Brazil President will Ask Zero Tariff for Mercosur Partners

July 29, 2014

Prensa Latina, 7/29/2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will request today at the 46th Meeting of Head of States of the South Common Market (Mercosur) to apply zero tariff since 2015 to part of the trade with Peru, Chile and Colombia.

An official statement confirmed on Monday the attendance of Rousseff to this summit, in which she will request to forward the enforcement of the agreement of freeing business taxes for those three partner nations of Mercosur.

The agreement to implement the zero rates in the commercial area is sealed and its implementation is scheduled for 2019, but Brazil would like to discuss with the other members its implementation from 2015, emphasized in recent days Antonio Jose Ferreira Simoes, deputy secretary general for South America in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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Plans for minors on the rise in Brazil’s pension industry

July 29, 2014

Ulric Rindebro – BN Americas, 7/28/2014

Demand for savings plans designed for minors are on the rise in Brazil’s private pension plan industry.

These plans are sold as retirement plans but parents who buy them mainly use them to finance their children’s’ higher education, pension plan provider Brasilprev’s intelligence and client administration manager Soraia Fidalgo told BNamericas.

In 1997, Brasilprev was the first company in Brazil to launch a pension plan for minors.

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Santander stirs Brazil election storm with client note

July 28, 2014

Guillermo Parra-Bernal – Reuters, 7/28/2014

Spain’s Banco Santander SA finds itself in an unwanted spotlight in Brazil after its local subsidiary irked the government by circulating a client note saying that the re-election of President Dilma Rousseff would likely push asset prices lower.

In a monthly column to wealthy clients entitled “You and Your Money,” Banco Santander Brasil SA said a drop in Rousseff’s popularity had helped spark a recent rally in the Brazilian stock market – a common view among economists and investors who believe the government’s heavy-handed policies have contributed to Brazil’s current economic slump.

The note then went on to say that the market rally could fizzle if the president’s popularity stabilizes or rebounds in opinion polls ahead of October’s election, an assertion that angered government officials and members of the ruling Workers’ Party.

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Brazil State to Purchase Solar Power After Failing to Lure Buyer

July 28, 2014

Vanessa Dezem – Bloomberg, 7/28/2014

Brazil’s Pernambuco state, which held the nation’s first solar-energy auction last year, said it is on the hook to buy the power after it was unable to find other bidders.

Pernambuco’s government agreed this month to buy the electricity from solar projects with the capacity to produce 96 megawatts of power, said state Secretary of Infrastructure Joao Bosco de Almeida. Contracts to build the projects were awarded in December to developers including Italy’s Enel Green Power SpA, who agreed to sell the power at an average price of 228.63 reais a megawatt-hour ($102.53) for 20 years. The contracts were only to build the projects and didn’t include buyers.

Although getting cheaper, solar power prices are still about 75 percent higher than those offered in the last wind-energy auction in June because the technology is still expensive and all of the equipment has to be imported. In addition to the high price, the duration of the contracts that Pernambuco was offering also deterred buyers, said Helena Chung, a Sao Paulo-based analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Buyers in Brazil’s wholesale market usually sign contracts for no longer than 10 years.

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Brazil probes $10 million embezzled from Red Cross

July 28, 2014

Anastasia Moloney – Thomson Reuters Foundation, 7/28/2014

Brazilian authorities are investigating the embezzlement of 10 million dollars of humanitarian funds from the Brazilian Red Cross.

The ongoing investigation comes after an audit, commissioned by the Brazilian Red Cross last year, which revealed millions of dollars in voluntary contributions and donor funding had been siphoned off.

“The funds collected from two years of campaigning by the Brazilian Red Cross from 2010 to 2012 for four campaigns, including Somalia, the Japan tsunami, floods in Rio de Janeiro and a national dengue campaign did not reach where they were supposed to go. The funds were diverted,” said Paulo Roberto Costa, secretary general of the Brazilian Red Cross.

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Brazil want Neymar to play at 2016 Olympics in Rio

July 28, 2014

Joe Prince-Wright – Pro Soccer Talk, 7/28/2014

Brazilian superstar Neymar had his World Cup cut short by injury this summer, but he may get another chance to represent his nation on home soil sooner than anyone thought.

According to a report from Brazil on Monday, the 22-year-old winger is in the plans of Brazil’s Olympic coach Alexandre Gallo to be an overage player on Brazil’s roster during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The only issue is that Neymar is expected to play for Brazil at the 2016 Copa America Centenario tournament being held in the U.S. and his involvement in the Rio Olympics could see him miss the start of FC Barcelona’s season in Spain.

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Brazil is set to become the world’s biggest soy producer — and that might be bad news for its forests

July 28, 2014

Gerry Hadden – Public Radio International, 7/28/2014

It’s covered by millions of acres of industrial farms and deep green soy fields. If this year’s harvest — the best in Brazilian history — comes in as expected, Brazil is poised to surpass the US and become the world’s largest soy producer. Soy beans have boosted Brazil’s economy and even brought President Dilma Roussef to Mato Grosso to congratulate farmers in person.

But in a nearby indigenous village, no one is celebrating. The boom in soy production coincided with a spike in deforestation. And Hiparidi Toptiro, an activist from the indigenous Xavante people, says local soy farmers are willing to do anything for a chunk of the forest where the Xavante live.

“Throughout our lands, people show up wielding false deeds to the area,” Toptiro says.  “And they have begun to plant soybeans inside our lands. They pay off one of our villages with a little money, which complicates the relationship between all of us in the reserve. “ He calls it dividing and conquering with trinkets.

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