Latin American nations seeking fiscal fixes encounter a wide variety of factors beyond their control.
CREDIT LINE | On a visit to Argentina in August, Citi CEO Michael Corbat met with the country’s pro-market president, Mauricio Macri, and announced a $3.5 billion line of credit for the bank’s 1,300 corporate and institutional clients in the country.
Brazil | Despite the optimistic expectations in 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the competition in August is not likely to show Brazil in the best light.
Well known for his caution, Brazil Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles is well aware of the enormity of his nation’s fiscal hole. Brazil is likely to report a primary deficit of $36 billion this year, instead of the $6.8 billion surplus previously forecast.
While Latin American economies are expected to shrink by roughly 1% this year, Mexico is slated to grow 2.2%.
Milestones | Brazil
In this time of recession, Brazil’s economy is becoming more agribusiness-oriented. The sector generated 23% of Brazilian GDP last year, after 21.4% in 2014, and accounted for 46.3% of total exports.
Cuba: News that Anglo-Dutch consumer products company Unilever will return to Cuba to build a $35 million plant in the special development zone at the port of Mariel, about 40 kilometers west of Havana, is one of the clearest signs yet that the communist nation is taking a more pragmatic approach to foreign direct investment.
Trends | Peace Deals
Low oil prices are widening Colombia’s current-account deficit, dampening the confidence of foreign investors and dragging down the economy.
Brazil: The Banco Central do Brasil gave new Finance minister Nelson Barbosa a bit of help on January 20, when it decided to hold the short-term interest rate, the Selic, to 14.25%.
The axe fell on Brazil heading into 2016 as it suffered a downgrade to junk status by Fitch Ratings, heightening the air of crisis as the beleaguered nation grapples with political turmoil and recession.
Corporate Governance | Management
Selling the assets could improve BTG’s net worth by 20 billion reais ($5 billion).