Whenever the subject of partners for Argentina’s YPF to develop the Vaca Muerta shale deposits crops up, it isn’t long before someone suggests China as a potential investor.
So Carlos Bulgheroni’s admission that the Bridas group, in which his family and China’s CNOOC each own 50 per cent stakes, is planning to invest Vaca Muerta with YPF will have a lot of people sitting up. Continue reading »
Buying banks is “no rose garden. We consider it a battleground”. So says Jiang Jianqing, president of China’s ICBC, the world’s biggest bank (by market capitalisation, deposits and credits).
So far, his takeover of 80 per cent of Standard Bank Argentina appears to have been more genteel – after all, ICBC has a stake in Standard Bank Group in South Africa. Continue reading »
Pacific-rim Chile has long looked to the Far East for trade. Now Banco Santander Chile, the country’s second-biggest lender by assets, is sampling some financial dim sum.
The Spanish-owned bank became the first Chilean bank to raise money in China’s bond market by issuing RMB500m ($80m) in two-year renminbi-denominated paper, dubbed “dim sum” bonds. Continue reading »
China is steadily winning hearts, minds and – more importantly – pocketbooks as it pierces the last redoubt of its once fiercely competitive diplomatic revival, Taiwan.
While Taiwan’s claim to be the authentic government of China has all but vanished in the rest of the world, Central American nations continue to support it. Only Costa Rica has broken diplomatic relations with Taiwan in order to forge links with Beijing. Continue reading »
China’s burgeoning moneyed elite provides just the kind of international tourists many countries long to have – just look at the Olympics, where Chinse visitors have proved the biggest spenders.
But Argentina is missing out on as much as $5bn a year in Chinese tourist spending by having visa rules that are too rigid, warns the Argentine-China Chamber of Production, Industry and Trade. Continue reading »
By Pan Kwan Yuk and Humay Guliyeva
In a couple of hours China will release second-quarter GDP figures and the numbers are likely to reinforce the view that the Chinese economy is slowing faster than the government would like.
A good time then for beyondbrics to take a closer look at the potential impact that a slowdown in China could have on Latin America – a continent that has vastly benefited from the Middle Kingdom’s dizzying pace of growth in recent years. Continue reading »
It’s been a week to forget for Ecuador. On Monday, the Andean country startled investors by posting its weakest quarterly growth in two years. Concerns that falling oil prices could cause the country’s current account deficit to widen to unsustainable levels have prompted at least one analyst to speculate that President Rafael Correa might need to turn to China for help in avoiding a liquidity crisis.
On Thursday, Ecuador went cap in hand – not to China – but to the Latin American Reserve Fund, the Bogotá-based regional lender for a $514.6m loan. Continue reading »
It sounds good – an emerging powers’ pact in the form of free-trade deal between China and members of the South American cutsoms’ union, Mercosur – some of whom are already big trading partners. But will it happen?
Well, China this week did dish out the promise of a $10bn credit line to Latin America for infrastructure projects, as well as hope aloud about the Mercosur pact. Continue reading »
If there are fears that Brazil’s economy may have lost some of its lustre, Chinese companies are not showing it.
State Grid on Wednesday became the latest from China Inc to snap up a Latin American asset being disposed of by a European company. The world’s largest utility by asset size said it would buy the Brazilian electricity transmission assets of Spain’s Actividades de Construcción y Servicios for $531m plus debt of $411m. Continue reading »
It’s shopping season for China Inc. As banks in Europe and the US are forced to pare back their operations and shed assets to meet heightened regulatory requirements back home, Chinese banks are moving in.
The latest to shop abroad is China Construction Bank. According to Dow Jones, CCB, the world’s second largest lender by market value, is in talks to buy the Brazilian assets of WestLB, the troubled German bank, in a deal that could be worth $200m-$300m. Continue reading »
Oil pipeline? Check.
Feasibility study for a bilateral trade agreement? Check. Plan to build railway alternative to the Panama Canal? Check.
Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president, didn’t waste any time shaking off jetlag after landing in Beijing on a mission to strengthen diplomatic and trade ties. Continue reading »
The presidents of two of Latin America’s fastest growing economies are pressing the flesh in Asia this week, emphasising once again the gathering pace and importance of “south-south” trade amid gloom in the United States and Europe.
In China on Tuesday, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia touched down for a five-day swing aimed at smoothing the way for a trade pact and greater Chinese investment in Colombian mining and agriculture. Continue reading »
Well, the rumours were partly correct.
Following Monday’s move by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to renationalise YPF, the chatter among Argentina observers was that China somehow had a role to play in the story.
Why else, as one person put it, would Fernández go ahead and seize the majority stake held by Spanish oil major Repsol unless she thought she could get Chinese oil majors to step in and provide the billions needed to develop YPF’s assets?
But as the FT reported on Tuesday night, it was actually Repsol, not Argentina, that had been talking to the Chinese. Continue reading »
For a country that counts China as its biggest trade partner, Peru is surprisingly sanguine about the impact that a Chinese slowdown could have on its economy.
Even as Brazil – another country that has prospered on the back of the Chinese-led commodities boom – this week revealed a sharp pull back in GDP growth for 2011 and Beijing surprised the market by reducing its annual GDP growth forecast for the first time in eight years, Peru is going the other way, revising upward its growth forecast from 5.4 per cent to 5.7 per cent. Continue reading »
Ecuador’s $1.7bn deal with China-backed Ecuacorrientes to kickstart the country’s nascent mining sector is a political win for president Rafael Correa. It is also an awkward precedent for investors mulling mining investments in the Andean nation.
Correa has secured extremely favourable terms for the exploitation of the Mirador copper deposit, Ecuador’s first large-scale mining project. Continue reading »