Daily Archives: Feb 8, 2013

Carlos Slim closed the week with a successful $950m IPO of his Sanborns retail and restaurant chain whose tastes reflect the quintessence of the growing Mexican middle class.

Priced at 28 pesos a share, Sanborns see-sawed a little before hitting 28.31 in late trading on Friday. Read more

It’s finally happened. Venezuela’s government announced Friday that is devaluing the country’s currency.

Officials said the fixed exchange rate is changing from 4.30 bolivars to the dollar to 6.30 bolivars to the dollar with immediate effect. It will also be scrapping the currency exchange system known as SITME through which Venezuelans could buy dollars for 5.3 bolivars. Read more

Brazil’s government knows that if there is a silver bullet to solve the country’s mounting transport infrastructure problem, it is rail. That is why it is pushing with increasing determination a proposal to build not just one but possibly several bullet trains in the country. Read more

Petrobras is in a mess. The Brazilian state company makes promises year after year, only to disappoint. Worse still, the Brazilian government heaps on the pressure by trying to push up production targets. But it refuses for national political reasons to give the company the means and freedom to deliver.

 Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

With billions of dollars of natural gas at stake, Ukraine and Russia seem to once again be putting brotherly Slavic love aside in favour of poker-faced brinkmanship.

It’s been two weeks since the FT revealed that Russia’s Gazprom had slapped Ukraine with a whopping $7bn bill for natural gas not supplied in 2012. Strangely, Gazprom has not said much on the matter since then. It could yet challenge Ukraine through arbitration, yet Ukrainian officials appear unphased by the prospect. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Talk is all very nice, but the true measure of confidence is if someone invests cold, hard cash – and that does seem to be happening with central and eastern Europe in the case of fundraising being conducted by private equity funds. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

South African investors have been cautious about dipping into exchange traded products (ETPs), which hit the scene just over 10 years ago. Reservations about the passive nature of such products have been an issue for some. But attitudes are changing and the figures are ticking upwards. Read more

This week, India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval “in principle” for coal price pooling. State governments have spoken out, stocks have rallied and companies have had their say.

So, what’s all the fuss about? Read more

Russia’s media advertising market has made a dramatic rebound from a slump in the 2008 global financial meltdown. But growth, although way ahead of that in developed countries, is beginning to slow down in a sign that the market is normalizing.

Spending on media advertising including television, radio, internet and print media rose by 13 per cent year on year to reach Rbs300bn ($10bn) in 2012, with growth seen across all segments, according to the Association of Communication Agencies. Read more

KDDI and Sumitomo Corp, the dominant shareholders in JCom, Japan’s number one cable-TV company, have been waiting since October to launch an offer to mop up the shares they don’t own. And now, thanks to China, they’ll have to wait a little longer.

On Friday the pair announced that Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) would not after all clear the Y759bn ($8.2bn) deal by early February, as they had earlier indicated it would. Read more

After years of inaction and with just days to spare, Turkey has finally passed a law on terror financing that has been the subject of bitter criticism at home and ever more urgent demands abroad.

Whether the measure will satisfy anyone, however, has still to be seen. Read more

* Strong China data boost sentiment

* China trade growth hints at strong 2013

* ICBC named sole Singapore renminbi clearer Read more

Taiwan’s financial services industry enjoyed a landmark moment this week when cross-border renminbi trade settlement services were officially launched in the island state. The prize: the chance to create an offshore RMB market in Taiwan to mirror that of Hong Kong. Read more

At first glance, China’s trade figures for January are stellar: exports up 25 per cent year on year, imports up 28.8 per cent.

But as ever at this time of year, the great migration of the Chinese New Year holiday makes reading the data a nightmare. Read more

Friday’s picks from the beyondbrics team: equity investors scramble for Africa, while Africa’s rich start giving; China’s urbanisation is built on shaky foundations; Tunisia reels from opposition leader’s assassination; Peugeot accelerates into Brazil; plus, learning from Asia on job creation. Read more