Economic Affairs Dominate Brazil’s Latest Presidential Debate

October 20, 2014

TeleSUR, 10/20/2014

Candidates Dilma Rousseff and Aecio Neves held their third televised presidential debate late on Sunday, a week before the second round run off election. Both candidates avoided personal attacks and addressed key issues on the economy.

​One week before Brazil’s presidential election run-off, current President and candidate Dilma Rousseff held a televised debate with her rival right-wing candidate Aecio Neves, late on Sunday. Both candidates centred the discussion on inflation, unemployment, and the economy in general.

Rousseff attacked Neves for his plans to appoint, a former president of the Central Bank, Arminio Fraga, as Finance Minister. Fraga headed the Central Bank the last time Neve’s Social Democratic Party was last in power, headed by Fernando Cardoso. Dilma reminded Neves that Fraga had been partly responsible for the high inflation levels during that government.

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Brazil’s markets track election polls

October 20, 2014

Joseph Leahy – Financial Times, 10/20/2014

When Frederico Perin looks at the Brazilian stock market these days, he is not studying company fundamentals or even the trading charts very much. For the founder of language website Idioma Fácil and thousands of other day traders and retail investors like him, the perceived fortunes of the candidates in Brazil’s 2014 presidential election next Sunday are more important for the markets.

Every surge in the polls by Dilma Rousseff, the incumbent president, who is unpopular with investors for her perceived economic interventionism, weakens stocks and the currency. Every gain for Aécio Neves, the pro-business opposition candidate, has the inverse effect.

Ms Rousseff won the first round of the election with 42 per cent compared with 34 per cent for Mr Neves but they are now neck-and-neck in the polls.

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Perennial Nightmare Petrobras Pushes Brazil Stocks Lower

October 17, 2014

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 10/15/2014

Presidential polls are not to blame for this one.  Brazil’s stock market decline is a mix of oil giant Petrobras, and lackluster consumer sales. Though for true followers of the Brazilian stock market, Petrobras is public enemy No. 1.

Brazilian equities were the worst performing of the BRIC markets on Wednesday due to Brazil’s perennial stock market disaster — Petrobras — which fell by 9.06%. The iShares MSCI Brazil (EWZ) exchange traded fund settled 5.11% lower today while the MSCI Emerging Markets settled 1.26% lower.

Petrobras remains a government story, mired in electoral politics and fiscal policies.

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Brazil looks to buy Chinook helicopters from Boeing as tensions with U.S. thaw

October 17, 2014

Andrew O’Reilly – Fox News Latino, 10/17/2014

In a sign that the icy relations between Brazil and the United States in the wake of the National Security Agency spying scandal are beginning to thaw, the South American nation has expressed an interest in buying a handful of military helicopters from Boeing, the Chicago-based company said.

The Brazilian Army is looking to purchase several CH-47 Chinook helicopters from Boeing in a deal that would add to an already growing list of potential weapons deals between the U.S. and Brazil. Boeing executives said that they were “pretty positive” about the deal and that the company views Brazil as an important partner for both commercial and defense projects.

“We have had some early discussions about the Chinook with the Brazilian Army,” Boeing spokesman Scott Day told Reuters, adding that the proposed deal was not a very big one. “We still view Brazil as a very important country for Boeing.”

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Brazil presidential race heading for October 26 photo finish

October 17, 2014

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 10/15/2014

Brazil’s most unpredictable presidential election in a generation is heading toward a photo finish on Oct. 26 between leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff and pro-business challenger Aecio Neves, a new poll showed on Wednesday.

In an increasingly acrimonious campaign, the candidates traded accusations of lies, corruption and nepotism in a bruising television debate on Tuesday night that had no clear winner and saw more attacks than discussion of policy issues.

Neves, the market favorite, has gained ground since his stronger-than-expected showing in the first-round vote on Oct. 5, when he bested environmentalist Marina Silva to place second behind Rousseff.

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Petrobras blamed for stalling Brazilian airline growth

October 15, 2014

Samantha Pearson – The Financial Times, 10/13/2014

Petrobras’s fuel pricing policy threatens to put the brakes on Brazil’s airline industry, the world’s third-biggest domestic market and a key propeller of the country’s growth, industry associations have warned. Brazil now has the second most expensive airline fuel in the world after Malawi in Africa, making it impossible for airlines to reduce ticket prices further as the economy slows, said Eduardo Sanovicz, head of the Brazilian Airlines Association ABEAR.

“This is a fundamental barrier if Brazilian aviation is to increase its number of passengers from the current 111m,” said Mr Sanovicz, adding that fuel represents 40 per cent of Brazilian airlines’ operating costs compared with a global average of just over 30 per cent.

While taxes and currency fluctuations are partly to blame, jet fuel is so expensive in Brazil largely because the state-controlled oil company Petrobras still charged a heavy “import fee” even though more than 75 per cent of the fuel nowadays was refined in Brazil, Mr Sanovicz added.

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