January is normally a quiet month for dealmaking in Brazil as executives collapse on a beach somewhere for their long summer holiday between Christmas and Carnival. However, that could all change this year as bankers push ahead with the next stage of the telecoms market’s consolidation.
Late on Thursday, the Brazilian mobile phone operator Oi finally got approval from its merger partner Portugal Telecom to sell the Portuguese company’s assets to France’s Altice. (Altice agreed to the €7.4bn acquisition in November but minority shareholders had threatened to sabotage the deal.) Read more
After only a few weeks of market-friendly measures, it looks like the late-flowering romance between investors and Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, could already be coming to an end.
Rousseff had been widely expected to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos next week. But on Tuesday the presidential palace said she would be going to the inauguration ceremony of Bolivia’s leftist leader Evo Morales, instead.
“What an embarrassment!” exclaimed one Brazilian on Twitter. “This is the reason why people abroad think Brazil is a joke,” wrote another. Read more
Dilma Rousseff may now be in her second term as Brazil’s president but that has not stopped Brazilians from continuing to obsess over her wildly popular predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Over the weekend, the Brazilian columnist Leandro Mazzini at the Folha de São Paulo newspaper group sent shockwaves across the country by reporting that Lula has been battling pancreatic cancer since the beginning of 2014. Read more
There are plenty of misconceptions about Brazil. Many Brazilians have no interest in football, can’t stand samba and would rather spend the weekend in a shopping centre than on the beach. They certainly don’t speak Spanish. When it comes to the economy, though, perhaps one of the biggest myths about the country is that Brazil has an inflation target of 4.5 per cent.
Officially, the Brazilian central bank’s annual inflation target has been 4.5 per cent ever since 2005. However, in reality, inflation data show Brazil has actually been working with a target closer to 6 per cent for the past few years. Read more
The plot thickens over the choice of Brazil’s next finance minister.
On Thursday, business daily Valor Econômico reported that President Dilma Rousseff had invited Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi, head of the non-government bank Bradesco, to replace Guido Mantega next year. According to the newspaper, Rousseff met with Lázaro Brandão, president of Bradesco’s board, on Tuesday this week to discuss the matter. With Brandão on side, it would make it easier for Trabuco to accept the position and then return to the bank in the future, the daily said. Read more
Brazil’s market has been in a state of mild depression since President Dilma Rousseff was re-elected just over a week ago – only ‘mild’ because many believed Aécio Neves of the business-friendly PSDB party never stood a chance.
However, there is still one topic of conversation guaranteed to raise a hopeful smile or a few extra points on the country’s Bovespa stock index, and that’s Rousseff’s next choice of finance minister. Read more
Like the country’s soap operas, Brazil’s presidential elections have been full of drama, improbable story lines and last-minute cliff hangers. Monday night was no different.
Just as Brazilians were beginning to wonder whether Aécio Neves of the centrist PSDB party could actually win this Sunday’s vote, a Datafolha poll showed President Dilma Rousseff ahead for the first time since the first round of elections on October 5. The results are still too close to call though, falling with the polling firm’s margin of error. Read more
Campaigning for Brazil’s election run-off has begun again and so has the madness, it seems. While there are fewer clowns and footballers vying for votes at this stage, the country’s presidential candidates are already providing plenty of entertainment.
On Thursday, it was President Dilma Rousseff’s turn. On a visit to Brazil’s poorer northeast state of Bahia, home to many black and mixed-race Brazilians, Dilma tried to win over the locals by telling them she, too, was meio pardinha – a complicated concept in Brazil but one that could roughly be translated as “a little bit black”. Read more
It was set to be one of the biggest massacres of Brazil’s election. On Thursday night Guido Mantega, finance minister, went head-to-head with Armínio Fraga, the former central banker who will take his job if Aécio Neves wins the presidency this month.
Mantega certainly has some explaining to do. The economy is expected to grow a measly 0.2 per cent this year, according to Brazil’s latest central bank survey. That is less than much of the developed and developing world. Read more
With just over two weeks to go until Brazil’s election run-off, the country is bracing for one of the most acrimonious political disputes in its history: an almighty battle between the “ghosts of the past” and the “monsters of the present”.
President Dilma Rousseff has warned Brazilians that the opposition will take the country back to the dark days of high unemployment and poverty. “When we take a step forward in life, we need to know how to preserve what we have achieved,” explains one PT party campaign video. “We can’t let the ghosts of the past come back and take everything we’ve worked for.” Read more
If you think you’ve had a tough week, spare a thought for Brazil’s beleaguered political consultants. As Sunday’s presidential election draws closer, they’ve come under increasing pressure from frantic investors to answer the million-dollar question: who will win?
In fact, as Bloomberg points out, it’s actually a billion-dollar question. Since President Dilma Rousseff took office at the beginning of 2011, Brazil’s benchmark stock index has plunged 23 per cent, erasing $300bn of market value. Read more
Type “Latin America” and “booming middle classes” into Google and you will get more than 40,000 results. The rise of millions of Latin Americans out of poverty over the past decade has defined the region socially, politically and economically. It has also made investors rich.
However, as Moody’s explains in a report on Tuesday, the middle class-led consumer “boom” is coming to an end and, for some companies in particular, the results won’t be pretty. Read more
Dilma Rousseff is an impressive woman. Under Brazil’s military dictatorship she was held in prison for three years, where she was beaten, tortured with electric shocks and hung upside down for long periods of time. After rebuilding her life, she was elected the first female president in Brazilian history in 2010, setting an example for generations of women to come.
However, in her first official campaign video ahead of October’s elections this week, Dilma has been reincarnated as a…housewife. Read more
If anyone had any doubts about the political significance of the tragic plane crash that killed presidential candidate Eduardo Campos last week, they only need to see the results of Monday’s Datafolha poll.
Marina Silva, who is set to take over as candidate for the Brazilian Socialist party (PSB), attracted over twice as much support as Mr Campos did before he died and now stands a real chance of winning October’s elections. Read more
Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals was bad enough but now it looks like the country’s economy may also be heading for a similarly crushing defeat. While annual inflation is creeping up towards 7 per cent, most economists now forecast GDP growth this year of little more than 1 per cent.
Faced with this gloomy scenario, Brazil’s central bank will have little choice but to do precisely nothing at its interest rate meeting this week. Read more
After months of speculation and the world’s longest tightening cycle, it looks like Brazil may finally be done increasing interest rates.
Late on Wednesday, the bank raised Brazil’s Selic rate another 25 basis points to 11 per cent – the highest level in more than two years. Read more
Imagine you’re Brazil’s central bank president, Alexandre Tombini.
It’s an election year and your boss is Dilma Rousseff. Growth is slowing and high interest rates are boosting debt servicing costs for voters who are up to their eyeballs in debt. Read more
The Eike Batista yard sale is not over just yet, it seems.
Brazil’s former richest man is expected to conclude as early as this week the sale of his 33 per cent stake in the country’s treasured semiconductor venture, SIX Semicondutores. The buyer is Argentine billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian, head of the holding company Corporación América. Corporación América confirmed it was in the final stages of buying the stake after Eurnekian visited the site of the half-finished semiconductor plant in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state on Monday. Eike’s EBX group did not respond to requests for comment. Read more
It’s been another record-breaking day for Brazil, but not in a good way. After data on Tuesday showed car sales fell in 2013 for the first time in a decade, a report from Brazil’s central bank on Wednesday showed the country also recorded the biggest dollar outflow in over 10 years.
Net dollar outflows totalled $12.26bn last year – the largest exit of dollars since 2002 when the election of leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva caused investors to flee the country. Read more