Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mexican IT company Softtek acquires Indian software firm

This is the first time that a Latin American IT company has acquired an Indian software firm to make entry into India. So far it was the other way. The Indian companies have acquired and established operations in Latin America employing 20,000 Latin Americans.

Softtek, the Mexican IT firm has now acquired an Indian software company Systech Integrators, founded by Indian Americans and headquartered in San Jose, California with centers in India and US. Systech specializes in SAP solutions and services.

Softtek employs 8000 staff and operates in 30 countries including in India and China.

Another point of interest - Gabriel Rozman, the Executive Vice President of TCS and who established TCS in Latin America was the CEO of Softtek in 2000 before joining TCS in 2001.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Boom in mining investment in Peru

There are 52 ongoing mining projects in Peru with 53 billion dollars of investment in the coming ten years.

In 2012, the government gave 4668 mining permits to 582 companies up from 3100 in 2011.

Peru expects to increase its copper production from the current level of 1.3 million tons to 5 m tons by 2025. Peru is currently the third largest coppoer producer. Chile, the number one, produces 5.7 m tons
Mining accounts for 15% of the GDP of Peru.

The big investments include
- Chinalco ( Chinese) - 2.2 bn $ copper mine
-Newmont - 5 bn in gold and copper
-Anglo American - 3 bn
-Xtrata - 6 bn

One of the major challenges for mining is the protests from local communities displaced and affected by the mining operations. There have been more than 200 conflicts some of which turned violent resulting in the death of some protestors. Chinalco is spending 150-200 m $ for resettlement of the affected families but the community leaders demand 300 m. Other companies are also making provision for " social funding" to avoid the social tensions. Fortunately, Ollanta Humala, the leftist president of the country, is able to manage the conflict between the miners and the local communities with his leftist credentials.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Brazilian investment in new hydroelectric power

Brazil is investing in 34 new dams to be completed by 2021 to increase the generation of hydroelectricity by fifty percent.
The two biggest are:
the 7.5 billion dollar Jirau Dam.
and the Belo Monte project, to be completed by 2015 at a cost of 9 billion dollars, will produce 11,000 MW.
90% of power consumed by Brazil comes from the hydroelectric sector.
Itaipu power plant alone accounts for 25% of the Brazilian electricity generation with its 14000 MW capacity.
The biggest challenge is not finance or technology. It is the coalition of motivated western NGOs and the media who use the bogey of Amazon rain forest and environment. They carry out misleading propaganda and try to put obstacles in the way of Brazilian economic development.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Devaluation of Venezuelan currency

The Venezuelan government devalued the currency by 32% to 6.3 Bolivars for a dollar from 13 February. This was not unexpected. It was predicted for some time because of the large fiscal deficit which reached 11% of GDP in 2012. 

This is the fifth devaluation in nine years.

The black market rate is 19.53 Bolivars for a dollar. 

Imports are constrained by the delays and restrictions in releasing foreign exchange by CADIVI, the control agency of the government.

Shortages of food items, empty super markets, chaotic distribution system and the nationalisation and mismanagement of many companies have made a Cuba out of Venezuela.

The economy and secuity situation of the country are as bad as the cancer of Chavez.

The Bolivarian Revolution and the 21st Century Socialism of Chavez which started with good intentions have become nightmares. While the condition of of poor people have become better under Chavez, the economy, the society and the country in general have suffered long term damages.