Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brasil plans massive investment

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched on 29 March a $878 billion program to upgrade Brazil's infrastructure in the period 2011-2014. The plan will improve access to clean water, medical posts and energy as well as modernize the country's air, road and rail system. The energy part of the plan envisages investment of 257 billion dollars. This includes the five year plan of Petrobras, the Brazilian energy giant to invest 220 billion dollars, the largest corporate investment in the whole world at this time.
This is besides the investment being made for Olympic games 2016 and World Cup Football 2014.
Indian companies should rush in to get projects, contracts, subcontracts and orders for supply of equipments, machinery and materials.

Bajaj three wheelers in Colombia

Bajaj three wheelers were launched in Colombia on 24 March by the Colombian company Auteco. The vehicle which is being assembled in Medellin, Colombia, will be marketed at a little over US$4,000/- for the basic model. Apart from this model, there will be other versions including fully enclosed vehicles and others for carrying cargo. Auteco expects to import 3000 SKD kits of the vehicle this year and increase the numbers in the years to come. The vehicle has been homologated and has received the approvals from the Government of Colombia. It will, however, only serve as a taxi for the present in towns with less than 50,000 population, but will be allowed for private use in other cities.
Auteco also markets eight different brands of Bajaj motor cycles in Colombia. Their imports exceed US$50 million per year.
Bajaj three wheelers are also exported to Peru and Central America.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wipro opens a new global delivery centre at Curitiba

The Indian IT major Wipro opened a new global delivery centre at Curitiba in Brazil, last week.
It was inaugurated by the mayor of Curitiba, Beto Richa, and the Consul General of India in Sao Paulo, Jitendra K Tripathi.
Though the company has been operating in Brazil for past three to four years, it is for the first time the company has established a delivery centre in the region. The Curitiba Centre would be a hub of the firm in the region and would serve as the regional headquarters for other Wipro offices located at So Paulo in Brazil and Buenos in Aires Argentina. Serving global and domestic clients, the centre would cater to 20 clients in IT and BPO sectors. The centre which started with 60 people currently employs around 350 people.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Indian petroleum companies to invest 2.18 billion dollars in Venezuela

The Government of India approved on 19 March an investment of $2.18 billion by three state-run companies - ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India - in Venezuela's Carabobo oil block.
The three companies, which together have an 18 percent equity interest in the project were awarded the block in consortium with Spain's Repsol YPF SA (REP) and Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd. Venezuala's state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA holds the remaining stake in the block.
OVL has already invested over a billion dollars in oil fields in Brazil and Colombia

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Panama gets investment grade rating

Panama won the coveted investment-grade rating on its debt on 23 March. Fitch Ratings raised its credit rating for Panama by one notch to BBB-minus, putting it in a club of creditworthy countries. This is a reward to the Central American country for years of rapid economic growth, trim budgets and recent tax system overhauls. The other credit rating agencies are also expected to upgrade panama.

Brazil, Mexico and Chile are the other three Latin American countries with investment grade ratings.

The upgrade of Panama, coming at a time some Southern European countries are risking downgrades, is likely to attract more investment.

Panama uses the U.S. dollar as its currency and has emerged as a big winner from the growth in global trade , domestic construction boom and the vibrant banking sector. The average annual growth between 2000-09 was 8 percent, the fastest pace in Latin America.

About 4 percent of international commerce flows through the Panama Canal, which is now being widened to accomodate bigger ships with an investment of 5.25 billion dollars.

After running a deficit equivalent to 4.9 percent of GDP in 2004, Panama ran surpluses between 2006-08.

The country's debt as a percentage of gross domestic product has fallen to 45 percent in 2009 from 71 percent in 2004.

Congrats Panama... Keep going...

Monday, March 22, 2010

India starts importing coal from Colombia

This first ever import of thermal coal from Colombia is being done by Adani Enterprises Ltd, India’s biggest coal importer. The first cargo of fuel will be imported in a capesize, a vessel that has a carrying capacity of at least 110,000 deadweight tons. The company is said to be negotiating a long-term contract.

Colombia’s Cerrejon, the world’s largest open-pit mine producing coal for export, may make its first sales to India this year. Colombian coal may land in Mundra and Dahej ports on India’s west coast because they can handle capesizes.

Colombian coal supplies, which account for about 10 percent of global trade, may rise by 7.7 million tons in 2010 to 71 million after falling by about 8.7 percent last year.

Indian thermal coal imports surged last year to a little less than 60 million tons from about 30 million in 2008. India plans to almost double electricity generation capacity by 2012, when the shortage of coal will exceed 200 million tons.

India imports around 5 million tons a month from Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

agricultural production up in Argentina and Brazil in 2010

Brazilian agroproduction is estimated to reach 145.1 million tons in 2010, 8.5% larger than that obtained in 2009 (133.8 million tons), according to Brazilian official statistical agency report of 9 March 2010. The area to be harvested, 47.9 million hectares, presents a 1.5% increase in relation to 2009, which was 47.2 million hectares.

The three main crops (rice, corn and soybeans), which account for 81.5% of the planted area, present variations of -3.8%, -4.1% and +5.9%, respectively, when compared to the 2009 harvest. As regards production, corn and soybeans recorded increases of +2.6% and +17.4%, whereas rice presents a decrease of -5.0%.

soy production in 2010 is expected to reach 66.9 million tons. The estimate for the coffee harvest is 2.8 million tons (14.4% larger than that of 2009).

Argentine soy production is estimated to reach 53 million tons in 2010 from 32 million tons in 2009.

This is good news for India since increased production especially soy will keep prices from going up. India imports soy oil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay in large quantities.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Patni Computer Systems Opens New IT Delivery Center in Queretaro, Mexico on 12 March

Patni Computer Systems is opening a new IT Delivery Center in Queretaro, Mexico to Serve North and Latin American Markets. Jose E. Calzada Rovirosa, Governor of the Queretaro State is cutting the ribbon on 12 march.

Patni is moving from its temporary facility into a permanent location in a high-rise building at ITESM Technological Park of Tech de Monterrey. The new center occupies 11,000 square feet on two floors in ITESM Technological .Patni currently employs 40 in Queretaro. The company has plans to increase employment in the local facility to 200 by the end of 2010, with the bulk of the new hires coming from the local area.
Queretaro is Patni's 22nd development center, expanding a global presence which already features near-shore centers in the United States and Europe. Patni has an employee strength of around 14,000; multiple global delivery centers spread across 13 cities worldwide; 28 international offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific; Patni has registered revenues of US $656 million for the year 2009.
For more information on Patni, visit

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Petrobras plans investment of 44 billion dollars in 2010

Brazil's Petrobras is investing $44 billion in 2010 as part of its 2009-13 Five-year investment plan of 174 billion dollars. This is the world´s largest corporate investment plan at this moment. Petrobras had invested 28 billion dollars in the first nine months of 2009.

In 2010, Petrobras will invest 20 billion dollars in exploration and production and 17 billion dollars in refining and petrochemicals, with the remainder going toward areas such as distribution and biofuels.

This is a great opportunity for Indian companies to get project and supply contracts.

The investment in the petroleum sector will make Brazil as a significant exporter in the coming years.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Strides Arcolab acquires pharma assets of Aspen in Brazil for $ 75 million - March 2010

Strides Arcolab has bought Aspen's ( south african company ) facility in Campos, Brazil, with related products and intellectual properties for about $75 million. It is an all-cash acquisition.
The facility makes Penems and Penicillins and has annual turnover of $40 million.
Strides Arcolabs is already operating in Brazil as Cellofarm with a manufacturing unit in the port city of Vitoria near Rio de Janeiro.
Strides has a manufacturing facility in Mexico City in the name of Solara and has a marketing & trading operation in Venezuela as Sumifarma.