The developed world remains in the grip of economic uncertainty and slow growth as consumers reduce spending, particularly the credit-driven spending which contributed first to the economic boom and ultimately, the bust. In Brazil, the picture could not be more different. In the midst of rising inflation consumers are showing no signs of moderating their spending habits, preferring to incur more credit-card debt to keep on spending (The Rio Times).
Brazil is an important economic story. Yes, China is a growing force, but so is this powerhouse Latin American country. Here’s why (CNBC).
Although many well-known foreign companies, from cosmetics giants L’oreal to car maker Fiat, Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica and global energy groups such as Shell have been increasing investments in Brazil, there is a less recognized, but growing, foreign investor presence emerging – private equity groups (The Rio Times).
It is a paradox haunting Brazil’s economic-policy makers – ordinary people have never had it so good, but the country’s industry is facing its toughest times yet (BBC).
Brazil will apply nontariff trade barriers to imports of cars and car parts, a government source said on Thursday, in an effort to stem fast-rising imports that are battering domestic manufacturers (Reuters).
Brazil’s economy has begun decelerating and should expand by 4 percent this year, less than its potential of 4.5 percent, said Vladimir Caramaschi, chief economist of Credit Agricole’s Brazilian unit (Bloomberg).
Citrovita and Citrosuco of Brazil won European Union antitrust approval for their merger plan to form the world’s largest wholesale supplier of orange juice (MercoPress).
Brazil may start leasing farm land to foreigners to find a way around new legal restrictions on land sales and attract more foreign investment, the agriculture minister said (Reuters).
Heineken NV, the world’s third-largest brewer by volume, is considering making an offer for Brazil’s Primo Schincariol Industria de Cervejas e Refrigerantes SA (Bloomberg).
The Brazilian government has moved towards privatizing the country’s five largest airports in an effort to head off concerns that the nation’s transport infrastructure will not cope with the massive influx of visitors for the 2014World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Terms of the auction will be announced for Guarulhos airport in São Paulo, the Juscelino Kubitschek airport in Brasília and the Campinas airport in São Paulo state in May. The terms for Galeao airport in Rio de Janeiro and Confins airport in Belo Horizonte will be published by early July (The Rio Times).
The cockpit voice recorder from an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic two years ago has been found, French investigators have said (BBC).
Embraer and Régional, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air France, signed a contract for two additional EMBRAER 170 jets, confirming options originally placed in August 2007 (Embraer).
Embraer commemorated the delivery of the first EMBRAER 190 jet to TRIP Linhas Aéreas. The Brazilian airline currently operates a fleet of nine EMBRAER 175 jets, and should receive nine EMBRAER 190 jets by the end of this year (Embraer).
Boeing forecasts that air carriers in Latin America will require 2,180 new airplanes worth approximately 210 billion US dollars over the next 20 years as air travel in the region out paces the world average (MercoPress).
American Airlines said it has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation for permission to make 10 additional weekly flights between the United States and Brazil (MSNBC).
Brazil’s government may finance the acquisition of a stake in Portugal’s troubled state airline TAP by domestic air carrier TAM, a government source told Reuters.
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Brazilian loan defaults are unlikely to rise in the coming quarters, Banco do Brasil executives said, contradicting recent statements by rivals concerned with eroding asset quality as the economy slows and inflation gains momentum (Reuters).
Vale celebrates the beginning of mining activities at its coal mining project in Moatize, in the Tete province of Mozambique, ahead of operations at the processing plant. Production is set to start in July 2011. With an investment of USD 1.658 billion, the mine will have a production capacity of 11 million tons per year of metallurgical and thermal coal (Vale).
Brazil’s government wants to boost rare earth mining domestically to wean the country away from dependence on China for the minerals (Reuters).
Russia’s largest steel producer Severstal said it had bought a 25 percent stake in Brazilian iron ore company SPG Mineracao, part of a strategy of investing in steel-related raw materials (Reuters).
OIL & GAS
Petrobras is the world’s eighth largest publicly traded company, according to a ranking prepared by Forbes magazine. In this edition of the ranking, the Company moved up ten positions compared to 2010, when it held the 18th place BW).
Petrobras announced the increased investment plans for the emerging Santos basin pre-salt assets, earmarking 73 billion US dollars for the 2011-2015 period. The vast sum is a 63% increase compared with the company’s 2010-2014 plan said a company statement (MercoPress).
BP is negotiating opportunities to buy stakes in oil fields in Brazil to accelerate production increases in the South American nation, the head of the company’s Brazil division said (Reuters).
Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man, said he plans to list in London about $2 billion of shares in OGX Petroleo e Natural Gas Participacoes SA, his flagship oil production and exploration company, the Financial Times reported (Bloomberg).