Ecuador, the smallest of the OPEC members, is working hard to diversify away from a dependence on oil exports.
So now the country’s leftwing president, Rafael Correa, is pushing for a new law to fast track mining contracts and investments in the Andean country. Continue reading »
Colombia’s central bank has finally decided to take a breather.
After cutting rates for five consecutive months – including last month’s surprise 50bps cut – the bank decided on Friday to hold its benchmark rate at 3.25 per cent. Continue reading »
Ecuador is licensing a chunk of the Amazon. After touring Asia, Europe and North America, the Andean country’s government has extended from late May to mid-July a deadline by which bid for oil blocks located in the southeast of the country must be submitted.
The government says this will give companies more time to appraise the region’s geology and fill out the necessary paperwork. To some, it could suggest Ecuador had received less interest than initially hoped for. Continue reading »
“Magical realism” will be familiar to many as the Latin American 20th century literary movement perhaps most typified by Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez and his international bestseller, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Literary globetrotters are already familiar with the Colombian town of Cartagena, home to the first overseas offshoot of the UK’s Hay Festival of Literature. So perhaps the Colombian government thought it wasn’t stepping too far beyond the bounds of literary taste to choose “magical realism” as a new advertising slogan for its tourism industry. Continue reading »
After two sluggish quarters of growth, Colombia’s finance minister, Mauricio Cárdenas (pictured), is determined to reignite the economy – even if that means cornering banks to lower interest rates.
That’s understandable. After all, while the country’s central bank has been busy slashing interest rates since last July, the banks have not really been passing on the cuts. Continue reading »
Looking much like the sketches from Charles Darwin’s “Voyage of the Beagle”, the wrapper illustrations on the chocolate bars made by Ecuador’s República del Cacao make much of the traditions and history of Ecuadorian chocolate, and of the adventures and journeys of discovery made by its pioneer chocolatiers.
Now República del Cacao is embarking from its own humble origins on a similar voyage of discovery. Continue reading »
Ding, ding, ding. Get ready to rumble.
Sir Richard Branson, the airline to mobile phone billionaire, has landed in Colombia with the launch on Wednesday of his Virgin Mobile services in the country.
The move will pit Sir Richard against Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man and who through his flagship company, América Móvil, dominates the telecoms sector in Latin America. Continue reading »
Can I nationalise you?
For a country with a fondness for nationalisations and getting its way, going to full arbitration might feel a little, well, odd. Bolivia has been placing companies under state control on and off since May 2006.
So how did UK-based power company Rurelec manage to get Bolivia to go to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague over the nationalisation of the assets of its local subsidiary, Guaracachi, almost three years ago? Continue reading »
Colombia sure likes to keep the markets on their toes.
On Friday, the country cut its benchmark interest rate for the fifth consecutive month. While previous cuts came in at 25bps increments, the central bank took out the axe this time around and chop rates by 50bps to 3.25 per cent – the lowest in Latin America. Continue reading »
Colombia is recovering… by baby steps.
The Andean nation’s gross domestic product grew 4 per cent last year, beating the country’s central bank forecast of 3.3 to 3.9 per cent – but still much lower than the 6.6 per cent of 2011. Continue reading »
Get ready to rumble. Colombia is stepping up the fight against the appreciation of its currency, the peso.
Having spent nearly $5bn last year buying dollars to stem the peso’s rise, the government this week said it was willing to deploy double the amount – or $10bn – this year keep the currency in check. Continue reading »
Peru is typically grouped with Mexico, Panama, Colombia and Chile as one of Latin America’s high-growth economies, a darling of international investors. But how easy is it to invest in? Not easy at all, says Luis Miguel Castilla, Peru’s finance minister.
“Our diagnosis is that our own capital market is poorly developed; not deep; scarcely liquid,” he tells beyondbrics. Continue reading »
After winning re-election last month, Ecuador’s firebrand president, Rafael Correa, vowed to deepen his socialist revolution and make it irreversible.
He is already taking steps: this week he presented a bill asking lawmakers to terminate an investment protection treaty with the US. Continue reading »
Colombia’s coffee tastes sweeter, once again.
On Friday, the country’s cafeteros – or coffee growers- and the government finally came to an agreement that puts an end to a strike that has left several people wounded. Continue reading »