Daily Archives: Feb 11, 2013

For all the moaning in Venezuela about last Friday’s devaluation (which the most cynical critics were saying was absolutely essential, until it happened, and then it became a disaster), there is at least one group of people who are fairly content with the development: investors in Venezuela’s dollar bonds.

Once again, a move by Venezuela’s socialist government was in lockstep with the interests of those arch-capitalists on Wall Street. Look no further than the reaction of Venezuela’s sovereign bonds on Monday, with benchmark yields falling to a five-year low. Read more

Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, whose $20.1bn acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev has hit a stumbling block in the United States, reported modest quarterly results as earnings were hit by a higher tax bill and the relative strength of the Mexican dollar to the US dollar. Read more

cryingWhat do a Mexico tortilla maker and a Chilean wood panel manufacturer have in common with Colgate-Palmolive and Telefonica?

Answer: they all have sizeable operations in Venezuela and their shares are feeling the squeeze after the government of Hugo Chávez announced a surprise devaluation on Friday. Read more

Nikolai Tokarev, the president of Transneft, Russia’s state oil pipeline monopoly, rarely gives interviews let alone criticizes the company’s business partners in public. So it’s puzzling to see the former KGB officer airing complaints about the Summa Group, Transneft’s co-shareholder at Novorossiysk Commercial Sea port, Russia’s biggest stevedoring company. Read more

In India, anyone who stands in public rearranging their purse would face a barrage of pleas from all sides. With the upcoming Budget announcement, the Indian government is experiencing much the same phenomenon.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) announced a fall in car sales for January – the third consecutive month of decline – and followed the news with a plea for a cut in excise duties in the coming Budget. Read more

Google’s dominance of global search is well known, and that includes Africa, where the US search engine has over 90 per cent market share.

Now it can add its browser Chrome to its trophy list – according to data from StatCounter it has just overtaken Firefox as the continent’s most popular means of browsing the web. Read more

Polish farmers have a debt of thanks to the World Trade Organisation – having joined the WTO last year, Polish food exports to Russia soared in 2012 and are likely to continue growing quickly this year.

The Rzeczpospolita newspaper reports on Monday that in the first 11 months of 2012, food sales to Russia rose by 30 per cent compared to the same period in 2011, reaching about $1.3bn. Analysts expect a similar increase in 2013. Read more

Sibanye Gold, the new company split out of Gold Fields, started trading on Monday with the market giving the new entity that contains the troubled South African mines of KDC and Beatrix a lowish valuation. Holders of Gold Fields stock were given one share in Sibanye for each of their Gold Fields shares.

Sibanye shares closed at R13.70, having traded between R13 and R14.78 during the day. Analysts had guessed at prices anywhere between R8 and R53. Gold Fields, meanwhile, closed R14 lower at R91.81, a fall of 13.4 per cent from Friday’s close. Job done? Read more

Shares in Impala Platinum fell by as much as 3.4 per cent on Monday morning in Johannesburg following the release of a trading statement from the South African mining company detailing a fall in half-year profits.

The statement, warning shareholders ahead of the company’s half-year results on Thursday, says basic earnings per share for the six months ending December 31, 2012 are expected to be up to 79 per cent lower than the equivalent period in 2011, at 120-138 cents. Read more

Air Asia has moved its headquarters to Jakarta. Chief executive Tony Fernandes talks to the FT’s Ben Bland about running a low cost airline in southeast Asia and about owning sports teams – the English Premier League football team Queen’s Park Rangers and the Caterham Formula 1 racing team.

Seamstresses work in a factory that makes and exports Valentino men's suits in 10th of Ramadan City, Egypt

The slide in the value of the Egyptian pound since December is good news for the textile industry, but its impact is blunted by the deterioration in economic and business conditions since the 2011 revolution, exporters say, writes Heba Saleh in Cairo.

Manufacturers have been arguing for years that the currency is overvalued, damaging competitiveness and business. Though they now welcome the devaluation of the pound, they are deeply anxious about the upheavals in the exchange market and the more general deterioration in the business climate. Read more

By Ali Albazzaz and Mark DeWeaver

Among the small but growing band of investors in the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX), the question most asked is whether 2013 will mark the start of a new bull market.

Two recent developments may help drive significant foreign capital inflows. The first is the much publicised and surprisingly successful IPO of Asiacell Communications, Iraq’s largest mobile phone company, which listed on February 3. The second is the awarding of Iraq’s first custody license, a breakthrough that few were predicting even a couple months ago and few are aware of even now. Read more

The MCX-SX. Is it a dangerous chemical compound? A state of the art camera? Or a new type of heavy artillery? No, it’s India’s new stock exchange.

Beyond its slight tongue-twister of a name, though, will the MCX-SX offer anything of value? Read more

* Arab Spring fund flows to UAE exceed $8bn

* Putin turns black gold to bullion as Russia outbuys world

* Indonesian shares rise as emerging volatility drops Read more

After being one of the world’s worst performing stock markets for the past three years, Shanghai has finally turned the corner, gaining 23 per cent since the start of December.

With a break from trading this week for the Chinese New Year holiday, this is a good opportunity to take a closer look at the Shanghai rally. Three interesting facts, each illustrated by a chart below, stand out. Taken together, they raise the tantalising possibility that Shanghai is maturing as a market, with institutions not retail investors driving the rally. Read more

Monday’s picks from the beyondbrics team: frontier markets mesmerise investors; Qatar’s borrowing under the spotlight; the economic grievances which fueled the Arab Spring have not been addressed; China’s inequality plan is too vague; plus, why Russia should fear the Year of the Snake. Read more

By Andrew Bowman and Rob Minto

Private equity is back in the headlines with huge buyout bids planned for EE and Dell. But there’s also plenty of buzz in emerging markets, where the share of global private equity fundraising has quadrupled from 5 per cent in 2003 to 20 per cent last year.

Chart of the week looks at the highs and lows of private equity across the Brics and sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, courtesy of data compiled by the Emerging Markets Private Equity AssociationRead more

Last week’s HK$24bn ($3bn) placement for China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, was a striking deal for its sheer size. But perhaps it was most remarkable for the fact that it involved only one bookrunner.

Talk to any equity or debt capital markets banker in Asia and they will swiftly raise a familiar gripe: the trend to put far more bookrunners on a straightforward deal than ever used to be the case. Read more

By Ben Simpfendorfer of Silk Road Associates

For the past few years, I’ve described myself as a short-term bull and medium-term bear. But it’s time to update that view, as the medium-term has finally arrived; in short, China’s trend growth rate has shifted down towards 7 per cent and will likely stay there through 2015.

The bigger question though is whether it will shift downwards again. If that proves to be the case, the unsustainability of China’s debt-fuelled growth will have played an important role. Read more

* Venezuelan devaluation sparks panic

* Essar set to shift debt into dollars

* Opposition “would talk to Assad in northern Syria” Read more