Apple fights for the right to call iPhone an iPhone in Brazil

Nigam Arora – Forbes, 02/15/2013

It is true that you can buy an iPhone running Android and not iOS.  The phone comes unlocked and can be bought for about $300.  The phone features a 700MHz processor, a 5 megapixel rear camera, a 0.3 megapixel front camera, dual SIM support, and a 3.7 inch display.

Of course, Apple is having a fit over an iPhone running Android.  This particular iPhone is not manufactured by Apple but by a company by the name of IGB Eletronica domiciled in Brazil.  IGB was formed after the restructuring of a Brazilian electronics firm Gradiente Eletronica.  Gradiente had applied for exclusive rights to the name iPhone in Brazil in 2000.  Gradiente claims that it had foreseen the revolution of smartphones in 2000 long before Steve Jobs ever dreamed of iPhone.

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Brazil development bank plans to invest almost a trillion dollars in next three years

MercoPress, 01/25/2013

Brazil’s Social and Economic Development Bank (BNDES) has plans to invest 1.858 trillion Reais (approx 906bn dollars) between 2013 and 2016. In 2012, total investments amounted to approximately 156 billion Reais, up 12% compared to 2011, and a total of 2.394 trillion Reais was invested between 2008 and 2012.

The figures were released by the president of the bank, Luciano Coutinho, at the head office in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

The figures do not include the housing sector.

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The long, brutal haul from farm to port in Brazil

Peter Murphy – Reuters, 11/01/2012

When Marcondes Mendonça hauls corn from Brazil’s farm belt to port in the distant south, the young trucker prays for protection from gaping potholes and dangerous drivers, and dreads the squalid toilets on the seven-day journey ahead.

He also braces for other hassles: traffic bottlenecks, backlogs at port and stifling bureaucracy that increasingly slow goods and services across Latin America’s largest country.

Overwhelmed infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges facing Brazil, the world’s sixth-biggest economy and a global breadbasket that could next year displace the United States as the world’s top soybean producer.

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Thiel fund leads investment in Brazilian start-up

Vinod Sreeharsha – The New York Times, 10/02/2012

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures Management has made its first foray in Brazil, leading an investment in an e-commerce start-up that is trying to shake up the traditional furniture market here and take on an established retailer recently acquired by the Carlyle Group.

Oppa, a design and furniture e-commerce company based in São Paulo, recently closed on $10.47 million in financing, according to securities filings. Mr. Thiel’s Valar led the round.

Oppa was founded by Max Reichel, a German expatriate. A former McKinsey consultant with an M.B.A. from Harvard, Mr. Reichel is trying to bridge e-commerce with design, selling products the company itself creates while also expanding opportunities for designers.

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Brazil stocks flirt with highest level since May

The Wall Street Journal, 08/21/2012

Brazilian stocks climbed Tuesday, bolstered by reports that European Central Bank officials are examining bond rescue plans, as well as a separate report about upcoming stimulus measures in China.

China is Brazil’s largest trading partner. Brazil’s Ibovespa equity index(BR:bvsp) was recently up 1.3% above 60,200 points. The index hasn’t closed above the 60,000 level since early May.

In Sao Paulo trading, steel and housing issues led advancers, with iron miner Vale (US:vale) up 1.2% and home builder Gafisa (US:gfa) higher by 7.2%. In Mexico City, the IPC (MX:ipc) rose 0.4% to 40,499. Chile’s IPSA (CL:ipsa) aimed for its fifth straight win, clinging to a rise of 3 points at 4,277. Argentina’s Merval (AR:merv) picked up 0.1% at 2,462. Trading in Argentina was closed Monday for a holida

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Will Brazil’s stimulus really be “new”?

John Paul Rathbone – Financial Times, 08/15/2012

Brazil currently deserves its initial in the Brics acronym, and not just because it lost the Olympics football final to Mexico. Its economic performance is also a “B”. Growth is limping along at less than 2 per cent. Only two years ago, Brazil was scoring A-grades with a 7.5 per cent growth rate.

Hence the much-hyped stimulus package, with its centrepiece reportedly some R$100bn ($50bn) of infrastructure concessions, to be announced later on Wednesday. President Dilma Rousseff, a technocrat to her fingertips, wants to improve her grades. As ever, though, the package’s big number spells both good and bad news.

First the good news. This stimulus package will supposedly be focused on investment. Previous packages have instead looked to higher consumption to boost growth. But consumption is now a maxed-out Brazilian story, so the switch to investment is both a necessary change and a welcome one.

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Government interventions in Brazil might harm the economy – Mobius

Luciana Magalhaes – Dow Jones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal, 04/20/2012

Templeton Emerging Markets Group Executive Chairman Mark Mobius said that Brazil’s government interventions in the markets might end up hurting Latin America’s largest economy.

“We dislike the government’s intervention in the natural functioning of the markets, and it creates another variable of uncertainty that in the end goes back and affects the country’s economy due to the higher risk,” he said in emailed answers to questions by Dow Jones Newswires.

Templeton Emerging Markets Group has approximately $5 billion invested in Brazil.

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Brazil’s Rio to build railway for port terminals, Globo says

Lucia Kassai – Bloomberg, 01/01/2012

Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro’s state plans to invest 1.7 billion reais ($911 million) to build a railway that will connect the main state port terminals, O Globo reported, citing a government official.

Valec – Engenharia, Construcoes & Ferrovias SA, a state- controlled company, will be responsible for the construction, according to Julio Lopes, Rio’s transportation secretary. The project also will receive financial support from Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4)Vale SA (VALE5) and EBX Group Ltd., Lopes told the Rio de Janeiro-based newspaper.

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OECD criticizes Brazil’s industrial policy, says more is needed

Jeffrey T. Lewis – Dow Jones Newswires/Nasdaq, 11/282011

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developed has criticized Brazil’s recently-unveiled industrial policy, and the country needs to do more to improve competitiveness.

The so-called Brasil Maior plan “may provide short-term relief” for manufacturing companies but “will not be sufficient to reduce the cost disadvantage of producing in Brazil,” the OECD said in its latest economic outlook report published Monday.

“Further reforms to the tax system and to foster investment in infrastructure are urgently needed,” the OECD said in the report.

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Brazil’s Vale to invest $21.5 bn in 2012

AFP/Breitbart, 11/28/2011

Brazilian mining conglomerate Vale, the world’s leading iron producer, announced Monday investments of $21.5 billion (16 billion euros) for 2012.

It said the investment budget package includes $12.9 billion in capital expenditures for project execution, $2.4 billion for research and development and $6.1 billion for sustaining existing operations.

“Based on a long-term view of global minerals and metals markets, the budget is aligned with our vision of becoming the best global natural resources company in long-term-value creation,” the company said in a statement.

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