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Postive Year for Positivo | Bulls & Bears on Brazil

Positive news Positivo,  the Brazilian TV and computer manufacter. market watchers say. The company posted record net profiles of R$2.3 billion, up 7% on last year’s result. Notebook sales were up 52% of sales, from 36.6% a year ago.

CSN is looking to up its stake in fellow miner Usiminas to about 5% as well.

I thought I should what is interesting on MZWEB, Brazil’s dominant IR consultant, and RIWEB,  a hybrid corporate commimcations and journalsim site. MZ has greatly improved its Web design of late.

I missed a huge number of M&A deals last year while busy with other work.

I am working on mastering a new topic-mapping tool said to be good for such tasks,called WANDORA. Here,the thing finds all there is know about G. Gordon Liddy from an exploration of his SourceWatch profile

The best method still seems to use Hub and Authorities measures on a collection o smaller data samples to identifu Virtual Breeding Enviroments — chambers of commerce often play that role — and see what gets bred.

Totvs, an IT outsourcer,and roduct of no fewer than 6 M&A transactions in reacent years, has received an offer from Blackstone to up its stalk to 5.01%; Totvus, sitll in acquisition mode, recently paid $ 17.8 million for 100%  GENS TECNOLOGIA E INFORMÁTICA LTDA., a company that controls the operation of GENS S.A., a Development Franchise of Datasul for the health segment.

I have actually built a modest beat on tech outsourcing and call centers recently.

Embratel is busy buying up the rest of triple-play anchor MET Serviços — Embratel is up to 210.838.097 preferred shares, representing 92.27% of NET, while Embrapar and its subsidiary Embratel hold 223.080.448 ações preferenciais, or 97,63% of NET preferred shares.

Globo still controls 51% of the voting — ordinary — shares. The Telmex group of Mexico — Carlos Slim –holds the preferred shares privately since 2006

Dumping on Novo Friburgo

Residents of Novo Friburgo — last year it was some the turn of other tourism-optimised colonial town in the interior — say that Veja magzine lie.

Here is what they say, and I translate
Confira a íntegra da nota:

JOINT COMMUNIQÉ REPUDIATING- VEJA
THE RIO STATE BAR AND JUDICIARY. THE PUBLIC DEFENDER AND THE, A OAB/RJ, POR SUA NINTH SECTION, AS WELL AS THE CITY NOVA FRIBURGO, THE PUBLIC MEDICAL EXAMINER  IML-AP/RJ AND THE STATE JUDICIAL POLICE CAPTAIN OF THE CITY,join together in repudating the story in Veja, Ed;  2200, Year 44,No. date 13 January 2011,amd especially thee content displayed on pp.. 54  to. 56,in that it is completely untrue, as explained below.:

1) Inicialmente, cumpre esclarecer que em momento algum os corpos da vítimas fatais ficaram sobrepostos uns sobre os outros no Instituto de Educação de Nova Friburgo, local em que foi montado um posto provisório do IML, em razão da catástrofe que assolou toda esta região, mas sim acomodados separadamente lado a lado no ginásio do Instituto;

2) O acesso ao referido Instituto foi limitado às autoridades públicas e aos integrantes das Instituições inicialmente referidas, sendo certo que o ingresso dos familiares no local para a realização de reconhecimento somente foi permitido após autorização de um dos integrantes das mencionadas instituições e na companhia permanente do mesmo;

3) A liberação dos corpos para sepultamento somente foi autorizada após o devido reconhecimento efetuado por um familiar, sendo totalmente falsa a afirmação de que “ao identificar um conhecido, bastava levá-lo embora, sem a necessidade de comprovar o parentesco”. Frise-se, que mesmo com o reconhecimento, foi realizado posteriormente procedimento de identificação pelos peritos da Policia Civil do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, bem como de outros cedidos pela Polícia Civil de São Paulo, pela Polícia Federal e pelo Exercito Brasileiro, estes por intermédio da Secretaria Nacional de Segurança Pública, com a análise da impressão digital, do exame de arcada dentária e exame de DNA;

4) Ademais, cada um dos falecidos foi colocado em uma urna e sepultado individualmente, não existindo qualquer tipo de sepultamento coletivo, mas sim vários sepultamentos individuas e simultâneos no mesmo cemitério;

5) Em meio a infeliz perda de 371 vidas, somente neste Município de Nova Friburgo (até presente momento) é importante registrar que houve apenas 03 (três) casos de divergência dos reconhecimentos feitos pelos parentes, os quais estão sendo devidamente esclarecidos pelos peritos do IML/Polícia Civil do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, através do exame das impressões digitais, das arcadas dentárias e do exame de DNA

Thus, contrary to what the facts narrated in the story might lead the reader to conclude, there was no free for all in the search for bodies, but rather, a series job by trained professionala, dedicated to minimize the suffering of the local population. and to preserve, to the degree possible, public order and public health.

Aliás, o respeito pelas famílias e pelos corpos dos cidadãos falecidos não permitiria que os mesmos fossem tratados pelas autoridades da maneira descrita pelas jornalistas.

Assim, é com extremo pesar, que em meio a um evento trágico e que entristeceu a todos, tenhamos que vir a público repudiar as inverdades publicadas, de cunho meramente sensacionalista, a fim de evitar que o desserviço gerado pela matéria venha a causar mais prejuízo, sofrimento e comoção aos familiares das vítimas e a toda nossa comunidade.

The Down-Law from Davos

Rolf Kuntz of the very fine Economia section of the Estado de S. Paulo, mwanwhile,  files this report on negotitation over financial sector reform from frosty Davos.

Dirigentes de bancos centrais, com a discrição costumeira, reafirmam a intenção de controlar mais duramente o setor. O maior estouro financeiro desde a crise de 1929 ocorreu num sistema hipertrofiado, com dimensões inimagináveis até há pouco tempo, comentou uma importante autoridade monetária do mundo rico. Quando a crise estourou, o valor de todos derivativos correspondia a US$ 600 trilhões, dez vezes o produto bruto mundial. Os créditos estrangeiros dos grandes bancos internacionais cresceram de US$ 7 trilhões em 2000 para US$ 26 trilhões em 2007.

Na quarta-feira, representantes do setor financeiro abriram fogo contra a nova regulação proposta pelo Banco de Compensações Internacionais (BIS), incorporada no programa e reformas do Grupo dos 20 (G-20). Regras mais duras para os bancos vão desviar os negócios para as instituições não reguladas, argumentou o presidente do Goldman Sachs, Gary D. Cohen. Peter Sands, diretor do Standard Chartered, do Reino Unido, usou uma imagem aeronáutica: não adianta exigir melhores cintos de segurança quando o controle do tráfego aéreo é sujeito a falhas. A nova regulação, segundo ele, é dirigida a um alvo errado. Um argumento econômico tem sido recitado com frequência: regras mais duras vão encarecer o crédito, complicar os financiamentos e prejudicar a expansão da economia.

O risco de desvio das operações para as instituições não reguladas é real, admitiu a autoridade monetária. Mas não avançou ao falar em regulação excessiva. As novas normas, conhecidas como Basileia III, são necessárias e serão implantadas de forma gradual até 2019.

A hipertrofia do sistema financeiro ocorreu com muita rapidez e surpreendeu as autoridades, confessou o especialista. “Não entendemos direito as transformações e seu potencial de risco”, disse a autoridade. Vários fatores se combinaram na produção da mudança – tecnologia, globalização, criatividade, novas interconexões. “Somos mais espertos do que em 1929 e não repetiremos os erros. Em 1929 havia tempo para agir, porque o sistema explodiu em câmara lenta. Desta vez a explosão foi muito rápida.”

Diante da novidade da crise, as autoridades tiveram de tomar providências não previstas nos manuais. O mundo entrou em recessão, mas, sem o socorro aos bancos, teria afundado numa depressão, argumentou.

Uma das medidas fora do manual foi a criação de liquidez no montante de 95 bilhões pelo Banco Central Europeu, numa decisão tomada depois de três horas de reunião, no começo da crise. É inútil e injusto, concluiu a autoridade e ponderou que muitos erram ao buscar um bode expiatório para crise. Houve grandes mudanças e falta trabalho acadêmico para decifrar essa nova realidade.

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Sweetness and Power Down | Sunday Sambodian Morning

A year or so back, I briefly wrote a column on Brazil’s sugar and sugarcane sector  — until they told me what they proposed to pay me.

I made the point that analysts who focus on the stars of the show — the M&A wars wars to consolidate smaller producers among the likes of ETH, Odebrecht’s biofuel division, and Cosan, “the Standard Oil of fuel-grade ethanol,” were failing to notice the elephant in the room: Coopersucar, poised to triple its business by 18% by 2030, which it forecasts achieving a 30% domestic market share.

Copersucar, Brazil’s largest supplier of sugar and ethanol, on track to earn R$ 14 billion from harvest 2011/12, announced it will create a a shipping joint venture with Jamal Al-Ghurair (JAG) — owner, among others, ofAl Khaleej Sugar (AKS) of Dubai, largest sugar refinery in the orld.

The venture, to be known as Copa Shipping Company Limited, will start out leasing ships to Copersucar and AKS, and move on later to serve other customers. Copersucar and  JAG will each control 50% of the company.

Source: Portal ClippingMP.

Brazil recently won victories in the WTO over subsidies to the sugar sector in the U.S. and India.

Net Tax To Get the Ax?

Under a federal minister of communications who is, atypically, not an executive from the sector he will be making rules for,  Exame | Editora Abril, reports on fiscal incentives to universalization of broadband service..

Communications minister Paulo Bernardo said he will meet shortly with the head of the National Council of Fiscal Policy — Confaz — and the state secretary of the treasury of Bahia, Claudio Martins Marques de Santana, to discuss an end to collecting the ICMS tax on goods and services on telecoms services .

Bernardo says the average  ICMS tax burden on these services is 25%. Bernardo believes that while it will be difficult  to lower ICMS on telecoms as a whole, it is possible to do away with taxes on internet access entirely..

The Campus Party is Over

Bad press for AES Eletropaulo — the lights go out on the annual Campus Party confabulation of geeks, hackers API-tinkerers and kludge-masters for an entire hour. Terra News reports

The blackout that left Campus Party without connectivity or electricity for nearly an hour is over.

It will be back. Mini-blackouts and EXPLODING ELECTRICAL TRANSFORMERS are a daily routine here in the bairro during the lengthy and apocalyptic rainy season.

Just ask my wife about an early adverture of hours — wading though  a waist-high flash flood just as the Doces Bárbaraos were winding up their second encore in Ibirapuera Park.

Electrical power was restored and the campueiros celebrated.  AES Eletropaulo spokespersons said the company switched off circuits in the area of the Imigrantes Convention Center due to heavy rain at 6:05 p.m., bu that service was being restored by 7 p.m..

A little after  6:00, even as attendees celebrated a breeze that left the venue less stuffy, there as little time to enjoy it. In just a few minutes, powerful thunder was heard and heavy rains begain. The space, which was hosting campus party Campus Party Brasil 2011, went dark, with persons protesting and entrances and exiits jammed..

Decades of efforts toward greater preparedness for heavy weather are embarrassing the Sambodians in the eyes of press photographers — which is as it should be.

RIO DE JANEIRO, 22 de janeiro (Reuters) – Deaths attributed to heavy rains in the mountainous regions of Rio state have reached  791, according to state health and civil defense sources in the region.

Some 386 deaths occurred in Nova Friburgo, 317 in Teresópolis, 66 in Petrópolis e 22 in Sumidouro.

In our own neighborhood, G1 reports

Powerful rains that lashed São Paulo Saturday afternoon created chaos in the cit, especially in the Western Zone. In Butantã, manholes along the Avenida Valdemar Ferreira, near the Raposo Tavares highway, look liked fountains for all the water that was gushing out of them. A car was abandoned in midstream.

In Alto de Pinheiros, water levels also rose rapidly. Cautious drivers left their carros the media strip. Another tried to get through, but gave up..

Once again, garbage filled the streets. Traffic on the Marginal Pinheiros beltway was backed up, even on a light travel day..

As Neuza always says, “sometimes a gringo has got to die for anything to get done.” The sampe princpile applies to some of the wealthy, history — and utterly charming — mountain towns, with their colonial roots and cultural preservation projects

You would think someone would come up with the idea of forming a company to manage these resources. In fact, they have. It is called Sabesp and its ADRs re traded on the NYSE.

The rumor going around — and this is only beauty shop gossip, mind you — is that Sabesp decided to open sluices at some of its hydroelectric dams hours before doing so, but never issued a warning to residents.

If I were the company, I would get out in front of that one, even if untrue. It speaks of a generalized distrust of the company by its customers.

Conceição Lemes of Vi o Mundo — a dogged investigative report with a knack for getting to the bottom of things —  has seriously questioned the official version of events. Or rather, she says the state government is lying.

According to a study by Lemes, a failure to follow protocols designed to avoid the need to open spillways led to the disastrous floods of a year ago,when the River Tiête was already overflowing its banks because dredging work scheduled for 2006-9 was never performed.

In December, Sabesp paid  6.25% coupon on its bonds, while Fitch rated a future issue of $350 million by the company at BB. Before his departure, CEO Gesner Oliveira defended an expansion strategy in which the Sabesp model would be exported to other Brazilian states.

Sabesp | A Changing of the Guard

I do rely a lot on Brasilianas.Org for bloggable items.

The online community, run by veteran econ journalist Luis Nassif, brings up topics other media outlets generally do not and attracts knowledgeable persons to comment about them.

Today, the news — the report is from the Estado de S. Paulo — is that Dilma Pena, a former state secretary of sanitation and energy under São Paulo governor José Serra, will replace Gesner de Oliveira at the helm of  Sabesp — the internationally listed public-private sanitation services and technolog company responsible for sewers and drinking water here.

Gesner was once Nassif’s  fellow economics columnist at the Folha de S. Paulo. What a lovely thing it is, to head a company and be the journalist assigned to cover matters of interest to it at the same time. To be fair, however, Gesner quit his job with the Folha before assuming Sabesp.

Weirdly,

Gesner announced his departure on Twitter, information later confirmed by the office of governor Geraldo Alckmin..

The choice of Pena was both technical and political in nature: a specialist in sanitation and water resources,, Dilma Pena wokred for José Serra during his tenure as governor and his time as federal planning minister. With the nomination Alckmin demonstrates a willingness to call a truce with disgruntled Serra supporters in the urrent state government.

Continue reading

Quo Vadis? | The Sousaphone Ought Eleven

//i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/ash_254gross.jpg?t=1207390444” contém erros e não pode ser exibida.

Blogging resolutions for 2011 — our last year one earth before the cataclysm of 2012, according to the Discovery Channel, which has devolved from the premier “science is cool” channel into a 24-7 “Nostradamus might be right” channel.

How the hell did that happen?

  1. Blog less
  2. Blog smart
  3. Blog in Plain English
  4. Blog business

Continue reading

Rashomon Effect | Cossió in Paraguay

A Bolivian governor, an opposition leader in the Bolivian “half moon” state of Tarija, is impeached — correction: suspended pending prosecution —  by the department legislature on corruptions charges.

Mario Cossió was removed — correction: suspended pending prosecution — over allegations he embezzled funds destined for paving roads, and has since sought political asylum in Paraguay.

Los Tiempos of Bolivia reports today that Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo has endorsed the theory of a politically motivated prosecution during an interview with CNN en Español earlier this week.

One of my resolutions for 2011 is the follow the regional press more systematically. I have a good system now for making the most of my 6 a.m. Paranhos-Brayton News Hour on PBS — my personal broadcasting system.

Another is to stop blogging so damn much — making more use of telegraphic, multi-item news round-ups inspired by Wikileaked State Department cables and focusing more on business-related topics.

El Mundo of Bolivia noted the apparent contradiction between the two televised interviews.

A search of the CNN Web site it not confirm that such an interview took place, much less that Lugo made the statements attributed to him.

But then again, the CNN internal search engine sucks.

A YouTube user posted the video in question — above. Lugo is bald and bloated after treatments for a recently diagnosed cancer. Now, if I can fix my ALSA sound configuration, I could double-check the quote, if I had the time. Writes Los Tiempos,

President Fernando Lugo said that in many countries justice is subordinated to politics, for which reason the Cassió petition will be studied carefully and responsibility, and accepted if appropriate. He also said there are signs of political persecution in the case.

As far as I can tell, all he said was that the politicization of justice is a general problem in a number of unnamed countries (Alberto Gonzalez).

The former Tarija governor arrived in Assunción on 22 December and was issued a 90-day temporary residency visa while the government evaluates his request for asylum. In statements to ABC Color, Cossío accused Bolivian president Morales of conspiring to overthrow him and said he remains the legitimate governor of Tarija.

The Bolivian daily, cut and pasted into an archipelago of anti-Morales Web sites, appears to be the only news outlet claiming that Lugo believes Cossió to be the victim of a politically-motivated, or “Alberto Gonzalez,” prosecution. Continue reading

Stormy Weather | The Roberto Marinho Bridge To Nowhere

A news flash flood from Brasilianas.

Let me just give you the gist of it.

Torrential rains cause landslides and flooding in Rio de Janeiro!

Torrential rains cause landslides and flooding in Rio de Janeiro every single freaking  year, and every single freaking year, every government of every persuasion shrugs and mumbles something about  «force majeure».

O Globo runs a front-page editorial complaining of government neglect and insufficient investiments — above.

As it turns out, however, the media group’s family philanthropic foundation just last October was pledged R$24 million, to  be expropriated from a state environmental management fund, in order to build  — get this — a «Museum of Tomorrow» on the Cais do Porto.

Globo will invest not a single dime in the project.

The city of Rio de Janeiro will pitch in an additional R$106 million

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a popular topic in the Brazilian press, and has deep literary and folkloric resonance.
Every single freaking year, Tomorrow, glorious Tomorrow, is when the money to plan for and prevent the biblical flooding that occurs every single freaking year will become available.
There is a saying here: «Hoje só amanhã» — not so different from the laconic Mexican «mañana», really.

The saying comes comes readily to mind, as does Stefan Zweig’s famous panegyric to the country that granted him asylum in 1945, Brazil: Nation of the Future.

In the glorious future, none of us will be wading up to our waists in human shit anymore.

(Not us, though: we live on a hillside of solid bedrock, fortunately).

Did I mention that the state money had originally been earmarked for drainage and flood-proofing of major traffic arteries?  Continue reading

Whitehouse-Cornyn and Dantas’ Inferno

E-mail from Opportunity lawyer arranging for a “smear campaign” authored by defense counsel but appearing under the byline of a Globo journalist.

A consumer news medium in no culture or situation can declare its objectivity, fairness and communication integrity when gate-keeping decisions are influenced by factors that are unseen and unknown—such as occurs with “cash for news coverage.” This is especially true in societies that claim to be democratic and civil and humane. An attempt to present truth in a fair and objective manner and in a known context must be seen as a universal value when the value of truthfulness is declared, either explicitly or implicitly. — International Index of Bribery for News Coverage (2003)

This item somehow got past me.

Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and John Cornyn (R-TX), have introduced the Preserving Criminal Assets for Forfeiture Act, which would make it easier to freeze the assets held in the United States by foreign criminals. In doing so, the legislation will cut down on the funds available for international criminals to further their enterprises. It will also encourage foreign countries to assist the United States in recovering the overseas assets of U.S. criminals.

The law passed unanimously in the Senate and was signed by Obama. It makes it possible for the U.S. to cooperate more effectively with other countries by freezing money while forfeiture proceedings are underway in the country of origin, rather than after a forfeiture order has been issued.

The case cited in defense of the amendment was Mexican cartel money that jetted off in the middle of trial not likely to conclude for decades, if ever. The Mexicans have difficulties catching and convicting major cartel figures, as we well know. Tens of thousands of people are dead as a result.

The law has also had immediate consequences for a notorious case here in Brazil: the prosecution of banker Daniel Dantas — convicted last year of bribery related to the larger case against and sentenced to 10 years, pending appeals.

Primeira Edição explains and I translate. Continue reading