Daily Archives: Jan 15, 2013

If there’s one Portuguese word you need to learn before coming to Brazil it’s jeitinho. Literally “little way”, it refers to the nationwide habit of circumventing rules or conventions through highly creative, cunning and sometimes downright illegal tactics.

Can’t get tickets to a show or pass your driving test? Don’t worry; you just need to find a jeitinho. It also works for managing the economy, it seems. Read more

What is the dirty not-so-secret secret of Brazil’s capital market? The answer is here in this chart from Dealogic. (see after jump) Read more

Mutual desperation makes for some unlikely – and bitchy – friendships.

On Tuesday, according to Bloomberg, the US Second Court of Appeals accepted an amicus curiae filing from former Argentine central bank head Alfonso Prat-Gay in support of his country’s attempt to overturn a court ruling that would require Argentina to pay $1.3bn to holders of its defaulted bonds. Read more

Remember the hacker who exposed Lula’s loot? And remember how that wasn’t much of a collection for a president accused of corruption? Well, apparently, Lula has even less property than the hacker claimed. Read more

As two of the biggest beasts in the central and east European banking jungle, Raiffeissen Bank and Unicredit’s Bank Austria have good reason to talk up the region’s prospects. Right now, they have a motive too: over 1,200 delegates are in Vienna on Tuesday and Wednesday for an annual Euromoney conference that is a key date in the CEE investor calendar. Read more

When China’s internet growth slows, it still adds a lot of people.

Data released on Tuesday by CNNIC – China Internet Network Information Centre – showed that China’s internet population had grown by the end of December 2012 to 564m, represesting just over 42 per cent of the population, and a slight slowing in growth from what was seen in 2011.

But that’s still an additional 50m people – equivalent to the population of South Korea. Read more

Mark MobiusThe last in our series of posts by outside commentators on prospects for emerging markets in 2013 is by Mark Mobius of Templeton Emerging Markets

On my most recent trip to Egypt in early December, I arrived in Cairo a few days after President Mohamed Morsi announced that he was assuming dictatorial powers over the writing of the new Egyptian constitution.

However, during our company visits, we found that, surprisingly, it was business as usual in Egypt. Read more

Anglo American Platinum announced on Tuesday its intentions to close and sell off several of its mines in South Africa, as part of a long-awaited review of operations. The Johannesburg listed miner, which is part of the Anglo American group, will be shutting down four shafts in Rustenburg and divesting from its Union mine complex in Limpopo.

With 14,000 jobs at risk the plan has major implications for South Africa’s turbulent labour relations, but with a significant reduction in global platinum supply to follow, it also has wider implications for the markets. Mining stocks for rival producers rallied on the news, with platinum prices rising to three month highs. Read more

Source: BSE India

India’s benchmark Sensex Index passed the psychological 20,000 mark for the first time in two years during the day’s trading on Tuesday. The index closed up 0.4 per cent at 19,986.82.

There has been much anticipation around the 20,000 landmark, as the index has rallied 23.7 per cent in the past twelve months. Read more

Just when the central bank is hinting that it might ease monetary policy comes more evidence of the Russian economy slowing.

The Association of European Businesses in Russia forecast on Tuesday that car sales would be flat in 2013 following last year’s 10.6 per cent gain. Read more

* Amplats outlines radical SA overhaul

* Stocks mixed as risk rally wavers

* Seasonal oil demand behind Saudi’s output cut Read more

Germany’s Eon and France’s GDF Suez have struck a deal to sell their joint venture in a Slovak natural gas company to the Czech Republic’s Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding (EPH) for about €2.6bn ($3.5bn), the companies announced on Tuesday.

The transaction, which has been approved by the Slovak government, will see EPH take a 49 per cent stake and operational control of Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel (SPP), the local gas utility. The remaining 51 per cent share in SPP is held by the Slovak government. Read more

These are hard times for Chinese government officials, it seems: corruption just isn’t what it used to be.

At least that’s the headline finding of Tuesday’s Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013, which discovered that super-premium Chinese liquor (Moutai) and top end luxury watches are no longer the Chinese millionaire’s favourite gifts. Read more

By Ben Aris of business new europe

Kicking off the Russian IPO drive for 2013 is Russian rail freight company NefteTransService (NTS), with an announcement on Tuesday confirming its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange in the first half of this year.

Financial details have still to be settled but NTS is expected to sell a stake of around 25 per cent in a business with an estimated market value of around $2bnRead more

By Lajos Bokros, MEP and former finance minister of Hungary

Fidesz, the Hungarian ruling party led by prime minister Viktor Orbán, likes to call itself a centre-right, conservative group. It is a label often echoed in western media. ‘Centre-right’ would usually denote a party standing for private enterprise: regulated, yes, but otherwise freed from government interference and bureaucracy, able to channel innovation, effort and funding to create wealth for all in society.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Read more

Tuesday’s picks from the beyondbrics team: ending Beijing’s air pollution scourge requires confronting vested interests; Turkey must find a compromise with Kurdish demands; the EU should force Yanukovich to live up to democratic standards; don’t underestimate Chinese consumers; plus, Kenya’s Nigerian future. Read more

As expected, Russia’s central bank left interest rates unchanged at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. But it slightly altered the wording of its policy statement, in a gentle hint that it might soon start cutting rates in response to a slowing economy. Read more

Anglo American Platinum, the world’s biggest producer of the precious metal, is to close four shafts and look to sell another mine complex as part of a radical overhaul of its South African operations.

Announcing the results of a year-long review of its business, the company said the moves could affect up to 14,000 jobs, which it hoped to recreate through other initiatives. In total Amplats employs about 60,000 people.

 Read more

By uncanny coincidence, the record-breaking pollution that has enveloped Beijing comes almost exactly 60 years after London’s Great Smog of 1952, the worst case of air pollution in British history.

The comparison will not be lost in China. Many Chinese will remember Mao-era propaganda films which often showed London’s smogs as evidence of the failure of capitalism. Britain responded to the enviromental crisis with a clean-up. It’s time for China to do the same. Read more

More evidence of the ebullience engulfing emerging market assets since late 2012: on Tuesday, Ashmore Group, a big EM asset manager, said its assets under management had increased by $3bn to $71bn as of December 31, made up of $2bn accounted for by “positive investment performance” and $1bn of net inflows.

Ashmore did best out of EM debt, especially the local currency variety. But the EM rally has extended to equities, too. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.6 per cent on Tuesday, for example, bringing its rally since December 4 to 18.9 per cent. In Shenzhen, gains since December 4 have reached 27.4 per cent. Read more