January 27, 2014
Agência FAPESP – Noêmia Lopes, 1/6/2014
Representatives from BG Brasil, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Natura, met with officials from FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation), universities, and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, with the objective of exchanging information on proposals for partnerships in the establishment of research centers in the strategic realm.
In addition to the investments in research contributed by FAPESP and partner companies, these centers will also get resources from headquarter institutions in the form of salaries and operational costs.
Read original article in Portuguese here.
January 27, 2014
Blake Schmidt – Bloomberg, 1/27/2014
Brazil’s sinking real and quickening inflation are helping the country’s biggest bitcoin brokerage drum up buyers for the virtual currency.
Rodrigo Batista, president of online brokerage Mercado Bitcoin, said trading volume climbed to 10.5 million reais ($4.4 million) in December from almost zero a year before, growth he attributed in part to the real’s selloff.
Brazil’s real has plunged 8.8 percent in the past three months against the dollar, making it difficult for policy makers to curb inflation despite the world’s biggest borrowing-cost increases. Inflation that accelerated to 5.91 percent in 2013, even after central bank President Alexandre Tombini said it would slow, is adding to Brazilians’ interest in bitcoin, a virtual currency that surged to $1,005 last week on trading platform Mt Gox, up from $15 about a year ago.
January 24, 2014
Brian Winter – Reuters, 1/24/2014
Boeing Co (BA.N) says its failure to win a $4 billion-plus fighter jet deal in Brazil was a lost opportunity that will lead it to scale back planned investments in the country, although it still sees excellent opportunities in cargo, defense and biofuels.
The Chicago-based aerospace company was until last June the clear front runner to win a deal to supply at least 36 jets to the Brazilian Air Force — one of the world’s significant defense contracts.
“It’s a lost opportunity for the U.S.-Brazil relationship and for Boeing,” lamented Donna Hrinak, Boeing’s president in Brazil, in an interview with Reuters.
January 24, 2014
Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal, 1/23/2014
The organizing committee for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro raised its budget estimate Thursday due to fast-rising salaries in Brazil and the addition of new sports, despite shifting some expenses to the government’s tab.
The 7 billion Brazilian reais ($2.92 billion) that the committee plans to spend on items such as ceremonies, wages, technology, accommodations, food and transport during the event will come entirely from private sources. But it represents just a fraction of overall expenses, according to Rio’s 2008 bid for the Games, which estimated total spending at $14.4 billion.
The operating committee’s new budget also isn’t directly comparable to its original estimate. In 2008, the Olympics were expected to cost BRL5.63 billion to operate and were expected to receive BRL4.25 billion in private funding plus BRL1.38 billion in government subsidies, not considering inflation.
January 23, 2014
Jeb Blount – Reuters, 1/22/2014
In October 2007, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, then chairwoman of state-run petroleum company Petrobras, proudly predicted that giant new offshore oil fields would usher in an age of Brazilian energy independence.
Six years on, the opposite has occurred. Rousseff’s push to develop offshore crude, her fuel-price controls and other energy policies have hobbled the country’s refining sector, robbing it of funds for expansion. As a result, Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), as Petrobras is formally known, has been forced to look abroad for fuel.
With a dozen decades-old domestic refineries running at what experts say are dangerously high rates to keep pace with expanding demand, Brazil’s cars and trucks are increasingly powered by gasoline and diesel refined in the United States or India. Imports likely reached a record last year, meeting about a fifth of local needs.
January 22, 2014
Alison Sider – Wall Street Journal, 1/21/2014
For the services companies that help drill for oil, the water off Brazil is feeling chilly.
Brazil has been home to some of the largest oil discoveries in recent decades, and oilfield services companies, which provide the equipment and technical know-how to help extract that oil, have bid aggressively to work there. Halliburton Co.HAL +0.38%, one of the largest such companies, has won major contracts with Brazil’s state-run energy giant, Petroleo Brasileiro SAPETR4.BR +2.28%.
But work in new fields has been slower to start up than expected, leaving Halliburton on the hook for high infrastructure and personnel costs that it says are weighing on its otherwise robust earnings. On Tuesday the company reported that its fourth quarter profits rose 19% to $793 million on $7.6 billion in revenue, boosted by growing revenue from the company’s international operations.
January 16, 2014
Stephen Wade – USA Today, 1/16/2014
Avianca Brasil has joined Azul in becoming the second Brazilian airline to promise to cap prices for the upcoming soccer World Cup, which opens June 12 in Sao Paulo.
Avianca said Tuesday it would match Azul and limit one-way fares to a maximum of 999 reals ($425).
Brazil’s airline industry has come under pressure to control fares from the national government, which has threatened to intervene if price increases are seen as gouging customers.
January 16, 2014
AP – Economic Times, 1/16/2014
Brazil’s state-run telecom company Telebras has said that a submarine cable for Internet transmissions between Latin America’s biggest country and Europe will be laid starting this year.
Spokesman Ronald Valladao yesterday said the company’s board authorised Telebras to sign an agreement with Spain’s IslaLink Submarine Cables to lay and operate the cable. He said the $185 million project is expected to begin operating in early 2016.
Telebras will have a 35 per cent stake in the Brazilian company that will be formed to operate the trans-Atlantic cable while IslaLink will have a 45 per cent stake and another Brazilian partner will have a 20 per cent stake, Valladao said.
January 16, 2014
Amy Kaslow – CNN Fortunate Magazine, 1/15/2014
Brazil is in a bind. It has a wealth of natural resources and is among the most powerful industrial producers in the world, but the nation’s economic growth hinges on skilled workers it doesn’t have.
The country has grown fast, achieving in the past 20 years what “it took the United States to accomplish in 200 years,” marvels Ambassador Thomas Shannon, who recently finished his tour as Washington’s top envoy to Brasilia and now serves as a senior advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry.
The world’s sixth-largest economy, Brazil is a top exporter of farm products (sugar, coffee, oranges, beef, poultry, soy) and manufactured goods (from airplanes to vaccines), and it may join the ranks of the world’s biggest oil suppliers before long.
January 8, 2014
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro – NPR, 01/08/2014
Should they or shouldn’t they? That’s the question Brazilians are asking themselves after Edward Snowden’s “open letter” lauding Brazil’s role in protecting privacy rights and alluding to his hand in uncovering spying on their president.
“Today, if you carry a cellphone in Sao [Paulo], the NSA can and does keep track of your location,” wrote Snowden, 30, who is living in temporary asylum in Russia. “They do this 5 billion times a day to people around the world.”
Last month, a group of Brazilian senators came out in support of the former NSA contractor. And even Luis Roberto Barroso — a judge on Brazil’s highest court — spoke in his defense.