Daily Archives: Aug 13, 2012

The Argentine government has come up with another rule designed to clamp down on dollar holdings: mutual funds are now being obliged to value their foreign investments at the official exchange rate.

Is this another example of Argentina shooting itself in the foot?  Read more

Even during thunderstorms and floods, the Incas believed the ancient sun god, or Inti, was always shining. In today’s Peru bloody and protracted protests have stopped mining projects from going ahead – such as Newmont Mining’s $5bn Conga project.

They have also forced the country’s President, Ollanta Humala, to make cabinet changes. But the investment climate in Latin America’s fastest-growing economy seems to be, somehow, shining. Read more

Barely a couple of hundred yards separate the presidential palace of Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s leftist leader, and the office of Mauricio Macri, the centre-right mayor of Buenos Aires.

But it might as well be light years. The two rarely speak, never meet and are currently embroiled in a vicious power struggle exposed by their handling of a 10-day strike by workers on the city’s underground system, known as the “subte”, and a funding fight over the capital city’s official bank. Read more

“Made in China” is a familiar mark on many products in the UK, but not imported wine. That is about to change, as Waitrose has announced that it will become the first British supermarket to stock Chinese and Brazilian wine later this month.

Following the successful launch of two Indian wines last year, the retailer is working its way through the Brics. Read more

The extraordinary case of Zack Shahin, the ex-chief executive of Deyaar, a Dubai-based real estate company, took a dark turn this week after reports emerged that he had fled to Yemen whilst on bail and was re-arrested there.

“Shahin is still being detained by the security apparatus,” a Yemeni security source, who declined to be named, told Reuters on Sunday. “We expect that the man will be deported to the UAE before the end of the week.”

Shahin was caught up in a corruption investigation that swept across state-linked developers and financial companies before Dubai’s real estate boom imploded. He was released from prison on July 12 after three years of inconclusive trials. Read more

The collapse of Amber Gold, an unregulated Polish lender and investment firm which on Monday announced it was liquidating itself, is denting the perception of both the common sense of Polish investors as well as the effectiveness of Poland’s financial markets regulators.

On the investor side, the hunt for above-market earnings in a low interest rate environment is common around the world, but when a firm offers 16.5 per cent “guaranteed” returns for investments in gold and other precious metals, even the greediest investor should approach with caution. Read more

Investors have broadly welcomed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s bid to assert his power over the country’s strong military leaders.

Egyptian equities rose 1.5 per cent on Monday after Sunday’s dramatic announcements and the central bank successfully completed a regular bond auction that netted 5.1bn Egyptian pounds, 100m more than planned.

But the latest developments don’t herald the end of the long-running political conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood backing Morsi and the army. The president has won an important battle but he has not won the war. Read more

The crisis in Europe continued to hammer Tata Steel in the quarter ended in June, for which it reported a steep fall in profits, according to its results on Monday.

Tata Steel, India’s largest and Europe’s second-largest steel producer, reported $108m in consolidated net profits, down 89 per cent from $966m during the same period last year (which included one-time gains of $607m) on $6.11bn in revenues. That was up from $78m in profits the company reported during the quarter ended in March. Read more

Good and bad news from Liszt Ferenc Airport.

The good: the German-owned operator has introduced an “improved” and “more efficient” parking system.

The bad: you, dear travellers, tourists and business folk, will be paying for it – unless, that is, you can scramble out of your car or taxi, collect you luggage, kiss the spouse, pay the driver and get a receipt – all in less than three minutes flat. Read more

India’s largest property developer has stepped up its efforts to pay down its $4bn debt with the sale of a plot of land in central Mumbai for nearly $500m.

DLF has sold the 17.5 acre plot to rival Lodha Developers, as Lodha announced in a statement on Monday evening. Analysts suggested this was further evidence of an industry scrambling beneath its debt burden – estimated at roughly $25bn – and stymied, especially in the major market of Mumbai, by delayed project approvals. Read more

* S Korea opens up to foreign law firms

* Egypt’s Morsi sacks top military leaders

* Chinese groups turn to law in disputes

* India arrests anti-graft campaigner Read more

Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro – the host city for the 2016 games – talks to the FT’s Seb Morton-Clark about the challenges ahead and what the Brazilians have been learning from the UK’s experience.

Monday’s picks from the BB team: Romania’s ongoing political crisis displays the difficulties of removing an entrenched former communist elite; how will China respond to its exports slowdown? India struggles to find its place in a changing world. Plus, South Korea’s struggles with web freedom; and meet China’s next leaders. Read more

Indian is consistently among the worst-performing nations at the Olympics, but its athletes have performed well in London and return home triumphant with their country’s its best-ever medal haul – four bronzes and two silvers.

Like other returning Olympians they will be feted. Unlike their rivals in most other countries, Indian Olympians have long looked forward to returning to comfortable government jobs. But this year, ministers have come up with something a bit more appropriate. Read more

Chinese buyers bid up jade prices in the boom years, with many purchasing the valuable green stone in the belief that it brings luck.

But, with the economy slowing, jade prices are falling rapidly, according to a story in China Daily entitled ‘Stone bubble bursts as hot money ebbs away‘. It’s a tiny market in comparison with the huge size of the Chinese economy, but it could be another sign of growing caution among Chinese shoppers. Read more

Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that “when you grow up you have to drink beer”. In which case emerging markets, especially in Asia, have come of age.

Demand from Asia and the developing world is fuelling the global beer industry. Chart of the week looks at which countries are bubbling along, and which are going a little flat. Read more

Bad news often slips out when no-one seems to be paying attention.

That’s what appears to have happened on Friday when Bank Indonesia released shockingly bad quarterly current account figures – with a deficit of 3.1 per cent of gross domestic product, more than double the previous quarter’s 1.5 per cent, a figure that was itself revised downwards. Read more

* Iran halts rescue efforts after quakes

* G20 plans response to rising food prices

* Egypt’s leader fires military chiefs Read more