Things are hotting up for OSX, the oil services firm of Brazil’s richest man, Eike Batista. First came an order from London-based Kingfish Trading for 11 tankers. To be built at OSX´s shipyards, these will be leased to Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras.
Anyone growing up in the US remembers the Charles Atlas advertisements in comic books in which a skinny weakling who gets sand kicked in his face starts working out and returns to the beach as a muscle bound hulk.
To stretch a metaphor, Poland has been a 97-pound weakling who had sand kicked in his face for centuries, and now, thanks to a series of economic reforms, has grown some fairly impressive muscles and is starting to strut his stuff on the international stage – as finance minister Jacek Rostowski demonstrated on Wednesday. Continue reading »
A good day for investors seeking dividends in Russia. Hot on the heels of the state-controlled companies looking to return around 25 per cent of profits (see previous story) comes Lukoil, Russia’s second biggest oil producer.
Lukoil isn’t state-controlled, but it has promised to become a “cash cow” for shareholders by boosting dividend payments in the coming decade. So investors can look forward to years of happy milking at Lukoil – including the top management who own substantial stakes in the company. Continue reading »
A Russian government plan to boost state revenues could bring unexpected benefits to investors.
Ministers are mulling much-discussed proposals to increase the dividends paid by state-controlled companies from a ratio of around 14 per cent of net profits in 2011 to 25 per cent. If dividends are increased, it would naturally raise payouts to all shareholders, foreign investors included. Citigroup says that shareholders in other big Russian companies could also profit, since these might follow the state’s example. Continue reading »
January is often a disappointing month for retailers. That was certainly the case in South Africa, where after an impressive 8.7 per cent increase in year-on-year retail sales in December, the January figure came in at 3.9 per cent.
According to research by Frontier Strategy Group, Africa will have 73 cities of 1-5m people by 2025. Matthew Spivack, head of MENA research, picks out five top urban markets across the continent – and five up-and-coming prospects. Some are very well-known; others may surprise you. Continue reading »
Cautious investors who want to play the emerging markets whilst avoiding some of the possible risk have long looked to Toronto.
As the charts below show, the Toronto stock market index, when translated into US dollars, has in the past 10 years been moving almost in tandem with the $-denominated MSCI emerging markets index. Over five years, through the turmoil of the global crisis, the correlation has been even closer.
The reason is clear – natural resources companies are dominant in both Toronto and EM stock markets. So both are driven largely by swings in commodity prices. But could this relationship break down? And if so, what would be the consequences? Continue reading »
GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa is pulling ahead of the developed world and of more popular emerging regions such as Latin America. Stuart Culverhouse, global head of research at Exotix, explains to Long View columnist John Authers that this is reflected in the region’s bond markets but not yet in its equities.
China’s surging economy has made it the world’s biggest energy consumer and by some measures its biggest polluter. Now a former senior official has put a price tag on the cost of that pollution: between 5 and 6 per cent of GDP last year, equal to some Rmb2.6tr – or $410bn, an eighth of the country’s gargantuan currency reserves. Continue reading »
Wednesday’s picks from the beyondbrics team: why monetary easing isn’t the answer to China’s growth concerns; ‘currency wars’ mask Brazil’s real problem – productivity; Lex on clashes between oligarchs at Rusal; and why China’s rigid foreign policy could have cost it in Libya. Continue reading »
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