Daily Archives: Jun 19, 2012

By Jude Webber and Joe Leahy

In the unglamorous world of industrial gases, a US company has just made a major move into Latin America.

In a deal worth a total of $908.5m if you add in the debt the purchaser is assuming, Air Products & Chemicals Inc, the world’s biggest producer of hydrogen, has agreed to buy Chile’s Indura, the largest independent industrial gas company in Latin America. Read more

No one is seriously expecting Chilean presidential candidacies to be firmed up before municipal elections in October, but Michelle Bachelet, the former president, has given her strongest signal yet, in a letter to a Christian Democrat party congress hat she is mulling a comeback bid.

It could be her election to lose, if she does decide to reenter the fray: her successor, Sebastián Piñera, in April hit the lowest popularity rating of any president since Chile returned to democracy in 1990 (24 per cent), but has since rebounded to around 33 per cent, and he cannot in any case stand for reelection. Read more

Another sign of India’s economic malaise: according to the latest wealth report from Capgemini and RBC, India was the only one of the Bric countries to have fewer dollar millionaires in 2011 than in 2010.

The world’s population of rich people stayed roughly equal at 11m in 2011, according to the report published on Tuesday. But those people’s aggregate investable wealth by asset value slid 1.7 per cent to $42tn. Read more

After long failing to attract much outside interest, Poland’s big chemicals companies are finally pulling in serious bidders – something that must be gladdening the hearts of the treasury ministry, which is keen to sell off its shares of the sector as soon as possible.

The latest bid comes from Michal Solowow, a Polish stock market tycoon whose Synthos synthetic rubber maker this week launched a 1.96bn zlotys ($585m) offer for Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy, one of Poland’s leading fertiliser companies. Read more

The results of Egypt’s presidential run-off may still be in the balance but investors are already reacting with their cash.

On Monday, the EGX30 index fell 3.42 per cent. On Tuesday, it lost a further 4.23 per cent, back to levels of late January and heading south towards eroding all its gains since the start of the year. Read more

Now add tax

When Indonesia shook up its minerals tax regime in May, it might have expected a reaction – not least from Japan, which has poured more cash into the archipelago in the past two and a half years than any other non-Asean nation.

Mitsubishi Corp, the nation’s largest trading house by market capitalisation, is one of a number of inward investors unhappy at what it sees as quixotic policy making by the government of southeast Asia’s largest economy. Read more

The times when Latin America provided the Kingdom of Spain with all the gold and silver it could spend are long over.

But for two of Spain’s largest banks, BBVA and Santander, Latin America anno 2012 increasingly functions the way the continent’s gold and silver mines did more than 400 years ago: as a base of support and defence at a time of insecurity in Spain.  Read more

Hands up if you want more votes

It’s been on the cards for a long time now, but with China and others stumping up this week for the International Monetary Fund’s warchest, are the major emerging markets finally about to get a bigger say in the Fund’s management?

For as long as beyondbrics has been around, the issue of votes and quotas – not to mention the cosy deal between the US and Europe allocating the top jobs at the IMF and World Bank – has been a sore point. Is this the moment of change? Read more

Shale gas has the potential to transform the global gas industry. A lot of it is to be found in emerging markets, home to seven of the 10 biggest shale gas reserves worldwide. So you’d expect the world’s “supermajors” to be lining up for their slice of the cake.

Sure thing, says Christopher Haines, energy specialist at visiongain, a business information provider. But oil and gas companies from the developed world won’t have it all to themselves. Chinese and Indian companies will take their share, too – though other EM players may be left out. Read more

* Brics to create financial safety net

* Saudi king names Salman as heir apparent

* Obama, Putin say Syria violence must end, no plan agreed

* Russia prepares to send warships to Syria Read more

What are you looking at?

Delhi is finally making a little headway in one of the defining struggles of our time.

Not in its fight against the scourge of corruption, or economic failure, or epidemic poverty, or the threat of terrorism. No, the Congress Party-led government has found its true enemy: YouTube. Read more

Tuesday’s picks from the BB team: Rio and the world get ready for another “make-or-break” summit; Brics bail out the ROW; HKEx’ acquisition of the Medal Exchange poses questions; and as India’s flame quenches, the country looks for a new President. Plus, who Egypt’s real rulers are.  Read more

The Brics nations announced late on Monday that they would begin a process to build a financial safety net, creating a joint pool of reserves to be used if any country faces sudden capital flight.

Based on the Chiang Mai initiative between Asian countries, the proposal between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, would go far beyond existing agreements between the five emerging economies. Read more

Spidey: big in Shanghai

Move over Kung Fu Panda, there’s a new star in town. Stan Lee, creator of X-Men, The Hulk, and Spider-Man, on Monday night announced plans for his latest character – The Annihilator. There’s a key difference from his previous creations: this one will be a Chinese superhero.

His superpowers have yet to be revealed. But, commercially speaking, will he fly? Read more

* Nigeria faces $4bn fuel subsidy gap

* Insurance ban hits Iranian oil sales

* BRICS to announce IMF contribution at G-20 meeting Read more

Brazil’s airline industry is certainly not for the faint-hearted. With cut-throat competition, hefty airport fees, rising fuel costs and slipping seat occupancy, some of the country’s airlines have nosedived into the red over the past year.

After announcing a round of job cuts and trimming its routes, Gol is now betting on a new chief executive to turn the company around, it seems. Read more

Mexico is getting a lot of love these days. The latest declaration comes from JPMorgan, which on Monday said it would make a capital increase of $250m to its Mexican subsidiaries to further expand its business in the country.

It’s a big show of confidence. Not least because it comes from a bank that just last month was rocked by a $2bn (and rising) trading lossRead more