda were pushing theirs through the monetary roof.

In Nairobi, the authorities raised rates by a whopping 550 basis points to 16.5 per cent, less than a month after a 400bp rise. In Kampala, the increase was just as dramatic – a 300bp rise (following one of 400bp last month) that took the central bank’s benchmark rate to 23 per cent.

 

Brazilians are used to seeing their compatriots head abroad to try their luck in Europe or North America. Until recently, they weren’t so used to seeing foreigners coming the other way.

But now that the rich countries are embroiled in crisis as Brazil continues to grow, the direction of migratory flows is changing. For the first time in twenty years, there are more foreigners living in Brazil than there are Brazilians living abroad. 

With rising fears that Greece may be headed for the eurozone’s exits, it is heartening to see someone banging on the door to be let in – in this case Poland.

Although Poland has one of the strongest economies in the EU – the country’s central bank predicts growth of 3.2 per cent in 2012, faster than just about everywhere else in the EU – Marek Belka, the central bank governor, again reiterates that the country’s long-term goal is to join the common currency. 

Bloomberg

Grey November skies have brought especially gloomy economic tidings for Serbia, with the largest exporter, US Steel, considering closing down because of the poor regional economic outlook.

John P Surma, chairman and CEO of the steel multinational , attributed the bulk of the losses in US Steel’s bad third-quarter earnings to its Serbian steel mills, acquired by privatisation for $33m in 2003. 

This year, some 1,000 kids entered South Africa’s banking sector and embarked on 12 months work experience through a government backed training scheme.

All come from groups previously disadvantaged during the apartheid regime – blacks, coloureds and Indians. The youngsters will live off a R2,500 monthly stipend paid for by BANKSETA, a government supported institution, whose mission is to transform banks in the post-apartheid era and help develop the next generation of South African bankers. 

It was all going so well. Zhang Yan, China’s ambassador to India, was joined in New Delhi on Thursday by other senior Chinese officials for the announcement of a $400m investment in India by TBEA, a Chinese power company.

The two-stage investment, it was explained, would be used to manufacture transformers in the western state of Gujarat. But then journalists at the event noticed that a map in TBEA’s brochure showed that large chunks of India were, apparently, in China. 

Call it life imitating art. Three years after Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire was crowned Best Picture at the Oscars, a 27-year-old man from one of India’s poorest states has enacted his own poor-boy-makes-good inspirational story. But the story highlights a new Indian problem – what to do with sudden wealth. 

George Papandreou, Greek prime minister, has not resigned and has scrapped a controversial plan to hold a referendum on the heavily indebted country’s membership of the eurozone.

The U-turn by the embattled premier was announced during an emergency cabinet meeting, according to senior sources from the governing socialist Pasok party. 

For anyone who’s ever tried to look up the menu of a restaurant in India to see if they offer a particular type of chicken kebab and had to sort through blurry, user-scanned copies uploaded onto sites like burrp.com or zomato.com, Google’s latest initiative will come as a welcome fillip.

On Wednesday, Google India began offering free websites, hosting, maintenance and training to SMEs in an effort to get more of the 8m small businesses in India online. But there is, of course, something of a catch. 

The BBC is reporting that Greek prime minister George Papandreou is expected to offer his resignation within the next half-hour.

Papandreou will meet Greek President Karolos Papoulios immediately after an emergency cabinet meeting has finished and is expected to offer a coalition government, with former Greek central banker Lucas Papademos at the helm. 

Márton Szõke , a Hungarian entrepreneur and angel investor, learned his trade the hard way. “When I started my first business, I was a fool. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have started it.” Nevertheless, he made enough money “to burn most of it in my second venture, which failed.”

But next time round, Szõke got it right and a few years later he sold Indextools, his analytics software company, to Yahoo! and made his first bundle. 

* Russia clears final hurdle to joining WTO

* EU suspends €8bn in Greek aid

* Syria agrees to peace plan, says Qatar

* Pakistan grants India MFN status 

First the Brics were going to rescue the eurozone by buying EU countries’ bonds. That idea fell apart pretty quickly. Since then, though, the notion that Bric nations and especially China might help by, for example, contributing to the European Financial Stability Facility, has gained ground. Chinese officials have let that idea stay alive. After the break, our chronology of what China has actually said all along. 

Thursday’s top picks from the beyondbrics team: Lex on the crisis facing the G20 in Cannes and the ongoing fallout from Thailand’s flooding; David Pilling on China’s search for a new moral code; Indonesia’s political games; and why India’s bankers are occupying their Wall St.