Daily Archives: Aug 22, 2012

Why did the Mexican chicken cross the road? Because it was planning to cash in on a boom in egg prices, of course.

On Wednesday, the first shipment of a total of some 400,000 metric tons of eggs was underway in an effort to reduce prices that have more than doubled in a matter of weeks. Read more

Fresh from a rather embarrassing episode with irate state workers on Monday, Hugo Chávez, unperturbed, was back wooing his constituents on Wednesday, singing and dancing in a way that only he can.

Now in full campaign mode, with presidential elections little more than six weeks away, he ceremoniously baptised one of the bolivar-denominated bonds launched that are intended to pay overdue debt to for retired public sector workers by dousing one of them with a beaker of crude oilRead more

By Jude Webber in Buenos Aires and Helen Thomas in London

No more dispute over Disputada? It looks like Codelco, the world’s biggest copper miner, and Anglo American are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of a deal to end their bruising tug-of-war over the Anglo American Sur unit in Chile, formerly known (ironically) as The Disputed One. Read more

By Graham Stack of of business new europe (bne)

Ukraine’s IT outsourcing sector has exploded over the last 10 years to top $1bn in 2011, capitalising on the strong science schools inherited from the Soviet Union.

Looking to the future, the sector has the potential to become a real force for Ukraine’s modernisation if it can meet some challenges. Read more

 The internationalisation of the renminbi is reaching deep into Africa.

This month the central banks of Nigeria and Tanzania joined their counterparts on other continents in adding renminbi to their reserves. Together they bought bonds worth Rmb 500m in a Rmb2.5bn three-year issue from the China Development Bank, the Chinese state development lender. Read more

For much of this year, the Brazilian real has been one of the world’s worst-performing currencies. That largely served Brasilia well: it wanted a weaker real to help boost the slowing Brazilian economy. Lately, though, the real has been clawing back lost ground; during the first half of August, it even outperformed its Latin American peers.

But this week the central bank decided it had had enough. After a lengthy market absence, it intervened on Tuesday to stop the currency from strengthening further. The magic number it seemed to be defending? About 2 reals to the dollar. Read more

Labour unrest in African mining isn’t stopping at the Lonmin Marikana mine where South African police last week shot dead 34 strikers.

Anglo American Platinum , the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, said on Wednesday that it had received a demand for a pay increase from its South African workers, while a trade union said miners at Royal Bafokeng Platinum‘s Rasimone site were blocked from reporting to work by colleagues, Reuters reported. With Marikana still largely strike-bound, the threat of further lost production in platinum looms large – and could extend to gold and other commodities. Read more

A century after it last built a new plant, Tata Steel  – India’s largest and Europe’s second-largest steelmaker – plans to raise around $4.7bn in order to build a new plant.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Tata may pay an 11.25 per cent interest rate, while the syndicated project-finance loan may be disbursed in phases over a period longer than eight years. Read more

* Rongsheng suffers after China slowdown

* Soco seeks to push ahead with DRC expansion

* Fed probes RBS over dealings with Iran Read more

By Guy Norton of bne

Shoemaker Borovo was once the second largest company in Yugoslavia, employing 23,000 people, producing 23m pairs of shoes, 580,000 tyres and 12,500 tonnes of rubber goods a year, all exported around the globe.

Based in Vukovar, Croatia, it survived the city’s 1991 bloody siege, despite suffering damage totalling an estimated €300m. Now it is facing another battle for its existence, this time in the face of an onslaught of cheap imports from Asia. Read more

Wednesday’s picks from the BB team: South Korea’s household debt is piling up, and is now higher than the US’s before the subprime mortgage crisis; Meles Zenawi’s death causes concerns about stability; the ANC’s moral authority slips further; is the Vietnamese government targeting the country’s tycoons? Plus, how growing numbers of Chinese university graduates face underemployment. Read more

After the humiliation of last month’s power cuts, India faces the tricky conundrum of how to keep its lights on in future. The answer? Import gas, and lots of it, at least if a report out on Wednesday from Boston Consulting Group is to be believed. Read more

Sometimes it is better to just do nothing – that’s a lesson Hong Kong investors ought to take from the first half of the year.

The territory’s financial players have been pulling money out of some reasonably well-performing sectors in the first six months of 2012 and have backed instead some pretty duff choices, according to an analysis of off-shore investment flows by Royal SkandiaRead more

Vietnamese investors are still waiting to see the implications of Tuesday’s arrest of millionaire businessman Nguyen Duc Kien. And while they wait, they worry.

After a 4.7 per cent drop on Tuesday, the VN Index lost a further 1.6 per cent on Wednesday, pulled down by plunging shares in the banking sector.  Kien’s bank, Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank, went limit down, falling 6.6 per cent, after the same limit-down loss on Tuesday. With a lot of concern in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi about the health of the banks,  the market may have further to fall. Read more

Apple fans can sleep a bit easier while they’re waiting on line this autumn to upgrade to the iPhone5.

The independent auditor of  Foxconn, the Apple supplier, says that the Chinese group that made headlines with a slew of worker suicides has cleaned up its act substantially, at least in some of its factories. Read more

By Paul Bloxham and Andrew Keen of HSBC

Commodity prices have fallen this year, after rising for most of the past decade. This has made resource producers nervous about the prospect that prices could fall significantly further, perhaps even back to the very low levels reached in the 1980s and 1990s.

But we think big falls in commodity prices are unlikely. Unlike in the late 20th century, the emerging rather than developed economies are now the main drivers of global growth: these countries require significant amounts of commodities to grow as they shift from agricultural to industrial and urban economies, which involves building infrastructure and housing. Read more

* Glencore CEO to abandon Xstrata bid if Qatar stymies bid

* Argentina accused of breaking trade rules

* Iran forced to reflag oil tankers Read more