Daily Archives: Aug 30, 2012

Well, you can’t fault YPF for lack of ambition.

On Thursday, Miguel Galuccio (pictured), the CEO of Argentina’s recently nationalised YPF oil company, laid out a hard-charging five-year plan to increase production and return Argentina to its former glory as a net petroleum exporter. Read more

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to introduce a 5,000 naira note as part of a currency restructuring exercise.

Worth just over $30, and superseding the N1,000 note as the largest in circulation, outside observers may fail to see any problem with this. After all, the US has $100 bills, Europe has €500 notes, and as Nigeria’s economy grows larger denomination currency should be in demand. However, the decision has caused considerable controversy in Nigeria, and Bank governor Lamido Sanusi summoned by the House of Representatives to explain himself. What’s the problem? Read more

Setting up a plastic shoe company in Brazil may seem like a rather bad idea. A flood of cheap Chinese imports and a relatively strong local currency have near destroyed the country’s footwear industry. But even if you were intent on entering the business, why choose plastic when Brazil is blessed with one of the world’s most plentiful supplies of leather?

Despite all of this Melissa is fast becoming one of the country’s most loved brands outside Brazil. If you still haven’t heard of them, try picturing a fashionable version of those jelly shoes you used to wear on the beach as a kid. Or just ask your teenage daughter. Read more

What’s in a name? Quite a lot if you are an emerging markets currency investor.

For the year to date, four of the top five EM currencies are pesos. As the chart shows, the Chilean peso tops the table with an 8.2 per cent gain against the US$, followed by the Colombian peso in third place on 5.8 per cent, the Mexican peso fourth on 4.2 per cent and the Philippine peso fifth on 3.9 per cent.

As the chart below the break shows, only the Hungarian forint in second place with a 6.9 per cent gain prevents the pesos claiming a clean sweep. Read more

The Philippines is keeping pace with its southeast Asian neighbours. Following robust second quarter GDP growth figures from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, Manila on Thursday posted an increase of 5.9 per cent year-on-year for the three months to June – beating the 5.5 per cent consensus forecast.

It was slightly down on a revised 6.3 per cent for the first quarter but compares very well with the region’s front-runners. As elsewhere, strong domestic consumption led the way. Read more

India’s economic slowdown is likely to be confirmed on Friday when GDP growth figures for the quarter ended in June are released and, by most estimates, should fall in line with the 5.3 per cent from the previous quarter.

The fact that one of the twin engines of Indian growth, investment, blew out sometime last year, is widely acknowledged – but the other engine, consumption, has remained relatively steady. A report released on Wednesday confirms what many have long said: as urban India’s spending habits have been hit by the global financial crisis, rural India’s has picked up the slack, having remained fairly disconnected from the global economy. Read more

By Oleg Deripaska

For centuries Russia has walked in step with Europe. Our country and its citizens have been at the centre of the continent’s history. It is our biggest trade and foreign investment partner. But while Russia is rightly proud of its place in Europe, this focus has left our eastern regions underdeveloped. We need to put this right if we are to develop the full potential of Siberia for the benefit of the country and of the rest of the world. Read more

Evraz, Russia’s largest steelmaker, on Thursday reported a $50m net loss for the six months to the end of June and a 28 per cent decline in ebitda to $1.2bn on a 9.1 per cent drop in revenues to $7.6bn.

With the global steel market in the doldrums, the results came as little surprise, especially after rivals NLMK and Severstal reported their numbers in the last few days. But all three Russian producers are benefiting from reasonably strong infrastructure spending in Russia, not least on the railways. While life is tough, it’s much tougher elsewhere in Europe. Read more

Poland’s economy slowed by more than expected in the second quarter – posting annual growth of 2.4 per cent, well below the 3 per cent expected by analysts and a significant slowdown from the 3.5 per cent seen in the first three months of the year.

Poland’s statistical agency said on Thursday that the leading cause of the slowdown was a slump in domestic demand, which shrank by 0.2 per cent (the first time it has fallen since 2009) instead of the 1.9 per cent expansion expected by markets. Read more

* Merkel opposes anti-China trade action

* Asia hits out at US swaps reform plans

* Boeing purchase boosts Philippines GDP

* Brazil cuts interest rates to new low Read more

Anyone who has driven through the smog-choked streets of New Delhi, or the bumper-to-bumper honking cacophony that passes for driving in much of Mumbai and Bangalore from anywhere between 9am to 9pm knows that India could use both cleaner and quieter cars.

On Wednesday, the government seemed to acknowledge that fact, approving a $4.1bn plan that aims to put 6m green vehicles on India’s streets by 2020. There’s just one problem: power. Read more

Thursday’s picks from the BB team: Indonesia’s status as one of the hottest emerging markets is threatened by cronyism and a dependence on commodity exports; Samsung may look like the plucky outsider to Apple in the US, but not within South Korea; Romney’s China bashing may be more than hot air, but not enough for a trade war; how China plans to build the tallest tower in the world, prefab, in three months; plus, the top 50 biggest companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Read more

Pizzas with names like “keema do pyaaza”, “peppy paneer”, “five pepper pizza” and “non-veg extravaganza” will make Italian food purists cringe. But the creation of pizzas catering to Indian tastes has been a recipe for success for Domino’s Pizza in India. Read more

There is hardly any government that can match Beijing’s obsession with ceremony. But when Angela Merkel met Wen Jiabao, her Chinese counterpart, on Thursday, it was a feast for the masters of protocol. Read more

* Brazil cuts interest rates to new low

* Mexico reports first deepwater oil strike

* Chile court blocks Batista’s power project Read more

It’s now exactly a year since Brazil’s central bank started cutting interest rates but the end, it seems, is now in sight.

The monetary authority cut the country’s benchmark Selic rate by a further 50 basis points late on Wednesday, bringing it to another all-time low of 7.5 per cent. Read more

One company’s blunder is another company’s opportunity.

On Wednesday, just as Chilean retailer Falabella announced that its profits were down over the first half of 2012, Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB, better known as H&M, said it would expand into South America, opening a flagship store in Santiago, Chile, during the first half of 2013. Read more