2008

Emerging Markets : Mind The Gap

Brazil Mantega: Hiking other taxes will make up for shortfall. With Brazilian legislators scrapping the country’s financial transactions tax (CPMF) in December, the government says it must now plug a 40 billion real ($22 billion) gap in the 2008 budget ...

Features : Country Report: Iceland

EXPANDING HORIZONS ICELAND Iceland is going all out to expand its economy—and the global reach of its banks and corporations. With a wealthy consumer base that has the sixth-highest per capita GDP in the OECD, 0.8% unemployment, negligible corruption and ...

Emerging Markets : Funds Make Hay In Frothy Market

BRAZIL The good times roll: Brazil's economy provides plenty of reasons to celebrate. Brazil-focused hedge funds continued to outperform other emerging market funds, producing an average 5.11% return in October, for a hefty 29.47% year-to-date (YTD) gain. By comparison, Latin ...

2007

Features : Star Of The South

COUNTRY REPORT / BRAZIL Brazil’s commitment to developing biofuels is paying off handsomely. Investment is flooding in to other areas of the economy, too. José Sergio Gabrielli, CEO of Petrobras For the administration of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da ...

Emerging Markets : Bovespa Enjoys Ipo Bonanza

BRAZIL São Paulo stock exchange Bovespa Holding, which owns the São Paulo stock exchange, raised nearly $3.7 billion in an IPO that ranks as Latin America’s largest offering this year. Bovespa sold 250 million shares on October 26, priced at ...

Milestones : The Prodigal Oil Producer

ECUADOR Correa: Clamping down on the oil industry After a 15-year absence, Ecuador has rejoined OPEC in a move president Rafael Correa says will allow his country to gain greater access to technical advice and market information. Critics, however, claim ...

Features : Growth Pains

COUNTRY REPORT / CHINA China’s continuing economic expansion may be a bumpy ride, but the country’s prospects still look remarkably good. Reach for the skies: China’s newfound wealth is reflected in its grand plans for Shanghai and beyond, yet questions ...

Emerging Markets : Bankers Still Bullish On Brazil

Gol: Planning share buyback Investment banks say the recent US Fed rate cut, coupled with strong domestic fundamentals, bodes well for Brazilian capital market investors. “Fed easing since mid-August has opened up a new leg of the bull market in ...

Milestones : Venezuela’s Monetary Experiment

VENEZUELA Rodrigo Cabezas: New currency will help fight inflation. Venezuela is gearing up for the introduction of a new currency to replace the bolivar, in circulation since 1879, in a move the Hugo Chávez administration hopes will help curb inflation. ...

Features : Growth Pains

COUNTRY REPORT / CHINA China’s continuing economic expansion may be a bumpy ride, but the country’s prospects still look remarkably good. Reach for the skies: China’s newfound wealth is reflected in its grand plans for Shanghai and beyond, yet questions ...

Milestones : Latin American Markets Ride Out Global Turmoil

LATIN AMERICA Lipsky: Sounds a warning. When the meltdown in US subprime mortgages triggered forecasts of a possible US recession, unleashing global credit and money market volatility, Latin America proved to be relatively insulated from the debacle. Though initially shaken, ...

Features : World’s Best Banks

ANNUAL SURVEY / WORLD’S BEST BANKS At a time when the world economic outlook is more uncertain than it has been in years, the banking industry finds itself at the vortex of a financial market storm that originated in subprime ...

Features : Central Banker Report Cards 2007

ANNUAL SURVEY / CENTRAL BANKER REPORT CARDS Individually, many of the world’s leading central bankers seemed to be in disarray after the subprime debacle began to unfold in mid-2007. As a group, though, they acted with remarkably unity. The central ...

Newsmakers : New Leader Details Economic Revival Strategy

JAMAICA Golding: Ambitious economic plans. Newly sworn-in Jamaican prime minister Bruce Golding is seeking ways to kick-start the island’s sluggish economy and tackle mounting social pressures over escalating unemployment and crime rates (his own forecasts predict 1,300 murders this year ...

Cover Story : Trying Times

THE WORLD BANK The World Bank’s struggle to redefine its role in a globalized economy has raised a fundamental question: Do we really need a World Bank? No sooner had the dust settled after the controversial departure of the World ...

Emerging Markets : Quest For Investment Grade Gathers Pace

BRAZIL Some 50% of respondents to a Merrill Lynch emerging market investor survey in August said they were bullish on Brazil. Reaching a similar conclusion, rival Morgan Stanley predicts Brazilian markets will see further upside, despite recent US market turbulence, ...

Newsmakers : The unsinkable mrs. K

Argentina Double act: Nestor Kirchner and the presidential hopeful, Mrs. K. Argentine First Lady and senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is poised to replace her husband, President Nestor Kirchner, in the top post in the October 28 election. Although the ...

Emerging Markets : International banks enjoy brazilian boom times

Brazil Brazil’s strong capital markets recovery and IPO blitz has prompted international investment banks to put the country back on their radars. Lehman Brothers, which exited Brazil in 2003 amid a near market collapse, has reopened its São Paulo office ...

Cover Story : A Changing Agenda

Latin America There is no longer any doubt that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez’s “Bolivarian Revolution” is having a significant economic and political impact on Latin America. The question now is, Will it last? It’s 11 o’clock in the morning on ...

Newsmakers : Multilateral Malaise

LATIN AMERICA Hugo Chávez: Wants to see the World Bank out of Latin America While most media attention on the World Bank recently has focused on a political scandal that could spark the downfall of bank president Paul Wolfowitz, the ...

Emerging Markets : Making The Grade

BRAZIL Brazil's agricultural output is helping boost its economy Brazil moved closer to a coveted investment-grade rating in May as both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch upgraded the sovereign to BB+ from BB. The rating puts it just one notch ...

Cover Story : A Bumpy Ride

EM SPOTLIGHT - LATIN AMERICA Argentina's president Nestor Kirchner faced off against some of the worlds most powerful investors Latin America has spent the past two decades recovering from the “lost decade” of the 1980s, marked by debt defaults, hyperinflation, ...

Emerging Markets : Sharp Growth In M&A Activity

BRAZIL Gol: Varig offer takes off at last Brazil’s IBGE national statistics institute reformulated its methodology for calculating the nation’s GDP in March, prompting a revision of all GDP data going back to 1996. Under the new formula, which uses ...

Newsmakers : Chávez Banks On Regional Support

LATIN AMERICA Chávez: Extending credit to other Latin American nations Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez’s dream of creating a South American development bank may be coming true. His finance minister, Rodrigo Cabezas, speaking at the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development ...

Emerging Markets : Brazil’s Ethanol Wave Fueled By Higher Oil Prices

BRAZIL New fields: Increasing demand for biofuels is fueling investment in Brazil's ethanol sector. Higher oil prices continue to boost demand for biofuels, making Brazil’s ethanol sector a prime investment target. While annual global ethanol exports total some 6.5 billion ...

Newsmakers : In The Hot Seat

COLOMBIA Zuluaga: Colombia will have to live with a strong currency Oscar Iván Zuluaga, who took over as Colombia’s new finance minister in March, faces important challenges ahead. Among these will be the need to guide the nation’s economy into ...

Emerging Markets : Lula Unveils Growth Plan

BRAZIL Brazils central bank is putting the brakes on interest rate cuts Having vowed to make economic growth the focus of his second term, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva unveiled a long-awaited plan to boost the nation’s economy. ...

Features : The Tortilla Factor

Mexico’s newly installed president faces a tough first year in office as he struggles to reconcile his promises with fiscal reality. Corn tortillas are a basic staple in Mexicans’ diet. But for the administration of the country’s new president, Felipe ...

Milestones : Uncertainty Surrounds Impact Of Second Chávez Term

Venezuela Chávez:Re-election mandate for nationalization Encouraged by a strong mandate in the December presidential elections and a booming oil sector windfall that boosted GDP by 10.3% in 2006, Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez began a new six-year term in January by ...

Emerging Markets : Bond Bonanza

BRAZIL Henrique de Campos Meirelles The Brazilian government continues to take advantage of favorable market conditions to issue real-denominated paper. The sovereign again reopened its real-denominated global bond issue in early December, selling an additional $346 million worth of the ...

2006

Newsmakers : El Comandante’s Comeback

Nicaragua Daniel Ortega then … Former Nicaraguan guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega, one of the most outspoken foes of the US during his first administration in the 1980s, will be sworn in as president in January after a November 5 election ...

Emerging Markets : Lula Faces Challenging Second Term

Brazil A jubilant President Lula As Brazilian president Luiz In醕io Lula da Silva begins his second term in office on January 1, following an October 29 run-off victory, analysts are speculating about what the focus of his new administration will ...

Emerging Markets : Robust Economy Fuels Bond Blitz

BRAZIL The Brazilian government continued to tap global markets, despite questions regarding the outcome of the nation's presidential elections, as investor appetite remained high. The sovereign tapped international markets on October 5, even before the second-round vote, with an additional ...

Newsmakers : New President Finds Early Days Are Hard

MEXICO President-elect Filipe Calderón When Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal in September declared Felipe Calderón the official winner of the nation’s hotly contested presidential election, it appeared that it would be smooth sailing until his December 1 inauguration. Instead, it seems Calderón’s ...

EM Roundup : Surplus Peaks As Trade Boom Continues

BRAZIL Guido Mantega: Firm on growth forecast Brazil’s trade sector continues to boom despite concerns over an appreciating currency that could make Brazilian products less competitive. Much of the rise has been driven by strong demand for commodities, whose prices ...

Emerging Markets : Lula Surfs Wave Of Economic Progress

Brazil Lula: Frontrunner in election race Brazil’s central bank slashed its Selic benchmark interest rate in July to 14.75%, the lowest level since 1986. The cut, the bank’s ninth reduction since last September when the Selic stood at a record-high ...

Emerging Markets : Trade Slows As Currency Rises

Brazil Petrobras: Investing heavily The rapid appreciation of the Brazilian real against the dollar since last year is sparking concerns in Brasilia, as the situation has already prompted a slowdown in the nation’s oncethriving export sector. May exports hit a ...

Newsmakers : Dark Horse Becomes New Frontrunner

Mexico Dark horse:Felipe Calderón Just a year ago, former Mexico City mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Jopposition PRD party, and a center-left populist, held a firm lead in Mexico’s presidential race. Recent polls, however, show ruling PAN party ...

Newsmakers : Government Blamed For Impact Of Rising Energy Prices

United Kingdom Whiteside: “Government failed to encourage energy economy” As oil and energy prices continue to soar, sparking concerns on the world’s stock markets about rising inflation, energy experts in the UK are pointing the finger at the government for ...

Milestones : Bolivia Gets Brazil Over A Barrel

BRAZIL/BOLIVIA Morales: Driving a hard bargain Hours after Bolivian president Evo Morales moved to nationalize his country’s gas and oil fields, Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras oil company suspended its Bolivian investment program and blocked funds to expand a gas pipeline between ...

Newsmakers : Mantega in the Hot Seat

Brazil Guido Mantega: Reassuring investors Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega, sworn in on March 28, is sitting firmly on the proverbial hot seat. His predecessor, Antonio Palocci, was forced to step down amid a corruption scandal. Yet with Palocci credited ...

Milestones : $500 Million Bond Issue Lures Investors

Argentina Miceli: Mobbed by investment bankers Argentina once again lured investors with a new dollar-denominated bond issue in March, marking its second attempt to regain investor support since the sovereign’s completion of a contentious $100 billion debt workout in February ...

Newsmakers : Bachelet gets off to confident start

CHILE Bachelet: Confident start Michelle Bachelet, the 54-year-old medical doctor who was sworn in as Chile’s first female president on March 11, is the newest member of Latin America’s growing club of left-wing leaders. However, Bachelet espouses the Chilean-style socialism ...

Features : Country awards: Brazil 2006

Growth expectations This year’s list of best Brazilian companies is made up mainly of those firms that have taken advantage of the country’s increasing consumer confidence and booming exports. Despite high interest rates and ongoing demands for infrastructure improvements, winning ...

Emerging Markets : Presidential race takes shape

Brazil New contender: Geraldo Alckmin Capital markets were encouraged by the opposition party PSDB’s tapping in March of São Paulo state governor Geraldo Alckmin as its candidate for the October presidential election. Following the announcement, emerging market bond spreads narrowed ...

Emerging Markets : Brady bonds buyback bonanza

Brazil Taking advantage of high international reserves of nearly $57 billion and strong international liquidity, the Brazilian National Treasury launched a program in January to buy back its outstanding Brady bonds as well as other short-term government instruments maturing before ...

Newsmakers : Kirchner’s success confounds his critics

Argentina Kirchner: Making new friends After being regarded as the scourge of the international financial community when he completed the largest-ever sovereign debt restructure—a more than $100 billion deal with somewhat draconian haircuts—Argentine president Nestor Kirchner is redeeming himself. Investors ...