Daily Archives: Oct 25, 2012

There wasn’t much in Apple’s Q4 results about China. But what few snippets there were to be found were revealing.

In an earnings season that has already seen a number US companies, including Dow Chemical, DuPont, 3M, FedEx, Caterpillar and Alcoa, blame faltering demand in China for their weak earnings, Apple has managed to buck the trend. Read more

Payback time? Back in 2009, Argentina lent money to General Motors to ensure production and jobs were preserved amid the global economic slowdown (it paid it back the following year). Three years on, the US automaker is investing 2.13bn pesos – about $450m – to base production of a new vehicle in Argentina. Read more

Even the wealthiest man in the world has bad weeks, or at least difficult ones.

And this has been one for Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecoms, retail, mining, construction – you name it – magnate. Read more

It would have been easy to miss. On page 18 of Vale’s 38-page results presentation released late on Wednesday, the mining company gave the following information about the status of its project in Simandou, Guinea: Scope and schedule under review.

It looks like a minor detail, but in reality it was Vale’s own special way of saying that it was putting on hold its $1.3bn Zogota mine in Simandou, the west African country’s richest iron ore deposit. The mine was meant to have started output by the end of 2012. Read more

Hugo Chavez caused something of a flutter last year when he announced flamboyantly that he was going to repatriate almost all of the 211 tonnes of gold bullion that Venezuela owned abroad.

It was one of the largest transfers of physical gold in recent history, purportedly to “protect” Venezuela’s reserves from hostile “imperialist” regimes – but it turns out that the central bank has been selling its gold anyway. Read more

By Hector Valle of FIDE and YPF

In a recent post, Juan Carlos Echeverry and Luis Fernando Mejía presented an exercise in which they compare the growth rates and sizes of Argentina’s and Colombia’s economies. From their analysis they conclude that Colombia has surpassed Argentina as the third largest economy in the region. However, the methodological drawbacks of their exercise are significant enough to invalidate the results. Read more

Small Chinese companies as well as big state enterprises are casting their eyes on neighbouring Myanmar as it opens its economy to foreign investment. Among them is China Polymetallic Mining (CPM), a Hong-Kong-listed mining group, based in the minerals-rich province of Yunnan which lies along China’s border with Myanmar.

Company officials claim CPM is well placed to profit from developing Myanmar’s mining riches. But, with far bigger Chinese and international resource companies looking at Myanmar, CPM will have to be quick if it is to get ahead of the game. Read more

By Ben Aris of bne

When Maelle Gavet (pictured) first arrived in Russia as a student in the days following the fall of the Soviet Union, the shops were empty and the phones didn’t work properly. Two decades on, she heads Russia’s leading e-commerce site Ozon.ru – Russia’s answer to Amazon.com – that is well on its way to turnover of $1bn a year. Read more

When it comes to Vijay Mallya, India’s billionaire liquor baron, it really ain’t over til it’s over.

That was the message on Thursday afternoon when, after weeks of striking and months of turmoil, employees of his embattled Kingfisher Airlines accepted a deal in which they will receive four months’ salary – out of seven they haven’t been paid – by December. The remaining three months will be paid by March next year. Read more

By Charles Robertson of Renaissance Capital

What is most surprising about Africa’s boom? Probably not the six-fold surge in oil revenues, which will rise to $300bn annually (three times Africa’s estimated annual infrastructure needs) by the end of this decade – most recognise China’s impact on African commodity exports. Nor the services sector growth, which despite the commodity headlines in fact accounts for over half of the GDP gains since 2002, three times more than the mining and mineral sector. Read more

* Brazil admits tight hold over exchange rate

* Yen Weakens to Four-Month Low on BOJ Bets as Pound Rises

* Gupta sentenced to two years in jail

* Nigeria gas deals found to have cost $29bn Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Two months after it got government approval for plans to increase production at its flagging flagship natural gas field, KG-D6, Reliance Industries has received a letter making that approval official (ah, Indian bureaucracy). Read more

Thursday’s picks from the BB team: how Putin’s Valdai Discussion Club has changed; Fidel lives on, but Che is fading; and Asia’s need for an institution worthy of a Nobel. Plus: Brics – big but not cohesive; India’s urban commons are a public good; and the imprisoned leader of Yukos. Read more

The Philippines cut its main policy rates by 25 basis points Thursday for the fourth time this year, bringing the central bank’s overnight borrowing rate to 3.5 per cent and overnight lending rate to 5.5 per cent.

The bank has cut rates by 100 basis points this year as it seeks to cushion the Philippine economy from the potentially adverse impact of sluggish growth in rich countries. The International Monetary Fund recently scaled down its growth forecast for global output from 3.5 to 3.3 per cent in 2012. Read more

Nguyen Tan Dung, Vietnam’s prime minister, must be breathing more easily.

On Monday, he apologised for economic mismanagement and cut his prediction for 2012 GDP growth to the bottom of the 5.2 to 5.7 per cent range initially forecast. Just three days later, a report by Ernst & Young on rapid-growth markets has labelled Vietnam a “rising star”, predicting the east Asian economy will grow by 6 per cent a year for the next quarter century. Read more

The story of Baidu has long been slightly boring, as market share, revenues and profits of China’s largest online search engine company never went other than up, up, up.

But this may be changing. As Baidu, which is listed on Nasdaq, is set to report third-quarter earnings after US market close next Monday, investors are bracing for news on how deep exactly the company’s latest competition has been cutting into its business. Read more

By Linda Yueh

This week’s flash PMI data suggest the recent weakness in the Chinese economy extends into the fourth quarter. HSBC PMI rose in October at the start of the quarter, but remains below 50 at 49.1. That’s an improvement from September’s 47.9 but is still a sign of contraction.

This is after GDP expanded 7.4 per cent in the third quarter, slower than the government’s 7.5 per cent target. And, consensus forecasts gathered by Bloomberg don’t show much stimulus or easing for the rest of the year. Read more

* Brazil admits tight hold over exchange rate

* Nigeria gas deals found to have cost $29bn

* Russia funds band together to repel Putin cabinet’s pension grab Read more

By Ed Crooks

Earlier this year the US decided to impose two sets of duties on imports of Chinese solar cells; a move that it confirmed, with some adjustments, earlier this month. Now it is becoming increasingly clear – as this excellent piece from the FT’s Leslie Hook points out – that the Chinese solar industry is in deep trouble: a “patient on life support”, as one policy-maker puts it.

So US industrials should be rejoicing, right? Well, no. Not if you are DuPont, Dow Chemical and 3M. This week all three US chemical companies said their earnings have been hit by the downturn in the solar industry, especially in China. Read more