News from Brazil

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Politics & Government

In Brazil on January 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

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POLITICS

Fernando Haddad, Mayor of Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo, refuted claims by British daily Financial Times (FT) that the national government is mismanaging the economy (Xinhua).

The Brazilian government announced a plan to localize human insulin production by 2016 through a partnership with a Ukrainian lab. The Farmanguinhos lab, a government facility, will work with Ukrainian lab Indar (Xinhua).

President Dilma Rousseff announced a deeper-than-expected cut in electricity costs. Residential consumers will pay 18 percent less for power, while industrial, agricultural and commercial users will see electricity bills drop 32 percent, Reuters reported.

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INTERNATIONAL

Relations between Brazil and the United States will remain cordial in the second term of U.S. President Barack Obama, political analysts said (Xinhua).

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CITY BRIEFS

Check out Brazil Weekly’s new feature City Briefs, a series of introductions to the country’s main economic centers, packed with relevant info for business travelers. First to hit the net were the Brazil Weekly City Briefs on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, Belo Horizonte, the country’s third economic centre and Sao Paulo, the global megacity. Latest City Brief deals with Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City!

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer S.A. and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding aiming at establishing a joint-venture which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil to be marketed for both commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America (Embraer).

Embraer Defense and Security and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) signed a contract to modernize five EMB 145 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control), designated E-99 in the FAB. The contract, valued at approximately USD 215 million, provides for the updating of electronic warfare systems, command and control systems, electronic countermeasures and air surveillance radar. Atech, a Embraer Defense and Security company, participates in the development of the command and control system. The contract also comprises six mission planning and analysis stations that will be employed in the training and improvement of crews (Embraer).

OPINION

Be welcome to check out our latest article, a reaction to a recent article in The Economist: Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?

Business & Economy

In Brazil on January 25, 2013 at 8:08 am

ECONOMY

The Extended National Consumer Price Index 15 (IPCA-15) changed 0.88% in January, 0.19 percentage points above the rate registered in December (0.69%). Considering the accumulated indicator in 12 months, the index was at 6.02%, also above the immediately previous 12 months (5.78%). In January 2012, therate was at 0.65% (IBGE).

The Department of Economics (Depec) of Banco Central do Brasil released the external accounts results for December 2012. The document brings together the results of the balance of payments, foreign debt and international reserves movement, among others.

BNDES is to invest R$ 1.858 trillion between 2013 and 2016. Last year, total investments amounted to approximately R$ 156 billion, up 12% compared to 2011, and a total of R$ 2.394 trillion was invested between 2008 and 2012 (Portal Brasil).

Brazil’s interest rate futures rose across the board after the central bank emphasized its commitment to reining in inflation, prompting speculation it may tighten monetary policy later this year, Reuters reported. In minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, the bank raised its inflation forecast for 2013 but said it works to bring inflation back to a government target in a “timely manner.”

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BUSINESS

The reduction of bank interest rates, led by public banks since April last year, has allowed micro and small enterprises to seek credit from banking institutions. Small businesses took R$ 182.3 billion in credit last year from Banco do Brasil (BB) and the Federal Savings Bank (Caixa Econômica Federal) alone, 34.7% more than in 2011 (Portal Brasil).

Check out the clickable map at Veja showing indicators of all of Brazil’s states. Sao Paulo, Rio and Minas Gerais appear the best states for business.

AGRI ETC.

The BNDES has granted financial support to Adecoagro Vale do Ivinhema in the amount of R$ 488.6 million. Funding will be used to implement a new sugar and ethanol mill in the municipality of Ivinhema, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (BNDES).

Soybean farmers in Brazil are expected to harvest a record large soybean crop in 2012/13 and they will also be paying record high prices to transport the grain to end users and export facilities. More than 60% of Brazil grain production is transport by truck over very long distances and the already high cost of moving the grain is expected to go even higher when new regulations concerning Brazilian truck drivers goes into effect (Soybean & Corn Advisor).

AVIATION

Embraer and Republic Airways Holdings Inc., operator of the largest E-Jets fleet in the world, announced a contract for the sale of 47 EMBRAER 175 jets. The agreement also includes options for an additional 47 aircraft, providing a potential for 94 E175s, which could reach a total value of approximately USD 4 billion, in 2013 economic conditions, at list price (Embraer).

Embraer has also signed a contract with Aldus Aviation Limited, the Irish lessor, for the sale of 20 E-Jets, five Embraer 175 and 15 Embraer 190. The contract also includes 15 purchase rights for any E-Jet family model. The deal can reach a total of USD 1.56 billion, in 2012 economics conditions. The firm orders are already included in Embraer’s 2012 fourth quarter backlog, where it was listed as “undisclosed” customer (Embraer).

BANKING & FINANCE

BM&FBOVESPA is to launch new interest rate derivatives on March 1. The first is a futures contract referenced to the average rate of one-day repurchase agreements, backed by federal securities. Trading in the contract will be authorized between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. under ticker symbol OC1, with the April 2013 contract as the front month (BM&F Bovespa).

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MINING & STEEL

Vale will perform its first iron ore shipment to its global steel and mining company customer ArcelorMittal using a Valemax vessel to be discharged at the port of Rotterdam. The Berge Jaya, chartered by Vale, is scheduled to berth at Rotterdam’s EMO dry bulk terminal this week. This is the second voyage of the vessel, built by Chinese shipyard Bohai. The Valemax ship is the world’s largest ore carrier, has a capacity to transport up to 400,000 tons of iron ore and allows for 35% less carbon emission per ton of ore transported compared to earlier generation ships (Vale).

OIL & GAS

Brazil plans to hold its 11th-round auction of oil and natural gas rights on May 14 and 15 in Rio de Janeiro, restarting sales of exploration and production leases for the first time in five years, Reuters reprted. The government also plans to add 117 areas to the auction, bringing the total amount of blocks to be offered to 289.

Brazil’s ANP oil regulator asked state-led Petrobras to increase production at one of its largest fields, increasing costs for the firm that already has the world’s largest corporate spending program, ANP board meeting minutes showed (Reported by Reuters).

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Regional News

In Brazil on January 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

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WEEKEND BREAKS!

Brazil Weekly now offers another new feature: Weekend Breaks! Over the next months we will show you how to enjoy your weekend out of town when staying in Brazil’s biggest business cities. First online is our Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit!

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.

TOURISM

Financing granted by official banks to businesses in the tourism sector between January and November 2012 reached record numbers. The R$ 9.83 billion released during the period, even while not taking into account the December result, represents the best annual performance since 2003 when the Ministry of Tourism began to coordinate with public banks to provide specific credit lines for the sector (Portal Brasil).

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

Head of Brazil’s National Electricity Agency (Aneel) Nelson Hubner said that there will be no blackouts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in the country (Xinhua).

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola and Cape Verde, two upcoming Portuguese speaking countries. Read the Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s visitor’s guide to Cape Verde’s main islands, and read our forecast Cape Verde in 2030, a realistic glimpse of the small nation’s bright future and check out Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of interviews with local entrepreneurs. But there is much more…

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Complexo Empresarial for the Porto Maravilha, Rio’s docklands project. It’s a twin 150 meter or 46 floor project.

AMAZON

After years of gains against destruction of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil appears to be suffering from an increase in deforestation as farmers, loggers, miners and builders move into previously untouched woodland, Reuters reported.

MINAS GERAIS

Minas Gerais inaugurated the first prison complex in Brazil built and run by private companies. Announced by the state government as a result of a “new model of public-private partnership (PPP)” in Latin America, the complex is located in Ribeirão das Neves in the Belo Horizonte metropolitan region at a cost of R$ 280 million to the group responsible for running it. The amount invested also takes into account the training of monitors to be hired by the consortium (Portal Brasil).

RIO

Mayor Eduardo Paes (PMDB) obtained a promise from the federal government to invest R$ 200 million in dredging the two channels that allow access to Guanabara Bay. This action is meant to reduce the number of ships anchored in front of Rio’s south zone beaches awaiting a room in the port (Folha).

Check out our latest City Brief, on Rio de Janeiro!

SAO PAULO

What are Sao Paulo’s best hotels and restaurants? Do the polls on the Sao Paulo City Brief page.

Check out what’s on at the prestigious Sala Sao Paulo!

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on January 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil is urging Venezuela’s government to hold elections as quickly as possible if President Hugo Chavez dies, senior officials told Reuters.

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CITY BRIEFS

Check out Brazil Weekly’s new feature City Briefs, a series of introductions to the country’s main economic centers, packed with relevant info for business travelers. First to hit the net were the Brazil Weekly City Briefs on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, Belo Horizonte, the country’s third economic centre and Sao Paulo, the global megacity. Latest City Brief deals with Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City!

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Brazilian gunmaker Forjas Taurus of Porto Alegre, the world’s number two by revenue, is seen as a likely bidder for ailing U.S. competitor Freedom Group Inc., Bloomberg reported.

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OPINION

Be welcome to check out our latest article, a reaction to a recent article in The Economist: Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?

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Business & Economy News

In Brazil on January 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

ECONOMY

In November 2012, retail trade in the country recorded positive change of 0.3% in volume of sales and of 0.8% in nominal revenue of sales, compared with the previous month. These rates are seasonally adjusted. It was the sixth consecutive month with increase of volume, and the ninth with revenue increase. Changes over November 2011 were 8.4%, in terms of volume of sales, and 13.7%, in terms of nominal revenue. The indexes accumulated in the year and in the last 12 months were, respectively, 8.9% and 8.6% for volume of sales, and 12.5% and 12.2% for nominal revenue (IBGE).

In November 2012, the total salaried employed persons of industry remained unchanged (0.0%) versus the figure in the immediately previous month (seasonally-adjusted series) after having recorded -0.1% in August, -0.3% in September and 0.4% in October (IBGE).

The World Bank has cut the Brazilian GDP growth forecast for 2013 to 3.4 percent from the previous estimate of 4.2 percent (Xinhua).

Most analysts now think that inflation will be around 6% this year. Week by week, they are revising down their forecasts for economic growth in 2013, now at about 3%. The Economist is checking the figures.

The IBRE General Price Index – 10 (IGP-10) recorded a 0.42% change rate in January, compared to 0.63% in December. In January 2012, the rate was 0.08%. In 12 months, the IGP-10 increased 7.79%. The IGP-10 is calculated based on prices collected between the 11th day of the previous month and the 10th day of the reference month (IBRE).

Foreign investment funds have preferred to invest in other developing countries instead of Brazil, in a movement caused, among other reasons, by the higher taxes and interference of the government in the economy. In a trend that includes funds of major investors such as Pimco and BlackRock, of the U.S., the amount of resources managed by international groups invested in Brazil’s financial market has declined (Folha).

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BUSINESS

Check out the clickable map at Veja showing indicators of all of Brazil’s states. Sao Paulo, Rio and Minas Gerais appear the best states for business.

AGRI ETC.

The BNDES’ Support Program to Renew and Develop New Sugarcane Fields (BNDES Prorenova) was extended to December 31 and will have a R$ 4 billion allocation. Launched in early 2012, the BNDES Prorenova is aimed at encouraging the production of sugarcane by financing the renewal of old sugarcane fields and expanding the cultivated area. This is essential to increase productivity in Brazil’s sugarcane plantation and consequently expand the production of sugar and ethanol.

With only residual crushing remaining in the current harvest, the amount of sugarcane processed by mills in Brazil’s South-Central region has reached 531.35 million tons from the start of the 2012/2013 season through Dec. 31, 2012. Considering that the current season has practically wrapped up, it’s possible to compare figures through Dec. 31, 2012, with the final figures for the 2011/2012 season. The comparison shows a year-over-year crush increase of 7.74%, considering that the 2011/2012 sugarcane crush totaled 493.16 million tons (UNICA).

Brazil’s chicken meat exports should increase by about 3 percent this year after falling in 2012 due to high feed costs, the country’s poultry association, Ubabef, said (Reuters).

Sugar prices in Brazil fell to the lowest average during this year’s harvesting period since the 2009-10 season because of ample supply, according to Cepea, a University of Sao Paulo research group, Bloomberg reports.

The use of GMO soybean and corn varieties by Brazilian farmers continued to expand in 2012/13. According to a report from Expedicao Safra Gazeta do Povo, 89% of the 2012/13 soybean crop in Brazil and 85% of the 2012/13 full-season corn crop are GMO varieties (Soybean & Corn Advisor).

AVIATION

Embraer delivered 23 commercial and 53 business jets during the fourth quarter of 2012, thus closing out the year with 106 airplanes delivered to the airline market and 99 to executive aviation. At the end of the year, the firm order backlog stood at USD 12.5 billion.

LATAM Airlines Group said its passenger traffic rose 10 percent in December and 7.8 percent for all of 2012, both year-on-year. LATAM Airlines, Latin America’s largest carrier, was formed after Chilean flagship airline LAN’s recent takeover of Brazil’s TAM.

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OIL & GAS

Petrobras and the Garanti-Instituttet for Eksportkreditt (GIEK), the Norwegian export credit agency, signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at promoting closer institutional cooperation. The MoU allows for up to US$ 1 billion in credit guarantees to cover exports from Norwegian companies to Petrobras as part of the Company’s financing strategy for projects in the 2012-2016 Business and Management Plan.

Petrobras created the Onshore Natural Gas Program (PRON-GAS), focused on the exploration, production and monetization of natural gas from the Brazilian onshore sedimentary basins, in conventional and non-conventional reservoirs. The Program aims at assessing natural gas potential at the Brazilian onshore sedimentary basins and estimate the cost to use this gas in an integrated energy system that involves thermoelectric power generation, located near the transmission lines and the complimentary production of nitrogen fertilizers to supply the Brazilian agribusiness.

Petrobras announced that extension well 3-BRSA-1128-ESS has confirmed the presence of light oil and gas in sandstone reservoirs in the Espírito Santo Basin post-salt.

Brazil could offer exploration blocks that contain deposits of shale gas in as many as five separate basins in an auction planned for December, preliminary studies by the national oil agency (ANP) showed (Reuters).

Brazil could announce as soon as next week a 7 percent rise in gasoline prices and a 4 to 5 percent increase in diesel, Reuters reported citing the Brazilian press.

POWER

Reservoirs that fuel hydroelectric plants in Brazil’s drought-stricken Northeast recovered slightly after recent rains, data from the national grid operator showed on Tuesday, easing fears of an energy crisis (Reuters).

TELECOMS

US based SBA Communications Corp. acquired 800 wireless towers in Brazil from Telefonica SA’s Vivo SA division for 362.8 million reais ($178 million), letting it begin operating in the country (Bloomberg).

Brazil Regional News

In Brazil on January 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm

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SUPPORT BRAZIL WEEKLY AND BOOK YOUR HOTEL IN BRAZIL HERE

BEST ENGLISH BOOKS ON BRAZIL

Be welcome to check out Brazil Weekly’s book store in cooperation with Amazon.com! Browse the Brazil Weekly Store for highly relevant maps, books on politics, economics and history as well as travel or tourist guides and translated Brazilian literature. Click on the categories and watch our slide shows go by, packed with Brazil Weekly’s picks. You order straight with Amazon, one of the best online stores in the world. Enjoy!

WEEKEND BREAKS!

Brazil Weekly now offers another new feature: Weekend Breaks! Over the next months we will show you how to enjoy your weekend out of town when staying in Brazil’s biggest business cities. First online is our Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit!

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.

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola and Cape Verde, two upcoming Portuguese speaking countries. Read the Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s visitor’s guide to Cape Verde’s main islands, and read our forecast Cape Verde in 2030, a realistic glimpse of the small nation’s bright future and check out Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of interviews with local entrepreneurs. But there is much more…

MEDIA

Without even setting foot in Brazil, Twitter attracted 40 million subscribers in this social network-obsessed nation, Reuters reports. The U.S. company is planning to open an office in Sao Paulo. Facebook has already set up shop.

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Mauricio de Nassau twin residential towers for the Pernambuco market town of Caruaru.

RIO

Check out our latest City Brief, on Rio de Janeiro!

SAO PAULO

Although Brazil’s first bullet train still has to be built (the Rio-Sao Paulo-Campinas stretch), studies are now to be carried out for the construction of more high speed rail lines, all radiating from Sao Paulo: to Curitiba, BH and Uberlandia.

Spanish companies will be heavily involved in the completion of Sao Paulo’s immense ring road, The Rodoanel. The last part of it, Rodoanel Norte will be ready in 2016, the local press reported.

Like the MASP, the Pinacoteca reflects the theory that an art space must be worthy of the art it exhibits. Designed in 1897 by Ramos de Azevedo, it housed the first art school of the city, Liceu de Artes e Ofícios (Timeout Sao Paulo).

What are Sao Paulo’s best hotels and restaurants? Do the polls on the Sao Paulo City Brief page.

Check out what’s on at the prestigious Sala Sao Paulo!

SOUTH

The Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG), in a partnership with the city hall and the state government of Rio Grande do Sul plans to inaugurate in 2014 a technological park focused on shipbuilding and offshore. Called Oceantec, the project has to attract companies in many areas like automation, chemistry and information technology, in order to develop new solutions in partnership with the university (Holland Marine House).

One of the reasons why the Port of Paranagua in southern Brazil suffers from chronic congestion and long lineups of vessels waiting to berth is that the larger vessels were not allowed to set sail at night due to a shallow draft in the shipping channel. In an attempt to improve the situation, the port completed a dredging operation last October that depend the shipping channel. Read on at Soybean & Corn Advisor.

Politics & Government News

In Brazil on January 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

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POLITICS

Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao denied that the country is on the verge of energy rationing or at any risk of an energy crisis. He also rejected speculations that his meeting earlier in the day with President Dilma Rousseff was for emergency talks dedicated to tackling energy problems. Reservoirs in the country are currently at low levels, but Lobao said the upcoming summer storms will fill up them again. Also, he noted, the capacity of thermal power plants increased in 2012 (Xinhua).

Lobao also said Brazil will go ahead with its first oil exploration auction in five years in May.

Brazil’s top prosecutor will look into allegations that former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was involved in a vote-buying scheme in Congress that led to the conviction of several of his closest aides for corruption (Reuters).

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INTERNATIONAL

Brazil’s candidate for top job of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said that if elected he will rebuild consensus between developed and developing countries. Roberto Azevedo, Brazil’s ambassador to the WTO, stressed the importance of building consensus and negotiating within the WTO. He expressed discontent with the current paralysis of the Doha Round of world trade talks, which began in 2001 (Xinhua).

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CITY BRIEFS

Check out Brazil Weekly’s new feature City Briefs, a series of introductions to the country’s main economic centers, packed with relevant info for business travelers. First to hit the net were the Brazil Weekly City Briefs on Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, Belo Horizonte, the country’s third economic centre and Sao Paulo, the global megacity. Latest City Brief deals with Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City!

HIGHLY RECOMMMENDED

OPINION

Be welcome to check out our latest article, a reaction to a recent article in The Economist: Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?

INFRA

Brazil’s $45 billion railroad expansion is targeting ALL America Latina Logistica SA and Vale SA’s duopoly by guaranteeing returns for companies that create train lines and transport cargo, Bloomberg reported. Highway operator TPI-Triunfo Participacoes & Investimentos SA and logistics group JSL SA have said they may take part in the April auction for the rights to operate lines or handle cargo on 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of new railways. The government says the nation’s biggest rail expansion since the 1930s will lure 91 billion reais ($45 billion) of investments.

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Business & Economy News

In Brazil on January 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

ECONOMY

Economists reduced their forecasts for Brazil’s economic growth in 2013 to 3.26 percent from a previous estimate of 3.30 percent, according to a weekly central bank survey.

In 2012, Brazilian exports achieved the second highest value since trade balance records began, with a value of US$ 242.6 billion, second only to the figure registered in 2011 (US$ 256 billion), representing a fall of 5.3%. The same situation was seen with imports which closed the year at US$ 223.1 billion, a 1.4% drop compared to the record set in 2011 (US$ 226.2 billion). With these results, the trade surplus was US$ 19.4 billion and trade flow, US$ 465.7 billion (Portal Brasil).

The Extended Consumer Price Index (IPCA) rose 0.79% in December, staying 0.19 percentage points above November’s rate (0.60%). It is the highest monthly IPCA since March 2011, when it reached the same rate of 0.79%, and the biggest index occurred in December since 2004, when the rate was 0.86%. As a result, the year 2012 closed at 5.84%, below the 6.50% rate relative to the previous year (IBGE).

The National Index of Civil Construction (Sinapi), estimated by IBGE in partnership with CAIXA, recorded a change of 0.43% in December: a reduction of 0.21 percentage points in relation to November (0.22%). With this result, the year of 2012 closed at 5.68%, quite near the 5.65% rate registered in 2011 (IBGE).

In November 2012 the regional indexes of industrial output pointed out a negative change in six of the 14 places surveyed, with the sharpest falls recorded by Goiás (-14.7%), Espírito Santo (-6.3%), Pará (-6.0%) and Paraná (-5.1%). It is worth mentioning that these places posted positive results in October: 16.5%, 13.4%, 4.5% and 2.8%, respectively. São Paulo (-1.9%) and Minas Gerais (-0.7%) close the set of places posting negative results this month. On the other hand, the Northeast region, with a 4.2% growth, Bahia (3.5%), Santa Catarina (3.0%), Amazonas (2.9%), Ceará (2.2%) and Rio de Janeiro (2.1%) registered the widest expansions this month, whereas Pernambuco (1.3%) and Rio Grande do Sul (0.4%) recorded more moderate advances (IBGE).

BM&F BOVESPA announced their 2012 market performance and it is full of records, check it out here.

The Coincident Indicator of Unemployment (CIU), by the Getulio Vargas Foundation declined 2.4% in December, compared to the previous month, reaching the second lowest level of the series (60.9 points), superior only to December of last year (60.4 points). The drop in the margin indicates a decrease in the unemployment rate regarding the previous month and confirms the good moment of the labor market at the end of 2012 (IBRE).

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BUSINESS

MMX, Eike Batista’s mining company, said it had been handed a bill relating to its activities in 2007, for 3.8 billion reais ($1.8 billion) for corporate income tax and social security, plus interest and fines. The Economist comments on Brazil’s unpredictable tax system.

Grupo Pão de Açúcar, Brazil’s biggest retailer, said it plans to open 500 new stores by 2015 (Reuters).

Check out the clickable map at Veja showing indicators of all of Brazil’s states. Sao Paulo, Rio and Minas Gerais appear the best states for business.

AGRI ETC.

The national production of cereals, legumes and oilseeds reached a record harvest of 162.1 million metric tons in 2012, 1.2% higher than the harvest obtained in 2011 (160.1 million metric tons) (IBGE).

National grain production for the 2012/2013 period is expected to reach 180.41 million tons, according to the fourth survey conducted by the National Food Supply Company (CONAB). The volume represents an increase of 8.6% or 14.23 million tons compared to the previous season (166.17 million tons) (Portal Brasil).

AUTOMOTIVE

Brazil sold a record high of 3.8 million vehicles in 2012, up 4.6 percent from 2011, the National Motor Vehicle Producers Federation (Fenabrave) said (Xinhua).

AVIATION

The BNDES has approved a bridge loan in the amount of R$ 488 million for Inframérica Brasília S.A Airport Concessionaire to start works on expanding, maintaining and operating the Brasilia International Airport – Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek, in the Federal District. Inframérica is a Special Purpose Company (SPC) that includes Inframérica Participações S.A — comprising the Brazilian company Infravix and the Argentinean Corporación America S.A. (Corporación) — and the Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (Infraero). Inframérica plans to increase passenger capacity from 15.4 million in 2011 to 20.7 million in 2014, the year the World Cup will be held. In 2016, when Rio hosts the Olympic Games, capacity is expected to reach 24.4 million, and in 2021 and 2031 it will be 31.3 million and 38.8 million, respectively. For this, the number of boarding “fingers” will increase to 28 in 2014, compared to the 13 currently used. The concessionaire plans to reach 38 fingers in 2021 and 47 in 2031.  The consortium also plans to turn the entire airport area into a commercial complex, with the construction of a hotel, a convention center and office rooms (BNDES).

Embraer made its debut in Bangladesh with two ERJ 145 jets purchased by NovoAir, a new scheduled operator. NovoAir, an aviation services and solutions provider in Bangladesh with experience in passenger and air cargo transportation as well as travel and holiday services, has purchased these two pre-owned ERJ 145 jets for use in scheduled services on domestic routes (Embraer).

TAM has announced a new daily flight between Rio Santos Dumont and Ribeirao Preto as of March 2013. The company has also increased its flights between Sao Paulo Guarulhos and Santiago de Chile from two to three per day.

Azul will increase its daily flights between Porto Alegre and Curitiba from three to four by the end of January. In February the company will add a new destination to its schedule: two daily flights between Porto Alegre and Pelotas (RS).

Brazil registered in 2012 a record number of aircraft accidents, the Center for Investigation and Prevention of Aircraft Accidents (Cenipa) announced. The country witnessed a total of 168 aircraft accidents in 2012, up from 159 in 2011. 146 of them involved planes and 22 involved helicopters. But the number of deaths in aircraft accidents fell to 71 in 2012, down from 90 in 2011, according to Cenipa (Xinhua).

BANKING

Banco do Brasil SA wants to expand its investment banking unit, either through a listing or merger with a private sector rival, Reuters reported.

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OIL & GAS

Petrobras said its proven reserves of oil and gas grew 0.1 percent in 2012, slowing from 1 percent growth the year.

Petrobras domestic oil production in November reached 1,968,307 barrels per day (bpd), 1.5% up on the October figure. Taking into account production for partner companies, total volume reached 2,007,346 bpd, up 1.7% on the October figure. Petrobras’s domestic natural gas production reached 62.179 million m3/day, which, taking into account production for partner companies, amounted to a total 68.464 million m3/day. These figures are steady compared to the figures for October. Petrobras’s total oil and natural gas production (domestic and foreign) averaged 2,575,249 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in November, close to the October figure (2,581,552 boed) (Petrobras).

Petrobras announced that drilling has been completed in well 4-SPS-86B (4-BRSA-971-SPS), located in block BM-S-8, in ultra-deep waters, in the Santos Basin pre-salt. This is the third well that has been drilled in the 1-BRSA-532A-SPS (Bem-te-vi) Discovery Assessment Plan (PAD) area. The well, informally known as Carcará, is 232 kilometers off the coast and was drilled in 2,027 meters of water. After 5,742 meters had been drilled, a significant column was found containing at least 471 meters of excellent quality oil – with an API of 31° and free of contaminants such as CO2 and H2S – with 402 meters in carbonate reservoirs with excellent porosity and permeability. Pressure data indicate that these reservoirs are interconnected (Petrobras).

Vale signed an agreement with Statoil Brasil Óleo e Gás Ltda to sell its 25% participation in the concession BM-ES-22A in the Espírito Santo Basin, Brazil, for US$ 40 million in cash. The sale also exempts Vale from committed expenditures of approximately US$ 80 million until the end of 2013. The closing of the transaction is subject to usual precedent conditions and approvals (Vale).

Regional & FIFA News

In Brazil on January 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

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BEST ENGLISH BOOKS ON BRAZIL

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WEEKEND BREAKS!

Brazil Weekly now offers another new feature: Weekend Breaks! Over the next months we will show you how to enjoy your weekend out of town when staying in Brazil’s biggest business cities. First online is our Weekend Break out of Belo Horizonte, to the famous historic town of Ouro Preto, a must to visit!

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.

ATLANTICO WEEKLY

Be welcome to visit Brazil Weekly’s sister publication Atlantico Weekly, with news about Angola and Cape Verde, two upcoming Portuguese speaking countries. Read the Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s visitor’s guide to Cape Verde’s main islands, and read our forecast Cape Verde in 2030, a realistic glimpse of the small nation’s bright future and check out Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of interviews with local entrepreneurs. But there is much more…

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

On 21 December 2012, Belo Horizonte’s Estadio Mineirao became the second 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil stadium to be handed over, hot on the heels of the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza five days earlier. Traditionally one of the most iconic venues in Brazilian football, two-and-a-half years of renovation works have transformed the stadium into a modern, safe and sustainable arena – with room for 62,000 spectators (FIFA).

Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova, to be used during the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup, will be completed on February 28, according to the local state government (Xinhua).

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Trump Towers for Rio’s Porto Maravilha docklands revitalisation project.

NORTHEAST

The Northeast is suffering its worst drought in decades, threatening hydro-power supplies in an area prone to blackouts, Reuters reported. Lack of rain has hurt corn and cotton crops, left cattle and goats to starve to death in dry pastures and wiped some 30 percent off sugar cane production in the region responsible for 10 percent of Brazil’s cane output.

RIO

In 2012 alone LLX, EBX Group’s logistics company, invested around R$ 1 million in initiatives to strengthen family farming in São João da Barra (Rio de Janeiro state). All the initiatives are part of the plan for social investment in agriculture being implemented by EBX group companies in the region which have benefited around 800 rural producers. These initiatives promote the sustainable use of natural resources, improve the living standards of rural communities and enable farmers to increase their output (LLX).

“Rock in Rio- The Musical” hopes to celebrate eclecticism and the importance of Rock in Rio.The chosen venue for this stage performance is Grande Sala, at Cidade das Artes, Rio’s newest entertainment and leisure area comfortably houses 1800 people for now. Secretaria Municipal de Cultura is the organ in charge of Cidade das Artes, which is to remain partially open until March 4th. After this day, it will be officially opened, in a grand event that brings several artists together, establishing the venue as one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest cultural centers (Rio Official Guide).

The City of Rio is investing R$10 million (nearly US$5 million) in efforts to clean up Leblon Beach as part of a wider campaign to rid six of the city’s beach areas of pollution by 2014, when the city plays host to a number of the FIFA World Cup games (The Rio Times).

Check out our latest City Brief, on Rio de Janeiro!

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

SAO PAULO

Like the MASP, the Pinacoteca reflects the theory that an art space must be worthy of the art it exhibits. Designed in 1897 by Ramos de Azevedo, it housed the first art school of the city, Liceu de Artes e Ofícios (Timeout Sao Paulo).

What are Sao Paulo’s best hotels and restaurants? Do the polls on the Sao Paulo City Brief page.

Check out what’s on at the prestigious Sala Sao Paulo!