Daily Archives: Oct 30, 2012

With Venezuela’s presidential elections now well behind us, speculation has been growing on Wall Street that the government may issue new debt soon.

But finance minister Jorge Giordani seemed to poor cold water on the idea in an interview published on Monday, arguing that Venezuela is trying to decrease its dependence on international markets. Read more

By Claire Gordon

Shares of Petrobras fell sharply on Monday after the Brazilian state company reported a 12 per cent year-on-year decline in third-quarter net profit to $2.7bn.

The next day Pemex, the Mexican state oil company, reported a $1.9bn quarterly net profit. But progress was huge: a year earlier, Pemex reported a $6.2bn net loss. Read more

In line with market expectations, Hungary on Tuesday trimmed the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis to 6.25 per cent, the third such cut in as many months.

At the subsequent press conference, it once again appeared that the four external members’ will to reduce rates had again prevailed. Andras Simor, governor of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), said the monetary council had voted on the cut by a “narrow margin,” the other option being no change. Read more

It’s not a country recognised by anyone other than its own government, but that doesn’t seem to phase three oil companies scaling up exploration in Somaliland.

UK-listed Genel Energy and Ophir Energy, and Australia-listed Jacka Resources, are starting to explore for oil in earnest in the breakaway state, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991. Read more

Argentina may have Lionel Messi but Colombia claims it’s overtaken its South American neighbour in terms of GDP. John Paul Rathbone, the FT’s Latin America editor, discusses with deputy emerging markets editor Jonathan Wheatley who can claim the economic bragging rights.

Photo: Bloomberg

Tuesday was not a good day to be PetroChina. The world’s second-largest energy company by sales reported Tuesday that net profit tumbled 33 per cent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, despite strong growth in revenue and oil production. Read more

By Simeon Kerr and Camilla Hall

People close to Dana Gas, the Sharjah-based natural gas company, say creditors including funds Blackrock and Ashmore have agreed to a standstill that would allow talks over extending the maturity of its $920m sukuk to continue through the deadline of midnight on Wednesday.

But people aware of the creditors’ position “categorically deny” that a standstill agreement has been reached with Dana Gas, whose revenues have been interrupted in troubled operating environments including Egypt and Iraqi Kurdistan. Read more

Russian energy giant Gazprom is set to push ahead with its controversial South Stream gas pipeline which will run to the heart of Europe, while progress on an EU-backed rival project is, as usual, patchier.

On Monday, Srbijagas – a Serbian government-owned monopoly – announced that it would start work on the 470km, €1.7bn stretch of South Stream running through Serbian territory in December. Read more

Hungary’s central bank has cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent, a move widely expected by economists and the markets.

This is the third cut in a row by the National Bank of Hungary, and economists suggested there may be more to follow in the coming months.

Photo: Bloomberg

The chances of a price pop during the initial public listing of Poland’s ZE PAK utility were seen as pretty low after the stock’s initial pricing came in at the bottom of the range. The pessimists appear to have been correct – shares were down on their first day of trading on Tuesday. Read more

Squeeze your way into the over-crowded Ambassador mall in central Jakarta and you will find countless shops openly selling cheap, pirated software in clear violation of Indonesia’s intellectual property laws. You can even get hundreds of apps downloaded onto your iPad or smartphone for just a few dollars.

But, although 86 per cent of Indonesian software is pirated, attitudes are starting to change, making the country Microsoft’s fastest growing market in Asia, according to Alvaro Celis, the US company’s vice president for the region. Read more

* Nissan warns of slowing China expansion

* BP raises dividend after Russian deal

* South Africa reaches ‘tipping point’ Read more

Who would have thought India would be feeding the world? For the first time, India has overtaken Thailand to become the world’s largest exporter of rice. It’s largely a matter of policy: India is reaping the rewards of past reforms, while Thailand is stumbling over past mistakes. Read more

Tuesday’s picks from the BB team: when Bo was kicked out; Lebanon is sucked into the sectarian vortex; and China’s privileged politicians. Plus: kidnapping is KGB tradition; the rubble of war in Damascus; and can Nigeria win the war on corruption? Read more

Temelin nuclear power plan in the Czech RepublicBy Tim Gosling and Nicholas Watson of bne

Areva, the French nuclear group, is to launch a fresh appeal against its exclusion from a multi-billion euro tender by CEZ, the Czech utility, for two new units at its Temelin nuclear power plant.

The move threatens to bring the tender process to a halt. Its announcement came immediately after CEZ rejected an earlier appeal from Areva against its removal from the tender on October 5 for what are still unclear reasons. Read more

A last minute effort by the finance minister to convince the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates failed to bear fruit on Tuesday as the central bank held rates at 8 per cent.

P Chidambaram had said on Monday that the government would effectively halve the fiscal deficit by 2017, adding pressure on the bank to ease. Instead, the RBI cut the cash reserve ratio for banks by 25bps to 4.25 per cent. Read more

The Reserve Bank of India held interest rates at 8.00 per cent on Tuesday, despite hope that it might cut in the wake of the finance minister’s pledge on Monday that the government would effectively halve the fiscal deficit by 2017. The bank cut the cash reserve ratio for banks by 25bps to 4.25 per cent.

Given that inflation remains elevated, at 7.81 per cent for September, the RBI had little choice but to pause, economists said. Read more

* South Africa reaches ‘tipping point’

* US seeks Algeria help in Mali

* Romney ad on Chrysler jobs to China attacked Read more

By Eswar Prasad and Karim Foda

The renminbi is in the spotlight again. The US Presidential election campaign features both candidates vowing to be tough on China, with Mitt Romney promising to “call China a currency manipulator on day one” if elected.

In fact, based on data for this year, there isn’t a strong basis for a charge of currency manipulation. Meanwhile, with growth slowing and the leadership transition taking many unexpected twists, there are concerns about capital flight from China that could also have implications for the renminbi. Read more