Walter's Feed
Jul 2, 2015

Brazil investigates currency market rigging by 15 global banks

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Walter Brandimarte

(Reuters) – Brazil antitrust watchdog Cade opened on
Thursday an investigation over alleged currency rigging by a
group of 15 global banks, the first of its kind in one of the
world’s busiest foreign exchange markets.

In a statement, Cade said the banks colluded to influence
benchmark currency rates in Brazil by aligning positions and
pushing transactions in a way that deterred competitors from the
market between 2007 and 2013, at least. Traders who described
themselves as “The Cartel” or “The Mafia” used online chat rooms
to fix their positions ahead of market trades.

Jun 24, 2015

Powerful Brazil CEO arrested in Petrobras graft probe

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian police on Friday arrested Marcelo Odebrecht, the head of Latin America’s largest engineering and construction company Odebrecht SA, and accused his family-run conglomerate of spearheading a $2.1 billion bribery scheme at state-run oil firm Petrobras.

Police also apprehended Otavio Marques Azevedo, CEO of Andrade Gutierrez, Brazil’s second-largest builder, as the probe into corruption at Petrobras spread to the highest level of Brazilian business.

Jun 19, 2015

Brazil arrests powerful Odebrecht CEO in Petrobras probe: media

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian police on Friday arrested Marcelo Odebrecht, the head of Latin America’s largest engineering and construction company Odebrecht SA, local media said, pulling the most high-profile executive into the corruption investigation at state-run oil firm Petrobras.

Federal officers had orders to arrest a total of 12 people in four states and bring them to the southern city of Curitiba where the investigation is based, according to a federal police statement that did not give the names of the detained.

Jun 10, 2015

Brazil’s central bank reduces support for the real

SAO PAULO, June 10 (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank decided
on Wednesday to reduce the rollover pace of currency swaps that
mature early next month, a move that is likely to weigh on the
Brazilian real.

The bank said in a statement it will auction on Thursday as
many as 6,300 currency swaps to roll over similar contracts that
mature on July 1. Since the beginning of the month, the central
bank had been offering as many as 7,000 contracts per day.

Jun 3, 2015

Moody’s to decide on Brazil rating after country visit in 3rd qtr

SAO PAULO, June 3 (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors Service
expects to decide whether to downgrade Brazil’s credit rating
only after its analysts meet with the country’s policymakers in
the third quarter, said senior analyst Mauro Leos at the rating
agency on Wednesday.

The agency assigned a negative outlook to Brazil’s Baa2
credit rating last September, warning it could downgrade it over
the next 12-18 months if economic growth remained low or if a
new government that was about to be elected did not tighten
fiscal policy.

May 28, 2015

Brazil’s central bank faces growing concern on rate hikes

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank risks causing unnecessary damage to a struggling economy if it raises interest rates even more in coming weeks, a growing number of economists and business leaders warn.

Central bank chief Alexandre Tombini has already increased the benchmark Selic rate by 3.25 percentage points since October, taking it to a whopping 13.25 percent even though the economy is expected to shrink at least 1 percent this year.

May 22, 2015

Brazil central bank chief vows to slash inflation by end-2016

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 22 (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank
chief on Friday renewed his commitment to slash inflation to the
center of a government target by the end of 2016, signaling more
interest rate hikes in Latin America’s largest economy.

Speaking at a central bank event in Rio de Janeiro,
Alexandre Tombini stressed that policymakers would remain
“vigilant” to ensure the inflationary impact of sharp rises in
government-managed prices this year does not spread out into
2016 and beyond.

Apr 30, 2015

Brazil central bank to roll over fewer swaps after record loss

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 30 (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank
signaled on Thursday that it will reduce the roll over pace of
currency swaps that expire in June, a move that could weigh down
the real.

The signal comes as the bank paid a record 34.5 billion
reais ($11.5 billion) in March to holders of those swaps, which
are derivatives that provide investors with protection against
currency losses, boosting the value of the Brazilian currency.

Apr 17, 2015

Investors tiptoe back into Brazil markets as inflation peaks

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 17 (Reuters) – Some investors are
carefully betting that the recent selloff in Brazilian financial
markets was overdone, pointing to signs that inflation is
slowing and the government is getting its finances in order.

Many expect inflation will come down from its current
11-year high of 8.13 percent, thanks to the central bank’s
interest rate hike cycle of 1.75 percentage points since
October, as well as the economic slump’s effect on demand.

Apr 9, 2015

Fitch warns of possible Brazil downgrade as economy falters

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 9 (Reuters) – Fitch Ratings on
Thursday warned it may cut Brazil’s credit rating in the next
couple of years if the economy deteriorates further while
President Dilma Rousseff’s tries to correct macroeconomic
imbalances during her second term in office.

Fitch revised the outlook on Brazil’s BBB credit rating to
negative from stable, a widely-anticipated move that put it in
line with competing ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service. So
far, only Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the country to
BBB-minus, the edge of speculative territory.