October 29, 2014
Jeremy Warner – The Telegraph, 10/28/2014
The definition of an emerging market, it was sometimes said – in the days before Goldman Sachs led the stampede of Western money into the developing world – is one from which it is impossible to emerge in a crisis. Investors will know the feeling as they survey the damage to their wealth inflicted by the re-election of the centre left Dilma Rousseff as president of Brazil this week.
In dismay, the Brazilian Ibovespa was down a stomach churning 6.2pc and the Real, in precipitous decline for some years now, fell another 3pc. Investors had hoped for a return to the “Plano Real” and the pro-business agenda of Fernando Henrique Cardoso in the mid-90s to early noughties; instead it’s at least another four years of Workers Party interventionism they have to look forward to.
Brazil is not yet in fully-blown crisis mode, of the type which Latin America seems perennially prone to, but it is self-evidently already on a very slippery slope. Growth has slowed to a virtual standstill, inflation is again climbing towards double digits, and investment has slumped.
October 1, 2014
Alan Bjerga – Bloomberg News, 09/30/2014
The U.S. and Brazil reached a $300 million agreement to resolve a dispute over cotton subsidies that has bedeviled the two nations for more than a decade.
The accord signed today in Washington involves a one-time U.S. payment to the Brazil Cotton Institute in return for that nation dropping all claims against the U.S., the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement. Brazil will also not pursue any new World Trade Organization cotton claims while a five-year farm bill Congress passed in February is in effect.
“Today’s agreement brings to a close a matter which put hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. exports at risk,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The United States and Brazil look forward to building on this significant progress in our bilateral economic relationship.”
September 23, 2014
Cristiane Lucchesi and Blake Schmidt – Bloomberg, 09/22/2014
Sao Paulo’s most expensive real estate got even pricier this year, surging 10 percent as wealthy buyers in search of safe neighborhoods ignored Brazil’s recession, according to one of the city’s biggest brokerage boutiques.
Apartments in high-end communities such as Vila Nova Conceicao are selling for about 25,000 reais ($10,600) per square meter, said Amir Makansi, partner and chief executive officer at Anglo Americana Consultoria de Imoveis S/C Ltda, which caters to high-net-worth individuals, banks and multinational corporations.
“The market for wealthy individuals is always surprising,” Makansi said in an interview.
September 16, 2014
EFE – Fox News Latino, 09/15/2014
Finance Minister Guido Mantega presented here Monday a package of tax measures aimed at stimulating Brazil’s economy less than a month ahead of the presidential election.
“We want to make Brazilian industry more competitive and reduce juridical insecurity,” he said after meeting in Sao Paulo with representatives of the powerful CNI business confederation.
The changes include extending to all industries a reduction in the rate of tax on overseas profits from 34 percent to 26 percent. Until now, that benefit has been available only to firms in construction, services, food processing and the beverage sector.
September 3, 2014
Anthony Boadle and Paul Simao – Reuters, 08/30/2014
Environmentalist Marina Silva unveiled her campaign platform for Brazil’s Oct. 5 presidential election on Friday, boosted by government data that showed the economy had fallen into a recession in the first half of this year.
Following are her main policy proposals aimed at restoring business confidence and investment in Brazil and putting the country on a path to sustainable growth:
ECONOMY: Return to the basic tripod of policies that gave Brazil financial stability a decade and a half ago: fiscal discipline, inflation targeting and a floating exchange rate, ending central bank intervention that has overvalued the real currency.
August 28, 2014
Walter Brandimarte – Reuters, 8/27/2014
Investors are warming up to a possible victory by Marina Silva in Brazil’s presidential election as the popular environmentalist emerges as their best shot at avoiding four more years of a government they strongly dislike.
Disdain for President Dilma Rousseff’s leftist policies runs so deep in Brazilian financial markets that one comment making the rounds there says: “Marina is like Russian roulette, but Dilma is like a fully-loaded revolver.”
It captures the mistrust that many investors feel toward Silva, whose history of volatile decisions, lack of executive experience and emphasis on eco-friendly policies, even at the possible expense of economic growth, have all raised red flags.
April 16, 2014
Simon Romero & Landon Thomas Jr – The New York Times, 4/15/2014
No company has embodied Brazil’s rise like the oil giant Petrobras.
Bolstered by some of this century’s largest oil discoveries, Petrobras soared into the top ranks of global energy producers. Executives at the state-controlled company boasted that it could even outstrip Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. Political leaders here said Brazil was on the cusp of energy independence.
Now Petrobras is coming to symbolize something else entirely: the disarray afflicting Brazil’s sluggish economy and the reassessment of growth prospects in emerging markets around the world.