The political and economic turmoil in Brazil will “inevitably” affect next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a senior IOC official said Wednesday, as Brazilian organizers declared that preparations remain fully on track for the games.
With the opening ceremony less than eight months away, Brazil is dealing with severe recession, impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff and a massive corruption scandal involving state-run oil company Petrobras.
“They have political and economic difficulties,” IOC vice president Craig Reedie said. “Inevitably, they will affect the games. There are challenges. I think they and we will have to get through it.”
Marvin G. Perez – Bloomberg, 3/5/2014
Coffee futures topped $2 a pound in a surge to a 24-month high as drought conditions that started in January eroded prospects for crops in Brazil, the world’s top producer and exporter.
Rain will ebb after a cold front this week in Brazil’s coffee areas, Somar Meteorologia inSao Paulo said yesterday. The southeast including Minas Gerais, the top producing state, is having the driest summer since 1972, the National Institute of Meteorology in Brasilia has said. Wolthers Douque, a U.S. import company, cut its crop forecast this year by 10 percent.
Futures for arabica beans, favored by specialty companies such as Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), have surged 83 percent this year, the most among the 24 raw materials tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index. Last year, coffee tumbled 23 percent in the third straight annual loss, the longest slump since 1993, amid Brazil’s bumper crops.
Samantha Pearson – The Financial Times, 2/26/2014
Petrobras has sliced $16bn off its five-year investment plan, as Brazil’s petrol subsidies have strained the finances of the state-controlled company and turned it into the world’s most indebted oil producer.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company said on Tuesday it would invest $221bn between 2014 and 2018, down from $237bn in its previous five-year plan – one of the world’s largest corporate spending programmes.
The announcement came as the company reported that its net profit had declined to R$6.3bn ($2.7bn) in the final three months of 2013, down 19 per cent from the same period in 2012. Net sales rose 10 per cent to R$81bn from a year earlier.
Loretta Chao & Paulo Trevisani – Wall Street Journal, 2/10/2014
A second Cuban doctor is confirmed to have defected from a controversial program to bring thousands of medical professionals to underserved regions of Brazil, according to Brazilian health officials.
“To all my friends on Facebook who sent me messages of concern about my absence, I thank you,” said a message posted to a Facebook profile under the doctor’s name, Ortelio Jaime Guerra.
Blake Schmidt – Bloomberg, 1/8/2014
Brazil’s swap rates climbed as a weakened currency and better-than-forecast industrial output added to speculation that the central bank will sustain the pace of increases in borrowing costs to curb inflation.
Swap rates on contracts maturing in January 2017 rose eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 12.31 percent at 5:05 p.m. in Sao Paulo. The real fell 0.9 percent to 2.3930 per U.S. dollar, approaching a four-month low. The currency extended its decline after the central bank reported a net foreign-exchange outflow of $8.8 billion in December, the biggest since the start of data in 2010.
The real has fallen 7.6 percent in the past three months, the worst performance after the yen among 16 major currencies, on concern fiscal deterioration will lead to a lower credit rating and amid speculation that the tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus will sink demand for the nation’s assets.