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Jan 21, 2015

No need for Petrobras investment cut due to corruption probe -minister

BRASILIA, Jan 21 (Reuters) – State-run Brazilian oil
producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA does not need to
curtail its multibillion-dollar investment plan because of a
growing corruption scandal, Mines and Energy Minister Eduardo
Braga told Reuters on Wednesday.

Revelations of price-fixing, bribery and political kickbacks
at Petrobras, as the company is known, and a sharp fall in oil
prices have locked the company out of capital markets and
reduced revenue. As a result, company officials said in December
they expect to cut back a five-year $221-billion investment
plan.

Jan 21, 2015

Brazil set for another steep interest rate hike to curb inflation

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil will likely keep its aggressive pace of interest rate increases on Wednesday to rein in surging prices despite growing fears the once-thriving economy could plunge into recession this year.

Forty-five out of 48 economists surveyed by Reuters expect a second straight 50 basis-point hike in the benchmark Selic rate to 12.25 percent BRCBMP=ECI, its highest since August 2011. The remainder expect a smaller 25 basis-point increase.

Jan 13, 2015

Brazil will not bail out electric utilities, Levy says

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian government will not give any extra funds to indebted power utilities this year to avoid further harm to its finances, Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said on Tuesday, in another bold sign of fiscal restraint to regain markets’ trust.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting with reporters in Brasilia, Levy said rising power prices caused by lower hydroelectric output should be paid by consumers to bring electricity rates more in line with reality.

Jan 9, 2015

Brazil’s BNDES considers emergency loan to utilities- source

BRASILIA, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Brazil’s state development bank
BNDES is willing to make an emergency loan to ailing electricity
distributors as long as two other state-run lenders join the
operation, a senior bank executive told Reuters on Friday.

BNDES, Banco do Brasil SA and Caixa
Economica Federal SA should each contribute equally to
a 2.5 billion real ($948.91 million) loan to help the utilities
pay for high power prices, the BNDES executive said on condition
of anonymity.

Jan 5, 2015

Brazil’s new finance chief unveils plan to restore confidence

BRASILIA, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Brazil’s government must make
difficult budget cuts to improve investor confidence and restore
economic growth, the country’s new Finance Minister Joaquim Levy
said on Monday.

At his swearing-in ceremony in Brasilia, former treasury
chief Levy said the fiscal adjustments will require the
participation of society as a whole and will involve spending
cuts and possible tax hikes.

Jan 1, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff vows budget cuts, anti-corruption push in 2nd term

BRASILIA, Jan 1 (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Dilma
Rousseff began her second term Thursday vowing to rein in
government spending to curb inflation and pull Latin America’s
largest economy out of a four-year slump.

As she took the oath of office in Brasilia, Rousseff also
promised to embark on an anti-corruption crusade in response to
a multibillion-dollar graft scandal engulfing state-run oil
company Petrobras that threatens to haunt her second
term.

Dec 29, 2014

Brazil cuts pension, jobless benefits to prop up finances

BRASILIA, Dec 29 (Reuters) – The Brazilian government said
on Monday it will limit unemployment and pension benefits, in a
move that aims to shore up depleted finances and regain investor
confidence.

Incoming planing minister Nelson Barbosa said in a briefing
that the measures would save the government up to 18 billion
reais ($6.7 billion) a year or 0.3 percent of Brazil’s gross
domestic product next year.

Dec 23, 2014

Brazil central bank signals another steep interest rate hike

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank sees inflation remaining above the 4.5 percent center of its official target for the next two years, hinting it could keep the aggressive pace of interest rate hikes to ease price increases in the future.

In its quarterly inflation report released on Tuesday, the bank lowered its 2014 economic growth forecast to 0.2 percent from 0.7 percent in its previous estimate – a long way from its initial forecast for an expansion of 2 percent.

Dec 17, 2014

EU steps up trade dispute with Brazil at WTO

BRASILIA, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization on
Wednesday decided to set up a panel to rule on European Union
complaints that Brazil unfairly raised import duties, escalating
differences as the two sides try to reach a long-delayed trade
pact.

The WTO’s dispute settlement body agreed to establish a
panel of experts to rule on the case after the European Union
decided raise its complaint to formal litigation. Past decisions
have sometimes taken several years.

Dec 16, 2014

Brazil’s Tombini says FX intervention to continue in 2015

BRASILIA, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank will
decide in the coming days on new terms for its currency swap
program for 2015, extending its intervention in foreign exchange
markets to contain a sharp slide of the Brazilian real
that has stoked inflation.

Central bank chief Alexandre Tombini repeated on Tuesday
that the bank’s forex intervention program has met its goals and
that the current stock of swaps has fulfilled businesses’ demand
for currency protection.

    • About Alonso

      "Alonso has worked for more than a year covering commodities in the world's top copper producer Chile. A native of Nicaragua he has workers for Thomson Reuters for nearly five years with several stints in other Latin American countries. He is a University of Missouri-Columbia graduate."
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