Daily Archives: Oct 2, 2012

When Gol, Brazil’s second-biggest airline, said on Monday it had an “important announcement” to make later in the day, investors were overjoyed.

After a series of job cuts, route reductions and a net loss of R$715m ($354m) in the second quarter of this year, the company surely had only one thing left to say: that it was going to be sold. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Chile has such an open, export-orientated economy, it is well aware of how vulnerable it is to whatever else is going on in the world.

But as Sebastián Claro, a member of the central bank’s board, highlighted in a presentation on Tuesday, things are looking pretty good. Chile’s growth is expected to outstrip that of its trading partners for another year and though fluctuations in the copper price are expected, nothing too drastic looks to be on the cards. Read more

By Ben Aris of bne

Its back to the drawing board for Russia’s utilities reform.

The Russian government admitted at the end of last week reforms designed to set the regulated tariff rates have been driving badly needed investors away from the sector. Read more

Mali, Africa’s third biggest gold producer behind South Africa and Ghana, has rapidly ascended the list of Sahelian countries thought to be succumbing to al-Qaida linked militants. The north of the country remains under rebel Tuareg control after the bungled coup in March.

But according to the head of one gold miner, many countries are now issuing clumsy nationwide travel bans that are hurting the mining industry in the peaceful south. Read more

By Naz Masraff of Eurasia Group

As the dust settles on last month’s controversial sentences for military leaders convicted of plotting a coup, the reaction in Turkish media and society has been surprisingly muted. The judiciary’s harsh sentences mark an end of an era in the country, but the case also raises questions regarding the rule of law that could undermine Turkey’s appeal to investors. Read more

More iffy news out of South Africa. After the big deterioration in the manufacturing index numbers on Monday – down 4 points – there’s signs that the car industry is going down a gear.

September sales rose 1.4 per cent year-on-year to 55,097 – the slowest percentage growth since December 2009, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa. Read more

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos’s surprise admission on Monday evening that he has prostate cancer should not be a major scare for the country. The prognosis is good – he says that because it was discovered early, he has a 97 per cent chance of being totally cured. The treatment will take place this week and he will be able to “continue to exercise my functions as president”, albeit with some travel restrictions.

Aside from its own intrinsic importance, though, the news illuminates three other fascinating trends in the region. Read more

By Morgan Harting of AllianceBernstein

It doesn’t seem to make sense. Superior macroeconomic fundamentals in emerging countries have not led to stronger (or even positive) equity returns over the last two years.

Since the beginning of 2011, the unhedged return in US dollars of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has been down 10 per cent, while the MSCI World Index has delivered 6.5 per cent. What’s going on? Read more

As we enter the final quarter of a year that has proved almost disastrous for Serbia’s public finances there are signs that the new government is ready to get a grip on the fiscal situation. But the structural reforms that the IMF and investors seek are still some way off. Read more

* Saakashvili concedes poll defeat in Georgia

* Kingfisher in ‘partial lockout’ of staff

* Samsung files lawsuit over iPhone 5

* Bakries to sell assets to repay $437m loan Read more

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili on Tuesday conceded defeat for his UNM party in the country’s parliamentary election, reports Neil Buckley from Tbilisi.

The result will usher in a new era for Georgian politics with Saakashvili remaining president and opposition leader, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, taking charge of the government. Investors are worried: the London-listed Bank of Georgia was down 6.2 per cent. Read more

Shares of Taiwanese airlines took off on Tuesday amidst rumours that the US is about to welcome Taiwanese travelers visa-free.

Hilary Clinton is speaking later on Tuesday at a tourism conference in the US, sparking the latest spate of rumours around the long-awaited decision. All in all, it’s been a good year for Taiwan tourismRead more

Are China’s neighbours getting more nervous? On Tuesday, Australia – perhaps the most exposed developed nation to Chinese growth – surprised many economists by cutting interest rates by 25 basis points.

Meanwhile South Korea’s central bank said it was switching tack from price stability to growth. So are more cuts coming across the region? Read more

ATM Egypt©AFP

Egyptians form an orderly queue at a bank cash dispensing machine

If you are a well-off Egyptian and you need to pay a household bill, you hand over the cash to your driver, office messenger or house porter and send them to queue and pay it on your behalf.

Those not privileged enough to have people they can send on errands – that is, most Egyptians – have to do it themselves every month.

 Read more

Tuesday’s picks from the BB team: women’s rights in Egypt; inequality in Chile; China’s transition politics and Turkish fashion. Plus: foreign investment in India; Chinese trade wars; lights out in Russia; and what Lat Am can learn from Libya. Read more

In what seems like a near-monthly occurrence, India’s Kingfisher Airlines cancelled flights all of its flights from Monday to Thursday because of labour unrest.

The civil aviation ministry said Monday that billionaire Vijay Mallya’s carrier cannot fly without certified technicians and engineers looking after its planes. Those engineers and technicians are on strike, along with some pilots, because – as seems to happen to Kingfisher and state carrier Air India employees on a fairly regular basis – they have not been paid in seven monthsRead more

A shock result in the Georgian election has sent investors running for cover.

With around a fifth of the ballots from Monday’s parliamentary election counted, the opposition, led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is leading with 54.3 per cent of the national vote.

President Mikheil Saakashvili’s supporters claim they can still secure victory by winning individual constituencies. But the prospect of a government defeat and/or a disputed result has hit the markets – shares in Bank of Georgia, the country’s only internationally-listed stock, were down 2.6 per cent in early London trading. Read more

By Ben Aris of bne

Rising tensions between Israel and Iran, over Tehran’s nuclear development programme, could drive oil prices over $130 a barrel next year says Goldman Sachs’s chief economist in Moscow at a time when the consensus forecast is for a price decline to $80-$90 because of slowing global growth and the euro crisis. Read more

Turning up on the doorstep of the economy ministry with €3m in banknotes withdrawn from a personal account is certainly an impressive stunt, even by Romanian standards.

But for media mogul Dan Diaconescu, it wasn’t enough to save his somewhat outlandish bid for Oltchim, a debt-laden state-owned chemicals firm where operations were suspended in August and wages are in arrears. Read more

The Chinese government’s decision to suspend toll charges during the current eight-day autumn holiday has generated huge traffic jams – and an internet debate about what to do about them.

In the free-market camp, are those who argue that far from scrapping tolls, the authorities should have raised them to produce manageable flows on some of the busiest days of the year.

Nonsense, reply the socialists, the government should have gone further and extended the toll-free travel from passengers to long-distance buses, to benefit poorer Chinese. Read more