Daily Archives: Oct 24, 2012

You have to go back as far as 2001 to come across the old Coca-Cola slogan “Life is good”. But that phrase must have been on the minds of Coca-Cola Femsa executives on Thursday as they reported impressive third-quarter results. Read more

Just months after it announced an ambitious plan to take on arch-rival McDonald’s in China, Burger King is back with another expansion plan.

This time, the company is teaming up with Promotora, a Colombian private equity fund, to beef up its presence in the Andean country. Burger King, which currently operates 20 restaurants there, is aiming to open 80 new restaurants over the next five years. Read more

Anyone who was wondering whether Guido Mantega was on the way out need only read Valor Econômico on Wednesday for an answer. The indomitable Brazilian finance minister was there on the front page of Brazil’s leading business daily in fine form, delivering another salvo in the currency war, this time owning up to Brazil’s “dirty float” (of which more in a moment). Read more

In the past, when Poland’s treasury ministry sold off big state controlled companies through the Warsaw Stock Exchange there was a frisson of excitement among investors – something that seems to be missing ahead of next week’s debut of power producer ZE PAK.

Earlier this week the government set the share price at 26.20 zlotys ($8.19), near the very bottom of its bookbuilding range of 26-33 zlotys, according to Reuters. Read more

More bad news for Megafon. Two days after the company’s Moscow-London IPO was put on the backburner, the company may now face problems with its planned acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Russia’s largest mobile phone retailer.

Russia’s anti-monopoly service said on Wednesday it could need up to two more months to review Megafon’s plans to buy retailer Euroset. It had originally been expected to rule on the deal last week. Read more

Romania slowly recovering from economic crisis

Romania: pulling out of a serious crisis fairly successfully, but with a long way to go to attain rude economic health. That’s the International Monetary Fund’s conclusion following its latest staff visit to the country.

“Following the severe downturn in 2008–09, the Romanian economy has undertaken a large adjustment to restore macroeconomic stability,” the statement said in its opening line.

After pausing briefly to praise its own role in supporting recovery through stand-by arrangements – as well as that of the EU and World Bank, the Fund continued: Read more

State-owned Rosneft buys TNK-BP Photo Bloomberg

Russia’s government did its best on Wednesday to affirm its continued commitment to privatisation plans, despite carrying out what is in effect the largest nationalisation in post-Soviet history this week.

Andrei Belousov, economy minister, insisted that the purchase of 100 per cent of oil company TNK-BP by state company Rosneft did not mean the government was rethinking its commitment to rolling back state ownership of the economy. Read more

In 2007, the NDTV Good Times channel was launched as a joint venture between Delhi broadcaster NDTV and United Breweries, owned by billionaire Vijay Mallya, the self-styled ‘king of the good times’.

Now a warrant is out for Mallya’s arrest and the good times are no longer rolling. But that hasn’t stopped NDTV and United’s Kingfisher beer launching their annual hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl, with Mallya’s son Sid in a starring role. Read more

A delegation from the International Monetary Fund is due in Egypt next week to discuss a much-needed $4.8bn loan seen as a lifeline to an economy battered by almost two years of political turbulence. Crucial to securing the loan will be reforms to be unveiled by the Egyptian government aimed at helping it rein in an 11 per cent budget deficit. Cuts to the country’s costly energy subsidies (which suck in 20 per cent of the budget) are expected to be at the heart of these reforms. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

In 2010, when the Munjal brothers bought out Honda from their 26-year-old joint venture, it seemed they were getting a pretty good deal. The 26 per cent stake in Hero Honda was worth around $2bn, but they acquired it for less than half that.

The JV fell apart, according to contemporary reports, over sourcing conflicts between the companies, Honda’s desire to expand in India under its own name and Hero’s ambition to expand globally. But two years out, Honda’s expansion in India is flourishing while Hero’s international plans have yet to take shape. Worse still, Hero is suffering at home as well. Read more

* UAE anger at Britain hits business

* China may forgo easing as economy rebounds

* Brazil detains former bank president Read more

Russia on Wednesday scrapped a bond auction for the first time since May as investors pulled in their horns following the recent weakening in oil prices and bad economic data from Germany and the eurozone.

Some fund managers may also have decided that this year’s rush into emerging market bonds, which has compressed yield spreads around the globe, may have gone a bit too far – although it’s early to make that call. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Credit rating agencies from China, Russia and the US are establishing a joint venture that they say will change the assessing of risk in global finance.

Dagong, a Chinese agency that has repeatedly downgraded the US, Egan-Jones, a small US agency, and Russia’s RusRating said they were answering calls for reform of the international credit rating system by linking forces to create the Universal Credit Rating Group. Read more

Wednesday’s picks from the BB team: clean living in Russia; politics and the place of pets in China; and where’s Ambani gone? Plus: shoddy construction for Goldman in India; Syria’s black market for property; and Mexico, the Home Depot nation. Read more

While South Korea’s family-controlled chaebol conglomerates have been at the heart of the country’s rapid industrial development over the past 50 years, today many politicians are calling for a more dynamic small-business sector. The FT’s Simon Mundy explores the challenges faced by businesses living in the shadow of the country’s powerful conglomerates.

Although Indonesia has proved adept at exploiting its mineral wealth, its human resources are lagging behind.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is facing an “upcoming talent apocalypse” unless the government and companies take drastic action to improve the quality of the labour force, management consultants at Hay Group argue in a new report. Read more

Hardly a week goes by without fresh signs of growing investor confidence in the Philippines in the light of president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s highly acclaimed drive to deliver clean and honest government. In the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, for example, the Philippines jumped 10 places in a global ranking to 65, after jumping 12 places in the previous year’s report.

The country’s 800,000 small business owners might be forgiven for thinking they live in a different country. Read more

* UAE anger at Britain hits business

* China may forgo easing as economy rebounds

* Brazil detains former bank president Read more

Activity in Chinese factories looks to be steadying, at least according to HSBC’s flash PMI data. The headline figure inched up to 49.1, a three-month high but still a number indicating contraction.

Coming after promising trade and investment data for last month, the early reading on Chinese manufacturing suggests that the economy may finally be getting better. But it’s not out of the woods yet. Read more

Colombia’s leading cement producer, Cementos Argos, unveiled forecast-beating third-quarter results on Tuesday, as strong demand in its home market and the Caribbean helped boost sales and profits. Read more