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Morning Briefing: Breakfast With The Bem-Te-Vi

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Some morning business headlines from the Brazilian press. The bem-te-vi is a sort of yellow-bellied bluejay in a burglar’s mask who starts in to screeching early in our neck of the woods here in São Paulo.

Why did Peru make sovereign investment grade before Brazil did?

The Ministry of Justice wants a recall of 477,000 Volkwagen Fox models, reports Invertia.

SÃO PAULO – O uso do sistema eletrônico de negociação da Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo, o Home Broker cresceu no mês de março, quando 31,24% do negócios, o equivalente a 2,37 milhões de transações, foram feitos por esse mecanismo. É um novo recorde de participação no uso do sistema.

Some 2.4 million transactions worth R$24.11 billion (US$14 billion) were executed in March using the Home Broker trading system for individual investors, promoted by the Bovespa stock market and registered brokerage houses — 31.24% of transaction volume and 11.22% of transaction value.

Valor Econômico cuts and pastes the press release.

The CBLC (the Brazilian Custody and Settlement Company) reports having 485,981 individual investor trade settlement accounts registered. The Bovepa reports 2,372 registered investment clubs.

Overall trading volume at the Bovespa was down 9.45% in March, reports Exame. The Ibovespa index zeroed its year-to-date losses yesterday and began operating in the black again.

DCI leads with two trend stories. First, debt issuance has overtaken equity issuance in the first quarter of 2008, after a record-breaking year for IPOs in 2007.

As emissões de renda fixa e variável tiveram uma inversão nos primeiros meses do ano. Se no primeiro trimestre de 2007 a renda variável abocanhava a maior fatia de participação no lançamento de papéis, com 76,6% e giro de R$ 11,727 bilhões, de janeiro a março deste ano a renda fixa virou o jogo e responde por 85,5% do montante, com uma carteira de R$ 36,984 bilhões. “A volatilidade no mercado de ações nos últimos meses, provocada pela crise norte-americana, retraiu o apetite pelo risco e aumentou a preferência pela renda fixa”, argumenta Reginaldo Ferreira Alexandre, vice-presidente da Associação dos Analistas e Profissionais de Investimento do Mercado de Capitais de São Paulo (Apimec-SP).

Fixed income and variable income issues have switched roles in the first months of 2008. While variable income issues enjoyed the lion’s share of issuance in 1Q07 (76.6%, worth R$11.727 billion), fixed income accounted for 85.5% of R$37 billion issued in 1Q08. “Volatility in the stock markets in recent months provoked by the crisis in the U.S. has taken the edge off the investor’s appetite for risk and increased his preference for fixed income,” says Ferreira Alexandre of APIMEC-SP.

Belaboring the obvious.

Secondly, that infrastructure investment is less tightly controlled by the state than in the past.

Setores tradicionalmente controlados pelo Estado, como energia, transportes e saneamento básico, vêm passando por um processo de troca de mãos nos últimos anos, que deve se intensificar ainda mais. A concretização de investimentos de longo prazo e o implemento de diferentes políticas de concessões de serviços considerados essencialmente públicos, previstos no Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC) e em projetos de outras esferas governamentais, têm garantido maior participação da iniciativa privada na infra-estrutura nacional. A Associação Brasileira da Infra-Estrutura e das Indústrias de Base (Abdib) estima em 40% os investimentos de empresários em relação ao aporte público para o PAC, cujo orçamento em 2008 alcança a marca dos R$ 18 bilhões.

Sectors traditionally controlled by the state, such as energy, transportation and sanitation, have been changing hands in recent years, a trend that should intensify. The realization of long-term investments and changes in policy on concessions for services considered to be essentially public in nature, under the federal economic stimulus program (the “PAC”) and programs at other levels of government, have given private initiative a bigger stake in Brazilian infrastrucure. ABDIB estimates private investments in this area at about 40% of the funds budgeted for the PAC, which amount to some R$18 billion in 2008 alone.

Relatório Reservado reports, among other tantalizing items, that Globo’s Som Livre record label may be closing its booking agency for musical artists, having failed to make a profit. It competes with the likes of Sony and Warner in this area. You will hear some folks complaining that the English-language culture industry dumps its products here, drowning out the voices of native creatives.

I recently subscribed to RR (above) and am interested in seeing how successful its prognostications are. Are the Brazilian powers that be really pissed at Halliburton about that incident with the Petrobras laptops, for example? See also

Also from RR today:

Há uma forte preocupação no Ministério de Minas e Energia com a crescente desnacionalização da produção de açúcar e álcool no país. Segundo mapeamento feito pelo ministério, estão em curso no momento negociações para a venda de cinco usinas para investidores estrangeiros.

There is a strong concern at the ministry of mines and energy with the growing “denationalization” of sugar and ethanol production in Brazil. According to a ministry analysis, five deals are in the works at the moment to sell sugar and ethanol plants to foreign investors.

The Brazilian defense ministry is reportedly talking with Thales of France about Brazil’s desire to acquire a nuclear submarine.

Phased deregulation of the Brazilian reinsurance industry, long dominated by a state monopoly, has attracted 11 foreign firms back to the market, the Gazeta Mercantil reports. Gen Re (Warren Buffet) reportedly reopened a small office here in São Paulo recently after exiting several years ago.

Ontem, a Superintendência de Seguros Privados (Susep) recebeu executivos da espanhola Mapfre, da Transatlantic e da American Home, do grupo AIG, que levaram documentos para iniciar operações no País.

The Superintendent of Private Insurance yesterday received executive of Mapfre, Transatlantic and American Home (AIG Group), which filed papers to start operating in Brazil.

Petrobras opens bidding on construction of the P-55 drilling platform for the Santos Basin.

A Petrobras anunciou hoje o início da licitação pela qual irá contratar os módulos que irão compor a plataforma P-55, a ser instalada no campo de Roncador, na Bacia de Campos (RJ). A estatal informou já ter emitido os convites para apresentação das propostas.

More to come. My goal here is to spend no more than an hour or two early in the morning gisting the front pages and supplementing that with raw newsflow from the Official Diary and other primary sources. You find that the major newspapers and newswires all tend to run the same impoverished handful of business stories. See also

JPMorgan dispatches more expats south of the Equator, according to a press release.

A JPMorgan anunciou hoje duas incorporações-chave para a sua crescente divisão de Pesquisa de Patrimônio na América Latina. Bond Snodgrass será o chefe da divisão no México, e Brian Chase será o chefe do Cone Sul e a área andina da divisão. Snodgrass, com sede na cidade de México, e Chase, com sede em Santiago de Chile controlarão a análise das companhias nessas regiões, reportando-se a Ben Laidler, chefe da divisão Pesquisa e Estratégia de Patrimônio para América Latina.

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From the leads file. Index your hard disk with Google Desktop and you got yourself a makeshift, DIY leads database, right?

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