Daily Archives: Oct 11, 2012

It is not often that the endless corruption scandals and political squabbles in Brasília make their way into the brokerage reports of Wall Street and Faria Lima, São Paulo’s financial district.

But in the past few weeks, the word “Mensalão” has begun appearing with more frequency in analysts’ notes. Read more

Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, has reason to be thankful for Hugo Chávez’s re-election triumph. Beyond her genuine emotional congratulations to a fellow leftist who has dared to subvert what both see as the market-driven, neoliberal world order, friendship brings big trade rewards. Read more

How do you toast the victory of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s socialist president, who last Sunday won another six-year term, reconfirming him as one of Latin America’s most commanding political figures?

Not, perhaps, with Scotch, beer, or coca-cola. Indeed, the manufacturers behind virtually every international drink are more likely to be in the doldrums over the news than in celebratory mood. Read more

Brokers trying to hawk Brazilian shares to international fund managers in New York and London have had a tough time of it recently.

Many joke they have been almost forcibly ejected from the offices of the top “buyside” houses, who are smarting after seeing the share prices of many large Brazilian companies plunge on the back of government intervention.

 Read more

Internet and mobile technology provide new opportunities in emerging markets – not least for crime. This year Russia, China and South Africa have recorded the highest rates of cybercrime globally.

While two-thirds of online adults have been victims of cybercrime around the world, the proportion stands at 92 per cent in Russia, 84 per cent in China and 80 per cent in South Africa. Read more

Source: Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

Warsaw’s museum of modern art is planning to open its doors for the first time on Friday, but any thoughts about the exhibition called “City for Sale”are being overshadowed by a fight over the building in which the museum is located.

The museum was supposed to have established itself in a prestige new construction designed by Swiss architect Christian Kerez. But the city pulled the plug on the project for aesthetic and financial reasons, and so the museum is setting up in a 1970s glass-fronted building that used to house a furniture shop. Read more

Shares in Bumi closed 39.47 per cent up on Thursday as investors digested the offer by the Bakrie family to exit the London-listed company. At one stage shares were up over 55 per cent.

Read the beyondbrics and FT.com stories.

When the FT set up office in Bogotá in late July, we were warned: “watch out, because sooner or later, your mobile phone will get nicked.” This week, it happened.

After writing the day’s stories your beyondbrics correspondent walked into the lovely café next to his office for a coffee. Placing the smartphone on top of his notebook on a table, he nonchalantly turned around to have a chat with the Venezuelan-born manager about Hugo Chavez’s election victory. No more than three minutes passed and the notebook was still there, but the phone was gone. Read more

Ethiopia appears to be doing something right. One of the world’s five fastest growing economies in 2010, it’s expected to reach 7 per cent growth this year and next and the government hopes for double digit growth in the medium term.

But this is not a natural resources bonanza. The economy is still largely dependent on agriculture, but has seen much of its growth from a boost in services. Yet foreign investment is limited, and the country has not benefitted from the non-cash payments revolution that has boosted other countries in the region such as Kenya. No wonder, then, that companies such as Visa are making encouraging noises. Read more

Hedge fund 2, Argentina 0.

A court in Ghana has rejected an appeal by Argentina to release the navy vessel ARA Libertad, after the ship was seized last week at the request of NML Capital, a hedge fund. Read more

South-east Europe has its fair share of economic disaster zones, but Bulgaria, according to the IMF, is not one of them. However, stability alone is not enough for the EU’s poorest member state. Read more

By Pan Kwan Yuk and Andres Schipani

Of all the places in the world to find a cheerleader for the US economy, Colombia is probably not the first country that comes to mind.

And yet, a US bull is exactly what you will find in the Andean country – in the form of Cementos Argos, Colombia’s leading cement producer. Read more

Even when Apple’s new mapping software gets it right, people are not happy.

The latest complaints come from Taiwan’s defence ministry. Apple’s maps are too accurate, they say, in showing images of a top-secret long-range radar installation in the north of the island. Read more

* Brazil cuts interest rates to record low

* Lenovo knocks HP off computer top spot

* Boom time for Indonesia’s car industry

* S Africa gold miners offered better wages Read more

After more than two years of policy paralysis, India’s Congress-led government has reignited a mood of optimism in India with a series of ‘big-bang’ reforms designed to send a message that India remains open for business and to reinvigorate the slowing economy. The rupee rebounded from historic lows against the dollar, and the Bombay Stock Exchange climbed upwards to highs not seen for more than one-and-a-half years.

But despite the sudden, dramatic shift in the public sentiment, credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s this week issued a timely reminder that India’s problems are far from solved. Read more

Shares in Bumi plc soared on Thursday on a surprise offer from the Bakrie family to split from the company, buy out its assets and return things, more or less, to where they were before they teamed up last year with British financier Nat Rothschild.

The 29 per cent leap to 240p means the shares have doubled since their all-time low of 119.5p last month, when the market was hit by claims of financial irregularities. But shareholders are still left staring at heavy losses: the shares peaked last year at £14 and spent most of 2011 above £10 (the initial deal price) before the Bakries and Rothschild fell out. Read more

Thursday’s picks from the BB team: violence in Libya, one year on; hope for the Philippines; and is South Africa losing its competitive edge? Plus: the ‘Avon Ladies’ of Africa; India’s National Investment Board would supersede ministries; and nukes in Cuba 50 years agoRead more

It’s a daunting job to forecast economic growth at time of huge uncertainty over the global outlook and volatility in financial markets. That is why some investors just dismiss economists’ projections as meaningless.

The Bank of Korea’s notoriously inaccurate economic projections give critics plenty of ammunition. On Thursday, the Bank cut its forecasts for 2012 for the third time this year, estimating growth at 2.4 per cent, well short of its initial 3.7 per cent figure. With the bank cutting interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.75 per cent, arguments over growth predictions are no academic matter. Read more

The conventional wisdom for the past six months has been that south-east Asia is pretty much the last man standing in the global economy.

Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore have delivered decent growth, thanks to strong domestic demand and, even as the eurozone crisis and China’s deceleration have buffeted them.

But the region may be starting to slow. Read more