Archive for the ‘Brazil’ Category

Ibovespa Rises on Optimism Over Neves’s Odds of Winning Election

| October 24th, 2014 | No Comments »

By Denyse Godoy

The Ibovespa snapped a four-day rout after a voter poll fueled optimism that candidate Aecio Neves has a chance to beat President Dilma Rousseff in the election runoff this weekend.

State-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR3) contributed the most to the gauge’s advance on bets that a new government will curtail intervention in state-owned companies. Clothing retailer Lojas Renner SA (LREN3) rallied after profit beat estimates.

The Ibovespa added 1.2 percent to 51,312.88 at 11:15 a.m. in Sao Paulo as 50 of its 70 stocks gained. Brazil’s benchmark stock index had rallied as much as 38 percent from this year’s low on bets Rousseff would be voted out of office after overseeing the slowest growth for any presidency since 1992. The gauge has pared that gain to 14 percent as backing for the incumbent’s re-election bid rose.

“Investors have a clear preference for one candidate, and the last poll that ... Read More

Scandal and Bullying in Brazil’s Elections

| October 24th, 2014 | No Comments »

By Mac Margolis

So you’re the leader of a large emerging country and up for reelection. It’s been a bruising year, the economy stinks, the scandal-ridden state oil company’s just been downgraded by Moody’s Investors Services, and this annoying challenger comes from behind to steal your lead on the eve of the runoff vote. Worse, every time you claw your way back up in the polls, the stock market tanks. What’s an incumbent to do?

Go negative, of course. Olivia Pope wasn’t available, but lucky for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, no one can wag the dog like native campaign guru Joao Santana and communications maestro Franklin Martins. The result is one of the bitterest races on record — where slights trump platforms — that has Rousseff on top again for Sunday’s vote and Brazilians more divided than they’ve been in 25 years.

Santana and Franklin earned their retainers in the first round by ... Read More

Brazil and its backyard

| October 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

LIKE voters in most democracies, Brazilians pay little heed to foreign policy when choosing leaders. Yet the presidential election on October 26th matters not just to Brazil but to the region. Over the past two decades Latin America’s giant has overcome its introversion and wielded growing influence in its backyard. And on foreign policy, as on economics, there is a clear gap between President Dilma Rousseff of the centre-left Workers’ Party (PT), who wants a second term, and her rival, Aécio Neves, of the centre-right Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB).

Brazil’s greater assertiveness began under Fernando Henrique Cardoso of the PSDB in the 1990s and continued under the PT’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president in 2003-10. Both gave importance to the Mercosur trade block (founded by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), to South America and to ties with Africa and Asia. Both had reservations about a 34-country Free-Trade ... Read More

Rousseff Takes Lead in Brazil Runoff Polls for First Time

| October 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

By Anna Edgerton and Mario Sergio Lima

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff leads opposition candidate Aecio Neves in polls for the first time since the first-round vote, according to Ibope and Datafolha. The runoff is scheduled for Oct. 26.

Rousseff of the Workers’ Party, has 49 percent of voter support, compared to 41 percent for Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, according to an Ibope poll published on newspaper Estadao’s website. In the Datafolha poll, Rousseff has 48 percent, a lead of six percentage points. Both polls, which previously showed the candidates statistically tied, have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

“For the first time we see a candidate solidifying a lead,” Andre Pereira Cesar, a Brasilia-based political consultant, said by phone. “Given that this campaign is very different from all others we have seen before, there’s still the chance of a reversal. News, facts, specific moments could ... Read More

Brazilian Real Declines Less Than Week Before Election Runoff

| October 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

By Paula Sambo

Brazil’s real declined as polls indicated that President Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aecio Neves were statistically tied less than a week before the runoff election.

The real dropped 0.2 percent to 2.4871 per U.S. dollar at the close of trade in Sao Paulo after climbing 0.7 percent earlier today. Swap rates, a gauge of expectations for changes in local borrowing costs, fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 12.12 percent on the contract due in January 2017.

One-month implied volatility on options for the real, reflecting projected shifts in the currency as the Oct. 26 runoff approaches, was the highest among developing countries. The real climbed earlier today on speculation that Neves will prevail in the runoff as the nation struggles to recover from a recession and curb above-target inflation.

“Until the presidential race is over, there will be great volatility and any poll numbers or just rumors will ... Read More

5 Reasons Why Aecio Neves Should Be Elected The Next President Of Brazil

| October 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

By Anderson Atunes

Twelve years ago Brazilians chose Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the first member of the working class to be elected president of Brazil, as the person whom they believed could promote the changes that the country needed in order to become a fairer and better place to live. Lula, who is known by his first name, didn’t disappoint. During his government (2003-2010), Brazil’s economy expanded considerably, although not as much as the world economic growth during the same period, and  it was mostly thanks to China’s appetite for Brazil’s commodities.

Millions of Brazilians were lifted out of poverty, and a new middle class emerged, eager to spend money. During Lula’s eight year term, the number of Brazilians with banking accounts went from 70 million to 115 million, increasing from 40% to 59% the percent of the Brazilian population who maintained a relationship with the country’s financial system. The total ... Read More

Neves Win in Brazil Would End Alliances Built by Lula

| October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »

By Charlie Devereux and Anatoly Kurmanaev

The election of Aecio Neves as Brazil’s president would end a 12-year alliance uniting leaders from Venezuela to Bolivia on regional development and state intervention in the economy.

Neves, who came from behind to make the second round vote on Oct. 26 against President Dilma Rousseff, has pledged to restore investor confidence in the economy, end “ideological” political alliances and negotiate new trade deals with or without the Mercosur trade bloc Brazil founded with Argentina in 1991. Polls show the two statistically tied.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, once a union leader who lost national elections three times before taking office in 2003, brokered deals and soothed tensions with leaders including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Argentina’s Nestor Kirchner and Bolivia’s Evo Morales. Together, they promoted regional bodies such as Mercosur and the Union of South American Nations, while Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia created the Pacific ... Read More

Dilma edges ahead

| October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

By J.P.

BRAZIL is on tenterhooks. With five days to go before the presidential run-off on October 26th the race remains too close to call. But for the first time since the first round of voting two weeks ago the left-wing incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, has gained ground. On October 20th a poll by Datafolha put Ms Rousseff four points ahead of Aécio Neves, her centre-right challenger; last week Mr Neves was leading by a whisker.

Perhaps it was only a matter of time. Ms Rousseff’s campaign, as cynical as it is formidable, has relentlessly (and unfairly) bashed the market-friendly Mr Neves for wanting to slash social programmes and govern solely for the rich elite. It has also attacked his record as governor of Minas Gerais, a big state which has just elected a governor from Ms Rousseff’s Workers’ Party (PT) and where she beat Mr Neves in the first round (in part ... Read More

Brazil’s Real Leads Global Declines as Rousseff Gaining Support

| October 21st, 2014 | No Comments »

By Paula Samba

Brazil’s real led global currency declines after voter poll results showed increased support for President Dilma Rousseff, damping prospects of a new government reviving Latin America’s largest economy.

The real lost 1.1 percent to 2.4917 per U.S. dollar at 11:14 a.m. in Sao Paulo, the worst performance among 31 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The Ibovespa fell 3.7 percent to 52,312.40, the biggest drop among 93 stock indexes.

One-month implied volatility on options for the real, reflecting projected shifts in the currency as the Oct. 26 runoff approaches, surged to a three-year high. The real fell today as Rousseff gained backing over candidate Aecio Neves in a Datafolha poll showing the race was still too close to call.

“Markets get in a bad mood when Rousseff gains support,” Flavio Serrano, a senior economist at Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento in Sao Paulo, said in a telephone interview. “Polls are dictating the ... Read More

Brazilian Poll Shows Rousseff Gaining Momentum as Election Nears

| October 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

(Reuters) RIO DE JANEIRO — President Dilma Rousseff gained steam but remained locked in a dead heat for votes with challenger Aecio Neves ahead of Brazil’s Oct. 26 presidential runoff, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

Rousseff had 45.5 percent of voter support versus 44.5 percent for Neves, according to the survey by polling firm MDA, its first since the election’s first-round vote on Oct. 5. The difference between the two is statistically insignificant because it is within the poll’s margin of error.

Excluding undecided voters, spoiled and blank survey responses, Rousseff has 50.5 percent against 49.5 percent for Rousseff.

Recent surveys by the more closely watched Datafolha and the Ibope pollsters showed Neves slightly ahead of Rousseff, but within the surveys’ margin of error.

Still Monday’s poll echoed indications in the last ... Read More

Scandal Over Brazilian Oil Company Adds Turmoil to the Presidential Race

| October 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

By Simon Romero

RIO DE JANEIRO — Paulo Roberto Costa was living an oilman’s dream.

He had a house in a luxurious gated community here. He bought a yacht and drove an armored Range Rover. He had more than $25 million stashed in bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

But that dream evaporated recently when the police arrested Mr. Costa and charged him with orchestrating a bribery scheme on an epic scale at Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, and funneling the proceeds to the governing Workers Party and its allies while enriching himself.

The case has presented a major challenge to President Dilma Rousseff, who is in a bitter re-election fight against Aécio Neves, a centrist who has been gaining momentum as the vote next Sunday approaches.

With ... Read More

Conservatives gaining force in Brazil Congress

| October 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — With its Carnival reputation and skin-baring beach life, Brazil may look like a liberal bastion. But unease over a worsening economy and deteriorating public safety, plus a backlash against recent gay-rights gains, are propelling a conservative rise that will shape the next administration, regardless of who wins the presidency.

The general election held earlier this month saw a greater share of Brazil’s National Congress seats go to various conservative caucuses, which now control nearly 60 percent of the 513 seats in the lower house. They include evangelical lawmakers who oppose gay marriage or access to abortion; the “ruralistas” whose pro-agriculture positions counter environmentalists and indigenous groups; and a law-and-order faction that demands a crackdown on crime.

Ahead of the presidential runoff Oct. 26, there’s no doubt such conservatives are giving greater support to center-right challenger Aecio Neves ... Read More

Ibovespa Climbs as Petrobras Rallies After Presidential Debate

| October 17th, 2014 | No Comments »

By Filipe Pacheco

The Ibovespa rose for the first time in three days as Senator Aecio Neves’s performance in yesterday’s presidential debate bolstered speculation he’ll win election and reduce intervention in state-run companies.

Government-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA contributed the most to the equity gauge’s gain, rallying as crude oil advanced. Meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA climbed after Standard & Poor’s raised its credit rating one step to B+. Marisa Lojas SA declined after Deutsche Bank AG cut its recommendation to sell from hold.

The Ibovespa added 1 percent to 54,816.88 at 10:41 a.m. in Sao Paulo, paring its drop this week to 0.8 percent. The real gained 0.5 percent to 2.4605 per dollar. West Texas Intermediate crude added 0.3 percent to $82.91 a barrel.

Brazil’s benchmark equity index has rallied 22 percent from this year’s low in March on speculation that President Dilma Rousseff will be voted out of office as the ... Read More

Latin America is a region plagued by incumbents

| October 17th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez

Six weeks after falling for Marina Silva, pro-market souls (and the markets themselves) have bounced back, developing a new infatuation with the man who defeated her in Brazil’s presidential election. Propounding sensible policies and polling strongly, Aécio Neves will face off next month against Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s formidable incumbent. He may yet prevail. Brazil’s anaemic projected growth, coupled with rising unemployment, should be fertile ground for any challenger. Yet if history is any guide there is only one thing Ms Rousseff needs to do for her re-election to be all but certain: run.

Incumbents have an advantage everywhere. They enjoy high visibility and voters tend to prefer the devil they know. Yet the record of sitting Latin American presidents is astonishing. No Brazilian president seeking immediate re-election has ever failed to attain it. As far back as the 19th century, only two governing presidents anywhere in Latin America – Nicaragua’s ... Read More

Rising Dragon? The Chinese Mafia Threat in Latin America

| October 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
From In Sight

By David Gagne

Chinese mafia operations in Latin America are little understood, but a recent report on these groups in Argentina illustrates how they make their presence felt via extortion, human smuggling rings, and the occasional murder. As China deepens its economic relationship with Latin America, it’s possible these mafias may become ever more prominent.

Authorities in Argentina have attributed 31 murders over the last five years, and four in 2014 alone, to seven Chinese mafias operating in the country, reported La Nacion. These mafias reportedly earn revenue by extorting businesses within the Chinese community, and resort to violence when owners do not comply with their demands.

In at least three of the 2014 cases, the victim did not appear to have been robbed, leading authorities to believe they were killed after running afoul of criminal groups in the Chinese community. According to La Nacion, the Chinese mafias (also known ... Read More

Poll: Brazil presidential race remains deadlocked

| October 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s presidential race remains deadlocked after the first debate between President Dilma Rousseff and her challenger in the runoff election.

A survey released Wednesday night by the Datafolha polling group says opposition candidate Aecio Neves has support from 51 percent of voters against Rousseff’s 49 percent. The poll, which had an error margin of two percentage points, got the same result as a Datafolha poll last week.

Neves made a surprise comeback in the Oct. 5 first-round election to finish second and force Rousseff into a runoff round since no candidate won a majority.

Brazilians go back to the polls on Oct. 26 to decide who’ll be the next leader of Latin America’s biggest economy.

The latest Datafolha survey interviewed 9,081 voters across Brazil on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Click here for original ... Read More

Brazilian presidential candidates trade punches in first debate last night

| October 15th, 2014 | No Comments »

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and challenger Aécio Neves squared off last night in the first of four debates leading up to the runoff election on October 26th. Several recent polls show a technical tie, and the debates could prove to be decisive.

Rousseff and Neves advanced to the second round by winning the most votes on October 5th, after a surprisingly competitive three-way contest in which the incumbent used cool and commanding debate performances to fend off a challenge by political maverick Marina Silva, whose surge in the polls was beaten back by a withering negative ad campaign.

Tuesday night’s encounter was a tough and personal showdown—the first one-on-one debate between the candidates of Brazil’s two main political parties. Rousseff was aggressive and confrontational, but Neves (a former governor and congressman) counterpunched effectively—putting the president on the defensive over the failing economy, unpopular policies, and alleged corruption.

For example, Rousseff cited fear among Brazilians that ... Read More

Brazil Presidential Contenders Face off in Debate

| October 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
ABC News


President Dilma Rousseff and her rival in the Oct. 26 runoff election faced off Tuesday night in their first debate since the opening round ballot, a crucial confrontation with recent opinion polls showing the pair locked in a dead heat.

Challenger Aecio Neves, a center-right, business-friendly candidate, attacked Rousseff’s economic record and focused on a growing kickback scandal at Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras.

Brazil’s growth has slowed since 2010 and the economy went into a recession earlier this year, while there are near-daily revelations about the alleged multimillion-dollar corruption scandal involving top figures at Petrobras, one of whom has said Rousseff’s Workers’ Party benefited from the scheme.

“I’ve spent my entire life combatting corruption,” Rousseff shot back after Neves read off a litany of accusations.

The leader noted that she has gone after those accused of corruption in her own government, forcing out several Cabinet ministers at ... Read More

Petrobras scandal adds fuel to Brazil’s fiery election campaign

| October 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Joe Leahy

Common wisdom has it that Brazilians have become so desensitised to political scandals – so frequent are they on all sides of the political spectrum – that they make little difference in elections.

But there are signs that what could end up being Brazil’s biggest corruption case – the alleged kickbacks from state-owned oil company Petrobras – could be different.

Politicians from the Workers’ party-led ruling coalition are accused of skimming 3 per cent off billions of dollars of contracts signed by Petrobras ahead of the election of incumbent president Dilma Rousseff in 2010.

Not only are Brazilians taking more notice of this scandal – one Facebook user complained last week it meant he was paying 3 cents of every dollar to the Workers’ party, or PT, whenever he fills his car with petrol. “Better to ride a bicycle,” he said.

But what is different about the Petrobras scandal is ... Read More

Brazil Election Polls: Dilma Rousseff Trailing Aecio Neves In Presidential Race

| October 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
International Business Times

By Cristina Silva

President Dilma Rousseff is fighting for her political survival with a poll Monday indicating she is trailing rival Aecio Neves ahead of Brazil’s presidential runoff later this month. Rousseff’s sagging ratings come as Brazil’s once mighty economy has fallen into a technical recession and months after millions of Brazilians took to the streets in protest during the World Cup games to demand better infrastructure and health care.

Aecio leads Rousseff 52.4 percent to 36.7 percent in the Oct. 26 runoff, according to a Sensus poll published on the website of IstoE magazine. The survey of 2,000 people Oct. 7-10 had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points. Two earlier polls by Ibope and Datafolha showed the candidates statistically tied, with Neves leading 51 percent to 49 percent, Bloomberg reported.

Neves unexpectedly emerged as Rousseff’s main opponent after the Oct. 5 first-round election saw him win 34 percent of the vote behind the president’s ... Read More

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