Daily Archives: Nov 9, 2012

Mexico enjoys a long and deep trade relationship with the US, with products ranging from automobile parts and flat-screen televisions to tomatoes and chicken breasts flowing north across the border to the world’s biggest consumer nation.

But this week, Mexican politicians began talking about another potential export to the US market, which has so far only entered the country illegally: marijuana. Read more

Brazilian industrialists might desperately want to be bullish on the economic recovery hopes of neighbouring Argentina, given close trade ties between the two neighbours. But should they be?

If Morgan Stanley is right, Argentina’s hard landing this year may have cut almost a fifth off Brazil’s industrial production growth this year as exports to its neighbour plummeted. Read more

The Slovenian presidency is generally seen as predominantly ceremonial. But the 2012 presidential election, with its first round on Sunday, could prove more important than first impressions suggest.

Slovenia is in serious economic trouble, as the country endures a second year of recession, a banking crisis, and a looming fiscal crunch. Politically, the country is divided between left and right, with new forces fracturing the picture. The election could complicate the politics and make economic decision-making even harder. Read more

Here’s a piece of good news for European banking as rare as a bloom in Death Valley – a bank IPO.

Poland’s Alior Bank, launched just weeks after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, plans to float on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in what would be the first European banking IPO of 2012.

Admittedly, the main shareholder is under pressure to sell reduce debts incurred investing in banking elsewhere in Europe (Italy). But still, the fact that Alior’s backers propose to do a European bank IPO in the next few weeks is a welcome development in a hard-pressed sector. Read more

Nigeria might be trying to lure local companies into listing on its stock exchange, with flotation activity set to increase – but it’s not the only one. London is stepping up its efforts too for listings in tandem. Read more

Some good economic data from China. But not good enough to dispell investors’ post-election concerns about the US and its fiscal cliff.

Markets were intially bouyed by the numbers from Beijing on Friday, showing bigger-than-expected gains in retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment. But one month’s figures don’t say much about the pace or duration of any rebound – especially as they coincide with the Chinese Communist party’s congress. No Beijing statistician will have wanted to deliver bad news right now. Read more

Japanese carmakers seem to be staring into the abyss in China, with buyers shunning Japanese cars since September, because of the Diaoyu islands dispute.

But AllianceBernstein analysts think this may be a passing phase. If they’re right, it could be an opportunity to buy Japanese car stocks, which are well down on the news from China. Read more

Just when you thought yields on Latin American corporate bonds couldn’t get any lower, along comes an issue that resets the price curve all over again.

Cielo, a Brazilian card-payment processor, on Friday launched $875m of 10-year debt at 225 basis points over US Treasuries, or roughly 3.86 per cent – the lowest price ever paid by a LatAm company selling new debt of that maturity. Read more

Surrounded by pit heads, slag heaps, industrial piping and hissing chemical plant, the city of Ostrava is more redolent of the Ruhr Valley of the 1960s than the Silicon Valley of today.

But the Czech Republic’s second largest metropolitan area (pop: 1.2m) has also sprouted a thriving IT culture, based on the Technical University of Ostrava. Read more

The future of central and eastern Europe (CEE) rests on decisions being made beyond its borders, as a special report in Friday’s FT warns. The region relies on the eurozone for trade and investment.

But investors are recognising the fact that countries in CEE dealt with their fiscal problems especially quickly. Credit default swap spreads in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are converging with those in the core eurozone and deleveraging in CEE is more limited than in some west European markets. Read more

A fascinating week for followers of fund flows, with both bonds and equities showing signs of a renewed taste for EM risk against the backdrop of the US presidential election. Read more

When a US Congressional committee branded Huawei, one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, a threat to the country’s national security last month, one of the reasons cited was that the Chinese company has a Communist party branch.

On Friday, Communist party officials set out to cure the congressmen from their misguided fears. Party cells in a private company are a force for good, according to Wang Jingqing, deputy head of the organisation department, something like the party’s human resources office. Read more

* Lonmin rejects takeover bid by Xstrata

* Inflation fall gives China room to expand

* Diageo’s lifeline: will it save Kingfisher? Read more

The UK will cut almost all aid to India by 2015, ending decades of financial support for the former colony that has become one of the world’s most important emerging economies.

The long-awaited move, prepared in close coordination with New Delhi, was announced on Friday by international development secretary Justine Greening who said: “It is time to recognise India’s changing place in the world.”  Read more

It looks like Vijay Mallya may finally have been thrown a lifeline for his embattled Kingfisher Airlines. But will it be enough?

After four long years of discussions, rumours and speculation, Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, agreed on Friday to buy a 53.4 per cent stake in his flagship United Spirits for more than $2bn. The attraction is obvious: Diageo gains great access to India’s 1.2bn consumers and the world’s biggest whisky market. But for Mallya, the stakes are even higher. Read more

It was a balmy evening after a sweltering day. But the 300,000 Argentines, by some estimates, who took to the streets of Buenos Aires and other major cities on Thursday evening were not out for a stroll and an ice cream. They were thumping pots and pans, parading anti-government banners and venting their frustrations with the government of Cristina Fernández. Read more

Friday’s picks from the BB team: finance, cars, shale gas and more in central and eastern Europe; martial law in the midst of a floral convention – China’s national congress; and Putin is opening Russia’s economy – but not oil and gas. Plus: food rations vs cash transfers in India; Putin’s battle with citizens who are losing confidence in him; and Australia prepares for the rise of Asia. Read more

A cell phone that runs for thirty days on a single charge. A smartphone with a Siri-like voice-recognition system that retails for around $100. A touchscreen phone with an 8 megapixel camera for less than $250.

These are but a few of the innovations Micromax, India’s largest domestic mobile phone and tablet maker by market share, has released in the four years it has been in the industry. The privately-held company specialises in simple-but-effective products targeted to its lower- and middle-income customers in India’s smaller cities. Read more

According to Brazil’s central bank, it was just a technical adjustment. However, after a series of small bank collapses in the country recently it’s easy to understand why not everyone was convinced. Read more

For the rich Chinese entrepreneur who has everything: a vineyard in Burgundy, Hunter Valley or Napa. For the rest of us? A share in a wine investment fund that can spread our risk a bit. Who wants to put all their grapes in one basket?

Chinese private equity firm Hina Group has launched the $100m Hina Vineyard Fund to raise money from rich Chinese who want a share of the mainland wine boom without having to traipse around muddy fields picking out their vines. Read more