Daily Archives: Nov 8, 2012

Reinforcing its reputation of spotting problems early and taking action, Chile’s central bank is seeking to head off end-of-year liquidity strains by reinstating a tactic it used last year: a temporary repurchase window allowing banks to pawn bonds for cash. Read more

What goes up must come down, or so they say. That is true, at the very least, of Hugo Chávez’s government spending before and after the October presidential elections.

After a substantial injection of cash into the economy ahead of the vote, spending has since collapsed by more than a third, making an economic slowdown in Venezuela next year look ever more likely. Read more

Strikes brought platinum and gold mines across South Africa to a standstill in September. Big producers such as Lonmin, Gold Fields, and Anglo American Platinum were involved. The government has now published mining production figures for the month, so we can begin taking stock of the impact. Read more

Nigeria got an upgrade and new coverage of its sovereign debt this week as S&P upped it to BB- and Moody’s opened its rating at the equivalent level. This leaves Nigeria rated by all three major agencies at three notches from investment grade.

The move gave bond yields another reason to fall on Thursday. The question is – can they go any further? Read more

Fitch, the credit ratings agency, has raised Turkey’s sovereign rating to investment grade. Standard Bank’s Timothy Ash talks to Stefan Wagstyl, emerging markets editor, about what the boost means for the country and its investors.

This was downtown Buenos Aires in the rush hour on Wednesday night. Ouch.

A gigantic power cut crippled the centre of the capital, causing three hours of chaos and misery for 3m people, some of whom were trapped in the metro or ended up having to walk miles home through gridlocked streets choked by failed traffic lights. It could get worse on Thursday. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Dry weather that has slashed world grain crops this year has taken a particularly heavy toll in Russia, where wheat production has fallen by almost one third. Russian flour prices are already more than twice as high as a year ago and are driving a rise in the price of bread. Read more

By David Edgerly

One of the many challenges facing the Turkish economy is to increase the value added of its products by relying less on simple assembly or use of machines and technology developed abroad.

The experience of AirTies, a high tech company specialising in internet connectivity, demonstrates how a company utilising local engineering talent and a boost from external financing can help drive Turkey into a higher level of economic activity. Read more

Distressed debt players who took a bet on bonds issued by Blue City of Oman should be cheered by a chance to get out.

The Gulf country’s sovereign wealth fund has offered to buy “class B” subordinated notes of the ailing real estate project – a $20bn beachside development that stalled as the financial crisis took a grip. Read more

Megafon, the Russian mobile operator hoping to list in London, has come up with strong earnings for the third quarter. Net profit jumped 19.6 per cent to Rb14.9bn, while revenue rose 12.3 per cent year-on-year to Rb71.2bn.

The company announced in October that it would hold off its planned IPO until after third quarter results. Yet at this point the chance of a 2012 IPO going ahead seems to have little to do with today’s results, and everything to do with the UK regulator. Read more

Taiwan’s exports fell unexpectedly in October, showing uncertainty despite a string of other recent data which had shown some tepid improvement in the struggling economy.

Weak exports of tech goods – particularly of mobile phones, as HTC continues to struggle – drove exports down 1.9 per cent year on year, after they had improved an impressive 10.4 per cent the prior month. Analysts had been expecting growth of 2 per cent. Read more

* China prepares to unveil new leaders

* China calls for energy conservation

* YPF profits plunge on higher costs

* Argentine judge freezes Chevron assets Read more

By Simon Mundy and Laeticia Ock

At no time this year was South Korea’s national obsession with education more starkly on show than on Thursday, as more than 660,000 youngsters sat their university entrance exams. Traffic was diverted away from exam halls, airline schedules were tweaked to avoid distractions and police cars were put at the disposal of students who risked arriving late for their exams. Read more

By Jake Maxwell Watts and Nguyen Phuong Linh

As construction starts on a controversial hydropower project in Laos, it becomes clearer by the day that this poor and underdeveloped country is likely to place its ambition to be the “battery of south-east Asia” above any cost to the environment – and that price will be considerable. Read more

Another quarter, another bad loss for India’s embattled Kingfisher Airlines. Billionaire Millionaire liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s carrier reported a net loss of $138.5m in the quarter ended in September, widening from the $86.1m loss during the same quarter last year. Revenues were just $36.8m, down 87 per cent from $284.5m, according to results on Thursday.

The company headlined its press release, “Kingfisher Airlines Limited Announces Quarterly Results in line with its expectations”, and called its current status “a holding pattern”. That’s one way to put it. Read more

Thursday’s picks from the BB team: what sort of President will Xi Jinping be? The battle for Guinea’s treasures; and ignorance and materialism in Russian cinema. Plus: will peace talks with FARC lead to resolution; Tutu on the ancient foe of TB; and India’s reaction to Rajat Gupta. Read more

Indonesia’s central bank on Thursday left its benchmark rate unchanged at a record low of 5.75 per cent.

That makes nine months in a row without a shift. A bit boring for bank watchers, yes. But it’s a real tribute to the resilience of the Indonesian economy at this stage in the global crisis. Read more

What’s a finance minister to do when his own cabinet colleagues disbelieve his figures?

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Pakistan’s finance minister, is finding out the hard way. The respected former World Bank economist has had his inflation data challenged by other ministers, with one of them saying the figures are “out of tune with reality”.

It’s not that his colleagues are interested in statistics. But they are very interested in the parliamentary elections due to be held by the middle of next year – and they’re scared the voters will be angry with the official data. Read more

By Qu Hongbin of HSBC

As the west wobbles, all eyes are now on China to see what the country’s new leaders will do to stimulate the economy.

While we have little doubt that policy makers will gear up their monetary and fiscal easing, focusing on short-term stimulus misses a far more important trend – a swathe of co-ordinated reforms that will revolutionalise the country’s financial system over the next three to five years. Read more

The annual World Economic Forum meeting in India is arguably the country’s highest-powered business gathering, a must-attend talkfest where the bollygarch class take time out to rub shoulders, and herald their own considerable achievements.

But this year’s event, which comes to a close on Thursday just outside smog-bound New Delhi, has been striking for a different reason, leading some participants to muse quietly on an unexpected question: are India’s major tycoons in hiding? Read more