December 4, 2013
Asher Levine – Reuters, 12/04/2013
Brazilian industry posted its third straight month of timid gains in October, though capital goods manufacturing expanded at a slower pace, suggesting that a recovery in one of the weakest parts of Brazil’s economy remains on shaky ground.
Industrial production in Brazil rose 0.6 percent in October from September, government statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday, exceeding all estimates in a Reuters survey of 28 analysts, which ranged from a contraction of 0.5 percent to an expansion of 0.5 percent.
Brazilian industry has had a mild recovery so far in 2013, with output rising 1.6 percent in the first 10 months from the same period last year, IBGE said. Growth has come in starts and stops, however, as businesses continue to struggle with competition from abroad, high tax and labor costs, and poor infrastructure.
December 4, 2013
Paulo Winterstein – Wall Street Journal, 12/03/2013
Despite refurbishing and construction delays, including three fatal accidents, the 12 stadiums Brazil intends to employ as venues for the 2014 soccer World Cup will be ready in time for the June 12 kickoff, officials of the sport’s global governing body said Tuesday.
“We are not in crisis mode,” said Jerome Valcke, secretary-general of the Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, at a news conference in the northeastern Brazilian resort of Costa do Sauipe, where FIFA will hold a drawing on Friday for league play in the eight World Cup groups.
Brazil’s government has pledged to deliver all 12 stadiums, some renovated and some brand new, by December 31. So far, only six are ready.
December 3, 2013
Thalita Carrico – Financial Times, 12/02/2013
Brazil’s imminent hosting of the Fifa World Cup next year and the Olympic Games in 2016 has shone a spotlight on the country’s often woefully inadequate infrastructure. But it has also prompted some hasty work to encourage private-sector investment. In civil aviation, as well as in other areas, this is gathering pace – which can only be good for the country’s aviation sector.
This month, Singapore’s Changi Airport Group and Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction and infrastructure group, agreed to pay $8.3bn to run Rio de Janeiro’s international airport, with a promise to build 26 new gates and expand its cargo storage capacity over the next 25 years.
A separate concession to run Belo Horizonte’s Cofins airport was won by Zurich and Munich’s airport operators along with Brazil’s CCR group, a highway operator. They plan to add a new terminal and landing strip at Cofins.
December 2, 2013
Rodrigo Orihuela & Denyse Godoy – Bloomberg, 12/02/2013
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4) fell the most in 17 months after the government failed to meet a request by the state-run company to disclose a clear policy for phasing out fuel subsidies that have cut earnings and increased debt.
Shares in Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based crude producer is known, lost as much as 7.2 percent, the steepest intraday decline since June 25, 2012, and the most among members of the Dow Jones Oil & Gas Titans 30 Index.
While President Dilma Rousseff allowed Petrobras to raise prices for the first time since March, the Nov. 29 statement fell short of disclosing details of the methodology for future adjustments. Selling imported gasoline below cost drove down profit the most among major producers last quarter. The fuel losses, a controversial capital increase and record-high debt have made Petrobras, once the sixth most valuable company, the worst-performing major oil stock in the past five years.
December 2, 2013
Shobhan Saxena – The Hindu, 12/02/2013
Just hours before Sao Paulo lost the race for Expo2020 to Dubai, a huge crane crashed at the Itaquerao stadium that will host the opening match, a semi-final and four other games of next year’s FIFA World Cup. As the crane sliced through a canopy, damaged seats and crushed two workers to death on Wednesday, fresh questions were raised about Brazil’s preparedness for the biggest sporting show on the planet.
The accident came amid a scramble to meet the December 31 deadline set by FIFA to deliver all the 12 stadiums where the games would be played.
It was a bad day for the city as its dream of hosting the Expo2020 was shattered just as the mishap at the stadium, which has missed several deadlines, pushed its completion to February 2014. The Itaquerao, 94 per cent finished, was to be handed over to FIFA for inspection soon. But now, the arena has joined six other stadiums which have been struggling to meet the FIFA deadline.
November 25, 2013
Angelica Mari – ZD Net, 11/25/2013
This is the year of adoption for Big Data in Brazil. A new report issued by the industry analyst Gartner that surveyed 720 global organizations has found that most companies they talked to are planning a Big Data implementation though few can say they have projects that have already been implemented.
Finance, services, media and communications are the industries where Big Data is being used first. The Gartner survey reveals that 39 percent of media and communications companies have already invested in Big Data followed by 34 percent in the banking sector then 32 percent of other service companies.
The industry segments showing the greatest planned spending on Big Data are transport with 50 percent of companies planning budget for projects in the next two years, followed by health at 41 percent and insurance at 40 percent.
November 25, 2013
Stephan Nielsen – Bloomberg, 11/25/2013
Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco will auction 180 megawatts of solar farms on Dec. 20 as it seeks to become a manufacturing hub for the expanding industry.
Developers will bid down from a maximum price of 250 reais ($109.13) a megawatt hour and the power plants must be completed within three years, Eduardo Azevedo, Pernambuco’s executive secretary for energy, said today in a telephone interview. Companies that agree to buy the power will qualify for a government rebate on the value-added tax ICMS, so they’ll be effectively paying 164.87 reais a megawatt hour, in line with market rates.
Brazil is seeking to boost investment in solar plants and Pernambuco is well suited to supply equipment, Azevedo said. The state is in talks with German, Korean, Chinese and Italian companies to build factories for solar equipment including inverters and support structures for panels.
November 25, 2013
Shobhan Saxena – The Hindu, 11/24/2013
Alarmed by large-scale spying on their state-owned oil and mining firms and monitoring of personal communication of their top leaders and bureaucrats by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), South America’s two biggest countries are urging all other countries in the region to form a joint cyber shield to deflect such surveillance. The move, led by Brazil and Argentina, is the first such effort by a group of countries since NSA revelations about mass surveillance began to come out in June.
In a crucial meeting in Brasilia on Friday, Argentine Defence Minister Agustin Rossi met his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, and the two leaders agreed to incorporate all the 12 countries in the continent, which together form the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations), in their bilateral treaty on cyber defence.
In August, when top-secret documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had revealed that Brazil was one of the most-monitored countries by U.S. intelligence agency, the two ministers had met in Buenos Aires to discuss how to jointly fight the existing and potential cyber threats — mostly coming from the North.
November 22, 2013
Dan Horch – The New York Times, 11/22/2013
Brazil’s government privatized two major airports, raising a total of 20.8 billion reais, or $9.1 billion, on Friday, as the country makes infrastructure upgrades ahead of next year’s World Cup.
A consortium led by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and the Singapore airport operator Changi paid 19 billion reais, or $8.3 billion, for the rights to operate Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão airport for 25 years.
A consortium led by the Brazilian highways operator CCR and the Swiss Flughafen Zurich paid 1.82 billion reais, or $795 million, for a 30-year contract to operate a smaller airport, Confins, in the midwestern state of Minas Gerais.
November 22, 2013
Gabriel Elizondo – Al Jazeera, 11/21/2013
“There is no way this will be ready.” That was the thought that went through my mind back in May 2011, while I was standing on an empty dirty lot in the outskirts of Sao Paulo, gazing at a giant dirt hole as two small tractors sat idle. Not one construction worker was within sight.
The location was the future site of the new football stadium that will open the 2014 World Cup.
Back then, Sao Paulo was under intense pressure. The construction of the new stadium here was highly political and hampered by delays. There was even talk of moving the World Cup opening match to Brasilia.
But Sao Paulo is the economic hub of Brazil, the city where things get done in this country.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday.