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Cover Story

Cover Story : Brazil Banking & Finance

BRAZIL BANKING & FINANCE Local banks’ stranglehold on the Brazilian market is coming under threat from acquisition-hungry international banks and investors. Brazilian central bank governor Henrique Meirelles's steady hand has helped instill growing confidence in prospects for the country's financial ...

Cover Story : Continental Shift

LATIN AMERICA REGIONAL REPORT Latin American governments’ attempts to gain more control over their countries’ economic fortunes are having far-reaching effects on international corporations doing business in the region. Left in charge: Brazilian president Lula da Silva (top), Chile's Michelle ...

Cover Story : Mexico

MEXICO Mexico’s recent economic progress could be derailed by turmoil in the US economy and the outcome of the US presidential election. High aspirations: Mexico is hoping its economy can resist a US downturn. The last time the US economy ...

Features

Features : An Island In The Storm

COUNTRY REPORT / CYPRUS Cyprus is hoping that its recent adoption of the euro will help it better survive—and perhaps even thrive—during the coming global turbulence. Cyprus is hoping that its recent adoption of the euro will help it better ...

Features : Opportunity Play

SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS Sovereign wealth funds snap up bargains in one of the biggest financial industry land grabs in history. Bader Al Sa'ad, head of Kuwait's SWF, helped arrange a huge cash infusion for Citi. To say Citi and Merrill ...

Features: Riding A Growth Wave

SECTOR REPORT / SHIPPING FINANCE Growth in world trade spurs demand for financing of ships and terminals. Sharp growth in the size of cargo ships has prompted expansion of the Panama canal. Sharp growth in the size of cargo ships ...

Emerging Markets Roundup

Corporate Finance : Dollar's fall since 2000 could be near an end

FOREIGN EXCHANGE Analysts are beginning to watch for signs of a solid bottom for the dollar, following its long-term decline since September 2000. The dollar’s multi-year decline is nearing an end, and the greenback already may have hit bottom against ...

Emerging Markets : Foreign Investment Limits Tumble

INDIA Piling in: Investors gave an enthusiastic response to Reliance Power's $3 billion IPO. In its bid to keep up the growth momentum in the Indian economy, the Indian coalition government lifted investment restrictions on foreign investors in a number ...

Emerging Markets : High Metals Prices Boost Peru Miner

COMPANY TO WATCH: COMPANIA DE MINAS BUENAVENTURA/PERU Compañía de Minas Buenaventura, Peru’s largest publicly traded precious metals mining company, is basking in record high prices for much of its output. Buenaventura operates seven mines in Peru and holds controlling interests ...

Emerging Markets : India ETF To Trade On Nyse's Arca

NEWS PowerShares Capital Management last month announced the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) to provide direct exposure to a diversified portfolio of Indian securities. The PowerShares India Portfolio, with symbol PIN, was set to begin trading in late February on NYSE ...

Emerging Markets : Miner Eyes Record-Breaking Deal

BRAZIL Rock solid: Vale is thought to be ready to bid for Xstrata. Brazilian mining giant Vale (formerly CVRD) is in talks to acquire Swiss mining company Xstrata, reportedly for $90 billion. The deal would be the single largest cross-border ...

Emerging Markets : Roaring Economy Boosts State-Owned Companies' Profits

CHINA Riding high: China's economic growth continues to break records. China’s economy grew 11.4% in 2007, its fastest rate in 13 years. Fourth-quarter GDP growth fell to 11.2% year-on-year, however, as government tightening measures and weakening global demand began to ...

Emerging Markets : Stocks In Rough Ride

RUSSIA Khodorkovsky: The jailed former head of Yukos is back in the news. The Russian presidential campaign kicked off in mid-January, with Dmitry Medvedev—who is virtually guaranteed victory in the early March poll thanks to the support of current president ...

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Milestones

Milestones : Israel Loosens Investment Restrictions

ISRAEL Tel Aviv: Aiming for greater integration with world markets. Israel’s minister of finance Ronnie Bar-On has approved a legislative amendment that will enable foreign portfolio management companies to serve Israeli clients and operate in Israel without the need to ...

Milestones : Mexico Exchange Prepares For A Sell-Off

MEXICO Mexico's stock exchange: Lining up a $1 billion IPO. After last year’s blowout initial public offering by the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa), which raised $3.6 billion, the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV), the Bovespa’s Mexican counterpart, is following ...

Milestones : Profits Of Doom: Exxon Mobil Causes Uproar

UNITED STATES Gas complaint: Exxon Mobil says growing consumption is pumping up its profits. A long-simmering debate boiled over last month after Exxon Mobil reported the highest earnings ever by an American corporation, topping its own record set the year ...

Milestones : Russia Writes Off $12 Billion Iraqi Debt

RUSSIA/IRAQ Talabani: Russia's decision is a historic turning point. Russia agreed in February to write off $12 billion of Iraqi debt in an apparent effort to help Russian companies including Lukoil to win contracts in Iraq. The debt was taken ...

Corporate Finance

Newsmakers : Taking Shariah-Compliant Financing Into The Mainstream

UNITED KINGDOM While many Western banks may be struggling with liquidity and funding issues, Middle Eastern banks, awash with liquidity, are increasingly making their presence felt in Western financial markets. One such bank is Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), whose European ...

Corporate Finance : Dollar's fall since 2000 could be near an end

FOREIGN EXCHANGE Analysts are beginning to watch for signs of a solid bottom for the dollar, following its long-term decline since September 2000. The dollar’s multi-year decline is nearing an end, and the greenback already may have hit bottom against ...

Corporate Finance : India's biggest ipo ever is first of 35 this year

GLOBAL EQUITY/DRS Mumbai-based Reliance Power raised $3 billion in January in India’s largest-ever initial public offering. The shares sold represented a 10% stake in the company, which aims to provide electricity to power the country’s fast growth but which so ...

Corporate Finance : Microsoft's bid for yahoo gets M&A back on track

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS Apart from the ongoing consolidation in the financial services industry, January was an extremely slow month for mergers and acquisitions. That all changed quickly on February 1, however, with Microsoft’s $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo. Microsoft’s chief ...

Newsmakers

Newsmakers : Taking Shariah-Compliant Financing Into The Mainstream

UNITED KINGDOM While many Western banks may be struggling with liquidity and funding issues, Middle Eastern banks, awash with liquidity, are increasingly making their presence felt in Western financial markets. One such bank is Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), whose European ...

Newsmakers : Taxing Times For A New President

GUATEMALA Colom: Facing challenges on the fiscal front. Just weeks after being sworn in on January 14 as the new Guatemalan president, Álvaro Colom—the Central American country’s first left-of-center leader since Jacobo Árbenz, who was overthrown in a United States-assisted ...

Newsmakers : US CEOs May Face Euro-Style Packages

UNITED STATES / EUROPE With corporate fat cats’ earnings increasingly in the spotlight, particularly in these credit-challenged times, it appears that CEO remuneration packages vary markedly depending on which side of the pond they are on. According to management consultancy ...

Newsmakers : US Wakes Up To Economic Benefits Of Clean Energy

UNITED STATES Clean energy technologies are key to the US's future economic prosperity. US president George W. Bush may not have signed the Kyoto Protocol for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but with consumers feeling the pinch of high oil prices ...