Experian has struck a creditable deal to buy out minorities in Brazilian subsidiary Serasa, as it bulks up its emerging markets presence. The credit checking agency is paying $1.5bn for the 30 per cent stake, at the top end of City expectations. But at least the deal has a price and timing that suits Experian. The banks who are selling out possess a put option that could have triggered a transaction with neither characteristic. Continue reading »
Croatia’s expected entry to the European Union in July 2013 will be a big step for the country, which emerged from a bloody war of independence two decades ago. But membership of the EU comes at a cost – including, it seems, rising energy prices. Continue reading »
This might come as news to the hundreds of thousands of Poles and Hungarians struggling to repay mortgages denominated in Swiss francs and euros, but there are signs that central Europe’s currencies may have appreciated too much in recent months, endangering the region’s competitiveness.
Citi’s researchers take a look at the appreciation trend and find that the competitive advantage that local currencies have given the region’s exporters is fast eroding. Continue reading »
For Chinese resources companies, Canada has long seemed like the promised land. Brimming with oil, timber and minerals, it also appeared more open to Chinese investment and less prone to resource nationalism than its neighbour, the US.
More evidence of Asian shoppers cooling to the charms of luxury. Shares in handbag maker Mulberry plunged by a quarter on Tuesday after it issued a profits warning, blaming slowing international sales, a planned rationalisation of wholesale distribution and “a more challenging enviroment in Asia”.
The British group predicts pre-tax profits will fall in the year to March 2013, to below the £36m posted last year. That compares with earlier analysts’ forecasts of nearly £42m. Ouch. Continue reading »
With less than a week until maturity, Dana Gas sukuks are trading at a significant discount to face value as negotiations continue on what would be the UAE’s first ever restructuring of an Islamic bond.
On Tuesday, the sukuk was trading at a 21 per cent discount, undermined by worries about the company’s cash position. In its first-half financial statements, the Sharjah-based energy company reported a cash balance of $164m, a fraction of the funds required to repay the debt. Continue reading »
Tuesday’s picks from the BB team: Georgia’s first parliamentary session since elections; Walmart in India; and more details of BP’s Russian deal. Plus: Russia’s third industrial revolution; the dangers of Turkey’s policy on Syria; and Nigeria’s real estate market takes off. Continue reading »
China’s Canton Fair – the famous twice-a- year trade show – has for decades brought together buyers from all over the world to the southern city of Guangzhou to meet suppliers of everything from microchips to Christmas decorations.
Readers of beyondbrics know that emerging markets bonds are hot properties at the moment. Investors are flocking to them for their attractive yields and EM companies and governments, emboldened by the demand, have been happy to oblige, issuing a record $360bn in hard-currency bonds so far this year.
But every bond issued adds to the money that must be repaid somewhere down the line. For David Spegel, head of emerging markets strategy at ING, 2014 could be a crunch year for EM bond refinancing – particularly of speculative-grade bonds. Continue reading »