Daily Archives: Nov 3, 2011

Ever wondered how to break it to your shareholders that your company is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for corruption?

Well, Embraer decided to opt for the more discreet approach on Wednesday. The airline manufacturer, one of Brazil’s biggest and most transparent companies, waited until the release of their third-quarter results on the night of a national holiday to make the announcement. Read more

While Romania this week became the latest emerging market to cut interest rates – in line with monetary easing in the developed world – Kenya and Uganda were pushing theirs through the monetary roof.

In Nairobi, the authorities raised rates by a whopping 550 basis points to 16.5 per cent, less than a month after a 400bp rise. In Kampala, the increase was just as dramatic – a 300bp rise (following one of 400bp last month) that took the central bank’s benchmark rate to 23 per cent.

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Brazilians are used to seeing their compatriots head abroad to try their luck in Europe or North America. Until recently, they weren’t so used to seeing foreigners coming the other way.

But now that the rich countries are embroiled in crisis as Brazil continues to grow, the direction of migratory flows is changing. For the first time in twenty years, there are more foreigners living in Brazil than there are Brazilians living abroad. Read more

With rising fears that Greece may be headed for the eurozone’s exits, it is heartening to see someone banging on the door to be let in – in this case Poland.

Although Poland has one of the strongest economies in the EU – the country’s central bank predicts growth of 3.2 per cent in 2012, faster than just about everywhere else in the EU – Marek Belka, the central bank governor, again reiterates that the country’s long-term goal is to join the common currency. Read more


Grey November skies have brought especially gloomy economic tidings for Serbia, with the largest exporter, US Steel, considering closing down because of the poor regional economic outlook.

John P Surma, chairman and CEO of the steel multinational , attributed the bulk of the losses in US Steel’s bad third-quarter earnings to its Serbian steel mills, acquired by privatisation for $33m in 2003. Read more

This year, some 1,000 kids entered South Africa’s banking sector and embarked on 12 months work experience through a government backed training scheme.

All come from groups previously disadvantaged during the apartheid regime – blacks, coloureds and Indians. The youngsters will live off a R2,500 monthly stipend paid for by BANKSETA, a government supported institution, whose mission is to transform banks in the post-apartheid era and help develop the next generation of South African bankers. Read more

It was all going so well. Zhang Yan, China’s ambassador to India, was joined in New Delhi on Thursday by other senior Chinese officials for the announcement of a $400m investment in India by TBEA, a Chinese power company.

The two-stage investment, it was explained, would be used to manufacture transformers in the western state of Gujarat. But then journalists at the event noticed that a map in TBEA’s brochure showed that large chunks of India were, apparently, in China. Read more

Call it life imitating art. Three years after Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire was crowned Best Picture at the Oscars, a 27-year-old man from one of India’s poorest states has enacted his own poor-boy-makes-good inspirational story. But the story highlights a new Indian problem – what to do with sudden wealth. Read more

George Papandreou, Greek prime minister, has not resigned and has scrapped a controversial plan to hold a referendum on the heavily indebted country’s membership of the eurozone.

The U-turn by the embattled premier was announced during an emergency cabinet meeting, according to senior sources from the governing socialist Pasok party. Read more

For anyone who’s ever tried to look up the menu of a restaurant in India to see if they offer a particular type of chicken kebab and had to sort through blurry, user-scanned copies uploaded onto sites like burrp.com or zomato.com, Google’s latest initiative will come as a welcome fillip.

On Wednesday, Google India began offering free websites, hosting, maintenance and training to SMEs in an effort to get more of the 8m small businesses in India online. But there is, of course, something of a catch. Read more

The BBC is reporting that Greek prime minister George Papandreou is expected to offer his resignation within the next half-hour.

Papandreou will meet Greek President Karolos Papoulios immediately after an emergency cabinet meeting has finished and is expected to offer a coalition government, with former Greek central banker Lucas Papademos at the helm. Read more

Márton Szõke , a Hungarian entrepreneur and angel investor, learned his trade the hard way. “When I started my first business, I was a fool. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have started it.” Nevertheless, he made enough money “to burn most of it in my second venture, which failed.”

But next time round, Szõke got it right and a few years later he sold Indextools, his analytics software company, to Yahoo! and made his first bundle. Read more

* Russia clears final hurdle to joining WTO

* EU suspends €8bn in Greek aid

* Syria agrees to peace plan, says Qatar

* Pakistan grants India MFN status Read more

First the Brics were going to rescue the eurozone by buying EU countries’ bonds. That idea fell apart pretty quickly. Since then, though, the notion that Bric nations and especially China might help by, for example, contributing to the European Financial Stability Facility, has gained ground. Chinese officials have let that idea stay alive. After the break, our chronology of what China has actually said all along. Read more

Thursday’s top picks from the beyondbrics team: Lex on the crisis facing the G20 in Cannes and the ongoing fallout from Thailand’s flooding; David Pilling on China’s search for a new moral code; Indonesia’s political games; and why India’s bankers are occupying their Wall St. Read more

As investors have turned cautious and demand for technology IPOs has shrunk, these are great times for short sellers. Over the past year, firms like Muddy Waters and Citron Research have attacked one Chinese firm after the other with accusations of accounting fraud or other misrepresentations of fact, in the process bringing down some companies such as Longtop Financial.

But the attackers have their weaknesses as well. This week, Andrew Left, the short seller behind Citron Research, went for Qihoo 360, the Chinese internet security software maker. In a note published on Tuesday, he called Qihoo “the most overvalued and misunderstood Chinese Internet Stock” and set a target price of US$5 – 75 per cent below its current trading range. Read more

Investors in emerging markets have had a difficult year in 2011 and markets are expecting them to underperform the developed world in 2012 in spite of the European crisis and sluggish growth in the US. Jonathan Garner, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Asia and Emerging Markets Strategist, says that scares over a hard landing for the Chinese economy and fallout from Europe mean valuations are now cheap.

Video after the break: Read more

Low-cost international air travel may just be taking off in India but a proposed tariff hike for carriers flying into Indira Gandhi International Airport may make those fares a little less “low”.

The company that runs the airport has entered into discussions to increase airport charges with India’s Airport Economic Regulatory Authority. Read more

India’s economy has finally leapfrogged China’s. No, not in growth – that will have to wait another couple of years. But with a key economic reform, Delhi has stolen a march on Beijing.

By deregulating interest rates on savings accounts last week, India introduced a change that China has long talked about as a way of taming asset bubbles and stimulating domestic consumption, but has ultimately shied away from implementing. Read more

* Russia clears final hurdle to joining WTO

* Syria agrees to peace plan, says Qatar

* Pakistan grants India MFN status Read more