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Apr 24, 2015

Brazil likely to exclude railways from new infrastructure auctions

BRASILIA, April 24 (Reuters) – Brazil is unlikely to have
new railway projects in its plan to lure private investment to
improve the country’s aging infrastructure and aid the stagnant
economy.

Three government officials told Reuters on Friday that
disagreements over the concession model for railways will once
again delay plans to include them in the list of new projects up
for concession. Some railway refurbishment projects, or
administration of existing systems, may still be included in a
concession package that could be announced as soon as next week.

Apr 22, 2015

Brazil eyes larger budget freeze, but fears recession: sources

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil is considering freezing more than 80 billion reais ($26.59 billion) in government spending this year, but some in the administration fear such aggressive belt-tightening could leave the economy in disarray, a senior official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Faced with a stagnant economy, the government of left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff is scrambling to reach its goal of a primary budget surplus of 1.2 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product this year as it tries to staunch the drain on its coffers.

Apr 14, 2015

Brazil cenbank nominee Volpon says fx near equilibrium

BRASILIA, April 14 (Reuters) – Tony Volpon, nominee to
Brazil’s central bank board, said on Tuesday he sees the local
real currency near or already at its equilibrium level
despite lingering uncertainties with the global economy.

In unusually frank comments by an official, Volpon, a former
economist with Nomura Securities, said the bank should also work
to lower the official inflation target range in the future.

Apr 10, 2015

Brazil’s return to economic growth hinges on austerity: IMF

GOIANIA, Brazil (Reuters) – The Brazilian economy will likely shrink this year, but the South American country could return to positive growth in 2016 if it succeeds in its austerity drive to improve investors’ confidence, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.

The IMF lowered its 2015 growth estimate for Brazil to negative 1 percent from a positive 0.3 percent forecast in January due to tighter fiscal and monetary policies and less investment by state-run oil company Petrobras.

Apr 10, 2015

Brazil’s Levy fails to convince states on tax unification

GOIANIA, Brazil, April 10 (Reuters) – Brazilian Finance
Minister Joaquim Levy on Friday failed to convince all of the
country’s states to unify an inter-state tax that he said is
crucial to reduce legal uncertainties and bolster investment.

Speaking after a meeting with the heads of finance of
Brazil’s 27 states in the central city of Goiania, Levy said all
but four states agreed to gradually unify the rate of the ICMS
tax. The government needs the approval of all states to increase
its chances of passing legislation that unifies the tax.

Apr 8, 2015

Brazil state lender Caixa wants insurance unit IPO this year

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO, April 8 (Reuters) – Brazilian
lender Caixa Econômica Federal plans to list its insurance unit
this year on the São Paulo Stock Exchange, Finance Minister
Joaquim Levy said on Wednesday, in a bet that growing demand for
insurance products will attract investors.

The government, which owns 100 percent of Caixa, will
conduct a feasibility study on an initial public offering of
Caixa Seguridade, as the unit will be called, Levy told
reporters in Brasilia.

Apr 7, 2015

Brazil could freeze up to $25.5 bln in spending: government official

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian government could freeze up to 80 billion reais ($25.56 billion) in expenditures this year to reach its fiscal savings target, a government official said on Tuesday.

A stagnant economy and dwindling tax revenues have complicated President Dilma Rousseff’s efforts to balance the government’s accounts and avoid losing Brazil’s investment grade rating.

Apr 2, 2015

Brazil hikes corporate taxes to meet elusive fiscal goal

BRASILIA, April 2 (Reuters) – Brazil will increase taxes on
the financial income of thousands of companies, raising an
estimated extra 2.7 billion reais ($857 million) in federal
revenue this year as the government scrambles to meet its fiscal
goal and regain investors’ confidence.

The Cofins tax rate on applicable revenue will rise to 4
percent and the PIS/Pasep tax rate will rise to 0.65 percent,
the country’s tax agency said on Thursday. Both tax rates, which
help fund the country’s social security system, were reduced to
zero a decade ago.

Apr 1, 2015

About 90 pct of Brazilians reject Rousseff’s austerity drive -poll

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Roughly nine out of 10 Brazilians disapprove of President Dilma Rousseff’s austerity drive aimed at winning back investor confidence in the economy, a nationwide poll showed on Wednesday.

Brazil’s sharp economic downturn is the main reason that Rousseff’s popularity has fallen to the lowest level of any Brazilian president in at least the last 20 years, according to the Ibope opinion poll commissioned by the National Industry Confederation, or CNI.

Apr 1, 2015

Brazil prepared for another round of tax hikes as austerity steps miss

BRASILIA, March 31 (Reuters) – Brazil is prepared to raise
taxes, Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said on Tuesday, to shore
up investor confidence and preserve its investment grade credit
rating as the country’s economy moves closer to recession.

Brazil hiked import, fuel and financial taxes in January to
raise 20.6 billion reais (US$7.7 billion) this year and balance
accounts. Despite the increases, some of which
took effect on Feb. 1, tax revenues have fallen behind
expectations.

    • 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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