Daily Archives: Oct 12, 2012

Full-steam ahead, that’s how Colombia’s government is determined to set their “energy locomotive”, as they call their ambitious energy plans.

The Andean country is already the fourth-biggest oil exporter in the region, having almost doubled its production since 2006 to 956,312 barrels of oil a day. Read more

The world is used to analysing the impact of China’s slowdown. But what about that of another large emerging economy, whose influence also stretches beyond its borders?

Well, it will come as no surprise that Brazil’s slowdown – from 7.5 per cent in 2010 to 2.7 per cent in 2011 and a forecast 1.5 per cent this year – is hurting neighbours Argentina and Uruguay, where growth generally follows the same cyclical trends. (See chart after jump) Read more

Plucky fellows those market regulators in the small and relatively poor Central American nation of El Salvador. Their opposition has scuppered a deal between two very rich men: one the richest in Ireland, the other the wealthiest in all of the world.

After months of hand-wringing, Digicel, based in Jamaica but controlled by the Irish magnate Denis O’Brien, and Carlos Slim’s América Móvil have renounced plans for a takeover of mobile operator Digicel by the Mexican company, the dominant force in Latin American telecommunications. Read more

Credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s has downgraded South Africa to BBB from BBB+, two levels above investment grade. The move follows Moody’s which last month downgraded the country from A3 to Baa1. South Africa’s foreign currency debt rating is now on a rating par with that of Brazil, Russia and Mexico.

The strikes and possible leadership uncertainty in the ruling ANC were given as the main reasons. S&P also is keeping South Africa on negative outlook. More after the jump. Read more

YPF is going to market again. The renationalised Argentine oil company is still biding its time for an international bond issue – though that could come later this year or early next. But hot on the heels of its issue last month for some $320m , it now has another offer underway, for up to some $600mRead more

It’s been a tough old week for the South African rand. On Monday (October 8) it broke the 8.9 rand to the dollar barrier, weakening to levels not seen since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009.

But the pressure was somewhat relieved on Friday, with a little good news. The two-week truck drivers strike came to an end with a sizeable wage agreement. It helped nudge the rand back down to around 8.6 to the dollar. Read more

Zimbabwe’s indigenisation law, which requires foreign companies to be 51 per cent owned by a local partner, was always going to be tricky to implement.

Cigarette maker British American Tobacco Zimbabwe has a new plan to meet the legal requirement. The problem may be with the other side – can the government deliver? Read more

Last month there was bad news for the world economy from the shipping industry. As beyondbrics reported, freight volumes between China and Europe began to fall in July, and were still dropping – at a time of year when they usually start to rise.

Today, the situation is no better, but it seems that shipping companies are learning to cope with the challenge. Read more

Donald Tusk addressed the Polish parliament on Friday morning, promising not blood, sweat and belt-tightening but massive new spending programmes aimed at boosting growth.

Following IMF head Christine Lagarde’s comments in Tokyo on Thursday, Poland is joining a widening global consensus on the damaging impact of focussing too strongly on fiscal austerity. Read more

* DBS sells Philippine Bank stake for $620million ahead of Basel

* Renminbi hits 19-year high against dollar

* Workers reject South Africa gold mines’ pay plan Read more

Another Russian equity offering gets away smoothly in London – good for Russia and for the City.

Offered at $12, MD Medical Group’s global depositary receipts rose on Friday to trade around 2 per cent up on their first morning. The company’s $311m offer was a modest morsel for the market in comparison with the $5.1bn heavyweight share sale carried out last month by Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank. But it shows that, with the right company at the right price, investors are ready to buy Russia. Read more

Friday’s picks from the BB team: Mexico’s city of death is reborn; broadening Egypt’s political priorities; and sheltering Syria’s refugees. Plus: UK relations with Narendra Modi; Brazil raises import tariffs; and how a collapsing rial could help Iran. Read more

Pakistan’s businesses should be celebrating this month’s interest rate cut of 50 basis points, which brought down the rate down to a maximum of 10 per cent.

But many critics argue it will take more than rate cuts to pull Pakistan’s economy out of trouble. Read more

No end in sight to the money flowing into emerging market funds, bond funds in particular.

Boosted by QE3 and bouyed by hopes of some stability, if not calm, returning to markets, fund managers have reported net inflows into both bonds and equities for the fifth week in a row. Read more

India’s economy delivered a pleasant surprise on Friday, with figures for industrial output in August showing annual growth of 2.7 per cent, compared to forecasts of a rise of around 1 per cent in the market.

But the increase was not enough to persuade observers that a real recovery is under way. Nor, with inflation still running high, do they see much room for the central bank to cut rates to boost growth – data also published on Friday showed the consumer price index for September at 9.7 per cent. Read more

The renminbi has been strengthening against the US dollar for a few months now. At the end of September, it broke through the 6.3 level. On Friday, it hit a 19-year record.

All this seems to have caught many in the market off guard, with analysts looking to make sense of the rally. Read more

Cai Bin's property records

Records of properties owned by Cai Bin and his wife (source: China Daily)

Chinese bloggers have scored another success in their campaign to catch out officials living beyond their means.

Cai Bin, who earns around Rmb10,000 ($1,600) a month from his job with the Guangzhou Municipal Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau, has been suspended after he and his wife were discovered to own 21 properties – worth an estimated Rmb40m. Read more

* Asian stocks gain on U.S. jobless claims

* UK to renew Gujarat ties

* DBS sells Philippine Bank stake for $620million ahead of Basel Read more