Daily Archives: Jun 11, 2012

Ceviche and pisco sours are right up there with llamas, Incas and Machu Picchu when it comes to Peruvian stereotypes these days.

That’s in large part down to Gastón Acurio, the Peruvian chef who brought his Astrid and Gaston restaurant to Manhattan last year after first finding success in Spain, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. Read more

Here’s some much needed good news for Brazil’s ailing manufacturing scene.

Canon, the Japanese camera and optical equipment maker, on Monday announced plans to set up a production factory in the country’s Amazonas state in the northwest. The investment, at ¥210m ($2.6m), is not exactly jaw-dropping. But it is a symbolic vote of confidence in Brazil at a time when investor sentiments are at a low. Read more

With fans from across Europe driving on Poland’s newly completed highways or flying in to refurbished airports to take their seats at freshly built stadiums, this should be a time of joy for the country’s construction companies.

Instead, there is widespread gloom across the sector as companies deal with the after-effects of loss-making contracts for road and stadium construction that has driven some firms into bankruptcy and could have knock-on effects for the wider economy. Read more

Romania’s left-leaning government appears to have won a thumping victory in Sunday’s local elections in what was quickly interpreted as “a clear message that [voters have] had enough of austerity” (Reuters).

But there is at least an equal chance that voter endorsement will encourage the new government of Victor Ponta to stick to an austerity programme agreed with the IMF. Read more

Mumbai is a sauna. Delhi, a clothes dryer of 40+ degrees. The cities are crying out for the monsoon to break, to suck the humidity out and bring the temperature down. The rest of the country lies somewhere in between, except for the south, which has become just what the big cities wish they could be: a swimming pool.

The monsoon hit south India on June 5, four days late; as of Monday, it was one day late for what is officially deemed to be on time for Mumbai – but it isn’t just relief from the heat that Indians are seeking.

A late, or below average, monsoon can wreak all sorts of havoc on the price sensitive country, from a lack of water in the reservoirs that quench its cities’ thirst to the hydroelectric dams that feed its grids. But primarily, this is an agricultural issue. Read more

A pioneering Chinese company is planning to buy a bank in Georgia – and become, it says, the first privately-owned Chinese group to buy a foreign bank. At around $100m, it’s a small deal for China but a pretty big one for investment-hungry Georgia – and for Xinjiang Hualing Industry and Trade Group.

The company, founded in the far western city of Urumqi in 1988, is in the process of securing regulatory approval to acquire 90 per cent of Basisbank, Georgia’s 11th largest bank in terms of assets. Read more

In a global financial crisis, can investors make money out of banks? Unlikely as it sounds, the answer is a cautious ‘yes’.

A recent report from Boston Consulting Group has looked at total shareholder returns in the banking sector between 2007  and 2011. A few interesting winners emerge. Chart of the week takes a look. Read more

Is India about to move into the great “beyond” after living many years as one of the Brics?

Analysts at Standard & Poor’s seem to think so. On Monday the rating agency warned again that India was running the risk of losing its investment grade credit rating. It follows a gloomy report published on Friday, titled, “Will India Be The First BRIC Fallen Angel?” Read more

* Spain bailout cheers markets

* Presidential hopeful Peña Nieto unscathed in Mexican TV debate

* India could be first BRIC to lose investment grade: S&P

* Sectarian tension ‘threat to Myanmar transition’ Read more

Jamie Allsopp, manager of the Insparo Africa Equities fund, says the pan-African fund offers the opportunity to invest in strong companies that are particularly cheap after a rocky few years for Africa investing; and his monthly traded Insparo venture differs markedly from the daily traded New Star Heart of Africa fund he used to run and which closed due to liquidity problems.

It’s been a while since the dreaded “green shoots” phrase was last rolled out. And we can’t claim credit for it this time. Instead, it is the China economics team at Barclays, in one of their many reports looking at the weekend’s data points.

And, to be fair, there is some cause for a spot of optimism. Read more

Monday’s recommended reading from the BB team: China’s companies head for the exit in the US, while China’s students head to the EU; EM’s decoupling from the West makes no sense, but India’s crisis is different to Europe’s; and as Suu Kyi goes on tour, early asset managers arrive in Myanmar. Plus, will business education take off in India?  Read more

Initial public offering windows are opening and closing faster than ever and the story of equity capital markets issuance globally isn’t great. The latest figures from Dealogic for south-east Asia underscore those grim facts.

The value of all equity raisings in the region so far this year – initial public offerings, rights issues and the like – is down 32 per cent to $7.3bn. This was the lowest level since the same period in 2009, when the figure was $6.8bn.

But Malaysia is bucking the trend – big time. Read more

For what seems like ages, the punchline to introductory remarks at every other Asian themed business conference has been: “They used to say ‘Go west, young man’ – today, that should be ‘Go east!’” (Guffaws all round).

Now, Asian-based asset manager Eastspring Investments is turning the cliche around again by, er, going west and launching an institutional sales push in the US – a move that could be repeated by other regional fund groups looking to drum up business in developed markets. Read more

* Syria risks military strikes, warns Hague

* China trade surprise signals domestic stimulus focus

* Beijing finds a path to liberalizing rates Read more