News from Brazil

Business & Economy

In Brazil on August 27, 2010 at 11:42 am

ECONOMY

Brazil moved closer to missing a key fiscal target for 2010 as data released showed that heavy election-year budget spending continues to outstrip tax gains from the robust economy (Reuters).

Reuters discusses measures which Brazil’s authorities have used before and could use again to curb the real’s appreciation (Reuters).

Brazil has overtaken Canada and Spain to become the world’s eighth largest economy, relegating Spain to ninth place, Spanish newspaper Expansión reported (Macauhub).

Brazil’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to its second-lowest reading on record in July (Bloomberg).

BANKING & FINANCE

Brazil’s antitrust agency approved with no restrictions the merger that created Itau Unibanco, the country’s largest non-government bank by assets, saying the combination is unlikely to hamper competition in the sector (Reuters).

Bradesco Asset Management, Brazil’s third-largest money manager, has raised $2 billion the past three months from overseas investors looking to buy local stocks and bonds and expects more fund inflows as it expands into new countries (Reuters).

The latest of The Economist‘s profiles of financial firms after the crisis looks at BTG Pactual, Brazil’s investment-banking powerhouse.

AGRI

How to feed the world? The emerging conventional wisdom about world farming is gloomy. There is an alternative: Brazil’s agricultural miracle (The Economist).

The miracle of the cerrado. Brazil has revolutionised its own farms. Can it do the same for others? See The Economist.

With its biofuels business increasingly dominated by giant corporations, Brazil is seeking to extend its biofuels sector to include farmers like Lucas Scariot, who makes around $10,000 per year from selling grain (Reuters).

The government’s growing fear of losing control of domestic food production could end an era of strong foreign investment in farmland, which economists say is needed if Brazil is to help avert a repeat of the global food shortages in 2008 (Reuters).

Orange growers in Brazil, the world’s biggest producer, will harvest the smallest crop in at least eight years after rains hindered flowering (Bloomberg).

Sugar output in Brazil’s Center South, the world’s largest producing region, may be cut by 1 million metric tons as dry weather is reducing the crop’s size, Brazil’s Copersucar said (Bloomberg).

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a bill into law on the establishment of a catastrophe fund for the rural sector (Xinhua).

AVIATION

An Embraer ERJ-190 passenger plane overshot the runway during landing in a south China city, briefly interrupting the airport traffic but causing no casualties. The accident occurred just half an day after another Brazil-made ERJ-190 jet missed the runway and crashed to the ground in Yichun City, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, killing 42 and injuring another 54 (Xinhua).

SHIPBUILDING

Brazilian shipbuilding start-up OSX has obtained $420 million in financing to buy its first oil production platform from a foreign supplier (Reuters).

OIL & GAS

Energy giant Petrobras and Brazil’s government clashed over the size of oil reserves to be used in an oil-for-stock swap (Reuters).

Brazil’s government will charge state oil firm Petrobras at least $8 per barrel for crude reserves to be used in an oil-for-shares swap linked to a stock offering (Reuters).

Larsen & Toubro Ltd, India’s top engineering and construction company, is looking at opening an office in Brazil to sell products and explore opportunities in the oil and gas sector (Reuters).

Petrobras took a 2.2 billion-real ($1.25 billion) loan from state-run bank Banco do Brasil in June, underscoring the company’s need for cash after delaying a large stock offering (Reuters).

Standard & Poor’s said that a credit ratings downgrade of Brazilian state oil company Petrobras is unlikely, even if the company postpones a proposed share offering (Reuters).

OGX’s planned asset sale has attracted the interest of at least six companies. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., PetroChina Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Staoil may bid for the assets. A company from India is also interested (Bloomberg).

Royal Dutch Shell started drilling a well off Brazil’s coast near the Tupi field, the largest discovery in the Americas in more than three decades (Bloomberg).

MINING

Mining giant Vale announced that it has signed an agreement with an Argentine railroad operator for the concession transference of a 756-km railroad stretch. The railroad, which belonged to Ferrosur Roca S.A. (FERROSUR), connects Zapala, in the Argentine province of Neuquen, to General Cerri, Buenos Aires Province (Xinhua).

BIOFUELS

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and sugar and ethanol giant Cosan signed a binding agreement that will create Brazil’s No. 3 fuel distributor, as well as explore international ethanol and sugar opportunities (Reuters).

Reuters sums up the key facts about Brazil’s biofuels sector (Reuters).

HOTELS

WorldHotels, the hotel group for independent hotels and regional brands, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Othon Hotels of Brazil for five new affiliate hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Belo Horizonte (Reuters).

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