Brazil’s real weakens further against dollar on political, economic turmoil

March 4, 2015

Jeffrey T. Lewis – The Wall Street Journal, 03/04/2015

The Brazilian real plummeted against the dollar Wednesday as a burgeoning scandal at state-controlled oil company Petrobras and a steady stream of bad economic indicators pushed investors to seek safety in the U.S. currency.

The real was trading at 2.9755 at 11:21 a.m. São Paulo time, according to Tullett Prebon via FactSet, the weakest level since 2004. The real closed at 2.9111 on Tuesday.

On Tuesday night, Brazil’s attorney general asked the country’s Supreme Court for permission to proceed with investigations against a number of politicians, and local news media have reported that several prominent politicians have been implicated.

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Brazil attorney general seeks investigation into political figures in big kickback scandal

March 4, 2015

US News/AP – Brad Brooks, 03/02/2015

Brazil’s attorney general on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court for permission to investigate 54 people, the majority top political figures, for alleged involvement in what prosecutors say is the country’s largest corruption scandal yet uncovered.

Attorney General Rodrigo Janot’s request opens an expansive new phase of the investigation into the kickback scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras.

“We’re going to work with tranquility, with balance. Those who must pay will pay,” Janot told supporters outside his office late Monday night. “We’re going to investigate. This will be a long process, we’re just now beginning. The investigation begins and we’ll follow it through to the end.”

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DEALTALK – Banks pin hopes for Brazil IPO revival on Levy’s success

February 4, 2015

Guillermo Parra-Bernal – Reuters, 02/04/2015

Any revival in initial public offerings in Brazil seems to hinge on whether new Finance Minister Joaquim Levy can clean up public finances and get the country’s economy back on track.

Strengthening the market for new listings depends increasingly on how much leeway President Dilma Rousseff will give the University of Chicago-trained economist to cut Brazil’s record budget gap and reverse the interventionist policies that marred her first term.

Stung by dozens of deals that failed to deliver the promised returns in recent years, money managers have become cautious about Brazilian offerings. In 2014, only one company went public on the São Paulo Stock Exchange, the worst performance for domestic IPOs in 11 years.

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Brazil Has Lost the World Cup

June 25, 2014

Felipe Machado – Fair Observer, 6/24/2014

Brazil has failed to improve its public services and invest appropriately in infrastructure.

I confess that I didn’t want to write this, but the circumstances and some personal angst force me to do so. Seeing all the buzz surrounding the FIFA World Cup as Brazil head into the last 16, I couldn’t help but remember the finals in South Africa in 2010, an event I had the pleasure to cover.

I went to several games, traveled around the country and saw much of the new infrastructure. Despite many problems, I came to realize that South Africa understood the importance of hosting a mega sports event and took the opportunity in several areas with enough professionalism. Was there corruption? Of course. But South Africa, famous in recent history for being the birthplace of apartheid and the country of Nelson Mandela, became the first African nation to hold the World Cup. And that slightly improved their position amid international public opinion.

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Does Brazil deserve its ‘B’ for BRICS

June 3, 2013

Anthony Pereira – CNN, 06/03/2013

When former Goldman Sach’s economist Jim O’Neill first went to Brazil after coining the acronym BRIC, someone asked him whether he had included the “B” just to make the name sound good.

Such skepticism is becoming common again, as investors compare the projected rate of growth in Brazil this year — just 3% — to that in China and India, around 8% and 6% respectively.

So does Brazil still deserve to be seen as an economic powerhouse?

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Biden praises Brazil in speech, calls country ‘developed’

May 30, 2013

Taylor Barnes – The Miami Herald, 05/29/2013

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden praised Brazil’s “vibrancy and inclusive democracy” and strides made in social and economic development in a half-hour speech Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro.

“You can no longer claim ‘We are a developing nation.’ You have developed,” Biden said to a crowd that included Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor Eduardo Paes and local business leaders in a warehouse along the city’s bustling port zone. “What goes with that is worldwide responsibility to speak, to speak out.”

Biden’s speech touched on issues ranging from trade, potential cooperation in Brazil’s energy sector, educational exchanges and Brazil’s rising international prominence.

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Brazil airport capacity limits competition between airlines

May 28, 2013

Dow Jones Newswires/Fox Business, 05/27/2013

Without major investments in Brazil’s air-travel capacity over the next two years, competition between airlines at the country’s eight largest airports will be near impossible, a member of Brazil’s antitrust regulator, Cade, said Monday.

Brazil’s two main domestic airports–Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo and Santos Dumont airport in Rio de Janeiro–already are working so close to maximum capacity that they are effectively closed to any new airline starting operations there, Cade’s Ricardo Ruiz said during a presentation in Sao Paulo.

Mr. Ruiz, who was in charge of reviewing the 2011 takeover of Brazilian airline Webjet by bigger rival Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes (GOLL4.BR, GOL), said that at the time of his review of the acquisition the two airports didn’t have enough take-off and landing times available to allow for a new entrant that could take the place of Webjet.

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