Brazil’s oil industry has not been the source of much good news recently but this week might just go down as one of its best yet.
On Monday, the country’s state-run giant Petrobras managed to raise $11bn in the biggest emerging markets bond issue ever. Then on Tuesday the country pulled in a record R$2.8bn ($1.4bn) in its first auction of licences for oil exploration blocks in five years. Continue reading »
If the Brazilian government is looking for inspiration about how to attract foreign investment to the country, they need only to study the example of Top Right Group.
The UK-based business-to-business media group, formerly known as Emap, this week announced the opening of its first office in Brazil, which will also serve as its Latin American sales hub. Continue reading »
Chinese babies and incontinent Europeans may not sound like they have much in common but they’re the two major driving forces behind a market that’s now worth $44.4bn.
Infant and adult disposable nappies are big business these days. While the developing world is moving away from traditional non-disposable potty training products, the developed world is simultaneously ageing to the point of losing bladder control.
This is all great news for Évora, the Brazilian company that ranks as one of the world’s biggest makers of the ‘nonwoven fabric’ that is used to make nappies and other hygiene products. Continue reading »
Brazilians must be broke – they’ve even stopped drinking beer, it seems.
Anheuser-Busch InBev on Tuesday blamed disappointing profits in the first quarter on lower beer volumes both in the US and Brazil.
Total volumes fell 4.1 per cent after a hefty 8.2 per cent drop in beer volumes in the Latin American country. Continue reading »
When Dilma Rousseff emerged from a meeting with Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner last Thursday, saying that Vale would soon reach an agreement over its $6bn Rio Colorado potash project in the country, some feared the worst.
Local media took it as a sign that she wanted the Brazilian miner to stick by the cash-draining mine, which Vale ditched in March after rampant inflation and exchange rate controls doubled the project’s costs. Continue reading »
The sale of two office buildings in central São Paulo may sound like a rather insignificant event in the scale of things.
However, Standard Life’s decision to sell the two properties, marking an exit of the British insurer’s real estate fund from Brazil, could be a bad omen for the country’s property market. Continue reading »
Eike Batista may have lost nearly $20bn over the past year but the Brazilian billionaire still has enough friends in high places to see him through, it seems.
Shares of companies in Batista’s EBX group surged on Thursday after BTG Pactual, the Latin American investment bank run by fellow billionaire André Esteves, offered to provide credit lines and management services to the group. Continue reading »
Do a Google search on Brazil’s oil industry and you’ll find most of the results are either related to the government or to state-controlled Petrobras. You’ll see gloomy tales about tough local content regulation and the pressures exerted on Petrobras by Brazil’s domestic price controls on petrol. Perhaps you’ll also read headlines about Chevron’s disastrous oil spills off the coast of Rio recently and the fines of $20bn it faces.
But away from the spotlight and the politics, there are hundreds of small service companies in the industry getting along just fine – if not more than fine. Continue reading »
Brazil’s central bank voted on Wednesday to keep the country’s benchmark interest rate steady at its all-time low of 7.25 per cent, as widely expected.
The accompanying statement from the central bank, however, was a little more mysterious than usual. Continue reading »
Mandacaru: one of L'Occitane au Brésil's line of new products
L’Occitane, the upmarket French cosmetics group, has long been a fan of emerging markets. In 2010, for example, the group became the first French company to launch an initial public offering in Hong Kong.
However, on Tuesday L’Occitane went one step further. The group announced its first line of production outside France. The new brand of cosmetics – L’Occitane au Brésil - will be made entirely in Brazil where production will eventually be outsourced, it said. Continue reading »
The war of the supermarket titans is back on.
Abilio Diniz, the chairman and former owner of Brazil’s biggest retailer, Pão de Açúcar, put out a statement on Tuesday accusing France’s Casino of “abusing its power” as the group’s new controller.
The latest source of contention between Diniz and Casino’s chief executive and key shareholder, Jean-Charles Naouri, is simple. Diniz plans to take on the role of chairman of Brasil Foods, the world’s largest poultry exporter, while remaining chairman of Pão de Açúcar. Naouri claims this presents a conflict of interest. Continue reading »
Who invented the airplane? Many argue it was actually Alberto Santos-Dumont, a pioneer aviator from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.
Now it is claimed that Brazil also invented the iPhone before the US. Continue reading »
The weather gods have been kinder to Vale than to Brazil’s government, it seems. Low rainfall across Brazil at the end of last year may have dried up the country’s reservoirs and brought it to the brink of an energy crisis this month. But it has done wonders for Vale’s production.
The miner on Friday posted better-than-expected iron ore output for the fourth quarter, partly as a result of lighter rainfall than normal in the Amazonian state of Pará where the company’s vast Carajás mining development is located. Continue reading »
Trying to understand what Guido Mantega is up to can be exhausting, especially when it comes to his favourite topic: currency wars.
The real weakened early on Wednesday after Brazil’s finance minister warned the government was ready to correct any excessive moves in the exchange rate, adding that a weaker currency makes domestic industry more competitive. Continue reading »
Not so long ago, everything he touched turned to gold. Now Eike Batista’s bad luck seems to be contagious.
Anglo American’s $4bn writedown on Minas-Rio in Brazil comes about five years after it bought the cursed iron ore project from Eike in two transactions totalling $5.1bn. Continue reading »