News from Brazil

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on April 27, 2012 at 9:55 am

ECONOMY

Brazilian unemployment rate rose to 6.2 percent in March before seasonal adjustments, from a previously reported 5.7 percent in February, the government’s statistics agency IBGE said (Reuters).

Economists kept nearly unchanged their outlook for the Brazilian economy after the central bank cut rates for the sixth straight time last week (Reuters).

Brazilian companies continue to hire. Employment grew by 0.1% month over month, making up for the layoffs that occurred at the same time. Real wages rose +1.3% in March or 18.5% in annualized terms. On a yearly basis, the real wage bill growth picked up further steam to 7.3%, from the recent 1.2% yearly low record back in October (Forbes).

After reading the minutes from the last Brazilian monetary policy committee meeting, some derivatives traders at Nomura Securities in New York asked “who let the doves out? (Forbes)”

BRAZIL WEEKLY’S BRAZIL’S NEXT 10 HOTTEST BUSINESS CITIES

No doubt the biggest and most important business centres of Brazil are the megacities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and do not forget most other state capitals like Belo Horizonte, Salvador da Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.  But Brazil is big and there are plenty of other fast developing cities, not being state capitals. So for a minute forget Sao Paulo, Rio and those other 2014 World Cup host cities and check out Brazil Weekly’s Brazil’s Next 10 Hottest Business Cities.

BUSINESS

Portugal’s Treasury Secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque defended a takeover bid by Brazil’s Camargo Correa for Portuguese cement maker Cimpor from suggestions it was against the national interests and the price was too low (Reuters).

Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram this month crowned a new poster child for the tech boom and made a hometown hero out of Mike Krieger, Brazilian cofounder of the picture-sharing app. The next challenge for Krieger’s aspiring cohort of local tech entrepreneurs: To hit it big without leaving Brazil for Silicon Valley or an Ivy League dorm room (Reuters).

Europe’s largest drugs distributor Celesio is set to significantly boost its stake in Brazil’s largest drugs distributor Panpharma from currently 50.1 percent (Reuters).

AGRI ETC.

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) announced that its Board of Directors has named the organization’s Technical Director, Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, as interim CEO, taking over from Marcos Jank who announced his resignation on March 27th. Rodrigues will act as interim CEO until the conclusion of a selection process, now underway, for a new chief executive (Unica).

AUTOMOTIVE

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s largest luxury automaker, posted a 30% drop in first-quarter sales in Brazil due to a tax rise for imported cars, said Henning Dornbusch, the company’s country head (MercoPress).

AVIATION

Embraer posted a 36 percent drop in first-quarter net income from a year earlier to 111.2 million reais ($61 million), according to a securities filing (Reuters).

Gol Linhas Aéreas , Brazil’s second-largest airline, is in talks to sell an additional 17 percent stake to U.S. carrier Delta Airlines as it struggles with rising costs and a reduced ability to invest (Reuters).

BANKING & FINANCE

BTG does not want to go public only to see partners chase Ferraris, third homes and early retirement by taking unnecessary risks in order to plump the share price. So it has put severe restrictions on partners selling shares. Partners who want to leave the bank or cash out will be allowed to sell their shares only to other partners, and only at book value. In this way the bank’s culture will not be corrupted by going public, the thinking goes, and shareholders can be reassured that partners will stay for the long term. Some partners are said to be grumbling about the scheme (The Economist).

Brazil’s central bank will toughen scrutiny over mergers and acquisitions in the financial industry that have in recent years resulted in massive scale and efficiency gains for lenders but scant improvements in the quality of customer service (Reuters).

Rising defaults may prevent Itaú Unibanco from cutting interest rates further, signaling that Brazil’s largest private sector lender is unwilling to sacrifice profits in the face of government pressure to lower borrowing costs (Reuters).

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MINING & STEEL

Vale, the world’s largest iron ore miner, expects demand and prices for its main product to recover through 2012, but is likely to face bigger future tax bills that would make it harder to capitalize on any improvement in metal markets (Reuters).

Petrobras and mining giant Vale are in talks over a rare earths deal that would allow Vale to replace China as Petrobras’ supplier of lanthanum oxide for oil refining (Reuters).

E.ON, Germany’s top utility, may join forces with Eike Batista to produce gas in northern Brazil after companies owned by the Brazilian billionaire found significant amounts of gas in the region (Reuters).

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