Alstom wins €100 million wind energy transmission contract in Brazil

Smiti Mittal – Clean Technica, 7/06/2015

A consortium led by Alstom has won a major order to expand transmission capability of the power network in Brazil as the South American country gets ready for expansion of its renewable energy infrastructure.

Alstom has been awarded the €100 million contract by Eletrosul Centrais Electricas S/A to integrate wind energy projects in Brazil with the transmission network. The projects are located in Rio Grande do Sul State.

Alstom will provide two new substations and expand six existing substations. The project is expected not only to integrate the upcoming wind energy projects but also other renewable energy projects to be announced and implemented in the future. Alstom will supply its products, software, and automation technologies with equipment produced locally at Canoas and Itajuba sites in Brazil.

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Xiaomi just made a huge splash in Brazil. Now to reshape the market

Parmy Olsen – Forbes, 7/06/2015

Xiaomi has a habit of putting on larger-than-life events every time it launches a new smartphone in Asia. To the sounds of thumping, high-energy music, tens-of-thousands of “fans” who have bought tickets to attend struggle to catch a glimpse of the firm’s celebrity founder, Lei Jun.

Xiaomi’s launch event for its first non-Asian market of Brazil, scheduled for last Tuesday, was destined to be a quieter affair.

The Chinese smartphone vendor had booked a theater in central Sao Paulo at the city’s Vila Olympia Shopping Mall with 900 seats, to launch its $160 Redmi 2 phone in Brazil.

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Brazil monetary policy to remain vigilant on CPI target: Tombini

Filipe Pacheco – Bloomberg Business, 7/01/2015

Brazil’s Central Bank President Alexandre Tombini reiterated that policy makers are committed to the goal of bringing inflation to target at the end of next year.

Policy makers are seeing market expectations converge toward the center of the inflation target of 4.5 percent per year in the “mid- to long-term interval,” Tombini said at an event in Sao Paulo on Wednesday evening. “Our goal is to bring inflation to the center of the target at the end of 2016.”

He added that the central bank’s goal has been to prevent inflationary effects of “relative price realignment in the short term from being transmitted to a longer horizon.”

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Itau sees investment bank revenue rising outside Brazil

Rogerio Jelmayer and Luciana Magalhaes – The Wall Street Journal, 7/01/2015

The investment banking arm of Brazilian financial firm Itau Unibanco Holdings SA said Wednesday it expects its revenue to rise across Latin America outside Brazil.

Last year, Itau BBA, as the investment bank is known, pocketed 70% of its revenue from operations in Brazil and the rest from other Latin American countries.

“In three to five years we see our operations in Latin America representing around 35% of fees,” Jean-Marc Etlin, vice president of Itau BBA, said at a news conference. Itau BBA is preparing to start operations at its brokerage unit in Mexico with 50 employees, Mr. Etlin said. The bank said it expects more capital market activities in Mexico amid the country’s expected economic expansion over the near term.

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Brazil hails long-awaited EU trade breakthrough

Joe Leahy – The Financial Times, 7/01/2015

Mercosur and the EU appear set to exchange formal offers on tariffs by the end of the year, raising hopes that the South American bloc is close to clinching the biggest trade deal in its 24-year history.

Armando Monteiro, the Brazilian trade and industry minister, told the Financial Times in an interview that the exchange of market access offers would mark an important step towards full implementation of the proposed trade deal as early as next year.

The South American bloc and the EU have been engaged in on-off talks on a deal since 1999.

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Japan takes Brazil to WTO over taxes it says favour local firms

Tom Miles – Reuters, 7/02/2015

Japan launched a complaint against Brazil at the World Trade Organization on Thursday to challenge charges and taxes that it says illegally favour Brazilian-made goods over foreign competition, the WTO said in a statement.

Japan says Brazil imposes a higher tax burden on importers and provides export-contingent subsidies, affecting sales of Japanese cars, semiconductors, smartphones, software and other hi-tech and automation products, the WTO said.

Under WTO rules, Brazil has 60 days to settle the complaint. After that Japan could ask the Organization to adjudicate.

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Brazil Federal Police arrest another former Petrobras executive

Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 7/02/2015

Brazil’s federal police have arrested another former executive of state-run energy company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, as part of an investigation into a broader corruption scandal that has wounded the country’s largest company.

Police arrested Jorge Zelada, a former top executive of Petrobras, early Thursday at his home in Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Zelada was arrested on suspicion of corruption and money laundering, said a police spokesman. Mr. Zelada’s lawyer couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Mr. Zelada was director of international operations of Petrobras from 2008 to 2012. He replaced Nestor Cerveró, who was convicted in May of money laundering and sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the widening scandal.

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