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Tuesday newsflow: Russian election, Brazil stall…

Below are headlines that have come across our desks in the past day and are worthy of note.


Developed Markets

CFR: “Franco-German Misstep on Eurozone” – The Franco-German accord may be a fine idea, but treaty change would probably take years–and might even prove impossible.

Reuters Breakingviews: “ECB bazooka may be short on credibility ammo” – Whatever form the ECB’s intervention takes, its success will depend on the depth of political commitment to greater integration in the euro zone. The weaker the political cover the ECB receives, the more investors will test it.

CNN: “BP says Halliburton ‘intentionally destroyed evidence’ after Gulf oil spill” – BP is accusing Halliburton of having “intentionally destroyed evidence” related to the explosion aboard an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Guardian: “Olympus inquiry blames executives and auditors” – An independent panel has issued a damning report into the £1.1bn accounting scandal at Japan’s Olympus, urging legal action against executives behind the cover-up and the replacement of others who knew about it.


Eastern Europe

Reuters: “Russian markets unnerved by post-election fallout” – Russian stocks and the rouble extended losses late on Tuesday as investors were unsettled by the political fallout from a drop in the ruling United Russia party’s majority at Sunday’s parliamentary election.

Moscow Times: “Rusnano and EBRD Plan $380M Glass Factory” – Rusnano and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development joined forces to invest 2.8 billion rubles ($90 million) and 1.4 billion rubles, respectively, into a glass-manufacturing plant to be built in the Moscow region.



Reuters: “Samsung plans flash chip line in China” – Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday it plans to build a flash memory chip plant in China, seen costing some $4 billion, as a boom in smartphones and tablet computers is set to fuel the $22 billion chip industry’s growth next year.

BBC: “HSBC faces £40m bill for mis-selling to elderly in care” – HSBC has been fined £10.5m by the City watchdog for mis-selling investment bonds to elderly people in care.  Unsuitable sales of this product were made to 87% of NHFA customers, prompting the largest retail fine to date from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Bloomberg: “China Steel Seeking First-Quarter Iron Ore Price Cuts” – China Steel Corp. (2002), Taiwan’s largest steelmaker, is in talks with iron ore suppliers to cut first- quarter prices amid declining demand.

Bloomberg: “Esprit CFO Resigns Amid Rebuilding Efforts” – Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330) Chief Financial Officer Chew Fook Aun quit for personal reasons as the largest Hong Kong-listed apparel company seeks to revive earnings after profit plunged 98 percent last fiscal year.

Reuters: “Retail volte face confirms India as BRIC that disappoints” – Jim O’Neill, the Goldman Sachs banker who coined the term BRICs to capture the fast-growing emerging-markets quartet of Brazil, Russia, India and China,  has fingered India as the BRIC that has disappointed the most over the past decade in terms of reforms, FDI and productivity. New Delhi’s latest decision to put on hold a landmark reform of its retail sector will only confirm this view.

BBC: “RIM investigated after sale turns into stampede” – Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said it will co-operate with Indonesian authorities after a product launch turned chaotic, injuring dozens.


Latin America

Bloomberg: “Brazil’s Economy Contracts as Rousseff Cuts Taxes, Rates to Boost Demand” – Brazil’s economy shrank in the third quarter, prompting the government to slash its growth forecast for the year, one week after announcing stimulus measures to contain the spillover from Europe’s debt crisis.

Bloomberg Businessweek: “Mexican Exchange to Consider Joining Mila Stock Combination” – Bolsa Mexicana de Valores SAB, the operator of Mexico’s securities exchange, will consider joining the Chilean, Colombian and Peruvian bourses in Latin America’s first stock market combination.


Middle East & Africa

Reuters India: “Dubai may use sovereign fund to repay debt” – Dubai, which narrowly averted a bond default in 2009, could use money raised by its sovereign wealth fund to help repay $3.8 billion in bonds owed by state-linked firms which mature next year, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Reuters Africa: “S.Africa considers issuing Islamic bonds” – South Africa’s National Treasury is considering issuing Islamic bonds to diversify its investor base and could have its first sukuk in the market as early as the next financial year if approved.

Bloomberg: “Visa Develops Rwanda Payment Network” – Visa Inc., the world’s biggest bank- card network, agreed to help develop Rwanda’s payments system and connect the African nation’s 11 million citizens to the global economy as the firm pushes to boost non-U.S. revenue.

Weekend reading summary for 4 December 2011

Here is a rundown of selected developments that have come across desks over the weekend.



Janet Yellen’s speech on the global economic recovery at FRB San Francisco.

History of “BRICin the news.  See our previous coverage here.



Latin America and Caribbean countries from bloc without U.S.Canada.


Central Asia

Foreign AffairsThe Silk Road Out of Afghanistan: Building an Economy to Save the Country.


East & South Asia

China can’t rescue Europe using reserves, vice foreign minister says.

China UnicomTelecom, ask regulators to suspend antimonopoly probe.

Mainland buyers ride to rescue in Hong Kong.

Australia agrees to sell uranium to India.

Hillary Clinton meets with Aung San Suu Kyi.


Middle East & Africa

Energy firms bid in South Africa for $12bn in renewable projects.

New election results show Islamists leading in Egypt.

Syrian secret police defect as Arab deadline looms.

Emerging markets news flow for 2 December 2011

Here is a rundown of selected developments that have come across our emerging markets desks in the past day.



Bank of China sees turning point in property prices.

Shanda earnings RMB9.7mn this quarter vs. RMB96.7mn quarter ending September 2010.

More on the relevance of the “BRIC” term.  See our coverage here.

Ranbaxy approved to sell Lipitor generic.

HSBC PMIs mostly down.

Samsung surges on smartphones.

Latest statistics from Indonesia.

Latest statistics from the Bank of Thailand.

Petronas fiscal 2Q ended September 30 net profit up 53%.

Churchill asks Indonesian government to intervene over East Kutai.


Latin America

Venezuela to pay $600mn for seizure of Cemex unit.

Brazil orders Chevron to shut well.

Donald Ramotar wins presidency in Guyana.

IMF’s Lagarde visits Mexico City as Mexico assumes chair of G20 for the upcoming year.


Middle East

Shell to end operations in Syria amid sanctions.

More on Dow-Aramco Sadara JV.



Kenya raises key lending rate fourth time to fight inflation.

Emerging markets news flow for 1 December 2011

Here is a rundown of developments that have comes across our emerging markets desks in the past day.



Brokerage Haitong Securities seeking IPO on the Hong Kong exchange for US$1.7bn.

CNOOC and Nexen form GoM JV.

Chinese PMI fell to the lowest level since March 2009.

Chinese home prices were -0.3% in November.

More on the cut in Chinese reserve requirements by 50 bps to 21% for large institutions and 17.5% for small and medium institutions.

How do you say “nouveau riche” in Chinese?  Conspicuous consumption is quite popular these days in China.

And “rapprochement” in Burmese?  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Myanmar.

Thailand cuts rates by 25 bps and lowers 2011 GDP forecast to 1.8%.

Unlike Brazil, China, or Russia, India cannot afford a rate cut with its double digit inflation.  See our previous thoughts on the obsolescence of the BRIC acronym.


Latin America

Chevron delays Brazilian wells in wake of offshore spill.

Argentine government trying to limit wage increases to 18% in an attempt to battle inflation.

More coverage on Newmont Mining’s Conga project woes, this time about wider implications for Peru.


Middle East

More coverage on the Arab League’s sanctions on Syria.  Covers topics such as the probability of military coup and analyzes geopolitical dynamics.

Coverage on the United States and European Union’s sanctions on Syria and Iran.

Israel releases $100mn of tax funds to Palestinian Authority.



Shell sells stakes in the Niger Delta region.

WSJ features Nestlé’s efforts in Africa.

Emerging markets news flow

Here is a rundown of developments in emerging markets in the past few days.



CapitaLand purchases new Chongqing development.

New China Life IPO on Hong Kong and Shanghai for as much as $2.3bn.

Johnson Controls not the cause of lead poisoning in Shanghai.

AT&T and China Telecom expanding relationship.

Tata Power building electricity generation plants in Africa and Indonesia.

Myanmar opening up to foreign investment?


Latin America

Codelco’s dispute with Anglo will likely last into the new year.

Progress on Newmont Mining’s $4.8bn Conga project is halted after skirmish between police and protestors.

Vale plans to invest $21.4bn in 2012.

Mexico the next manufacturing powerhouse?



Something to keep an eye on: Africa’s aging population.  As they say, “demography is destiny.”


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