Monthly Archives: October 2012

A US appeals court ruling that Argentina must treat its defaulted and performing debt equally not only leaves it staring at the unappealing prospects of default or paying the “vultures” it has vowed to scorn forever. It also risks scuppering nationalised oil company YPF’s ability to raise funds internationally.

That, at least, is the view of some financial experts in Buenos Aires. Read more

As beyondbrics has reported before, the expansion of emerging market cities is a big deal. Urban dwellers tend to be richer than their rural counterparts, they spend more, and they are easier for companies to reach.

But when it comes to Africa and the growth story, we tend to think in terms of countries. Handily, the Economist Intelligence Unit has got past that, and identified the key 25 cities that you need to know about. Read more

The next few rounds of South African data will show what effects the strikes of the last few months have had on Africa’s largest economy. On Wednesday, there was an early taster: the trade deficit.

The country recorded its biggest monthly trade deficit in more than three years in September, at R13.8bn ($1.5bn), putting the cumulative deficit for the year at R83.7bn ($9.6bn). Read more

Never mind its recent fall in profits. Many energy companies would drool at Ecopetrol’s impressive growth rate so far.

Since 2008, Colombia’s state-controlled oil company has increased production at a rate of 16 per cent a year. “We are focused on sustaining this growth rate, which is not easy to do,” Javier Gutiérrez, Ecopetrol’s chief executive, told beyondbrics. Read more

Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich (pictured) and his ruling Party of Regions may be jubilant after Sunday’s election. Preliminary results show they are likely to retain control over parliament, preserving a three-year monopoly grip on domestic political power. But they should celebrate fast, because serious economic and foreign policy problems are piling up. Read more

Reserve Bank of IndiaSince April, when the Reserve Bank of India made a surprise 50 basis points cut interest rates, before every monthly policy review meeting the markets speculate that another cut is coming – despite the fact that inflation remains sticky and high.

But the RBI seems immune to hints and suggestions. Read more

As beyondbrics wrote last week, Poland and the Czech Republic are going separate ways as they try to get out of the eurozone crisis: Poland easing the brakes on fiscal policy in an attempt to boost growth, the Czech Republic clinging to austerity like a drowning man clinging to a log.

But if Wednesday’s purchasing mangers’ indices published by HSBC and Markit Economics are any guide, the two policies are delivering the same dismal results: the seventh straight month of deteriorating business conditions, with barely a tenth of a decimal point between them. Read more

* Mittal feels chill from China slowdown

* Chinese banks face scrutiny over profits

* Russia works on financial hub ambitions

* Brazil gripped by anti-corruption battle Read more

Wednesday’s picks from the BB team: Gangnam branding South Korea; a difficult year for Poland’s economy; and the bills pile up in China. Plus: Tunisia’s democratic transition; Russia’s democratic rollback; and internal divisions in Mali. Read more

Taiwan’s economy bounced back in Q3, growing 1 per cent compared to a slight contraction in Q2. But that increase fell short of expectations.

In a reversal of the recent emerging market narrative, this time is was weakness at home among Taiwanese consumers that dented growth, despite a pickup in demand from the US and Europe. Read more

Troubled Chinese car and battery maker BYD (Build Your Dreams) aims to supply London with its first fully electric taxis.

BYD has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with greentomatocars, a “green” minicab service with a fleet of 300 hybrid and biodiesel vehicles, to provide 50 of its e6 all-electric vehicles for a six-month trial next year. Read more

Thailand’s cola market has turned aggressive as the three big industry players get all fizzed up about a fourth drink on the block. With an eye on the proposed dismantling of regional trade barriers by late 2015 under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community, the race is on to gain pole position in the country’s large and growing soft drinks market. Read more

* Ruling raises fears of Argentine default

* Lonmin plans $800m share sale after deadliest strike

* Chinese banks brace for bad loans Read more

By Stuart Rae of AllianceBernstein

Slowing economic growth, uncertainty about government policy and disappointing returns have made equity investors wary of China. In other words, it’s a perfect time to hunt for investment opportunities.

China’s lacklustre economy continues to spook investors. Real gross domestic product (GDP) slowed from 7.6 per cent in the second quarter to 7.4 per cent in the third. But the sequential trend has probably bottomed and growth is now running at an annualized rate of about 7.5-8 per cent. And you can’t ignore some key underlying indicators of economic activity. Read more

With Venezuela’s presidential elections now well behind us, speculation has been growing on Wall Street that the government may issue new debt soon.

But finance minister Jorge Giordani seemed to poor cold water on the idea in an interview published on Monday, arguing that Venezuela is trying to decrease its dependence on international markets. Read more

By Claire Gordon

Shares of Petrobras fell sharply on Monday after the Brazilian state company reported a 12 per cent year-on-year decline in third-quarter net profit to $2.7bn.

The next day Pemex, the Mexican state oil company, reported a $1.9bn quarterly net profit. But progress was huge: a year earlier, Pemex reported a $6.2bn net loss. Read more

In line with market expectations, Hungary on Tuesday trimmed the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis to 6.25 per cent, the third such cut in as many months.

At the subsequent press conference, it once again appeared that the four external members’ will to reduce rates had again prevailed. Andras Simor, governor of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), said the monetary council had voted on the cut by a “narrow margin,” the other option being no change. Read more

It’s not a country recognised by anyone other than its own government, but that doesn’t seem to phase three oil companies scaling up exploration in Somaliland.

UK-listed Genel Energy and Ophir Energy, and Australia-listed Jacka Resources, are starting to explore for oil in earnest in the breakaway state, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991. Read more

Argentina may have Lionel Messi but Colombia claims it’s overtaken its South American neighbour in terms of GDP. John Paul Rathbone, the FT’s Latin America editor, discusses with deputy emerging markets editor Jonathan Wheatley who can claim the economic bragging rights.

Photo: Bloomberg

Tuesday was not a good day to be PetroChina. The world’s second-largest energy company by sales reported Tuesday that net profit tumbled 33 per cent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, despite strong growth in revenue and oil production. Read more