Daily Archives: Nov 1, 2012

By Ron Buchanan and Pan Kwan Yuk

If the amount of money sent home by Mexicans working in the US is a barometer for the health of the American economy, then here’s some bad news for President Barack Obama.

Remittances sent home by oversea Mexicans fell 20 per cent to in September, according to the latest figures published by the Bank of Mexico. The drop – from $1.88bn last September to $1.66bn this September – is the biggest monthly drop since October 2009, the height of the global financial crisis. Read more

Colombia’s female beauty is renowned for being naturally stunning. Sometimes there are some enhancements to what nature originally provided, though, helped by the scalpel of a plastic surgeon or by the brush of a cosmetologist.

For those that prefer make-up, there’s good news: France’s cosmetics giant, L’Oréal, has expanded its presence in the Andean country after the acquisition of Vogue, a local cosmetics brand. Read more

It is easy to forget sometimes that when you are talking about Brazilian industry, you are in large measure speaking about carmakers. The national auto industry makes up about one fifth of the country’s industrial base. So naturally, when it is doing well, Brazil does well – and vice versa.

The latest testament to this is the September industrial figures, which dipped by nearly 1 per cent during the month compared with August, the first such decline in four months. Read more

Rosneft is set to become the world’s biggest listed oil producer following its $55bn merger with TNK-BP. But the ambitions of Russia’s state oil company don’t stop there. Rosneft is also advancing deeper into the Russian natural gas market where it signed a 25 year deal on Thursday to supply gas to Inter RAO, the state electricity producer and trader. Read more

By Nicholas Watson of bne

Shares in AVG Technologies have had a bumpy ride since the antivirus software maker’s IPO in New York at the start of this year. But the surge in its shares on October 31 following strong earnings results indicates that investors are starting to look at the Czech-based company in a new light.

The shares rose 8.2 per cent to $10.84 on what traders described as “monster volume” as the company announced that its net profit for the third quarter rose more than fourfold to $19m from $3.6m a year earlier, and as its revenues hit $95m, up 34 per cent. Read more

The Czech central bank on Thursday cut its policy rate from 0.25 per cent to 0.05 per cent, in a move that took observers by surprise and weakened the currency by a notch.

With Japan and Switzerland on zero, and Singapore on 0.01 per cent, it’s not the world’s lowest rate. Nor even the lowest in the EU, with Bulgaria on 0.03 per cent. But at these levels, we are splitting hairs. As Czech central bank governor Miroslav Singer said, Prague is on “a technical zero”. Read more

Indonesia should consider revamping its corporate governance standards in the wake of the Bumi affair.

Even though the case involves a dispute among private shareholders, the government must tread carefully because the affair is seen as “a bad precedent” for the country.

That’s the view of Chatib Basri, chairman of the government’s investment coordinating board, (pictured) who told beyondbrics of his concern about Bumi’s impact on the investment climate. Read more

As South Africa’s mining industry reels from weeks of wildcat strikes amid warnings that the unrest could lead to more job losses in an industry that provides employment for around 500,000 people, the last thing the country needed was a rise in unemployment.

But that’s what it got on Thursday when Statistics SA reported that joblessness in Africa’s largest economy had risen to 25.5 per cent in the third quarter, up from 24.9 per cent in the previous three months of the year. Read more

Hold steady – the risk / reward balance is tipping. The Brics are now being termed “safe haven” markets and grouped with the UK, US and Germany.

For some time emerging markets have attracted multinational companies with the promise of higher returns. This draw used to come with higher risk – but the perception of that risk is now shifting. Read more

* China’s manufacturers return to growth

* Claimants to pursue Chevron’s LatAm assets

* Better China data get mixed reaction Read more

After months of soul-searching by both borrower and lenders, Zimbabwe’s Treasury bill market re-opened last week.

It’s a small start – less than $10m – but it’s a significant moment. What does it mean for the country’s finances? Read more

Dana Gas on Thursday confirmed it had missed a $920m Islamic bond repayment and creditors said they would begin to claim against assets of the United Arab Emirates-based company, writes Simeon Kerr in Dubai.

However, the situation was a confusing one as Dana, listed in Abu Dhabi, said talks were continuing amid a standstill agreement, under which creditors have agreed not to enforce their rights in the event of non-payment. Read more

Thursday’s picks from the BB team: China’s influence in Sri Lanka; restructuring Argentina’s debt; and India’s construction workers. Plus: social work in China; terrorism in Africa; and economics vs security in Asia. Read more

The magazine may not be available yet, but Playboy plans to open in India. That’s right, the magazine famous for nudity – and underrated for it’s articles – is going to open retail outlets, clubs, hotels and fashion cafés, according to the Economic Times.

This is in a country whose film industry has only recently begun showing committed couples kissing. The same country where anything – from a couple’s celebrating Valentine’s Day to an impromptu kiss between a famous Buddhist and a Celebrity Big Brother contestant – can spark outrage and protest. Read more

Is South Korea seeing light at the end of the tunnel? The latest economic data seem to suggest so.

The country’s exports unexpectedly rose for the first time in four months, up 1.2 per cent in October from a year earlier, driven by higher demand from emerging markets. Its industrial output also posted its first monthly increase in four months, rising 0.8 per cent in September from the previous month. Meanwhile, inflationary pressure started to build up with consumer prices rising 2.1 per cent in October from a year earlier due to higher food prices, but still at the bottom of the country’s target range. Read more

Assigning letters to economic trajectories was very much in vogue back in 2009. Would recoveries be ‘V’, ‘W’ or ‘L’ shaped? Now the craze seems to be coming to China.

October’s official PMI data showed that China’s factories are back to growth – just. But analysts disagree about whether this points to a big turnaround. Read more

* China’s manufacturers return to growth

* Claimants to pursue Chevron’s LatAm assets

* Potash in talks to buy Israel Chemicals Read more

Has the global slowdown finally caught up with Mexico? Depends on who you ask.

The most recent figures from the finance ministry showed that third-quarter annual growth stood at 3.3 per cent, slower that the 4.1 per cent year-on-year increase of the second quarter and the 4.5 per cent in the first. Read more