After what was looking like a so so fourth quarter corporate reporting season, the week has ended on a more optimistic note in Brazil on a mix of good company financial results and improving macro-economic fundamentals.
Latin America’s largest cosmetics company, Natura, led the way, beating forecasts with a 33 per cent increase in net profit to R$290.7m in the three months to end-December compared with a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted R$255.3m. Continue reading »
What a week it has been for Grupo Elektra, the electrical-goods retailer and low-income bank controlled by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego.
Just a couple of days after the company announced the acquisition of Advance America, a leading US lender, it reported a huge leap in fourth-quarter profits on Friday. Net income came in at about 11.1bn pesos compared with 2.4bn pesos during the same quarter a year before. Continue reading »
While the eurozone sputters into a recession, Poland’s economy continues to do well: industrial production numbers released today show an annual increase of 9 per cent in January.
“Polish industry is still strong,” writes Malgorzata Starczewska-Krzysztoszek, chief economist with Lewiatan, the Polish employers confederation. She notes that the decent numbers came in despite a strong January 2010. Continue reading »
It was a hollow victory. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s authoritarian president, must have savoured the moment on Thursday when London’s High Court sentenced Mukhtar Ablyazov, the former chairman of Kazakhstan’s BTA bank, to 22 months in jail.
But putting Ablyazov behind bars – or trying to: he failed to show up in court – will do nothing to get back the missing billions that the tycoon allegedly misappropriated from the bank. Continue reading »
To say it’s been a turbulent period for Impala Platinum (IMP:JNB), the world’s second largest platinum producer, would be stating the obvious.
Extreme price volatility for platinum, currency fluctuations, and controversial plans by the Zimbabwe government to have local investors take control of the country’s mines, including Impala’s Zimplats.
And on top of all this, the South African group has been dealing with an acrimonious month-long strike at its biggest mine at Rustenburg, – a sometimes-violent dispute that cost Implats around 60,000 ounces of production and R1.2bn in revenue. Some tough challenges for long-serving CEO David Brown who is leaving in June – and, in all likelihood for his successor. Continue reading »
Are you a fund manager looking for new business opportunities? Perhaps it’s time to look to Latin America.
State Street, a Boston-based fund manager and service provider, has identified the region as “a strategic marketplace for money management”. Recent expansion of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and mutual funds makes it make it “particularly attractive to asset managers looking to sell products or for places to invest, as well as for financial service providers”. Continue reading »
Last week we reported record inflows into emerging market bond funds – so a slowdown was always going to be likely.
But while fixed income inflows did indeed decline in the week to Wednesday, they still look solid, at $637m in the sample universe monitored by EPFR, the Boston-based fund tracker. And with investors increasingly hopeful of a decisive resolution to the eurozone crisis, Royal Bank of Scotland reckons the good news will keep on coming. Continue reading »
The announcement of Robert Zoellick’s departure as World Bank president has triggered another round of debate on the selection of the next head of a major Bretton Woods institution. Demands are growing to break the 65-year old tradition of automatically selecting an American the next head of the World Bank. There are other clear alternatives. Continue reading »
Brazil is a star of emerging markets but its fundamentals raise serious questions. John Authers, Long View columnist, and Jonathan Wheatley, deputy emerging markets editor, discuss whether Brazil is a good investment.
Malaysia’s growth last quarter beat expectations, and the outlook for 2012 looks pretty solid too.
But with some reforms running into the sand, corruption scandals grabbing headlines, elections looming, and the general gloom enveloping export-driven nations, Malaysia risks backsliding in its attempts to make sure its middle-income economy doesn’t stall. Continue reading »