Daily Archives: Aug 23, 2012

In Europe they buy car brands, in Chile they sell branded cars.

In 2006, Chery, Great Wall and other Chinese car manufacturers started entering the Chilean market. Less than six years later, they account for almost one tenth of all vehicles sold in the country, proving they’re able to win in relatively mature markets and defying their difficult entries in the US and Europe. Read more

The peace pipes are out at Codelco and Anglo. As if nearly a year of legal fisticuffs, allegations of bad faith and dogged heel-digging over ownership of key Chilean assets had never happened, the bosses of Chile’s state copper company and London-listed Anglo American are back on speaking terms again.

And their new best friends? Mitsubishi and Mitsui, the Japanese trading houses sucked into Chile’s most high-profile corporate squabble in years. Read more

With the IMF in town, Egypt’s finances have been under the spotlight this week. Standard and Poor’s have chipped in to the discussion with the release of their credit rating for the country.

The good news: Egypt has been taken off S&P’s CreditWatch, where it was placed on June 25 following feuding between SCAF and Islamist politicians which led to the dissolution of parliament on June 14. It has also had its long and short-term B/B rating affirmed. The bad news: despite a modicum of stability recently, it remains on negative outlook. Read more

Turkish flagTurkey has just received quite a meaningful pat on the back.

Fitch Ratings declared on Thursday that the Turkish economy is on track to stage a soft landing, hailed the country’s “remarkable” boom in exports to the Middle East and signalled that Ankara could soon get something it fervently wants: investment grade status. Read more

Central Europe’s economies are slowing, but the region is still doing better than much of the rest of the continent, the reason that regional coal miner New World Resources says it was able to beat expectations for the second quarter of the year.

The company reported sales of €347.5m for the quarter, down 24 per cent over the same period a year earlier and in line with expectations, while net income came to €28.3m, down by 66 per cent but better than the average estimate of €18.3m in a Reuters poll, in large part due to successful cost cutting. Read more

The people of Saint Petersburg like to flaunt their cultural superiority over Muscovites whom they say are venal and avaricious.

So they are likely to take a dim view of Gazprom’s plans to revive a controversial project to build Europe’s tallest skyscraper in the city and relocate its export division there. Read more

A research note released Thursday by a leading Indian broker warned Reliance Industries may be forced to write-down a portion of its $3.5bn in US shale assets because of low natural gas and natural gas liquids prices and increased production costs.

Any such write down would likely be temporary in nature – it would, essentially, be the company saying: “prices are too low to make extracting these reserves worth it, so we’re going to wait a few years for prices to climb and bring them back on the books then.” Read more

When Sergei Sobyanin became mayor of Moscow in 2010 he froze construction in the city and began going through new projects approved by his disgraced predecessor with a fine tooth comb.

There have been some casualties. AFI Development reported a first half 2012 loss this week after downgrading the value of its gross portfolio by about $400m to comply with city hall’s revised development plans. Read more

Flower growers, among Ethiopia’s key export revenue earners, are confident that the death of prime minister Meles Zenawi, won’t push the govenment from its commitments to supporting agribusiness.

Hailemariam Desalegn, acting prime minister during Meles’ absence, is set to be sworn in as Ethiopia’s leader until 2015 in an apparent effort to smooth the transition, and is expected to carry on where Meles left off with supportive conditions for investors in agriculture, Ethiopia’s most important industry. Read more

* Li Ning hit by full-year loss warning

* Emerging markets strength bolsters Diageo

* Stimulus hopes lift Asian equities Read more

Indians are famous for their love of sugary, milk-based sweets – treats like gulab jamuns, roshgollai, and barfi – which are passed out on any auspicious occasion – a birth, an engagement, a job promotion, and of course, a wedding.

But many global companies are hoping Indians’ taste for sweets will carry over to non-traditional products, including that old American deep-fried, sugary, quick breakfast stand-by, the doughnut. Read more

South Korea’s most conspicuously worrying statistic – its towering stock of household debt – continues to grow.

According to the latest data, published by the Bank of Korea on Thursday, household credit rose by 1.2 per cent between the end of March and the end of June, taking it to 922 trillion won ($816bn): a year-on-year rise of 5.6 per cent from the previous year. But there are signs that the rate of increase might be slowing. Read more

Thursday’s picks from the BB team: Mexican companies making inroads into the US market; the role of demographics in property crashes – take note, China; Morales’s popularity among his key political constituency appears to be on the wane; the impact of WTO membership on Russia; plus, Lonmin’s approach to crisis communication. Read more

VN Index 1 month to Aug 23

No end in sight to the financial turmoil in Vietnam following the arrest this week of banking millionaire Nguyen Duc Kien.

Ho Chi Minh City’s VN Index slumped 4.2 per cent on Thursday, extending this week’s fall to 9 per cent and the decline from its May high to 19 per cent. Asia Commercial Bank, which Kien founded, fell 6.7 per cent on the smaller Hanoi exchange, its third limit-down fall in three days. Read more

A key barometer of manufacturing activity in China declined so sharply in August that even the typically-bullish economists at investment banks have struggled to find anything positive to say.

The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing PMI index fell to a nine-month low of 47.8 in August, down from a final reading of 49.3 in July. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

“This flash report is plainly awful,” Yao Wei, China economist at Société Générale, wrote in a note to clients. Read more

South Africa on Thursday was preparing to mourn the death of the miners killed at the Marikana platinum mine with a memorial at the complex and other services across the country.

The focus is rightly on the human cost of the tragedy after 34 workers were killed by police last week after 10 others, including two policemen, died in violent clashes during a prolonged strike at the Lonmin mine.

But political and economic considerations are never far away, given the central role of mining in South Africa. Read more

Amazon this week launched a Kindle store in India to woo the country’s huge – and increasingly literate – population away from print and into the world of the e-reader.

The company said in a press release that it will sell the Kindle for Rs6,999 ($127) at the Tata Group’s Chroma electronics stores. The company said its store would be the largest e-book store in the country, with titles from best-selling Indian authors like Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravinder Singh and Amish Tripathi. Read more

* China central bank injects massive cash dose to support economy

* S African miners defiant over demands

* US plans new Asia missile defenses Read more

He believes capitalism has grown a little old. He believes that system is in decline. He believes nationalisations would not scare away foreign investors. He believes people would rush to buy his bonds. He believes he has the right alternative. Let beyondbrics introduce you Bolivia’s finance minister, Luis Arce Catacora (pictured).

“We are facing a structural crisis of capitalism. Capitalism is the old man around, an old man that is no longer responding to the advances of mankind demands. It is time for a change.” Read more