Jun 14, 2012

India, Brazil set trade target of $15 billion by 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO: India today sought investments from Brazil, mainly in the infrastructure sector for which it needs USD 1 trillion over the next five years, as the two countries set bilateral trade target of USD 15 billion by 2015.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, on a 4-day visit to Brazil, said businessmen of both the countries can cooperate in sectors like agriculture, textiles, IT, infrastructure and pharmaceuticals.

"Huge opportunities are available in both the countries. Currently the bilateral trade is at USD 10 billion. Both the sides have fixed the target of USD 15 billion by 2015. Trade is increasing but huge potential is there to further boost it," Sharma said here at a function.

He sought investments from Brazil in setting up of the National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZs).

The government is taking several steps to increase the share of the manufacturing sector in the GDP to at least 25 per cent by 2020 from 16 per cent at present. For this, a new National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) was announced recently, which envisages setting up of NMIZs.

They will be mega industrial zones with world-class supporting infrastructure. The government is offering a host of incentives and a liberalised labour and environment norms to promote these zones.

Sharma, who is leading a Ficci business delegation here, said that entrepreneurs of India and Barzil can also come together in other areas of infrastructure like ports, airports and railways.

"India is expected to absorb about USD 1 trillion investments in the infrastructure sector in the next five years. Brazilian companies should participate in it," he said.

Besides, industry chambers, the minister met his Brazilian counterpart Fernando Pimentel in Brasilia and discussed ways to increase economic cooperation.

Ficci President R V Kanoria said education is one of the important sectors for both the countries for increasing engagement.

"Several Indian companies can help in this sector. We have expertise in distant education field. Our present trade is concentrated in oil and its by-products. The potential between the two countries allows us to expand and diversify our trade," Kanoria added.

At present, few Indian companies like Renuka Sugars are operating in Brazil, while some Brazilian firms are operating in India in sectors such as biofuels.

Brazilian industry also sought investments from India in infrastructure sector in the wake of Olympics game being hosted by Brazil in 2016.

Tags India Brazil

Brazil’s Cemig Bets On Shale Gas To Triple Fuel Sales

Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais, Brazil’s largest electricity company by market value, is betting shale gas will help it triple fuel sales by 2016.

The Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based company is seeking U.S. partners with experience in drilling shale gas to help develop four blocks in Minas Gerais state, according to Chief Financial Officer Luiz Fernando Rolla. The company, known as Cemig, completed two exploratory wells this year and plans to drill three more, according to its website.

Cia. Energetica de Minas Gerais Chief Financial Officer Luiz Fernando Rolla said, “The outlook for shale gas is very positiv.” Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

Cemig is investing in unconventional fuels as it seeks to boost sales from its gas unit to 3 million cubic meters a day by 2016 from an estimated 1.1 million cubic meters in 2012. A boom in shale may allow the U.S. to become a net exporter of natural gas by early next decade, while Argentina is seeking investors to help develop about 13 billion barrels of reserves.

“The outlook for shale gas is very positive,” Rolla said in an interview in London. “Natural gas is still very underdeveloped for Brazil and can be a great growth driver for the company.”

Cemig is interested in buying Vale SA’s natural-gas reservoirs to diversify its supplies for thermal plants from Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, Rolla said in an interview last month. Vale, which has minority stakes in onshore and off-shore gas projects in Brazil, is selling stakes to focus on minerals and metals.

The power company’s clients include Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore miner, and ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (CMIG4)

Third Best

Cemig rose 37 percent this year, compared with a 1 percent decline for CPFL Energia SA (CPFE3) and a 28 percent drop for Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (ELET6), and is the fifth-best performer in Brazil’s benchmark index after Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, Hypermarcas SA, Cielo SA and Ultrapar Participacoes SA.

Profit at Cemig’s gas unit has almost doubled in the past five years as the company seeks to diversify away from electricity. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization probably will rise to about 189 million reais in 2012, from 95 million in 2008, while profit is expected to climb to 127 million reais from 86 million in the period, according to a presentation on the company’s website.

Shale oil output has reversed decades-long declines in the U.S. Oil production last year was 15 percent higher than in 2008, when it touched a 62-year low. In Argentina, YPF SA, the country’s largest oil company, made its biggest oil discovery this year when it found at least 13 billion barrels of shale oil resources.

Economic Growth

Brazilian gas output, which reached 66.2 million cubic meters per day in March, increased 72 percent between 2001 and 2011, according to data from the country’s oil and gas regulator, known as ANP. Gas use has been driven by economic growth that has pulled more than 30 million people out of poverty.

Gas imports account for about 42 percent of Brazilian gas supplies, even as domestic output increased 72 percent in the last decade.

Cemig has expanded through at least 13 acquisitions in the past five years, including transmission company Transmissora Alianca de Energia Eletrica SA, known as Taesa, and distributor Light SA. The company’s success in executing mergers and acquisitions is a good signal for their expansion into gas, according to Filipe Lopes, an analyst at Agora Corretora.

‘Track Record’

“They have a good track record on their side after they bought Taesa and Light and turned in profits from the two business,” Lopes, who has a buy recommendation on the stock, said in a telephone interview from Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

While no companies have announced commercial shale gas production so far in Brazil, developing the reserves would help lower costs of the fuel in the country, according to Adriano Pires, head of the Rio de Janeiro-based Brazilian Center for Infrastructure.

“It would be an opportunity to have cheaper gas in Brazil,” Pires said in an interview yesterday from Rio. “Demand is huge. And Cemig is very well located, near Rio, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, to several companies that need gas. It makes a lot of sense to invest in shale gas.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Rio de Janeiro at rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

Tags Brazil Bloomberg Shale

Jun 13, 2012

From Poor to Rich: Why Brazil's Economy is Flourishing

While the United States and Europe struggle with financial woes, Brazil has become one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world.

Brazil now has the sixth-largest economy, but could soon become the fifth.

CBN News Reporter Heather Sells spent the last week in northeast Brazil, in a city once considered the poorest area in the country. Now, the area is leading Brazil's economic growth.

Tags Brazil Economy

Gilani to attend UN conference in Brazil

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will attend the upcoming UN conference on sustainable development in Brazil June 20-22.

More than 120 heads of the governments and countries are expected to attend the conference. Over 40,000 representatives of NGOs, academia, media, youth, environmentalists and social activists will also attend, Xinhua reported Monday.

Tags Gilani UN Conference Brazil

Argentine president pledges to turn her dollar savings into Pesos and urged ministers to follow

Argentine President Cristina Fernández insisted Wednesday on the need of saving in Pesos instead of US dollars and announced that she would “pesify” her dollar fixed-term bank deposit, urging her ministers to do the same.

CFK has declared three million dollars in fixed-term bank deposits. Likewise the Argentine cabinet and top officials from the Cristina Fernandez administration are estimated to have savings of over ten million dollars, according to Buenos Aires media reports based on their affidavits.

During a ceremony at the Government House where she made several announcements, the President urged Argentine people to recall the 2001 economic crisis, when “many people and some journalists” demanded a dollarization of the economy.

“I am surprised at the fact that there are people and journalists who are demanding a dollarization of the economy. If the dollarization had succeeded in 2001, we would all be dead,” the president added.

“Did you forget what happened?” she asked, assuring savers who were affected by the “corralito” they will receive Boden 2012 bonds on August 3.

Several ministers and close allies of the president called last week for the country to start “thinking in pesos.”

“You are the first in the queue to change your dollar savings into Pesos”, said Cristina Fernandez pointing to Senator and former cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez, one of the most outspoken preachers in favour of dumping dollars and trusting Pesos until he had to admit most of his savings were in greenbacks.

Likewise a report from the well known journalist Jorge Lanata who visited the Cristina Fernandez family posh hotels in El Calafate, Patagonia, showed that rates were still been billed in US dollars.

The near-impossibility of buying dollars or “dollar clamp” at the official rate is driving some savers and investors to pay a hefty premium in the black market.

Others are withdrawing dollars from banks and stashing them under the mattress or in safety deposit boxes, fearing moves by the government to forcibly “de-dollarize” the economy. Officials have strongly denied any such plan.

Meanwhile, the central bank has been snapping up almost all the dollars available as it seeks to replenish the foreign reserves earmarked for debt repayments.

So far this year, the monetary authority has bought about 7 billion dollars.

In support of her arguments President Cristina Fernandez mentioned stats from the Tax Revenue Office, AFIP saying that only 3% of Argentines hoard dollars.

“I’m president of 40 million Argentines, and therefore it is my job to look after the interests of the 40 million”.

The Argentine president also referred to a legal demand started by a solicitor from Mar del Plata claiming the government impeded him from purchasing 10 dollars for his grandchildren which was accepted by a court. However the demand was later rejected.

“Before any comments, I would say the grandpa is quite a scrooge: only ten dollars for his grandchildren!”

CFK added that behind the court case was more than the controversy over dollars, “rather, as a solicitor I can see an attempt to begin the litigation industry”. 

Tags Argentine Brazil

Four Latin-American countries form new economic integration pact

There is a new group of nations in Latin America – the Pacific Alliance - uniting Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

Presidents of the four nations formally launched the economic integration pact at one of Earth’s most powerful deep space observatories in Santiago, Chile.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said their first big move would be to drop visa requirements so citizens of all four countries could travel freely between them.

Chilean president Sebastian Pinera said the group’s goals included free trade and economic integration, with a clear orientation towards Asia.

Tags Mexico Chile Colombia Peru Brazil New Nations

In anticipation of Rio+20, Brazil creates new nature reserves and closes major land-fill

Brazil announced plans to protect an additional 10 000km² of land and pledged not to let economic woes stop it from implementing other measures to protect the environment.

According to the Environment Ministry, the country's total surface area under preservation - including reservations for indigenous people - would increase to 770 000km² under decrees signed by President Dilma Rousseff just days before the start of Rio+20, a United Nations summit on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro.

“Brazil accounts for 75% of all protected environmental zones created in the world since 2003,” Rousseff said.

The head of state, who recently opposed a partial veto of a controversial law reducing the protection of the Amazon rainforest, also announced that 6 418km² of land was deforested in 2011, down from a peak of 27 000km² in 2004.

“More than 80% of the Amazon's original vegetation remains intact and between 2004 and 2011 the rate of deforestation dropped by 78%,” Rousseff noted.

Speaking on World Environment Day, she also stressed that economic problems should not serve as a pretext to abandon efforts to safeguard the planet.

“The crisis can't be an argument to suspend measures to protect the environment, much as it can't be an argument to suspend policies of social inclusion,” Rousseff said.

More than 100 heads of state and tens of thousands of participants from governments, the private sector and NGOs will converge on Rio de Janeiro 20-22 June for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Likewise in advance of the Rio+20 summit the state government of Rio do Janeiro last week announced the closure of one of the world’s largest open-pit landfills, where thousands of people have made a living sorting the debris.

Long a symbol of ill-conceived urban planning and environmental negligence, the Jardim Gramacho dump is being transformed into a vast facility that will harness the greenhouse gases generated by the rotting rubbish and turn them into fuel capable of heating homes and powering cars.

Environmentalists had blamed Gramacho for the high levels of pollution in Rio's once pristine Guanabara Bay, where tons of run-off from the garbage had leaked.

Less clear is what will happen to the more than 1.700 people who worked at the site, scaling hills of fresh, fly- and vulture-covered trash to pluck recyclable plastic, paper and metal from the 9.000 tons of detritus once dumped there daily. 

Tags RIO20 Brazil

Countries must fully support right to water at Rio20 conference, says UN expert

A United Nations independent expert today called on governments to "fully support" the right to drinking water and sanitation at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio20) in Brazil later this month.

In an open letter to States negotiating the outcome document of Rio20, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, expressed concern that a clear recognition of the human right to water and sanitation is at risk of being suppressed from the document after three rounds of negotiations in New York over the past three months.

"Some States suggested alternative language that does not explicitly refer to the human right to water and sanitation," Ms. de Albuquerque said in a news release. "Some tried to reinterpret or even dilute the content of this human right." 

She noted that the right to water and sanitation has been recognized as a human right under international law, including by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council in 2010. 

More than 100 world leaders, along with thousands of parliamentarians, mayors, UN officials, Chief Executive Officers and civil society leaders will come together at Rio20, in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22 June, seeking to renew commitments to find solutions to the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges, including access to water and sanitation.

Negotiators concluded the last round of Rio20 preparatory talks focussed on the upcoming event's outcome document in New York last Saturday, and they have reached agreement on more than 20 per cent of the document, with many additional paragraphs close to agreement. The next and final preparatory talks will be held in Rio de Janeiro from 13 to 15 June.

Ms. de Albuquerque emphasized that Governments need to set a target for water and sanitation for all, without discrimination, to protect the health and dignity in particular of marginalized populations. 

"I call on all States to maintain their support to this fundamental human right and its explicit inclusion in the Rio20 outcome document," Ms. de Albuquerque said. "It is clear that a commitment to water and sanitation without the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation is insufficient to achieve the future we all want." 

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work.

Tags RIO20 Brazil

May 26, 2012

Northrop signs MOUs with Brazilian firms

ITAJUBA, Brazil, May 16 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has signed agreements with two Brazilian companies for possible precision aerospace and defense machining work.

Boeing, with which Northrop is partnered on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, reported the Memorandums of Agreement were signed by Northrop with GNS Industry and Trade and RCS Precision Machining and Maintenance. The MOUs outline plans for each company to explore work packages with Northrop Grumman for precision-machined aluminum components and sub-assemblies.

"GNS and RCS are experienced precision-machining manufacturers for the automotive, oil and steel industries, and have already made forays into aerospace," said Steve Hogan, Northrop Grumman vice president and program manager, F/A-18 Programs. "Our machining specialists view both of these companies as well positioned for expanded opportunities in the aerospace and defense industries."

Boeing and its Super Hornet partners in March visited the Brazilian state of Mina Gerais. The purpose was to evaluate local companies with aerospace capabilities for working as suppliers for the Super Hornet, which is being offered to the Brazilian military.

"Brazilian companies continue to demonstrate their aerospace capabilities, and Boeing and its industry partners are committed to identifying opportunities for them to work with us and our suppliers," said Megan Weinstock, manager of supplier management in support of International Strategic Partnerships for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "These endeavors are key to forging long-term business relationships with companies that can help us offer the right solutions to our customers."

The center and aft fuselages, as well as vertical stabilizers on the Super Hornet are manufactured by Northrop Grumman.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2012/05/16/Northrop-signs-MOUs-with-Brazilian-firms/UPI-93241337179703/#ixzz1w0Bx4efW

Tags Brazil News

May 9, 2012

Spanish bank forecasts average growth of 4% for Argentina and the region in 2012

The Argentine economy is set to grow 4% this year in line with the rest of the countries of the region according to a report, “Global Situation” from the Spanish-Argentine bank BBVA-Francés.

Brazil however is expected to apply a policy to weaken its currency and improve competitiveness

The report forecasts a soft landing for the Argentine economy as for the rest of the region while the average inflation for the main economies, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela is expected to be in the range of 9.3% in 2012.

“The inertial characteristics of the region won’t allow significant improvements in an environment of high prices for commodities, which limits the reach of expansive economic policies in those countries with inflation targets”, adds the report.

The “Global Situation” estimates the world economy will advance 3.6% this year and 4% the following, boosted by emerging economies, particularly from Asia and Latin America.

“With the exception of Brazil monetary policies will overall have a cautious restrictive approach and it is expected that currencies on the whole region will continue to be appreciated. Brazil on the other hand will implement a more accommodative monetary policy”, concludes the report’s chapter on the evolution of the economy in the region for this year. 

Click here for original article.

Tags Brazil Argentine Economy Chile Colombia Peru Venezuela BBVA Ytellis Global Consultancy Ytellis

May 6, 2012

Brazil Seeks Biofuel Exports to Spain as Argentina Barred

Brazil Seeks Biofuel Exports to Spain as Argentina Barred

Bloomberg News

By Stephan Nielsen on May 04, 2012

Brazilian biodiesel producers are seeking export agreements with Spanish oil companies after the European country moved to cut off imports of the renewable fuel from Argentina.

Erasmo Carlos Battistella, president of the biofuel trade group Associacao dos Produtores de Biodiesel do Brasil, will discuss the issue at a meeting today with Spain’s ambassador in Brasilia.

Spain is cutting trade ties with Argentina after the South American country said it would seize control of YPF SA (YPFD) from the Spanish energy company Repsol YPF SA. (REP) That’s creating a market for Brazil’s biofuels industry, Battistella said.

“It’s opened up a major export opportunity” for Brazilian producers, he said in a telephone interview today. “Argentina was a big supplier there.” He expects trade contracts to be signed within three months.

Spain revised an incentive program last month to exclude biofuels produced outside Europe from meeting government requirements for using renewable fuel. That effectively blocked imports from Argentina and other nations in the region. Battistella will ask that Brazil be included on the list of approved suppliers.

Brazil’s biodiesel plants have annual production capacity of 6.94 billion liters (1.83 billion gallons). Of that, 15 factories with 4.59 billion liters of capacity have been approved for exports, Battistella said. Spain purchased 1.87 billion liters of biodiesel from Argentina in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephan Nielsen in Sao Paulo at snielsen8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

Tags Brazil Biofuel Export to Spain Argentina Ytellis Ytellis Global Consultancy Bloomberg