Daily Archives: Jun 15, 2012

It’s been a bad week for mining in Bolivia.

President Evo Morales’ government moved 600 troops to the site of Glencore’s Colquiri tin mine on Friday after 15 people were wounded in ongoing protests between two sets of miners.

Company miners want to “nationalise” the site, which is already owned by state mining company Comibol, but operated by Glencore. Co-operative miners who want access to more parts of the site oppose the move. Read more

Like the sun in an eclipse, economic growth in Brazil has suddenly disappeared thanks to the meltdown of the world’s largest trading bloc, the eurozone.

Just when it will return to view is anybody’s guess but the darkness left by its absence sure looks scary. Read more

Growth in Brazil, India and China might be losing steam, Europe might be mired in its sovereign debt crisis and the US might continue to limp along. But at least there’s Panama.

In this year’s first quarter, Panama’s economy was in double-digit growth mode at 10.4 per cent year on year, according to Frank De Lima, the finance minister. Read more

Another day, another dollar restriction. As Argentines found the tax agency was now blocking them from buying dollars to save, banks are also reportedly facing a clampdown.

According to this report in El Cronista Comercial, a business daily critical of the government, the central bank has also clamped down on banks buying dollar-denominated bonds and paying for them abroad. Read more

Amid the confusion of the eurozone crisis and the convulsions of the Arab world, Turkey has stood apart for several reasons, notably its robust record of economic growth and its active foreign policy role, in the Middle East and beyond.

But Turkey is a country of internal divisions too – and how such tensions play out will do much to determine its economic prospects as well as its status as a rising world power. Read more

Egypt is in political turmoil, with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolving the recently-elected assembly and throwing the presidential elections into chaos. But it seems it is still possible to do a big deal.

Citadel Capital has announced the completion of a $3.7bn agreement to build a refinery near Cairo that will help the country reduce its dependency on oil imports – a crucial issue for Egypt given its low level of foreign exchange reserves.  Read more

With Pranab Mukherjee on his way out of the finance ministry to run for president, investors might be forgiven for thinking he is looking to swap one largely-ceremonial role for another, given his stewarding of the Indian economy.

Since January 2009, when Mukerjee assumed the finance minister’s office for the second time – after his 1982-1984 stint – and especially in the last year or so, the Indian economy has fallen off a cliff. Read more

Most other investors might be selling assets and hoarding cash, but not Carlos Slim. The Mexican telecoms tycoon and world’s richest man is on a shopping spree. This week alone he has bought a 21 per cent stake in Telekom Austria, while simultaneously pursuing a bigger stake in Dutch telecoms operator KPN. He’s also emerged as the surprise acquirer of an 8.4 per cent stake in Argentine oil company YPF. Using market prices, those two deals alone are worth around $1.3bn. What’s going on? Read more

A pause for breath or a change in direction? After weeks of outflows, EM bond and equity funds both had inflows in the week to Wednesday, according to the latest numbers from EPFR, the Boston-based fund monitor.

EM bond funds saw inflows equal to 0.25 per cent of assets under management, or $361m in EPFR’s sample universe, following three weeks of outflows. EM equity fund reversed direction after five weeks of outflows, with inflows at 0.15 per cent of AUM, or $919m. Read more

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing is set to control the world’s largest metals market after the board of the London Metal Exchange recommended its £1.4bn ($2.2bn) bid.

The 135-year-old LME has been at the centre of a global bidding war as the industry’s heavyweights attempted to buy one of the last member-owned exchanges in the world.

 Read more

* Egypt court orders parliament dissolved

* Basel III will ‘damage developing countries’

* Petrobras cuts production targets Read more

News this week that the bankrupt Swedish carmaker has been bought by a Chinese-led investment group and will be turned into a maker of electric cars for Asian markets seems, at last, to bring Saab’s sad story to a long-awaited resolution.

But the deal raises as many questions as it answers. Read more

Friday’s picks from the BB team: is Greece China’s way in to Europe? Egypt’s elections turn into a constitutional nightmare; and why TNK-BP might not end in tears. Plus, will Euro 2012 create an enduring legacy? Read more

The deep summer lull of the markets has come early this year as uncertainty reigns and the global economy continues its shuddering slowdown. Bank of England governor Mervyn King said on Thursday night that economic conditions as seen from the UK had further deteriorated markedly in just the past four weeks.

But while he and others – such as BlackRock’s Peter Fisher – debate the usefulness of further monetary easing in the west to chivvy things along, Frederic Neumann at HSBC reckons that in emerging Asia, it is fiscal firepower that provides the best defence – unless that is you are in India or perhaps Malaysia. Read more

First there was the Bordeaux bubble. Then came Moutai mania. What drink will next take China’s nouveau riche by storm?

Perhaps nothing more exotic than a good pint of beer. But there is one caveat – it will help to have snob appeal, according to a study published this week by market research group MintelRead more

* Taskforce calls for changes in Basel III

* Opec keeps oil production ceiling

* Egypt court orders parliament dissolved Read more

What’s good enough for Eike Batista, the world’s seventh richest man, is good enough for fellow Brazilian billionaire André Esteves.

Esteves’s BTG Pactual, Brazil’s only listed investment bank, on Thursday joined the investment rush into Colombia, Latin America’s second most populous country, with the $51.9m purchase of Bolsa Y Renta, the country’s biggest stock broker. Read more

Was everyone looking the wrong way? In April, days after moving to take control of YPF, Argentina immediately started holding talks with oil majors as it sought strategic partners with deep pockets to help develop the country’s massive shale oil and gas reserves.

But the first announcement of an international partner came on Thursday in the form of billionaire businessman Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecoms mogul and the world’s richest man.  Read more