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  • on 06-23-2008

    Grupo Modelo: SABMiller could be interested

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    Grupo Modelo: SABMiller could be interested

    Grupo Modelo: SABMiller could be interested \n\nSABMiller, the listed UK/South African beer giant, could be interested in private Mexican rival Grupo Modelo, Finanz und Wirtschaft reported.\nDuring a lengthy interview with Graham Mackay, the chief executive of SABMiller, the Swiss bi-weekly said that InBev, the listed Belgian beer giant that is currently trying to take over listed US-based rival Anheuser-Busch, wants to prevent that Anheuser-Busch (based in St. Louis, Missouri) buys Grupo Modelo. As previously reported, Anheuser-Busch already owns 50% in Grupo Modelo.\nThe paper suggested that Grupo Modelo would fit into the SABMiller strategy and asked Mackay whether his company is interested in the Mexican brewery group. Mackay answered in the report that some beer dynasty, among them possibly the family owners behind Grupo Modelo, might think it is the right time to sell. Mackay explained in the article that SABMiller has an M&A team that deals with such issues, but added that SABMiller is always interested when a brewery dynasty is willing to sell.\nA recent report claimed that Anheuser-Busch would have to pay a minimum of USD 10bn for the half in Grupo Modelo it does not already own.

      Alpha destilaria seeking an investor, CEO says

      Alpha destilaria seeking an investor, CEO says \n\nAlpha destilaria, the Brazilian privately-owned ethanol manufacturer, is seeking an investor, said president and CEO, Mariana Tolentino.\nTolentino said the company wanted to expand its capacity and begin exporting next year. Therefore it was looking for a strategic or financial investor to help it to realise these plans and to raise financing for further expansion.\nThe investment into expanding capacity is expected to cost EUR 43m, she said. The search for an investor is at a very early stage and the size of the stake would depend on negotiations, but could likely involve a majority stake, she said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Biofuels Forum in Prague. The company hopes to find an investor this year, she added.\nAlpha destilaria is also planning an IPO in around three years' time in Brazil, she added.\nAlpha destilaria was founded by Tolentino’s father Quinto. The company currently produces 18m litres of ethanol per year for the domestic market and wants to raise annual capacity up to 90m litres next year.\nAlpha destilaria is not looking to make any acquisitions as it does not believe it would make economic sense, Tolentino said.\nAlpha destilaria employs 220 people.

        Boom to bust

        The sizzle is off China's property markets, and that's potentially bad news for the country's social stability.\n\nIn the past two years China's property market has enjoyed a spectacular rise, with average prices in some cities doubling. But that raised a red flag with Chinese economic policymakers, and in late 2007 the central government made controlling the rise of asset prices a policy priority. Since then, the State Council has rolled out a series of regulations—from credit ceilings to a 40% down-payment requirement for second mortgages—in order to combat property speculation.\n\nThe effect was immediate. In early 2008 previously soaring housing markets in southern China began to go into a tailspin. The prospects for other key markets are not good either. With China continuing to struggle with high inflation, the central bank is likely to keep tight reins on monetary policy. Indeed, on June 7th it increased commercial banks' reserve-requirement ratio by 100 basis points, in effect taking out over Rmb400bn (US$58bn) from the financial system.\nHolding their breath\n\nProperty investors around the country are now holding their breath to see whether markets in other major cities will follow the spectacular tumble in Shenzhen, a city that borders Hong Kong, where the average per-square-metre price of new residential units dropped from over Rmb16,000 in February to Rmb11,000 at the end of May. Reports of last-minute discounts, free renovation, free cars and "cost sharing" for down payments abound, suggesting even bigger concessions to come.\n\nYet there are few signs of relief in sight. According to the Shenzhen Bureau of Land and Housing Management, some 27m sq metres in housing are under construction in the city. This comes on top of the 5m sq metres in leftover stock from 2007. In sharp contrast, sales of new properties totalled only 1.2m sq metres between January and May. At the current rate (2.88m sq metre per year), it would take developers in Shenzhen more than a decade to sell all this stock of properties. This calculation, moreover, does not take into account the large supply of second-hand units held by investors, who are increasingly eager to dispose of their holdings.\n\nHousing prices are also vulnerable in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Haikou on the coast, and Wuhan, Nanning, Xi'an, Lanzhou and Urumqi in the interior. All these cities experienced spectacular growth in 2007. Curiously, though, official figures released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) do not bear that out. They show flat prices in all of them, with small declines in Lanzhou, Chengdu and Fuzhou.\n\nHow reliable are the NDRC data? Not very, it seems. They do not tally with local press reports, and the NDRC's methodology is vague. Consider its figures on Shenzhen. The NDRC reported that in March the city's average new residential property price fell 4.9% compared with one month earlier. But the Shenzhen Bureau of Land and Housing Management—presumably with its ear closer to the ground—reported a month-on-month drop of 16.5%. For April the NDRC again reported a decline of 2.2%, while Shenzhen's own figure was a 12% fall.\n\nInformation on the other markets from local sources is not as readily available as that on Shenzhen. But if the discrepancies on the Shenzhen market are any indication, the NDRC's sanguine numbers probably conceal sizeable tumbles in the other cities. In formerly red-hot markets like Shanghai and Beijing, sales are lagging. In Shanghai, sales volume in terms of square metres was 50% lower in May than a year ago, according to the Oriental Morning Post, a local newspaper. Meanwhile, the average sale price of new residential housing in Shanghai fell 10% month on month in May. If sales continue to be sluggish and new units continue to come on the market, the Shenzhen experience suggests that a steeper fall in prices awaits Shanghai.\n\nSlowing sales are putting developers everywhere in a quandary. Many have aggressively bid for land to develop through the first quarter of this year. However, they now find that banks are reluctant to provide easy financing for construction. At the same time, sluggish sales mean much slower liquidity generation on their own. Unsurprisingly, developers are increasingly resorting to desperate tactics. For example, Zhonghai Real Estate, which had a turnover of Rmb16bn in 2007, rolled out a limited supply of units selling at Rmb5,000 per sq metre in Shenzhen (by comparison, a neighbouring development is selling for Rmb8,000 per sq metre). Likewise, developers in mid-size cities like Wuhan and Changchun are rolling out generous discounts to attract buyers. If the trend spreads, it may trigger a destructive price war that sends everyone's fortunes in a steep downward spiral.\n\nIn order to obtain cash, some developers are turning to overseas investors. Foreign hedge funds, for one, are eager to lend to Chinese property companies. Not only can they charge 25% or more in annual interest rates, foreign lenders can also expect to benefit from the continued appreciation of the renminbi in the coming months. Especially cash-strapped developers are forced to borrow from the domestic curb market at annual interest rates as high as 40%. But the maturity periods of such loans are usually measured in days, so the pressure on the borrower to repay blunts their usefulness. Larger developers have tried to raise money through share offerings. For example, Jianye Property of Henan province listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange (under the name Central China Real Estate) in early June and raised HK$1.37bn or US$175m, but its share price has already dropped below the debut level. If all else fails, developers have no choice but to sell their holdings to a stronger rival or cash-rich investors, at a steep discount of course.\n\nIn an environment of tightening credit, some banks are colluding with developers to keep the cash tap turned on. Although banks are supposed to demand a 40% down payment from families seeking second mortgages, some turn a blind eye if the loan applicant does not hold another property even if other family members do. Banks also usually do not verify loan applicants' claim of having a small flat; Chinese regulation allows a 30% down payment for anyone whose current housing falls below the average per-person living space in the city of their residence.\nInevitable consolidation\n\nDespite these tactics, demand remains weak, and no improvement is on the horizon. Beyond the government's tightening monetary policy, the main problem is that the enormous run-up in prices in 2007 drove developers to build a glut of housing in the market. A major consolidation in the property sector seems inevitable. Indeed, Guo Shiping, an economic advisor for the Shenzhen city government, told the press that he expects 35% of the country's developers to go bankrupt in the next two years.\n\nIf so, the impact will be felt far beyond the property industry alone. China's financial industry holds over Rmb5trn (US$728bn) in property-related loans. A general decline in property prices also carries worrisome social and political implications. In the latest boom, millions of Chinese families have signed away decades of future incomes to buy homes. As the value of their biggest investments shrinks, their level of discontent will only swell.

          Evialis acquires Cargill's animal nutrition business in Brazil

          Evialis acquires Cargill's animal nutrition business in Brazil \n\nEvialis confirms the closing of negotiations over the acquisition of Cargill Animal Nutrition's business in Brazil, to include the entire PURINA brand range.\nThis acquisition allows Evialis to become market leader in the animal nutrition sector within the Brazilian free market (3rd largest worldwide) and perfectly fits within its strategy for international expansion in target markets. Evialis now counts nine factories across the country and markets its products through three brand names (SOCIL, ZOOFORT and PURINA), through three specific distribution networks.\nThis industrial and commercial base will allow Evialis to optimize its logistical costs and extend its geographical coverage to have a better response to the needs of its stockbreeder customers.\nAnnual revenue more than doubles to total around EUR 130m. Once the organizational aspects have been finalized, this operation should generate regular profits and provide the means to capitalize on this dynamic Brazilian livestock market.\nThe deal was also reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Monday [23 June 2008].\nFull Details to follow in the Deal Database

            Modelo chief leaves Anheuser board

            Anheuser-Busch said yesterday that Carlos Fernandez, head of its Mexican partner Grupo Modelo, had resigned from its board, leaving Anheuser's remaining 13 directors in charge of crafting a response to InBev's $46bn takeover bid.\n\nMr Fernandez's decision to vacate the board seat on Thursday stemmed from the complicated role that Modelo - which may be able to help make or break InBev's takeover attempt - now plays in Anheuser's drama.\n\nAnheuser's directors yesterday held their first face-to-face meeting since InBev made a formal bid last week, insiders said. As of late yesterday, the board had not indicated how soon it would respond to the offer.\n\nA message to the board sent by Adolphus Busch IV, a member of the company's founding family, added to the complexity of the decision. Mr Busch, in a letter dated yesterday and viewed by the FT, asked the board to "commence negotiations with InBev in order to bring about this deal".\n\nAs it considers InBev's $65-per-share bid, the board is also discussing whether to try to buy the 50 per cent of Modelo it does not own. Such a transaction, if structured in a range of legally creative ways, could make Anheuser more difficult to acquire.\n\nWhile that concept has attracted attention in the wake of InBev's bid, such a deal between Modelo and Anheuser had actually been floated earlier, one person close to the companies said.\n\nInBev's bid put Mr Fernandez in a difficult position. He had already recused himself from Modelo-related decisions before resigning, one insider said. Yet as an Anheuser director, he would have owed shareholders a fiduciary duty to act in their best interests. It could have been questionable for him to entertain lucrative opportunities for Modelo that could have less beneficial consequences for Anheuser.\n\nThere has been no contact between Modelo and InBev executives since InBev made its formal offer, people close to the companies said.\n\nRather than sell to Anheuser, Modelo could support InBev's bid in exchange for a deal to later buy back its independence. That could generate cash to help InBev pay back acquisitionrelated debt.\n\nBut people close to InBev said it was likely InBev would want to retain Modelo and its Corona brand.\n\nAnheuser's announcement came with a barrage of other news from both companies yesterday. InBev released a videotaped interview with its chief executive Carlos Brito, which was filmed in New York on Thursday. Addressing questions over how aggressively InBev might seek to slash Anheuser's costs, Mr Brito said his takeover proposal was "not about overlap, it's about complementarity".\n\nAnheuser, separately, said it would pay an undisclosed amount to take full control of its brewing joint-venture in India.\n\n

              Anheuser-Busch to take over India joint venture | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

              NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc (BUD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday it will acquire the remaining 50 percent stake of the Crown Beers India Ltd joint venture from partner Crown International.\n\nThe acquisition includes the joint venture's 500,000-hectoliter brewery in Hyderabad, said Anheuser.\n\nTerms of the deal were not disclosed.\n\n

                Mexican airline regulator views industry consolidation likely in September; analysts make specific predictions regarding which airlines will remain

                Mexican airline regulator views industry consolidation likely in September; analysts make specific predictions regarding which airlines will remain \n\nThe head of Mexico's civil aeronautics regulator views that a merger in the Mexican airline industry would be likely to occur in September, according to a report in today's Reforma.\nThe Reforma report cited statements by Gilberto Lopez Meyer, head of the Communication and Transportation Ministry's Civil Aeronautics Authority (Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil or DGAC), who predicted the Mexican airline industry would experience further business losses in September and that if there was going to be a bankruptcy or merger in the industry, such an event would happen in September.\nAlthough not related to Lopez Meyer's specific comments regarding a consolidation in September, a related report in today's El Universal cited analysts Juan Antonio Jose Pacheco, an independent aeronautics consultant, and Jorge Sunderland, of the consulting firm Sunderland Kuri y Asociados, who made specific predictions regarding which airlines would remain after a consolidation in the Mexican airline industry.\nJose Pacheco speculated Aeromexico, Mexicana, Volaris and Interjet would be the four surviving airlines resulting from a consolidation, El Universal reported. Jose Pachecho characterized the four carriers as having strong financial backing and a long-term business plan, which he views will be key to any airline's survival in the current environment, although he noted both Aeromexico and Mexicana have significant labor-related debt, according to the El Universal report. Jose Pacheco also views carriers that have ageing fleets and do not have access to the financing associated with powerful business groups are the most vulnerable, citing Aerocalifornia and Aviacsa as specific examples, the report said.\nFocusing on Mexico's low-cost airlines, Sunderland predicts Alma, Volaris and Mexicana's Click would survive consolidation in the industry, the report said. Alma's business is based on local routes, Volaris is backed by investors from Televisa, Taca and Inbursa, while Click is Mexicana's low-cost operator, El Universal explained.\nCiting statements by Lopez Meyer, Reforma commented that September is the Mexican airline industry's least busy month and that during the month, flights sometimes operate with less than 50% of passenger capacity.\nLopez Meyer confirmed that Mexico's airlines will generate losses of approximately USD 1.2bn in 2008, the report said. The regulator further commented that, due to increases in fuel costs, plane ticket prices are expected to increase by 10% to 12% this year, contradicting predictions by some airlines that prices would increase by 30% to 40%, the report stated. However, Lopez Meyer also maintained that the possibility of USD 200-per-barrel crude oil would raise plane ticket prices by 20%, it was reported.\nReportedly, although it had earlier predicted a 10% increase in airline passengers in 2008, the DGAC now views the increase will be between 5% and 6%.

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                • on 06-23-2008

                  SPAC watchers get a glimmer of hope (Dealscape)

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                  SPAC watchers get a glimmer of hope (Dealscape)

                  SPAC watchers get a glimmer of hope\n\nA glimmer of hope emerged last week for investors hoping for a revival of special purpose acquisition company offerings this year as three new SPACs registered for offerings over the past two weeks, marking the first new activity since April, according to Dealflow Media's SPAC report.\n\nHedge fund Crescendo Partners LP is sponsoring two of the new SPACs, Symphony Acquisition Corp. and Staccato Acquisition Corp., which plan to raise $49 million each for the acquisition of a company that derives at least 50% of its gross revenues from construction, engineering, water, design, environmental, energy, recycling, waste management, logistics or related industries.\n\nA far larger offering is being attempted by Navios Maritime Holdings Inc., which is sponsoring a $220 million SPAC dubbed Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp., to acquire assets or an operating businesses in the marine transportation and logistics industries. Navios Maritime is itself a former SPAC, having been acquired by the SPAC International Shipping Enterprises in 2005.\n\nSPACs were dealt a blow in May when Liberty Lane Acquisition Corp. scrapped a planned $350 million initial public offering, the first-ever blank-check IPO Goldman, Sachs & Co. was priming to underwrite. - George White

                    PepsiCo y Votorantim se adjudican zonas de inversión en Colombia

                    PepsiCo y Votorantim se adjudican zonas de inversión en Colombia\n\nColombia autorizó a fundar cuatro zonas especiales en las que firmas privadas invertirán cerca de US$ 600 millones en los próximos años, entre ellas la estadounidense PepsiCo Inc. y la brasileña Votorantim, informó el lunes el Gobierno.\n\nSe trata de "zonas francas" que las empresas pueden constituir de manera individual o asociada en cualquier parte del país, y con las que las firmas se benefician de privilegios tributarios, si cumplen determinados requisitos de inversión y generación de empleos.\n\nLas zonas francas han sido uno de los principales vehículos para atraer inversión extranjera directa al país, que el año pasado superó los 9.000 millones de dólares, el tercer mayor monto en América Latina.\n\n"Son instrumentos encaminados a contribuir a la mejora de la competitividad del país y a la transformación productiva de la base empresarial nacional," dijo el ministro de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, Luis Plata, en un comunicado.\n\nEn el caso de PepsiCo, fabricante de refrescos y bocadillos, la zona franca aprobada se dedicará a la producción de papas fritas, plátanos y tortillas, principalmente.\n\nLas instalaciones de la productora de bebidas Gatorade y de las papas Lay's, estarán en un municipio cercano a Bogotá, Funza, y demandarán una inversión de casi 42 millones de dólares con la posibilidad de emplear a más de 200 personas.\n\nEn tanto, la filial de la brasileña Votorantim, la siderúrgica Acerías Paz del Río, se convertirá en una zona franca uniempresarial y estará en el nororiental municipio de Belencito, en el departamento de Boyacá.\n\nVotorantim es la tercera mayor productora mundial de zinc.\n\nLa tercera zona especial estará ubicada en el colonial puerto caribeño de Cartagena, en donde se instalará una empresa prestadora de servicios médicos y hoteleros, con inversiones por 115 millones de dólares.\n\nEl Gobierno no precisó los nombres de los inversionistas del proyecto "Puerta de las Américas," que contará además con un centro de convenciones.\n\nLa última zona franca corresponde a Vidrioandino, que fabricará vidrio flotado, muy apetecido en la industria de la construcción, y cuya inversión alcanza los 189 millones de dólares.\n\nDe acuerdo con Plata, a la fecha se han aprobado 28 zonas francas.\n\n"Las Zonas Francas serán el punto de partida para consolidar el renacer de la inversión en el país, ya que lo ponen en igualdad de condiciones para la atracción de inversores, frente a países como Costa Rica, Macedonia, Croacia o Irlanda," puntualizó el funcionario.

                      Venezuela: Latin America's Richest?

                      Venezuela: Latin America's Richest?\nVenezuela, here represented by Caracas, is expected to become the richest country in Latin America this year, according to a Latin Business Chroncile analysis of IMF data. (Photo: Ministry of Tourism)\nPresidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Cristina Fernandez of Argentina in Caracas in March. Venezuela's dethroning of Argentina is only temporary, the IMF predicts. (Photo: Prensa Presidencial, Venezuela)\n \n \nVenezuela will replace Chile as Latin America's GDP per capita champion and Argentina as the region's third-largest economy.\n\nBY CHRONICLE STAFF\n\nVenezuela will replace Chile as the country with the region's highest GDP per capita and Argentina as the region's third-largest economy, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).\n\nVenezuela's GDP per capita is estimated to reach $11,933 this year. That's higher than the estimated figure for Chile of $10,126.\n\nThe IMF estimates also show that Venezuela's GDP is set to reach $334.7 billion this year, while that of Argentina will likely end up at $323.8 billion.\n\n\nTEMPORARY RANKING\n\nHowever, Venezuela will likely lose its status as Latin America's third-largest economy as soon as next year, when Argentina's GDP again will be larger, the IMF forecasts. When it comes to GDP per capita, Venezuela is likely to remain the top country in Latin America through the next five years, the fund predicts.\n\nVenezuela's economy grew by 8.4 percent last year, but is starting to see a slowdown. This year it should expand by 5.8 percent and next year only by 3.5 percent, according to IMF forecasts. Argentina's economy will see a similar trend, albeit not as marked. Last year, its economy expanded by 8.7 percent. This year it should grow by another 7.0 percent before expanding by 4.5 percent in 2009.\n \nVenezuela isn't the only country advancing on Latin America's GDP and GDP per capita rankings. Panama is expected to replace El Salvador as the region's 13th-largest economy, while Honduras will likely replace Paraguay as the 16th-largest economy, according to our analysis of IMF forecasts. Panama's GDP will likely reach $22.9 billion this year, passing that of El Salvador at $21.8 billion. And Honduras is set to reach a GDP of $13.8 billion, which will be higher than Paraguay's estimate GDP of $12.1 billion. And Panama and Honduras are expected to keep their new rankings the next five years, according to our analysis of the IMF forecasts.\n\nCOSTA RICA AND PERU ADVANCE\n\nHowever, despite Panama's improvement on the GDP ranking, it will fall one spot on the GDP per capita ranking this year. Costa Rica is set to replace Panama on the 7th spot, thanks to an estimated GDP per capita this year of $6,990 versus $6,717 for Panama. Peru is likely to replace the Dominican Republic on the 9th spot, thanks to an estimated GDP per capita of $4,415 versus $4,235 for the Dominican Republic.\n\nAll in all, Latin America's GDP is set to reach $4.1 trillion this year, the IMF estimates. That's twice as much as that of Central- and Eastern Europe, 135 percent higher than that of the Middle East and three times as high as that of Africa, our analysis shows.\n\nBrazil and Mexico remain the top two economies and Colombia, Chile and Peru will continue being ranked among the top seven. Other key results of the 2008 rankings for GDP and GDP per capita:\n\n * The Dominican Republic remains the largest economy within the CAFTA trade group, while Costa Rica remains the pact's leader when it comes to GDP per capita.\n * Haiti remains Latin America's poorest nation ranked by both GDP size and GDP per capita, followed by Nicaragua. \n * Paraguay remains the poorest nation in South America ranked by GDP size, while Bolivia has that "honor" when it comes to GDP per capita.

                        Cepsa Explotará El Bloque Petrolífero Caracara En El País

                        Cepsa Explotará El Bloque Petrolífero Caracara En El País\n\nEl grupo español señaló que su filial colombiana culminó el proceso de adquisición de los derechos de explotación y producción del bloque petrolífero.\n\nCepsa, con las autorizaciones respectivas, controlará 70 por ciento del bloque, mientras Ecopetrol tendrá el restante 30 por ciento.\n\nCepsa, cuyas dos principales accionistas son la francesa Total y Banco Santander afirmó que el bloque supera actualmente la producción de 20.000 barriles de petróleo al día, con reservas estimadas de 40 millones de barriles.\n\n

                          Se Retira La Familia Chedraui De Avolar; Demanda A Jorge Nehme

                          Se Retira La Familia Chedraui De Avolar; Demanda A Jorge Nehme\nLa familia Chedraui informó oficialmente a la Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), de la Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT), que retirará su participación de la aerolínea Avolar y que iniciará un proceso penal en contra de Jorge Nehme, fundador y presidente de esa compañía.\n\nDe acuerdo con información de la DGAC, cuando se dan cambios de socios en una aerolínea, ésta tiene de plazo 30 días para dar aviso a las autoridades.\n\nHasta abril pasado Jorge Nehme era el único dueño de Avolar, que tiene base en Tijuana, pero debido a problemas financieros la aerolínea buscó una sociedad con dos empresarios: Sergio Chedraui Eguía y Oliver Fernández Mena, quienes tendrían el 30 por ciento del capital social de la compañía.\n\nTrascendió, sin embargo, una versión de que el contrato entre Nehme con Chedraui Eguía y Fernández Mena para que se convirtieran oficialmente en accionistas no se concretó, es decir, no se registró en un acta de asamblea, ni hubo intercambio ni endoso de acciones oficial.\n\nEl acuerdo entre Nehme y sus nuevos socios era que ellos prestarían dinero a Avolar bajo la condición de que esa deuda se convertiría en acciones, pero la crisis financiera fue mayor a lo que ambos esperaban, por lo que decidieron retirarse pero cobrándole a Nehme el capital que sí le inyectaron a la aerolínea desde mayo.\n\nNehme también prepara un proceso legal en contra de sus "accionistas" por incumplimiento, ya que afirma que ni Chedraui Eguía ni Fernández Mena han aportado el capital con el que se habían comprometido.\n\nNehme está negociando con un empresario en Estados Unidos para que participe en el capital de Avolar.\n\nSe informó que el tamaño de la empresa disminuirá tanto en personal como en número de aviones y sólo dará servicio en las rutas que le sean rentables e incluirá otras nuevas que le generen una mayor retribución.\n\nEn mayo Avolar informó que haría una reestructura: de ocho aviones se quedaría con seis y haría un ajuste a su plantilla laboral a 200 personas.\n\nAhora se sabe que al menos al 50 por ciento del personal se le dio de baja, lo que se estima en 400 personas. También devolvió dos aeronaves y recortó rutas.\n\nUno de los problemas que enfrenta la aerolínea de Tijuana es con proveedores y acreedores, con quienes no ha logrado un acuerdo comercial o administrativo, poniéndola al borde de suspender pagos.\n\nAl respecto se le cuestionó a la DGAC si la suspensión de pago a proveedores podría ser una causal para suspender las operaciones de a Avolar, ésta lo negó, ya que ese procedimiento sólo se utiliza cuando una aerolínea no tiene seguridad para volar.

                            Busca Novartis Alianza Con Instituciones De Salud

                            Busca Novartis Alianza Con Instituciones De Salud\nPara remontar los malos resultados que Grupo Novartis ha tenido en el mercado mexicano de medicamentos, Sergio Duplan le apuesta a la alianza con las instituciones de salud pública para hacer efectivo el acceso universal a las medicinas, subrayar al consumidor la calidad y seguridad de sus productos innovadores y de patente, y pugnar para que la Comisión Federal de Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios (Cofepris) dé celeridad a la renovación de los 200 registros sanitarios de la empresa.\n\nPara eso el presidente en México de la controladora de origen suizo considera relevante que la Comisión Coordinadora para la Negociación de Precios de Medicamentos y otros Insumos para la Salud garantice que el ahorro que logren las instituciones de salud que participan en el nuevo organismo se invierta en la compra de más medicinas.\n\nAsimismo quieren trabajar con la Secretaría de Salud en la definición de un esquema que permita que el portafolios de Novartis Farma, de fármacos prescritos para el tratamiento de enfermedades crónico degenerativas -diabetes, cáncer, cardiopatías y del sistema nervioso central, entre otras-, esté disponible para la población que no tiene cobertura de servicios de salud y que asciende a alrededor del 40 por ciento.\n\nEl directivo destacó la necesidad de desarrollar nuevos modelos de responsabilidad compartida entre los tres niveles de gobierno y las empresas farmacéuticas para acercar medicinas al mayor número de mexicanos.\n\n"En 2007 los ingresos de la compañía en México aumentaron apenas 3 por ciento -facturó cinco mil 436 millones de pesos- contra el 5 por ciento que creció el mercado total. Fue un mal resultado, ahora el reto es lograr crecer más rápido y este año esperamos cerrar con un incremento de 7 por ciento y a partir de 2009 superar el desempeño del mercado total", subrayó el también director general de Novartis Farmacéutica.\n\nUno de los factores que puede mejorar el desempeño de la organización es el lanzamiento de 16 nuevos medicamentos, algunos de los cuales se introdujeron al mercado mexicano el año pasado. Cabe aclarar que de la facturación de la división farma -tres mil 486 millones de pesos-, alrededor del 60 por ciento es generada por los productos nuevos.\n\nRegistros y Genomma Lab\n\nSergio Duplan manifestó su preocupación por la capacidad de la Cofepris para cumplir con la renovación de diez mil registros sanitarios de igual número de medicamentos y para dar cabida a los nuevos productos que tienen en puerta las farmacéuticas.\n\n"Advertimos que México se podría rezagar en el acceso a medicinas de última generación, porque la autoridad tiene serios problemas para resolver con celeridad todo el cúmulo de trámites pendientes, sobre todo cuando le está dando prioridad a la renovación de registros que debe concluir en febrero de 2010", destacó el presidente de Grupo Novartis en México al destacar que muchos productos podrían quedar fuera del mercado.\n\nHace unos días, después de tres años de trámites, su división de genéricos intercambiables Sandoz obtuvo el registro de un nuevo producto. El grupo invertirá un millón de dólares en los estudios de bioequivalencia e intercambiabilidad de 80 fármacos, aunque renovará en total 200.\n\nRespecto a la competencia de la comercializadora de medicinas de libre acceso Genomma Lab -la cual lanzó 13 nuevos productos en los últimos 18 meses y planea introducir otros 33 en los siguientes 12-, enfatizó que la principal ventaja comparativa de Novartis OTC es el control sobre los procesos de producción, lo que da al consumidor una garantía de la seguridad y eficacia de los productos de la compañía.

                              Votorantim attains controlling stake in Argentina's Acerbrag

                              Votorantim attains controlling stake in Argentina's Acerbrag\n\nBrazilian group Votorantim increased its holdings in Argentina longs maker Acerbrag to reach a controlling stake of 52.9%, confirming information previously reported by Steel Business Briefing.\n\nAcerbrag currently produces about 250,000 tonnes/year of rolled long products, which comprises about 14% of Argentina's overall output. Company revenues reached around US$130m in 2007.\n\nWith this move, Votorantim's capacity in Latin America totals about 2.5m t/y, including the group's operations in Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.\n\nAcerbrag produces rebar and wire rod products, and has a drawing line as well.

                                El ajedrez de Grupo Modelo con InBev — negocios — CNNExpansion.com

                                El ajedrez de Grupo Modelo con InBev\n\nCIUDAD DE MÉXICO (CNNExpansión.com) — La partida de ajedrez que Grupo Modelo tiene que jugar con la oferta de InBev a su accionista Anheuser Busch llevará varias movidas que se han iniciado con el abandonar el Consejo de Administración del tercer mayor productor de cerveza del mundo.\n\nLas apuestas han iniciado, los analistas no se ponen de acuerdo en quién ganará, pero entre las piezas negras y blancas se manejan varios escenarios después de que InBev presentó una oferta de compra no solicitada a Anheuser Busch por 43,600 millones de dólares y que de concretarse pasaría a ser accionista al 50% de Grupo Modelo.\n\nAnalistas consideran que la salida de Carlos Fernández, presidente de Grupo Modelo, del Consejo de Administración de Anheuser Busch representa la opción para que la estadounidense adquiera el 50% que le falta del fabricante de la Coronita para elevar su precio y con ello evitar la adquisición de InBev, la segunda mayor cervecera del mundo.\n\nJuli Niemann, de la firma Smith Moore & Co, dijo que la salida de Fernández puede ser una señal que la junta de Anheuser-Busch se opone al acuerdo con InBev.\n\n''Lo que Grupo Modelo quiere es un socio semi-silencioso y Anheuser-Busch no lo es'', agregó Niemann. ''La tendencia posiblemente estaba yendo en una dirección que no le gusta a Fernández''.\n\nSin embargo, para Marco Reyes de Ixe la salida de Fernández demuestra que “Grupo Modelo no quiere estar en medio de las negociaciones entre InBev y Anheuser”, entonces lo que buscaría la compañía mexicana es una negociación directa o con Aheuser o con InBev, aunque un portavoz de Grupo Modelo dijo que Fernández quiere evitar “cualquier apariencia de conflicto”.\n\nEl Consejo de Anheuser, de mayoría independiente, tendrá que negociar con InBev y decidir qué es lo más conveniente para los accionistas de la compañía que produce la popular cerveza Budweiser.\n\nLos directorios de Grupo Modelo y Anheuser Busch se han negado a comentar la oferta de InBev.\n\nAnalistas del Credit Suisse han estimado que si InBev logra adquirir a Aheuser Busch sin duda hará una oferta por Modelo.

                                  Citigroup: el gran perdedor de la crisis subprime, aún no podrá levantarse

                                  Citigroup: el gran perdedor de la crisis subprime, aún no podrá levantarse\nFrancisca Escobar\n\nHasta comienzos del año pasado, Citigroup era el monarca indiscutido de Wall Street. Fue el primer banco de EE.UU. en alcanzar activos por más de US$ 1 billón (millón de millones). Pero debido a su alta exposición a los valores respaldados con hipotecas, ha sido uno de los más golpeados por la crisis inmobiliaria.\n\nSu director ejecutivo, Chuck Prince, renunció a fines de 2007 tras reconocer pérdidas ligadas a la crisis por US$ 35 mil millones, las mayores de su historia, que ahora ascienden a US$ 42 mil millones. Su sucesor, Vikram Pandit, ha tomado una serie de medidas para frenar la picada. El plan incluye vender activos no centrales por\nUS$ 400 mil millones. Aunque sigue siendo el mayor banco del país por activos, Citigroup ha perdido un tercio de su valor de mercado este año. Muchos se preguntan si está pasando por un duro bache o ha perdido para siempre su cetro financiero.\n\nEn todo caso, la mayoría concuerda en que los problemas no han terminado. El banco publicará sus resultados trimestrales el 18 de julio y el gerente de finanzas, Gary Crittenden, ya advirtió las amortizaciones no han terminado. La analista de Oppenheimer, Meredith Whitney, la primera en anticipar que Citi tendría que suspender el reparto de dividendos, es también una de las más pesimistas. “Los días más horrendos de la crisis de crédito están por venir”.\n\n\n\nNegro itinerario\n\nPandit no piensa quedarse de brazos cruzados. El primer paso fue recortar personal. A comienzos de año anunció el despido de 4.200 trabajadores y en abril se informaron otros 9 mil exonerados para los siguientes doce meses.\n\nA inicios de mayo presentó a los accionistas un plan para deshacerse de activos por US$ 400 millones. Ya acordó vender su negocio de tarjetas de crédito Diners Club International por US$ 165 millones. También arregló vender su administradora de pensiones CitiStreet a ING Groep por US$ 895 millones. El mes pasado traspasó siete de sus unidades de equipamiento financiero CitiCapital por un monto que no fue revelado. Y cerró su operación de corretaje Smith Barney en Taiwán.\n\nAhora negocia la venta de su banca de consumo en Alemania y su unidad de capital privado en Japón. La semana pasada ofreció planes de retiro anticipado a casi 2 mil empleados en ese país, donde ya ha cerrado 270 sucursales. También busca interesados para las divisiones de comercio internacional de su filial japonesa en Londres y Australia.\n\nLos analistas consideran que su banca minorista en Reino Unido y sus unidades financieras de consumo en Japón y México son potenciales candidatos para una venta.\n\nLa semana pasada Pandit anunció el cierre del hedge fund Old Lane, que él mismo ayudó a fundar y luego vendió a Citigroup cuando ingresó a trabajar al banco.\n

                                    Oro blanco

                                    AGRICULTURA\n\nLos precios del arroz se duplicaron en los dos últimos meses. Qué pasará con los precios del cereal y de las tierras arroceras en lo que resta del año.\n\n\nLos precios domésticos del arroz están muy cerca de duplicarse en dos meses. La carga del cereal pasó de $81.250 a $150.000 entre abril y junio.\n\nSin embargo, las siembras no responderán con la velocidad que se podría esperar con una bonanza súbita como la que se está planteando. La razón, la falta de agua para riego y de condiciones climáticas adecuadas.\n\n“En el Huila estamos sembrando normalmente 15.000 hectáreas y podríamos subir a 17.000 hectáreas. Sin embargo, ahora solo hay sembradas 10.000 porque el tiempo no permitió sembrar más”, explica el arrocero de ese departamento, Patrocinio Torres. Pero además, la tierra con agua suficiente como la que necesita el arroz es bastante más escasa.\n\nEsto plantea dificultades para bajar los precios del cereal a finales del segundo semestre y el año entrante cuando las nuevas siembras tengan efecto.\n\nEn el norte del Tolima, las condiciones son un poco diferentes. Los dueños de los predios que tradicionalmente se arrendaban para sembrar el producto, los están tomando ellos mismos para aprovechar el alza de las cotizaciones. Con esto, la presión sobre las tierras aptas para el cultivo está aumentando. En los dos últimos meses los cánones de arrendamiento pasaron de $600.000 por hectárea a $900.000 por hectárea y ya se habla de cifras que superan el millón de pesos.\n\nUn alza estacional\nLa oferta del segundo semestre ya está bien establecida. La recolección comienza en junio y continúa en los meses siguientes. Por eso, en las semanas previas a la salida de la cosecha es normal que los precios aumenten. Esa es la explicación que dan en el ministerio de Agricultura sobre el crecimiento acelerado de la cotización del arroz en estos últimos días.\n\nTambién destacan que este año hubo el factor adicional de que Ecuador no le vendió a Colombia las 100.000 a 120.000 toneladas que usualmente envía. El Consejo Nacional del Arroz estaba bastante confiado en que tarde o temprano llegaría el cereal ecuatoriano, pero finalmente eso no ocurrió.\n\nNaturalmente la opción de importar el producto es difícil, porque los precios internacionales han subido estrepitosamente. La cotización de arroz Tai A1 Súper pasó de US$252 por tonelada en mayo de 2007 a US$772 por tonelada a final de mayo último, un aumento de 206% en un año.\n\nLos precios del cereal en Colombia no son baratos. Los datos de Fedearroz muestran que el arroz blanco está hoy en US$1.234 por tonelada. Entre tanto, el de grano largo de Estados Unidos se cotiza en US$978 puesto en puerto norteamericano, el California de grano medio grado 2 en US$926.\n\nCon esto se puede esperar que las cotizaciones locales no aumenten mucho más allá de lo que están, pero mientras tanto, habrá una presión sobre los precios de las tierras aptas y la oferta solo aumentará si el clima lo permite. El hombre propone...\n

                                      El ferrocarril carbonero de Cundinamarca y Boyacá está financiado. Solo le falta la carga EXCLUSIVO

                                      El ferrocarril carbonero de Cundinamarca y Boyacá está financiado. Solo le falta la carga EXCLUSIVO\n\nLa construcción del ferrocarril del carbón, que atraviesa partes de Cundinamarca y Boyacá para unirse al ferrocarril central, una obra de US$650 millones, podría estar decidida antes de que termine este año.\n\nEl diseño está terminado y la financiación está completamente garantizada por bancos brasileros. Lo único que falta es que haya una garantía sobre el volumen de carga que se moverá por la línea.\n\n“Para que sea viable, el ferrocarril necesita 10 millones de toneladas”, explicó el ministro de Transporte Andrés Uriel Gallego.\n\nEl problema está en que conseguir volúmenes de esa naturaleza de carbón y arcilla cocida en la zona no es sencillo. Las minas de Cundinamarca y Boyacá no pueden expandir fácilmente su producción, dice el Ministro, porque son de estrato fracturado y subterráneas, por lo que necesitan grandes inversiones y una fuerte cantidad de mano de obra para crecer.

                                        El grupo mexicano CIE se retirará de Argentina

                                        El grupo mexicano CIE se retirará de Argentina\n\nEl grupo mexicano CIE anunció su decisión de desprenderse de las radios que posee en Argentina, en las que en las últimas semanas hubo 90 despidos en el marco de la reestructuración de las emisoras antes de concretar la venta.\n\nEl posible comprador de las seis radios de CIE sería el empresario argentino Marcelo Mindlin, quien controla la distribuidora de electricidad Edenor, las centrales termoeléctricas de Loma La Lata y Güemes y dos hidroeléctricas, entre otras compañías, informó el domingo el diario La Nación.\n\nLa decisión de CIE de vender las emisoras Rock&Pop, América, Aspen, Blue, Metro y Splendid estaría fundamentada en el hecho de que todas ellas están localizadas en el área metropolitana, contra lo que dispone la ley de radiodifusión.\n\nAdemás, el grupo mexicano explota las radios sin tener la titularidad de las licencias de radiodifusión, según indicaron fuentes del Comité Federal de Radiodifusión (Comfer).\n\n"Revisaremos todas las ventas que se hagan en el país", dijo desde Washington, el interventor en el Comfer, Gabriel Mariotto, al diario La Nación. \n\nTrabajadores de las emisoras denunciaron que la empresa ofreció retiros voluntarios que fueron interpretados como despidos encubiertos y luego dispuso el despido de 90 empleados de distintos sectores de las radios.

                                          Looking Beyond Synergies in Making Mergers Work - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                          Looking Beyond Synergies in Making Mergers Work\nJune 23, 2008\n\nDon’t forget your customers. That’s the moral of a new report conducted by Accenture, the consulting firm, examining the problems sales organizations encounter after corporate mergers and acquisitions.\n\nWhile merged companies are able to up their revenue growth in the first year, after that, revenue growth seems to fall off a cliff. Accenture looked at 80 global deals completed during 2002 through 2005, and found that around 58 percent of acquirers were unable to generate increased revenue growth in the second fiscal year after the deal closed compared with what their growth had been before merging.\n\nThe drop in revenue growth appears to be because management teams tend to put customer service and satisfaction on the back burner and single-mindedly pursue cost synergies. This causes existing customers to jump ship.\n\nOne deal the study looked at found that the acquirer admitted to having underestimated the complexity of taking on a large number of new contracts in a short period of time and miscalculating the cost of executing them. This, combined with the loss of confidence in the new organization, led to negative sales growth for the first time in the company’s history and a decrease in sales growth.\n\nTo avoid this drop in revenue growth, Accenture argued that the combined company should develop a clear strategy that focuses on reducing customer disruption, communicating changes timely and accurately, and developing robust retention programs to keep high-performing employees.\n\nIt is essential that the acquiring company understand their new pool of customers to keep them in the fold, Accenture concluded. A company examined in the study was successful in doing this by creating a cross-functional customer experience team that developed a rigorous view of customer touch points, interactions and segments to drive the integration efforts.

                                            US: Bunge merger to form ingredients giant: Beverage News & Comment

                                            US: Bunge merger to form ingredients giant\n\n23 June 2008 | Source: just-drinks.com editorial team\n\nUS-based agribusiness Bunge has struck a deal to buy ingredients firm Corn Products International for US$4.8bn. The deal will create an ingredients giant that will supply high-fructose corn syrup to soft drinks industry.\n\nBunge, which makes fertilizers, oils and grains, said it had secured an agreement to buy Corn Products in a $56-a-share deal.\n\nThe move will see Bunge produce finished corn products like starches and sweeteners, including high fructose corn syrup.\n\nBunge chairman and CEO Alberto Weisser said: "Combining with Corn Products provides a unique opportunity for Bunge to establish an integrated, global presence in the corn value chain, which is highly complementary to our existing operations."\n\nCorn Products shareholders will acquire a 21% stake in Bunge as part of the deal. Sam Scott, chairman, president and CEO of Corn Products, said: "Our stockholders will have an ongoing equity interest in a combined company that is well-positioned to serve customers around the world with a broad product portfolio, integrated distribution network and innovative products."\n\nBunge flagged the "commercial, geographic and operational opportunities" of the proposed deal.\n\nThe company pointed to the growth of the starches and sweeteners market, which is expanding at 5% a year, and an enlarged presence in markets in China, India, Latin America, Asia and Africa.\n\nBunge also expects to generate annual cost-savings of $100-120m a year in procurement and logistics.

                                              Brazil to End Restriction on Investments in Ports, Valor Says

                                              Brazil to End Restriction on Investments in Ports, Valor Says\n\nJune 23 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may end in the next few days a restriction that has prevented private investments in ports, Valor Economico reported, without specifying where it got the information.\n\nThe projects will be awarded in a public auction but the winners will no longer have to prove there is sufficient cargo to justify the investment, the newspaper said. The existing rule was preventing at least $5 billion in investments, it added.

                                                Rio agrees record iron ore price rises with China

                                                Baosteel, China’s leading steelmaker, agreed on Monday to the largest ever annual increase in iron ore prices with Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian miner, in a move that is likely to reinforce fears about global inflation.\n\nRio Tinto said in a statement that Baosteel had agreed to pay up to 96.5 per cent more for its 2008-09 iron ore supplies under annual contracts. The increase is far above the previous record of 71.5 per cent rise agreed in 2005, and the 9.5 per cent increase agreed last year.\nEDITOR’S CHOICE\nChinese warned of record rise in ore price - Jun-22\nLina Saigol: Reasons for lack of side bets on BHP bid - Jun-22\nIndonesia rules out Krakatau stake sale - Jun-20\nHigh cost of iron ore and coal hurts steel producers - Jun-15\nLex: ArcelorMittal and steel - May-07\nEssar Steel takes over Esmark - May-01\n\nSam Walsh, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Group, said that the “agreement reflects the continuing very strong demand” for iron ore products.\n\nRio’s new iron ore prices are, depending on the quality of the ore, between 79.88 and 96.5 per cent above the 2007-08 level. The steelmaking industry has so far been able to pass a large share of its input cost on to its customers, with steel prices rising sharply in the last year, analysts said.\n\nBHP Billiton has yet to announce any settlements for the 2008-09 annual contracts, while earlier this year Brazil’s Vale obtained increases of between 65 per cent and 71 per cent.\n\nThe latest deal follows a Financial Times report earlier on Monday that Rio Tinto and BHP had told their Chinese customers to accept the largest ever increase in iron ore prices or risk the interruption of supplies from Australia.\n\nThe two miners warned their Chinese clients that some annual contracts were due to expire next Monday and they would cease supply under the old terms. They have told them the ore would instead be sold into the spot market, where prices are higher.\n\nThe bold step indicated that the heated annual price negotiations, already well beyond their traditional conclusion date, were set to move into a hostile phase. The agreement on Monday prevent the outbreak of hostilities, analysts said.\n\nAnalysts said most of Rio’s iron ore contracts would expire on June 30. However, some BHP contracts do not expire until September, leaving the latter time to negotiate and allowing Rio to take the lead in the discussions.\n\nMacquarie, the Australian bank, said Rio was committed to securing a price rice in excess of the 85-95 per cent the market is expecting. “That stance suggests investors should be prepared for an extended and potentially hostile conclusion to the negotiations,” it said in a report.\n\nRio and BHP are demanding a larger price increase than Brazil’s Vale because their proximity to China reduces shipping costs.\n\nTraders said that freight costs from Australia to China tumbled last week by 37 per cent as at least one of the mining companies stopped booking some vessels for July to ship under the old contracts. That move signalled their intention to move shipments into the spot market if the negotiations failed.\n\nAlthough China has record high iron ore inventories, it is dependent on imports.\n\nMorgan Stanley said in a report on the ore market was it was under “unprecedented” pricing developments and “remains very tight and in significant deficit”.\n\n

                                                  Nestlé calls for rethink on crops

                                                  The world's biggest food company has called on European policymakers to reconsider their opposition to genetically modified crops, as soaring commodity prices put basic foodstuffs such as wheat and rice out of reach of the world's poorest.\n\n"You cannot today feed the world without genetically modified organisms," Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestlé, said. "We have the means to make agriculture sustainable in the long term. What we don't see for the time being is the political will."\n\nHe said Europe's opposition had encouraged African policymakers to reject GM crops. South Africa is the only country on the African continent to commercialise them, growing GM maize, cotton and soyabeans.\n\n"The European Union used political pressure in Africa to prevent some of those countries using genetically modified organisms," said Mr Brabeck-Letmathe. "I don't think that was . . . helpful for the agriculture of those countries."\n\nPeter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, rejected any allegation of bullying. "Africa is free to grow whatever crops it wishes, but as the vast majority of its agricultural exports are destined for the EU, it is clearly in its interests to try to meet the needs of that market."\n\nMany countries in Africa and Asia have shied away from GM for fear of being shut out of the EU, the biggest importer of foodstuffs from developing countries.\n\nThe European Commission has said biotechnology could help to solve the food crisis and officials admit to frustration with national governments, which often block Commission recommendations for GM approval. "But their resistance stems from how Europe feels about GMOs," said a spokesman. "Even if we approve them, it doesn't mean anybody would eat them." Only 21 per cent of Europeans will eat genetically engineered food, a Commission survey found.\n\nFew GM strains of crops have been licensed by the EU. This has left European farmers angry about the increasingly high prices they are being forced to pay for non-GM animal feed.\n\nIn Britain, the National Farmers' Union has asked supermarkets to drop GM-free requirements for all foods except organic ranges. Farmers are finding it difficult to source non-GM soyabeans to feed poultry because Brazil, a leading exporter of soya, has been planting more GM crops.\n\nMr Brabeck-Letmathe said European health concerns over GM were unfounded, given such foods had been eaten safely by Americans for decades.\n\nGM critics say there is little proof the crops have higher yields.\n\nBiotech struggle, Page 13

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                                                  • on 06-19-2008

                                                    Big Cola le gana juicio a Coca Cola — negocios — CNNExpansion.com

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                                                    Big Cola le gana juicio a Coca Cola — negocios — CNNExpansion.com

                                                    19 de junio de 2008\n\nLIMA (Reuters) — La justicia mexicana ordenó a varias embotelladoras de Coca Cola pagar una multa total de 15 millones de dólares por prácticas monopólicas y competencia desleal contra la peruana Ajegroup, en un fallo que acaba con un largo pleito, dijo el miércoles un portavoz de la empresa.\n\nEntre las embotelladoras que deberán pagar la multa al Estado mexicano se encuentran Femsa, la mayor embotelladora de Coca Cola en México, según Ajegroup.\n\nEl director de asuntos corporativos de la empresa peruana, Alfredo Paredes, dijo que el fallo del Cuarto Tribunal Colegiado en Materia Administrativa fue la última instancia de un pleito legal de tres años y "es inapelable".\n\n"Por decisión unánime y en un fallo histórico (...) el tribunal ratificó tanto la multa como la sentencia", dijo Paredes en una conversación telefónica.\n\nFemsa, que es también la mayor embotelladora de Coca Cola en Latinoamérica, no quiso hacer comentarios sobre el caso de inmediato.\n\nPara Ajegroup, que opera en 10 países de Latinoamérica y es el productor del refresco Big Cola, México es su mayor mercado y ha tenido que pelear con uñas y dientes contra Coca Cola para hacerse de un pedazo de este mercado, el mayor consumidor de refresco del mundo.\n\nLos cargos contra las embotelladoras de Coca Cola en 10 estados mexicanos son por coerción e intimidación de dueños de puntos de venta, coacción mediante pago de premios y promociones en puntos de venta, y retiro y destrucción de propaganda y mercancía de Big Cola, dijo Paredes.\n\n"Ha sido una lucha por la competencia de Big Cola en el mercado mexicano. No nos regocija por los competidores, pero nos alienta porque se cumple el estado de derecho", sostuvo.\n\nParedes agregó que tras este fallo, la compañía tiene la posibilidad de presentar una demanda por los daños ocasionados con las prácticas monopólicas. "Se está analizando", afirmó. \n\nAjegroup opera también en Perú, Ecuador, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panamá, Honduras, Venezuela y Colombia.

                                                      Heineken acquisition of Eichhof Beverages to undergo detailed Weko examination

                                                      Heineken acquisition of Eichhof Beverages to undergo detailed Weko examination \n\nThe acquisition of Eichhof's beverages division by listed Dutch drinks group Heineken is to undergo a detailed examination by Weko. An announcement on the Swiss competition commission (Weko) homepage states that the preliminary examination has indicated the deal could potentially result in a collective market domination, and Weko will therefore carry out a detailed examination.\nThe deal announcement on 29 April noted the purchase price as CHF 278.5m (EUR 176m).

                                                        Heba Water: Serbian Privatisation Agency extends bid deadline to 11 July

                                                        Heba Water: Serbian Privatisation Agency extends bid deadline to 11 July \n\nThe Serbian Privatisation Agency (PA) has extended the deadline for submitting bids for a 70% stake in Heba Water, the third-biggest Serbian mineral water bottler. A PA release said that the new deadline is 11 July 2008.\nEligible to bid are mineral water producers who have at least three years experience and have posted revenues of at least EUR 20m in 2007, and financial investors who have operated for at least three years and had over EUR 50m in assets in 2007, an earlier PA release said.\nAccording to a previous report, the plant had 500 workers and assets of EUR 10m in 2006.

                                                          Charlie’s Group looking for suitable beverage acquisitions, CEO says

                                                          Charlie’s Group looking for suitable beverage acquisitions, CEO says \n\nCharlie’s Group, a New Zealand-listed beverages firm, is looking for suitable acquisitions, said CEO Stefan Lepionka.\nCharlie’s Group, which has already gobbled up New Zealand organic beverage company Phoenix Organics Group and the beverage manufacturing assets of Australian juicing and bottling factory Gallard and Mirage Group, is looking for “companies that specialize in beverages and have strong brands and distribution (networks)”.\nSuitable acquisitions, Lepionka said, would be companies that provide not only a long-term earnings stream, but also offer a strategic advantage in the market and, most importantly, fit the Charlie’s Group's direction.\nLepionka refused to divulge names of potential targets but said, “We have people talking to us [informally] about potential approaches on a weekly basis. We would be keen if it made financial sense.” When asked about the potential size of its targets, he said, “It changes from country to country and company to company. We [will be] looking on a case-by-case basis.” When asked about the focus markets for acquisitions, Lepionka said, “Today it is Australia and New Zealand.”\nWhen asked about targets, an analyst at a New Zealand-based independent investment bank said, “Simply Squeezed is Charlie’s Group’s biggest competitor in New Zealand, and [might be] an ideal target.” He refused to elaborate on the possible deal size or the financial capability of Charlie’s with reference to acquisitions. Meanwhile, Lepionka said, “We currently have enough funds. Right now we might not need an investor. But if opportunities arise, like acquisition or growth plans, we are not closing any doors. We are open to investors and we have ability to raise [funds] if a need arose”. He said Charlie’s Group is also open to advisers.\nCharlie’s Group registered revenues of NZD 16.85m (USD 13.22m) for the six months to December 2007. Post the acquisition of the Australian beverage manufacturing assets, Charlie’s has increased its production capacity, Lepionka said. ”It caters to our current needs,” he said, refusing to disclose the current production figures. The company, which has a strong presence in Australia and Korea, intends to focus on Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, India, Dubai and Fiji islands, he said.

                                                            Frucor could be on the market - report

                                                            Frucor could be on the market - report \n\nDanone, the French food and beverage group, could be evaluating putting Australasian drinks group Frucor on the market, the Australian Financial Review reported. According to an unsourced report in the AFR's Street Talk section, there was speculation that Danone could be looking at a possible sale. The article said both trade buyers and private equity groups were likely to be interested.\nThe paper said Frucor had AUD 141m (USD 135m) in sales in the year to December 2006.

                                                              Coca-Cola plans USD 1.2bn worth of investments in Russia including buys

                                                              Coca-Cola plans USD 1.2bn worth of investments in Russia including buys \n\nCoca-Cola, the Georgia-based US listed beverages group, wants to invest USD 1.2bn in Russia within the next three years, reported Kommersant, citing the company president, Muhtar Kent.\nAccording to information from the Coca-Cola Russian division, a USD 400m of the above sum has already been spent, Kommersant noted. Coca-Cola Russia has not ruled out that the main part of the sum mentioned by Kent will be used on buys.\nIn 2008, Coca-Cola could decide on a buy of assets for the production of Russian national drink, kvas, the paper added, referring to information from Coca-Cola Russia.

                                                                Pepsi not interested in Hansen despite lower stock price, sources say

                                                                Pepsi not interested in Hansen despite lower stock price, sources say \n\nPepsiCo is not interested in going after Hansen Natural, the listed California-company which owns the Monster energy drink brand, despite its cheaper share trading levels, according to two people claiming knowledge of Pepsi’s thinking.\nHansen’s high-flying stock has fallen recently to USD 34.53 per share from a one-year peak of USD 65.28 reached last November. Still the company’s stock price is too high for Pepsi, according to one of the two people.\nPepsiCo may feel that it can turn its own energy drink, Amp, into a relative success, rather than pay a high price for Hansen, said the first person. Hansen’s Monster is the number two energy drink in the US.\nHansen’s market cap is USD 3.24bn, or 13.4x 2007 EBITDA of USD 241m, which is far lower than the 20x EBITDA multiple Coke paid for Vitamin Water last year.\nPepsi is not interested in acquiring Hansen, said the second person who also claimed knowledge of the company's thinking. Coke has always been known to be more interested in Hansen than Pepsi, the second person added.\nHilton Schlossberg, CFO of Hansen and a Pepsi spokesperson both declined comment.\nAn industry banker, however, said the only reason Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi has not been interested in Hansen in the past was because of its high-flying stock. While Hansen’s stock has backed off quite a lot, its distribution agreement with Anheuser Busch could be an obstacle to a sale if it costs too much to get out of the pact, the banker added.\nTypically it costs 2x to 3x revenues earned by the distributor to get out of a distribution agreement, an industry executive said.\nHansen has long been seen as a target for Pepsi or Coke because neither company owns a top energy drink. Red Bull, the number one energy drink, is privately owned and Rock Star the number three brand, has a strategic alliance with Coke to distribute Rock Star in 2006.\nThis news service reported last October that Hansen was in discussions with Anheuser Busch, with whom Hansen signed a distribution deal in 2006.\nThat deal has not materialized so far, and the Wall Street Journal reported recently that the Busch family patriarch August Busch III vetoed the deal even though his son the CEO of Anheuser Busch backed it.

                                                                  AG Barr looking for acquisitions

                                                                  AG Barr looking for acquisitions \n\nAG Barr, the UK-listed soft drinks supplier, is looking for acquisitions, The Scotsman reported. The report cited Barr chief executive Roger White as saying that the group has not yet identified any particular targets, but it is looking to buy other soft drink brands.\nWhite said Barr's finances are strong, and the company would consider any brand that would complement its existing portfolio, according to the report.\nThe article noted suggestions from some analysts that AG Barr might expand into dairy products, a section of the market not covered by Barr at the moment. White, however, was cited as saying the company was "very unlikely" to move into dairy products, due to the need for refrigerated transportation.\nAG Barr's market capitalisation currently stands at GBP 251m (EUR 316m).

                                                                    Bionade has rejected approaches from Coca-Cola and other rivals

                                                                    Bionade has rejected approaches from Coca-Cola and other rivals \n\nBionade, the private German lemonade group, has turned down offers from listed Georgia-based soft drinks giant Coca-Cola and other rivals, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported.\nThe German weekly mentioned this in a lengthy article in which Peter Kowalsky, chief executive of Bionade, explained his reasons for a price rise of his product. A recent article pointed out that Bionade generated a turnover of EUR 14m in 2006.\nA previous report noted that Bionade is owned by the German Peter brewery, which is in turn owned by Kowalsky.

                                                                      Lebedyansky shareholders approve to spin-off baby food and mineral water business, deal with PepsiCo to go ahead

                                                                      Lebedyansky shareholders approve to spin-off baby food and mineral water business, deal with PepsiCo to go ahead \n\nLebedyansky shareholders approved to spin-off the company's baby food and mineral water business into one division, at yesterday's EGM, reported Kommersant. This information came from Alexander Kostikov, the communication director at Lebedyansky, the listed Russian juice and baby-food manufacturer.\nThe shareholders decision of extracting the above businesses is, in fact, an approval for the sale of juice operations of Lebedyansky to New York-based, listed US beverages group PepsiCo, Kommersant reported. The paper wrote that last March it was announced that PepsiCo is buying 75.53% stake in Lebedyansky from the company's majority shareholders for USD 1.357bn, at a price of USD 88.02 per share.\nKommersant reported that the obligatory offer for the minority stake, which will be announced later by PepsiCo, will be worth not less than USD 88 per share.\nAccording to the Russian consulting company Tsentr Professionalnoy Ocenki, the fair value of the baby food and mineral water business after extracting them from Lebedyansky stands at USD 251m, Kommersant wrote. Citing analysts, Kommersant reported that the minimum price at which Lebedyansky minority shareholders could sell their shares will be not less than USD 100.3 per share. The approval by Lebedyansky shareholders to spin-off baby food and mineral water operations will allow them to sell Lebedyansky’s shares with almost 20% premium to the company market value, the paper noted, quoting analysts.\nAt present, Lebedyansky is owned by parliamentary deputy Nikolay Bortsov (30%); his son Yuri (25.1%), the chairman of Lebedyansky board of directors; members of the company board of directors Olga Belyavtseva (18.4%) and Dmitry Fadeev (2%); and top managers. The 23.87% in Lebedyansky is in free-float, Kommersant noted.

                                                                        Ecuador Bottling Company: Coca Cola Polar's acquisition of 34% stake fails

                                                                        Ecuador Bottling Company: Coca Cola Polar's acquisition of 34% stake fails \n\nCoca Cola Polar, a Chilean franchisee of Coca-Cola, has decided not to acquire a 34.5% stake in Ecuador Bottling Company from Ingaseosas, according to a release. Coca Cola Polar said in the filling that it has decided to end the agreement reached in March to acquire 3,450 Class C shares of Ecuador Bottling Company for USD 64m due to what it termed circumstances beyond the company's control.\nThe company did not provide further details.\nAs previously reported, the deal was expected to end unsuccessfully, as Ecuador Bottling Company's controlling shareholders have termed Polar's offer "hostile" and accused the company of making the acquisition in "bad faith".

                                                                          Cadbury Schweppes's Australian operations: Advisor likely to be appointed within six weeks

                                                                          Cadbury Schweppes's Australian operations: Advisor likely to be appointed within six weeks - report \n\nAn advisor on the sale of Cadbury Schweppes' Australian operations is likely to be appointed within six weeks, the Australian Financial Review reported. The unsourced report in the paper's Street Talk column said it was most probable that the advisor would be picked from Goldman Sachs, UBS, or Morgan Stanley. The article said the beverages business could be valued between AUD 650m (USD 615m) and AUD 860m.\nThe paper said other market observers believed the timetable was ambitious because a formal sale had not yet been agreed.

                                                                            Coca Cola Femsa paraliza planta en Venezuela

                                                                            Coca Cola Femsa paraliza planta en Venezuela\n\nLa unidad en Venezuela de la cervecera y embotelladora mexicana Coca Cola Femsa dijo el martes que su producción estaba paralizada por el bloqueo de sus plantas y centros de distribución por parte de antiguos trabajadores y contratistas, que exigen el pago de deudas laborales.\n\nLos manifestantes cerraron desde la madrugada del sábado el acceso a las cuatro plantas de Coca Cola Femsa, situadas en los estados Zulia, Carabobo, Anzoátegui y en Caracas, y adicionalmente impidieron el paso en unos 24 centros de distribución en todo el país.\n\nEl director de Recursos Humanos y portavoz de la firma, Ignacio Mayorca, dijo que la firma ha perdido unos 15 millones de dólares por el cierre de los accesos de sus sedes, en tres oportunidades, en lo que va de año.\n\n"Estas tomas han traído consecuencias no sólo de producción, sino que afecta a los trabajadores," dijo Mayorca en una conferencia de prensa.\n\nEl directivo pidió a las autoridades gubernamentales cumplir con unas 27 medidas de desalojo dictadas por los tribunales en los últimos meses, en las que se ordena el retiro de los manifestantes para permitir el libre acceso a las instalaciones.\n\nEl Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) que intervino para buscar una salida al conflicto laboral dio el lunes por terminada la mediación en el caso de la embotelladora.\n\nLa corte exhortó a los involucrados al diálogo para encontrar una "solución satisfactoria."\n\nLa embotelladora alega que los manifestantes nunca pertenecieron a su plantilla, mientras que estos exigen ser tratados como ex empleados, por lo que esperan el pago de indemnizaciones previstas en la ley.\n\nCoca Cola Femsa posee cuatro plantas embotelladoras en Venezuela, 32 centros de distribución y una plantilla de unos 8.000 trabajadores en el país.

                                                                              Final encore for a man of the people

                                                                              Neville Isdell is an imposing figure; more than six feet tall and solidly built, he is often referred to in the media as a former rugby player, a reference to his sporting days at university in South Africa. But as he prepares to step down after four years as chief executive of Coca-Cola, it is a more nuanced biographical detail that he prefers to accentuate.\n\n“My major was sociology; I’m a qualified social worker,” he says. “I do think it is all about people.”\n\nWhen he took the helm in June 2004, many of the people at Coke were not very happy. Neither were the board nor the shareholders. Nor were the independent bottlers who mix and distribute Coke, Sprite and the group’s other leading brands.\n\nThe world’s biggest soft drink company seemed to have lost its way after the dramatic global expansion in the 1990s under Roberto Goizueta. Sales of sparkling drinks in the US were in decline and its marketing was uninspired. Its strategy was unclear: Coke had lost out to PepsiCo in a battle for Gatorade and had abandoned a botched attempt to launch its Dasani water brand in Europe. There was also a simmering war going on with its independent bottlers over price increases.\n\n Reputation-builder refused to be sidetracked by Olympic protest\n Neville Isdell\n\n Neville Isdell is an advocate of leading by listening. But he shows flashes of deep irritation when talking about the protesters who disrupted this year’s Olympic torch relay, of which Coke is the leading international sponsor.\n\n ”I am really opposed to what the demonstrators have been doing. And I’m really opposed to the way they have treated the Chinese government as a result.\n\n ”It’s the 3 to 4 per cent who try to influence the 96 per cent by utilising a symbol,” he complains, comparing the protests to the “Killer Coke” campaign by student and labour activists that has led to a number of US campus boycotts of Coke products.\n\n Under Mr Isdell, Coke has adopted a more engaged response to reputational issues. Last year, Coke joined the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights, formed a partnership with the WWF on water conservation, and set a goal of “water neutrality” for its own manufacturing plants.\n\n “If you do those things, the other 96 per cent looks at you in a positive way, they see you in a positive part of society. And the siren song of that 4 per cent doesn’t get that resonance.”\n\nMr Isdell, a former senior bottling executive who turns 65 this month, was enticed out of retirement by a board that wanted a chief executive who knew both sides of the Coke system – meaning both CocaCola and the bottlers.\n\nHe says he had a clear idea about what he wanted to achieve, and how he intended to go about it. “You don’t want to come and do quick fixes. When I accepted I agreed with the board that I was going to set it up for the long term and I believe that I have,” he says.\n\nWithin his first month, Mr Isdell made two substantial changes, appointing a new head of human resources who would report directly to him – giving him close control over what he calls “the people equation” – and creating a new “bottling investment group” to repair the relationship between the two halves of the business.\n\nHis next move was to create a shared agreement among Coke’s own people about what needed to be done. It was important, he says, to focus on the obvious question of what exactly Coca-Cola was, and what it was not, in spite of a clamour of calls from investors and analysts for action on everything from Coke’s assertive board to its lack of non-carbonated beverages.\n\nBefore his arrival, he says, Coke had various strategic statements about its purpose. “But there was [no] coherence to them and...there were clearly mixed messages out there.”\n\nSo in the summer of 2004, 150 of Coke’s top managers were brought together for three days in Miami, for a series of discussions on a new “manifesto”. In the break-out sessions, Mr Isdell sat listening to people “pour out what they felt was wrong”. “That is an important part of the rebuilding process ... And then you say, ‘here’s what you said is wrong with our business...so what are we going to do about it?’”\n\nMr Isdell’s people skills are integral to his management style. He is at pains to put people at their ease, a characteristic shown by his habit of waiting outside the interview room to greet his guests.\n\nHe can also still deliver an authentic Northern Irish accent, although he left his birthplace for southern Africa at the age of 10.\n\nAfter leaving university, Mr Isdell joined Coke’s local bottler in Zambia in 1966, and six years later became general manager of Coca-Cola Bottling of Johannesburg, the largest Coke bottler in Africa. Subsequently, he held positions in Australia, the Philippines and Germany, before moving to Europe and spearheading the expansion of Coke into new markets in India, the Middle East and eastern Europe and Russia in the 1990s.\n\nBy the time he retired for the first time in 2001, he was vice-chairman of Coca-Cola HBC, the company’s leading European bottler. He was running his own Barbados-based investment company when he was called back by Coke.\n\nMr Isdell’s long history at the company strengthened his resolve to focus on core products. At one break-out session in Miami, managers echoed Wall Street analysts who were suggesting that Coke should try to emulate Pepsi’s acquisition of the Frito-Lay snack company, which reduced its dependency on the historically declining fizzy drinks business.\n\n“My reply was simply this: ‘You’re all telling me that we are not running our own business at all well. So why would we buy another business, and think we could run that any better than the people who are there? Unless, you’re telling me that we need to get their management to come and run our business.’\n\n“That closed down that debate. That’s where you swing it, and they say, ‘Got it, we’re clear.’”\n\nThe new manifesto, by his own admission, “is not earth shattering”; it says, for instance, that the company will “reinvigorate growth...by building a portfolio of branded beverages, anchored in our icon, Coca-Cola”. But, he says, “it does reflect who and what we are”.\n\nArmed with $400m in additional spending on marketing and innovation from the board, he helped select Weiden & Kennedy as Coke’s new advertising agency – working with Mary Minnick, whom he had brought to Atlanta from Asia in May 2005 to head marketing and innovation.\n\nMs Minnick’s proven talents created one of the toughest decisions of the four years – who would become the next chief executive.\n\nMr Isdell’s preference was for Muhtar Kent, rather than Ms Minnick. The two had worked together at the Amatil-Europe bottling subsidiary, building market share in eastern Europe in the 1990s.\n\nHowever, Mr Kent had left Coke in 1998 after a sale of Amatil shares led to his investigation by Australian regulators for alleged insider trading. But Mr Isdell was convinced of his former colleague’s leadership potential and persuaded the board the younger man should return to Coke.\n\nIn 2006 Mr Kent was appointed chief operating officer and the following year was named international president. Though Ms Minnick subsequently left the company, Mr Isdell says he would have loved her to stay.\n\nAs Mr Isdell prepares to stand down, he says that the toughest period came 18 months after he took over, when Wall Street and the media could see no measurable improvements. Then, he said, he focused on keeping people on course, by preparing them for a difficult stage that he argues is part of every turnround effort.\n\n“You know it’s working. But most people don’t believe it’s working...That’s when people tend to panic, and go back to short termism. And then you have to stick with it...talked to everyone a lot about that, just to make sure I kept those people with me.”\n\nUnder Mr Isdell, the company has recorded steady international sales growth of more than 4 per cent over the past 12 quarters. And while sales in the US are being depressed by the slowdown in economic demand, he argues that the key carbonated drinks business is “on track” for better results, supported by initiatives such as new bottle design.\n\nMr Isdell believes Mr Kent is, like himself, a man with people skills, and describes the UK-educated son of a Turkish diplomat as “ambassadorial”.\n\n“He’s one of the world’s great best networkers, and that’s what you need in the business that we’re in. He’s really excellent at that.”

                                                                                US: Coca-Cola to merge Eurasia, Africa divisions: Beverage News & Comment

                                                                                The Coca-Cola_Co is to merge its Eurasia and Africa operations and create a new chief administrative officer position to oversee several back-office operations, according to reports.\n\nIn a memo to employees, the company said today (6 June) that Alex Cummings, the current president of the Africa group, will take up the new role.\n\nCoca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent said he also plans to nominate Cummings as executive vice president at its board meeting next month.\n\nIn his chief administrative officer role, the company said, Cummings will oversee the company's legal, public affairs and communications and human resources operations, among other responsibilities.\n\nAhmet Bozer, the president of the current Eurasia group, will be the president of the new Eurasia and Africa group, according to reports yesterday.\n\nThe company will also move its Adriatic and Balkans business unit from the Eurasia group to the Europe division.\n\nThe company said the restructuring should help the company "sharpen our internal focus on the marketplace with greater speed, productivity and effectiveness."

                                                                                  Embotelladora Andina adquirió el 48% de las acciones de Embotelladora del Sur

                                                                                  Embotelladora Andina adquirió el 48% de las acciones de Embotelladora del Sur\nDiario Financiero Online\n\nEmbotelladora Andina S.A., en conjunto con las sociedades Coca Cola Embonor S.A. y Embotelladora Coca Cola Polar S.A., adquirieron la totalidad de acciones de Embotelladora del Sur S.A., según un hecho esencial enviado a la Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (SVS).\n\nDel total referido, Embotelladora Andina S.A. adquirió el equivalente al 48% de las acciones de Embotelladora del Sur S.A., por un monto ascendente a $ 753.581.576. \n\nEn tanto, Coca Cola Embonor S.A. compró el 27% de los papeles, por una cifra de $ 423.889.637, y Embotelladora Coca Cola Polar S.A. se adjudicó el 25% por un valor de $ 392.490.404.\n\nSegún el documento enviado a la SVS, la operación se realizó mediante la suscripción de un contrato de compraventa celebrado entre los embotelladoras relacionados con Coca Cola por una parte y sociedades Malterías Unidas S.A. y Eduardo Chadwick por la otra.\n\nConjuntamente con la citada compra, los compradores suscribieron un pacto de accionistas para regular su participación en Embotelladora del Sur S.A., informó el instrumento de la SVS.

                                                                                    Coca-Cola Enterprises warns of second quarter profit drop - May. 28, 2008

                                                                                    Coca-Cola warns of profit drop\n\nATLANTA (AP) -- Soft drink bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. said Wednesday that weak domestic sales trends, especially on some 20-ounce beverages, will likely lead to a decline in its second quarter earnings and may make it difficult to meet its 2008 profit guidance.\n\nThe announcement came as soft drink maker Coca-Cola Co. (KO, Fortune 500), which owns a stake in the bottler, told investors soft volumes in the U.S. will be offset by strong international sales. Coca-Cola offered no specific earnings guidance.\n\nThe U.S. operating environment for most consumer products companies, including those that sell food and beverages, has been tough all year with consumers cutting back on spending. Soda companies have also struggled with a shift in consumer preferences in the U.S. away from soft drinks and towards juice and water beverages.\n\nCoca-Cola Enterprises said it now expects a mid to high single-digit decline in second quarter earnings per share.\n\nIn the 2007 second quarter, the company earned $270 million, or 56 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting a rise in profit to 61 cents a share for the quarter.\n\nThe bottler said its volume performance in the U.S. has continued to be affected by "weakening economic trends." Volume is an industry measure that represents the number of cases sold either directly or indirectly to consumers.\n\nHigher-margin 20-ounce packages of sparkling beverages and water, in particular, negatively affected operating income in the quarter.\n\nThe bottler said it will update its full-year guidance in July. The company expects to earn between $1.50 and $1.55 per share.\n\nChief Executive John F. Brock said meeting that guidance will be "challenging if current economic and market trends do not improve."\n\nAnalysts polled by Thomson Financial expect 2008 profit of $1.51 per share.\n\nGoldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) analyst Judy Hong said in a note to investors the announcement implies weak Memorial Day sales "and casts a more pessimistic outlook on the critical summer selling season, where bottlers make most of their money."\n\nShe added that it appears the bottler has not seen any benefit from economic stimulus checks that have poured into bank accounts and mailboxes since the end of April.\n\nCoca-Cola, meanwhile, said its business has also been affected by weak volumes in North America. The company does not release specific guidance, but it rushed to reiterate that its international business, which makes up more than 80% of the company's operating income, will offset any weakness in the United States.\n\nCoca-Cola Enterprises shares fell 95 cents, or 4.5%, to $20.36 in morning trading Wednesday after sinking to a 52-week low of $20.27 earlier in the session. Coca-Cola shares slipped 18 cents to $58.41.

                                                                                      Schincariol diversifies line of soft drinks

                                                                                      Schincariol diversifies line of soft drinks\n\nSÃO PAULO, 26 de maio de 2008 - This Monday, Schincariol group could announce the reformulation of its line of soft drinks, which is gaining new flavors, formats and visuals. The initiative is part of the Paulista brewer's strategy to turn itself into the second biggest beverage manufacturer in the country within three years. That objective is also the reason for the company professionalization, which about a year ago removed all family members from the company and contracted president Fernando Terni and marketing director Marcel Sacco, among other executives.\n\nThe new executives have given greater attention to the other categories of drinks beyond beer, the segment for which the company is always remembered as the second biggest brewer in Brazil. This strategy, which was the reasoning behind the entry into nectar juices at the end of 2007, aims to diversify the activities and gain space in other drinks segments. In soft drinks, the growth has been small but constant since the company was professionalized. A year ago, the group had a 2.8% market share, according to data from ACNielsen. In April, it reached 3.2%. The goal, according to Sacco, is to get close to 4% by the end of this year.\n\n'It may not seem to be a very aggressive objective when we look at the competition, but it is necessary to analyze the base,' the executive explained. The distance of the group in relation to the competition is admittedly great. The biggest soft drink manufacturer in the country, Coca-Cola, closed 2007 with a 56.6% market share, while Companhia de Bebidas das Américas (AmBev) had 17.5%. Total soft drink production reached 13.6 billion liters in 2007, up 5% over 2006, according to data from the Brazilian Association of Soft Drink and Non-alcoholic Beverage Companies (Abrir).\n\nDespite this big difference nationally, Sacco said that the group wants to win in other markets the position of distinction it enjoys in the Northeast, for example, where it has a 7.1% market share. 'Our challenge is to gain market share in the states of the South and Southeast. To have participation equivalent to what we have in the Northeast,' said Sacco. To meet the estimated demand, the company installed four new production lines in 2007 at its bottling plants at Itu (SP) and Alagoinhas (BA).\n\nAccording to the executive, the greatest sales volume is in the category of two-liter PET (plastic) containers. It is exactly this line that will see the greatest changes, moving from five to nine flavors. The four new ones are citrus, grape, cola with line and the new light cola, which will come to have zero calories. Besides the cola flavor, guaraná will also become zero calory. 'We are looking to attach our products to the idea of refreshment. Before, they were greatly attached to colors,' he explained. The new line was developed based on research conducted among 4,000 people all over Brazil.

                                                                                        Embotelladoras Arca agrees to acquire Argentina-based Yege

                                                                                        Embotelladoras Arca agrees to acquire Argentina-based Yege \n\nEmbotelladoras Arca, the listed Mexico-based beverage bottler, has agreed to acquire Argentina-based soft drink maker Yege, according to a report in today's Reforma.\nAccording to the report, Arca plans to merge Yege's operations with the acquisition of another Argentina-based business, bottler Grupo Guerrero. The report explained that the two acquisitions allow Arca to secure a 22.6% share of the Coca-Cola Company's franchises in Argentina. Arca's share of Argentina-based Coca-Cola franchises coupled with those owned by Femsa yield almost a 60% share of the Argentina market owned by Mexico-based companies, the report said.\nThe report cited Value Casa de Bolsa analyst Sergio Garcia, who predicted the Coca-Cola Company will continue to support the growth of both Mexico-based companies in order to make Coke products more competitive. Garcia said he could not rule out more acquisitions by either company in Argentina, the report stated.\nAfter Arca's planned acquisition is complete, there will be only three Argentina-based soft drink companies with Coca-Cola franchise operations in the country - Reginald Lee, Embotelladora del Atlántico and Polar, the report stated.\nThe report cited Arca CEO Francisco Garza Egloff as saying the acquisition, currently awaiting regulatory approval, will allow Arca to add value to the company and consolidate operations in Northern Argentina.\nFull Details to follow in the Deal Database

                                                                                          Dr Pepper Fizzles Away From Cadbury

                                                                                          Dr Pepper Fizzles Away From Cadbury\n\nThe strange combination of confection and beverage is no more. Cadbury (NYSE: CBY) and Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) have parted. Now trading under individual tickers and independently managed, I think the "demerger" (the very British term the company used for the action) is the right strategy for both units.\n\nI have long wondered whether Cadbury and Schweppes were merged in 1969 to create a bunch of old British men who wanted to be known as "the world's coolest grandfathers." After all, if your grandfather owned a company that made candy, what could possibly make him any cooler? That's right, owning a soda pop company. It's a preteen's dream come true.\n\nSadly, that's about the best connection I can make between the two business units. I always had trouble finding a compelling common thread. The core of Cadbury has always remained confection, with the beverage unit separately managed and related only tangentially.\n\nManaging both units seemed to distract top management from needed focus and might explain the comparatively lousy confection operating margins, as well as myriad restructuring programs that fell short of lofty goals. The distraction may have also contributed to problems that the company has experienced integrating confectionary acquisitions -- although the Adams acquisition, which brought the company Trident and Dentyne gums, was a notable exception and a glowing success.\n\nIn my opinion, management took a little too long to separate the beverage business. The company narrowly missed the window to sell the unit during the heyday of private equity and inflated multiples during late 2006 and early 2007, when speculation emerged that the drinks business might be merged with private label soda-pop maker Cott (NYSE: COT). A deal never materialized and the capital markets soon dried up, leaving the demerger as the most logical option for the company.\n\nI am not a big fan of the basic dynamics of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. With the company owning the rights to its brands solely in the United States, it will face a tough beverage market. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) owns the rights to the Dr Pepper brand in several countries outside North America, and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) likewise owns the rights to 7-Up in many markets.\n\nThis bizarre dynamic is due to the fact that both Coke and Pepsi tried to buy the rights to the Dr Pepper and 7-Up, respectively, within North America during the 1980s, but were denied because of antitrust concerns.\n\nBesides international limitations, Dr Pepper Snapple is also a disadvantage to the Coke and Pepsi systems because a large portion of the company's volume in the U.S. is produced by Coke bottlers, most notably Coca Cola Enterprises and Pepsi bottlers, most notably Pepsi Bottling Group. To make matters worse, the company's core products -- carbonated soft drinks -- seem to be in a state of decline in the U.S.\n\nIn contrast, there's a lot to like in Cadbury's confection business. It is currently the largest in the world, at least until the Wrigley (NYSE: WWY) and Mars deal closes. Cadbury maintains very strong confection-market positions in most major and many developing markets.\n\nA glaring exception is the U.S., where Hershey (NYSE: HSY) manufactures Cadbury brands. I think that it's a matter of when, not if, Cadbury and Hershey will merge, but issues of control could continue to stall a deal for years.\n\nEven without a Hershey deal, Cadbury has bright long-term growth prospects and profit margins with lots of room for improvement. With a little more managerial focus, this long-hoped-for potential may finally be recognized.

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                                                                                          • on 06-19-2008

                                                                                            US and China to begin investment talks

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                                                                                            US and China to begin investment talks

                                                                                            The US and China announced plans for talks on a bilateral investment treaty at the close of two days of high-level meetings in Annapolis, Maryland on Wednesday.\n\nThe talks will cover market-access issues and seek to establish formal “fair treatment” rights, under which inward investors would be assured the same treatment as domestic investors.\n\nA senior US Treasury official told the Financial Times that the aim would also be to improve dispute settlement mechanisms, including establishing a right to international arbitration.\n\nThe announcement of the talks came at the close of the two-day bilateral strategic economic dialogue, which also covered energy and the environment, currencies and financial liberalisation.\n\nThe Treasury official said China had agreed to increase co-operation with the International Energy Agency, including providing better disclosure on its oil stockpiles and reserve policies – steps the US hopes will reduce uncertainty in the oil market.\n\nThe nations were also set to flesh out a 10-year plan for co-operation on energy issues, which they hope will lead to greater co-ordination on research and standards to reduce the cost and increase the speed of adoption of new fuel technologies.\n\nThe official said China was also poised to announce some further “incremental steps” in the direction of financial sector liberalisation. These were modest, but the US believed they showed that China realised it would be a mistake to stop liberalising in spite of problems raised by the US credit crisis.\n\nCritics are likely to question how much progress on the investment treaty can be made during the remaining months of the Bush administration, with the Chinese side likely to reserve any big concessions as bargaining chips to use with a new US government.\n\nThe US official said: “We recognise the political calendar. The plan is to have lots of meetings and get as far as we can before the end of the year. But we are very aware that these things take time.”\n\nThe official said the later stages of negotiation and any final agreement were likely to fall to the next administration.\n\nThe US intends to press for legal rights, including rights to compensation in the event of expropriation or nationalisation, free transfers of capital, non-discriminatory treatment, a right to transparent regulation and a right to submit disputes to international arbitration.\n\nBoth sides were likely to reserve the right to make exemptions for national security reasons, as under the existing US foreign investment process.

                                                                                              Scotiabank comprará fondo pensiones en Perú

                                                                                              Scotiabank anunciará este jueves que comprará un fondo de pensiones privado en Perú, su tercera adquisición en ese país este año. \n\nEl banco canadiense estaría comprando una participación de control en AFP ProFuturo, administradora de fondos de pensiones en la que el principal accionista es Overseas Investment Corp. de Citibank, según señalaron fuentes cercanas al asunto. \n\nEsta compra por parte de Scotiabank expandirá aún más su presencia en Perú y le posicionará en el área de gestión de patrimonio privado, un nuevo negocio. \n\nEl banco ha operado en Perú desde 1997, pero ha aumentado sus intereses en forma significativa en el país en los últimos años. \n\nSegún informes de prensa en diarios peruanos, se prevé que Scotiabank pague entre US$35 millones y US$45 millones por un mínimo del 51% de AFP ProFuturo. \n\nSe espera que Citibank venda su participación del 42,2% en el fondo de pensiones, mientras que el remanente será comprado por Corporación Cervesur. \n

                                                                                                CPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says

                                                                                                18/06/2008 \n\nCPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says \n\nCPM Braxis, the largest Brazil-based IT services company, is in advanced negotiations with one company in Brazil and another one in Argentina, said CEO Jair Ribeiro.\n"We are analyzing six companies and we are almost ready to close on two of them, one in Brazil and another in Argentina," said Ribeiro, who did not disclose names of the targets. "We are eyeing niche companies, which could complement our business, and with specific knowledge in any IT services area," he added. According to the CEO, CPM Braxis should finish this year with two or three acquisitions.\n"We also want to go to Mexico and we are mapping the Mexican market," Ribeiro said. "In Argentina and in Mexico we are focusing on companies that can help us to tend to global customers in the US and in Europe," he explained.\nThe company registered USD 500m in revenues last year and expects USD 620m in revenues in 2008. CPM Braxis has 5,000 employees and offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, the UK, the US, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Singapore.

                                                                                                  Gissa vendió su parte en Ditemsa

                                                                                                  EL Grupo Industrial Saltillo (Gissa) decidió desincorporar de su portafolio el 49% que mantenía en la compañía Ditemsa, dedicada a la fabricación de herramentales para la industria automotriz, con el objetivo de atender a su estrategia de enfoque. \n\nEn un comunicado enviado a la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores publicado este miércoles por El Financiero, la empresa señaló que la transacción fue concretada con Arrk North America Holdings, accionista mayoritario de NPL Technologies, este último poseedor del 51% de Ditemsa. \n\nAclaró que la desincorporación no tendrá impacto en los renglones operativos de Gissa ya que este 49% estaba reconocido como inversión en acciones y valuada por el método de participación; sin embargo, se obtuvo una utilidad contable en la venta. \n\nGissa manufactura y comercializa productos para los sectores fundición de hierro (blocks y cabezas en hierro gris para motores a diesel y gasolina y autopartes en hierro nodular) y de la construcción (pisos y recubrimientos cerámicos, calentadores para agua y artículos para cocina y mesa). \n\n

                                                                                                    Plethico Pharmaceuticals in acquisition discussions with two outfits in Brazil

                                                                                                    18/06/2008 \n\nPlethico Pharmaceuticals in acquisition discussions with two outfits in Brazil \n\nPlethico Pharmaceuticals of India is in acquisition discussions with two outfits in Brazil, reported the mint, citing a wire report. The item cited Sanjay Pai (chief financial officer, Plethico Pharmaceuticals) as making a statement to this effect.\nThe report cited Pai as saying that one of Plethico Pharmaceuticals’ potential Brazilian targets makes herbal products, while the other makes over-the-counter and allopathic products.\nPlethico Pharmaceuticals could acquire one of the two potential target companies for around USD 50m, the item cited Pai as saying.

                                                                                                      Santander podría planear una oferta sobre Dredsner Bank

                                                                                                      Banco Santander, estudia una opa sobre Dresdner Bank, la división bancaria de la aseguradora Allianz, según informa la agencia Reuters citando a tres fuentes cercanas a la operación. Los títulos de de Allianz se han dado la vuelta nada más conocerse la información y cotizan con subidas del 1,26%.\n\n \n\nUna de las fuentes añade que el proceso estaría todavía en su fase inicial, pero que el banco español podría figurar entre los favoritos para adquirir Dresdner Bank, la división bancaria de la mayor aseguradora de Europa. Commerzbank y Deutsche Bank también podrían estar interesados.\n\n \n\nOtra de las fuentes se refiere a que Santander podría ser el mejor postor para hacerse con Dresdner. En las informaciones que han aparecido hasta el momento se recoge que grupos como Deutsche y Allianz tienen muchas posibilidades de alcanzar un acuerdo. Por el momento, Allianz, Santander y Deutsche Bank han preferido no hacer comentarios al respecto.\n\n \n\nLa reacción de Allianz al conocerse esta información ha sido al alza. Sus títulos han pasado de recortar un 1,14% a anotarse una subida del 1,25%, hasta los 118,46 euros. Santander, sin embargo, ha acrecentado sus descensos hasta el 1%, para cambiarse por 12,02 euros. \n\n

                                                                                                        FedEx doesn't deliver - Jun. 18, 2008

                                                                                                        NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- FedEx issued a nasty surprise to Wall Street this morning.\n\nThe package shipping giant, largely viewed as a barometer for the overall economy, said that its results for fiscal 2009, which ends next May, would be much lower than analysts were forecasting.\n\nAlan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx's executive vice president and chief financial officer said in a statement that the next year is expected to be "very difficult due to the weak U.S. economy and extremely high fuel prices."\nTalkback: Is FedEx's warning a sign of more trouble ahead for the economy?\n\nInvestors predictably did not like the news. Shares of FedEx (FDX, Fortune 500) tumbled about 3% Wednesday morning and shares of top rival UPS (UPS, Fortune 500) fell more than 2%.\n\nThe dismal guidance from FedEx, coupled with a sales miss from investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500), helped drag the broader market down Wednesday morning. But it's the weak outlook from FedEx that could potentially be the most troubling.\n\nRising commodity prices have obviously been a big cause of concern on Main Street as consumers grapple with gas prices above $4 a gallon at the pump and soaring food prices at the supermarket.\n\nYet, the stock market had actually been holding up reasonably well in the past few months even as the price of crude oil skyrocketed from about $100 a barrel to around $135 a barrel.\n\nThe broadest market indicators -- the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq -- are all still above the year-to-date lows set in mid-March at the height of credit-crunch fears.\n\nWhat's more, the highly cyclical Dow Jones Transportation Average, of which FedEx is a component, has actually been one of the better performers on Wall Street this year.\n\nInvestors appeared to be betting that an eventual turnaround in the economy later this year would bode well for transportation companies, despite record high oil prices.\n\nThat's particularly the case for railroad stocks like Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI, Fortune 500), CSX (CSX, Fortune 500) and Union Pacific (UNP, Fortune 500). These stocks actually have been viewed as sort of stealth-commodities plays since they are benefiting from demand to transport coal and corn among other things.\n\nBut FedEx's tepid guidance is proof that high oil prices are going to dent profit growth at all transport companies.\n\nAirlines are already feeling the pinch and have been busy cutting capacity, raising fares and laying off workers. Truckers have been reeling due to soaring diesel prices. FedEx is just the latest victim of the oil shock.\n\nIt seems logical that railroads would be next, especially since the terrible floods in the Midwest are expected to slow rail traffic for a bit. In fact, Union Pacific warned yesterday that its second-quarter profits would take about a 5 cent per-share hit due to weather-related disruptions.\n\nWith that in mind, it's worth pointing out that the Dow Jones Transportation Average, while still up 12% year-to-date, has fallen 8% since hitting a 52-week high just last month.\n\nWhat's this all mean? Well, if transport stocks continue to fall, that could be a bad sign.\n\nAs energy costs rise, it may be tougher and tougher for companies to pass along a big chunk of those increases to already cash-strapped consumers.\n\n"With the economy so slow, companies don't have a ton of pricing power," said Vincent Boberski, a portfolio strategist with FTN Financial in Memphis.\n\nAnd in a note to clients this morning, technical research firm Asbury Research pointed out that further drops in the DJTA "would imply that investors are betting on an economic slowdown going into the second half of the year."\n\nWhether or not the economy actually does worsen in the second half remains to be seen. But in light of FedEx's weak guidance, investors really should pay close attention to how much of a negative impact rising oil prices will have on profits.\n\nIf more companies start warning that energy prices are significantly eating into earnings growth, that may make it tougher for a key component of the economy, the job market, to improve.\n\nAnd most think that the economy will stay in a funk as long as the unemployment level continues to climb.\n\n"Oil is making headlines but the real thing to keep an eye on is the labor market and conditions are awfully weak," Boberski said.\n\nIssue #1 - America's Money: All this week at noon ET, CNN explains how the weakening economy affects you. Full coverage.\n\nGas prices have climbed to record levels. Are you feeling the pinch? Tell us how gas prices are affecting you and what you're doing to cope. Send us your photos and videos, or email us and tell us what you think. To top of page

                                                                                                          InBev buen socio para Modelo

                                                                                                          Grupo Modelo, la mayor cervecería de México y manejada por una familia que no suele tomar riesgos, saldría con un solo gran cambio de la puja de su rival belga InBev para comprar a la estadounidense Anheuser-Busch por 46,300 millones de dólares: un nuevo socio.\n\nLos analistas esperan que Modelo -en la que Anheuser tiene una participación del 50 %- bloquee cualquier intento del fabricante de Budweiser de comprarla por completo, algo que la firma estadounidense puede intentar como una medida defensiva ante la oferta de InBev.\n\nModelo tampoco quiere endeudarse con miles de millones de dólares para recomprar la participación de Anheuser.\n\nLos analistas consideran que la conclusión más probable es que Modelo, fabricante de la popular cerveza Corona, reciba de buena gana la oferta de InBev por Anheuser, esperando que el fabricante de bebidas belga resulte un socio más dinámico e innovador que el estadounidense.\n\n"A final de cuentas, si InBev compra a Anheuser, Grupo Modelo se va hacia la segura: (...) 'ya tengo a InBev y todo queda igual'", dijo Marco Reyes, analista de Ixe.\n\nEl director general de Modelo, Carlos Fernández, dijo hace dos semanas -antes de que InBev lanzara su oferta de 65 dólares por acción de Anheuser- que esperaba que su compañía -que no tiene deudas y cuenta con unos 1,000 millones en efectivo- permanezca en manos mexicanas.\n\nEl tío de Fernández, Antonio Fernández, encabeza al grupo familiar de accionistas con derecho a voto, que según analistas se inclina por mantenerse independiente, pese a la consolidación mundial en la industria cervecera y las jugosas y rápidas ganancias que daría vender.\n\nUna hipótesis es que Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc podría esquivar la oferta no solicitada de InBev NV comprando el 100% de Modelo, lo que la haría muy cara de adquirir, dada la inestabilidad financiera global.\n\nPero los analistas lo ven poco probable.\n\n"Hay tantos impedimentos para que se venda que lo veo poco probable", dijo Laura Herrera, analista de Vector. "Toda la familia tiene que decir 'vendemos'", agregó.\n\nBanamex, el brazo de Citigroup Inc en México, está de acuerdo. "Los controladores de Modelo no están interesados en vender su participación", dijo Banamex en una nota.\n\nInbev bienvenida\n\nLos analistas, además, se cuestionan por qué la familia Fernández querría sacrificar su independencia para ayudar a los Busch a mantener la suya, especialmente dada la fricción entre los dos socios.\n\nEl año pasado, Modelo se asoció con Constellation Brands, un importante productor de de vinos y licores, para crear Crown Imports LLC y hacerla el importador exclusivo de las marcas de la empresa mexicana a Estados Unidos, en un descarado rechazo a Anheuser.\n\nTampoco se prevé que Modelo salga corriendo al banco para reunir fondos para recomprar la participación de Anheuser, con valor estimado de 10,000 millones de dólares. Primero, porque ya tiene el control del consejo, y, además, la operación iría contra su estrategia.\n\n"¿Qué tanto te vas a poder endeudar, si además es una empresa que nunca le ha gustado endeudarse?", cuestionó Reyes. "Entonces es medio complicado", agregó, destacando que Modelo no cuenta con la opción automática de recompra en caso de que alguien adquiera a Anheuser.\n\nPor eso, los analistas están apostando a que eventualmente Modelo dará la bienvenida a InBev como su nuevo socio. InBev se formó en el 2004 cuando la belga Interbrew compró a la brasileña AmBev.\n\n"Definitivo, InBev es un buen socio, tiene toda la experiencia de Brasil, entonces sí le puede venir bien (a Modelo)", dijo Herrera, de Vector.\n\n

                                                                                                            Intra close to being sold to Citigroup; announcement likely today – report

                                                                                                            19/06/2008 \n\nIntra close to being sold to Citigroup; announcement likely today – report \n\nIntra Corretora's sale to Citigroup is likely to be announced today, Valor Economico reported without citing a source. Gustavo Marin, the listed New York bank's country head for Brazil, will announce the acquisition, Valor said in its report.\nThe price is expected to be between BRL 150m and BRL 200m (USD 125m), Valor said in its report in an inside page of its third section today. The transaction has been expected by the market for some months, the daily said. The delay is because the acquisition of the Brazilian brokerage by a non-Brazilian bank has to be approved by the country's central bank, Valor said in the unsourced report.\nBanco Citibank, the Brazilian unit of listed New York-based Citigroup, is near buying Intra, a Sao Paulo-based brokerage, O Globo reported last March, as reported earlier. After Banco Bradesco bought Agora Corretora, the market considers Intra’s sale to Citibank a certainty, O Globo reported without citing a source in the story in March.\nThe owners of Intra agreed on a price in recent days with Citibank, the earlier unsourced item reported. The transaction may surpass BRL 200m in price, O Globo reported. The sale will include the clients of Intra though the Brazilian broker’s stakes in Bovespa Holding, the owner of the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, and the Bolsa de Mercadorias e Futuros (BM&F), Latin America’s biggest derivatives market, are not included, the Rio de Janeiro daily reported. Both the listed exchanges are based in Sao Paulo. Intra was Brazil’s 15th-largest broker in volume in May, Valor said in its report today.\nAn acquisition by a unit of Citigroup may seem unlikely now after the bank holding company reported a loss of almost USD 10bn in the fourth quarter, the biggest in its 196-year history.\nBanco Citibank, though, had its best year in its 90 years in Brazil last year, a Citibank account manager in Sao Paulo told this reporter, a customer of the Brazilian unit, on 17 March. The Brazilian unit had a net profit of BRL 1.7bn (USD 960m at year-end exchange rates) last year, Gazeta Mercantil reported on 5 March. After subtracting out non-recurring items such as returns from the sale of stakes in Redecard, a credit and debit card processing company, Bovespa and BM&F, the earnings were BRL 551m, Gazeta reported, citing Marin, the country manager for Brazil.\nBanco Bradesco, Brazil’s second-biggest bank by stock market value, said last 6 March it bought stockbroker Agora Corretora de Titulos e Valores Mobiliarios for the equivalent of USD 490m.

                                                                                                              Dafsa acquires 50% of Zuvamesa – report

                                                                                                              27/05/2008 \n\nDafsa, the private Spanish fruit juice and soups company, has acquired a 40% stake in the private Spanish fruit juice producer Zuvamesa, reported Alimarket. The unsourced report said Zuvamesa’s existing shareholders (a group of 60 citrus-fruit growers) would retain the other 50%.\nA previous report said Zuvamesa had start-up costs of EUR 90m. The previous report also said Dafsa was owned by the private equity firm Atitlan Capital.

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                                                                                                              • on 06-19-2008

                                                                                                                Colombia Solicitó A España Agilizar Créditos Para Obras De Infraestructura

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                                                                                                                Colombia Solicitó A España Agilizar Créditos Para Obras De Infraestructura

                                                                                                                Colombia Solicitó A España Agilizar Créditos Para Obras De Infraestructura\n\nEl Presidente Álvaro Uribe Vélez solicitó al Gobierno de España agilizar dos créditos que se gestionan con el país ibérico, para terminar las obras del aeropuerto de Palestina en Caldas y continuar las obras de la central hidroeléctrica de Guapi en el Pacífico.\n\nEl anuncio lo hizo al concluir una reunión con el Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación de España, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, en la Escuela Militar de Aviación en Cali, durante la cual abordaron diferentes temas de la agenda bilateral.\n\n“Le pedimos al Gobierno Español su ayuda sobre el crédito de largo plazo para poder concluir las obras del aeropuerto de Palestina, en el departamento de Caldas. El Gobierno Español nos ha expresado toda la disposición. Que están pendientes solamente de que la Gobernación de Caldas entregue unos números que el Gobierno Español ha pedido recientemente. También pedimos la agilización del crédito para continuar con las obras de Central Hidroeléctrica del Guapi, aquí en el Pacífico”, indicó el Mandatario.\n\nEl Jefe de Estado agradeció al Canciller Español que aceptara el encuentro en la ciudad de Cali, que ha mejorado y se ha transformado, gracias a nuevas inversiones en infraestructura.\n\n“Qué bueno haber podido recibir al Canciller Moratinos en la ciudad de Cali y que él haya aceptado llegar a la ciudad de Cali para esta reunión”, dijo el Presidente.

                                                                                                                  Big Cola le gana juicio a Coca Cola — negocios — CNNExpansion.com

                                                                                                                  19 de junio de 2008\n\nLIMA (Reuters) — La justicia mexicana ordenó a varias embotelladoras de Coca Cola pagar una multa total de 15 millones de dólares por prácticas monopólicas y competencia desleal contra la peruana Ajegroup, en un fallo que acaba con un largo pleito, dijo el miércoles un portavoz de la empresa.\n\nEntre las embotelladoras que deberán pagar la multa al Estado mexicano se encuentran Femsa, la mayor embotelladora de Coca Cola en México, según Ajegroup.\n\nEl director de asuntos corporativos de la empresa peruana, Alfredo Paredes, dijo que el fallo del Cuarto Tribunal Colegiado en Materia Administrativa fue la última instancia de un pleito legal de tres años y "es inapelable".\n\n"Por decisión unánime y en un fallo histórico (...) el tribunal ratificó tanto la multa como la sentencia", dijo Paredes en una conversación telefónica.\n\nFemsa, que es también la mayor embotelladora de Coca Cola en Latinoamérica, no quiso hacer comentarios sobre el caso de inmediato.\n\nPara Ajegroup, que opera en 10 países de Latinoamérica y es el productor del refresco Big Cola, México es su mayor mercado y ha tenido que pelear con uñas y dientes contra Coca Cola para hacerse de un pedazo de este mercado, el mayor consumidor de refresco del mundo.\n\nLos cargos contra las embotelladoras de Coca Cola en 10 estados mexicanos son por coerción e intimidación de dueños de puntos de venta, coacción mediante pago de premios y promociones en puntos de venta, y retiro y destrucción de propaganda y mercancía de Big Cola, dijo Paredes.\n\n"Ha sido una lucha por la competencia de Big Cola en el mercado mexicano. No nos regocija por los competidores, pero nos alienta porque se cumple el estado de derecho", sostuvo.\n\nParedes agregó que tras este fallo, la compañía tiene la posibilidad de presentar una demanda por los daños ocasionados con las prácticas monopólicas. "Se está analizando", afirmó. \n\nAjegroup opera también en Perú, Ecuador, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panamá, Honduras, Venezuela y Colombia.

                                                                                                                    Multinacional brasilera de software Datasul refuerza operación en Colombia

                                                                                                                    Multinacional brasilera de software Datasul refuerza operación en Colombia\n\nDatasul, multinacional brasilera de software de gestión empresarial integrada, anuncia nuevas iniciativas para incrementar sus operaciones en Colombia (Bogotá y Medellín).\n\n\nDatasul, multinacional brasilera de software de gestión empresarial integrada, anuncia nuevas iniciativas para incrementar sus operaciones en Colombia (Bogotá y Medellín).\n\nDesde inicios del 2007, la empresa ha contado el apoyo de Proexport Colombia quien a través de la vicepresidencia de Inversión Extranjera Directa ha venido acompañando a Datasul en todas las etapas de ingreso y operación en el país.\n\nLa compañía viene conduciendo un amplio análisis del sector de TI en el país. El objetivo es identificar las demandas del área, potenciales distribuidores locales y soporte en la revisión de posibles adquisiciones.\n\nEn el 2007, Datasul invirtió aproximadamente ocho millones de reales (ocho mil millones de pesos, con el objetivo de intensificar el proceso de internacionalización. “El mercado colombiano viene recibiendo grandes inversiones en la industria manufacturera.\n\nEl Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) con Estados Unidos, y a la institución de 20 zonas francas traen un gran incentivo para la exportación, y Datasul quiere apoyar las empresas Colombianas a competir fuertemente en este escenario”, explicó Jean Carlo Klaumann, director de Operaciones para América Latina, de la compañía. “La estrategia de Datasul en este país recoge acciones que deben alcanzar también todos los países del Norte Andino” complementó el ejecutivo.\n\nHoy, Datasul tiene presencia en los principales países de América Latina – México, Argentina, Chile y Colombia – Con más de 150 clientes en estos países. Son casi 200 profesionales trabajando al frente de 12 operaciones en el exterior, entre ellas un centro de desarrollo e innovación. Brindando localización y soporte a los clientes de los países de habla hispana. Son 30 profesionales trabajando desde Colombia en la región Andina.\n\nEn Colombia, la empresa esta presente a través de una franquicia desde 2005 y considera los sectores manufacturero y agrícola como los mas estratégicos para el país.\n\n“Según investigaciones, este es un mercado en fuerte expansión”, afirma Klaumann. Datasul ya es líder en este segmento en Brasil y quiere llevar su experiencia en soluciones de gestión a las industrias colombianas. Para acelerar el desarrollo de los planes en Colombia, Datasul llevará a cabo en los próximos meses la capacitación de equipos de consultaría de implantación, vendedores y pre- ventas, además de asistentes comerciales.

                                                                                                                      Veronis Suhler Taps Ex-AOL Executive as Adviser - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                                                                                                      June 19, 2008\n\nVeronis Suhler Stevenson, a media-focused private equity firm, will announce Thursday that it has hired the former president of AOL Media Networks as a senior adviser on a non-exclusive basis.\n\nThe appointment of Michael J. Kelly, who held that AOL position from 2004 to 2007, is part of VSS’s effort to seek out more acquisitions in the digital media field. Over the past year, the firm has made four investments in companies with significant digital components.\n\nMr. Kelly, a longtime Time Warner veteran, created AOL’s media networks business, building it out with acquisitions like those of Advertising.com and Third Screen Media. Before taking the AOL position in 2004, he was president of global marketing at Time Warner. He also had founded American Town Network, a local interactive media company.\n\nBut most of Mr. Kelly’s experience in the media industry was at Time Inc., where he helped start Entertainment Weekly and eventually served as its publisher from 1996 to 2000.\n\nBeyond his role at VSS, Mr. Kelly is on the board of American Town Network and Eyeblaster, a digital advertising services company. He is also an adviser to Clearmedow Partners, a media advisory firm.

                                                                                                                        Banco Mundial destaca a Ecopetrol como la quinta operación más grande entre economías emergentes

                                                                                                                        Su mérito no es sólo por el monto de la venta de acciones (US$ 2.800 millones), sino porque es la única, en el grupo de 10 más grandes, que no pertenece a los Bric (Brasil, Rusia, India y China).\n\nUn estudio del Banco Mundial (BM) que evalúa los flujos de capitales hacia los países emergentes, se titula 'Flujos mundiales de financiamiento para el desarrollo 2008', y sostiene que el ingreso de capital privado hacia los mercados emergentes -que en el 2007 alcanzó la cifra sin precedentes de un billón de dólares- descenderá a 800.000 millones en el 2009, con lo que se ubicaría en el segundo mayor nivel de su historia.\n\nInversión en empresas\n\nGran parte de esos flujos está destinada a la inversión en empresas y, por eso, toma más importancia la operación con Ecopetrol, con todo y que en la oferta inicial de acciones, los extranjeros no podían comprar (hoy ya lo pueden hacer a través de la Bolsa y a ellos se han atribuido algunos picos que ha tenido el precio del título, el cual se ha valorizado 97 por ciento desde que entró a la Bolsa).\n\nLa inversión extranjera en empresas de países emergentes completó en el 2007 tres años consecutivos de crecimiento fuerte. El BM estima que esas inversiones alcanzaron 616.000 millones de dólares el año pasado, una cifra igual al 4,5 por ciento de todo lo que producen esas economías. De ese monto solo el 20 por ciento correspondió a compra directa de acciones, el resto a inversión directa en las empresas, ya sea por compras o fusiones.\n\nEl negocio del éxito\n\nEl informe también destaca el negocio de almacenes Éxito. El grupo francés Casino destinó 550 millones de dólares para ampliar su participación en el Grupo Éxito (que incluye los almacenes del mismo nombre, Carulla, Pomona, Merquefácil y Ley).\n\nAunque América Latina es la región emergente en donde más está creciendo la inversión foránea para las empresas (22 por ciento el año pasado), su participación en los flujos totales que llegan a las economías en desarrollo es apenas del 20 por ciento, la mitad de lo que tenían hace una década.\n\nEuropa Central y Asia son los principales receptores de esos recursos y allí la inversión extranjera se ha duplicado en los últimos diez años.\n\nDestacan recompra de deuda\n\nEl BM advierte en su estudio que pese a las ventajas que traen los flujos de capital externo, también se debe tener en cuenta que los países con fuertes necesidades de financiamiento internacional son potencialmente más vulnerables a una contracción del crédito.\n\nPor eso, destacó los prepagos de deuda externa realizados por Brasil, Colombia, México y Venezuela. No obstante, advirtió que el ritmo de prepagos de estas naciones se desaceleró, pues en el 2006 estos sumaron 30.000 millones de dólares y en el 2007 fueron 20.000 millones.\n\nEntre abril del 2007 y el mismo mes del 2008, siete de los 52 países que conforman las economías emergentes realizaron prepagos de deudas y entre ellos se destacaron Perú y Filipinas porque recompraron todos sus bonos Brady, uniéndose al grupo de Brasil, Colombia, México y Venezuela, los cuales ya quedaron completamente libres de ese tipo de obligaciones. Los bonos Brady fueron emitidos por los gobiernos en el marco de la refinanciación de la deuda externa de inicios de los noventa.\n\nElogian recompra de Colombia\n\nEn el caso particular de Colombia, el Banco Mundial resaltó la recompra de deuda realizada en junio del año pasado por unos 850 millones de dólares, a valor facial, de los bonos globales denominados en dólares y con vencimiento en el 2008, el 2009, el 2010 y el 2011.\n\n"Esta transacción refleja la estrategia de manejo de deuda a largo plazo que tiene el país para reducir sus obligaciones en moneda extranjera", dice el informe y agrega que la operación fue financiada con la emisión de un nuevo bono de deuda externa, pero denominado en pesos.\n\nEl monto fue de 1.000 millones de dólares y el vencimiento es en el 2027. A estos papeles se les conoce como los TES globales.\nwww.portafolio.com.co

                                                                                                                          Gambling Revenue Worldwide to top $155B in 2012?

                                                                                                                          Gambling Revenue Worldwide to top $155B in 2012?\n\nGlobal gambling revenue is estimated to pass $155 billion in 2012 after growing at an annually compounded rate of 6.5 percent per year, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP report released Wednesday. Gambling revenue is expected to rise from nearly $114 billion in 2007 because of new casinos and upgrades to existing ones around the world, the report said.\n\nThe annual report by the financial consulting company identified the Asia Pacific region as the world's fastest growing gambling region with new resorts in the Chinese enclave of Macau as well as Singapore and Thailand helping generate increases of 15.2 percent annually. Revenue from the Asia Pacific region will hit $37.2 billion in 2012 compared with $18.3 billion in 2007.\n\nTotal gambling revenue in the United States will remain well ahead of other regions, growing at 4 percent annually from $60.3 billion in 2007 to $73.3 billion in 2012, the report said. But tough economic times will lead to declining revenues in 2008 and 2009 in Nevada and Atlantic City, N.J., according to the report. Mary Lynn Palenik of PricewaterhouseCoopers said the mortgage crisis and high gas and travel prices will lead to the decline."It translates into fewer U.S. travelers," Palenik said.\n\nPalenik said international travelers won't pick up all the slack of lagging domestic travel. The report predicts a turnaround for Nevada starting in 2010, with revenues expected to reach $14.8 billion in 2012 from $12.8 billion in 2007, an increase of 2.9 percent per year. Atlantic City was seen generating $4.74 billion in 2012, down from $4.94 billion in 2007.\n\nNew casinos as well as licenses for online gambling and sports betting in the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa are expected to drive revenues in the region up 4.9 percent a year from $30.3 billion in 2007 to $38.4 billion in 2012. Gambling revenue in Canada is seen rising to $6.2 billion from $4.6 billion, while in Latin America, revenues are expected to climb to $514 million from $297 million.\n

                                                                                                                            NJ rejects Tropicana bids, restarts sale process | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                            Casino regulators in New Jersey agreed on Wednesday to reject all bids received for the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, and to restart the process for a buyer.\n\nThe New Jersey Casino Control Commission said in a statement it gave the trustee overseeing the sale process, retired state Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein, another 120 days to find a buyer for the Tropicana.\n\nStein was appointed by the state to oversee the casino after regulators refused to renew the license of its former owner, Columbia Sussex Corp, after receiving complaints ranging from massive layoffs to problems with service and cleanliness. That led the state to seek a sale.\n\nThe commission receiving "multiple expressions of interest" from possible buyers, but Stein concluded none of the bidders offered what he viewed as fair market value.\n\n"Requiring Justice Stein to produce a buyer from the available pool is impractical," the commission chairwoman, Linda Kassekert, said.\n\nKassekert added that "whoever the participants in the bid process may have been, none of them, nor anyone else not already a party has raised any concerns with Justice Stein's proposal to reject the original process and start over."\n\nStein had hoped to have a buyer by the end of April. But several developments, including the worsening of the credit market, the slowing national economy and a bankruptcy filing by a Columbia Sussex affiliate, Tropicana Entertainment LLC, slowed the process to a crawl.\n\nThe bankruptcy filing led potential buyers to low-ball their offers, Stein said earlier this month.\n\nColumbia Sussex acquired the property in its 2006 acquisition of Aztar Corp. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

                                                                                                                              Mexico's Modelo seen embracing InBev bid for Bud | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                              MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's No. 1 brewer, Modelo, run by a family not known for risk taking, is expected to emerge from InBev's $46.3 billion takeover battle for Anheuser-Busch with only one major change -- a new partner.\n\nModelo, already 50 percent owned by Anheuser, is expected to block any attempt by the brewer of Budweiser to buy full control as a defensive move. Neither does it want to take on billions of dollars of debt to buy back its stake in the St. Louis-based giant.\n\nAnalysts say the most likely outcome is that Modelo, which makes Corona beer, will embrace InBev's bid for Anheuser and hope the Belgian brewer proves to be a more dynamic and innovative partner than the biggest U.S. brewer.\n\n"At the end of the day, if InBev buys Anheuser, Modelo is going to play safe. OK, now I don't have Anheuser causing me grief. I have InBev and everything remains the same," said Ixe brokerage analyst Marco Reyes.\n\nModelo CEO Carlos Fernandez told Reuters two weeks ago -- before InBev launched its $65 a share bid for Anheuser -- that he expected his company, which has no debt and more than $1 billion in cash, to remain in Mexican hands.\n\nFernandez's uncle and family patriarch, Antonino Fernandez, controls Modelo's family voting trust, which analysts say is bent on remaining independent, despite consolidation in the global beer industry and the rich pickings from selling.\n\nOne theory is that Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc (BUD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could dodge the InBev NV (INTB.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bid by buying 100 percent of Grupo Modelo (GMODELOC.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which would make its combined holdings too expensive to take over given the current global financial turmoil.

                                                                                                                                Citigroup to buy Brazilian brokerage Intra-sources | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                SAO PAULO, June 19 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has sealed a deal to buy Brazil's Intra brokerage, one of the country's biggest independent brokerages, sources with knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.\n\nThe purchase may be announced as soon as Thursday, the sources said.\n\nIntra's communications department declined to comment on the deal, referring questions to Citigroup. The New York bank's media department in Sao Paulo also declined to comment. (Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Elzio Barreto, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)\n

                                                                                                                                  Terna Energy close to acquiring Latin American renewable energy company

                                                                                                                                  17/06/2008 \n\nTerna Energy close to acquiring Latin American renewable energy company \n\nTerna Energy, the listed, Greek energy company, is close to acquiring a Latin America-based renewable energy company, Capital reported, citing unnamed sources. The target operates its own electricity production units and is planning to construct more, the report added.\nTerna Energy has a market capitalisation of EUR 839.68m.

                                                                                                                                    Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp files for blank check IPO in US; to target marine transportation and logistics industries

                                                                                                                                    17/06/2008 \n\nNavios Maritime Acquisition Corp files for blank check IPO in US; to target marine transportation and logistics industries \n\nNavios Maritime Acquisition Corporation, a Greece-based blank check company, filed with US regulators for an IPO potentially worth as much as USD 220m.\nThe company will focus on transactions in the marine transportation and logistics industries, with a primary focus on target businesses outside of the drybulk shipping sector.\n"[Navios' will focus on businesses] including without limitation, tankers, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, containers and logistics sectors," according to the filing. "We may acquire assets directly or indirectly through the purchase of businesses. We may also acquire service businesses, including companies that provide technical or commercial management or other services to one or more segments of the marine transportation and logistics industries."\nNavios Maritime Holdings, Inc has committed to purchase USD 7.6m worth of warrants in a private placement that will occur simultaneously with the completion of the offering, according to the filing. While Navios Holdings does not have any contractual obligation to assist the blank check company in identifying a target business and completing a business combination, the acquisition corp may have access to certain resources of Navios Holdings, such as financial and accounting personnel, that may assist it in the process of evaluating potential acquisition targets, according to the filing.\nNavios Holdings CEO Angeliki Frangou is also CEO of Navios Maritime Acquisition Corp. Other officers and directors include Ted Petrone, Nikolaos Veraros, Julian David Brynteson and John Koilalous.\nJPMorgan, Deutsche Bank Securities and S. Goldman Advisors LLC are underwriting the offering.

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                                                                                                                                    • on 06-19-2008

                                                                                                                                      CPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says

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                                                                                                                                      CPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says

                                                                                                                                      18/06/2008 \n\nCPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says \n\nCPM Braxis, the largest Brazil-based IT services company, is in advanced negotiations with one company in Brazil and another one in Argentina, said CEO Jair Ribeiro.\n"We are analyzing six companies and we are almost ready to close on two of them, one in Brazil and another in Argentina," said Ribeiro, who did not disclose names of the targets. "We are eyeing niche companies, which could complement our business, and with specific knowledge in any IT services area," he added. According to the CEO, CPM Braxis should finish this year with two or three acquisitions.\n"We also want to go to Mexico and we are mapping the Mexican market," Ribeiro said. "In Argentina and in Mexico we are focusing on companies that can help us to tend to global customers in the US and in Europe," he explained.\nThe company registered USD 500m in revenues last year and expects USD 620m in revenues in 2008. CPM Braxis has 5,000 employees and offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, the UK, the US, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Singapore.

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                                                                                                                                      • on 06-19-2008

                                                                                                                                        CPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says

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                                                                                                                                        CPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says

                                                                                                                                        18/06/2008 \n\nCPM Braxis in negotiations to acquire IT companies in Brazil and Argentina, CEO says \n\nCPM Braxis, the largest Brazil-based IT services company, is in advanced negotiations with one company in Brazil and another one in Argentina, said CEO Jair Ribeiro.\n"We are analyzing six companies and we are almost ready to close on two of them, one in Brazil and another in Argentina," said Ribeiro, who did not disclose names of the targets. "We are eyeing niche companies, which could complement our business, and with specific knowledge in any IT services area," he added. According to the CEO, CPM Braxis should finish this year with two or three acquisitions.\n"We also want to go to Mexico and we are mapping the Mexican market," Ribeiro said. "In Argentina and in Mexico we are focusing on companies that can help us to tend to global customers in the US and in Europe," he explained.\nThe company registered USD 500m in revenues last year and expects USD 620m in revenues in 2008. CPM Braxis has 5,000 employees and offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, the UK, the US, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Singapore.

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                                                                                                                                        • on 06-18-2008

                                                                                                                                          “Hub” de Copa Airlines abre mercados a los dominicanos

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                                                                                                                                          “Hub” de Copa Airlines abre mercados a los dominicanos

                                                                                                                                          La competencia entre líneas aéreas es constante, pues se trata de un negocio que mueve a personas y mercancías no sólo para hacer turismo, sino también para la realización de negocios de diversos tipos, además de la migración normal de los seres humanos. Por esa razón las principales aerolíneas han establecido “hub” en puntos estratégicos: Delta lo tiene en su sede de Atlanta, mientras que American lo ha hecho en Miami.\n\nCopa Airlines, la compañía panameña de aviación, ha hecho lo mismo en su sede de Panamá, donde está lo que describe como el “Hub de las Américas”. Desde este punto de América Central, con una ubicación geográfica envidiable, Copa tiene vuelos hacia 41 destinos de 22 países del Norte, Centro y Suramérica, así como de la región del Caribe. El “hub” de Copa en el aeropuerto internacional de Tocumén es ideal para las empresas de República Dominicana que tienen negocios con los países de América del Sur o Centroamérica, pues es mucho más fácil hacer escala en Panamá que en Miami, para estos casos.\n\nPromotor de negocios\nPero Copa no es sólo una aerolínea, sino una agencia de promoción de negocios con el objetivo de incentivar el comercio entre las naciones de la región, pues así sus servicios serán más demandados. Adolfo Sen, director de Ventas Internacionales de Copa, explica que los dominicanos pueden hacer escala en Panamá sin la necesidad de visas, lo cual es una ventaja comparativa con los puntos de escala en Estados Unidos.\n\nEl “Hub de las Américas” de Copa tiene cuatro bancos de vuelo con salidas a las 9:00 y 10:00 de la mañana y llegadas a las 10:45 y 11.45 de la noche. Para la gerente general de Copa en República Dominicana, Claudia Zuluaga Alam, este destino es de mucha importancia debido a que tiene un tratado de libre comercio con Centroamérica y por su elevada demanda turística.\n\nPor esa razón Copa tiene una frecuencia de 37 vuelos semanales en República Dominicana y proyecta ampliarla antes de que finalice este año. Los puntos de vuelo de Copa en el país se realizan en las terminales aéreas de Las Américas, en Santo Domingo; Cibao, en Santiago y Punta Cana, en La Altagracia. Alianzas estratégicas Como una forma de ampliar su oferta, Copa ha hecho alianzas estratégicas con otras aerolíneas. En 1998 hizo una alianza con Continental Airlines, que incluye el programa de viajero frecuente OnePass, acceso a los Presidents Clubs alrededor del mundo y acceso a más de 500 destinos globales.\n\nTambién mantiene una alianza con Aero República (subsidiaria de Copa Huldings), que es la segunda aerolínea nacional de Colombia, da servicio a 12 ciudades en esa nación y conexión a través del “Hub de las Américas”. Copa también es miembro de la Alianza SkyTeam.\n\nLas ventajas\nEl “Hub de las Américas” de Copa ofrece diversas ventajas para los viajeros de turismo, negocios y otras actividades. Este “hub” tiene una buena ubicación geográfica, clima favorable, dos pistas de aterrizaje, conexiones inmediatas sin tener que pasar por inmigración o aduanas, equipaje documentado hasta el destino final y un moderno aeropuerto con zona para compras.\n\nHistoria\nEn 1947 Copa inicia sus operaciones con vuelos domésticos a 3 ciudades dentro de la República de Panamá con 3 aviones Douglas C-47. Desde 1960 a 1970 se inaugura el servicio internacional con 3 vuelos semanales a San José, Kingston, Barranquilla y Medellín. Entre 1970 y 1980 se incorpora a Guatemala como destino y se eliminan los vuelos domésticos, convirtiéndose en una aerolínea internacional.\n\nA partir de los años 80 Copa Airlines comienza a crecer y en 1998 se forma la alianza estratégica de Copa Airlines y Continental Airlines, una de las más importantes en la aviación latinoamericana. En mayo de 1999 adquiere modernas aeronaves Boeing 737-700 Next Generation De 2000 a 2005 se inician vuelos a Cancún, Orlando, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles y San Andrés. \n\n\nEL SIGNIFICADO DE “HUB”\nEn la aviación comercial se entiende por “hub” un aeropuerto grande del que salen y al que llegan vuelos de larga distancia que se realizan mediante aviones de gran capacidad. Estos aeropuertos grandes tienen también enlaces con ciudades más pequeñas, que son servidas con aviones de tamaño menor.\n\nMediante este sistema las compañías aéreas pueden llenar sus aviones grandes en los trayectos de largo recorrido. En el caso ideal, los horarios de los vuelos de corto alcance están coordinados de tal manera con los vuelos de largo recorrido, que los pasajeros tienen que esperar únicamente el tiempo preciso para tomar el siguiente vuelo.\n\nTambién es traducido como “centro de distribución”. En inglés “hub” es el centro de un sistema en general, en el que coinciden los radios y donde se encuentra el eje. El término se utiliza internacionalmente para identificar sistemas que mantienen una fuerte dependencia de un punto central.\n\nEn informática un “hub” o concentrador es un equipo de redes que permite conectar entre sí otros equipos y retransmite los paquetes que recibe desde cualquiera de ellos a todos los demás. wikipedia.com \n\n

                                                                                                                                            Concreta empresa India la compra de Tornel

                                                                                                                                            Nota Concreta empresa India la compra de Tornel El fabricante de llantas Tornel, la última empresa mexicana productora de neumáticos, fue vendida a la india JK Tyre & Industries por 67 millones de dólares (unas 2,700 millones de rupias), confirmaron ayer ambas empresas.\n"JK Tyre ha sido líder en la fabricación de llantas en la India y adquirió a Tornel con el propósito de estar presente en mercados tan importantes como el de nuestro país (México), y mantener una fuerte presencia a través de la exportación en los mercados de Estados Unidos y el resto de Latinoamérica", dijeron en un comunicado conjunto.\n\nLa compañía india informó que continuará ofreciendo llantas con la marca Tornel.\n\nAdicionalmente, se introducirán al mercado productos con la marca J K Tyre, y se planea ofrecer una nueva línea de neumáticos.\n\n"No sólo se planea mantener los actuales empleos en las plantas, sino también la posibilidad de incrementarlos.\n\nJK Tyre planea invertir en las plantas mexicanas para el desarrollo de tecnologías y nuevos productos", añadió el comunicado.\n\nJK Tyre produce una amplia gama de llantas para camión, camionetas SUV, automóviles, maquinaria agrícola, entre otras.\n\nHa sido pionera en tecnología radial y es el mayor fabricante de llantas de camión y autobús radiales.\n\nLa adquisición de Tornel (fabricante que sobrevivió a sus competidores nacionales General Popo, Euzkadi y Hércules) fue considerada estratégica, debido a que la compañía india se ha consolidado como la mayor exportadora a Norteamérica y busca ampliar su presencia internacional.\n\nA su vez, Compañía Hulera Tornel cuenta actualmente con 500 empleados y 1,600 obreros en México.\n\nTiene una red de 350 distribuidores en todos los estados del país y cuenta con cinco plantas ubicadas en el Distrito Federal y estado de México.\n\n\n\n

                                                                                                                                              Emcali Se Escindiría En Tres Compañías

                                                                                                                                              Empresas Públicas de Cali (Emcali) se escindiría en tres compañías: telecomunicaciones, energía y agua\n\n\nLa Superintendencia de Servicios Públicos le hará entrega al alcalde de Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, de un proyecto de acuerdo en el cual se hace esa propuesta.\n\n\nLa superintendente Evamaría Uribe explicó que esta propuesta se presenta luego de varios meses de análisis y debate en los que se determinó que, bajo el modelo actual, la empresa no es viable en el largo plazo. \n\n\nLa funcionaria señaló que el tema no se limita a fondear el pasivo pensional, sino a contar con los recursos de inversión necesarios para hacer de Emcali una empresa moderna. \n\n\nPrecisamente, Uribe advirtió que -en el negocio de telecomunicaciones- Emcali pierde a diario a numerosos clientes que se inclinan por las ofertas, no solo de las multinacionales Telmex de México y Telefónica de España, sino de operadores nacionales como ETB y EPM. \n\n\nLa Superservicios calcula que tan solo en renovación tecnológica son necesarios más de 600.000 millones de pesos. \n\n\nEl proyecto de acuerdo será presentado al Alcalde de Cali en presencia del presidente Álvaro Uribe, quien traslada sus actividades a Cali. Se prevé que el alcalde radicará la propuesta en las sesiones extraordinarias del Concejo. Emcali está intervenida por la Superservicios desde el año 2000. \n\n\n\n\n

                                                                                                                                                Ontario y Morgan Stanley se quedan con activos de Saesa

                                                                                                                                                Luego de un proceso de venta que se extendió por casi siete meses, la estadounidense Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) adjudicó los activos de Saesa al consorcio conformado por el fondo canadiense Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) y la división de infraestructura del banco de inversión Morgan Stanley (MSI).\n\nLos socios valorizaron en cerca de US$ 1.300 millones a esta firma presente en generación, transmisión y distribución eléctrica en la zona sur del país.\n\nLa operación considera un valor base de patrimonio por US$ 870 millones, monto al que se suman otros US$ 400 millones de deuda consolidada del grupo, cuyas filiales son Saesa, Frontel, Luz Osorno y Edelaysen en distribución; la Sociedad Generadora Austral (SGA) y PSEG Generación en la producción de energía, y Sistema de Transmisión del Sur (STS) a través de la cual transmite su energía. Mediante estas firmas, Saesa atiende a más de 639 mil clientes entre las regiones del Bío Bío y de Aysén.\n\nLa estadounidense explicó que la operación debería cerrarse durante el tercer trimestre de este año y agregó que estima que la recaudación por concepto de caja alcanzará los US$ 600 millones, luego del pago de impuestos en Chile y Estados Unidos. Se espera, además, que en 2008, esta venta genere una ganancia libre de impuestos de entre US$ 170 millones a US$ 180 millones. \n\nEl vicepresidente de OTPP Infraestructura, Stephen Dowd, dijo que la decisión de comprar Saesa obedeció a su diversificación y buena gestión de activos eléctricos, así como una sólida posición de mercado en Chile del sector energético regulado. “Como propietarios de este activo, estamos comprometidos a trabajar con nuestro socio para apoyar el crecimiento a largo plazo de la empresa”, señaló.\n\nEl director de Operaciones de MSI, Ron Lepin, agregó que les atrajo la sofisticación y estabilidad del marco regulatorio local. A ello sumó que “Saesa es una empresa regulada que genera retornos constantes y flujos de efectivo predecibles a largo plazo, lo que se adecua perfectamente a nuestro objetivos de inversión”.\n\nOTPP administra los fondos de pensiones de 278.000 profesores activos y retirados de Ontario, mientras que MSI es un fondo especializado en servicios públicos en diversos países.\n\n

                                                                                                                                                  Colombian Peso Jumps to Nine-Year High on Rate Rise Speculation

                                                                                                                                                  June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia's peso climbed to a nine- year high on speculation the central bank will lift its key lending rate this week, boosting the appeal of the nation's fixed-income assets.\n\n``There's a lot of speculation the central bank will increase the interest rate on Friday,'' said Alexander Cardenas, chief analyst at Bogota-based Acciones y Valores brokerage. ``That's leading pension funds and some other financial institutions to sell dollars.''\n\nThe peso gained 1.4 percent to 1,654.08 per U.S. dollar at 1:48 p.m. New York time, from 1,678 yesterday, according to the Colombian foreign-exchange electronic transactions system, known as SET-FX. It earlier touched 1,650.1 per dollar, its strongest since June 1999.\n\nGrowing foreign direct investment and the widening gap between Colombian and U.S. benchmark interest rates have fueled a 20.1 percent rally in the peso this year, the biggest advance among 26 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The 7.75 percentage point difference between Colombian and U.S. benchmark rates is the widest since July 2001.\n\nColombia's central bank will increase its overnight lending rate by a quarter-percentage point to 10 percent on June 20, according to 12 of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The other 13 analysts forecast policy makers will leave the rate unchanged at 9.75 percent, its highest level since August 2001. The central bank last raised the rate in February. The U.S. rate is 2 percent.\n\nBoris Segura, an economist at Morgan Stanley in New York, forecast the peso's increase will lead policy makers to hold off on raising borrowing costs.\n\n`Fuel to the Fire'\n\n``This week's peso rally is what convinced me Banco de la Republica won't hike rates on Friday,'' Segura said. ``The bank wouldn't want to add fuel to the fire.''\n\nThe yield on Colombia's benchmark 11 percent government bonds due July 2020 fell 3 basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 11.95 percent, according to Colombia's stock exchange. The bond's price rose 0.183 centavo to 94.05 centavos per peso.\n\nFinance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga said yesterday the government expects a budget deficit of 1.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, the same as this year. Zuluaga also said the government plans to auction next year 13 trillion pesos ($7.9 billion) of peso bonds, known as TES, up from 12 trillion pesos this year.\n\n``The market is taking the announcements positively,'' said Cardenas. ``It shows the government is committing to adjusting its fiscal deficit.''\n\nTo contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Jaramillo in Bogota at ajaramillo1@bloomberg.net

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                                                                                                                                                  • on 06-18-2008

                                                                                                                                                    BBVA says wants deals in India, other Asia markets | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

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                                                                                                                                                    BBVA says wants deals in India, other Asia markets | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                    SANTANDER, Spain, June 17 (Reuters) - BBVA (BBVA.MC: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which this month agreed to double its stake in China's CITIC Bank, wants to increase its presence in Asia with deals in India and elsewhere, Chairman Francisco Gonzalez said on Tuesday.\n\nHaving expanded strongly in Latin America, Spain's second-largest bank has bought lenders in the southern United States and its stake in CITIC (0998.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in the last couple of years to diversify geographically.\n\nGonzalez has long said BBVA wants to move into the Indian market but will have to wait for the government and regulators to ease up restrictions on foreign ownership. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Jane Barrett)

                                                                                                                                                      Medley is for sale though company denies it

                                                                                                                                                      Medley is for sale though company denies it \n\nMedley is for sale for about USD 1bn and development bank Bndes, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and France's Sanofi-Aventis are among potential bidders, O Estado de S Paulo reported.\nMedley has been put on sale by Alexandre Negrao, who controls the Campinas, Brazil-based closely held producer of generic pharmaceuticals, O Estado reported today without citing a source.\nTeva and Sanofi have begun talks with Medley in recent months, O Estado reported, citing unidentified market sources.\nThe company, however, says it is not for sale. There is no interest in selling control, Medley president Jairo Yamamoto told O Estado. There is not any sort of negotiations under way, Yamamoto said, according to the newspaper.\nMedley is worth in excess of USD 1bn, O Estado reported without giving a source for the estimate. Bndes, the state-owned Brazilian bank, is interested in buying as much as 49% of Medley with a Brazilian partner. The goal of the state-owned bank would be to create a large Brazilian pharmaceutical company.\nSanofi is uninterested in Medley, a spokesperson said, according to O Estado.\nNelson Naim Libbus, the head of the Brazilian subsidiary of Teva, the Israel-based producer of generic drugs, said he is unaware of any negotiations to buy Medley. Subsidiaries, though, are involved in acquisitions only in the final phase, he told the daily.\nEurofarma, Brazil's third biggest generics maker, has never analyzed the possibility of buying Medley, said Nelson Mussolini, vice president of operations of the Brazilian-owned company, according to O Estado.\nAche Laboratorios Farmaceuticos, a closely held Brazilian pharmaceuticals company and also mentioned as a potential buyer of Medley, declined comment, O Estado reported.\nMedial Saude, a listed Brazilian health insurer, is also pointed to as a possible buyer, O Estado reported. It could be interesting for Medial to buy Medley as this would make it possible for the insurer to vertically integrate its business, said Denilson Duarte, a manager at Brazilian brokerage Maxima Asset, O Estado reported. Medial has approximately BRL 250m (USD 155m) in cash and has little debt, Duarte told the daily. O Estado, though, had no comment from Medial on its possible interest.\nMedley could not be found in the indexes today of stories at Valor Economico and Gazeta Mercantil, Sao Paulo’s largest circulation financial newspapers.

                                                                                                                                                        Laboratorios Bussie rumored to be in sale negotiations with a Mexican pharmaceutical company

                                                                                                                                                        Laboratorios Bussie rumored to be in sale negotiations with a Mexican pharmaceutical company, industry source and analyst say \n\nLaboratorios Bussie, a private Bogota, Colombia-based pharmaceutical manufacturer and retailer, is rumored to be in sale negotiations with a Mexican pharmaceutical company, said an industry source.\nThe source, who requested anonymity, said it is rumored that the unidentified Mexican pharmaceutical company has approached Bussie with a sale offer, and that the two are currently in negotiations.\nAccording to the source, who is an international investment consultant and works in the Colombian pharmaceutical sector, the deal will most likely result in a capital injection in exchange for a significant, but minority stake in Bussie.\nThe source pointed out that the Colombian pharmaceutical sector has been an attractive target for multi-national companies and investment groups, and highlighted the International Finance Corporation’s recent USD 25m acquisition of a stake in Bussie’s Cali-based competitor, Tecnoquimicas, as an example.\nAn analyst covering the sector corroborated the rumor and said the Colombian pharmaceutical sector is consolidating, and pointed towards the rumored deal reported by this news service earlier this week, between Brazilian investment fund GP Investimentos, and another Bussie competitor, Bogota-based Lafrancol, as further evidence of this trend.\nAlthough Bussie is smaller in comparison to both Tecnoquimicas and Lafrancol, the source described it as a strategic target, which has demonstrated steady growth over the past five years, with average annual sales of USD 26m.\nA Bussie spokesperson would not return calls seeking comment.\nBussie laboratories have been in operation for 45 years, and have produced 50 Bussie name-brand products, in addition to generic pharmaceuticals, which Bussie sells in the domestic market, and in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

                                                                                                                                                          Concessia CEO says it is seeking new partners

                                                                                                                                                          Concessia CEO says it is seeking new partners \nStory Concessia, the Spanish infrastructures company set up last February with a capital of EUR 100m, is seeking new partners, Cinco Dias reported. In an interview with the paper, Concessia chief executive Jose Manuel Albaladejo said that the company is analysing opportunities in Spain to invest in two deals worth EUR 50m and EUR 100m before the end of the year. Concessia plans to acquire stakes of between 20% and 50%, the report said.\nConcessia is controlled by 13 saving banks - Caja Vital Kutxa, Caixa Sabadell, Caja Sur, Caja Insular de Canarias, Caja Ávila, Caja Mediterráneo, Caja Rioja, Caja Badajoz, Caja Murcia, Caja Burgos, Caja Círculo, Ibercaja and Sa Nostra - and the construction and design management group Gerens Hill, the report said. Albaladejo said that the company is interested in welcoming other financial partners, including private equity firms, the report added.\nBy 2018, Concessia expects to own stakes worth around EUR 2bn in 35 concessions - in public projects, such as hospitals, residential homes, roads and airports - in Spain and abroad: US, Eastern Europe, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The company is also interested in acquiring long-term stakes in other concessions companies, the report said.\nConcessia also plans an alliance with a medium-sized construction company, the report added.

                                                                                                                                                            Serpaprosa may be acquired by Prosegur

                                                                                                                                                            Serpaprosa may be acquired by Prosegur – reported rumor \nStory Prosegur, the Spain-based security company, may acquire Serpaprosa, the Mexico-based armored transport company, according to an unsourced business report in today's El Universal. The column said Prosegur has already had some contact with Serpaprosa's partners.\nProsegur has 75 employees and has a presence in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Columbia and Paraguay, as well as in Mexico via the armored transport carrier Grumer. Brinks, the US-based armored transport company which is a minority-owner of Serpaprosa, is also interested in acquiring the company, noted the column.\nA report in April on this new service voiced industry speculation that the-then recent resignation of Serpaprosa president Andres Aymes could trigger a sale and, although the conjecture was unclear, it seemed to suggest the company's current shareholders could become its acquirers. The report speculated that Serpaprosa's non-Mexican shareholders could decide not to acquire a majority stake and that more interested parties could enter into negotiations. According to the report, Serpaprosa's current shareholders are as follows: Santander, 20.19% stake; Banamex-Citigroup, 15% stake; BBVA-Bancomer, 11.08% stake; HSBC, 10.8% stake; Scotiabank, 9.82% stake; Banorte, 7.75% stake; and Brinks, 20% stake. According to a previous report, the company's value is estimated at USD 200m.

                                                                                                                                                              Mexico: Time to Take a Hike

                                                                                                                                                              In recent weeks, the Calderón administration has called on Mexico’s central bank to consider lowering interest rates. On Friday, June 20 – after seven months of holding the overnight interbank rate steady at 7.5% – we expect Banco de Mexico to act, but with a rate hike rather than a cut. The central bank’s move may fuel new talk of tensions among policymakers in Mexico. That would be a shame. In fact, as odd as it may seem to public opinion, nothing the central bank can do is more likely to help Mexico achieve lower real and nominal interest rates in the medium term than hiking overnight interest rates this week and possibly again next month. \n\nAccordingly, we are revising our interest rate forecast to reflect two 25bp hikes between now and year-end to bring interest rates to 8% compared with our previous, long-held forecast that Banco de Mexico would keep interest rates on hold at 7.5% during 2008. The move higher is indeed remarkable. Less than three months ago, when most market participants were anticipating significant rate cuts in Mexico, we argued that Mexico’s central bank was unlikely to join the Fed’s easing cycle (see “Mexico: No Hurry to Ease”, This Week in Latin America, February 4, 2008). We argued then that it was difficult to imagine that Banco de Mexico could ease its tone, much less interest rates, ahead of the May-June period when inflation would appear to be on the rise. Furthermore, Mexico’s central bank found itself facing much less pressured to ease than the Fed. While the Fed was battling an economic downturn in the US, it was also facing the specter of a much more challenging environment for the financial system. In contrast, Mexico’s banking system was well capitalized and was facing no sub-prime turmoil. \n\nRationale for Hiking\n\nWe highlight three factors that have caused us to conclude that the balance of risk on the inflation front in Mexico has deteriorated to the point that a failure of Banco de Mexico to raise interest rates could put at risk the centrality of its 3% inflation target. \n\nFirst, we believe that Banco de Mexico’s decision to revise upward its inflation path for 2008 (and 2009) and the subsequent May inflation reading – which showed it at the upper range of the new forecast path – has contributed to a worsening in the balance of risks for inflation. Recall that in late April, Banco de Mexico moved its inflation path for the second and third quarters of 2008 from a 4-4.5% range to a 4.5-5% range once it was clear that inflation would breach the path’s upper limit. May’s inflation reading, in turn, showed headline inflation running at 4.95% and core at 4.86% – both running against the upper range of the new path. \n\nOf course, we believe that Mexico’s central bank is right to note that inflation is likely to show an improvement after peaking at mid-year. In addition, Mexico is hardly alone in dealing with rising food prices which largely reflect an external shock, rather than a response to domestic demand pressures. Further, nowhere is the US slowdown likely to be felt more acutely than in Mexico. After all, while Mexico is likely to show resilience in the face of the US slowdown, it is not immune. Indeed, Mexico’s economy is already showing signs of slowing. After running from October to February at a 4.5% monthly clip, we estimate that monthly GDP growth slowed to an average of only 0.7% in March and April.\n\nIt is not difficult to imagine that the combination of moving the inflation path significantly away from the central bank’s target of 3% and the subsequent May inflation reading, which suggested that the central bank’s late April forecast were at risk of being overtaken, could contribute to a worsening of the balance of inflation risks in Mexico. \n\nAre the central bank’s actions and the recent May inflation report enough to justify a hike in interest rates? Perhaps not. But they come amid other worrisome signs on the global and domestic inflation fronts.\n\nSecond, there are signs suggesting that a prolonged period of inflation farther from the central bank’s 3% inflation target is taking its toll of price formation. While the number of items in Mexico’s consumer price index basket that are posting price increases above the 3% target have been on the rise since late 2006, most of the uptick appears to be from localized processed food. However, there are a growing number of items outside food that also appear to be moving farther from the target. To be fair, it is difficult to make too strong of a call with the data available. After all, while there has been some uptick in service inflation, some of the uptick in the housing component also appears to be related to higher metal costs embedded in building materials. And it is difficult to know if the uptick in services represents a new trend or simply volatility within a range seen in recent years.\n\nThe same can be said of the wage data. While the 4.7% increase in May contractual wages appears to be bad news – particularly because the uptick comes in a context of rising inflation and ahead of important negotiations in July such as Pemex’s – in the past two years monthly spikes in wages have coincided with months when only a relatively small number of workers negotiate wages such as May, June and December. In addition, May’s pressures did not seem to be generalized as wages in services remained well behaved at 4.3% – in line with the January-April average – while those in industry were pushed higher by outsized moves in mining (5.9%). \n\nAnd the same can be said for longer-term inflation expectations, which have risen modestly from 3.39% at the beginning of the year to 3.46% in May, but remain below levels seen in 2H07 (3.53%). At the very least, these factors suggest that Mexico does not appear to be on a clear path to lower inflation. Indeed, it is not hard to imagine that this combination of factors suggests that price formation is at greater risk today than a few months ago.\n\nThird and finally, the recent disorder in Mexico’s interest rate markets suggests that if Banco de Mexico were to maintain policy interest rates unchanged on June 20, such a decision could be misread as a sign of the central bank’s complacency with even higher inflation. While Mexico has had no monopoly on disorderly interest rate conditions during the first half of June, Mexico’s abrupt upward move nearing 70bp in 10-year rates during the past two weeks has been pronounced. Part of the sell-off in the long end of the curve, as well as the lack of liquidity, likely reflects the disorder seen in US and global markets. But we are concerned that home-grown factors have also played a role. The decision of Banco de Mexico in late April to change its inflation path higher without raising policy rates has left some residual uncertainty among market participants. But we believe that the series of declarations from the most senior level of the Calderón administration suggesting that it is time to reduce interest rates has created additional uncertainty. If Mexico’s central bank keeps interest rates on hold in June, we are concerned that the long end of the curve could face new pressures as a fresh round of questions arise regarding the monetary authorities’ decision-making process.\n\nCaveats\n\nIt might seem odd to many that we expect Banco de Mexico to hike interest rates even as we foresee Mexico’s economy to slow further. And there is little that Mexico’s central bank can do to stop a cascade of higher food prices by hiking policy rates by 25-50bp. But we believe that both criticisms miss the critical point of Banco de Mexico’s actions. The coming hikes from Banco de Mexico are aimed at controlling inflation expectations and price formation at a time when both are facing extraordinary risks. The goal is to respond to reduce the risks that a series of external shocks go beyond an adjustment in relative prices and begin to contaminate broader pricing decisions.\n\nIf Banco de Mexico hikes as we expect and the economy also continues to slow during 2008, we believe that Banco de Mexico will be able to take back the interest rate hikes in 2009 or even later this year. Accordingly, we are keeping our 2009 interest rate forecast at 6.75%.\n\nSome may criticize the central bank for hiking when faced with a slowing economy and then possibly removing the hikes as soon as six months later. Some may argue that this is evidence of a policy mistake. We disagree. Hiking interest rates in Mexico today is akin to buying fire insurance: the subsequent absence of a fire is hardly valid criticism of the decision to purchase insurance in the first place.\n\nWe are also using this opportunity to adjust upward our inflation forecasts for 2008 to 4.3% from 3.8% and for 2009 to 3.5% from 3.3% previously. Our inflation models have been slowly creeping higher since we last published a forecast review last year.\n\nBottom Line\n\nThe specter of imported inflation is likely to prompt Banco de Mexico to abandon its stance over the past eight months of holding policy rates steady. With inflation in Mexico still relatively benign, it might seem odd that we expect the central bank to hike interest rates. After all, Mexico’s inflation rates are likely to fall short of US headline inflation in the coming months. Further, Mexico’s economy is likely to slow further going forward. And, in addition, senior policymakers are calling on Banco de Mexico to cut its policy interest rate. We certainly agree that Mexico needs lower interest rates. Ironically, perhaps the most powerful support that Banco de Mexico can give to produce lower interest rates is to act today by hiking its policy rate and in the process reaffirm its commitment to price stability.\n

                                                                                                                                                                Latin America pays the price for fuel subsidy

                                                                                                                                                                Driving along the clogged arteries of Latin America’s mega-cities can be a nightmare, not least because of the sheer volume of gas-guzzling cars, lorries and buses that daily take to the streets.\n\nAnd in spite of the sharp rise in international oil prices, that seems likely to remain the case for some time to come.\n\nWhile a string of Asian governments have abandoned expensive petrol subsidies in recent weeks, most Latin American countries – whether oil producers such as Venezuela and Mexico or importers such as Chile – remain committed to shielding motorists from the impact of higher oil prices.\n\nIn the last couple of weeks Chile has promised to add $1bn (€650m, £514m) to its fuel price stabilisation fund. President Michelle Bachelet said the move would cut petrol prices by 50 pesos (10 US cents, 6 euro cents, 5 pence) a litre – equivalent to a reduction of $311m at 2007 consumption levels.\n\nIn Colombia a predicted 145,000 truck drivers went on strike yesterday over fuel and road toll costs, while the government has announced plans to raise taxes on private oil companies to finance increases in its $3bn petrol and diesel subsidy. Previous proposals to phase out subsidies have been delayed by at least a year.\n\nAs the cost of crude rises, even oil exporters are facing rising bills for keeping petrol affordable to consumers.\n\nMexico, an exporter of crude which nonetheless imports much of its refined product, is this year paying $19bn – four times more than in 2007 – to sustain its particularly generous petrol subsidy.\n\nIn Argentina, total subsidies amounted to $11bn in 2007 and will rise much further this year, according to Sebastian Scheimberg, an economist. Ecuador spent $1.46bn on fuel oil subsidies in 2007 and will also pay more this year.\n\nAlthough petrol and diesel prices are closer to international market levels in Brazil they are still controlled, with Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company, absorbing costs.\n\nThat can depress returns to the government and private shareholders. Venezuela – which sells petrol for 4 US cents a litre and has some of the worst traffic jams as a result – shows no sign of abandoning a subsidy that analysts reckon costs at least $11bn in lost export revenues alone.\n\nThe only notable exception to this trend for increasing or sustaining subsidies has been Peru. Two weeks ago it reduced weekly subsidies that had been running at about 102m new sol ($36m, €23m, £18m)) a week by about 40 per cent. Petrol prices at the pump rose by about 4 US cents a litre.\n\nThe reason for the lack of reform is pretty clear. Of all regions in the world, Latin America has most reason to fear the effects of inflation.\n\nDuring the 1970s, 80s and early 90s the pace and scale of price rises corroded the social fabric of many countries. Inflation rates of 100 per cent a year were commonplace, wrecking the ability of governments and businesses to plan for the future\n\nAs Guillermo Ortiz, the governor of the Mexican Central Bank, said: “Latin America has gone through high inflation for so long. Lowering the rate has been a cherished achievement.”\n\nIn Chile, which imports almost all of its fuel needs and where annual inflation was running at 8.9 per cent in May – three times the central bank’s target – the new price subsidies will cut that rate by 0.3 percentage points, according to Angel Cabrera, a local consultant.\n\nBut these policies have serious costs. They are adding to fiscal burdens, undermining progress many countries have made in balancing government accounts.\n\nIn Colombia, the cost of the subsidy will add to the size of a fiscal deficit expected to reach 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2008. “The fiscal accounts are not in a good shape to afford these new expenses,” says Juana Téllez, chief economist at BBVA bank in Colombia.\n\nMore seriously, the subsidies are distorting incentives. While higher oil prices have stimulated many developed countries to save energy and make more efficient use of resources, there has been no sign yet of this happening in Latin America.\n\nIn Venezuela, for example, domestic petrol consumption is estimated to have doubled over the last five years to around 600,000 barrels a day. The low cost also creates incentives for smugglers, who sell petrol across the border in Colombia, where fuel is much more expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                  Stoli hits the block (Dealscape)

                                                                                                                                                                  Another iconic liquor business, Stolichnaya, is on the block, and the Russian vodka brand could sell for around $3 billion. SPI Group, the owner of Stolichnaya, has hired Lehman Brothers Inc. to explore options.\n\nPossible buyers include Fortune Brands Inc. of the U.S., Bacardi Ltd. of Puerto Rico and Italy's Gruppo Campari, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.\n\nLast year, Fortune and Bacardi had sought to buy another well known vodka brand, Absolut, when its parent V&S Vin & Sprit AB went on the block. Pernod Ricard SA, which has a distribution agreement with Stoli, won the V&S auction with an $8.3 billion bid -- Pernod's distribution deal will terminate upon closing the V&S purchase.\n\nAbsolut wasn't the only vodka brand involved in a deal. Diageo plc dropped out of the Absolut auction in February when it bought 50% of Ketel One for $900 million. - Maria Woehr

                                                                                                                                                                    Sanofi Tables .57 Billion Counter-Bid for Zentiva -

                                                                                                                                                                    French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis plans to make a 40.04 billion Czech crown ($2.57 billion) offer for Czech drugmaker Zentiva, trumping a bid from financial group PPF.\n\nThe move would take Sanofi deeper into the field of generic drug production, an area which has traditionally been shunned by large pharmaceutical companies but is now receiving increased interest as a way to tap booming emerging markets.\n\nSanofi — already a key shareholder in Zentiva — said on Wednesday that it was planning to offer 1,050 Czech crowns for each Zentiva share.\n\nZentiva is already the subject of a bid from Czech group PPF, which has offered 950 crowns per share.\n\nSanofi’s offer represents a premium of around 10.5 percent to PPF’s bid and the French company, which is the world’s third-largest drugmaker by sales, said buying Zentiva made strategic sense.

                                                                                                                                                                      FedEx swings to loss, guides lower - Jun. 18, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                      NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of FedEx declined Wednesday after the package shipping company reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss and forecast full-year profit below Wall Street expectations.\n\nFedEx (FDX, Fortune 500) shares fell $2, or 2.4%, to $82.33 in morning trading.\n\nThe Memphis, Tenn., shipper said record-high fuel prices and a weaker U.S. economy drove it to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $241 million, or 89 cents per share. Excluding one-time items, FedEx said it earned $1.45 per share - missing analysts' $1.47 per share average forecast by 2 cents.\n\nThe company's profit estimates also came in below expectations. FedEx predicted 2009 earnings of between $4.75 per share and $5.27 per share, compared with Wall Street's $5.92 per share forecast.\n\nFor the first quarter, the company guided for earnings between 80 cents and $1 per share, well below analysts' projected $1.27 per share.\n\nShares of FedEx have weakened significantly over the past year, losing nearly a third of their value from a 52-week high of $119.10 last July. To top of page

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                                                                                                                                                                      • on 06-18-2008

                                                                                                                                                                        Port of Tampa secures new steel shipper for US market

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                                                                                                                                                                        Port of Tampa secures new steel shipper for US market

                                                                                                                                                                        Port of Tampa secures new steel shipper for US market\n\nBulk shipper Peruvian Amazon will soon begin operations in the Port of Tampa offering a direct export connection from Tampa to Brazil, Peru and Colombia.\n\nA direct import line will be available from Mexico to Tampa.\n\nThe steel and other commodities shipper, which offers bulk and containerized services, will begin calling in the port next month.\n\nSteel shipments out of the port are between 350,000 and 460,000 short tons a year, a spokesman tells Steel Business Briefing.

                                                                                                                                                                          Colpatria interesado en compras de bancos

                                                                                                                                                                          Colpatria interesado en compras de bancos\n\n“Colpatria permanentemente, y más con esta alianza con GE Money, está atenta a oportunidades de compra”, dijo el presidente de Multibanca Colpatria, Santiago Perdomo. “Estaremos atentos a comprar”, reiteró pero dijo que no lo han hecho porque no hay ninguna entidad para la venta en este momento.\n\nEn cuanto a su participación en el esquema de corresponsales no bancarios, el ejecutivo señaló que se mantendrán con la alianza que tienen hasta el momento con Carrefour y Cafam, con la cual reciben pagos de los créditos del banco en las cajas registradoras de estas dos cadenas.\n\nLa intención de la entidad no es la de ampliar sus servicios con corresponsales en pueblos y lugares alejados de sus centros de servicios, sino conservar su presencia en Carrefour y Cafam. “Es que en el caso de Cafam son más de 2.000 cajas registradoras”, explicó Perdomo

                                                                                                                                                                            Genomma Lab logra avance en la BMV — negocios — CNNExpansion.com

                                                                                                                                                                            Genomma Lab logra avance en la BMV\n\nCIUDAD DE MÉXICO (Reuters) — Las acciones de Genomma Lab pierden fuerza en la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) después de haber alcanzado un precio máximo de 16.90 pesos en su primer día de cotización.\n\nA casi dos horas de haberse estrenado en la Bolsa, los títulos de la farmacéutica reportan una ganancia de 1.87%, a 16.30 pesos, previo a un precio base de 16 pesos.\n\nEl rango establecido por la empresa fue de entre 16 y 20 pesos, aunque de acuerdo con su prospecto de colocación esperaban alcanzar un valor de 18 pesos.\n\nOperadores advertían que sería difícil que Genomma colocara sus títulos en 18 pesos debido a las turbulencias de los mercados como consecuencia de la crisis crediticia en EU, por lo que ubicaban el papel en el rango mínimo de 16 pesos.\n\nLa incursión de Genomma Lab en la Bolsa permitirá a la empresa incrementar su potencial de expansión.\n\nDe los recursos que se obtengan, el 46% será utilizado para adquisición de nuevas marcas, patentes y productos, un 16% más para aumentar la plantilla laboral, 13% para la construcción de un centro de distribución e incremento de la flota de transporte, 7.5% para la liquidación de corto plazo y 13% más para propósitos corporativos generales.\n\nLa farmacéutica maneja 10 líneas comerciales, en donde el medicamento antiacné, Asepsia, es la joya de la corona al representar el 17% de sus ventas y tener uan participación de mercado de 76.4%.

                                                                                                                                                                              Goldman Sachs: Bancos EE.UU. necesitarán US$ 65.000 millones de capital

                                                                                                                                                                              Goldman Sachs: Bancos EE.UU. necesitarán US$ 65.000 millones de capital\n\nLos bancos de Estados Unidos necesitarán US$ 65.000 millones de capital fresco para reforzar su estado financiero, debilitado por la crisis crediticia mundial, según cálculos de los analistas del banco de inversión Goldman Sachs difundidos hoy.\n\nEsta nueva inyección de capital se sumaría a los US$ 120.000 millones que el sector bancario ya ha logrado recaudar, según el analista de Goldman Sachs, Richard Ramsted.\n\nSin embargo, Ramsted advierte en una nota a clientes que a los bancos les está siendo cada vez más difícil encontrar dinero para recapitalizarse.\n\nTambién señala que "es improbable que los bancos más débiles se beneficien de una consolidación pues los acuerdos entre bancos suelen ralentizarse cuando el crédito se deteriora y los grandes bancos están paralizados por sus propios problemas y sus requerimientos contables".\n\nLos analistas de Goldman Sachs creen que la debilidad del mercado de la vivienda de Estados Unidos ha provocado el deterioro del crédito y estiman que los precios de las casas en este país probablemente seguirán cayendo durante todo el año.\n\nGoldman Sachs rebajó las estimaciones de beneficio por acción de 11 bancos, entre ellos US Bancorp y Wells Fargo, y recortó los precios objetivos de 14 entidades, entre ellas Wachovia, Washington Mutual y Bank of America.\n\nLas previsiones de Goldman Sachs provocaron una fuerte caída de las acciones de los bancos en la Bolsa de Nueva York, que bajaron un 3,24%.\n\nLos títulos de Bank of America bajaron un 3,56%, los de Citigroup un 1,78%, los de JP Morgan Chase un 2,25%, los de Washington Mutual un 7,85% y los de Wachovia un 5,35%.

                                                                                                                                                                                Comienzan obras en puerto de Guayaquil

                                                                                                                                                                                Comienzan obras en puerto de Guayaquil\n\nContecon, concesionaria de la terminal portuaria de Guayaquil, anunció el martes que inició los trabajos para levantar un nuevo muelle de 147,4 metros y reforzar uno contiguo de 185 metros para aumentar la capacidad de recibir buques de mayor tamaño.\n\nGustavo Cercós, director de Infraestructura y Operaciones de Contecon, afirmó a El Universo que para fines de noviembre o mediados de diciembre se espera que culminen los trabajos de pilotaje (o colocación de pilotes), que fortalecerá las condiciones idóneas para soportar el peso de las grúas con las cuales se desembarcarán los contenedores.\n\nParalelo a estas labores se está limpiando el fondo marítimo para comenzar el pilotaje en el sitio donde se armará el nuevo muelle llamado 1C, que se iniciará en unos 20 días más.\n\nEste proyecto forma parte de las inversiones obligatorias, que la subsidiaria de la filipina multinacional Internacional Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), se ha comprometido según contrato de concesión firmado con la Autoridad Portuaria de Guayaquil, por un periodo de 20 años. El contratista adjudicado fue el mexicano Copci-Dabra, compañía con vasta experiencia en la ejecución de este tipo de proyectos. Para la debida ejecución de la obra, Copci contrató a 250 trabajadores.\n\nCercós indicó que el presupuesto para los atracaderos asciende a US$ 25 millones, mientras que en equipos como las grúas el rubro llega a US$ 30 millones, más otras inversiones que se destinarán para el área de patios.\n\nSegún el programa de obras, se proyecta que para el 2009 comience a operar la nueva infraestructura sobre la cual funcionarán las grúas pórtico.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Worldwide Tab to Fix Aging Infrastructure will Total $40 Trillion over 25 Years

                                                                                                                                                                                  Worldwide Tab to Fix Aging Infrastructure will Total $40 Trillion over 25 Years\n \nA new initiative leverages Booz Allen’s critical expertise in infrastructure planning, project management, operations and maintenance, and construction oversight.\n\nRoads. Bridges. Airports and seaports. Sewer treatment facilities. Pipes, concrete, and cables that house and deliver power, water, fuel, goods, and communications. These are the basic systems and architectures—the infrastructure—that ensure productivity for a community, a city, or a country.\n\nBut today, global infrastructure is in serious decline. Infrastructure projects will spike dramatically over the next 25 years as existing infrastructure reaches the end of its useful life in developed countries and demand explodes for new infrastructure in emerging economies, as noted in the 2007 strategy+business article, “Lights! Water! Motion!”.\n\nFor decades, Booz Allen Hamilton has helped manage the planning, construction, operations and maintenance, and demolition of infrastructure projects, especially in the transportation and defense industries. In December 2007, CG/LA Infrastructure LLC invited the firm to share its insights at the Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum, “Building a More Productive World, Together,” in New York.\n\nSays senior associate David Erne: “Booz Allen’s expertise shows that successful infrastructure projects must integrate four factors called ‘S3A’: Smart, sustainable, secure, and affordable.”\n\nTo underscore the firm’s position as the preeminent provider of S3A solutions, Booz Allen launched the Transforming Physical Infrastructure (TPI) initiative. TPI provides a broad understanding of infrastructure and stakeholder perspectives and proven approaches to tackling today’s complex challenges in financing, governance, and management.\n\nAt the forum, principals Joyce Wenger, Scott Heefner, and Todd McNutt and Booz Allen/ASE senior consultant Harry Zimmerman spoke about S3A as it applies to transportation and “smart” technologies, facilities and affordability, water and sustainability, and energy and security. They noted that modernizing worldwide water, electricity, and transportation systems will cost over US$40 trillion—and require careful navigation of political, cultural, logistical, ecological, technical, and economic challenges.\n\nUpcoming projects will also be complicated by multiple government, corporate, NGO, and public stakeholders: “We will need new ways of designing decision rights among dozens of players from the public and private sectors,” notes the “Lights!” article. “Transportation, energy, and water infrastructures are so interdependent that they cannot be effectively addressed separately from one another.” The firm’s expertise and services supporting “mega-communities” is particularly relevant in this regard, and clients are turning more and more often to Booz Allen for its experience in providing effective S3A solutions in global infrastructure markets.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Torrent Pharma shares surge on bulk deals

                                                                                                                                                                                    Torrent Pharma shares surge on bulk deals\n\nThe share prices of Ahmedabad-based Torrent Pharmaceuticals surged by 19.97 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, from Rs 154.20 to Rs 185, on bulk deals and speculation about stake sale.\n\nIn two bulk deals, 25.82 lakh shares of Torrent, worth Rs 40.76 crore, were traded on BSE today. Data showed an internal transfer between the promoter groups, from two HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) members to Torrent Private, the holding company of Torrent Pharmaceuticals.\n\nMarket sources speculated that the promoters would offload their stake partially in the near future and was talking to some well-known Indian and overseas pharmaceutical firms.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ranbaxy CEO sees consolidation wave over 3 years | Business News | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                      LONDON (Reuters) - A wave of consolidation will hit low-cost Indian drugmakers over the next three years as companies seek global scale to survive, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd Chief executive Malvinder Singh said on Wednesday.\n\nRanbaxy's decision this month to accept a takeover offer worth up to $4.6 billion from Japan's Daiichi Sankyo could also make family-held businesses across India rethink the idea of selling to foreigners, he added.\n\n"This might make people revisit their strategies and look at the various options they have to enhance the growth of their organisations," he told Reuters in an interview at the company's London headquarters.\n\n"This (deal) to me is another sign of India's businesses being more integrated globally and recognizing that globalization is a two-way street."\n\nIndian drug makers until recently were on acquisition sprees of their own but are now seen as attractive targets for foreign firms seeking entry to the fast-growing market, their research and development expertise and a low-cost manufacturing base.\n\nRanbaxy's family-controlled rivals such as Cipla Ltd, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd and mid-sized Aurobindo Pharma could be potential targets.\n\nThe decision to do a deal now made sense because it allowed Ranbaxy to choose a partner from a position of strength, a luxury others may not have if they fail to move quickly, Singh added.\n\nThe consolidation will come from more foreign companies seeking a foothold in a growing market as well as domestic drug makers gobbling up each other to grow big enough to compete, he added.\n\n"In three years you will see a change in the market and the landscape of Indian pharmaceuticals, there will be consolidation," Singh said.\n\nThe Indian pharmaceutical market is dominated by small- and medium-sized family-run firms which prefer to function independently, making a mix of generics -- cheaper off-patent drugs -- as well are more common medicines and health products such as aspirins and vitamins.\n\nConvincing those families to sell has been seen as a tall order, which could present many companies with tough choices after Singh's decision to offload his family's 34.8 percent stake in Ranbaxy.\n\n"That is the advantage of being a leader and changing the rules of the game," Singh said. (Others) will have to get forced to follow and then many people will start coming together so those who don't move fast will have fewer choices and might get left behind.\n\nEarlier on Wednesday, Ranbaxy and Pfizer said they had reached deal to settle patent litgation that allows the Indian drug maker to begin selling a U.S. generic form of its Lipitor cholesterol fighter by late 2011.\n\nThe agreement gives Ranbaxy a 180-day jumpstart in the key U.S. market and bring a degree of certainty to the launch of the medicine, Singh said.\n\n"That is a very substantial event," he said. "That allows us to get the product in, get the business, get the profits.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Mr. Brito goes to Washington (Dealscape)

                                                                                                                                                                                        Mr. Brito goes to Washington\n\nBrito visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday and plans to make more rounds Wednesday to convince the likes of Missouri's two U.S. Sens. Christopher "Kit" Bond and Claire McCaskill that the deal is not bad news for their home state. The lawmakers' sentiments are shared by other Missouri lawmakers, including the state's governor. And, at least two Web sites have cropped up to build grassroots opposition to the merger: savebudweiser.com and saveab.com.\n\nBond, a Republican, and McCaskill, a Democrat, sit on opposite sides of the political aisle, but when it comes to fighting to protect manufacturing jobs and St. Louis' brewing heritage they are drinking from the same bottle. It's not clear that Brito has had much success. According to Reuters, after his meeting with McCaskill Tuesday, she reiterated to reporters that she would "do everything I could to stop this sale from going through." Brito meets with Bond Wednesday.\n\nIn reality, Congress has little authority to stop a merger, though lawmakers can hope to scotch a deal by creating enormous political heat on regulators and the companies. McCaskill at least was realistic about lawmakers' chances of upending the merger: "It's very unclear that any of us can do anything at this point."

                                                                                                                                                                                          Follow the money

                                                                                                                                                                                          China gets most foreign direct investment among developing countries, but its share is falling\n\nDEVELOPING countries are attracting more foreign investment than ever before. Since 2000, FDI inflows have rocketed from $165.5 billion to an estimated $470.8 billion in 2007 says the World Bank. China draws the most, attracting $84 billion of investment last year. But this represented 18% of the total compared with 30% five years before. By contrast, Brazil and Turkey have seen their share increase. Investment has poured into Russia, mainly because of its energy boom, even despite increasing regulatory hurdles to foreign investors. Mexico is the fourth-biggest destination country, receiving $23.2 billion in FDI—the same as it gets in remittances.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tote could be bought by Tatts

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tote could be bought by Tatts - report \n\nTatts, the listed gaming group, could be an interested buyer of Tote, the UK-based gaming group, the Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday (12 June). The unsourced report in the paper's Street Talk column said Tatts had previously shown an interest in Tote, and the business was now up for sale.\nThe report said other potential suitors included Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Boylesports and Gala Coral.\nThe report said the business had reportedly been valued at GBP 400m by PricewaterhouseCoopers last year.\nAccording to the newpaper, Tatts could be interested in a bid for Sky City Entertainment though it was less likely.\nIt said other market speculation had mentioned Tabcorp as a possible merger candidate for Tatts.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Guoco holds 12.67% stake in Rank Group

                                                                                                                                                                                              Guoco holds 12.67% stake in Rank Group \n\nGuoco, the listed Singaporean investment group, has increased its shares in Rank Group with a current stake of 12.67%, The Star reported.\nThe report, citing a London Stock Exchange filing, said the Malaysia gaming company owned 49.47m shares in the British gaming company Rank Group as of 11 June 2008. Rank Group’s market capitalisation stood at GBP 351m (EUR 444m) as of 4 April 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Cryptologic Announces Exclusive Deal with Betjacks

                                                                                                                                                                                                CryptoLogic Limited announced today that it has acquired the exclusive rights to be the sole provider of Internet casino and poker software to Betjacks, a new online gaming site. Under the agreement, made through CryptoLogic subsidiary WagerLogic Ltd., the new brand is expected to target the Irish, UK, South African and Canadian markets following its launch this fall.\n\nConceived in 2006 by Communication veterans Brian Nesbit & Eamon Garland, Betjacks.com has achieved enormous strides forming key partnerships with blue-chip internet gaming and service providers such as CryptoLogic. BetJacks has developed Ireland's first dedicated online betting and gaming solutions platform, incorporating feature rich media and peer to peer gaming applications all fully integrated with key next generation networking features.\n\n"Today's announcement reflects CryptoLogic's strategy to take our Internet casino and poker products to new people and new places," said Brian Hadfield, CryptoLogic's President and CEO. "CryptoLogic and Betjacks will work together to develop an exciting new site that provides a superior entertainment experience to players around the world."\n\nBetjacks will feature CryptoLogic's award-winning downloadable and non-downloadable Internet casino and poker software. Betjacks will also integrate key white label brands into the company's Internet poker, casino and proprietary eCash in 2009.\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Said family and Linzor Capital halt purchase of Integramedica

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Said family and Linzor Capital halt purchase of Integramedica – report \n\nThe Saids, a Chilean family, and Linzor Capital, a private equity fund, have backed away from the purchase of Integramedica, a Chilean health network, Diario Financiero reported. The unsourced article said the Saids and Linzor had wanted to buy a controlling stake in the company, currently held by a group of doctors. The report said the sellers, however, had no intention of giving the buyers management control.\nThe Saids and Linzor are now searching for another potential acquisition, and have begun preliminary conversations with other health institutions, the paper added.\nAs previously reported, the Saids and Linzor began talks with Integramedica in March regarding potential sale of the stake. Integramedica is seeking a partner to expand its medical centre network, also as previously reported.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gravetal Bolivia: Monomeros Colombo Venezolano acquires 77.5% stake

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gravetal Bolivia: Monomeros Colombo Venezolano acquires 77.5% stake \n\nMonomeros Colombo Venezolano, a PDVSA subsidiary, has acquired a 77.5% stake in Gravetal Bolivia, Bolivia’s largest soy producer, El Universal reported.\nThe article cited a spokesperson from the Instituto Boliviano de Comercio Exterior, a government regulating body, who declined to provide financial details but confirmed the deal between Monomeros and Gravetal Bolivia for a 77.5% stake.\nAccording to the paper, the deal has caused an uproar, as Gravetal Bolivia is located in the Santa Cruz province of Bolivia, a region fiercely critical of the influence of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is having on Bolivia. On 4 May, the province voted for an autonomous state to protest the policies of leftist Bolivian president Evo Morales.\nLa Razon, a Bolivian newspaper, said Gravetal Bolivia was founded in 1993, and has become the country's largest soy producer, with annual average sales of more than USD 100m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reliance eyes Peru energy investments | Business News | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                      LIMA (Reuters) - Indian energy group Reliance plans to explore for oil in Peru and will evaluate investing in a new petrochemicals complex in the Andean country, officials said on Tuesday.\n\nThe Indian group, a newcomer to Peru, plans to look for hydrocarbons in the province of Puno and the Amazon basin.\n\n"Investments could reach hundreds of millions of dollars," Savitri Kunadi, a company officer, said after meeting with Peru's President Alan Garcia.\n\nPeru is trying to lure billions in foreign investment as part of an effort to develop its Camisea gas fields and boost output of oil and natural gas.\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dispercol owner denies sale rumor

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dispercol owner denies sale rumor \n\nDispercol, the Peru-based Masterbatch plastic manufacturer and resins retailer, is preparing for a sale, according to an industry source. But Hans Traver Dispercol founder and executive president adamantly denied the rumor in a phone interview and pointed to recent cash investments in infrastructure as evidence of his intent to continue at the helm of Peru’s largest Masterbatch plastics retailer.\nAnother source from the public sector also spoke of a rumored Dispercol sale, and hinted at the possibility of Traver’s also eventually selling off Mastercol, another of his plastic manufacturing companies.\nMeanwhile, the industry source said Dispercol is rumored to be in negotiations and in the process of hemming up its operations with the aim of attracting a multi-national suitor. The source, who requested anonymity, said rumors of a sale began to circulate when Traver arrived at a deal to sell Dispercol’s parent company, PeruPlast, to Alusa in early 2007.\nAccording to the industry source, Traver’s, who is in his early 80s, and widely referred to throughout the Peruvian plastics sector, as the “Godfather of Peruvian plastic,” has been in a slow process of consolidating Dispercol’s operations in preparation for an eventual sale.\nDispercol was founded in 1974 as a PeruPlast subsidiary, and according to Traver, is expected to register more than USD 100m in sales during 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • on 06-17-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                          InBev descarta elevar oferta por Anheuser

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          InBev descarta elevar oferta por Anheuser

                                                                                                                                                                                                          InBev descarta elevar oferta por Anheuser\n\nEl presidente ejecutivo de la cervecería belga InBev NV dijo el martes que la compañía no planea elevar su oferta de US$ 65 por acción por su rival estadounidense Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.\n\n"No, US$ 65 es un gran precio, precio máximo, eso es todo," dijo el presidente ejecutivo de InBev, Carlos Brito, en respuesta a una pregunta de un periodista.\n\nBrito conversó con la prensa después de una reunión con la senadora estadounidense Claire McCaskill, del estado de Missouri, quien dijo a reporteros que intentaría bloquear la venta.\n\nCuando le fue consultado si InBev había contactado al inversionista Warren Buffett o a la cervecería mexicana Grupo Modelo, Brito respondió: "Ahora, estamos tratando de dialogar con su directorio (Anheuser-Busch), eso es lo primero en la agenda."\n\nBrito había dicho previamente que esperaba un acuerdo amistoso con Anheuser-Busch y que mantendría a la empresa en San Luis en el estado de Missouri.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Genomma Lab, La Tercera Del Año En Cotizar En Bolsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Genomma Lab, La Tercera Del Año En Cotizar En Bolsa\nCon el inicio de cotización de la empresa escindida de Teléfonos de México, Telmex Internacional, de la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores la semana pasada, y mañana, con la salida a bolsa de Genomma Lab, se abre un segundo semestre para la entrada de por lo menos un par de empresas más a la bolsa.\n\nUna empresa que se está preparando, luego de las tres nuevas emisoras antes mencionadas, es la desarrolladora de bienes raíces GICSA, la cual podría colocar cerca de 30 por ciento de sus acciones en el mercado de capitales.\n\nDirectivos de la BMV esperan que en 2008 se registre por lo menos una oferta inicial más que en 2007, cuando se hicieron valer cuatro nuevas emisoras (Banco Compartamos, Maxcom Telecomunicaciones, Financiera Independencia y Megacable Holdings).\n\nLos participantes del mercado bursátil y las autoridades iniciaron una serie de incentivos económicos, jurídicos y de iniciación para ser empresas cautivas para entrar a cotizar en el mercado de capitales.\n\nOferta pública\n\nCon el fin de pagar pasivos de corto plazo, la construcción y adaptación de un centro de distribución para aumentar la flotilla de vehículos de transporte, mejorar los sistemas de producción y adquirir marcas, patentes, productos y compañías, Genomma Lab realizará una oferta pública accionaria mixta global.\n\nLa empresa mexicana Genomma Lab, que vende más de 50 productos para el cuidado de la salud, planea emitir mañana miércoles hasta 110.5 millones de nuevas acciones, incluyendo sobreasignación, con un precio estimado de entre 16 y 20 pesos por título, lo que equivaldría a cerca de dos mil 500 millones de pesos.\n\nEl precio de las acciones se fijaría hoy y los papeles comenzarían a cotizar mañana.\n\nLos accionistas de la firma, que contrata a fabricantes para la elaboración de sus productos y los promociona en anuncios en televisión, planean vender hasta 150.5 millones de títulos como parte de la oferta.\n\nDespués de la oferta pública mixta, hasta un 28 por ciento del capital de Genomma Lab quedará en manos de inversionistas de mercado, según el prospecto de colocación.\n\nLa compañía registró ventas totales por mil 873 millones de pesos (180 millones de dólares), y utilidades antes de intereses, impuestos, depreciación y amortización (EBITDA) de 461 millones de pesos (45 millones de dólares) en 2007.\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Giros nacionales, un negocio millonario con poco control del sistema financiero

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Giros nacionales, un negocio millonario con poco control del sistema financiero\n\nSegún los cálculos de 4-72 (antigua Adpostal) mueve un promedio de 113.000 millones de pesos mensuales en giros.\n\nEl envío de dinero dentro del país mueve $ 7,2 billones anuales, cifra no muy lejana a los 9,32 billones que entran por remesas.\n\nLa mitad de los proveedores del servicio no están regulados, lo que dificulta medir la cantidad de dinero que mueve esta clase de giro.\n\nPese a que el sistema financiero ofrece la posibilidad de transferir dinero entre las diferentes regiones del país, este negocio está en manos de compañías postales y de transporte intermunicipal, cuyos servicios son más caros que los de la banca y, en muchos casos, no están regulados.\n\nLa principal explicación es que gran parte de quienes emigran de las provincias no tiene relación con los bancos, bien sea por la falta de cobertura de estos o por decisión propia.\n\nLa antigua Adpostal -conocida ahora como 4-72-, los bancos y las compañías de financiamiento comercial son las únicas instituciones autorizadas para efectuar los giros nacionales.\n\nSegún 4-72, los colombianos giran un promedio de 600 mil millones de pesos mensuales dentro del territorio nacional, o sea 7,2 billones por año. La cifra no es nada despreciable si se tiene en cuenta que por remesas de quienes viven en el exterior entraron el año pasado 4.493 millones de dólares, que equivalen a 9,32 billones de pesos.\n\nEsa diferencia de 2,12 billones se explica en parte por que la mayoría de quienes utilizan los giros locales son personas humildes, que hacen sus envíos con dificultad y que devengan menos que quienes viven en el extranjero, así su actividad sea la misma.\n\nEse es el caso de Martha Celedón, una costeña que hace aseo en Bogotá. Devenga 25.000 pesos por día, con los que paga el arriendo y los servicios. Además, le envía 100 mil pesos mensuales a su mamá, que vive en Valledupar y le ayuda a criar a sus tres hijos. Una persona con el mismo trabajo en E.U. gana más y, por ende, su remesa es superior, con todo y la revaluación (si manda 100 dólares, aquí reciben 170.000 pesos).\n\nMenos de 200 mil pesos\n\nEl Operador Postal Oficial calcula que nueve de cada 10 giros nacionales se hacen por montos inferiores a 200 mil pesos. "Esto permite deducir que el servicio es utilizado por familiares que deben enviarse dinero entre sí para satisfacer necesidades básicas", sostiene Juan Ernesto Vargas, presidente de la entidad.\n\nJuan Pablo Cruz, presidente de la compañía de financiamiento comercial Giros y Finanzas, maneja el mismo cálculo. Su firma, que ofrece este servicio desde hace cinco años, ha detectado que la mayor parte del dinero se gira entre ciudades principales, más que entre capitales y pueblos.\n\nLa mitad de los clientes de Giros y Finanzas no tiene relación con el sistema financiero. La otra mitad tiene que recurrir a este servicio porque los receptores de su dinero no tienen cuenta bancaria.\n\nEn cuanto a la informalidad que predomina en el sector, el Presidente de 4-72 cuenta que se están realizando acercamientos y negociaciones con las empresas prestadoras del servicio para mejorar su calidad, así como para garantizar los controles que eviten el lavado de activos.\n\n"Los giros nacionales no se pueden satanizar, pero sí creo que se deberían vigilar muy de cerca los envíos hacia las capitales desde departamentos como Putumayo y Caquetá, pues el manejo del efectivo en esas zonas es de alto riesgo respecto de temas de seguridad y defensa", opina Alfonso Garzón, presidente de Asocambiaria, el gremio de las casas de cambio, las cuales aspiran a entrar a este negocio.\n\nDe acuerdo con los datos que maneja Vélez, ocho empresas de giros se han vinculado a la Red Postal Nacional desde septiembre: Servicio Inmediato Nacional, Invercosta, Giramos, Supergiros, Mandacosta, Servigiros del Pacífico, Expreso Brasilia y Copetrán.\n\nJuntas movilizan un promedio de 113.000 millones de pesos mensuales, mediante unos 446.000 giros. Los operadores no regulados y una parte del sector financiero moverían otros 487.000 millones.\n\nUn gran girador de dinero que no está en la lista es Circulante S.A., que con su marca Dimonex opera en las oficinas de Servientrega. Mediante un mensaje electrónico, Circulante informó a este diario que su servicio, ofrecido en 1.300 puntos de 525 municipios, no es de giros postales sino de transporte de dinero.\n\nAsimismo, aseguró que usa un sistema de administración de riesgo de lavado y tiene oficial de cumplimiento (supervisor de los controles antilavado). No obstante, se abstuvo de revelar cuánto dinero mueve.\n\nGirar, más caro que consignar\n\nMientras quien usa el sistema financiero paga una tarifa fija (8.438 pesos, en promedio, cuesta una consignación nacional), independiente del monto que envíe, a los clientes de las empresas de giros les cobran una tarifa variable.\n\nSi alguien envía 200 mil pesos por intermedio de un banco, debe pagar 8.438 pesos, pero si lo hace con una giradora el costo sube a 12.000 ó 14.000 pesos, pues la tarifa vigente oscila entre el 6 y el 7 por ciento del valor del giro.\n\nLas empresas de la Red Postal Oficial tienen una tarifa reducida para quienes envían hasta 100 mil pesos, con el objetivo de beneficiar a la población vulnerable de los lugares más lejanos del país.\n\nEl Gobierno está buscando la manera de aumentar la competencia, para ver si se reducen las tarifas. Con la frustrada Ley Postal, varias de las empresas que no estaban en la Red Oficial aspiraban a recibir la autorización para tramitar giros nacionales, pero todo quedó 'en veremos'.\n\nAhora el turno es para la reforma financiera, que se empezará a discutir la semana próxima y con la que se busca permitir que las casas de cambio, autorizadas para recibir remesas, entren a este negocio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Suspenden acciones de chilena D&S tras fuerte alza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Suspenden acciones de chilena D&S tras fuerte alza\n\nLas acciones de la minorista chilena D&S fueron suspendidas cerca de la media sesión del martes por la Bolsa de Comercio de Santiago, luego de que subieron cerca de un 15%.\n\nEl mercado bursátil pidió que la compañía comunique si existe alguna información relevante para el mercado.\n\n"Solicitó a usted tenga a bien informar a la mayor brevedad, acerca de cualquier circunstancia especial o hecho relevante que pueda explicar tal variación significativa", dijo un comunicado de la Bolsa de Comercio dirigido al gerente general de la compañía, Enrique Ostalé.\n\nLos títulos de D&S, dueña de la mayor cadena de supermercados de Chile, ganaban un 14,6%, a 195,21 pesos por acción, cuando la bolsa ordenó la suspensión.\n\nLuego del fracaso de la fusión con el grupo minorista Falabella, D&S retomó los estudios para buscar oportunidades de crecimiento en el extranjero, acompañado idealmente de socios locales.\n\nSin embargo, analistas no han descartado que alguna de las cadenas de supermercados más grandes del mundo pueda lanzar alguna oferta de compra o alianza con la firma chilena.\n\nEn tanto la minorista chilena D&S dijo el martes que no tiene información de un hecho relevante que justifique una fuerte alza de sus títulos, que motivó a una suspensión temporal de sus negociaciones en las bolsas locales.\n\nUn portavoz de la firma dijo a Reuters que "no hay un hecho concreto ni información relevante que justifique esta alza", en respuesta a un oficio enviado por las bolsas.\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brasil: baja el azúcar, sube el etanol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brasil: baja el azúcar, sube el etanol\n\nLa producción de azúcar en el sureste de Brasil ha disminuido casi un 11% en la cosecha de caña de este año, mientras que la de etanol ha crecido un 6,15%, informaron el lunes empresarios del sector, según informa este martes O Globo.\n\nSegún la patronal Unión de la Industria de la Caña de Azúcar (Unica), los datos registrados hasta el 1 de junio pasado ratifican la tendencia a una zafra más favorable al etanol, biocombustible que es usado de forma masiva en el parque automotor brasileño.\n\nBrasil es el principal productor y exportador mundial de azúcar, con un tercio del mercado total.\n\nTambién es el mayor productor y exportador de etanol de caña y prevé destilar unos 26.000 millones de litros este año.\n\nLos datos de la cosecha actual todavía en marcha indican que hay un aumento del 5,19% en la cantidad de caña molida en lo que va de este año, comparado con la zafra anterior.\n\nHasta el 1 de junio, el 61,6% de la caña procesada fue destinada a la producción de etanol y el 38,4% a la de azúcar, agregó el informe.\n\nPero, la cantidad de productos obtenidos por tonelada de caña procesada fue inferior en 6,02% respecto al período anterior, destacó el documento de Unica.\n\nLas condiciones climáticas registradas hasta el 1 de junio fueron negativas para la maduración de las plantas de caña, por lo que se redujo la cantidad de productos obtenidos por tonelada procesada.\n\nLa demanda de alcohol en el mercado interno brasileño continúa recalentada con ventas mensuales superiores a 1.500 millones de litros de etanol, cuyo precio (equivalente a un dólar el litro) es inferior al de la gasolina, señaló la asociación.\n\nLa flota brasileña de vehículos "flex" que trabajan indistintamente con etanol o gasolina ha crecido significativamente y el 90% de las nuevas unidades que salen de las ensambladoras lo hacen con ese sistema de carburación.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Venezuela: Pdvsa settles US$2.69bil of new crude tax

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Over the last two months Pdvsa has paid US$2.69bil worth of the new crude tax on crude market prices, and has been transferring to the Fonden US$300mil per week over the last two months. Other oil companies are soon to follow suit. President Chavez expects the oil industry to bring in US$75bil to the Treasury in 2008. Also, the 55 projects planned for the Faja del Orinoco start in 2008 investments of US$258bil.\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      US imports likely off 20%, despite China rebound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      US imports appear poised to fall to their lowest level in five months, according to government import license data seen by Steel Business Briefing.\n\nLicense applications totaled 2.17m tonnes in May, down 20% from 2.71m t in April, when actual imports totaled 2.67m t, according to a preliminary count for that month.\n\nThe May drop-off came despite a 54% increase in import applications from China to 258,000 t. That was offset by a 23% decline in applications for Canadian steel to 541,000 t for May.\n\nThe only other major foreign supplier to see an increase in license applications was Mexico, up 7% to 259,000 t.\n\nImport license applications were down 47% to 103,000 t for Japan, 40% to 93,000 t for Brazil, 49% to 76,000 t for Germany, and 62% to 56,000 t for Ukraine. Applications for imports from Turkey fell from 148,000 t in April to just 208 t in May.\n\nUS imports hit a low of 1.82m t in December 2007, but have been at 2.3m t/month or more since then.\n\nFor questions about editorial content, or to subscribe call +44 (0) 20 7626 0600, info@steelbb.com\n\n© Steel Business Briefing 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mexico: Grupo Mexico wants to pay for Asarco

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grupo Mexico has offered to pay US$2.7bil to regain control of Asarco LLC, and pay for the legal demands upon it; to cope with environmental damages of Asarco it would use US$1bil from the company resources and additional US$44mil from Grupo Mexico. The legal case is based on Asarco allegation that its purchase by Grupo Mexico aimed only at get hold of the most valuable assets, the copper mining major Southern Peru Copper Corp. The deal, that also included the transfer of its shares to the filial Americas Mining Co was fraudulent and led Asarco to bankruptcy. Asarco claims are for US$10.5bil to a federal court at Brownsville (TX).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Colombian ANH Qualifies 12 Cos for Crude Oil Exploration Auction

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          \nColombian national hydrocarbons agency ANH qualified 12 companies to bid for extracting heavy crude oil in the Colombian eastern region Llanos Orientales, local media reported on June 8, 2008.\n\nAmong the interested companies are Canada's Pacific Rubiales, Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol and Colombian Meta Petroleum Limited, which produces heavy crude oil in the Llanos basin in the central department of Meta.\n\nHowever, ANH refused to release the names of all interested companies saying that it is a closed process.\n\nAccording to the regulator, the interested companies should confirm their interest in the bidding by June 13 and deposit their offers by June 20, 2008. ANH is expected to award concession contracts for extraction in the region in July or August 2008.\n\nLlanos Orientales is located on a total area of 2.9 million ha. The daily output of heavy crude oil in Llanos Orientales currently stands at 108,000 barrels per day (bpd), but after the award of the said contracts it is expected to strongly increase.\n\n(One barrel = 159 litres)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Morgan Stanley compra a chilena Saesa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            El banco estadounidense Morgan Stanley anunció el martes que su unidad de infraestructura junto al fondo de pensiones Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan adquirirán la distribuidora eléctrica Saesa, filial chilena del grupo estadounidense PSEG.\n\nMorgan Stanley Infrastructure (MSI) informó que el precio de compra es de aproximadamente 870 millones de dólares.\n\nAdvirtió, además, que ambas compañías norteamericanas asumirán 400 millones de dólares en deudas.\n\nMSI comentó que la propiedad será compartida en partes iguales con el fondo de Ontario.\n\nPSEG Global dijo que espera que la venta genere una ganancia después de impuestos para PSEG de entre 170 y 180 millones de dólares durante el 2008.\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Petrobras becomes world's 4th largest public oil company - report

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              São Paulo, 16 - After new discoveries in the Santos Basin, Brazil's Petróleo Brasileiro S/A (Petrobras) became the world's fourth largest oil company in market value among publicly traded companies, local financial daily Gazeta Mercantil reported Monday.\n\nOn June 12, Petrobras was valued at $291.4 billion, behind Russia's Gazprom, China's Petrochina and U.S. ExxonMobil, which tops the list, according to figures by Bloomberg.\n\nIn 2007, according to a study by PFC Energy, Petrobras was the world's sixth largest oil company in market value.\n\nThe announcement last Thursday of a new discovery in the subsalt layer of the Santos Basin, in a field named Guará, had little impact on the company's shares. Petrobras's preferred and ordinary shares rose 1.59% and 1.96% respectively on Friday.\n\n"The market should only price in the new discovery when Petrobras officially announces the size of the reserves," said Luiz Otávio Broad, an analyst at brokerage Ágora Corretora.\n\nPetrobras has so far announced only the estimated volume of the Tupi reserve, at between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels. Combined with Petrobras's proven reserves of 11.7 billion barrels, it would be the world's second largest reserve among public oil companies. (Angelo Ikeda)\n\nCopyright - Agência Estado 2008 - Todos os direitos reservados\n\nwww.aebrazil.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Credit Suisse settles Parmalat lawsuit. - Jun. 13, 2008

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Credit Suisse settles Parmalat lawsuit. - Jun. 13, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ROME (AP) -- Italian dairy company Parmalat said Friday it has settled all claims with Credit Suisse and UBS in disputes stemming from its 2003 collapse in a huge accounting scandal.\n\nCredit Suisse (CS) made its own announcement, saying it has agreed to pay $266.8 million to settle all claims in Italy between the financial services firm and the dairy and juice multinational. Credit Suisse said it has agreed to pay the settlement without admission of liability.\n\n"Credit Suisse has at all times acted properly in its dealings with the Parmalat Group and was unaware of Parmalat's insolvency at the time of entering into any transactions with Parmalat," the Swiss bank said in a statement.\n\nParmalat Finanziaria SpA collapsed in 2003 under billions of dollars in debt, following an accounting scandal.\n\nThe company launched a series of lawsuits for billions of dollars against banks - including Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), UBS (UBS), Deutsche Bank (DB), Credit Suisse and Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) - in an attempt to share the blame for the crash and recoup losses for Parmalat and investors.\n\nBanks have always denied any wrongdoing.\n\nAs part of the settlements, UBS will pay Parmalat $282.18 million, the Italian company said.\n\nParmalat CEO Enrico Bondi, who was appointed as a turnaround expert shortly after the scandal broke, has accused banks and former auditors of helping prior Parmalat management hide debt and inflate results.\n\nUntil now, Bondi has recouped nearly $2 billion from legal action against former creditors. Under his direction, Parmalat has restructured itself. To top of page\nFirst Published: June 13, 2008: 3:38 PM EDT\n\nCredit Suisse sees no need for new capital

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grupo chileno Angelini explora adquirir una de las grandes pesqueras en el Perú

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  \nUna vez más revientan las olas en alta mar, y esta vez con motivo de la próxima llegada al Perú del grupo chileno Angelini -a través de Corpesca-, que al parecer tiene un serio proyecto de expandirse a nuestro país, no tanto por un afán solo de internacionalización, sino para asegurar recursos a fin de sostener su producción de salmón en Chile.\n\nAsimismo, aprovecharía la presencia en el Perú para crecer en su negocio de consumo humano directo, con jurel, caballa e incluso en el atún.\n\nPara ello, el grupo chileno explora la compra de una de las ocho grandes pesqueras de harina de pescado que se están consolidando localmente, retomando así las recomendaciones que un banco de inversión le habría hecho el año pasado.\n\nRoberto Angelini Rossi, quien tomó el mando de las empresas que dejó Anacleto Angelini, tiene un afán de una agresiva diversificación de sus empresas, sostiene la analista de Fitch Ratings de Chile, María Pía Medrano.\n\nLa consultora refiere que las empresas pesqueras (Corpesca y SKP) solo aportan con un 2% del Ebitda al grupo chileno, en un sector que según los analistas, está con buenas perspectivas de precios, gracias a que los productores de Perú y Chile, que concentran el 70% de las capturas mundiales, tienen definidas las cuotas de pesca.\n\nMedrano comentó a un medio chileno que "no se descarta la posibilidad de que el conglomerado intente ingresar al negocio en Perú, mercado que también muestra ventajas competitivas importantes. Además, el holding desea entrar con mucha más fuerza en lo que es el consumo humano, más allá del industrial", afirmó.\n\n \n\n\n \n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Seis nuevas hidroeléctricas serán construídas en Colombia antes del 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Las obras, que requerirán una inversión de por lo menos 5.000 millones de dólares, tendrán capacidad para generar 2.991 megavatios de energía.\n\nLas nuevas plantas serán construidas por los grupos españoles Emgesa y Unión Fenosa y las empresas colombianas Isagén y Empresas Públicas de Medellín, que resultaron beneficiarias del nuevo esquema de cargo por confiabilidad, el cual remunera los activos de los inversionistas que se le midan a construir esta clase de proyectos.\n\nEl ministro de Minas y Energía, Hernán Martínez, al informar sobre la decisión dijo que de esta manera el país queda asegurado con energía suficiente para evitar racionamientos de electricidad.\n\n"Estamos muy complacidos y eso lo que refuerza es la confianza del Grupo Endesa Internacional en Colombia", dijo Lucio Rubio, gerente de la española Emgesa al conocer la decisión. \n\nEmgesa construirá una hidroeléctrica que se llama El Quimbo, la cual estará localizada en el departamento del Huila y generará 395 megavatios.\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oil hits new record near $140

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Crude oil prices jumped on Monday to a fresh record high of almost $140 a barrel after the US dollar fell and news about a possible Saudi Arabia’s oil output increase were overshadowed by fresh disruption in the North Sea oil production.\n\n Daily View: Oil nears $140 despite Saudi move\n\n Carola Hoyas on Saudi Arabia’s ‘high risk’ strategy to dampen oil prices\n\nIn early trading in New York, West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped to $139.89 a barrel, above the previous record of $139.12 set in early June.\n\nThe dollar weakened after a bearish report on US manufacturing, reaching a low of $1.5496 against the euro. “The main factor of the price jump in early New York trading is the fresh weakening of the dollar,” a trader said.\n\nIn addition, traders said that a fresh disruption in the North Sea oil production of high quality oil was also supporting the market. StatoilHydro said it had shut down 150,000 b/d of production at its Oseberg high quality oil field after a fire in a platform.\n\nPrices had earlier reacted cautiously to Saudi Arabia’s plans to boost its oil production to its highest level in more than 25 years in order to bring down record prices and ease political pressure from the US and other developed countries.\n\nThe increase in production would come as Saudi Arabia completes the development of its giant Khursaniyah field soon, industry executives and diplomats said, increasing its output capacity by up to 500,000 barrels a day, traders and analysts said.\n\nTraders said Saudi Arabia was more likely to lift production to about 9.7m b/d in July, the highest level since 1981.\n\nEd Meir, of MF Global in New York, said that officially it seemed the Saudis had not made a decision on the final number, but added: “The ongoing speculation is succeeding in pressuring prices.”\n\nBan Ki-moon, United Nations secretary-general, who was visiting the country on Sunday, said that King Abdullah told him he viewed oil prices as “abnormally high”.\n\nMr Ban said the Saudi leader was “willing to do what he could to bring the oil price to adequate levels”. But by acting unilaterally Saudi Arabia could cause division within the Opec oil cartel, many of whose members are unable to boost production.\n\nAfter a series of hints by Gulf and industry officials in the past few days, oil traders now expect Saudi Arabia to announce a substantial increase in supplies when oil ministers meet in Jeddah on Sunday, although the announcement could come beforehand. This has significantly upped the stakes of the hastily called summit, making it more likely prices will rise from current levels if Saudi Arabia’s actions fail to match expectations.\n\n“The Saudis are working on a massive increase in output capability and could announce it at Jeddah,” an industry official said.\n\nThere is still a large degree of uncertainty about what exactly the world’s biggest oil exporter will do, meaning oil prices will likely be volatile this week.\n\nSaudi Arabia may soon have the capacity to pump more oil. But how much the country will chose to bring to the market remains unclear.\n\nAs it brings the huge Khursaniyah field on line, the kingdom could ship all the extra barrels to market or perhaps reduce output from some fields that produce less desirable heavy crude.\n\nAdam Sieminski, analyst at Deutsche Bank, said: “A disappointment would be that they say nothing other than ‘markets are well supplied and speculators are driving the price up’.\n\nHe added that “a substantive result” would be if the Saudis announced that the Abu Hadriya, Al Fadhili and Khursaniyah upstream projects that were due in late 2007 were on line and that they would like to see some build-up in inventories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eurozone inflation hits 16-year high

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eurozone inflation has been revised up to the highest level for 16 years and a European Central Bank official has warned that rising wage costs could add increasingly to the pressures created by soaring oil prices.\n\nAnnual inflation in the 15-country region last month was 3.7 per cent, according to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office. That was up from 3.3 per cent in April.\n\nHigher inflation rates have not been recorded since the eurozone was created in January 1999 and not since June 1992 on a comparable basis. Eurostat had originally reported a 3.6 per cent inflation rate for May.\n\nInflation has been driven higher by sharp rises in oil and food prices – and is expected to move closer to 4 per cent in coming months. But the ECB has shown signs of becoming more worried about more general price pressures, which helps explain why it has announced that it is likely to raise its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 4.25 per cent in July.\n\nEarlier this month, Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB president, warned of mounting inflationary pressures in the service sector. But wage pressures are also emerging as an ECB concern.\n\nAn acceleration in wage growth at the start of this year “could continue in 2008 in an economic environment characterised by tight labour markets, high capacity utilisation and persistently high inflation,” according to Lucas Papademos, ECB vice-president. His remarks were made in a speech at the weekend in South Korea but only released on Monday by the ECB.\n\nThe ECB’s fear is that high inflation rates caused by high oil price will become entrenched by feeding through into wage settlements. Data on Friday showed hourly eurozone labour costs rose by 3.3 per cent in the year to the first quarter – the fastest since early 2003.\n\nThe central bank hopes its planned increase in interest rates next month will send a strong signal about its determination to keep expectations about medium and longer term inflation rates firmly under control. The ECB aims to keep annual inflation “below but close” to 2 per cent.\n\nThe ECB could take some encouragement from details of the latest inflation data, which showed “core” inflation, excluding volatile energy and unprocessed food prices, rising only modestly in May to 2.5 per cent, from 2.4 per cent in April.\n\nWithin the eurozone, inflation rates continue to vary considerably. Slovenia reported an annual rate of 6.2 per cent in May and Belgium, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Finland all reported rates in excess of 4 per cent. At the other extreme, inflation was just 2.1 per cent in the Netherlands

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SPI Said to Explore Sale of Stolichnaya - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SPI Group, the beverage conglomerate, has hired Lehman Brothers to explore a sale of its Stolichnaya vodka unit in what would be the latest sale of a famous beverage brand, according to press reports.\n\nA sale of Stolichnaya would follow the acquisition of Absolut parent Vin & Sprit by Pernod Ricard and the purchase of a 50 percent stake in Ketel One by Diageo, according to The Telegraph, which first reported the news.\n\nLehman has worked on a possible sale of Stolichnaya for a “long time,” but the successful Vin & Sprit auction could offer a renewed impetus for a deal, The Wall Street Journal reported citing an unnamed source. A potential deal could also take the form of a distribution partnership rather than an outright sale, the Journal added.\n\nPossible buyers include Pernod Ricard and Fortune Brands, the conglomerate that owns Jim Beam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            China and M&A - China's track record in M&A - Corporate Finance - M&A - The McKinsey Quarterly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            China's track record in M&A\n\n * Chinese companies increased their acquisitions of foreign ones (and of foreign resources) tenfold from 2003 to 2007. They are in a good position to quicken that pace in coming years.\n\n * Chinese companies have diverse motives for acquiring foreign ones; increasingly, deals are no longer focused on acquiring raw materials and natural resources. Rather, the goal is to acquire strategic assets across a broad swath of industries and geographies.\n\n * A collection of exhibits outlines the progress of outbound Chinese M&A, the sources of capital, and the success of Chinese deals so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AIG board names Willumstad as new CEO - Jun. 15, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Former Citigroup executive tapped to head troubled insurance giant that lost almost $8B in Q1 due to investments and contracts tied to bad loans.\n\nNEW YORK (AP) -- American International Group Inc., which has lost billions on bad bets on the mortgage market, on Sunday named former Citigroup Inc. executive Robert Willumstad to replace the insurer's besieged chief executive.\n\nWillumstad, 62, will take over from Martin Sullivan, 53, effective immediately, the company said. Stephen Bollenbach, the former CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp., will be named AIG's lead director.\n\nAIG (AIG, Fortune 500) named Willumstad chairman of the board in fall 2006, about a year after Willumstad left his post as president and chief operating officer at Citigroup (C, Fortune 500). Citigroup had passed him over for the CEO job - which went instead to the now-dethroned Charles Prince.\n\nSullivan, a native of England who had worked with AIG for 37 years, now joins the long list of CEOs who have been pushed out since the credit crisis started slamming the financial services industry last year. That list includes Citigroup's Charles Prince, Merrill Lynch & Co.'s (MER, Fortune 500) Stanley O'Neal and Wachovia Corp.'s (WB, Fortune 500) Ken Thompson.\n\nNew York-based AIG - the world's biggest insurer with $1.05 trillion in assets - lost $7.8 billion during the first quarter of the year due to investments and contracts tied to bad loans. The insurer's first-quarter deficit was even more massive than its fourth-quarter loss of more than $5 billion. After its two straight quarterly losses, AIG revealed plans to raise $20 billion in fresh capital - but investors reacted skeptically, unsure that extra cash would solve the insurer's problems.\n\nShares of AIG have fallen by more than 50 percent over the past 12 months, closing at $34.18 on Friday.\n\n"In the coming months, we will conduct a thorough strategic and operational review of AIG's businesses and their performance," Willumstad said in a statement Sunday. "The Board and I recognize that results over the past two quarters have been unacceptable, but we are confident in AIG's future."\n\nGeorge L. Miles, Jr., chairman of the AIG board's nominating and corporate governance committee, said Willumstad's "broad managerial and financial services experience makes him the right person to lead AIG through today's turbulent markets, drive further organizational change and rebuild shareholder value in the years ahead."\n\nThe company said it will hold a conference call at Monday morning with investors to discuss the management changes.\n\nBesides big losses, AIG is reportedly facing a regulatory probe. The Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly began looking into whether AIG had overstated the value of contracts called credit default swaps.\n\nCredit default swaps, or CDS, are essentially insurance policies that investors buy to protect against loan defaults, including subprime mortgage defaults. A surprisingly large $9.1 billion loss in AIG's CDS portfolio dealt the insurer its most significant blow during the first quarter.\n\nSullivan - who received compensation last year of $13.9 million - replaced Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg as chief executive in March 2005. Greenberg, forced out amid accusations from then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer of fraudulent accounting, still controls the largest block of stock in AIG.\n\nGreenberg has been one of most outspoken of AIG's shareholders, many of whom have blamed poor management for AIG's financial troubles. In a May regulatory filing, Greenberg wrote: "AIG is in crisis."\n\nLast August, shortly after mortgage-related losses began roiling the financial services industry, Sullivan told investors that AIG was "well-positioned, even in the event of further deterioration in this market." But by May, Sullivan acknowledged that "the severity of the unrealized valuation losses and decline in value of our investments were beyond our expectations."\n\nNews of Sullivan's dismissal arrives ahead of this week's quarterly results from three major investment banks: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH, Fortune 500), Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS, Fortune 500) and Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500). Wall Street expects the three reports to offer some insight into how the beleaguered financial sector is faring a year into the credit crisis - and whether additional management shake-ups may be in store.\n\n"Boards of directors are becoming less tolerant, in general," said Scott Fullman, director of derivatives investment strategy for WJB Capital Group in New York. "The boards of directors of these companies are basically having to step up and be more anticipatory, and take steps show their shareholders and show regulators that they mean business, and that they want to return to profitability." To top of page

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lehman Brothers loses $2.87 billion in the second quarter - Jun. 16, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nation's fourth largest investment bank, hurt by poor hedging and trading positions, posted a $5.14 per share loss, consistent with estimates.\n\nLehman Brothers Holdings Inc. posted a nearly $3 billion loss Monday, after the nation's fourth-largest investment bank was hurt by wrong-way hedging and trading positions.\n\nThe results marked the first time that Lehman Brothers recorded a loss since going public in 1994, and confirmed what the company had forecast last week.\nDemotion for executives\n\nIt follows a tumultuous week in which Lehman also was forced to raise $6 billion in fresh capital, and unexpectedly demoted two of its top executives.\n\nLehman did not announce any new plans to raise capital. However, Chief Executive Richard Fuld said the firm has already begun to take steps to "ensure that this quarter's unacceptable performance is not repeated."\n\nThe company reported a loss of $2.87 billion, or $5.14 per share, compared with a profit of $1.26 billion, or $2.21 per share a year earlier. Revenue plunged to negative $668 million from last year's $5.51 billion.\n\nGlobal banks and brokerages have written down nearly $300 billion worth of assets because of exposure to risky mortgage-backed securities. Lehman's business model was considered the most similar to Bear Stearns, which in March was saved from collapse through an acquisition by JPMorgan Chase & Co.\n\nLehman said it has continued to cut its exposure to residential mortgages, commercial mortgages and real estate investments. It said exposure has been cut by 20% in those areas, even more than the 15% it projected last week.\nShares move higher\n\nShares of the company, which last week plunged by 30% before rebounding on Friday, moved higher in morning trading. The stock rose 43 cents, or 1.7%, to $26.24.\n\nLast week, Lehman shuffled its top management in a bid to restore investor confidence. Chief Financial Officer Erin Callan and Chief Operating Officer Joseph Gregory were both ousted from their jobs.\n\nCallan, who took the job in December, was one of the highest ranking women on Wall Street. Gregory had been with Lehman for three decades, and considered to be a close confidant to Fuld. To top of page

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cadbury`s, Nestle lose market share to imported chocolates

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sales of imported chocolate brands, such as Mars and Snickers, have outpaced those of Cadbury's and Nestle's locally made chocolate in modern retail outlets, according to top retailers.\n\nAs a result, these companies will lose their pricing clout. Imported chocolates are not only in demand but also offer bigger margins as compared with the locally made brands to retailers.\n\nCadbury is already at loggerheads with the Future Group, the country's largest retailer, on the deals and margins it offers. Seeing the increase in competition, Cadbury India is also looking at introducing more sophisticated forms of chocolates from its global portfolio to boost consumption and retain market share.\n\n"In our stores, the sales of imported chocolates is double the sales of domestic brands. Their sales is growing at triple digits. Imported brands offer newer chocolate formats to consumers, resulting in their higher demand," said Sadashiv Naik, CEO, Food Bazaar, Future Group. Echoing this view, vice-president (marketing) of Spencer's Retail Samar Singh Sheikhawat said, "Sales of imported chocolates has become equal in value to that of the domestic brands put together. Whereas the imported chocolates sales are growing at 100 per cent, made-in-India brands are growing at around 25 to 30 per cent."\n\nAnand Kripalu, managing director, Cadbury India, said, "The competition in the chocolate market has increased significantly. In spite of this, we have been able to hold on to our 70 plus per cent market share. We would look at introducing newer products to boost the consumption of chocolate in India. Chocolates are not consumed on daily basis, so we would look at positioning them for everyday consumption from being consumed only on select occasions."

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • on 06-16-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Empresarios brasileños visitarán Chile en busca de oportunidades de negocios

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Empresarios brasileños visitarán Chile en busca de oportunidades de negocios

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Empresarios brasileños visitarán Chile en busca de oportunidades de negocios\n\nLa Cámara de Comercio de Santiago (CCS) realizará a partir de la próxima semana una serie de encuentros entre empresarios brasileños y nacionalesm con el fin de evaluar nuevas oportunidades de negocios e intensificar las relaciones comerciales entre ambos países.\n\nDebido a esto, llegará a nuestro país una delegación de empresas brasileñas transformadoras de plástico, quienes arribarán en búsqueda de contrapartes de negocios nacionales.\n\nLa CCS, a través de su Centro de Negocios Internacionales, realizará una serie de reuniones entre los representantes de linternacionales y nacionales nacionales, que se llevarán a acabo el próximo 24 de junio, en el Hotel Crowne Plaza entre las 9.00 y las 17.15 horas. \n\nLas compañías brasileñas que visitarán nuestro país, ofrecen soluciones en envases flexibles y rígidos, artículos de menaje y sacos y tejidos de rafia.\n\nLos empresarios chilenos tendrán la posibilidad de establecer negocios con ejecutivos de las empresas Camargo Compañía de Embalagens, Cobrirel Industria e Comercio, Electroplastic, Embaquim Industria y Comercio, Embrasa, FFS Filmes Ltda., Fiabesa Fiacao Aguas Belas, Fibrasa S. A. Embalagens, Grupo Fresal, Ikko Home Design, Industria de Plástico Rancel, Jaguar Industria e Comercio de Plástico, Martiplast Industria e Comercio de Plásticos Ltda., Plasc - Plásticos Santa Catarina Ltda., Tec noval, Textiloeste, Tritec Industrial Ltda., Union Pack Industria de Embalagens, Zaraplast y Zivalplast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FAO ve impotencia en AL vs alimentos — actualidad — CNNExpansion.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FAO ve impotencia en AL vs alimentos\n\nSANTIAGO (Notimex) — El representante de la Organización de Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO) para América Latina y el Caribe, José Graciano da Silva, dijo que existe una "sensación de impotencia" en la región ante la crisis alimentaria.\n\nEn un comentario acerca de la reciente Conferencia sobre Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial, realizada este mes en Roma por la FAO, Graciano reconoció que "las repercusiones en América Latina de la reunión, no son muy alentadoras".\n\nEn el centro de las divergencias constatadas, indicó el ex ministro de Seguridad Alimentaria y lucha contra el hambre de Brasil, "está la cuestión de los subsidios y del multilateralismo".\n\nMás allá de la retórica, lo concreto es que los recursos que deberían financiar los programas para reducir a la mitad el número de personas afectadas por el hambre en todo el mundo para el año 2015, se han reducido en lugar de aumentar.\n\nAsí, de acuerdo con el director de la FAO, Jacques Diouf, "los objetivos propuestos sólo podrían ser alcanzados en 2150", dijo Graciano da Silva.\n\nEl funcionario resaltó el discurso del presidente brasileño Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, quien recordó que luego de la aprobación de las Metas del Milenio, "parece que las personas volvieron a sus quehaceres diarios. Ahí el hambre es olvidada, para ser recordada sólo cuando ocurre una explosión como la de las últimas semanas".\n\n"No nos engañemos: no habrá solución estructural para el tema del hambre en el mundo mientras no seamos capaces de dirigir recursos para la producción de alimentos en los países pobres y, simultáneamente, de eliminar las prácticas comerciales desleales", dijo.\n\nGraciano da Silva también recordó la intervención de la presidenta de Argentina, Cristina Fernández, quien enfatizó que "la caracterización que hacemos del problema alimenticio no es solamente un problema de producción, sino también de distribución de alimentos".\n\nSegún Fernández, entre las causas estructurales están, primero, "la política proteccionista llevada a cabo por los países centrales desde los años 70 en adelante, que ha causado un desapoderamiento, por parte de los países emergentes, de recursos que les son propios".\n\nEn segundo lugar, anotó, "las condiciones que los organismos multilaterales de crédito -particularmente el FMI- han impuesto a los distintos países"; y tercero, "la forma de organización del mercado internacional, de carácter oligopólico".\n\nFernández precisó que a su entender, el elemento decisivo es que "la crisis de las hipotecas ha trasladado fuertes movimientos especulativos al mundo de los commodities, no solamente del mundo agrícola sino también del petróleo".\n\nLa presidenta argentina propuso "una conclusión realista de la Ronda de Doha" y reorientar los financiamientos de los organismos multilaterales para los países que son grandes productores de alimentos y que incorporan masivamente nuevas tecnologías".\n\nLo primero evitaría "lo que llamó "el doble estándar actual" donde los países desarrollados predican el libre comercio mientras mantienen una política interna proteccionista que impide el acceso a sus mercados.\n\nLo segundo, indicó, permitiría establecer mecanismos de transferencia tecnológica para los demás países menos desarrollados, de modo que éstos puedan también producir los alimentos que precisan.\n\nGraciano destacó la presencia de cientos de organizaciones no gubernamentales en Roma, en el Circus Maximum, frente a la sede de la FAO, para abogar por el derecho a la soberanía alimentaria, el fin del libre comercio y de la especulación financiera.\n\nGraciano señaló que "hace más de 60 años que la FAO intenta acabar con el hambre en el mundo y todo lo que podemos decir hoy es que el enfoque de ese asunto felizmente es ‘sólo’ un problema de mejor distribución de la renta" que garantice acceso a los alimentos.\n\n"Pero la globalización de los commodities agrícolas exige que se creen nuevos mecanismos de regulación de carácter financiero y reglas específicas que permitan fortalecer el comercio de alimentos entre países vecinos", indicó el representante de la FAO.\n\n"Quedó claro que los alimentos, como la energía, son demasiado importantes para todos -ricos y pobres- como para ser tratados como una más de los innumerables commodities en mercados sujetos a manipulaciones de intereses privados", indicó.\n\n"De ahí la importancia de la reafirmación del multilateralismo, lo que sin duda fortalece el papel coordinador de las Naciones Unidas y, por consiguiente, el de la FAO"; agregó.\n\nLa implementación de políticas de seguridad alimentaria, a nivel local y nacional, pero también a nivel regional como en el Mercosur, la Región Andina, Centroamérica, y el Caribe, es el nuevo tema que emerge de la reunión de Roma, concluyó Graciano da Silva.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Auge petrolero generaría que industria se concentre en hidrocarburos y abandone otras actividades

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Auge petrolero generaría que industria se concentre en hidrocarburos y abandone otras actividades\n\nAsí lo manifestó la presidenta de Asobancaria, Maria Mercedes Cuellar, al explicar que "eso es lo que en el pasado llamábamos enfermedad holandesa".\n\nLa alarma fue lanzada en la pasada Convención Bancaria.\n\nSegún Cuéllar, presidenta de Asobancaria y quien habló en representación del gremio, para evitar el riesgo es necesario revivir el Fondo de Estabilización Petrolera (Faep), -que quedó inoperante tras la democratización de la empresa- y agilizar el desmonte de los subsidios a los combustibles.\n\nLa reflexión de los bancos se originó en su preocupación por el crecimiento de la inflación, el cual está siendo combatido solo con medidas que atañen directamente al sector financiero: tasas de interés y encajes.\n\n"Es interesante notar que a pesar de la fuerte desaceleración del crédito, la inflación no cede. Cuando se adoptó el encaje marginal hace un año, esta era de 6,2 por ciento y a mayo pasado fue de 6,39 por ciento. No queremos señalar, por supuesto, que las medidas adoptadas eran innecesarias, sino más bien que existen otros elementos, distintos a la disponibilidad de crédito, que están influyendo sobre los precios", precisó Cuellar.\n\nLa dirigente gremial advirtió además que si las medidas de encaje marginal no son eliminadas, pronto llevarán a que el crédito crezca menos que el PIB nominal, lo que afectaría la financiación del sector real e induciría a una caída de la actividad productiva mayor a la deseada. "Por ello le planteamos al Emisor el desmonte paulatino del encaje marginal", aseguró.\n\nAsí mismo, Cuéllar dijo que los bancos están dispuestos a ofrecer las cuentas de bajo valor, que están destinadas para los pobres y que el Gobierno autorizó hace más de dos meses, pero que para esto requieren que el Banco de la República le dé un trato preferencial al encaje de esas cuentas, dado su bajo impacto monetario. Así mismo, pidieron que se simplifiquen los requerimientos de lavado de activos para la apertura de dichas cuentas.\n\n"Estas modificaciones mejorarían el equilibrio entre los costos y beneficios de abrir esas cuentas, y sin duda le darían un impulso a la bancarización", insistió.\n\nTemor por reforma financiera\n\nA los reparos que tienen los bancos frente a la propuesta de la reforma financiera que busca darle más dientes al defensor del cliente y cambiar su esquema de selección, se suma una nueva preocupación, que tiene que ver con la propuesta de fijar en la ley una tasa de interés máxima para préstamos de vivienda en UVR más 9 puntos, al tiempo que se obligarían a los bancos a colocar como mínimo el 5 por ciento de su cartera en esa modalidad de crédito.\n\nPara Asobancaria esta idea sería nociva, pues se reduciría el apetito de los bancos en ese tipo de préstamos, reduciría el estímulo a la entrada de nuevos jugadores y generaría costos adicionales que tendrían que ser asumidos por los usuarios de créditos comerciales y de consumo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Novartis: Healthy Latin Growth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Novartis: Healthy Latin Growth\n\nSALES BOOST: Increasing purchasing power is helping boost Novartis sales in Latin America. Here a pharmacy in Mexico. \n\nTALENT GAP: Finding good talent in Latin America is becoming a growing challenge, says Carlos Garcia of Novartis. \n \nNovartis is growing in Latin America thanks to medicines like Voltaren and Diovan and markets like Brazil and Venezuela.\n\nThanks to growing purchasing power and increased consciousness about health in Latin America, Swiss-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis is seeing strong growth in the region.\n\n"2007 was good year for Novartis in Latin America and 2008 is so far panning out quite well," says Carlos Garcia, Latin American regional head for Novartis.\n\nThe company does not release Latin America revenue figures, but they grew by 11 percent last year, Garcia says.\n\nVENEZUELA JUMP\n\n\nVenezuela, its third-largest market in Latin America, is by far the fastest-growing one, measured in dollar terms. "The strongest growth – for the last 24 months – is Venezuela," Garcia says.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Con Venta de Activos D&S Financiará Internacionalización

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Con Venta de Activos D&S Financiará Internacionalización\n\nEl grupo D&S es el único de los grandes retailers nacionales que no se ha expandido a otros países de la región, con lo cual está asumiendo en un 100% la baja actividad económica local\n\nTodo indicaría que la familia Ibáñez estaría viviendo su principal encrucijada desde que el patriarca, Manuel Ibáñez, formó al principal actor del rubro supermercadista local. Ello, ya que las esperanzas para gestar un crecimiento cuantitativo del conglomerado, se postergó desde el minuto en que el TLDC sentenció el fracaso de la fusión con el holding Falabella, instancia en la cual la compañía no sólo saltaría a otros países de la región, sino que sumaría formatos en los que actualmente no está presente.\nNo es por nada que el valor de la acción en lo que va corrido del año, ha descendido un 33,2%, lo que representa una pérdida patrimonial bursátil cercana a $1.200 millones. En esta línea, el analista de Banchile, Patricio Hernández, indico que “la fusión era muy relevante para Falabella y D&S, pero la que salía más beneficiada era esta última, pero como fracasó, obviamente hubo decepción por parte del mercado. Además, existe un tema coyuntural en todo el sector, con un consumo más restringido, con una mayor inflación en los alimentos, alza en la tasa de interés, escenario que ha sido mal visto por el mercado”.\nOpinión compartida por el analista de LarrainVial, Salvador Arenas, quien manifestó que “la fusión con Falabella potenciaba muchas de las áreas, que son los sectores débiles que tiene D&S. Una de ellas, era el potencial de crecimiento. Uno de los principales temas de la compañía, es justamente ese punto. Hoy en día, comparada con otros operadores, D&S ya tiene el mercado que buscaba, versus un Cencosud que todavía puede seguir creciendo. Es por ello, que el tema del crecimiento es el efecto que más juega en contra de la acción”.\nAsimismo, otro factor que podría llegar a jugar en contra de D&S, es su exposición exclusiva al mercado interno, el cual se ha visto afectado por un aumento en la inflación, una reducción en el consumo y un incremento en las tasas de interés, situación que Falabella, Ripley y Cencosud, pueden sortear de mejor manera, producto que todos ellos están presentes en otros países, los cuales en la actualidad están registrando indicadores económicos, muy superiores a los de Chile. Tal es el caso de los pujantes mercados de Perú, Brasil, Colombia y México.\n“El hecho de no estar fuera de Chile, tiene relación con un menor potencial de crecimiento. Ahora, ante un posible menor consumo en el segundo semestre, D&S deberá estar muy bien posicionado ante los consumidores, para que los prefieran frente a un escenario económico más complicado. Sin embargo, la industria de los supermercados es la más defensiva del retail”, aseveró Arenas.\nEn este sentido, Hernández agregó que “desde hace tiempo que el rubro de los supermercados se ve bastante consolidado y medio saturado, por lo que las expectativas de crecimiento, hay que verlas en otros negocios o fuera de Chile. Ahora, su posición de liderazgo no creo que se vea por el momento amenazada”.\nEn términos de resultados, si bien no fueron negativos, tampoco sorprendieron al mercado. Y es que la utilidad de la compañía en el primer trimestre llegó a los $11.081 millones (US$25,3 millones), lo que representa un incremento de un 11,7%, si se compara con los $9.920 millones (US$22,7 millones) de igual periodo del año anterior. Sin embargo, los ingresos de explotación para el primer trimestre de 2008 ascendieron a $468.142 millones (US$1.069,5 millones), lo que representó un leve incremento de un 5,6%, si se comparan con los $443.464 millones (US$1.013,1 millones) del mismo periodo del año 2007.\n\nVENTA DE ACTIVOS\n\nEs así, como todo apunta a que la única gran oportunidad de D&S para dar el salto que tanto requiere, sería incursionar en otro mercado. En esta línea, el gerente general corporativo de la compañía, Enrique Ostalé, afirmó que “se va a analizar caso a caso cada una de las oportunidades que se presentan y en su momento tomaremos la mejor decisión. Nos interesa un buen proyecto que agregue valor, y para eso tenemos una gerencia de desarrollo que está evaluando las distintas alternativas”.\nEn cuanto al país donde D&S aterrizaría, el ejecutivo recalcó que “todas las posibilidades están abiertas, no tenemos una particular preferencia, lo que nos importa es la capacidad de agregar valor, y cómo nuestras habilidades y competencias calzan con ese objetivo, más que un país en particular”. Sin embargo, desde hace tiempo que viene sonando el nombre de Perú, situación que fue corroborada por el vicepresidente del grupo, Hans Eben, quien manifestó que al mercado andino “lo hemos mirado bien de cerca”.\nAhora, ¿cuándo podría ocurrir? Según el gerente corporativo de la empresa, Claudio Hohmann, “D&S espera que en el presente ejercicio, podamos concretar o anunciar una expansión y, a su vez, su correspondiente financiamiento”, agregando que “Perú y otros países en la región son interesantes, pero algo específico, con un programa de crecimiento con un socio local o de crecimiento orgánico, en dichos países, cualquiera que sean ellos, lo vamos a informar formalmente, en el minuto que tengamos una decisión tomada”.\nPero de concretarse dicha expansión, algo fundamental y de perogrullo, será el financiamiento para dicha incursión. Según Ostalé, la compañía “posee diferentes alternativas. Por ejemplo, D&S puede generar financiamiento a través de sus activos en el negocio financiero e inmobiliario, que podrían generar recursos suficientes para emprender el proyecto de internacionalización, pero es algo que deberá decidir el directorio en su momento”, a lo cual Hohmann agregó que “se contempla utilizar activos que la empresa posee en sus distintos negocios. Por el momento, se está viendo lo que podría resultar mejor, para maximizar la rentabilidad de esos activos, en función de la búsqueda de financiamiento para nuestros planes”.\nRespecto a los activos inmobiliarios que D&S maneja, estos se circunscriben a los que conforman el brazo de dicho rubro del grupo, Saitec, compañía que actualmente administra 113 locales, de los cuales 71 de ellos, son de propiedad de la entidad y 42 son arrendados. Asimismo, la firma controla 10 centros comerciales. De esta manera, Saitec posee 760.038 m2 de superficie total para arriendo y 185.733 m2 de superficie para arriendo a terceros, lo cual los transforma en el tercer actor inmobiliario del país.\n\nEl Futuro\n\nSin embargo, no todo en D&S gira en torno a la expansión regional. La compañía también tiene planes en potenciar su área financiera, Presto, a través de una alianza con algún banco de la plaza. En esta línea, quien suena con más fuerza es el BBVA, entidad con la cual estaba negociando una sociedad, antes que se anunciara la fusión con Falabella.\nDicha estrategia va en línea con potenciar sus resultados financieros, los que aumentaron un 7%, alcanzando los $31.154 millones (US$71,2 millones) durante el primer trimestre de 2008, los que se comparan con los $29.103 millones (US$66,5 millones) de igual periodo de 2007. Esto se explica por un 12,9% de aumento en las colocaciones de la tarjeta Presto, impulsado por el incremento de un 12,6% en el saldo promedio.\nAsimismo, el grupo también fomentará el crecimiento orgánico de sus distintos formatos. Y es que el conglomerado no sólo pretende expandir con fuerza sus supermercados de mayor tamaño, sino que también aquellos orientados a los segmentos C2, C3, D y E, como son Ekono y SuperBodega ACuenta, con los cuales espera sumar hacia 2011, ingresos por US$1.000 millones.\nEs así, como el holding pretende dar un salto cuantitativo importante con su formato Ekono (conocido como discount), ya que el conglomerado tiene estipulado inaugurar alrededor de 163 locales en el periodo 2008-2011.\nCada local poseerá una superficie de área de venta de 350 m2, gracias a lo cual el grupo sumará 70.000 m2 construidos. Por medio de este formato, D&S ofrece más de 1.400 artículos, siendo un 30% de ellos, correspondientes a las marcas propias de la compañía.\nPor otra parte, D&S espera en el periodo anteriormente mencionado, inaugurar 47 locales SuperBodega ACuenta, con lo cual sumará 100.000 m2 de área de venta, si se considera que cada tienda posee alrededor de 2.000 m2 construidos.\nDichos locales ofrece un surtido de más de 4.500 productos -con un promedio de 54 colaboradores por tienda-, de los cuales un 90% corresponde a alimentos y un 10% a non-food, cuyos precios están dirigidos a los estratos socioeconómicos más bajos.\n\nCifras\n47 SuperBodega ACuenta espera inaugurar D&S hacia 2011.\nUS$1.000 millones en ingresos espera registrar la compañía en cuatro años con sus formatos discount.\n$11.081 millones fueron las utilidades de la entidad en el primer trimestre.\n113 locales administra actualmente D&S.\n760.038 m2 de superficie total para arriendo posee Saitec.\n33,2% ha bajado la acción de D&S en 2008.\nUS$1.200 millones ha perdido la compañía este ejercicio en patrimonio bursátil.\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cambia el mapa de poder en Perú

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cambia el mapa de poder en Perú\n\nPresencia foránea es impulsada por la explotación de minas e hidrocarburos. Urge mejorar redistribución de ganancias, aseguran los analistas.\n\nSi Alan García decidiera convocar a los principales grupos empresariales del país –tal como lo hizo en su primer gobierno con el fin de estimular la inversión–, la mitad de la lista de invitados estaría conformada por transnacionales extranjeras, situación muy distinta de cuando los "doce apóstoles" peruanos fueron convocados aquella vez por el presidente.\n\nAsí lo revela la última edición de Perú: The Top 10,000 Companies, editada por Perú Top Publications, que elaboró el ranking de los principales grupos económicos del país a partir de los ingresos anuales de estas compañías.\n\nEl informe registra que actualmente 24 de los 50 principales grupos económicos son de capitales extranjeros (el 48%), cuando a inicios de la década de los noventas la presencia foránea solo llegaba al 5%. Asimismo, solo cuatro grupos nacionales se encuentran dentro del Top 10 del ranking, liderado por las transnacionales Repsol, Southern y Telefónica (ver infografía).\n\nLLEGAN LOS PECES GRANDES\n\nEl investigador de Perú Top Publications, José Lumbreras, refiere que este fenómeno se debe al proceso de liberalización de nuestra economía desde inicios de la década pasada, lo que permitió el ingreso de capitales foráneos, sobre todo para la explotación de hidrocarburos y minerales.\n\nLumbreras resalta que en los últimos años la tendencia cambia hacia un proceso de compras de compañías locales por parte de las grandes transnacionales. Allí tenemos a las ventas emblemáticas de la cervecera Backus a la angloamericana SAB Miller y del grupo Wong a la chilena Cencosud.\n\n"La tendencia para los próximos años será encontrarnos con nuevas compras de este tipo, pero también se impulsarán los joint venture, es decir, proyectos en conjunto entre empresas nacionales y extranjeras", señala Lumbreras, quien también subraya que desde hace cinco años no se avisora el surgimiento de nuevos grupos locales emergentes tales como el Grupo Huancaruna (café Altomayo, puesto 44 en el ranking) o el grupo Añaños (industria de bebidas, puesto 47).\n\nFOMENTAR LA REINVERSIÓN\n\nPara el economista Gonzalo García Núñez, si bien esta mayor presencia de transnacionales extranjeras no necesariamente representa un riesgo para nuestra economía –en caso de crisis financiera y posible fuga de capitales–, el Estado debe fomentar y resguardar una mayor reinversión de utilidades de estas transnacionales para que se generen mayores empleos y desarrollo. "En el caso de los hidrocarburos y minería, debido al incremento de los precios internacionales, las empresas están recuperando lo invertido en una menor cantidad de años que la proyectada inicialmente", indicó el también ex director del Banco Central del Reserva (BCR).\n\n¿Y LOS SUELDOS?\n\nOtra de las tareas pendientes será generar una mayor redistribución de estas grandes utilidades de en las empresas. El estudio refiere que de los 50 principales grupos empresariales del país reportaron utilidades por S/. 18 mil millones en el 2006, un 24% más que en el 2005. Es decir, los que más tienen cada vez ganan más.\n\nGonzalo García Núñez refiere que la mejor forma de redistribución es a través de los salarios de los trabajadores. "Estos deben crecer en igual medida que las utilidades de la empresas, pero en el último año los salarios en promedio solo han crecido en 1.65%", criticó el especialista.\n\nDATOS\n\nA la cabeza. Desde el 2001, la lista de los principales grupos empresariales del país es liderada por las corporaciones extranjeras Telefónica (España), Repsol (Epaña) y Southern (México).\n\nRomero. El grupo Romero en el 2000 escindió sus negocios financieros creando al Grupo Credicorp, de manera que para el ranking sus operaciones se contabilizan de manera separada.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - Brazil Biodiesel & Ethanol News Review (June 9 - June 13, 2008)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The following is a review of the biodiesel and ethanol news published by Brazilian media for June 9 to June 14, 2008.\n\nPROCANA -- Sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil's Centre-South region will allocate more sugar cane for the production of ethanol in the forthcoming crop year, the president of the country's second largest ethanol producer, Santelisa Vale SA, Anselmo Lopes Rodrigues, said. According to him, Brazilian mills boosted their ethanol output in the last months to meet the domestic demand. In May 2008, 60 pct of the sugar cane was earmarked for ethanol production. However, the atypical rains in Centre-South, that accounts for 80 pct of Brazil's sugar and ethanol output, reduced the productivity in the last months. The harvest in the region is concentrated in the period between April and November 2008, when the climate is dryer. According to Brazilian sugar cane industries union Unica, Centre-South will produce 24.3 billion litres of ethanol in this crop year, which will be a 9.2 pct rise versus the previous one.\n\n(June 9, 2008)\n\n***\n\nGAZETA MERCANTIL -- The Brazilian ethanol exports to Sweden, Europe's second largest consumer, are seen to double in 2008, due to the higher demand by ethanol-fuelled cars in that country, according to Mattias Goldmann, a spokesman for the Swedish Association of Green Motorists. Brazil exported approximately 100 million litres of ethanol to Sweden in 2007, Goldmann said.\n\nBrazil is the world's largest ethanol exporter.\n\n(June 9, 2008)\n\n***\n\nBIODIESEL BRASIL -- Agricultural producers, the government of northeastern Sergipe state, and the federal oil and gas major Petrobras signed a contract for oleaginous plants production in the state under the Sergipe's Biodiesel Programme. Approximately 6,000 local agricultural producers were registered and allowed to plant sunflower. Their output, earmarked for biodiesel production, will be bought by Petrobras.\n\n(June 9, 2008)\n\n***\n\nPROCANA -- Infinity Bio-Energy Ltd. announced that it has filed an application with the Brazilian Securities Commission (CVM) to register the company as a foreign issuer in Brazil and to issue Brazilian Depositary Receipts (BDRs) in a public offering in Brazil and with international placement efforts. According to the application sent to CVM, the BDR programme will envisage the issuance of new common shares to finance the continuing growth of the company, through new acquisitions, as well as to finance greenfield projects, industrial investments in existing mills, and co-generation projects. The BDRs will represent AIM-listed common shares, through the establishment of a depositary programme. The BDRs will be traded on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange Bovespa.\n\nFounded in September 2006 by British and U.S. investors, the company produces ethanol, biomass energy and sugar. In Brazil, it has six plants in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Bahia.\n\n(June 10, 2008)\n\n***\n\nPROCANA -- A new biodiesel mill -- Biopar was launched in Rolandia, southern Parana state. The plant will officially start operations on June 15, 2008 with capacity of 700,000 litres of biodiesel, that will be sold to Petrobras. The mill will use soy oil to produce the fuel. Parana state government projects that the state's biodiesel production will outstrip the consumption, that now stands at 85 million litres per year, which means that the state may start exporting biodiesel in 2009. Brazil's National Council for Energy Policy (CNPE) decided to change the mandatory blending of biodiesel to diesel oil to 3.0 pct as of July 1, 2008. Now, Brazil uses a 2.0 pct compulsory biodiesel blend.\n\n(June 10, 2008)\n\n***\n\nPROCANA -- Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Usinas Itamarati SA, invested 12 mln Brazilian reais ($7.3 mln/4.8 mln euro) in the programme for its fleet renewal in 2008. The company bought 12 new harvesters, added to its 48 other units. Furthermore, it bought 11 trucks for cane transportation. A fleet renewal is held each five years, the company said.\n\nThe company, which is the sixth largest sugar cane producer in Brazil, is based in Nova Olimpia, 207 km northwestern from Cuiaba, the capital of Mato Grosso state. Itamarati was founded by the one-time soy king, Olacyr de Moraes.\n\n(June 11, 2008)\n\n***\n\nBIODIESEL BRASIL -- Brazilian researchers and investors are eyeing new business opportunities linked to the biodiesel production in the northern Tolocantins state. The researchers are now developing a list with the cultures that might be used as a raw material for biodiesel production in Tocantins. However, the focus will be on the Jatropha curcas plant. Furthermore, 300 Tocantins producers signed a contract for the sale of their production with local biodiesel producer Biotins in the next 10 years. The producers have a combined planted area of 4,500 ha with oleaginous plants.\n\n(June 11, 2008)\n\n***\n\nPROCANA -- The ethanol mill Jalles Machado, located in Goianesia, central-western Goias state, expanded by 20,000 litres its daily ethanol output with the launch of a new distillery. Thus, the mill's capacity reached 600,000 litres. In 2008, the Goianesia unit will crush 1.519 million tonnes of cane, up from the 1.42 million tonnes crushed in 2007.\n\n(June 12, 2008)\n\n***\n\nSETORIAL NEWS ENERGIA -- Petrobras will set up a biofuel company to be named Petrobras Bioenergia. The new company will be involved in biofuel production, while Petrobras' supply department will be responsible for the ethanol pipelines to be built and for the trade in ethanol. Besides that company, Petrobras created in February 2008 the PMCC Projetos de Transporte Alcool SA, a joint venture with Japanese Mitsui and Brazilian Camargo Correa. The company will operate a joint ethanol transportation pipeline between the Senador Canedo municipality in the central-western Goias state and the Paulinia municipality in the southeastern Sao Paulo state. The pipeline will be kicked off in 2009.\n\nFurthermore, Petrobras plans to establish another company, that will manage the ethanol pipeline to be built between the capital of the central-western Mato Grosso state Campo Grande, and the Paranagua port in the southern Parana state.\n\n(June 12, 2008)\n\n***\n\nPROCANA -- Brazilian alternative energy company Cerona Companhia de Energia Renovavel (Cerona) contracted the local engineering firm Engevix to build its two new sugar and ethanol mills in central-western Mato Grosso do Sul state. They will be built in the municipalities of Nova Andradina and Bataypora and will demand 1.5 bln reais ($917 mln/594 mln euro) investments. Cerona chose these two municipalities as most suitable for the implantation of sugar cane processing units there on the basis of their arable land quality, favourable climate and logistics infrastructure. The two units will have a joint annual sugar cane crushing capacity of 10 million tonnes in 2010.\n\n(June 12, 2008)\n\n***\n\nPROCANA -- U.S. ExxonMobil started selling in New Zealand petrol, blended with 3.0 pct to 10 pct Brazilian ethanol, New Zealand's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) said. ExxonMobil is selling a 98 octane fuel containing up to 10 pct ethanol (E10), and a 91 octane fuel containing up to 3.0 pct ethanol. According to Elizabeth Yeaman, EECA's team manager of renewables and energy supply, Brazilian sugarcane bioethanol is environmentally sustainable. It does not affect the world's food prices and the sugarcane is grown 2,000 km from the Amazon rainforest. Even when taking shipping of the ethanol into consideration, it offers almost a 75 pct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over ordinary petrol.\n\n(June 12, 2008)\n\n***\n\nBIODIESEL BRASIL -- Brazilian biodiesel producer Taua Biodiesel Ltda based in Nova Mutum in Mato Grosso state, received an approval of the National petroleum Agency (ANP) to produce biodiesel. ANP allowed the company to produce annually 30 million litres.\n\n(June 12, 2008)\n\n***\n\nPROCANA -- Infinity Bio-Energy might invest in five mills in Jamaica, that are now in process of privatisation. The Brazilian companies consider Jamaica as a strategic point for their investments. The country has a preferential export agreement for the European Union (EU) and the United States. The country is also a beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), thanks to which alcohol produced in the Caribbean basin is exported to the USA with an exemption of taxes. Jamaica wants to complete the privatisation until June 2008. Jamaican Government gave green light for the privatisation of the mills in mid-2006. The ethanol production in the country is underdeveloped and primarily oriented to the production of alcoholic beverages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexico's Telmex spins off South American operations | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Telmex Internacional made its debut on the Mexican stock market on Tuesday in a multibillion-dollar spinoff from parent Telmex, the country's largest fixed-line phone operator.\n\nTelmex Internacional TELINTL.MX shares rose almost 1 percent to 8.39 pesos.\n\nShares of its parent Telmex (TELMEXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 3.65 percent to 12.71 pesos following the separation of the two businesses controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim.\n\nTelmex Internacional, which runs cable television operators and Internet service providers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, is seen as having more growth potential than Telmex.\n\nThat gives investors a choice of plays between a new company that has its eyes on expanding throughout South America and the parent Telmex, a stagnant giant that delivers solid profits and dividends. (Reporting by Chris Aspin and Noel Randewich)\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brazil: FDI Opportunities and Pitfalls

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brazil’s GDP grew 5.4 percent in 2007 to $1.1 trillion. Foreign direct investment in Brazil practically doubled from 2006 to 2007, from $18.7 billion to over $34 billion. While growth is projected to slow to 4.8 percent in 2008, investment opportunities abound in Latin America’s largest economy. Brazil is slated to have more IPO’s than any other Latin American country in 2008. Despite the general optimism, pitfalls are real and can be extremely detrimental to the foreign investor. Undisclosed liabilities, hidden ownership, and questionable practices and reputations of local management are some of the issues that a company could face when doing business in Brazil. In almost 30 percent of all partnerships, acquisitions or joint-ventures, a potential problem lies just under the surface.\n\nBrazil, the world’s tenth-largest economy and the largest in Latin America, attracted record foreign direct investment in 2007. According to a November 2007 InfoAmericas survey of 50 U.S. multinational companies operating in Latin America, strategic planning managers cite Brazil as the top market of interest for new investment in 2008.\n\nWHAT ARE THE ATTRACTIONS?\n\nThis country of 190 million inhabitants currently enjoys a stable monetary policy, controlled inflation, record employment and falling country risk ratings. Brazil is also more diversified as far as Latin American economies go—even as the world’s second largest agricultural exporter, agriculture as a sector accounts for only 5 percent of Brazil’s GDP.\n\nIts diversification is noteworthy, as Brazil exports less to the U.S. relative to other economies in the region, reducing its vulnerability to a U.S. economic slowdown.\n\nHowever, the main attraction is the Brazilian consumer. Consumers have an increasing capacity to purchase imported goods coupled with an unprecedented access to credit. For one, buying power is buoyed by an appreciating currency, which already has reached R$1.63 to the U.S. dollar in 2008. Additionally, interest rates remain at a historic low — the benchmark SELIC lending rate currently sits at 12.25 percent — while auto financing, home mortgages, credit and debit cards are penetrating previously "unbanked" sectors of society.\n\nThe strengthening muscle of the Brazilian consumer is also reflected in industrial growth. Overall industrial output stood at 6 percent in 2007, compared with 2.8 percent and 3.1 percent in 2006 and 2005, respectively. Domestic demand and expanded access to credit are largely responsible for this growth, according to the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística.\n\nIn January 2008, Brazil’s international reserves exceeded its foreign debt for the first time in its history, according to the Banco Central do Brasil. This year could also herald some good news on the foreign investment side. The major credit rating agencies of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings recently raised Brazil’s debt to investment grade.\n\nREALITIES OF DOING BUSINESS\n\nBrazil’s economy continues to be robust and holds many investment opportunities for foreign firms. However, substantial risks remain for the investor considering an acquisition, partnership or joint-venture.\n\nAccording to Kroll’s analysis, almost 30 percent of all due diligence investigations conducted on Brazilian companies for a foreign investor uncover some kind of problem. In 60 percent of those cases, the problem is a deal-breaker — serious enough to make the outside company back away from the investment altogether. In the remaining 40 percent of cases, a deal was struck but only after the proper adjustments were made.\nProblems can lie right under the surface, yet are often not easily detected by a typical legal or financial due diligence that relies solely on public record information and whatever data the prospective business partner has disclosed. Public records in Brazil are often scarce, out-of-date or incomplete, reducing their usefulness for making investment decisions.\n\nHowever, proper due diligence both facilitates a deal and avoids potential pitfalls. The following are actual cases where on-the-ground investigators with an intimate knowledge of local conditions helped a company detect and navigate serious financial, legal and reputational hazards before they adversely affected an investor:\n\nKroll helped an American investment bank underwriting the IPO of a Brazilian real estate firm discover undisclosed ownership. Investigation found that a Brazilian executive had hidden his interest in the real estate firm through a complex set of straw entities. Moreover, this individual had a track record of managing companies that eventually went bankrupt. The investment successfully went forward after the executive in question left.\n\nKroll assisted a foreign private equity firm preparing to invest in a Brazilian logistics provider avoid a potentially massive legal problem. Investigation determined that the company’s vehicles were being used for local drug trafficking operations. The private equity firm ultimately backed away from the investment, as the risk was considered too high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Playtech Catching up to Partygaming

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Playtech, the world’s biggest publicly traded online gaming software supplier, saw further strong demand for its casino and poker games in the first quarter. Playtech recorded 14.4 per cent growth in revenues over its monthly average in the fourth quarter of 2007, leaving Mor Weizer, chief executive, confident it would meet expectations for 2008.\n\nOn Tuesday, the group said average daily royalties in January 2008 showed 11.7 per cent growth over the average in the fourth quarter of 2007 and momentum continued in February. Playtech has expanded recently on the back of the launch of its iPoker network, which has started to catch up with PartyGaming, the online gaming market leader. Revenues for the year to December 31 were in line with expectations, rising from $90.1m to $103.6m (£52.3m).\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        InBev sends out warning to Anheuser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Belgian brewer InBev yesterday warned Anheuser-Busch that its $65 a share cash takeover bid could change if Anheuser pursues a tie-up with Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.\n\nAnheuser, the US brewer of Budweiser, has not yet responded to InBev's unsolicited $46.3bn takeover offer after releasing it to the public last week.\n\nThere has been no formal communication between the two companies' boards of directors since, according to people close to the situation, and Anheuser and its advisers are continuing to weigh the bid.\n\nAnheuser is also in discussions with Modelo - in which it owns a non-controlling half-stake - over whether the companies could strike up a deal that might help thwart a takeover.\n\nAnheuser could, for example, try to buy the other half of family-controlled Modelo and then structure the deal in a way that could make a takeover of the whole company difficult.\n\nThat might require a rich premium for Modelo's owners and a significant amount of debt, however, and sources within the industry have voiced scepticism over the likelihood that such a transaction would appeal to Anheuser's shareholders above the offer now on the table from InBev.\n\nStill, InBev released a second letter to Anheuser yesterday, suggesting that the company's concern over the dialogue between executives at Anheuser and Modelo - and over Anheuser's stony silence - may be growing.\n\nIn what appeared to be a call to Anheuser's shareholders, InBev said that before moving ahead with any alternative transaction, it expected that Anheuser first fully explore its offer "and the potential adverse consequences any such [alternative] transaction could have on the ability of your shareholders to receive our premium offer".\n\nIn a letter signed by the company's chief executive, Carlos Brito, InBev said that " . . . it is our strong belief that no alternative transaction that you could effectuate would create more value for your shareholders than the $65 per share in cash that we are offering."\n\nInBev also added that its bid was based on Anheuser's current assets, business and capital structure.\n\nThe company reiterated its willingness to discuss its takeover offer by entering into a "constructive dialogue" with Anheuser chief executive August Busch IV and the company's board of directors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          China fund to ban gaming and guns

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          China's $200bn sovereign wealth fund intends to be a socially responsible global investor by shunning industries such as gambling, tobacco and arms manufacturing, the fund's president said.\n\nGao Xiqing, president of China Investment Corp, said in Beijing: "We are looking at clean energy and environmentally friendly investment." CIC would look at "everything cross-border except for casinos, tobacco companies or machine-gun companies". As far as is publicly known, the fund has primarily invested in financial services. Recently, Mr Gao insisted CIC's investments were not politically motivated.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • on 06-13-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ranbaxy still in play? (Dealscape)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ranbaxy still in play? (Dealscape)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ranbaxy still in play?\n\nJapanese drug firm Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. made waves two days ago with its intent to buy a majority of Indian generics firm Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. for as much as $4.6 billion. But now, the Indian press suggests others might step in with offers.\n\nIndian newspaper The Business Standard reports that Pfizer Inc. of New York could counterbid, and several Big Pharma suitors reportedly talked to Ranbaxy in the lead-up to the Daiichi Sankyo announcement. The paper cited anonymous sources.\n\nThere are more tangible links between Ranbaxy and Pfizer, though not necessarily friendly. Ranbaxy is fighting to bring to market a generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol drug Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, with $12.7 billion in sales last year. It is expected to go off-patent in late 2010. \n\nThe Ranbaxy sale is spurred by the controlling Singh family, which is ready to get out, although CEO Malvinder Mohan Singh, grandson of the founder, says he will remain in charge if the sale goes through. Singh told reporters in Tokyo that his deal with Daiichi is a "firm and binding agreement." \n\nThe Singh family's stake, though described as "controlling," is only 35%. To reach majority ownership, Daiichi Sankyo will buy shares on the open market, leaving open the question whether the non-Singh shareholders can be persuaded to hold out. There's also plenty of time; the deal isn't expected to close until next March. Daiichi Sankyo is paying a 31% premium over Ranbaxy's closing price the day before the deal was announced. -- Alex Lash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cerberus to Raise Fund for Distressed Investing - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cerberus to Raise Fund for Distressed Investing\n\nPrivate equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is starting a new fund to invest in assets it thinks have been driven down too low by the credit crisis, the firm’s chairman, John Snow, told Reuters.\n\nThe decision by Cerberus to wade more heavily into the market for distressed assets follows similar moves by a growing number of its rivals, including Apollo Management and the Blackstone Group.\n\nThe Cerberus fund will focus on international assets, with only a small percentage likely to be devoted to the United States, Mr. Snow said. The former U.S. Treasury Secretary declined to give a target size for the fund.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                México busca elevar siembra caña azúcar para etanol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                México busca elevar siembra caña azúcar para etanol\n\nMéxico DF.-México busca elevar hasta en un 13 por ciento la superficie que siembra de caña de azúcar para el 2012, como parte de un plan para fomentar la producción de etanol, dijo el jueves el secretario de Agricultura.\n\nMéxico siembra actualmente unas 750,000 hectáreas de caña de azúcar y el secretario Alberto Cárdenas dijo en entrevista con Reuters que el Gobierno esperaría elevar hasta en 100,000 hectáreas esa superficie en un periodo de cuatro años.\n\nEl Gobierno tiene una meta de producción de unos 800 millones de litros de etanol anuales para el 2012. Actualmente México no produce biocombustibles. "Tenemos que empezar a buscar más superficie de caña orientándola hacia el etanol," dijo Cárdenas.\n\n"Con los precios del petróleo subiendo tanto, la producción de etanol debe ser atractiva y rentable para los interesados en este negocio," añadió. Cárdenas dijo que el etanol sustituiría a un aditivo para gasolina, conocido como MBTE, por ser más amigable con el ambiente.\n\nMéxico quiere sumarse a los países que producen etanol, de los que Brasil es el líder exportador pero que ha recibido críticas que aseguran que la producción del biocombustible está empujando a ganaderos y agricultores cada vez más dentro de la selva amazónica. Cárdenas señaló que en una primera etapa se buscará elevar la producción de caña de azúcar en el occidental estado de Jalisco y en los norteños Tamaulipas y San Luis Potosí.\n\nMéxico ha cumplido prácticamente con su meta de producción de azúcar de 5.5 millones de toneladas de azúcar para la zafra 2007/2008, que destina sobre todo para consumo interno.\n\n\nLa producción de biocombustibles, aunado a una mayor demanda de alimentos por parte de China e India, así como los elevados precios mundiales del petróleo han reducido la disponibilidad y elevado el precio de los básicos en el mundo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lan Ve Oportunidades Ante Problemas de Aerolíneas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lan Ve Oportunidades Ante Problemas de Aerolíneas\n\nEl escenario que enfrentan muchas aerolíneas que han debido disminuir sus frecuencias o paralizar sus vuelos debido a las alzas en el precio del petróleo se presenta como una buena oportunidad de negocios para Lan, manifestó el presidente del directorio de la compañía, Jorge Awad.Así, al ser consultado sobre si existen posibilidades de que la compañía amplíe sus operaciones en Perú, luego de que las aerolíneas nacionales Star Perú y Aerocóndor suspendieran seis de sus destinos interiores, el ejecutivo comentó que “esto genera oportunidades para las empresas que han desarrollado modelos de negocio con la suficiente anticipación, siempre esto va a presentarse como oportunidades ante lo difícil, que es un precio que hace 15 meses era menos de la mitad”.Respecto al incremento de las tasas de interés, Awad manifestó que “si Chile tiene la capacidad para decir que en 24 meses más vamos a tener anclada la inflación en 3%, eso lo tenemos que hacer utilizando nuestro instrumental monetario y tenemos que subir las tasas ahora (…) No cabe duda que para la mayor parte de la población tener una inflación alta es mucho más perjudicial, entonces es un bien superior tener que anclarla”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mexichem adquirió peruana Geotextiles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tras informar el martes pasado Mexichem la compra de la química Quimir al Grupo Kuo (ver Mexichem compró negocio de fosfatos a Kuo 11/06/2008), la empresa que preside Antonio del Valle anunció este miércoles que Mexichem se hizo de la operación de geotextiles de Comindustrias del Perú. \n\n"Con esta operación Mexichem garantiza el liderazgo del mercado de geotextiles en Perú y al mismo tiempo expande su oferta de otras soluciones en geosintéticos en el mercado peruano encaminada a obtener el liderazgo absoluto en el mercado de latinoamericano en soluciones para la ingeniería civil, la construcción de obras civiles y el control de erosión en el año 2008", cita la firma en un comunicado enviado a la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, publicado este jueves por El Semanario. \n\nEsta adquisición se integrará a la división de Geosistemas, subsidiaria creada por Mexichem dentro de la cadena de productos transformados. \n\nLos geosistemas son productos de ingeniería para diversas aplicaciones en la construcción civil, utilizados para separar, filtrar, drenar, impermeabilizar, reforzar, controlar la erosión y dar protección a los suelos. \n\nMexichem es una de las compañías químicas líderes de América Latina. Es el productor más grande d PVC en México y Colombia, el segundo mayor productor de tubería de PVC en Latinoamérica, el operador de la mina de fluorita más grande del mundo y el mayor productor de ácido fluorhídrico en la región. \n\nEn lo que va del 2008, Mexichem ha comprado alrededor de 10 compañías dentro y fuera de México \n\n \n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dudas por anuncios económicos de Chávez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dudas por anuncios económicos de Chávez\n\nUnos esperados anuncios del presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez para apuntalar la economía del país fueron recibidos con tibieza por analistas y empresarios, que vieron las medidas como insuficientes para incrementar la producción y abatir la galopante inflación.\n\nSi bien la mayoría apoyó la eliminación del Impuesto a las Transacciones Financieras (ITF) y la agilización de trámites dentro del control cambiario, también cuestionó que Chávez omitiera temas relevantes como la designación del nuevo ministro de Finanzas, recompra de deuda y cambios en tasas de interés.\n\n"Lo que veo más importante es la señal que manda de la percepción del Gobierno frente a la situación económica. Los datos del primer trimestre fueron muy malos, en este momento se esperaba que la economía siguiera creciendo a tasas más o menos del 7 por ciento," dijo Maya Hernández, analista de HSBC en Nueva York.\n\nLa economía del país miembro de la OPEP creció un 4,8 por ciento interanual en el primer trimestre, su tasa más baja desde que el país inició su ciclo de expansión a finales del 2003, en medio de una bonanza petrolera que ha disparado el consumo.\n\nPor su parte, el analista de Goldman Sachs Alberto Ramos estimó que, a excepción de la supresión tributaria, el plan anunciado "se quedó algo corto respecto a las expectativas y es poco probable que genere un impacto significativo en la economía o la inflación."\n\nEl mandatario delineó algunas estrategias para impulsar el sector industrial, agrícola y la creación de un fondo de fomento de 1.000 millones de dólares para áreas estratégicas.\n\nPero, la estampida de los precios de los bienes y servicios se ha convertido en uno de los mayores dolores de cabeza para el Gobierno socialista, ya que la inflación acumuló a mayo un 12,4 por ciento, luego de cerrar el 2007 en 22,5 por ciento.\n\nChávez admitió que el tema es preocupante pero no dio medidas concretas para atacarlo, pese a que algunos ministros habían anunciado días antes sobre la estructuración de un programa antiinflacionario.\n\nRespecto a la eliminación del ITF, Hernández prevé que tenga un efecto puntual, ya que "por lo menos elimina un componente de aceleración a la inflación."\n\nEl tributo fue lanzado sorpresivamente a fines del 2007 para compensar una reducción de cinco puntos en el Impuesto al Valor Agregado (IVA), pero su aplicación a personas jurídicas con una tasa del 1,5 por ciento fue uno de los detonantes de la inflación.\n\nUn asesor económico del Gobierno calculó que la anulación del tributo podría significar una reducción de 0,3-0,5 puntos porcentuales en el índice inflacionario reportado mensualmente.\n\nLluvia de dudas. Adicionalmente, Chávez prometió que no se implantarían nuevos impuestos por el resto del año, lo que opositores califican como un medida política ante unas elecciones regionales a fines del 2008, en las que el militar retirado enfrenta el desafío de conservar la mayoría actual.\n\nA pesar de que había anunciado esta semana que durante el acto con empresarios revelaría quien sustituirá en el Ministerio de Finanzas a Rafael Isea -quien se retira para competir por una gobernación en los comicios regionales del noviembre-, Chávez no hizo mención alguna al respecto.\n\nEn tanto, la asociación de ganaderos Fedenaga se quejó de que las medidas dirigidas al sector agrícola son insuficientes, a la vez que los trámites cambiarios tienden a favorecer más las importaciones en vez de fortalecer la producción local.\n\n"Pensé que iba a anunciar un cambio de actores porque hay funcionarios que han cerrado puertas y que no quieren abrirlas," afirmó a la emisora UnionRadio el presidente del gremio, Genaro Méndez.\n\nEl gobernante también anunció que se eliminarán los trámites previos que deben cumplir las empresas ya registradas formalmente para solicitar hasta 50.000 dólares para importar bienes de capital, en un intento por destrabar los trámites en el marco del control cambiario vigente desde el 2003.\n\n"Si los límites son tan bajos, no está haciéndolo para los empresarios que realmente fomentan la producción sino más bien para el pequeño empresario, que puede ser más relevante en términos de votos que en términos de producción," opinó Hernández de HSBC.\n\nOtros analistas han destacado que el Gobierno aumentará el gasto público a medida que avance la campaña electoral, lo que seguiría impulsando la inflación, mientras el sector productivo privado permanece restringido por temores al estilo de Gobierno de Chávez.\n\n"En Venezuela el problema no es de papeleo, el problema es de estabilidad política. ¿Quién te va a invertir cuando tienes un control de capital y es un gobierno que nacionaliza compañías?," reflexionó Hernández.\n\nSin embargo, el mandatario aseguró durante el anuncio de las medidas -en un acto al que asistieron el miércoles por la noche prominentes empresarios y banqueros- que respeta a la empresa privada, que no quiere abolirla y que quiere trabajar conjuntamente.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grupo Fierro invertirá US$30M en Perú

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grupo Fierro invertirá US$30M en Perú\n\nEl presidente del grupo español Fierro en Perú, Ricardo Ruiz, señaló este jueves que invertirán aproximadamente US$30 millones en el país en los próximos tres años, destinado a la adquisición de tierras para la agroindustria, la ampliación de sus plantas industriales y también para la compra de otras empresas.\n\nDe acuerdo a los publicado el viernes por 24 Horas Libre, el presidente del Grupo Fierro planea invertir el 30% de este monto (unos US$9 millones) para aumentar las tierras agrícolas de 600 hectáreas que tiene en la actualidad a 2,000 o 3,000 hectáreas como mínimo, pero todo dependerá de la capacidad para encontrar terrenos óptimos para su desarrollo.\n\nPrecisó que el grupo ya produce páprika y espárragos, sin embargo, quiere ampliar las áreas de cultivo e ingresar a producir nuevos cultivos que podrían ser uvas, mangos u otros que el mercado demande.\n\nRuiz afirmó que el 100% de su producción agroindustrial se destina a la exportación, y sus principales mercados son Europa, Asia, Estados Unidos y algunos países de Sudamérica.\n\nDe otro lado, afirmó que parte de las citadas inversiones se destinarán al sector de químicos y el grupo tiene proyectado adquirir nuevas empresas de este rubro.\n\nComentó que su fábrica de plásticos Iberoplast produce sacos tejidos de polipropileno y abastece a todas las industrias del país que están en pleno crecimiento, y la demanda de productos de origen químico es la de mayor dinámica en el momento.\n\nOtro sector donde invierte el grupo español es la construcción a través de su compañía Constructores Interamericanos (Coinsa) que no sólo edifica viviendas, sino también oficinas, centros comerciales y supermercados.\n\nIndicó que hasta el momento el Grupo Fierro ha invertido más de US$200 millones en Perú, la mayor parte en los últimos años.\n\nEl grupo tiene operaciones en Estados Unidos, Centroamérica, España, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Perú, Ecuador y Brasil y hoy inauguró su nueva planta industrial de sabores y fragancias Sensoria, ubicada en el distrito limeño de Lurín.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Acciones de la petrolera brasileña OGX se dispararon en debut

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Acciones de la petrolera brasileña OGX se dispararon en debut\n\nLas acciones de la compañía brasileña de petróleo y gas OGX se disparaban este viernes en su primer día de transacciones, lo que daba cuenta del voraz apetito de los inversores por beneficiarse de los nuevos hallazgos de hidrocarburos anunciados por el país más grande de Sudamérica.\n\nLas acciones de OGX abrieron en la Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo con un alza del 18,9%, a US$821 (1.345 reales), luego de ser valuados en US$691 (1.131 reales en la oferta pública inicial (OPI) del miércoles, el tope del rango de precios.\n\nPero más tarde, reducían su avance para cotizarse con una ganancia del 10,61%, a US$763.8 (1.250,99 reales), en momentos en que el índice referencial del mercado, el Bovespa, trepaba un 0,38%.\n\nOGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA recaudó US$4.100 millones (6.710 millones de reales) en su oferta de acciones, lo que convirtió la operación en la mayor OPI en la historia de Brasil.\n\nEl multimillonario brasileño Eike Batista, quien fundó la compañía, comentó este viernes que la demanda de la oferta inicial alcanzó los US$30.000 millones.\n\nBovespa Holding, que controla la Bolsa de Valores de Sao Paulo, había establecido el anterior récord, cuando recaudó 6.600 millones de reales en septiembre.\n\nDos meses mas tarde, la bolsa de materias primas y futuros BM&F alcanzó los 5.980 millones de reales con su OPI. Actualmente, las bolsas se están fusionando.\n\nOGX, que fue creada desde cero hace menos de un año y todavía no produce petróleo, colocó sus acciones con inversores calificados que debían pagar un mínimo de US$184.050 dólares (300.000 reales).\n\nBatista, quien hizo su fortuna en el negocio minero, es uno de los hombres más ricos de Brasil. Su conglomerado también incluye una compañía de agua, plantas de electricidad y la minera MMX Mineracao, que comenzó a cotizar en bolsa en el 2006.\n\nEl empresario, quien tiene la reputación de asumir riesgos, apuesta a que los recientes hallazgos de hidrocarburos frente a las costas de Brasil sean una señal de más descubrimientos futuros.\n\nEn noviembre, Batista pagó más de US$1.000 millones por los derechos de perforación en 21 bloques marítimos en una subasta, superando a grandes petroleras como la estatal local Petrobras y la estadounidense Devon Energy Corp .\n\nPara iniciar la producción de crudo, el empresario ha contratado a varios ex ejecutivos de Petrobras, un líder mundial en la tecnología de perforaciones en el mar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Banco suizo UBS finalizó su segundo aumento de capital del año

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Banco suizo UBS finalizó su segundo aumento de capital del año\n\nEl banco suizo UBS -uno de los más afectados por la crisis financiera- informó hoy de que ha finalizado "con éxito" su segundo aumento de capital de este año, cuyo valor se elevó a US$15.400 millones.\n\nEn un comunicado, la entidad indicó que se ejercieron unos 760 millones de derechos de suscripción, lo que representó el 99,4% de las nuevas acciones ofrecidas.\n\nUnos 4,8 millones de acciones no encontraron comprador, de modo que serán puestas a partir de hoy a la venta en los mercados bursátiles de Europa, Nueva York y Tokio por la división de banca de inversión de UBS.\n\nLas transacciones con derechos de suscripción implicaban que por cada veinte acciones antiguos los portadores de títulos podían adquirir otras siete nuevas, además de la venta de ese derecho en el mercado bursátil.\n\nLas posibilidad de ejercer cualquier de esas dos opciones concluyó el pasado lunes.\n\nCon este aumento de capital UBS busca contrarrestar el impacto de las enormes pérdidas que viene sufriendo desde el segundo semestre de 2007.\n\nEstas pérdidas estaban motivada por las fuertes inversiones que había realizado en instrumentos financieros basados en hipotecas de alto riesgo en Estados

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lehman Brothers se dispara en bolsa por posible entrada de Blackstone en su capital

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lehman Brothers se dispara en bolsa por posible entrada de Blackstone en su capital\n\nEl banco de inversión estadounidense Lehmans Brothers sube cerca de un 10% tras conocer que el fondo de inversión Blackstone podría estar interesado en comprar entre el 20% y el 30% del capital del banco, muy debilitado como consecuencia de la crisis financiera.\n\n \n\nAsí lo señaló la cadena de televisión CNBC, que ha apuntado que se trata de una “posibilidad” y no que la oferta no es un hecho. También ha querido dejar claro que el Blackstone no se ha planteado en ningún momento en comprar el banco y sí ostentar una participación importante de la entidad, ya que confía en la firma.\n\n \n\nEn los últimos días, Lehman Brothers ha copado al actualidad informativa de la principal plaza bursátil y ha experimentado fuertes recortes en su cotización, después de asumir que registrará las primeras pérdidas en sus balances desde que cotiza en bolsa durante este trimestre. El lunes presenta sus cuentas y no prevé que haya muchos cambios en relación con los 2.800 millones de dólares negativos que espera contabilizar.\n\n \n\nAdemás, la entidad financiera realizó ayer cambios estructurales en su cúpula directiva con el relevo de su director financiero, Erin Callan, y su director general de operaciones, Joseph Gregory, por los problemas que atraviesa con las hipotecas ‘subprime’.\n\n \n\nLos inversores de Wall Street acogen con optimismo la decisión de Lehman Brothers, que experimenta un rebote en sus títulos del 10,53%, hasta los 25,09 dólares por acción.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fallida venta de Almagrario pudo afectar su valor: Contraloría

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fallida venta de Almagrario pudo afectar su valor: Contraloría\n\nEn la función de advertencia, el ente de control señala que es necesario iniciar de inmediato un trabajo de recuperación de imagen de Almagrario,\n\nAsí se lo advirtió el contralor General, Julio César Turbay Quintero, a los ministros de Agricultura y Hacienda, a la Junta Directiva de Almagrario, al Director de Fogafín, al gerente liquidador de la Caja Agraria y al Presidente de Fiduprevisora, a través de una carta de siete páginas.\n\nEl organismo de control considera que la fallida venta afectó la imagen de la compañía, lo que puede implicar condiciones riesgosas de la\noperación del Almacén y una posible desvalorización ante un nuevo proceso de venta.\n\n"Es indispensable iniciar la recuperación de la imagen institucional que redunde en un mejor valor comercial", señala el Contralor en la carta.\n\nIgualmente, advierte que las circunstancias que se presentaron en el anterior proceso deben ser previstas para que no se den desistimientos sin ningún tipo de consecuencia.\n\n"De tal manera que los reglamentos de venta, como quiera que son producto de juicio y minucioso análisis previo, no permitan sin ninguna consecuencia para cualquiera de las partes, desistimientos y devolución de la póliza de garantía de seriedad de la oferta cuando el proceso se encuentre concluido", dice la misiva.\n\nEn lo que toca a la operación de Almagrario, el contralor Turbay también advirtió que la terminación de las operaciones en las plantas arrendadas por el Ministerio de Agricultura, podría tener influencia negativa en el valor de las acciones, pues de\n ellas depende el 60 por ciento de los ingresos en las plantas del Gobierno, especialmente las de Santa Marta y Buenaventura.\n\n"Se considera que una terminación del contrato de arrendamiento, eliminaría toda operación logística de Almagrario en los puertos,\ndisminuyendo sus condiciones competitivas frente a otros operadores de Almacenes Generales de Depósito".\n\nEn el caso de Fogafín, el Contralor hace advertencias directas: que analice alternativas para la venta de los activos; una valoración adecuada para protección del patrimonio público; y enajenación en condiciones favorables para la Nación que garantice la seriedad en el cumplimiento de las condiciones pactadas entre las partes y que permitan obtener el precio real de mercado de las acciones\nofrecidas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Argentine debt surge raises spectre of default

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Argentina’s debt levels are now higher than they were when it crashed into the biggest sovereign debt default in history in 2001, and a worsening crisis of confidence in the government has brought the spectre of a new default closer, a report to be published next week says.\n\nDespite a radical restructuring just three years ago, public debt has reached $114.7bn (€74.4bn, £59bn), or 56 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with $144.2bn, or 54 per cent of GDP, in 2001 – at a time when Argentina’s economy was much larger – according to the paper.\n\nMartín Krause and Aldo Abram, directors of the Argentine Institutions and Markets Research Centre at Eseade business school and the report’s authors, also found that if the amount owed to bondholders who did not accept the 2005 restructuring and are suing to recover their money is included, Argentina’s overall debt rises to $170bn, or 67 per cent of GDP.\n\n“We’re not teetering on the brink of default but if we continue down this path, with this level of [social] conflict, we could get there,” Mr Abram told the FT.\n\nMany developed countries, including Italy and Japan, have higher ratios of debt to GDP but Argentina’s higher borrowing costs and rocky institutional record make it harder to secure credit. “The worry is not the amount, it’s that we won’t have access to credit,” Mr Abram said.\n\nThe six-month-old government of Cristina Fernández, the president, has been struggling to resolve a conflict with farmers after it imposed a sliding scale of export tariffs on key agricultural exports in March. The unrest has spread to truck drivers, who have mounted roadblocks to demand an end to the farm dispute, which has disrupted grains transportation.\n\nTheir action has caused fuel shortages and will put further pressure on inflation, which the government is widely accused of trying to conceal with doctored data.\n\nMeanwhile, the government must this year find $14.6bn for debt servicing, plus $11.8bn next year and $10.5bn in 2010.\n\nHowever, the threat of legal action by bond holdouts bars Argentina from international capital markets whilst it remains in default with the Paris Club of creditor nations, to which it owes $6.6bn.\n\nArgentina has increasingly turned to Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, who has bought $6.4bn in bonds in the past three years.\n\nBut its international financial isolation is costly – Buenos Aires has had to pay Venezuela interest rates of up to 13 per cent, yet it cancelled its low-cost International Monetary Fund debt and the Paris Club debt only costs 5.3 per cent, Mr Krause said.\n\nBy contrast Brazil, which had a far worse debt profile than Argentina in 2001, recently achieved investment grade and sold a 10-year bond at 5.3 per cent.\n\nCopyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Posible fusión de InBev con Anheuser-Busch pondría a temblar a SABMiller en Colombia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Así lo señala la revista Forbes luego que la gigante de licores InBev presentara una oferta de compra por Anheuser por 46.300 millones de dólares.\n\nLa unión de InBev y Anheuser-Busch podría afectar los negocios de SABMiller en Estados Unidos y en Sudamérica. \n\n"Las operaciones de (SABMiller) en Colombia y Perú podrían quedar particularmente vulnerables una vez InBev comience a consolidar sus negocios allá", dice Forbes. \n\nLa oferta de InBev por Anheuser descarta los rumores que apuntaban a una alianza de la primera con SABMiller.\n\nLas acciones de SABMiller cayeron ayer un 2,5% a 23,45 dólares en la Bolsa de Nueva York, mientras que las de InBev repuntaron un 4,9% a 23,45 dólares.\n\nLa alianza InBev y Anheuser-Bush crearía la cervecera más grande del mundo. \n\nDe todas formas, Anheuser, reveló Forbes, quiere evitar que se produzca la compra y ya está en negociaciones con la mexicana Grupo Modelo. \n\n

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • on 06-13-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Exxon Mobil getting out of retail gas business - Jun. 12, 2008

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Exxon Mobil getting out of retail gas business - Jun. 12, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The oil giant is selling 820 company-owned stations, plus 1,400 dealer-operated outlets, due to tightening profits.\n\nHOUSTON (AP) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday it's getting out of the retail gasoline business, following other major oil companies who have been selling their low-margin stations to gasoline distributors.\n\nMotorists, however, will continue to see Exxon's Tiger-themed stations and Mobil outlets in their neighborhoods. Already, about 75% of Exxon Mobil's roughly 12,000 stations in the United States are owned by branded distributors, who buy Exxon Mobil products and pay to use the name.\n\nIrving, Texas-based Exxon, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, said it now plans to sell to distributors its remaining 820 company-owned stations and another 1,400 outlets operated by dealers. Exxon Mobil didn't disclose financial details but said the sales will take place over a "multiyear period."\n\nTexas has the most company-owned retail locations, with about 190. Florida is next, with 170.\n\n"As the highly competitive fuels marketing business in the U.S. continues to evolve, we believe this transition is the best way for Exxon Mobil to compete and grow in the future," said Ben Soraci, the director of Exxon Mobil's U.S. retail sales.\n\nExxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) is not alone among Big Oil exiting the retail gas business, a market where profits have gotten tougher as crude oil prices have risen. In fact, industry officials say the major oil companies own fewer than 5% of U.S. gas stations.\n\nGas prices reached a new record at the pump Thursday, rising to a national average of $4.06 a gallon. Still, station owners say they're struggling to turn a profit on gas because, while wholesale gasoline prices have risen sharply in recent months, they've been unable to raise pump prices fast enough to keep pace.\n\nMost gasoline retailers long ago got past any illusion that they can make money by selling gas. They rely on gas sales to drive traffic to their shops, where they hope auto repairs, or food and drink sales, will help them turn a profit.\n\nJeff Lenard, a spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores, said Exxon Mobil's decision to sell its stations is not surprising, given similar moves by BP (BP), Shell (RDSA) and others.\n\n"They can actually point their attention to some other area where you can make money," Lenard said. "Retail is incredibly volatile. This way, they can [sell gasoline] wholesale and count on a fairly predictable income."\n\nExxon Mobil said it sells about 14 billion gallons of gasoline annually at its U.S. branded stations.\n\nIts shares fell $1.55, or 1.75%, to close at $87.06 in trading Thursday. The stock has traded in a range of $77.55 to $96.12 in the past year. To top of page

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anheuser starts preliminary merger talks with Grupo Modelo - Jun. 12, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        American brewer enters talks with Mexican peer perhaps in attempt to stave off takeover by Belgian InBev, according to the Wall Street Journal.\n\nNEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Anheuser-Busch has entered preliminary merger talks with Mexican brewery Grupo Modelo, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal Thursday.\n\nA merger between the two companies could help the American brewing company hold off Belgian beer maker InBev's $46.3 billion unsolicited takeover bid that was announced Wednesday.\n\nAccording to the Journal report, Anheuser-Bush approached Grupo Modelo about a deal in the past couple weeks, as rumors began to surface about a possible InBev offer. The $65-a-share bid came two weeks after the Financial Times reported InBev, brewer of Beck's, Bass and Stella Artois, was weighing a possible offer, driven in part by the strength of the euro against the dollar and the presence of a pro-merger administration in Washington.\n\nThe St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch (BUD, Fortune 500) already owns about a 50% stake in the Mexican company, which makes Corona-brand beers.\n\nAnheuser said Wednesday its board "will evaluate the proposal carefully and in the context of all relevant factors, including Anheuser-Busch's long-term strategic plan." The company said it expects the board to make a decision "in due course," though top members of the Busch family that have run the company for generations have said they don't want to sell.\n\nShares of Anheuser-Busch fell about 1% in after-hours trading. To top of page\nInBev says Bud, I like you\n\nDrink up! Alcohol stocks look tasty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Morgan Stanley se asocia con Ontario por activos de Saesa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aunque la carrera por los activos de distribución, transmisión y generación del grupo Saesa ya está en tierra derecha, siguen apareciendo nuevos detalles del negocio.\n\nUna de estas novedades es que el fondo canadiense Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan (OTPP) no estaría solo en el proceso, sino que efectuó su oferta asociado con Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, la división de infraestructura del banco de inversión estadounidense del mismo nombre.\n\n“Estamos hablando de ofertas en torno a los US$ 1.000 millones”, dijo un cercano a la negociación. Un analista agregó que “la cifra es consistente con los 380 mil kilómetros cuadrados de concesión, ubicados en una zona que tiene un amplio potencial de desarrollo económico a futuro y los más de 600 mil clientes que hoy tienen”.\n\nTrascendió que los montos que ambos competidores pusieron sobre la mesa son tan atractivos que con facilidad dejaron en el camino a los otros cuatro interesados (Endesa España, AEI junto con Sempra, el grupo CGE e Unión Fenosa).\n\nLa intención de PSEG sería definir a más tardar el 15 de agosto a la firma que se quedará con las distribuidoras Saesa, Frontel, Edelaysén y LuzOsorno, así como PSEG Generación y la Sociedad Transmisora del Sur (STS).\n\n“Si bien PSEG ha informado que va a cerrar esta operación dentro del tercer trimestre de este año, lo más probable es que la decisión se anticipe hacia la primera parte del trimestre”, dijo un conocedor de las negociaciones. \n\nLas norteamericanas comparten el tramo final del proceso -que marcará la salida definitiva de Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) de la región- con la municipal colombiana Eléctrica de Medellín.\n\nInvolucrados en las negociaciones señalaron que la asociación entre OTPP y Morgan Stanley ayuda a la canadiense en su intención de entrar a Saesa sin pasar a llevar las restricciones que tienen las operadoras del sector sanitario para invertir en otros sectores regulados. Agregaron que, probablemente, la firma está participando a través de una filial distinta a la que agrupa a las sanitarias.\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grupo Luksic surge como interesado para adquirir activos de Esso en Chile

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hace tiempo que el grupo Luksic está dando señales de su interés por ingresar al sector energético.\n\nPero esta vez estarían buscando la oportunidad de concretar esta aspiración a través de la distribución de combustibles y no de activos eléctricos, donde hasta ahora habían centrado su foco.\n\nPor medio de su matriz de inversiones Quiñenco y apoyados por la fuerte liquidez que en los últimos ejercicios les ha dejado el negocio minero -que desarrollan a través de Antofagasta Minerals- gracias a los elevados precios del cobre y el molibdeno, junto a los recursos de la venta de parte de los activos de Madeco a la francesa Nexans, pretenden ingresar al negocio bencinero con la compra de las 240 estaciones de servicio de Esso en Chile.\n\nConocedores del proceso que la estadounidense Exxon Mobil está desarrollando para enajenar sus activos en América Latina, dijeron que en el caso chileno JP Morgan, que asesora a la estadounidense en la negociación, ya habría definido la lista corta con tres interesados.\n\n“Tienen varios interesados en carpeta, con los que están conversando individualmente, uno de ellos es el grupo Luksic”, dijo un cercano a las negociaciones.\n\nDe esta forma, los Luksic se suman a la estatal brasileña Petrobras y al grupo argentino Eurnekian, los que han hecho públicas sus intenciones de quedarse con los puntos de venta, que representan el 13% del mercado nacional, que tiene al grupo Angelini -a través de Copec- como su principal actor.\n\n\n\nViejo anhelo\n\nSi los también controladores del Banco de Chile logran quedarse con las estaciones de servicio de Esso, concretarían su anhelo de tener presencia en el negocio energético. Antes figuraron entre los interesados por las distribuidoras eléctricas del grupo EMEL e incluso por la generadora nortina GasAtacama, entre otras operaciones.\n\nAunque no se han dado a conocer los montos involucrados en la venta de las estaciones de servicio de Exxon-Mobil en Chile, en medios internacionales se habla de unos US$ 1.000 millones. Para Petrobras desembolsar esta suma le permitiría por fin entrar a Chile, luego de varios años de intentos fallidos. \n\nEn el caso de Eurnekian, en tanto, concretar esta operación iría en línea con las versiones que hablan de su interés por quedarse con las estaciones de Esso en Chile, Argentina y Uruguay, paquete por el cual habría ofrecido a la estadounidense unos US$ 2.000 millones.\n\n\n\nVenta en Estados Unidos\n\nAunque los planes originales de Exxon Mobil se limitaban a abandonar la región -proceso por el cual ya vendió sus estaciones en Brasil, en más de US$ 900 millones-, ayer la firma confirmó que abandonará también el negocio de distribución minorista en Estados Unidos.\n\nLa vocera de la multinacional, Prem Nair, anunció que la firma pondrá a la venta las 2.200 estaciones de servicio que opera en ese país, aunque explicó que ello no implicará que la marca Exxon dejará de exhibirse en estos puntos de venta, ya que seguirán vendiendo el combustible que ésta refina, mientras que la administración recaerá en manos de terceros.\n\n \n\nLos cambios en el mercado de venta de combustibles\n\nEl ingreso de la colombiana Terpel a Chile fue el más reciente movimiento en el mercado de la distribución de combustibles. La firma, que a fines del año pasado pagó US$ 210 millones por las 206 estaciones de servicio que operaba la hispano-argentina Repsol YPF, se quedó con el 11% de participación de mercado.\n\nLas cifras de la industria indican que la mayor presencia la ostenta Copec, del grupo Angelini, con 625 estaciones de servicio y le sigue a distancia la anglo-holandesa Shell que posee 322 puntos de venta. Tras ellos y con 240 bencineras se ubica Exxon Mobil, que en Chile y en el resto de la región operan bajo la marca Esso.\n\nEn la cuarta posición aparece Terpel, que hace un par de semanas lanzó públicamente su imagen, aunque en enero tomó oficialmente el control de las estaciones y el negocio de venta industrial de Repsol YPF en el país. \n\nEn Chile existen actualmente más de 1.400 estaciones de servicio, de las cuales unas 50 corresponden a distribuidores independientes. Más del 50% de este universo es propiedad de las petroleras, mientras que el resto corresponde a distribuidores que operan bajo la bandera de alguna de estas compañías.\n\nEn términos de ventas de combustibles, Copec tiene un 55,5% del mercado. Le siguen Shell con un 20%, Esso con el 13%, YPF con 11%, dejando la porción restante a los independientes.\n\nEn 1978 comenzó el proceso de apertura del mercado, y a Copec, Esso y Shell se sumaron Texaco, Enex, Apex,\n\nGaspex, Aba y Comar, todas operativas en 1996. Luego las grande petroleras absorbieron estas firmas.\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              D E Shaw plans $200-mn education blitzkrieg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              D E Shaw, a global private equity firm with $36 billion in assets, is understood to be planning around $200 million investment in the Indian education sector by taking up strategic positions in companies offering e-learning, distant learning, vocational training and the like.\n\nUPBEAT\n\n# The ministry of education estimated that the country needs to build close too 200,000 new K-12 (kindergarten to senior secondary) schools\n\n# D E Shaw is expected to leverage one of its portfolio firms, Excelsoft, as a vehicle for acquisitions in the education sector in addition to making direct PE investments\nThe PE major is upbeat on the sector following the ministry of education's estimate that the country needs to build close too 200,000 new K-12 (kindergarten to senior secondary) schools.\n \nAccording to industry sources, the infrastructure must be set up within five years to provide education for predicted growth in student numbers and also the over 100 million children who are out of school. The government has called on the private sector to help fill this demand-supply gap.\n \n"However, one of the principal supply side constraints for private schools is the access of educational infrastructure required for a new school and companies such as Educomp intends to target this gap," an industry source said. The spokesperson for D E Shaw could not be reached for comments.\n \nD E Shaw is expected to leverage one of its portfolio firms, Excelsoft, as a vehicle for acquisitions in this sector in addition to making direct PE investments.\n \nD E Shaw recently picked up 35 per cent stake in Mysore-based Excelsoft from UTI Ventures for $31 million.\n \nExcelsoft provides a range of customised learner-centric systems, test and assessment systems and desktop tools. The company adopts a product licensing approach on which services and consulting add value and stickiness.\n \n"Excelsoft has created intellectual property in the area of e-learning technologies and combines its strengths in software development, instructional design and e-learning content development to deliver e-learning solutions," an industry analyst said.\n \nThis company has been keenly focusing on the test and assessment platform which are key enablers for universities.\n \nIndustry sources indicate that D E Shaw's next significant investment in this sector is expected to be in Manipal Learning, which is rolling out extensive initiatives.\n \nThis Bangalore-based firm has campuses in Karnataka, Sikkim, Nepal and Malaysia and is stepping on the accelerator for distance learning and vocational training programmes.\n \nThis company had earlier raised $70 million from Capital International and IDFC Private Equity during the second half of 2006.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Peruana De Envases Plásticos San Miguel Industrial (SMI) Abrirá Segunda Planta En Bogotá

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                La peruana de envases plásticos San Miguel Industrial (SMI) abrirá unasegunda planta en Bogotá.\n\n\nLa instalación (en la que se invertirán US$ 6 millones), con capacidadpara producir 30 millones de unidades anuales, proveerá a Bavaria de envases dePony Malta de 330 y 1.500 centímetros cúbicos. \n\n\n \n\n\nEn 2007, como parte de un plan de renovación de envases e imagen yconcentrar los esfuerzos de mercadeo en la marca más fuerte de la categoría,Bavaria (subordinada de la surafricana SABMiller) lanzó la Pony Malta en esasdos presentaciones y descontinuó las marcas Malta Leona y Malta Leona Cool. \n\n\nSMI ingresó a Colombia en el 2005 abriendo una factoría para producirbotellas de agua sin gas de 600 centímetros cúbicos. \n\n\n"Los nuevos formatos ayudarán, por ejemplo, a llegar a nuevosgrupos de consumidores como los niños, al igual que las familias con un nuevoenvase", dijo la empresa en un comunicado de prensa, según la agenciaestatal de noticias Andina. \n\n\nLa inversión de la empresa 'inca' este año en Colombia se acerca a 20millones de dólares, unos 34.000 millones de pesos. \n\n\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JP Morgan jumps up M&A rankings on InBev deal | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LONDON (Reuters) - JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research)jumped to second from third place on a league table of the world's top M&A advisers for 2008 so far thanks to its role as adviser on InBev's (INTB.BR: Quote, Profile, Research) $46.3 billion offer for Anheuser-Busch (BUD.N: Quote, Profile, Research), data from Thomson Reuters showed on Thursday.\n\nThe bank has leapfrogged previous No. 2 Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research), pulling in a total of $414.5 billion worth of deals since January 1.\n\nGoldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) retains its top ranking, working on $515.3 worth of transactions.\n\nInBev's lead financial adviser Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) now comes 12th, up from 18th.\n\nBelgium-based InBev, formed by the 2004 merger of Belgium's Interbrew with Brazil's AmBev, is the world's second largest beer producer by volume. It announced on Wednesday its bid for Anheuser-Busch, aimed at creating the world's largest brewer.\n\nThe planned takeover is the second largest deal so far this year after Altria Group Inc's (MO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) $113 billion spinoff of Philip Morris International (PM.N: Quote, Profile, Research).\n\nLeague table credit, used by banks to attract clients, is more vital than ever as economic uncertainty and the fallout from the credit crunch keep dealmaking tough.\n\n(Reporting by Eleanor Wason; Editing by Quentin Bryar)\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Secrets of the Private Equity Trade - Knowledge@Wharton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Private equity firms manage some $1 trillion of global capital, yet because they are highly secretive, much remains unknown about their internal economics. How do PE firms organize themselves, for example, and how do they capitalize on their success?\n\nSome answers emerge from a paper by Wharton finance professor Ayako Yasuda and Yale School of Management finance professor Andrew Metrick titled, "The Economics of Private Equity Funds." The paper was presented at a recent Wharton conference, sponsored by the Weiss Center for International Financial Research, whose theme was "A Global Perspective on Alternative Investments." The authors gained access to an unusually fertile data set, the private equity portfolio of one of the world's largest limited partner investors. On condition of anonymity, the investor furnished data on 238 different PE funds in which it had invested between 1992 and 2006. Of those 238 investments, 144 were buyout funds and the other 94 venture capital funds.\n\nStable Fee Revenues\n\nThe study's most important conclusions, according to Yasuda: First, some 60% of PE firm revenues come from fixed-revenue components that are unaffected by performance; and second, while venture capital firms tend to earn more than buyout firms per dollar under management, buyout funds are substantially more scalable and, therefore, can earn much more per partner and per employee. In addition, managers of successful funds can command better terms for themselves as they launch new, larger funds. \n\nMost private equity funds take the form of limited partnerships, with a PE firm serving as general partner; the limited partners -- large institutions and wealthy individuals -- put up the bulk of the capital. Each limited partnership typically lasts for 10 years, with terms of the general partner's compensation spelled out at the fund's inception. The general partner's compensation contains a fixed component -- an annual management fee of 2% or more -- plus a variable component that includes carried interests in partnership holdings. Successful buyout firms often lay claim to some of the transactions fees that their funds generate. In addition, the most powerful limited partners -- large state pension funds, for instance -- may also command a share of the carried interest. \n\nPrivate equity firms stay in business by launching new funds every three-to-five years. If a firm's previous funds have been successful, it can generally earn higher revenues with the new one by setting higher fees, demanding more variable compensation and raising more capital. \n\nBut there are striking differences in strategy and practice between venture capital and buyout funds -- the principal components of the private equity industry. To begin with, Yasuda notes, the study confirms what many investors already sense -- that the economics of venture capital and buyout firms are different, even though both depend upon fixed management fees for the preponderance of their revenues. The differences lie not only in the superior scalability of buyout versus venture capital funds, but also in the fundamental skill sets required.\n\nEarly-Stage Investing\n\nVenture capitalists tend to be scientists and engineers by training, with the necessary experience in operations, marketing, management and related skills to help small companies grow. Early-stage investing is time- and labor-intensive, notes Yasuda, and even experienced VC professionals have difficulty overseeing more than five companies at once.\n\nThe typical venture capital firm has five partners and invests in five companies per year over the first five years of a fund's 10-year life, with the value of each early-stage investment rarely exceeding $100 million. On average, each VC professional is apt to be responsible for one new investment a year during the fund's first five years -- for an aggregate investment of $350 million to $500 million. That professional typically spends the fund's second five years aggressively fostering and monitoring those five companies. \n\nVC funds tend to derive the bulk of their revenues from just 20% of their investments. They depend on hitting a "home run" -- a return five times greater than invested capital -- with one in every five investments. Another 20% of VC investments can be expected to fail or achieve minimal returns, with the remaining 60% returning an average 2.5-to-3 times invested capital -- not a fabulous result, considering the risks, but one most firms can live with.\n\nLarger, more successful VC firms -- like Kleiner Perkins Claufield & Byers, known for such home runs as Amazon, Compaq, Genentech and Netscape; and Sequoia Capital (Google, Yahoo!, PayPal, Apple and YouTube) -- can raise substantially more capital in launching new funds, but they, too, are constrained by the time-consuming nature of VC work. To invest in more small companies with outsized potential, they must hire more VC professionals. Thus, in the world of VC firms, larger scale does not necessarily mean greater profitability.\n\nLess Hand-Holding\n\nThe reason buyout funds are much more scalable than VC funds is that they invest in larger, more mature companies that typically need less hand-holding. In Metrick and Yasuda's sample, the median buyout fund began with $600 million in capital and invested an average $50 million in 10 to 12 different companies over its 10-year lifespan. By applying substantial leverage, buyout funds can acquire very large businesses -- on the order of Chrysler, RJR Nabisco or Hilton Hotels.\n\nBecause buyout funds invest in businesses already equipped with sophisticated management structures, a buyout firm partner can oversee large investments without a proportionate increase in personnel. The job is not to supply needed management skills, but rather to make sure there is effective management in place, to oversee financial strategy and to help identify new efficiencies.\n\nBuyout partners are usually grounded in finance and operations. And because buyout funds invest in larger, more sophisticated businesses, the typical buyout partner need monitor no more than two or three investments at a time.\n\nThe paucity of debt capital available to private equity firms has had relatively little effect on venture capitalists, Yasuda says, because the investments they make are seldom highly leveraged. Right now, venture capital firms are much more concerned about the long-term drought in the IPO market, which limits their ability to exit investments and makes them more dependent upon selling their businesses to larger companies. \n\nThe depressed IPO market dates from the post-2000 technology crash, which occurred just after VC firms had launched their largest funds ever. Those funds are now eight or nine years old, Yasuda notes, and will have to exit their investments over the next two years. Should they fail to do so successfully, a number of venture capital firms could themselves go out of business.\n\nBy contrast, illiquid credit markets do direct harm to buyout firms because few investments look attractive to them without a heavy dollop of leverage. The buyout firms raised record amounts of equity capital before the debt markets collapsed last summer, and many now find it difficult to put that money to work. The longer the credit markets remain in the doldrums, the higher the odds that some funds will have to return capital to their limited partners or else start investing in a greater number of small- or mid-sized companies requiring greater oversight.\n\nShould that happen, the buyout business might become a lot less scalable, and the economic differences between buyout and venture capital funds may be somewhat harder to discern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Growing Value and Activism Bring New Scrutiny to Public Pension Funds - Knowledge@Wharton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      After decades in obscurity, public pension funds are drawing attention as civic organizations raise concerns about the programs' costs, and as some funds take activist investment stands, such as demanding divestment from firms that do business in Sudan or Iran.\n\nThe public face of government pension funds was explored at a Wharton Impact Conference titled "The Future of Public Employee Retirement Systems," sponsored by Wharton's Pension Research Council and the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research. Researchers at the conference presented two papers about the nature of opposition to traditional defined-benefit plans for public employees and the true costs of activist pension investment policies.\n\n"Everybody is paying more attention to pensions than they were 30 years ago partly because of the aging population -- and the civil servant population is aging more quickly than the population as a whole," said Olivia Mitchell, Wharton professor of insurance and risk management. Mitchell is also executive director of the Pension Research Council and director of the Boettner Center, which co-sponsored the conference. "The costs of their retiree benefits are burgeoning and as those costs increase, everybody has to pay more attention to them."\n\nEven though public pension funds have done a relatively good job of providing for members' retirement, ideologically driven organizations, such as Americans for Prosperity, a Washington, D.C. non-profit that promotes limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels, are rising up to roll back benefits, according to Beth Almeida, Executive Director of the National Institute on Retirement Security.\n\nAlmeida presented a paper at the conference titled, "The New Intersection on the Road to Retirement: Public Pensions, Economics, Perceptions, Politics, and Interest Groups." She wrote the paper with Kelly Kenneally, a communications consultant, and David Madland, director of the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress.\n\nToo Big to Ignore\n\n"Public pension plans were for decades sleepy things that nobody paid attention to," said Almeida in an interview. But in recent years they have begun to aggressively pre-fund their liabilities, increasing the level of investment dramatically. At the same time, public pension funds began to invest in assets, including equities, with additional risk compared to the "plain vanilla" investments they had made since the 1950s.\n\nAs a result, the funds have grown to about $3 trillion in value. "Obviously, with an investment that large, it becomes a focus and people are interested in taking a look at it," said Almeida.\n\nAlmeida and her coauthors examined survey data related to public pensions and examined case studies from four states that recently had been under pressure to cut back on traditional plans and move toward the type of defined-contribution plan common in the private sector.\n\nThe survey data revealed most citizens are uninformed about public pensions and have little interest in changing the system. According to the paper, "There does not appear to be a real groundswell of discontent on the issue of public pensions and no demand rising up from ordinary citizens for wholesale changes. It appears that efforts to dismantle public pensions are tied to partisan politics and organized ideological interest groups."\n\nWhile the survey research showed individual Republicans had little concern about public plans, there was a correlation between Republican-controlled legislatures and movements to dismantle traditional government pension plans.\n\nTo understand that connection the authors examined four states -- Alaska, Colorado, California and Utah, which have experienced movements to change their government plans. The authors discovered that the most important element driving change was the presence of an ideologically motivated group urging a move toward more individual responsibility in public pension finance.\n\nHowever, Almeida noted that Alaska and West Virginia, which had moved toward defined contribution plans, now have "buyer's remorse" and are taking steps back toward traditional defined-benefit plans for public employees.\n\nPension Envy\n\nAlmeida said the research indicates the ideological bent of activists pushing toward defined-contribution programs "talks past" the voters, which may ultimately lead to failed policy. "What these cases show is that when these policies aren't enacted on a fully fleshed-out analysis of policy but a more ideological approach, there's a bigger risk that policy will be enacted that folks will come to regret later," said Almeida.\n\nDuring the conference Mitchell raised the issue of "pension envy" which she described as antagonism toward public defined-benefit plans that seem lavish compared to what most private sector employees can expect.\n\n"Ultimately, the question will be how much more taxes will taxpayers be willing to kick in to fund these benefits, particularly if they themselves don't feel they are in a comparable situation," said Mitchell in an interview. She said pension envy is particularly strong when it comes to public employees who "double-dip" or continue to work in another job after retiring at a full pension from another employer.\n\nMitchell said in most cases the pension benefit comes in return for deferred compensation throughout the worker's career and represents a promise that was made. However, she added, many pension plans have formulas that make it easy for public employees to enrich themselves by spiking their final salary to increase their level of benefits in retirement.\n\nShe recalled incidents of public transit drivers getting into accidents in the last months of their career because they were exhausted from working excessive overtime to boost their final salary. "I don't have a big problem with people taking a pension according to the rules and then going on to work if they need the money, but I do think some of these rules are easy to manipulate and that's where there needs to be more public oversight."\n\nActivist Funds\n\nPension funds that take on activist social causes were examined by Brad Barber, professor of finance at the graduate school of management at the Davis campus of the University of California. He presented a paper titled, "Pension Fund Activism: The Double-Edged Sword."He described two types of pension fund activism: "shareholder activism" and "social activism."\n\nFunds act as shareholder activists when they use their clout as investors to pressure companies into practicing good governance, for example, dropping poison pill takeover defenses.\n\nBarber researched the question of whether shareholder activism enhances investment portfolios. He tracked the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) which has been investing in corporate equities since 1984. In 1987 CalPERS launched its governance program aimed at improving corporate performance. In addition to its public crusades, CalPERS does extensive behind-the-scenes negations at companies to influence governance.\n\nBarber tracked the performance of the CalPERS focus list over the past 15 years and found indications shareholder activism enhances the value of its portfolio. However, he said the evidence was not scientifically sound. Nonetheless, he added that substantial theoretical work underpins the notion that shareholder activism does improve results for investors.\n\nHe is less certain about social activism. Again he turned to CalPERS, which has been ordered by legislation to use its influence to demand corporations divest from businesses in South Africa, Sudan and Iran. The CalPERS board has also taken stands against corporations on social grounds. In Oct. 2000, overriding the recommendation of its staff, the board ordered the fund to divest from tobacco companies.\n\nLimits of Activism\n\nThe board also called for the resignation of Safeway Stores CEO Steven Burd in 2004 while the grocery chain was in the midst of a labor dispute. Sean Harrigan, a food workers' union official was president of CalPERS at the time, and was ousted from his position later that year. Harrigan said he was removed under pressure from business and Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.\n\nBarber said the Safeway actions diminished CalPERS' credibility. "My concern is that these institutions do engage in a lot of sensible actions. We really need them as watchdogs of corporations. But if you also get them engaged in questionable activities with a political motivation or social motivation they think is noble... those interventions could be questioned."\n\nAt a minimum the decision to divest from any company, for any reason, constrains investment options and limits a fund's ability to benefit from a diverse portfolio, Barber pointed out.\n\nIn an interview after the conference, Barber cited a 1971 article by Milton Friedman that appeared in The New York Times in which the Nobel-winning economist argues that corporate executives who take on 'social' responsibilities for the firm are, in effect, acting as civil servants. "If they are to be civil servants, then they must be elected through a political process," Friedman wrote. "If they are to impose taxes and make expenditures to foster "social" objectives, then political machinery must be set up to make the assessment of taxes and to determine through a political process the objectives to be served."\n\nBarber said the discussion boils down to how to allocate resources. Social activism might be appropriate if it can generate a profit or return on investment.\n\nFor example, for funds interested in environmental sustainability, he pointed to project financing that could be used to retrofit buildings to conserve energy. Many small building owners are reluctant to lay out the capital necessary to retrofit their properties. Large pension fund investors, however, could finance the renovations and earn back a return by having the building owners pay them back with their energy savings. In some cases, insulation can create savings of 30% on energy bills, Barber noted.\n\n"A lot of companies in the private equity and venture capital arena can think cleverly about how to use finance to solve some of these problems," said Barber. "Large investors should be focusing on what venture capital and private equity investments are out there."\n\nMeasuring Carbon Footprints\n\nAnother environmental initiative that is gaining attention is disclosure of a firm's carbon footprint to guide investment. Barber said that might be justified because research on disclosure policies indicates firms can lower their cost of capital if they have high-quality disclosure policies.\n\nBarber said noted that firms need to take social issues into consideration as they conduct their business. The classic example is Wal-mart, which suffered a backlash when it focused solely on low costs without regard to the impact of its business on local communities. "I think some of the bad publicity they've gotten has materially hurt shareholders," said Barber. "That's an example of how taking their eye off those issues might have destroyed shareholder value."\n\nMitchell pointed out that interpretations of the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) prohibits private-sector pension funds from taking any actions that are not solely in the best financial interests of plan members. As a result, most pension activism has been focused on the public sector.\n\nShe cited the example of CalPERS' decision to divest from tobacco firms, which Barber noted in his paper limited investment returns. "Who bears the cost is unclear," said Mitchell. "In the case of a defined-benefit plan what it means is somebody down the road will have to pay more in, or benefits may be lower than expected."\n\nAnother problem is reaching agreement on what causes to support, or ignore. "There are a lot of flavors of activism," Mitchell remarked. In addition to tobacco, alcohol and other 'sin' products, she said social activism has also extended to military procurement and weapons firms. She also noted there is a movement to create Islamic funds in which no interest is incurred in keeping with interpretations of the Koran.\n\n"The point is what's up for you may be down for someone else. It gets difficult to get people to agree on which flavor of activism they like," said Mitchell.\n\n"I see the role for activism in pension investment more clearly when it's a defined-contribution plan and individual investors can read and review the evidence and put their money where their hearts are," she continued. "In the case of a defined-benefit plan what I worry about is that the money managers may be exerting funds for some sort of political or social judgment which might not be consistent with either the risk the pension plan should bear, or with the views of the participants who may have to kick in more money or have their benefits cut if the performance is not satisfactory."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Argentine inflation index under fire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Argentina’s revamped inflation index was on Wednesday criticised by economists and investors after its debut report found prices rising well below consensus expectations.\n\nIndec, the national statistics agency, on Tuesday reported a 0.6 per cent rise in prices in May compared with April, about half the market estimate.\n\nArgentina’s inflation index has become a focus of criticism since the government began replacing Indec staff in January 2007 and reporting data regularly below market expectations.\n\nThe official annual inflation rate reported on Wednesday rose 9.1 per cent over the figure for May 2007, although economists see prices rising by at least 25 per cent this year.\n\n“The new index doesn’t clear anything up,” said Miguel Kiguel, an economist. “We don’t know the weightings, how it fits with the previous series or the products surveyed . . . It generates all kinds of suspicions.”\n\nArgentina has $50bn (€32bn, £25bn) in inflation-linked bonds outstanding and lower official figures translate into $5bn a year in lower debt capitalisation and up to $500m in lower cash payments for interest and servicing, according to market estimates.\n\nOne bondholder who declined to be named said it “just rubber-stamps the methodology they’ve been using since January 2007”.\n\nIndec said it had based its evaluation of spending habits on a study of a national household consumption survey from 2004-2005 plus other sources.\n\nThe new index almost halves the number of items in the survey, to 440, and introduces adjustable weightings for fruit, vegetables and clothing which ­suffer seasonal cost variations. This method is used in other countries, including the US.\n\nCopyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • on 06-13-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ranbaxy still in play? (Dealscape)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ranbaxy still in play? (Dealscape)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ranbaxy still in play?\n\nJapanese drug firm Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. made waves two days ago with its intent to buy a majority of Indian generics firm Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. for as much as $4.6 billion. But now, the Indian press suggests others might step in with offers.\n\nIndian newspaper The Business Standard reports that Pfizer Inc. of New York could counterbid, and several Big Pharma suitors reportedly talked to Ranbaxy in the lead-up to the Daiichi Sankyo announcement. The paper cited anonymous sources.\n\nThere are more tangible links between Ranbaxy and Pfizer, though not necessarily friendly. Ranbaxy is fighting to bring to market a generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol drug Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, with $12.7 billion in sales last year. It is expected to go off-patent in late 2010. \n\nThe Ranbaxy sale is spurred by the controlling Singh family, which is ready to get out, although CEO Malvinder Mohan Singh, grandson of the founder, says he will remain in charge if the sale goes through. Singh told reporters in Tokyo that his deal with Daiichi is a "firm and binding agreement." \n\nThe Singh family's stake, though described as "controlling," is only 35%. To reach majority ownership, Daiichi Sankyo will buy shares on the open market, leaving open the question whether the non-Singh shareholders can be persuaded to hold out. There's also plenty of time; the deal isn't expected to close until next March. Daiichi Sankyo is paying a 31% premium over Ranbaxy's closing price the day before the deal was announced. -- Alex Lash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cerberus to Raise Fund for Distressed Investing - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cerberus to Raise Fund for Distressed Investing\n\nPrivate equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is starting a new fund to invest in assets it thinks have been driven down too low by the credit crisis, the firm’s chairman, John Snow, told Reuters.\n\nThe decision by Cerberus to wade more heavily into the market for distressed assets follows similar moves by a growing number of its rivals, including Apollo Management and the Blackstone Group.\n\nThe Cerberus fund will focus on international assets, with only a small percentage likely to be devoted to the United States, Mr. Snow said. The former U.S. Treasury Secretary declined to give a target size for the fund.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              México busca elevar siembra caña azúcar para etanol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              México busca elevar siembra caña azúcar para etanol\n\nMéxico DF.-México busca elevar hasta en un 13 por ciento la superficie que siembra de caña de azúcar para el 2012, como parte de un plan para fomentar la producción de etanol, dijo el jueves el secretario de Agricultura.\n\nMéxico siembra actualmente unas 750,000 hectáreas de caña de azúcar y el secretario Alberto Cárdenas dijo en entrevista con Reuters que el Gobierno esperaría elevar hasta en 100,000 hectáreas esa superficie en un periodo de cuatro años.\n\nEl Gobierno tiene una meta de producción de unos 800 millones de litros de etanol anuales para el 2012. Actualmente México no produce biocombustibles. "Tenemos que empezar a buscar más superficie de caña orientándola hacia el etanol," dijo Cárdenas.\n\n"Con los precios del petróleo subiendo tanto, la producción de etanol debe ser atractiva y rentable para los interesados en este negocio," añadió. Cárdenas dijo que el etanol sustituiría a un aditivo para gasolina, conocido como MBTE, por ser más amigable con el ambiente.\n\nMéxico quiere sumarse a los países que producen etanol, de los que Brasil es el líder exportador pero que ha recibido críticas que aseguran que la producción del biocombustible está empujando a ganaderos y agricultores cada vez más dentro de la selva amazónica. Cárdenas señaló que en una primera etapa se buscará elevar la producción de caña de azúcar en el occidental estado de Jalisco y en los norteños Tamaulipas y San Luis Potosí.\n\nMéxico ha cumplido prácticamente con su meta de producción de azúcar de 5.5 millones de toneladas de azúcar para la zafra 2007/2008, que destina sobre todo para consumo interno.\n\n\nLa producción de biocombustibles, aunado a una mayor demanda de alimentos por parte de China e India, así como los elevados precios mundiales del petróleo han reducido la disponibilidad y elevado el precio de los básicos en el mundo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lan Ve Oportunidades Ante Problemas de Aerolíneas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lan Ve Oportunidades Ante Problemas de Aerolíneas\n\nEl escenario que enfrentan muchas aerolíneas que han debido disminuir sus frecuencias o paralizar sus vuelos debido a las alzas en el precio del petróleo se presenta como una buena oportunidad de negocios para Lan, manifestó el presidente del directorio de la compañía, Jorge Awad.Así, al ser consultado sobre si existen posibilidades de que la compañía amplíe sus operaciones en Perú, luego de que las aerolíneas nacionales Star Perú y Aerocóndor suspendieran seis de sus destinos interiores, el ejecutivo comentó que “esto genera oportunidades para las empresas que han desarrollado modelos de negocio con la suficiente anticipación, siempre esto va a presentarse como oportunidades ante lo difícil, que es un precio que hace 15 meses era menos de la mitad”.Respecto al incremento de las tasas de interés, Awad manifestó que “si Chile tiene la capacidad para decir que en 24 meses más vamos a tener anclada la inflación en 3%, eso lo tenemos que hacer utilizando nuestro instrumental monetario y tenemos que subir las tasas ahora (…) No cabe duda que para la mayor parte de la población tener una inflación alta es mucho más perjudicial, entonces es un bien superior tener que anclarla”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexichem adquirió peruana Geotextiles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tras informar el martes pasado Mexichem la compra de la química Quimir al Grupo Kuo (ver Mexichem compró negocio de fosfatos a Kuo 11/06/2008), la empresa que preside Antonio del Valle anunció este miércoles que Mexichem se hizo de la operación de geotextiles de Comindustrias del Perú. \n\n"Con esta operación Mexichem garantiza el liderazgo del mercado de geotextiles en Perú y al mismo tiempo expande su oferta de otras soluciones en geosintéticos en el mercado peruano encaminada a obtener el liderazgo absoluto en el mercado de latinoamericano en soluciones para la ingeniería civil, la construcción de obras civiles y el control de erosión en el año 2008", cita la firma en un comunicado enviado a la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, publicado este jueves por El Semanario. \n\nEsta adquisición se integrará a la división de Geosistemas, subsidiaria creada por Mexichem dentro de la cadena de productos transformados. \n\nLos geosistemas son productos de ingeniería para diversas aplicaciones en la construcción civil, utilizados para separar, filtrar, drenar, impermeabilizar, reforzar, controlar la erosión y dar protección a los suelos. \n\nMexichem es una de las compañías químicas líderes de América Latina. Es el productor más grande d PVC en México y Colombia, el segundo mayor productor de tubería de PVC en Latinoamérica, el operador de la mina de fluorita más grande del mundo y el mayor productor de ácido fluorhídrico en la región. \n\nEn lo que va del 2008, Mexichem ha comprado alrededor de 10 compañías dentro y fuera de México \n\n \n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dudas por anuncios económicos de Chávez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dudas por anuncios económicos de Chávez\n\nUnos esperados anuncios del presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez para apuntalar la economía del país fueron recibidos con tibieza por analistas y empresarios, que vieron las medidas como insuficientes para incrementar la producción y abatir la galopante inflación.\n\nSi bien la mayoría apoyó la eliminación del Impuesto a las Transacciones Financieras (ITF) y la agilización de trámites dentro del control cambiario, también cuestionó que Chávez omitiera temas relevantes como la designación del nuevo ministro de Finanzas, recompra de deuda y cambios en tasas de interés.\n\n"Lo que veo más importante es la señal que manda de la percepción del Gobierno frente a la situación económica. Los datos del primer trimestre fueron muy malos, en este momento se esperaba que la economía siguiera creciendo a tasas más o menos del 7 por ciento," dijo Maya Hernández, analista de HSBC en Nueva York.\n\nLa economía del país miembro de la OPEP creció un 4,8 por ciento interanual en el primer trimestre, su tasa más baja desde que el país inició su ciclo de expansión a finales del 2003, en medio de una bonanza petrolera que ha disparado el consumo.\n\nPor su parte, el analista de Goldman Sachs Alberto Ramos estimó que, a excepción de la supresión tributaria, el plan anunciado "se quedó algo corto respecto a las expectativas y es poco probable que genere un impacto significativo en la economía o la inflación."\n\nEl mandatario delineó algunas estrategias para impulsar el sector industrial, agrícola y la creación de un fondo de fomento de 1.000 millones de dólares para áreas estratégicas.\n\nPero, la estampida de los precios de los bienes y servicios se ha convertido en uno de los mayores dolores de cabeza para el Gobierno socialista, ya que la inflación acumuló a mayo un 12,4 por ciento, luego de cerrar el 2007 en 22,5 por ciento.\n\nChávez admitió que el tema es preocupante pero no dio medidas concretas para atacarlo, pese a que algunos ministros habían anunciado días antes sobre la estructuración de un programa antiinflacionario.\n\nRespecto a la eliminación del ITF, Hernández prevé que tenga un efecto puntual, ya que "por lo menos elimina un componente de aceleración a la inflación."\n\nEl tributo fue lanzado sorpresivamente a fines del 2007 para compensar una reducción de cinco puntos en el Impuesto al Valor Agregado (IVA), pero su aplicación a personas jurídicas con una tasa del 1,5 por ciento fue uno de los detonantes de la inflación.\n\nUn asesor económico del Gobierno calculó que la anulación del tributo podría significar una reducción de 0,3-0,5 puntos porcentuales en el índice inflacionario reportado mensualmente.\n\nLluvia de dudas. Adicionalmente, Chávez prometió que no se implantarían nuevos impuestos por el resto del año, lo que opositores califican como un medida política ante unas elecciones regionales a fines del 2008, en las que el militar retirado enfrenta el desafío de conservar la mayoría actual.\n\nA pesar de que había anunciado esta semana que durante el acto con empresarios revelaría quien sustituirá en el Ministerio de Finanzas a Rafael Isea -quien se retira para competir por una gobernación en los comicios regionales del noviembre-, Chávez no hizo mención alguna al respecto.\n\nEn tanto, la asociación de ganaderos Fedenaga se quejó de que las medidas dirigidas al sector agrícola son insuficientes, a la vez que los trámites cambiarios tienden a favorecer más las importaciones en vez de fortalecer la producción local.\n\n"Pensé que iba a anunciar un cambio de actores porque hay funcionarios que han cerrado puertas y que no quieren abrirlas," afirmó a la emisora UnionRadio el presidente del gremio, Genaro Méndez.\n\nEl gobernante también anunció que se eliminarán los trámites previos que deben cumplir las empresas ya registradas formalmente para solicitar hasta 50.000 dólares para importar bienes de capital, en un intento por destrabar los trámites en el marco del control cambiario vigente desde el 2003.\n\n"Si los límites son tan bajos, no está haciéndolo para los empresarios que realmente fomentan la producción sino más bien para el pequeño empresario, que puede ser más relevante en términos de votos que en términos de producción," opinó Hernández de HSBC.\n\nOtros analistas han destacado que el Gobierno aumentará el gasto público a medida que avance la campaña electoral, lo que seguiría impulsando la inflación, mientras el sector productivo privado permanece restringido por temores al estilo de Gobierno de Chávez.\n\n"En Venezuela el problema no es de papeleo, el problema es de estabilidad política. ¿Quién te va a invertir cuando tienes un control de capital y es un gobierno que nacionaliza compañías?," reflexionó Hernández.\n\nSin embargo, el mandatario aseguró durante el anuncio de las medidas -en un acto al que asistieron el miércoles por la noche prominentes empresarios y banqueros- que respeta a la empresa privada, que no quiere abolirla y que quiere trabajar conjuntamente.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Grupo Fierro invertirá US$30M en Perú

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Grupo Fierro invertirá US$30M en Perú\n\nEl presidente del grupo español Fierro en Perú, Ricardo Ruiz, señaló este jueves que invertirán aproximadamente US$30 millones en el país en los próximos tres años, destinado a la adquisición de tierras para la agroindustria, la ampliación de sus plantas industriales y también para la compra de otras empresas.\n\nDe acuerdo a los publicado el viernes por 24 Horas Libre, el presidente del Grupo Fierro planea invertir el 30% de este monto (unos US$9 millones) para aumentar las tierras agrícolas de 600 hectáreas que tiene en la actualidad a 2,000 o 3,000 hectáreas como mínimo, pero todo dependerá de la capacidad para encontrar terrenos óptimos para su desarrollo.\n\nPrecisó que el grupo ya produce páprika y espárragos, sin embargo, quiere ampliar las áreas de cultivo e ingresar a producir nuevos cultivos que podrían ser uvas, mangos u otros que el mercado demande.\n\nRuiz afirmó que el 100% de su producción agroindustrial se destina a la exportación, y sus principales mercados son Europa, Asia, Estados Unidos y algunos países de Sudamérica.\n\nDe otro lado, afirmó que parte de las citadas inversiones se destinarán al sector de químicos y el grupo tiene proyectado adquirir nuevas empresas de este rubro.\n\nComentó que su fábrica de plásticos Iberoplast produce sacos tejidos de polipropileno y abastece a todas las industrias del país que están en pleno crecimiento, y la demanda de productos de origen químico es la de mayor dinámica en el momento.\n\nOtro sector donde invierte el grupo español es la construcción a través de su compañía Constructores Interamericanos (Coinsa) que no sólo edifica viviendas, sino también oficinas, centros comerciales y supermercados.\n\nIndicó que hasta el momento el Grupo Fierro ha invertido más de US$200 millones en Perú, la mayor parte en los últimos años.\n\nEl grupo tiene operaciones en Estados Unidos, Centroamérica, España, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Perú, Ecuador y Brasil y hoy inauguró su nueva planta industrial de sabores y fragancias Sensoria, ubicada en el distrito limeño de Lurín.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Acciones de la petrolera brasileña OGX se dispararon en debut

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Acciones de la petrolera brasileña OGX se dispararon en debut\n\nLas acciones de la compañía brasileña de petróleo y gas OGX se disparaban este viernes en su primer día de transacciones, lo que daba cuenta del voraz apetito de los inversores por beneficiarse de los nuevos hallazgos de hidrocarburos anunciados por el país más grande de Sudamérica.\n\nLas acciones de OGX abrieron en la Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo con un alza del 18,9%, a US$821 (1.345 reales), luego de ser valuados en US$691 (1.131 reales en la oferta pública inicial (OPI) del miércoles, el tope del rango de precios.\n\nPero más tarde, reducían su avance para cotizarse con una ganancia del 10,61%, a US$763.8 (1.250,99 reales), en momentos en que el índice referencial del mercado, el Bovespa, trepaba un 0,38%.\n\nOGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA recaudó US$4.100 millones (6.710 millones de reales) en su oferta de acciones, lo que convirtió la operación en la mayor OPI en la historia de Brasil.\n\nEl multimillonario brasileño Eike Batista, quien fundó la compañía, comentó este viernes que la demanda de la oferta inicial alcanzó los US$30.000 millones.\n\nBovespa Holding, que controla la Bolsa de Valores de Sao Paulo, había establecido el anterior récord, cuando recaudó 6.600 millones de reales en septiembre.\n\nDos meses mas tarde, la bolsa de materias primas y futuros BM&F alcanzó los 5.980 millones de reales con su OPI. Actualmente, las bolsas se están fusionando.\n\nOGX, que fue creada desde cero hace menos de un año y todavía no produce petróleo, colocó sus acciones con inversores calificados que debían pagar un mínimo de US$184.050 dólares (300.000 reales).\n\nBatista, quien hizo su fortuna en el negocio minero, es uno de los hombres más ricos de Brasil. Su conglomerado también incluye una compañía de agua, plantas de electricidad y la minera MMX Mineracao, que comenzó a cotizar en bolsa en el 2006.\n\nEl empresario, quien tiene la reputación de asumir riesgos, apuesta a que los recientes hallazgos de hidrocarburos frente a las costas de Brasil sean una señal de más descubrimientos futuros.\n\nEn noviembre, Batista pagó más de US$1.000 millones por los derechos de perforación en 21 bloques marítimos en una subasta, superando a grandes petroleras como la estatal local Petrobras y la estadounidense Devon Energy Corp .\n\nPara iniciar la producción de crudo, el empresario ha contratado a varios ex ejecutivos de Petrobras, un líder mundial en la tecnología de perforaciones en el mar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Banco suizo UBS finalizó su segundo aumento de capital del año

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Banco suizo UBS finalizó su segundo aumento de capital del año\n\nEl banco suizo UBS -uno de los más afectados por la crisis financiera- informó hoy de que ha finalizado "con éxito" su segundo aumento de capital de este año, cuyo valor se elevó a US$15.400 millones.\n\nEn un comunicado, la entidad indicó que se ejercieron unos 760 millones de derechos de suscripción, lo que representó el 99,4% de las nuevas acciones ofrecidas.\n\nUnos 4,8 millones de acciones no encontraron comprador, de modo que serán puestas a partir de hoy a la venta en los mercados bursátiles de Europa, Nueva York y Tokio por la división de banca de inversión de UBS.\n\nLas transacciones con derechos de suscripción implicaban que por cada veinte acciones antiguos los portadores de títulos podían adquirir otras siete nuevas, además de la venta de ese derecho en el mercado bursátil.\n\nLas posibilidad de ejercer cualquier de esas dos opciones concluyó el pasado lunes.\n\nCon este aumento de capital UBS busca contrarrestar el impacto de las enormes pérdidas que viene sufriendo desde el segundo semestre de 2007.\n\nEstas pérdidas estaban motivada por las fuertes inversiones que había realizado en instrumentos financieros basados en hipotecas de alto riesgo en Estados

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lehman Brothers se dispara en bolsa por posible entrada de Blackstone en su capital

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lehman Brothers se dispara en bolsa por posible entrada de Blackstone en su capital\n\nEl banco de inversión estadounidense Lehmans Brothers sube cerca de un 10% tras conocer que el fondo de inversión Blackstone podría estar interesado en comprar entre el 20% y el 30% del capital del banco, muy debilitado como consecuencia de la crisis financiera.\n\n \n\nAsí lo señaló la cadena de televisión CNBC, que ha apuntado que se trata de una “posibilidad” y no que la oferta no es un hecho. También ha querido dejar claro que el Blackstone no se ha planteado en ningún momento en comprar el banco y sí ostentar una participación importante de la entidad, ya que confía en la firma.\n\n \n\nEn los últimos días, Lehman Brothers ha copado al actualidad informativa de la principal plaza bursátil y ha experimentado fuertes recortes en su cotización, después de asumir que registrará las primeras pérdidas en sus balances desde que cotiza en bolsa durante este trimestre. El lunes presenta sus cuentas y no prevé que haya muchos cambios en relación con los 2.800 millones de dólares negativos que espera contabilizar.\n\n \n\nAdemás, la entidad financiera realizó ayer cambios estructurales en su cúpula directiva con el relevo de su director financiero, Erin Callan, y su director general de operaciones, Joseph Gregory, por los problemas que atraviesa con las hipotecas ‘subprime’.\n\n \n\nLos inversores de Wall Street acogen con optimismo la decisión de Lehman Brothers, que experimenta un rebote en sus títulos del 10,53%, hasta los 25,09 dólares por acción.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fallida venta de Almagrario pudo afectar su valor: Contraloría

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fallida venta de Almagrario pudo afectar su valor: Contraloría\n\nEn la función de advertencia, el ente de control señala que es necesario iniciar de inmediato un trabajo de recuperación de imagen de Almagrario,\n\nAsí se lo advirtió el contralor General, Julio César Turbay Quintero, a los ministros de Agricultura y Hacienda, a la Junta Directiva de Almagrario, al Director de Fogafín, al gerente liquidador de la Caja Agraria y al Presidente de Fiduprevisora, a través de una carta de siete páginas.\n\nEl organismo de control considera que la fallida venta afectó la imagen de la compañía, lo que puede implicar condiciones riesgosas de la\noperación del Almacén y una posible desvalorización ante un nuevo proceso de venta.\n\n"Es indispensable iniciar la recuperación de la imagen institucional que redunde en un mejor valor comercial", señala el Contralor en la carta.\n\nIgualmente, advierte que las circunstancias que se presentaron en el anterior proceso deben ser previstas para que no se den desistimientos sin ningún tipo de consecuencia.\n\n"De tal manera que los reglamentos de venta, como quiera que son producto de juicio y minucioso análisis previo, no permitan sin ninguna consecuencia para cualquiera de las partes, desistimientos y devolución de la póliza de garantía de seriedad de la oferta cuando el proceso se encuentre concluido", dice la misiva.\n\nEn lo que toca a la operación de Almagrario, el contralor Turbay también advirtió que la terminación de las operaciones en las plantas arrendadas por el Ministerio de Agricultura, podría tener influencia negativa en el valor de las acciones, pues de\n ellas depende el 60 por ciento de los ingresos en las plantas del Gobierno, especialmente las de Santa Marta y Buenaventura.\n\n"Se considera que una terminación del contrato de arrendamiento, eliminaría toda operación logística de Almagrario en los puertos,\ndisminuyendo sus condiciones competitivas frente a otros operadores de Almacenes Generales de Depósito".\n\nEn el caso de Fogafín, el Contralor hace advertencias directas: que analice alternativas para la venta de los activos; una valoración adecuada para protección del patrimonio público; y enajenación en condiciones favorables para la Nación que garantice la seriedad en el cumplimiento de las condiciones pactadas entre las partes y que permitan obtener el precio real de mercado de las acciones\nofrecidas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                VENEZUELA: Govt offers to mediate Coca-Cola Femsa dispute: Beverage News & Comment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has offered to mediate a dispute between Coca-Cola_Femsa and former drivers who have halted distribution.\n\nThe staff have all but shut down the Venezuelan operations of Latin America's leading soft-drink bottler and now the Government is offering to help solve the conflict.\n\nFormer contractors of the Mexican bottling company have been blocking four plants and 26 distribution centres since Friday, with more than 11,000 ex-contractors saying the company owes them money.\n\nThe government has stepped in just days after Venezuela's Supreme Court said it had "exhausted" negotiation efforts.\n\nThe company estimates it will lose US$15m this year due to three protests by former contract workers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Argentine debt surge raises spectre of default

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Argentina’s debt levels are now higher than they were when it crashed into the biggest sovereign debt default in history in 2001, and a worsening crisis of confidence in the government has brought the spectre of a new default closer, a report to be published next week says.\n\nDespite a radical restructuring just three years ago, public debt has reached $114.7bn (€74.4bn, £59bn), or 56 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with $144.2bn, or 54 per cent of GDP, in 2001 – at a time when Argentina’s economy was much larger – according to the paper.\n\nMartín Krause and Aldo Abram, directors of the Argentine Institutions and Markets Research Centre at Eseade business school and the report’s authors, also found that if the amount owed to bondholders who did not accept the 2005 restructuring and are suing to recover their money is included, Argentina’s overall debt rises to $170bn, or 67 per cent of GDP.\n\n“We’re not teetering on the brink of default but if we continue down this path, with this level of [social] conflict, we could get there,” Mr Abram told the FT.\n\nMany developed countries, including Italy and Japan, have higher ratios of debt to GDP but Argentina’s higher borrowing costs and rocky institutional record make it harder to secure credit. “The worry is not the amount, it’s that we won’t have access to credit,” Mr Abram said.\n\nThe six-month-old government of Cristina Fernández, the president, has been struggling to resolve a conflict with farmers after it imposed a sliding scale of export tariffs on key agricultural exports in March. The unrest has spread to truck drivers, who have mounted roadblocks to demand an end to the farm dispute, which has disrupted grains transportation.\n\nTheir action has caused fuel shortages and will put further pressure on inflation, which the government is widely accused of trying to conceal with doctored data.\n\nMeanwhile, the government must this year find $14.6bn for debt servicing, plus $11.8bn next year and $10.5bn in 2010.\n\nHowever, the threat of legal action by bond holdouts bars Argentina from international capital markets whilst it remains in default with the Paris Club of creditor nations, to which it owes $6.6bn.\n\nArgentina has increasingly turned to Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, who has bought $6.4bn in bonds in the past three years.\n\nBut its international financial isolation is costly – Buenos Aires has had to pay Venezuela interest rates of up to 13 per cent, yet it cancelled its low-cost International Monetary Fund debt and the Paris Club debt only costs 5.3 per cent, Mr Krause said.\n\nBy contrast Brazil, which had a far worse debt profile than Argentina in 2001, recently achieved investment grade and sold a 10-year bond at 5.3 per cent.\n\nCopyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Posible fusión de InBev con Anheuser-Busch pondría a temblar a SABMiller en Colombia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Así lo señala la revista Forbes luego que la gigante de licores InBev presentara una oferta de compra por Anheuser por 46.300 millones de dólares.\n\nLa unión de InBev y Anheuser-Busch podría afectar los negocios de SABMiller en Estados Unidos y en Sudamérica. \n\n"Las operaciones de (SABMiller) en Colombia y Perú podrían quedar particularmente vulnerables una vez InBev comience a consolidar sus negocios allá", dice Forbes. \n\nLa oferta de InBev por Anheuser descarta los rumores que apuntaban a una alianza de la primera con SABMiller.\n\nLas acciones de SABMiller cayeron ayer un 2,5% a 23,45 dólares en la Bolsa de Nueva York, mientras que las de InBev repuntaron un 4,9% a 23,45 dólares.\n\nLa alianza InBev y Anheuser-Bush crearía la cervecera más grande del mundo. \n\nDe todas formas, Anheuser, reveló Forbes, quiere evitar que se produzca la compra y ya está en negociaciones con la mexicana Grupo Modelo. \n\n

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • on 06-11-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Moller recomienda a frutícolas realizar alianzas estratégicas en el exterior

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Moller recomienda a frutícolas realizar alianzas estratégicas en el exterior

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Moller recomienda a frutícolas realizar alianzas estratégicas en el exterior\n\nAtender las 52 semanas del año, a todos los países del mundo, es una de las directrices que guía el trabajo de Víctor Moller, controlador de Hortifrut.\n\nEl empresario afirmó que las alianzas estratégicas suscritas por su firma con otros productores de berries en los cinco continentes han sido claves en conseguir el objetivo de abastecer a los clientes durante todo el año, pese a que por razones climáticas obvias cada empresa pueda producir sólo por temporadas.\n\nHasta el momento -dijo- esa estrategia les ha permitido “equilibrar la operación” a pesar de los vaivenes que en el último tiempo ha experimentado la economía.\n\nEn ese sentido, el controlador de la firma que ayer participó en un seminario de la Produce Marketing Association (PMA), sugirió que las exportadoras agrícolas deben explorar este modelo de gestión y aprovechar las ventajas que ofrece, como una forma de mejorar su posición en el escenario mundial.\n\n“No se trata sólo de competir, las alianzas permiten unir a actores que son afines”, dijo Moller.\n\nA su juicio, en Chile existen productores y empresas exportadoras de frutas específicas, que son de primer nivel. “Sin embargo, tienen volúmenes limitados y por lo tanto, no tienen las capacidades para competir con fuerza en los mercados”.\n\nEl controlador de Hortifrut agregó que muchas de estas firmas “no tienen marcas ni organización en los lugares de destino y tampoco cuentan con logística, lo que las deja en una posición muy débil”.\n\nEn este punto manifestó que “el fortalecimiento de la industria frutícola chilena pasa por consolidarse con empresas de mayor tamaño”, modelo que utiliza Hortifrut y que Moller recomendó como una forma de superar uno de los principales contratiempos del sector, que debe enfrentar los costos anuales con una producción que en muchos casos se limita a seis meses.\n\n“Una organización de este tipo permite que las empresas estén los 365 días del año al lado de sus clientes, sin tener que pagar los costos de esos 365 días”, explicó.\n\n\n\nProyecto genético\n\nDentro de los planes de Hortifrut para mejorar su presencia y gestión, figura seguir en la búsqueda de nuevos aliados en comercialización, producción y viveros.\n\n“Esa es una forma de reforzar nuestra organización y alinear a los mejores en pos de un objetivo, que es tener al mundo de las berries unido”, señaló.\n\nEn los próximos meses, la empresa pondrá en marcha un ambicioso programa de genética, que permitirá adelantar en unos 20 días la producción de berries. La meta es desarrollar la iniciativa en todos los países donde operan y así abastecer localmente a esos mercados.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ¿Terminó la crisis de crédito? Expertos alertan sobre nueva ola de problemas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ¿Terminó la crisis de crédito? Expertos alertan sobre nueva ola de problemas\nMarcela Vélez A.\n\nEn los mercados financieros es cada vez más común escuchar la frase “lo peor ya pasó”, cuando los bancos reportan pérdidas menores a las esperadas o la economía registra al menos ciertas señales de crecimiento.\n\nPero, estos optimistas puede que estén olvidando observar el origen de la actual crisis financiera y la desaceleración de EE.UU.: el mercado hipotecario. Según CreditSuisse, las hipotecas de tasa variable (adjustable rate mortgages, ARM) suman US$ 500.000 millones. A medida que las tasas se ajustan al alza, es cada vez más difícil que sus acreedores puedan pagarlas. Datos de Bloomberg muestran que sólo este mes unos\nUS$ 25.000 millones deben reajustarse (ver gráfico).\n\nMás grave aún, los últimos datos de la Asociación de Bancos Hipotecarios (MBA, en inglés) revelaron que la tasa de impagos entre los clientes de más ingresos se está acelerando. En el primer trimestre, se registraron 29.000 embargos más entre los deudores prime respecto al período anterior; mientras entre los clientes subprime crecieron en 20.000.\n\nAsí, la crisis originada por el aumento de la morosidad entre los clientes subprime, aquellos de menores ingresos y perfil de crédito de más riesgo, está avanzando hacia los estadounidenses considerados deudores “más seguros”. Se trata de personas con salarios fijos, que viven en barrios residenciales y que hasta ahora tenían un historial de crédito saludable.\n\nSin embargo, la combinación de inflación, aumento del desempleo, caída del precio de la vivienda y restricción crediticia creó el escenario perfecto para que más estadounidenses dejen de pagar sus hipotecas.\n\nSegún la MBA, un récord histórico de 2,47% de las viviendas hipotecadas cayeron en la categoría de “embargo” en el primer trimestre de este año. El 60% de las hipotecas impagas eran de tasa varia-ble y el 10% correspondían a clientes prime, casi el doble que a finales de 2007.\n\nLas ARM, creadas originalmente para clientes subprime, permitían pagos muy bajos en los dos primeros años, pero con un fuerte reajuste de la mensualidad en los siguientes años. Cerca de un millón de estadounidenses verán duplicarse sus pagos por hipoteca a partir de este mes hasta septiembre del próximo año.\n\nEsto, a pesar de los 325 puntos base que la Fed recortó de la tasa de interés desde septiembre. Si bien la medida ayudó a contener el monto de los reajustes, los gastos domésticos en alimentos y combustibles se han duplicado para las familias promedio desde octubre. “Los recientes incrementos de morosidad hipotecaria han venido de los deudores más seguros. Ellos serán el próximo eslabón en caer”, afirmó a Washington Times, Christopher Mayer, profesor de bienes raíces en la Universidad de Columbia.\n\nTal como las hipotecas subprime, las deudas de los clientes prime también están vinculadas a bonos e instrumentos financieros complejos. Su caída tendría un impacto directo en el sistema financiero. Lo que podría convertirse en el segundo capítulo de la actual crisis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nacional de Chocolates, siguen las compras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nacional de Chocolates, siguen las compras\nLa compra de la compañía de cárnicos Berard, en Panamá, en febrero pasado, por la cual pagó US$16 millones, es el punto de partida de la estrategia de adquisiciones que el Grupo Nacional de Chocolates (GNC) emprenderá a partir de este año. El grupo, que estuvo muy activo en la compra de empresas en Centroamérica y el Grupo Andino entre 2003 y 2006, hizo un alto en el camino durante 2007 para dedicarse a consolidar sus operaciones, buscar sinergias e integrar las compañías. Con la tarea hecha, ya está preparado para seguir creciendo en el exterior. "Para hacer adquisiciones se requieren dos cosas: con qué pagarlas y con quién manejarlas, y en las dos estamos preparados", explica Carlos Enrique Piedrahita, presidente del Grupo. "Tenemos el equipo humano, los directivos que lleven nuestro know how y nuestra ética empresarial. Y también hay con qué pagar... Tenemos un endeudamiento del 10%, medido frente al patrimonio, y todavía es razonable duplicarlo", afirma. El grupo tiene una caja libre al año de unos $500.000 millones.\n\nBusca empresas en cárnicos, café, chocolates, galletas y helados en la zona que ha definido como estratégica: Centroamérica y el Caribe, los países Andinos, México y las comunidades hispanas de Estados Unidos. Hoy tiene plantas de producción en cinco países (Panamá, Perú, Venezuela, Colombia y Costa Rica), y esquemas de distribución propia (sin producción) en otros siete (Ecuador, El Salvador, Estados Unidos, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Honduras y México). En total, el GNC tiene 11 compañías adquiridas en cuatro países, diez nuevas compañías creadas en otros nueve y ha hecho seis fusiones en cinco países. Unas cifras que se van a incrementar en los próximos años. "Nos interesan compañías líderes, que sean la número 1, 2 ó 3 del mercado", afirma Piedrahita.\n\nEl modelo\n\nEl modelo de internacionalización del GNC es un esquema propio, autóctono. "Es una visión construida por nosotros, con la que buscamos un crecimiento rentable en un mercado ampliado", explica Piedrahita.\n\nA diferencia de otras compañías, el GNC no busca socios en el exterior. Considera que su habilidad competitiva es su conocimiento de la distribución, en especial en el canal corto, es decir, en el que le llega directamente al tendero. Y ese know how lo tiene el equipo colombiano, que gerencia las nuevas adquisiciones. "Por eso no buscamos aliados", señala Piedrahita. Sus otras fortalezas están en el poder de sus marcas y el conocimiento del sistema de distribución de las regiones que han definido como estratégicas.\n\nEl modelo tiene tres grandes momentos. En sus inicios, cuando la economía colombiana apenas se estaba abriendo, se empezaron a crear alianzas con compañías como Mavesa en Venezuela, que básicamente buscaban facilitar la exportación e importación de las distintas marcas a los respectivos mercados. En 1995 se inicia la creación de distribuidoras en el exterior, con la constitución de Cordialsa en Venezuela y en Ecuador. Un esquema que les facilitó el ingreso de sus marcas a esos mercados y a través del cual montaron una infraestructura de distribución en 11 países.\n\nPero el paso decisivo se dio en 2003, cuando se decidió pasar de un esquema de distribución a uno de plataformas complementarias de producción, que se inauguró con la compra a Nestlé de la planta de chocolates en Costa Rica. En 2005 adquirió Blue Ribbon Products e Inversiones Saronis en Panamá; en 2006 compró al líder de galletas en Centroamérica (Pozuelo), y los activos de Good Foods con su marca Winters en Perú. "Este esquema busca que no todas las exportaciones salgan de Colombia, porque para algunos productos, el origen es más competitivo en otros países", señala Piedrahita. "Es la manera más rápida de expandirse. Es más eficaz que el crecimiento orgánico", señala. Por eso compran empresas que tengan producción y distribución, y aprovechan para incluir en el portafolio del respectivo país las marcas colombianas, para penetrar más rápido los mercados.\n\nColombia\n\n2007 fue un año de buscar sinergias en el Grupo, para que las distintas empresas trabajaran en forma integrada. Como parte de esto se creó el Servicio Nacional de Chocolates, que brinda 12 servicios a la organización, como sistemas, asistencia jurídica y contabilidad. En Costa Rica, existe el proyecto de crear otras empresas de este tipo, para atender las empresas del grupo en Centroamérica. En productos, se han logrado sinergias con la compra de Meals, que le dio ingreso al negocio de helados, y le ha permitido lanzar productos con marcas compartidas. En distribución, creó la compañía La Recetta, con Alpina, para atender el mercado institucional. Este año, el grupo tiene programadas inversiones por $260.000 millones en Colombia, casi tres veces lo que invirtió en 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PIB de Uruguay crece 10,9%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PIB de Uruguay crece 10,9%\n\nLa economía uruguaya se aceleró en el primer trimestre del año y creció un 10,9% frente a igual período del 2007, impulsada por el transporte, las comunicaciones y las industrias manufactureras, mostraron el martes cifras oficiales.\n\nEl Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) creció también un 2,4% en el primer trimestre del 2008 contra el cuarto trimestre del 2007, dijo el Banco Central en un informe.\n\n"La demanda externa, principalmente por productos agroindustriales, y la demanda doméstica por bienes de producción nacional e importada y por ciertos servicios, como los de comunicaciones, fueron factores estimulantes del nivel de actividad global," dijo el Banco Central en un comunicado.\n\nEn 2007, la economía uruguaya había crecido un 7,4% y completó su quinto año consecutivo de expansión.\n\nPara este año, el Gobierno prevé un crecimiento de un 5,25%.\n\nEl sector de "Transporte y comunicaciones" impulsó el crecimiento con un alza del 26,9% en el primer trimestre del año, debido al incremento en los rubros de telefonía celular y transporte marítimo ante el aumento de la actividad portuaria por las exportaciones.\n\n"Industrias Manufactureras" fue el segundo sector con alto crecimiento, registrando una expansión de un 13,4% por la producción y exportación de pasta de celulosa.\n\nLa empresa finlandesa Botnia comenzó a operar en noviembre y realizó su primera exportación de celulosa un mes después.\n\nLas exportaciones totales crecieron un 11,9% en el primer trimestre en volumen, por el aumento en las ventas de pasta de celulosa, productos cárnicos y agrícolas, arroz y otros productos químicos, dijo el Banco Central.\n\nEn tanto, la actividad agropecuaria, uno de los pilares tradicionales de la economía local, registró una expansión de un 6,6 por ciento, ante un incremento en las siembras de arroz, trigo y sorgo y de la faena de ganado vacuno.\n\nSegún el último sondeo entre analistas realizado por el Banco Central, en el 2008 el PIB crecerá un 6,11%.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Máquinas tragamonedas salen de las tiendas de barrio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Máquinas tragamonedas salen de las tiendas de barrio\n\nBogotá.- El proyecto de profesionalización del juego, presentado al Gobierno por la presidenta de ETESA, Mery Luz Londoño García, contempla que los juegos localizados sólo podrán operarse en establecimientos comerciales dedicados a actividades de juegos y en el caso de máquinas tragamonedas, en establecimientos cuyo objeto sea la operación de este tipo de juegos o de manera compartida con otro tipo de juegos localizados.\n\nSe establece un número mínimo de elementos de juego de conformidad con la siguiente tabla:\n\nItem Número de habitantes por Municipio Elementos de Juego\n1 De 500.001 en adelante 20\n2 De 100.001 a 500.000 16\n3 De 50.001 a 100.000 13\n4 De 25.001 a 50.000 11\n5 De 10.001 a 25.000 7\n6 De menos de 10.000 3\n\n"Mediante este decreto, se establece la certificación de los elementos de juegos electrónicos que operen en el país, para asegurar que poseen un alto grado de confiabilidad en su operación y que se ajustan a los estándares internacionales y a los requisitos establecidos por ETESA, quien a su vez avalará las empresas certificadas autorizadas para tal fin", comenta la presidenta de la entidad, la Doctora Mery Luz Londoño García.\n\nCon el decreto se busca además garantizar al consumidor la confiabilidad de las maquinas, evitando que estas sean alteradas, a través de un mecanismo que será reglamentado por el Ministerio de Protección Social y ETESA.\n\nHabrá conexión de los elementos del juego electrónico en línea y tiempo real, con el sistema de información de ETESA, a quien le corresponderá diseñar y adoptar el programa que permita la implementación de la conexión; igualmente señalara el tiempo máximo para ello.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Colombia se convirtió en mercado prioritario para la India

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Colombia se convirtió en mercado prioritario para la India\n\nEl país asiático incluyó al mercado nacional en sus prioridades comerciales y confía en duplicar las ventas para el 2009. El déficit con este gigante se triplicó en los últimos 4 años.\n\nEl renovado interés comercial de India por este país es tan grande que lo incluyeron como mercado prioritario, junto con otros nueve, en el suplemento anual a la Política de Comercio Exterior 2004-2009.\n\nLa meta es concreta: exportar más de mil millones de dólares este año o en el 2009, sentencia el embajador en Colombia, Deepak Bhojwani.\n\nSegún él, Colombia tiene un mercado enorme, una economía estable, un buen nivel de vida, una moneda que no tiende a la devaluación y una producción complementaria a la de India. Con una mayor apertura y más actividades de promoción, confía, el objetivo se cumplirá.\n\nEl año pasado, Colombia importó de la India mercancías por 475,8 millones de dólares, 37,4 por ciento más que en el 2006. Sin embargo, el diplomático basa sus cálculos en una facturación de 700 millones, por una diferencia en los años fiscales de ambas naciones.\n\nEl rubro más recurrente es el de las motocicletas (28 por ciento del total), seguido por los vehículos y sus partes (19 por ciento) y productos químicos (18,9 por ciento de participación), entre otros. También se importaron hilados y textiles por 56,6 millones de dólares.\n\nDéficit comercial creciente\n\nEn contraste, Colombia facturó apenas 76,9 millones de dólares en el país asiático (22,2 por ciento más que en el 2006), el segundo más poblado del planeta, con más de 1.100 millones de habitantes.\n\nDe esa suma, 71,1 millones de dólares corresponden a ferroníquel, materia prima básica sin mayor valor agregado.\n\nEntre las demás mercancías exportadas figuran maderas tropicales en bruto (1,7 millones de dólares), gelatinas y sus derivados (1,1 millones), chatarra (950.000 dólares) y productos de la química básica (402.000 dólares).\n\nEl ministro de Comercio, Luis Guillermo Plata, señala que el comercio entre Colombia e India ha mantenido una tendencia creciente en los últimos años. No obstante, reconoce que "ello es el resultado de un aumento mayor en las importaciones desde ese mercado que de nuestras ventas hacia el mismo".\n\nDe hecho, el déficit comercial de Colombia frente a India pasó de 106,5 millones de dólares en el 2003 a 398,9 millones el año pasado.\n\nEl ministro de Comercio advierte que las exportaciones a esa nación seguirán siendo esencialmente de recursos naturales, básicamente mineros, pues ambas economías producen manufacturas similares y las que no tiene India las consiguen más cerca en China o Vietnam.\n\nAdemás del ferroníquel, anota Bhojwani, Colombia tiene buenas perspectivas con el carbón y el petróleo, y muy buenas con el etanol.\n\nSobre este último, observó que la política de su país es aumentar el consumo, lo que podría conducir a alianzas estratégicas, que podrían extenderse a las confecciones y manufacturas de cuero, productos para los cuales existe un mercado grande y sofisticado en su país.\n\nLos dos países negocian tratados para proteger y facilitar las inversiones\n\nEn la relación con India, el Gobierno Nacional tiene enfocados prácticamente todos sus esfuerzos en los inversionistas de ese país, lo que coincide con el interés de las autoridades indias por promover la inversión de sus nacionales en Colombia.\n\n"De la India nos interesan mucho sus inversiones", dice Plata.\n\n"Es política oficial promover a los empresarios para que inviertan en Colombia", responde el embajador Bhojwani, pues "Colombia es una buena base para dar el salto al resto de América Latina".\n\nPor eso el interés mutuo de firmar un tratado de protección de inversiones, que los dos funcionarios confían en que se concrete pronto, probablemente el mes próximo.\n\nEl acuerdo, explica Plata, es una forma de darles tranquilidad a los inversionistas y de atraer y competir por la inversión extranjera directa, que entre el primero de enero y el 23 de mayo sumó 3.604 millones de dólares (23,7 por ciento más que en el mismo lapso del año pasado).\n\nTan pronto finalice la negociación del tratado, las dos naciones comenzarán a negociar otro para desmontar la doble tributación, de manera que un inversionista no tenga que pagar dos veces el mismo impuesto, lo que aumentaría el atractivo para la vinculación de recursos externos a la actividad productiva local.\n\nInversionistas indios ya hacen presencia en Colombia en petróleos (la estatal OVL), ferrocarriles, vehículos (Tata Internacional), motocicletas (Bajaj y Hero Honda), construcción de plantas de etanol, capacitación en tecnología de la información (Aptech, Niit y Tata Infotech) y farmacéuticas (Claris Lifesciences, en sociedad estratégica con Biotoscana Pharma).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Familia Slim mira hacia España

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Familia Slim mira hacia España\n\nLa familia mexicana Slim aún desea ofrecer servicios de telecomunicaciones en España, a tres años de que una de sus compañías abandonara una licitación por un espectro inalámbrico en ese país, según un importante miembro de esa familia.\n\nCarlos Slim Domit, titular del Consejo de Administración de Telmex Internacional SAB (TII) y de Teléfonos de México (TMX), señaló el martes durante una conferencia de prensa en Nueva York que existe un interés de parte del grupo por participar, bajo las condiciones adecuadas, en el mercado español de telecomunicaciones.\n\nEl patriarca de la familia, Carlos Slim Helu, padre de Slim Domit, forjó su imperio latinoamericano de telecomunicaciones mediante la compra de una participación de control en el monopolio estatal que a principios de la década de 1990 era aún Teléfonos de México, conocida como Telmex.\n\nHoy, la familia Slim controla al principal operador regional de telefonía inalámbrica, América Móvil SAB (AMX), que fue escindida de Telmex en el 2001, mientras Telmex Internacional, otra escisión de Telmex, comenzó el martes a cotizarse en bolsa como una firma aparte.\n\nLa compañía estatal española Telefónica S.A. (TEF) es el principal competidor de los Slim en Latinoamérica, donde cuenta con operaciones de telefonía de red móvil y red fija en la mayoría de los principales mercados de la región.\n\nEn México, Telefónica se ubica en un distante segundo lugar tras Telcel, filial de América Móvil con cerca de 13,3 millones de suscriptores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mexichem compró negocio de fosfatos a Kuo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mexichem compró negocio de fosfatos a Kuo\n\nEl Grupo Kuo informó que este martes concluyó la venta de Quimir, empresa del sector químico especializada en el negocio de fosfatos, a Mexichem, sin especificar el monto de la operación.\n\nQuimir es una empresa del sector químico dedicada a la producción y comercialización de fosfatos industriales y alimenticios, entre otros, utilizados principalmente para la fabricación de detergentes. Las ventas anuales de este negocio en 2007 fueron aproximadamente de US$160 millones.\n\nEl cierre de la transacción, indicó la compañía en un comunicado publicado este miércoles por El Semanario, se encontraba sujeto a ciertas aprobaciones gubernamentales y autorizaciones de terceros, todas las cuales ya han sido obtenidas.\n\nLos recursos obtenidos por estas operaciones, explica, serán utilizados principalmente para inversiones que apoyen el crecimiento de los negocios actuales y nuevos proyectos, así como para continuar disminuyendo el nivel de apalancamiento de la empresa, y por lo tanto, seguir fortaleciendo la estructura financiera del grupo.\n\nEsta desinversión, agrega, es parte de la estrategia de Kuo de contar con un portafolio dinámico de negocios que le permita seguir generando valor a sus accionistas.\n\nLas empresas de Kuo, menciona, enfocan sus productos hacia los mercados con el mayor crecimiento y rentabilidad, con el fin de mantener una clara posición de liderazgo en los mercados en los que compiten.\n\nEl actual portafolio de negocios incluye: “Aftermarket”, aglomerado, Cie-Desc (estampados, pintura y ensambles), Dynasol (hule solución), elastómeros, Herdez del Fuerte (alimentos procesados de marca), plásticos, porcícola y transmisiones.\n\nGrupo Kuo tiene ventas anuales de aproximadamente US$1.900 millones, exportaciones a más de 40 países y cerca de 17.000 empleados.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Molinos oficializa fusión con Estrella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Molinos oficializa fusión con Estrella\n\nMolinos Río De La Plata, de la familia Perez Companc, concretó la fusión por absorción de Grupo Estrella mediante el canje de 10,9 acciones de esta última por cada título de la empresa matriz, informó la empresa este martes a la Bolsa, según publicó El Cronista.\n\nLa operación se cerró luego de que Molinos, entre los meses de diciembre de 2007 y mayo de 2008, adquiriera el 86,53% del paquete accionario del Grupo Estrella por US$33,9 millones y una deuda financiera por un valor nominal de US$19,5 millones, debido a que la empresa no tenía capacidad de pago para enfrentarla porque se encontraba en default y en una seria situación de restricción de crédito, sostuvo la compañía.\n\n“La fusión por absorción permitirá contar con un menú de negocios saneados financieramente, con capacidad de desarrollo y potencial de crecimiento para sus reconocidas marcas a partir de numerosos planes de inversión que en este nuevo esquema se llevarán adelante. Asimismo permitirá mantener fuentes de trabajo y mejorar su posicionamiento crediticio a nivel local e internacional”, enfatizó la empresa en el comunicado.\n\nEn la misma operación se integrará la empresa Virgilio Manera, la cual también será absorbida por Molinos.\n\nLa compañía de los Perez Companc realizó esa adquisición a finales del año pasado con el objetivo de fortalecer las exportaciones de pastas.\n\nEn marzo, Molinos vendió la marca de algodón Estrella en US$4,25 millones a Algodonera Avellaneda.\n\nLa compañía justificó la operación a partir de su estrategia “de concentración en negocios de alimentación, principalmente bajo las marcas Gallo, Cruz de Malta, Toddy y Arlistan”.\n\nLa compañía, sin embargo, acordó retener el nombre Estrella para su propia denominación societaria.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GamblingPlanet.org :: News :: William Hill Plans to Increase Revenue from Online Offerings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        William Hill , Britain's second biggest bookmaker, expects to raise the proportion of its gross win coming from Internet gambling by up to 50 percent when it launches a new online sports betting platform in November.\n\nThe company derives about 20 percent of its gross win from e-commerce, but Chief Executive Ralph Topping told reporters he aims to increase that to about 25-30 percent when the platform, designed by software provider Orbis, is launched on November 27.\n\n"That kind of growth is there for us to aim for but we'll set formal targets early next year," Topping said on Tuesday in a presentation to journalists and sector analysts.\n\nWilliam Hill's online "sportsbook" has struggled over the last year from intensifying competition and technology problems. The company had attempted to implement a major upgrade of its internet betting operations in-house but was forced to scrap the project, writing down 22 million pounds in the process, after it became apparent that it would require greater investment and take longer than originally envisaged. It then turned to Orbis, which is highly regarded in the industry and serves clients including Ladbrokes and Paddy Power , to get the upgrade back on track.\n\nTopping, who was previously the company's Internet director but took up the position of chief executive in February, was at pains to emphasise his commitment to expanding the online business, which he feels was neglected in the past. William Hill had already successfully halted the decline in growth at its sportsbook and was now achieving double digit percentage growth, thanks partly to the introduction of 30 new games, backed by a new advertising campaign, Topping said.\n\n"There is a new sense of direction. For too long, we regarded ourselves as bookmakers with a bolt-on activity called gaming. There is a substantial opportunity for growth on the Internet," he said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grupo Mexico Chief Takes Stand, Denies Looting Asarco - WSJ.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          German Larrea, head of Mexico's largest copper-mining company, took the stand in U.S. District Court here Tuesday, denying charges that he looted U.S. miner Asarco in order to leave the historic company too indebted to pay for environmental cleanup work across the U.S.\n[copper]\n\nMr. Larrea, chairman of Grupo Mexico SA, said that the decision to put Asarco in bankruptcy in 2005 was a "low-cost solution" aimed at cleaning up Asarco's outstanding liabilities. Mr. Larrea said he never dreamed the bankruptcy process would drag on for years and said U.S. Chapter 11 law was different than in Mexico.\n\nHaving the mining mogul summoned to a U.S. courtroom is the latest twist in a drama that has roiled the copper world for years. The case here was brought in February 2007 when Asarco's U.S. management alleged that Mr. Larrea's Grupo Mexico had stripped its affiliate of key assets to avoid paying U.S. creditors.\n\nIf found guilty, Grupo Mexico could pay penalties exceeding $10 billion, including punitive damages.\n\nMr. Larrea, 54 years old, is Mexico's third-wealthiest businessman, with an estimated net worth of $7.3 billion, according to recent listings by Forbes magazine. Last month the businessman filed a motion asking that he be excused from testifying in person, having earlier been videotaped in a pretrial deposition. Judge Andrew Hanen denied that request and issued a subpoena for his appearance Tuesday.\n\nAdding color to the trial, a group of nearly 30 Mexican copper miners from the company's Cananea mine, which is currently on strike, waited in Brownsville's sweltering heat to protest the seldom-seen mining executive. Later, they sat silently in the courtroom as the corporate chief underwent cross-examination.\n\nLast month, India's Vedanta Resources PLC reached a $2.6 billion deal to purchase the assets of Asarco. That transaction, which would be part of an overall settlement of creditors' claims against Asarco, remains subject to approval by U.S. bankruptcy court in Corpus Christi, Texas. Grupo Mexico has said it plans to challenge the sale.\n\nThe battle for control of Asarco, one of the U.S.'s oldest mining companies that once employed thousands in mines, smelters and refineries in about two dozen states, began in 1999, when Grupo Mexico, a construction-and-mining conglomerate founded by Mr. Larrea's father, surprised Wall Street by outmaneuvering a U.S. rival, Phelps Dodge Corp., to grab Asarco in a hostile takeover. The company has since grown into a world-wide copper leader, thriving on historically high copper prices through much of this decade.\n\nBy 1999, however, Asarco was facing claims outstanding by federal and state governments involving environmental damage after a century of mining across the western U.S. Those claims, as well as unspecified future contingencies from individuals alleging asbestos poisoning, loomed over Asarco's balance sheet. According to U.S. environmentalists and some U.S. regulators, Mr. Larrea's overall strategy was to free his company from Asarco's many legal liabilities, while simultaneously seeking to retain the U.S. unit's most lucrative copper holdings.\n\nIn 2003, Grupo Mexico shifted profitable mining interests owned by Asarco into the Mexican parent's other corporate holdings. According to the complaint filed in the Brownsville case, Asarco officials said that when Grupo Mexico purchased Asarco's stock, it was mainly interested in Asarco's 54% ownership of the Southern Peru Copper Corp., a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange with operations in Peru. The plaintiffs also charged Mr. Larrea structured the deal so that Asarco was left with increased amounts of debt and with insufficient funds to conduct its business.\n\nGrupo Mexico eventually transferred the Southern Peru Copper shares to its American Mining Corp. unit, the subsidiary that is a co-defendant in the Brownsville trial. In 2005, Grupo Mexico placed Asarco in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing mounting environmental cleanup costs and other liabilities as well as a five-week strike by the company's unionized workers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wachovia upgrades Fresh Del Monte on Costa Rica deal | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            \nFresh Del Monte Produce Inc's (FDP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) $403 million acquisition of two Costa Rican fruit production operations could significant add to the fruit-and-vegetable producer's earnings, according to Wachovia Capital Markets, which upgraded the company on Tuesday.\n\n"Given the increasing global appetite for productive agricultural assets, including shipping assets, this deal can only be additive," Wachovia analyst Jonathan Feeney, who raised his rating on the company's stock to "outperform" from "market perform," said in a note titled "A Sweet, Gold Deal."\n\nOn Tuesday, Fresh Del Monte said it bought banana producer Desarollo Agroindustrial de Frutales SA, pineapple producer Frutas de Exportacion SA and an affiliated sales and marketing company, collectively known as Caribana, to increase its production capacity in Central America.\n\nFeeney said the deal could add to Fresh Del Monte's earnings by more than 34 cents a share, and help the company offset its unhedged fuel position.\n\nThe analyst raised his 2008 earnings estimates on the company to $3.25 from $3.10 a share, while 2009 estimates were increased to $3.59 from $3.29 a share.\n\nShares of the company rose as much as 4 percent, or $1.13, to $30.50 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              New venture capital firm Amplio launches €50m renewable energy fund

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Newly formed renewable energy venture capital firm Amplio Partners has launched its inaugural fund, targeted at €50m. The management team will put approximately €10m into the fund, a source told AltAssets.\n\nThe fund will focus on investments in the renewable energy, alternative fuels, recycling, filtration, environmental services and speciality care sectors in Europe. \n\nAmplio formerly operated as the private equity arm of investment firm Obsidian and Companies, and is headed by Riccardo Segat, formerly a partner at AMP Private Capital and principal of Compass Partners. \n\nSegat said, 'We aim to be the leading investment company in our high growth industry target sector, supported by our expertise in the wider environmental services sector. \n\n'It is clear from the constant focus on the environment that green industries are the future. In a world that now needs to increase its reliance on greener sources of energy, companies that offer renewable alternatives represent attractive investment opportunities. Amplio Partners aims to be at the forefront of this market, and is looking to work with potential partners and entrepreneurs keen to make their mark in this area,' Segat added. \n\nIn May of this year, Amplio, under the name Renerg Technologies, acquired a 4.56 per cent stake in Nviro Cleantech, purchasing 2 million ordinary shares in the company at 38.6 pence per share. Following the fund launch, Amplio will look to further increase its stake in the company going forward. \n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Daiichi to pay $4.6bn for control of Ranbaxy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo is to buy Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s biggest generic drugs maker, in a deal worth up to $4.6bn.\n\nThe takeover, which follows a string of overseas acquisitions by Japanese drugmakers, could permanently alter India’s homegrown generic pharmaceuticals industry, which is struggling to maintain its rapid growth amid concern it lacks the research muscle to compete with global rivals.\n\n“This is a significant milestone in our mission of becoming a research-based international pharmaceutical company,” said Malvinder Mohan Singh, chief executive and managing director of Ranbaxy.\n\nUnder the deal, Mr Singh’s family will sell its 34.8 per cent stake in Ranbaxy but he will remain as chairman and chief executive. Daiichi will seek to buy additional shares to ensure it ends up with “the majority of the voting capital of Ranbaxy”.\n\nThe deal gives Ranbaxy access to Daiichi’s expertise in branded drugs and the Japanese company access to its Indian rival’s low-cost production facilities.\n\nIt follows similar moves by Daiichi’s Japanese rivals – Takeda Pharmaceutical this year bought US biotechnology company Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.8bn while Eisai said it would buy MGI Pharma of the US for $3.9bn in December.\n\nThe sale by the Singh family of its entire stake in Ranbaxy took India’s corporate world by surprise on Wednesday.\n\nMr Singh and his brother Shivinder Mohan Singh have grown Ranbaxy, founded by their late father Bhai Mohan Singh, into an international producer of generic drugs through an aggressive acquisition strategy.\n\nAnalysts say the sale is a signal that India’s copycat drug sector is reaching its peak as a standalone industry and needs to enlist the financial firepower and reach of its global rivals if it is to continue its growth.\n\nShares in Daiichi Sankyo, known for its high-blood pressure drug Benicar, were 5 per cent higher on early reports of the deal while Ranbaxy’s shares rose 4 per cent.\n\nThe deal values Ranbaxy, one of the proudest of India’s new breed of companies operating in advanced industries, at Rs737 a share, a 31.4 per cent premium to Tuesday’s closing share price and 53.5 per cent premium to the stock’s average closing price in the previous three months.\n\nTakashi Shoda, president and chief executive of Daiichi Sankyo, said the deal would “complement our strong presence in innovation with a new, strong presence in the fast-growing business of non-proprietary pharmaceuticals”.\n\nUnder the deal, Daiichi Sankyo will also launch a tender offer to buy up to 20 per cent of Ranbaxy from the market as required under Indian stock market rules.\n\nDaiichi could also buy a preferential share allotment and could exercise share warrants to be issued on a preferential basis, but did not disclose details of the size of these issues.\n\nThe total transaction is expected to be worth between $3.4bn to $4.6bn.\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  China’s Safe to invest $2.5bn in TPG fund

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange has agreed to invest more than $2.5bn in the latest TPG fund, in what could be the largest commitment ever made to a private equity firm, people familiar with the matter say.\n\nThe investment by the Chinese entity, known as Safe, underscores the growing inclination of sovereign wealth funds to invest through private equity firms – rather than directly – to minimise the potential political backlash to their growing activity.\n\nIt also illustrates the growing importance of sovereign wealth funds to private equity firms at a time when pension funds and non-profit endowments are cutting back their exposure to leveraged buy-out investments.\n\nInvestments in private equity firms are usually not made public, but industry executives believe the largest previous investment in a private equity firm came from pension funds in the US states of Oregon and Washington. The two funds both invested about $1bn to $1.5bn in Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.\n\nSafe declined comment.\n\nIn recent years, a growing percentage of the money for US private equity firms has come from overseas. In 2002, for example, 25 per cent of the money that Blackstone raised came from outside the US. In 2005, it increased to 40 per cent.\n\nChina Investment Corporation, another sovereign wealth fund, has been given authority to invest a small portion of China’s $1,600bn in reserves.\n\nSafe, which oversees the bulk of the reserves, has also been looking for investments but tries to keep a lower profile. The new TPG fund has not closed but has about $17bn in assets. The presence of a large investor like Safe could complicate TPG’s relations with other investors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    China's pension fund puts nearly $500M into private equity (Dealscape)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Private equity's budding love affair with China has grown even stronger as the country's $74 billion national pension fund allocated nearly $500 million to Chinese buyout shops CDH Investments and Hony Capital.\n\nThe National Council for Social Security Fund, or NSSF, placed 2 billion yuan ($289 million) with each firm continuing the drive by China to put state-controlled assets to work.\n\nBloomberg reports that Dai Xianglong, chairman of the NSSF, as saying: \n\n "We must step up the expansion of our investment channels to boost returns," Dai said at a conference in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin. "If I only put China's pension money in low-earning deposits, how will I answer to the public?"\n\n\nNSSF is expanding into alternative investments as it seeks higher returns to help extend coverage to more of China's 1.3 billion people as the nation dismantles its cradle-to-grave welfare program. The Chinese pension fund announced last week it received approval to invest up to 10% of its assets in private equity funds.\n\nBoth CDH Investments and Hony Capital are domestic Chinese private equity firms. Hony Capital is the LBO arm of China-based Legend Holdings Ltd., and CDH Investments is the former investment arm of China International Capital Corp., according to Bloomberg.\n\nAfter decades of keeping its reserves primarily in U.S. Treasuries, China has been aggressively expanding into alternative asset classes. The country's sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp., is reportedly in the final stages of talks with eight firms including Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley for each of them to manage fixed-income funds ranging from $250 million to $600 million. It is also in advanced talks with JC Flowers & Co. LLC regarding the LBO shop managing a $4 billion private equity fund for the sovereign wealth fund. - George White\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Coca Cola Femsa paraliza planta en Venezuela

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Coca Cola Femsa paraliza planta en Venezuela\n\nLa unidad en Venezuela de la cervecera y embotelladora mexicana Coca Cola Femsa dijo el martes que su producción estaba paralizada por el bloqueo de sus plantas y centros de distribución por parte de antiguos trabajadores y contratistas, que exigen el pago de deudas laborales.\n\nLos manifestantes cerraron desde la madrugada del sábado el acceso a las cuatro plantas de Coca Cola Femsa, situadas en los estados Zulia, Carabobo, Anzoátegui y en Caracas, y adicionalmente impidieron el paso en unos 24 centros de distribución en todo el país.\n\nEl director de Recursos Humanos y portavoz de la firma, Ignacio Mayorca, dijo que la firma ha perdido unos 15 millones de dólares por el cierre de los accesos de sus sedes, en tres oportunidades, en lo que va de año.\n\n"Estas tomas han traído consecuencias no sólo de producción, sino que afecta a los trabajadores," dijo Mayorca en una conferencia de prensa.\n\nEl directivo pidió a las autoridades gubernamentales cumplir con unas 27 medidas de desalojo dictadas por los tribunales en los últimos meses, en las que se ordena el retiro de los manifestantes para permitir el libre acceso a las instalaciones.\n\nEl Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) que intervino para buscar una salida al conflicto laboral dio el lunes por terminada la mediación en el caso de la embotelladora.\n\nLa corte exhortó a los involucrados al diálogo para encontrar una "solución satisfactoria."\n\nLa embotelladora alega que los manifestantes nunca pertenecieron a su plantilla, mientras que estos exigen ser tratados como ex empleados, por lo que esperan el pago de indemnizaciones previstas en la ley.\n\nCoca Cola Femsa posee cuatro plantas embotelladoras en Venezuela, 32 centros de distribución y una plantilla de unos 8.000 trabajadores en el país.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • on 06-10-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Final encore for a man of the people

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Final encore for a man of the people

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neville Isdell is an imposing figure; more than six feet tall and solidly built, he is often referred to in the media as a former rugby player, a reference to his sporting days at university in South Africa. But as he prepares to step down after four years as chief executive of Coca-Cola, it is a more nuanced biographical detail that he prefers to accentuate.\n\n“My major was sociology; I’m a qualified social worker,” he says. “I do think it is all about people.”\n\nWhen he took the helm in June 2004, many of the people at Coke were not very happy. Neither were the board nor the shareholders. Nor were the independent bottlers who mix and distribute Coke, Sprite and the group’s other leading brands.\n\nThe world’s biggest soft drink company seemed to have lost its way after the dramatic global expansion in the 1990s under Roberto Goizueta. Sales of sparkling drinks in the US were in decline and its marketing was uninspired. Its strategy was unclear: Coke had lost out to PepsiCo in a battle for Gatorade and had abandoned a botched attempt to launch its Dasani water brand in Europe. There was also a simmering war going on with its independent bottlers over price increases.\n\n Reputation-builder refused to be sidetracked by Olympic protest\n Neville Isdell\n\n Neville Isdell is an advocate of leading by listening. But he shows flashes of deep irritation when talking about the protesters who disrupted this year’s Olympic torch relay, of which Coke is the leading international sponsor.\n\n ”I am really opposed to what the demonstrators have been doing. And I’m really opposed to the way they have treated the Chinese government as a result.\n\n ”It’s the 3 to 4 per cent who try to influence the 96 per cent by utilising a symbol,” he complains, comparing the protests to the “Killer Coke” campaign by student and labour activists that has led to a number of US campus boycotts of Coke products.\n\n Under Mr Isdell, Coke has adopted a more engaged response to reputational issues. Last year, Coke joined the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights, formed a partnership with the WWF on water conservation, and set a goal of “water neutrality” for its own manufacturing plants.\n\n “If you do those things, the other 96 per cent looks at you in a positive way, they see you in a positive part of society. And the siren song of that 4 per cent doesn’t get that resonance.”\n\nMr Isdell, a former senior bottling executive who turns 65 this month, was enticed out of retirement by a board that wanted a chief executive who knew both sides of the Coke system – meaning both CocaCola and the bottlers.\n\nHe says he had a clear idea about what he wanted to achieve, and how he intended to go about it. “You don’t want to come and do quick fixes. When I accepted I agreed with the board that I was going to set it up for the long term and I believe that I have,” he says.\n\nWithin his first month, Mr Isdell made two substantial changes, appointing a new head of human resources who would report directly to him – giving him close control over what he calls “the people equation” – and creating a new “bottling investment group” to repair the relationship between the two halves of the business.\n\nHis next move was to create a shared agreement among Coke’s own people about what needed to be done. It was important, he says, to focus on the obvious question of what exactly Coca-Cola was, and what it was not, in spite of a clamour of calls from investors and analysts for action on everything from Coke’s assertive board to its lack of non-carbonated beverages.\n\nBefore his arrival, he says, Coke had various strategic statements about its purpose. “But there was [no] coherence to them and...there were clearly mixed messages out there.”\n\nSo in the summer of 2004, 150 of Coke’s top managers were brought together for three days in Miami, for a series of discussions on a new “manifesto”. In the break-out sessions, Mr Isdell sat listening to people “pour out what they felt was wrong”. “That is an important part of the rebuilding process ... And then you say, ‘here’s what you said is wrong with our business...so what are we going to do about it?’”\n\nMr Isdell’s people skills are integral to his management style. He is at pains to put people at their ease, a characteristic shown by his habit of waiting outside the interview room to greet his guests.\n\nHe can also still deliver an authentic Northern Irish accent, although he left his birthplace for southern Africa at the age of 10.\n\nAfter leaving university, Mr Isdell joined Coke’s local bottler in Zambia in 1966, and six years later became general manager of Coca-Cola Bottling of Johannesburg, the largest Coke bottler in Africa. Subsequently, he held positions in Australia, the Philippines and Germany, before moving to Europe and spearheading the expansion of Coke into new markets in India, the Middle East and eastern Europe and Russia in the 1990s.\n\nBy the time he retired for the first time in 2001, he was vice-chairman of Coca-Cola HBC, the company’s leading European bottler. He was running his own Barbados-based investment company when he was called back by Coke.\n\nMr Isdell’s long history at the company strengthened his resolve to focus on core products. At one break-out session in Miami, managers echoed Wall Street analysts who were suggesting that Coke should try to emulate Pepsi’s acquisition of the Frito-Lay snack company, which reduced its dependency on the historically declining fizzy drinks business.\n\n“My reply was simply this: ‘You’re all telling me that we are not running our own business at all well. So why would we buy another business, and think we could run that any better than the people who are there? Unless, you’re telling me that we need to get their management to come and run our business.’\n\n“That closed down that debate. That’s where you swing it, and they say, ‘Got it, we’re clear.’”\n\nThe new manifesto, by his own admission, “is not earth shattering”; it says, for instance, that the company will “reinvigorate growth...by building a portfolio of branded beverages, anchored in our icon, Coca-Cola”. But, he says, “it does reflect who and what we are”.\n\nArmed with $400m in additional spending on marketing and innovation from the board, he helped select Weiden & Kennedy as Coke’s new advertising agency – working with Mary Minnick, whom he had brought to Atlanta from Asia in May 2005 to head marketing and innovation.\n\nMs Minnick’s proven talents created one of the toughest decisions of the four years – who would become the next chief executive.\n\nMr Isdell’s preference was for Muhtar Kent, rather than Ms Minnick. The two had worked together at the Amatil-Europe bottling subsidiary, building market share in eastern Europe in the 1990s.\n\nHowever, Mr Kent had left Coke in 1998 after a sale of Amatil shares led to his investigation by Australian regulators for alleged insider trading. But Mr Isdell was convinced of his former colleague’s leadership potential and persuaded the board the younger man should return to Coke.\n\nIn 2006 Mr Kent was appointed chief operating officer and the following year was named international president. Though Ms Minnick subsequently left the company, Mr Isdell says he would have loved her to stay.\n\nAs Mr Isdell prepares to stand down, he says that the toughest period came 18 months after he took over, when Wall Street and the media could see no measurable improvements. Then, he said, he focused on keeping people on course, by preparing them for a difficult stage that he argues is part of every turnround effort.\n\n“You know it’s working. But most people don’t believe it’s working...That’s when people tend to panic, and go back to short termism. And then you have to stick with it...talked to everyone a lot about that, just to make sure I kept those people with me.”\n\nUnder Mr Isdell, the company has recorded steady international sales growth of more than 4 per cent over the past 12 quarters. And while sales in the US are being depressed by the slowdown in economic demand, he argues that the key carbonated drinks business is “on track” for better results, supported by initiatives such as new bottle design.\n\nMr Isdell believes Mr Kent is, like himself, a man with people skills, and describes the UK-educated son of a Turkish diplomat as “ambassadorial”.\n\n“He’s one of the world’s great best networkers, and that’s what you need in the business that we’re in. He’s really excellent at that.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          China’s Haier considers bid for GE unit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chinese white-goods maker Qingdao Haier is considering a bid for General Electric’s appliance business and has begun to approach investment banks to advise it, according to a person familiar with the matter.\n\nHaier is one of a large group of potential bidders across the globe with an interest in acquiring the GE operations, which could fetch up to $7bn.\nEDITOR’S CHOICE\nGE wins $1bn gas turbine deal in Algeria - Jun-09\nGE eyes suitors for appliance business - May-28\nBuoyant GE sees ‘green’ sales up by 15% - May-28\nLex: General Electric - May-15\nGE feeling the squeeze in Asia - May-19\nGE could sell appliances unit - May-15\n\nPeople familiar with the process said that white-goods makers from South Korea, Germany, Turkey, Mexico, Sweden and Italy, as well as private equity groups, were looking at the business, which had sales of $7.2bn last year but has long been one of the least profitable parts of GE.\n\nIn 2005, Haier teamed up with private equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone to bid for another American icon, the appliances group Maytag, but lost that contest to Ripplewood Holdings.\n\nSince that time, manufacturers in China and India have bid for manufacturing companies in the US, seeking to marry their low-cost production facilities with US brands and distribution.\n\nChinese makers of white goods and consumer electronics have been able to compete not only on price but also on quality with rivals in Korea and Japan. At the same time, money has become much less of an obstacle for Chinese and Indian groups than just a few years ago.\n\nWhen Haier first looked at Maytag, it lacked deep pockets and depended on partners to finance the offer. But now the Chinese currency has appreciated and the Chinese government is encouraging companies to invest abroad, in part to offset its huge current account surplus.\n\nExecutives at China Investment Corp say that one of their mandates is to help finance such moves abroad. Banks such as China Development Bank could also be tapped to help finance a bid and even take a slice of equity in any deal.\n\nWhile Haier no longer needs the financial strength of a partner, management issues remain a weakness for Chinese groups.\n\nThat suggests that Haier may consider a strategic alliance with a local US partner. Chinese computer maker Lenovo turned to private equity firms General Atlantic and TPG for help in melding diverse cultures after it bought the personal computer business of International Business Machines in 2005.\n\nThe timetable for the auction has not yet been determined.\n\nGE declined to comment. Haier could not be immediately reached for comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Foster’s chief quits after profits warning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The chief executive of Foster’s has quit after the Australian beer and wine group issued a profits warning and cut the value of its global wine assets by A$700m (US$664m).\n\nNews of Trevor O’Hoy’s departure comes as Foster’s announced a strategic review of its poorly performing wine operations, which have been further undermined in recent months by the strength of the Australian dollar.\nEDITOR’S CHOICE\nLex: Foster’s regrets - Jun-10\nFoster’s foresees a ‘challenging’ US market - Feb-19\nCobra returns to UK to cut costs - May-02\nSan Miguel cuts IPO pricing - Apr-11\nFoster's spurns UK wine market - Mar-01\n\nDavid Crawford, chairman, said the group had “paid too much to acquire wine assets”.\n\n“The reality is we did not execute the Southcorp integration as well as we expected and operating conditions are now more challenging.”\n\nFoster’s three years ago paid A$3.2bn for Southcorp, the winemaker whose brands include Penfolds, Rosemount Estate and Lindemans. The deal made Foster’s one of the world’s largest listed beer and wine companies, but the Australian company is widely regarded as having paid too much for the business.\n\nIn a note to clients ahead of Tuesday’s news, Macquarie Research said Foster’s was in a difficult position. “Trading performance is weak and conditions look set to get even more challenging,” the investment bank said.\n\nFoster’s said constant currency earnings per share growth was expected to be between 5 per cent and 7 per cent for the financial year ending June 30, compared with previous guidance of 10 per cent growth.\n\nIt also expects full-year profit after tax and before significant items of A$700m to A$715m, compared with brokers’ forecasts of A$730m.\n\nThe shares rose 6 cents to A$5.45 in early trading.\n\nFoster’s said its second half had been hit by “continuing disappointing results from wine in the Americas and slower revenue growth in Australia” and it would write down the value of its global wine assets by up to A$700m.\n\n”Trading conditions have been tough and the continued strength of the Australian dollar has hit us hard,” Mr Crawford said, adding wine returns had not been acceptable and he would oversee a review of the wine operations.\n\nFoster’s said it was still too early to say whether it would sell wine assets. Foster’s paid close to A$2.9bn in 2000 to acquire Beringer, the Californian wine company.\n\nHowever, Mr Crawford said the Australian beer business was delivering strong returns.\n\nMr O’Hoy became Foster’s chief executive just over four years ago and was at the helm when the company acquired Southcorp.\n\nHe will stay on to “facilitate an orderly transition until the appointment of his successor”, Foster’s said.\n\n”It’s now time to stand aside and allow the next generation of management to lead the business forward,” Mr O’Hoy, a 33-year veteran of Foster’s, said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Peter Swinborn Succeeds Leo Kiely As Molson Coors Chief Executive - WSJ.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Molson Coors Brewing Co. named Peter Swinburn its new chief executive to succeed Leo Kiely, who will head the impending U.S. joint venture between Molson Coors and SABMiller PLC.\n\nMolson Coors also appointed Stewart Glendinning as global chief financial officer to succeed Tim Wolf, who will be chief integration officer-designate of the joint venture. Both appointments will be effective when the venture closes, expected by June 30.\n\nMr. Swinburn, a 34-year veteran of the beer industry and the current chief executive of the Coors Brewing unit, had been seen as a prime candidate for the CEO post.\n\nIn October, the joint-venture plans were announced the same day Molson Coors said Mr. Swinburn would become chief executive of Coors Brewing, effective Dec. 1. Mr. Swinburn, who has also been serving as president, previously held other management posts in the company, which he joined in 2002.\n\nMr. Glendinning is currently the finance chief of Coors Brewers Ltd., the U.K.-based subsidiary of Molson Coors. Mr. Wolf, who has been the company's finance chief since 2005, was named chief integration officer-designate of the joint venture in April.\n\nReferring to Mr. Glendenning, Chairman Eric Molson said, "His accounting and finance experience at a global level ensure that we will continue to focus on building a solid financial foundation at Molson Coors while making certain that our global growth opportunities contribute strongly to our bottom line."\n\nThe merger of the U.S. operations of SABMiller and Molson Coors will create more potent competition for beer-industry leader Anheuser-Busch Cos. The new joint venture, approved by the Justice Department last week and the European Commission in April, will control nearly 30% of beer sales in the U.S.\n\nWith wine, liquor and small-batch "craft" beers snatching U.S. market share from mainstream brewers, Mr. Kiely has been in a tough spot at the helm of Molson Coors. Still, he has managed to increase sales and profit by deploying simple marketing strategies and slashing costs.\n\nMr. Kiely joined Coors in 1993 after stints at PepsiCo Inc.'s Frito-Lay and Procter & Gamble Co. He oversaw the merger of Colorado's Adolph Coors Co. and Canada's Molson Inc. in 2005, and is now again working on merging some of the operations of two large beer companies for the Molson Coors and SABMiller joint venture.\n\nMolson Coors, the third-largest U.S. brewer by sales, positions its flagship brand, Coors Light, as "the world's most refreshing beer," and touts the "smooth" taste of Keystone Light, its main discount brand. It also boasts a fast-growing craft-style beer of its own, Blue Moon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Constellation Brands sells US wine assets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Constellation Brands Inc. Tuesday said it has sold certain U.S. wine assets to privately-held Eight Estates Fine Wines LLC for US$209m in cash, and a possible additional US$25m in payments if Eight Estates reaches certain objectives.\n\nConstellation plans to use the proceeds from the sale to reduce its borrowings.\n\nAs a result of the transaction, the company expects to record a pretax loss of about $23m, or 8 cents a share.\n\nFor 2009, the company sees adjusted earnings of US$1.68 to US$1.76 a share. The mean estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of US$1.70 a share in 2009.\n\nConstellation shares closed at US$20.77 on Monday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexico's Telmex spins off South American operations | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Telmex Internacional made its debut on the Mexican stock market on Tuesday in a multibillion-dollar spinoff from parent Telmex, the country's largest fixed-line phone operator.\n\nTelmex Internacional TELINTL.MX shares rose almost 1 percent to 8.39 pesos.\n\nShares of its parent Telmex (TELMEXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 3.65 percent to 12.71 pesos following the separation of the two businesses controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim.\n\nTelmex Internacional, which runs cable television operators and Internet service providers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, is seen as having more growth potential than Telmex.\n\nThat gives investors a choice of plays between a new company that has its eyes on expanding throughout South America and the parent Telmex, a stagnant giant that delivers solid profits and dividends. (Reporting by Chris Aspin and Noel Randewich)\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Southern Copper invertirá US$934 millones en Arequipa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tome nota: 934 millones de dólares. Ese es el monto que tiene pensado invertir, y que ya está desembolsando, la empresa minera Southern Copper Corporation (SCC) en el yacimiento de cobre Tía María, ubicado en el distrito de Cocachacra, en la provincia arequipeña de Islay, el cual comenzará a producir a partir del 2010. \n\n\nDespués de recorrer la zona, el presidente de SCC, Óscar Gonzales Rocha, refirió a El Comercio que la explotación del yacimiento constituirá una jugada ganadora para todos, pues, en principio, permitirá que la empresa incremente su producción en unas 120.000 toneladas, lo que a su vez representará unos 900 millones de dólares en ventas. \n\n\nAñadió que los otros grandes triunfadores serán el país, porque podría llegar a recibir 250 millones de dólares en impuestos, así como el departamento de Arequipa, que obtendría otros 120 millones de dólares por concepto de canon minero. A ello hay que sumarle 20 millones de dólares de regalías y 1,25% de sus utilidades como aporte voluntario.\n\n\nPor ahora la empresa ya empezó a invertir en Tía María. Aunque se espera la aprobación de los estudios de impacto ambiental para agosto, a la fecha ha comprometido una inversión de 400 millones de dólares para adquirir equipos requeridos para poner en marcha la producción. \n\n\nCon este propósito, Southern ha adquirido 20 volquetes de 240 toneladas, 2 palas de 60 yardas de capacidad, 2 perforadoras, tractores, motoconformadores, cisternas para el riego de caminos, entre otros implementos, además de insumos para las chancadoras primarias, secundarias y terciarias.\n\n\nSegún los planes de la empresa, el mineral se exportará en contenedores al puerto de Matarani, y para ello se construirá un tramo de ferrocarril desde La Joya. La propuesta tiene que ver con la construcción de un ramal de 35 kilómetros de rieles adicionales al ya construido. Gonzales indicó que la empresa que representa espera la propuesta de Perú Rail para tender la vía, de lo contrario --dijo-- serán ellos mismos quienes se harán responsables. Para ello se proyecta con una inversión aproximada de 40 millones de dólares.\n\n\n\n\nCONTACTO CON LA POBLACIÓN\nEl directivo destacó, igualmente, que Southern se había acercado a la población del distrito de Cocachacra desde el año pasado y que en convenio con Tecsup capacita a 380 jóvenes de la provincia de Islay para que participen en la construcción de la mina, la cual debe comenzar en el 2009 y demandará dos años. Según mencionó, solo en esta etapa se generarán 1.500 empleos directos temporales.\n\n\nEl representante de la empresa espera que los 400 trabajadores que hagan falta cuando el yacimiento de Tía María comience a operar provengan de la zona y que se contrate a una mínima parte de operadores de otros lugares del país.\n\n\nCocachacra es un distrito eminentemente agrícola. La mayoría de sus 9.301 habitantes está dedicada a producir arroz, caña de azúcar, páprika, entre otros. Sin embargo está lejos de ser considerado próspero. La pobreza en la que se ve sumergida la gente que habita allí se refleja en la carencia de los servicios básicos. \n\n\nSEPA MÁS\nUn yacimiento minero con potencial\n4 El proyecto Tía María es parte de un sistema de pórfidos de cobre, con recursos de 638 millones de toneladas de mineral con un promedio de 0,39% de cobre contenido.\n4 El Ministerio de Energía y Minas ya ha organizado dos talleres de información con la población de Cocachacra. El tercero se desarrollará próximamente.\n4 Gonzales sostiene que hay tres alternativas para el uso de agua. La primera tiene que ver con la perforación de dos pozos en la desembocadura del río Tambo. La segunda es perforar pozos a la orilla del mar. Allí, una parte del recurso hídrico se desalinizaría y otra se usaría salinizada. La última opción es construir una represa en Huayrondo, de la cual también se beneficiaría la población.\n\n\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vale board approves share sale worth up to $15 bln | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SAO PAULO, June 10 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining giant Vale (VALE5.SA: Quote, Profile, Research)(RIO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday its board of directors had approved a share offering worth up to $15 billion to help finance its current investment plan.\n\nVale said in a statement that it still hadn't determined the terms of the sale, which is still subject to approval by Brazil's securities regulator.\n\nIt said it would use the proceeds from the offering to finance organic growth and potential takeovers, as stipulated in a $59 billion investment plan. But it also stressed that it was not currently negotiating any "strategic acquisitions."\n\n(Reporting by Todd Benson, editing by Dave Zimmerman)\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Telmex Internacional inicia debut bursátil

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nota Telmex Internacional inicia debut bursátil Teléfonos de México inicia su debut.\nLas acciones de Telmex Internacional (TI), compañía que concentra los activos en el extranjero de la telefónica, cotizarán simultáneamente en la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV), en el New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) y en Madrid en el Latibex; esto a seis meses de que se aprobara la escisión.\n\nEl precio de apertura de los títulos de TI será determinado mediante la celebración de una subasta, la cual dará inicio 30 minutos antes de que comiencen las operaciones oficiales en la BMV.\n\nEn diciembre del 2007, Telmex decidió separar sus operaciones fuera de México de las del interior del país para crear Telmex Internacional, compañía que tiene presencia en Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Perú, Ecuador y Uruguay.\n\nAsí, a partir de hoy las acciones series "L", "AA" y "A" de TI, cuya clave de pizarra será TELINT, se incorporarán a los distintos índices de la plaza bursátil local.\n\n"Estimamos que los valores de Telmex Internacional podrían iniciar cotizaciones en un rango de entre 7 a algo más de 8 pesos por acción", dijo Martín González, analista de Invex Casa de Bolsa.\n\nParalelamente, los títulos de TI comenzarán a cotizar en el Latibex, mercado de empresas latinoamericanas que operan en euros en Madrid, dijo la operadora bursátil Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) En la actualidad, el Latibex está integrado por 39 emisoras, de las cuales, con la incorporación de TI, 10 son las empresas mexicanas de distintos sectores que cotizan en ese mercado.\n\nDe acuerdo con BME, la emisora formará parte del índice bursátil FTSE Latibex Top con el código de negociación "XTII".\n\nMientras que en el NYSE, los valores bajo contratos de American Depositary Shares´s (ADS) cotizarán con el símbolo TII.\n\n\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FedEx va por más PYMES

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Proyección Pyme FedEx va por más PYMES Hablar de exportaciones en las pequeñas y medianas empresas (PYMES), es hablar aún de una serie de retos para insertarlas exitosamente a nivel global.\nEstadísticas de la Asociación Nacional de Importadores y Exportadores de la República Mexicana (ANIERM), que preside José Othón Ramírez Gutiérrez, revelan que sólo entre 6 y 7% de las PYMES lograron exportar en el 2007.\n\nEste porcentaje nos muestra claramente que los negocios no sólo están enfrentado obstáculos en su formación y operación, sino también en la falta de acompañamiento para este proceso.\n\nY es justamente aquí donde hace cinco años la compañía de exportación y logística Federal Express, que a nivel Latinoamérica y el Caribe dirige Juan N.\n\nCento, encontró en las PYMES una oportunidad para incrementar su número de clientes y a su vez ayudarlas a tener una mejor inserción en el comercio exterior.\n\nSe trata de su programa FedEx PymexMembership, liderado exitosamente por Fernando Juárez, el cual ya se replica en otras partes de la región, llevando a las PYMES asesoría, información y herramientas que les ayudan a tener una mejor incursión en el comercio exterior.\n\nFuentes cercanas afirman que el programa en breve estará ofreciendo la información, los cursos y la asesoría sobre los Tratados de Libre Comercio y convenios que México tiene con distintos países alrededor del mundo, para también acercar a las PYMES a las ventajas que ofrecen estos acuerdos.\n\nPero es ésta también, una nueva estrategia de la compañía para consolidarse en este sector empresarial, e incrementar el número de PYMES que han atendido a lo largo de estos cinco años formalmente, y que suman los 9,000 negocios pequeños, sin contar a las empresas y personas que han llamado al call center de la compañía y que ya suman otras 9,000.\n\nLa empresa afirma que sigue trabajando para romper la percepción que tienen los negocios de que FedEx sólo atiende a los corporativos y las grandes compañías exportadoras; y esto lo hace también incrementando el número de convenios con universidades, asociaciones y los gobiernos de los estados, para no sólo impulsar a las empresas que ya operan y han intentado exportar, sino encontrar a aquellas que tienen un fuerte potencial para hacerlo, así como generar negocios que desde su nacimiento traigan la vocación para hacer comercio exterior.\n\nSabemos que lo que necesitan las PYMES son impulso y asesoría no proteccionismo y subsidios, por eso, este tipo de programas son muy alentadores y muy de la mano con las exigencias de la globalización.\n\nMéxico, el año pasado exportó casi 20,000 millones de dólares por parte de las PYMES, principalmente de sectores como el automotriz y de alimentos procesados, donde siguen habiendo grandes oportunidades para hacer comercio exterior.\n\nSin embargo, son más las industrias con este potencial y que además podrían entrar en nuevos mercados como el europeo o el asiático Enhorabuena por FedEx, por este tipo de iniciativas.\n\n*Especialista en la pequeña y mediana empresa.\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dubai World buys Wal-Mart property firm Gazeley | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LONDON (Reuters) - Dubai World said on Tuesday it had bought Wal-Mart-owned (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) property developer Gazeley Limited, and a source familiar with the matter said the Dubai government investment firm had paid between 300 and 400 million pounds ($588-$784 million).\n\nDubai World would not comment on the price.\n\nSultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Dubai World's chairman, said in a statement the acquisition was a milestone in the global expansion of its subsidiary Economics Zones World (EZW).\n\nEZW operates the 48 square kilometer (18.53 sq mile) Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.\n\nGazeley has built Wal-Mart's distribution warehouses in Britain and China and is helping the world's biggest retailer with its expansion into India and Latin America.\n\nGazeley's clients include Wal-Mart suppliers such as\n\nProcter & Gamble (PG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research), and third-party logistics firms such as DHL DHL.UL and Kuehne & Nagel International (KNIN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research).\n\nAnother Dubai World unit Limitless LLC was linked last month to a takeover of London office developer Minerva (MNR.L: Quote, Profile, Research), while a third, Leisurecorp, said it had agreed to buy the Scottish golf resort of Turnberry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Colombian Electrica de Medellin To Invest $50 Mln in 100 MW TPP in Chile

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Colombian utility Compania Electrica de Medellin plans to build a $50 mln (31.8 mln euro) thermoelectric power plant (TPP) with a capacity of 100 MW in Chile's southern region, Chilean daily Estrategia reported on June 6, 2008. \n\nThe new plant's location has not yet been defined. The plant will be Compania Electrica de Medellin's second power project in Chile. It will be carried out by Chilean utility Generadora del Pacifico (Genpac). The first project is the 96 MW Copiapo TPP, in Atacama region, northern Chile, which is seen to demand investments of $40 mln (25.5 mln euro). According to Genpac's representative in Chile, Luis Fernando Ortega, the Chilean national environmental commission Conama extended by 30 days the deadline for the completion of its analysis on Copiapo. Hence the analysis will be completed in the first week of July 2008. Thus the plant's construction may begin in August 2008 with power generation slated to begin in January 2009. The environmental impact study on Copiapo was submitted at end-February 2008. \n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Saieh-rendic group buys another supermarket chain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Saieh-Rendic group, Chile’s third-largest owner of supermarkets, announced Friday its purchase of the Ribeiro supermarket chain. This purchase represents the thirteenth acquisition made by the group, created in December by a partnership between businessman Alvaro Saieh and the Rendic family, Ribeiro - run by the Gonzalez family- has seven stores in the Santiago Metropolitan Region and a 0.2 percent of the national supermarket share.With this latest purchase, the Saieh-Rendic conglomerate, which also owns Farmacias Ahumada, now has close to 14.7 percent of the market, with around US$1.3 billion in annual sales.\n\nEarlier this year the Saieh-Rendic group purchased the supermarket chains Los Naranjos in Region IV and Korlaet in Region II. The Saieh-Rendic’s presence in both Region V and the Santiago Metropolitan Region is increasing where it already owns the Bryc, Unimarc and Montserrat chains.\n\nStill, the company’s market share is still well below D&S, which owns Líder, and Cencosud, which owns Jumbo. D&S and Cencosud control 33.5 and 31.3 percent of the market, respectively (ST, May 1).\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Willis cuts 2009, raises 2010 share forecast | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Willis Group Holdings (WSH.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the No. 3 global insurance broker, said on Monday it sees its $1.7 billion deal for a rival broker resulting in lower earnings in 2009, and modestly raised its 2010 forecast.\n\nChief Executive Joseph Plumeri, on a conference call with reporters, said Willis had pursued the deal with Richmond, Virginia-based Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co (HRH.N: Quote, Profile, Research), announced late on Sunday, to achieve growth in key parts of the North American market.\n\nPlumeri said 2008 earnings are still expected to be in a range of $2.85 to $2.95 a share, on an adjusted basis. And in 2009 the brokerage sees earnings per share of $3.15 to $3.25 a share, lowered from an earlier $3.30 to $3.40 per share forecast.\n\nThe company raised its 2010 outlook for adjusted earnings per share by 5 cents to a range of $4.05 to $4.15 a share.\n\nWillis shares were 2.5 percent lower in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while HRH shares were up more than 43 percent. (Reporting by Lilla Zuill; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brazil oil field poised to transform economy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Brazilian government believes it is sitting on reserves of between 40bn and 50bn barrels of oil in recently discovered fields off the country's coast in the South Atlantic, Guido Mantega, the country's finance minister, has told the Financial Times.\n\nIf proven, the reserves would transform Brazil from a nation self-sufficient in oil but a minor player in the global industry into one of the world's big oil powers.\n\nAdded to current reserves of 14.4bn barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent, they would potentially make Brazil the eighth biggest oil nation in the world, overtaking Russia. But there is increasing concern in the industry over how the government will handle concessions for oil companies to operate in the new fields.\n\nUnder existing rules, companies bid for concessions to operate oil and gas fields on a risk basis, paying royalties to the government on the revenues they earn.\n\nBut this system may change to one of "shared production", under which the reserves would remain the property of the government and oil companies would operate as service providers - a system much less attractive to the industry.\n\n"We are working on a new model to leave most of the new reserves in control of the nation," Mr Mantega said in an interview on Friday, although he stressed that no decision had yet been taken on which system would be adopted.\n\nIn a hearing before Brazil's Senate last week, Sérgio Gabrielli, president of Petrobrás, the governmentcontrolled oil group, argued in favour of the shared production model. Under existing rules, he said, "we would be giving [oil companies] a huge chance of drawing a winning ticket".\n\nMr Mantega appeared to support this view. "The concession system works when you don't know if the oil is there or not. Now there is no longer any risk, we know the oil is there, so the picture has changed."\n\nNews of the reserves first emerged late last year when Petrobrás said a well drilled in what is known as the Tupi field had suggested reserves of as much as 8bn barrels. Reports in specialist media later said the potential of the entire area under study could be as much as 33bn barrels, although Petrobrás has insisted it is too early to put a precise figure on the reserves.\n\nThe new finds are located about 250km off Brazil's coast under 2,000m of water and another 4,000m beneath the sea bed, trapped under a layer of salt about 800km long and 200km wide. Because the salt is under enormous pressure, making it volatile and extremely hot, getting at the new finds is difficult and expensive. But every exploratory well sunk through the salt layer so far has found oil, suggesting a low level of risk.\n\nNevertheless, analysts warn that oil companies will be deterred from investing in the new fields if the government adopts a shared production model.\n\n"Brazil has every chance of attracting a lot of investment to transform [the new fields'] prospects into production," said Adriano Pires, an oil industry specialist in Rio de Janeiro. "But it seems that the nationalist wing of the government does not want this to happen."\n\n"It makes no sense for oil companies to take part in this system," said an oil analyst at an investment bank in São Paulo who asked not to be named. "The limits [placed on companies] are huge, it's hard to make plans, and the amount of state interference is very strong."\n\nLast year the government removed from its annual round of concession auctions all blocks inside the area over the salt layer. Officials say all concessions already granted over or near the salt layer will be respected but there are no plans to auction any more concessions in the area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mexico counts cost of keeping prices down

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pick up any newspaper in Mexico these days and stories abound of working mothers and housewives counting out the coins in the corner shop only to find that they can no longer afford the bag of beans they have been buying for years.\n\nAs in so many other countries, inflation is dominating the news in Mexico. But while the headlines scream about the rising cost of food – 7.4 per cent in the past 12 months – they have distracted attention from another phenomenon: overall inflation is still low in comparison with Mexico’s neighbours.\n\nThe January to May consumer prices index published on Monday rose just 1.6 per cent, bringing inflation during the past 12 months to 4.95 per cent. That is much higher than the country’s central bank would like, and is now above the bank’s 4 per cent upper limit – its annual target is 3 per cent with a margin of one percentage point either side.\n\nBut it is also much lower than in neighbouring Guatemala, where inflation has grown 4.3 per cent since January and 10.4 per cent over the past 12 months. In Costa Rica, prices are rising 11 per cent a year. In Chile, long Latin America’s star performer, inflation during the past 12 months hit 8.3 per cent in April. Even in the US, prices increased more in 2007 than they did in Mexico – although they have only gone up 3.9 per cent over the past 12 months to April.\n\nMexico’s secret weapon has been subsidies. Soaring prices of the country’s ubiquitous staple, the tortilla, stoked protests last year. But a government hand-out to the country’s principal corn producers has helped to keep the prices from climbing out of control since then. “It has worked well,” Agustín Carstens, Mexico’s finance minister, told the FT in a recent interview. Political analysts agree the deal has helped lower the potential for social unrest in a country where more than 40 per cent of the 106m population lives under the poverty line, and where the poorest spend more than half their total income on food.\n\nWhat is more, the subsidy has been relatively cheap: about $300m (€191m, £152m) over the past year or so. Last week, the centre-right government of President Felipe Calderón announced a new raft of measures, including subsidies for Mexico’s agricultural sector as well as a temporary suspension of import tariffs on grains such as rice, wheat, corn and sorghum.\n\nBut the biggest impact on keeping prices lower has come from the complex formula the government uses to calculate domestic petrol prices and which for the past few years has acted much like a subsidy: go to any state-owned petrol station in Mexico today and the price of a litre will be at least 30 per cent cheaper than in the US, where prices are not set by the government.\n\nAccording to Raúl Feliz, an economist at Mexico City’s CIDE think-tank, the direct effect of this subsidy has been to reduce inflation by 1.2 percentage points. Factor in the indirect effects and overall inflation would be running as high as 2.5 percentage points above current levels. “We would be living in a different universe,” he says.\n\nCan the government keep the scheme going forever? Maybe not. Enrique Quintana, a respected economist and columnist in Reforma newspaper, says one problem is that the subsidy benefits gas-guzzling middle and upper classes far more than the neediest, who consume relatively little petrol.\n\nA second, and more pressing problem is that in the past few months, the government has suddenly found itself picking up the tab in a context of rising international prices and falling local production. Mexico’s crude oil production has fallen from 3.4m barrels per day a few years ago to just 2.8m bpd, and insufficient and ageing refineries have meant that the country has to import more than 40 per cent of its gasoline needs.\n\nThat, coupled with rising gasoline prices, has resulted in Mr Calderon’s administration spending about $5bn on the subsidy in the first quarter of this year alone – roughly 25 per cent more than Mexico’s 2008 road-building programme. For the whole of last year, the subsidy cost $4.5bn.\n\nFor these and other reasons, Guillermo Ortiz, governor of Mexico’s central bank, concludes the hand-out must eventually go. But getting rid of it would have a negative effect on inflation, which Mexico and Latin American countries have fought so hard to control. The result leaves Mr Calderon’s administration in a difficult position. As Mr Ortiz told the FT recently: “You have to phase out subsidies in a way that does not add excessively to inflationary pressures, and that is precisely the dilemma.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Investment banks press on with Asia expansion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Global investment banks are defying the credit squeeze to press ahead with expansion plans in Asia, with China and India expected to provide increasingly important revenue streams.\n\nThe banks continue to hire at a local level from rivals and to relocate star performers from London and New York offices to Asia, amid the backdrop of strong regional growth compared with the US and Europe.\n\nGoldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley have all announced plans to move important personnel to their operations in Asia.\n\nVikram Gandhi, global head of the financial institutions group at Credit Suisse, is to move from New York to Hong Kong this summer – the first time Credit Suisse has based a global investment banking head in Asia.\n\nGoldman Sachs last week announced that Richard Campbell-Breeden, one of its top European dealmakers, would relocate to Hong Kong this year to co-head its Asian mergers and acquisitions practice, excluding Japan. Goldman has this year recruited or relocated a further 15 senior bankers to its securities division in Asia.\n\nDeutsche Bank has moved Noreddine Sebti, its global head of equity trading, from New York to Hong Kong. Morgan Stanley is shifting Scott Matlock, global head of media M&A, from London to Hong Kong to fill the new post of chairman of Asian M&A.\n\nCompetition in Asia for senior bankers remains fierce and those with links to Indian and Chinese corporations are sought-after.\n\nInvestment banks are trimming headcount in Asia in response to the global financial outlook, with losses in divisions spanning banking, operations and information technology. Banks are also re-allocating staffing levels within investment banking, following the downturn in initial public offerings and leveraged finance business.\n\nMatthew Ginsburg, head of investment banking for Morgan Stanley in Asia-Pacific, said: “Asia is holding up in terms of head count. The talk is still of net hirings, made up of both external hires and internal relocations, and not cuts. The business mix has changed . . . but revenues are holding up.”\n\nSingapore-based Sean Wallace, group head of corporate finance at Standard Chartered, said: “The total population of bankers is staying pretty consistent, but the mix is changing. There are a lot of people in London and New York who are moving out here.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Citigroup to Issue Million in Samurai Bonds, Report Says - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Citigroup will reportedly issue as much as 100 billion yen ($940.6 million) in samurai bonds on July 1, its first such offering aimed at Japanese retail investors since 2000.\n\nWith interest rates low in Japan, Citigroup has determined that it can raise funds under favorable terms and that the yen-denominated bonds will attract interest from Japanese retail investors, according to business daily Nikkei.\n\nSamurai are yen-denominated bonds issued by foreign borrowers in Japan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enarsa busca socios para el mar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            La estatal Energía Argentina (Enarsa) lanzó una licitación internacional en busca de socios para la exploración y explotación de hidrocarburos en nueve zonas del Océano Atlántico frente a las costas argentinas. \n\nLos pliegos de la licitación saldrán a la venta este martes al precio de unos US$38.800 para dos zonas frente a las costas de la provincia de Buenos Aires y a US$22.650 para otras siete de las provincias de Chubut y Santa Cruz, indicó la compañía, según información publicada por Infobae. \n\nLas áreas licitadas abarcan en conjunto unos 113 mil kilometros cuadrados, del millón de la jurisdicción argentina en el Océano Atlántico, en los que Enarsa es dueña de los derechos de explotación petrolera. \n\nLa compañía dispuso que las ofertas puedan presentarse desde el 8 de agosto próximo hasta el 4 de noviembre, cuando se abrirán los sobres con las propuestas "técnicas", mientras que los que contienen las ofertas económicas se abrirán el 10 de diciembre de este año. \n\nActualmente Enarsa participa en las actividades exploratorias off shore en seis bloques, dos de ellos junto con Repsol y Petrobras; otros dos con Sipetrol y Repsol; y los otros dos bloques con Petrobras como operador y asociada con la firma española. \n\nEn abril pasado, el titular de Enarsa, Exequiel Espinosa, adelantó el lanzamiento de una licitación internacional sobre nueve bloques del mar argentino, que contemplan un total de 113 mil kilómetros cuadrados. \n\nUno de esos bloques es el de la Cuenca del Colorado, otro está sobre la Cuenca del Salado y siete en la zona físicamente frente a lo que es la provincia de Chubut y norte de Santa Cruz, en lo que se conoce como Golfo San Jorge. \n\nLos siete bloques off shore del Golfo de San Jorge "presentan una cantidad de información importante de la sísmica que ha hecho la estatal YPF, de los años 60", indicó Espinosa en oportunidad de anunciar este lanzamiento, y aseguró que estará a disposición de quienes se presenten a la compra de pliegos. \n\n \n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Banco Popular a la venta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Este martes se abrió la puerta para que grandes inversionistas se queden con 12,11% del Banco Popular, una de las entidades especializadas en consumo del Grupo Aval. Con el negocio, el Gobierno colombiano se quedará con unos US$147,37 millones, que espera obtener de la transacción. \n\nEn una operación que se realizará en el mercado de capitales y de forma poco común, en una venta financiera, los inversionistas locales y extranjeros tendrán la oportunidad de hacer sus ofertas por el paquete de casi 934 millones de acciones que se cotizarán en la Bolsa de Valores de Colombia a un precio mínimo de US$0,15 por título. \n\nPara la analista de acciones de Correval, Estefanía León, los buenos resultados del sistema financiero sumado a que la entidad es una de las de mayor rentabilidad, han generado un ambiente favorable para que se coloque la totalidad de los títulos en el mercado, según publicó El País. \n\n“Existe una demanda importante de inversionistas que quieren hacerse al título por tratarse de un banco que tiene la rentabilidad más alta del sector y el sistema financiero tiene un fuerte potencial de crecimiento porque hay bastante espacio para bancarizar”, comenta León a propósito de la operación. \n\nPara la experta, el hecho de que cuente con un accionista mayoritario como el Grupo Aval, lo hace atractivo para el mercado, pues uno de los propósitos del conglomerado es el de crear valores para los accionistas. \n\n“Es una inversión segura, a pesar de la coyuntura por la que atraviesa el sistema en el decrecimiento de su cartera por las medidas de encaje y de tasas de interés del Banco de la República”, agrega. \n\nEstadísticas del sector muestran que es el séptimo banco del país por activos, pues con corte al mes de abril su monto ascendió a US$5.170 millones, con un patrimonio total de US$454 millones y utilidades netas de US$56 millones. \n\nA febrero, la cartera de libranzas del Popular ascendía a US$1.842 millones, que equivalen a 61% de la cartera total de la casa financiera y al 96% de la cartera de consumo. \n\nEl Popular tiene presencia nacional con una red de oficinas de 165 sucursales, mientras que su red de cajeros automáticos suma 559 máquinas. Asimismo, los pensionados constituyen su mayor segmento, razón por la cual tienen un portafolio de productos especialmente pensado para atender las necesidades de los jubilados. \n\nEntre otros, el paquete incluye cuenta de ahorros, abono de nómina en cuenta, tarjeta débito, Línea Verde, sobregiro opcional y Prestayá. \n\n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SABMiller Swallows Russias Vladpivo - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SABMiller announced the acquisition of the Russian brewer Vladpivo. SABMiller did not disclose the cost of the transaction, but said Tuesday that the gross assets of the Russian company are valued at $69 million.\n\nVladpivo is based near Vladivostok in eastern Russia and has a capacity of 1 million hectolitres of beer per year. It will become the third Russian production facility for SABMiller, which is the world’s third-largest brewer.\n\nSABMiller shares were down 1.4 percent at 1246 pence ($24.58) on the London Stock Exchange.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chinas .1 Billion Spending Spree - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  China Inc. is on a shopping spree, BusinessWeek reported.\n\nHaving built up sizeable war chests thanks to recent public offerings, Chinese companies have already spent $31.1 billion on overseas mergers and acquisitions as of May 27, or more than they spent in all of 2007, according to Dealogic.\n\nMost recently, China Merchants Bank’s $4.7 billion deal last week to buy Hong Kong’s Wing Lung Bank, the second-largest acquisition ever by a Chinese bank.\n\nAnd they may more to come; Chinese metals trader Sinosteel is in a long, drawn-out hostile takeover battle for control of Australian iron ore prospector Midwest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    USL plans distillery

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    United Spirits Ltd (USL), the flagship company of the UB Group, is planning to put up a distillery at Asansol for manufacturing grain-based spirits.\n\nThe plant, which wold start production within one year, would have a capacity of 28klpd, and involve an investment of Rs 40 crore, said Kaushik Chatterjee, COO-east of USL. The company runs three distilleries in the eastern region at present. USL is also planning to set up two-three bottling plants in Kolkata and the North East within the next six months.\n\nThis apart, USL is also bullish on its recently announced retail venture, as it plans to open about three to four designer liquor stores this year in the region.\n\nCurrently, the company operates around 16 such outlets across the country, with around four in the east.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • on 06-09-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bancolombia sells Multienlace to Stratton Spain for USD 62.4m

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bancolombia sells Multienlace to Stratton Spain for USD 62.4m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bancolombia sells Multienlace to Stratton Spain for USD 62.4m \n\nBancolombia, the Colombia-based financial services company, today announced it has agreed to sell 100% of its interest in Multienlace to Stratton Spain. The stake equates to approximately 98% of Multienlace\nThe purchase price is COP 105,882.565m (USD 62.4m). The sale remains subject to customary closing conditions. If and when consummated, this transaction will represent a net income of COP 57,686m (USD 34m) to Bancolombia and its subsidiaries.\nMultienlace provides business process outsourcing and contact center services to corporate clients. Stratton is a Spanish company whose investors are a group led by Eton Park Capital Management.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • on 06-08-2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PITG Gaming receives USD 150m commitment from Apollo for North Shore casino; to sell Fitzgeralds Casi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Andres,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aqui te mando las noticias que no estan relacionadas con Codere. En un archivo aparte te mando las de Codere en Word. Falta que pongas estas en word y ella dijo que las quería subrayadas...
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PITG Gaming receives USD 150m commitment from Apollo for North Shore casino; to sell Fitzgeralds Casino-Hotel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PITG Gaming receives USD 150m commitment from Apollo for North Shore casino; to sell Fitzgeralds Casino-Hotel \n\nPITG Gaming, the Nevada-based gaming company, received a USD 150m financing commitment from Apollo Strategic Fund, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The report cited a statement from Don Barden, the president, chairman and chief executive officer of PITG Gaming, who said Apollo Strategic Fund and a group of lenders have committed to USD 150m in financing for the company’s Majestic Star casino on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to the report, the total financing package is USD 780m, USD 20m less than described in the company’s original filing. Barden has committed to selling Fitzgeralds Casino-Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, and using USD 35m from the sale to make debt payments for first-year operations in Pittsburgh, according to the report.\nAlso in the report, a spokesperson for Barden stated financing is believed to be in place for USD 650m from Credit Suisse, while no update was provided on a USD 150m package from a KeyBank National Association-led syndicate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          United Tote may be sold by Youbet.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          United Tote may be sold by Youbet.com \n\nUnited Tote, the wager processing equipment company owned by Woodland Hills, California-listed Youbet.com, could be sold, reported the Wall Street Journal. The unsourced portion of a report looking at insiders buying shares of Youbet.com said that the company is exploring a sale of Untied Tote.\nYoubet.com has a market capitalization of USD 64m.\nAccording to an earlier report, Youbet.com bought United Tote for USD 49m in 2005.\nUnited Tote makes systems for more than 150 racing companies, according to the company website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Crown: Consolidated Press could be looking at privatising

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Crown: Consolidated Press could be looking at privatising - report \n\nConsolidated Press could be looking at privatising Crown, the Australian-listed gaming group, the Australian Financial Review reported.\nThe unsourced report in the paper's Street Talk column said ConsPress had a little under 38% stake in Crown. The article said ConsPress would likely need to offer over AUD 13 (USD 12.46) a share to have a chance at success in taking Crown private.\nThe paper also said it was possible Crown could be looking at purchasing another gaming asset, possibly in Las Vegas, Nevada. The report pointed out that Crown recently borrowed AUD 600m, and this was a surprising decision considering the higher financing rates in the market, and the fact that it did not necessarily need the money.\nCrown's market cap is AUD 7.2bn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Milli Piyango: Intralot and Cukurova may bid together

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Milli Piyango: Intralot and Cukurova may bid together - report \n\nIntralot, the Greek gaming company and Cukurova Holding, the Turkish conglomerate may bid together for Milli Piyango, according to a report in the Star. The report, which did not cite sources, disclosed that Cukurova and Intralot are acting together to bid for the Turkish national lottery company Milli Piyango. Intralot had announced in 2006 that it was planning to submit a joint bid with unidentified companies, for Milli Piyango back then, although the privatisation has been delayed since then.\nQlot and Ernst & Young are advising on the privatisation of Milli Piyango, which has a turnover of USD 1.3bn, according to an earlier report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Totosi sees Lottomatica sign preliminary contract for acquisition of 100% stake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Totosi sees Lottomatica sign preliminary contract for acquisition of 100% stake \n\nLottomatica’s wholly owned subsidiary, Lottomatica Scommesse, announced that it has signed a preliminary agreement with Totosì Holding for the acquisition of 100% interest in Toto Carovigno and for four corporate branches in the Totosì group for approximately EUR 41m.\nToto Carovigno, owner of the Totosì brand, is the leading Italian online betting company concessionaire for sports and horse race betting and the first operator to have offered the acceptance of sports bets both online and via telephone. Toto Carovigno, with 250,000 registered game accounts and 90,000 active customers, has 5% market share in 2007 of the total sports betting market and 17% of the online gaming segment. Toto Carovigno is the owner of 3 “historical” concessions (one horse race betting concession and two sports betting concessions) and of 16 point of sale activation rights (12 corners and 1 shop for the collection of sports betting, 2 corner and 1 shops for the collection of horse race betting) mainly located in high-potential venues in Southern Italy. Total wagers registered in 2007 totaled approximately EUR 150m.\nThe preliminary agreement signed by Lottomatica Scommesse requires due diligence as well as the possibility to terminate the agreement subject to the reimbursement of the EUR 4.5m deposit paid upon signing of the contract. If Lottomatica Scommesse chooses to complete the operation, the signing of the final agreement and the transfer of ownership of Toto Caravigno and the four corporate branches is subordinate to the approval of Antitrust. In order to transfer the horse race betting concession to Lottomatica must receive authorization from both AAMS and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The acquisition of Toto Carovigno S.p.A, financed by funds available, is an important step for the growth of Lottomatica in the sports betting sector. Lottomatica entered into the fast-growing sector in 2007 through its Better brand and acquired the second place with 15% of the market share in a few months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Boyd Gaming sees talk Carl Icahn could buy stake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Boyd Gaming sees talk Carl Icahn could buy stake\n\nBoyd Gaming, the Las Vegas-based casino operator, is seeing speculation that Carl Icahn could buy a stake in the company, reported the Wall Street Journal. The report, part of the paper's options column, cited Frederic Ruffy, an independent options trader, who said there is talk that Icahn could acquire a stake in the casino operator.\nBoyd Gaming has a market capitalization of USD 1.4bn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maxbet will list, president of company's Ukraine operations says

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maxbet will list, president of company's Ukraine operations says \n\nPrivately owned Ukrainian gambling machines and casino operator Maxbet is looking to list, a top official at the group said.\nViktor Rusinov, president of Maxbet's operations in Ukraine, said the group was planning an IPO, saying a listing could happen as earlier as this year on the London Stock Exchange. He stressed, however, that the entire group would be listed through the Cyprus-based parent company of the Maxbet group, which also has operations in other countries, including Belarus, Bulgaria and Georgia.\nRusinov provided no further details on the company's plans, saying more details would be made available by company representatives in the near future.\nA source said the group is hoping to raise funds through a listing to enable it to take part in sector consolidation.\nOne market source noted that although the company was small it was looking to raise funds to help it become a consolidator of the fragmented gaming and gambling sector in the Ukraine and similar markets.\nMaxbet, whose September 2009 UAH 75m 2-3 year bonds were rated uaBBB stable by Ukrainian ratings agency Credit-Rating, booked USD 46m consolidated income in 2006. According to Credit-Rating, the group owns 92 gambling halls and over 4000 gambling machines in Russia, Romania, Belorussia, Georgia and the Ukraine. In a research note the same company noted that “over 70% of [MaxBet’s] property is pawned”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great Canadian Gaming may make buys

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great Canadian Gaming may make buys \n\nGreat Canadian Gaming, the listed Richmond, British Columbia-based leisure and casino firm, may seek acquisitions, according to its annual report.\nThe company stated in an annual report issued on 28 May the following: "We believe there are still significant growth opportunities in Canada. Our primary focus will continue to be the build-out of our current assets, but we may also consider further expansion opportunities and additional acquisition opportunities that may arise from time to time inside and outside of our current markets."\nThe company reported 2007 revenue of CAD 397.2m (USD 401.8m) for the year ended 31 December.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Magna Racino for sale; Novomatic not interested

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Magna Racino for sale; Novomatic not interested \n\nMagna Racino, the private Austrian horse racing/entertainment complex, is reportedly for sale, according to a Format article.\nAn unsourced report in the Austrian weekly suggested that Magna Entertainment Corporation (MEC), the listed Canadian entertainment group that owns Magna Racino, has put the Austrian complex on its list of disposals. The article suggested that MEC has already started sounding out possible buyers. Frank Stronach, the Austrian investor who founded MEC initially, is said to have contacted Novomatic, the private Austrian betting/entertainment giant, regarding Magna Racino, the report continued. However, Novomatic made it clear that it is not interested in the deal, the article added.\nA recent report stated that MEC has invested EUR 75m in Magna Racino over the years. Novomatic is owned by Austrian businessman Johann Graf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PartyGaming: Imminent resolution of legal issues encourages bid speculation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PartyGaming: Imminent resolution of legal issues encourages bid speculation \n\nStory PartyGaming is rumoured to have settled issues relating to a US Department of Justice action, The Independent reported. The market report said the speculation of a settlement has led to chatter that the Gibraltar-based UK-listed gambling group could now be targeted for takeover. A market report in The Daily Telegraph said the settlement is close to being reached and is worth between USD 600m and USD 800m. It also noted bid speculation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ameristar Casinos management change fuels buyout speculation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ameristar Casinos management change fuels buyout speculation -\n\nAmeristar Casinos has appointed new top management, fueling speculation of a buyout, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.\nThe paper, citing analysts, company securities filings and others, reported that John Boushy has resigned as CEO, president and a board member, and has been replaced by Gordon Kanofsky, who will serve as CEO. Larry Hodges was named as president and COO, the paper reported.\nThe paper cited analysts who said the management change could indicate a buyout is coming and others who said they saw no indication of a sale in the change in leadership. The listed, Las Vegas, Nevada-based casino operator reported a quarterly loss in the last reporting period of USD 77.1m, the paper noted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lottomatica interested in Spor Toto, Milli Piyango

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lottomatica interested in Spor Toto, Milli Piyango \n\nLottomatica, the listed Italian gaming company is interested in the privatisation of the Turkish soccer betting business Spor Toto, said a report in Hurriyet. Hurriyet cited Lottomatica chief executive Marco Sala as saying that the company was interested in the privatisation of the Turkish gaming businesses Spor Toto and Milli Piyango.\nSpor Toto had a turnover of TRY 1.9bn (USD 1.54bn) in 2007, according to its website. It had earlier been claimed that Lottomatica could be bidding with Morgan Stanley and the Turkish conglomerate Dogan. Sala did not confirm in the report whether this would be true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Risk arb update: Penn National

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The $9.4 billion buyout of Penn National Gaming Inc. by Fortress Investment Group LLC and Centerbridge Partners LP is running up against its June 15 termination date. That can be extended, but the deal may join the list of pre-credit crisis LBOs that end up being repriced.\n\nPenn, a racing and gaming company with an emphasis on slot machines, and the buyers each have the right to extend the date to Oct. 13 to obtain required gaming license approvals. Penn is likely to extend the agreement, but there have been rumors that the lenders for the deal, Deutsche Bank AG and Wachovia Securities LLC, have sought to lower the price before funding the transaction.\n\nThe deal spread of more than $20 reflects risk arbitrageurs' expectations that the $67 per-share cash price will be slashed. Under the current deal, shareholders will receive a daily ticking fee of 1.49 cents starting June 15.\n\nGaming boards in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, Penn's home state, have approved the sale, but Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, the Maine Harness Racing Commission and Missouri still must sign off.\n\nIllinois and Indiana's commissions recently dropped the deal from their meeting agendas because regulators have requested additional financial information. Risk arbitrageurs believe they want an update on the status of the credit agreement for the buyout before ruling on the license transfers.\n\nThe Illinois Gaming Board postponed a decision May 19 but could rule at a meeting to be held June 23 and 24. The Indiana Gaming Commission is not scheduled to hold a meeting before late August or September, but arbs think the commission will call a special meeting to rule on the deal after the required information has been provided and reviewed. Iowa met on the deal June 5. Louisiana is expected to decide on license transfers at a June 17 meeting and Missouri on June 25.\n\nPenn chairman and CEO Peter Carlino, who controls 13.8% of Penn, is rolling over $50 million into the buyout but cashing out the bulk of that stake. Thus he has a reason to hold firm on price.\n\nThe sponsors have committed $3 billion of equity. The debt commitment obliges the lenders to provide $5.1 billion in senior secured credit facilities and $2 billion in term loans. Some arbs believe Fortress, the majority sponsor in the buyout, is committed to the transaction. The rate of return is in the midteens, and Fortress would finance Penn's ongoing construction projects as a secured debt holder, which provides added incentive to close the transaction, an arb says. The merger agreement allows Penn to seek specific performance or a $200 million reverse termination fee, but it is not known how much capital the sponsors are putting into the acquisition shell to back the limited guarantee. -- Scott Stuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ritzio Entertainment in market for acquisitions; IPO also on cards, management and spokesperson say

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ritzio Entertainment in market for acquisitions; IPO also on cards, management and spokesperson say \n\nCyprus-headquartered gaming company Ritzio Entertainment is in the market for acquisitions following its USD 280m bond issue, management and a spokesperson said.\nThe company, which is owned by the Russian investor Oleg Boiko and operates in 14 countries in Europe and Latin America, raised USD 280m through a sale of bonds last year and is reportedly looking to raise a further USD 500m this year for expansion.\nSpeaking to this publication on the sidelines of the Gaming investor Conference in London this week, Ritzio CEO Vitaliy Veselko said the company had an internal team dedicated to the search for acquisition targets in Europe, but not yet in Asia.\nA company spokesperson confirmed that Ritzio is planning to spend USD 500m during the next year on acquisitions of gambling businesses in Germany, Italy, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico and Columbia. The spokesperson did not rule out the possibility of an IPO to raise these funds to finance buys, but said another option was for the company to create joint ventures in these countries.\nHe added that Ritzio is scanning the above-mentioned markets at the moment but declined to disclose any specifics on potential targets.\nA market source noted that a planned tightening of casino regulations in Russia and other CIS countries is putting pressure on market incumbents to increase scale. He said casinos would likely be required to have higher capital adequacy ratios, and improve the transparency and quality of their operations. In a highly fragmented market, he said, this would inevitably increase the opportunities for industry consolidation.\nAccording to press reports, Boiko owns 75% of Ritzio. According to company’s website, Ritzio posted revenues of USD 1.2bn in 2006 making it Europe’s largest casino operator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PVR film unit to get 1.2 bln rupees investment | Business News | Reuters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MUMBAI (Reuters) - Cinema chain operator PVR Ltd said on Thursday its film unit, PVR Pictures, will raise 1.2 billion rupees in private equity investment, sending its shares as high as 9.7 percent.\n\nICICI Venture Funds Management Co Pvt Ltd and JP Morgan Global Special Opportunities Group will each invest 600 million rupees. The funds will be used for the expansion plans of PVR Pictures, which makes and distributes films, it said.\n\nThis transaction will enable PVR Ltd to become a fully integrated film and entertainment company, it said.\n\nPVR Pictures plans to increase its film output to 8-10 next year from 4-5 this year, it added.\n\nThe company's first movie production was 'Taare Zameen Par', co-produced with Aamir Khan Productions Pvt Ltd.\n\nShares in the company were trading up 7.27 percent at 180 rupees in the Mumbai market.\n\n(Reporting by Jasudha Kirpalani)\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cyberview sold to IGT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      \nUK gaming systems provider will distribute cash assets to shareholders after \ncompletion of US$76m sale\n\n\n\nCyberview Tech, a UK gaming systems provider, has been sold to International \nGame Technology for £38.8m (US$76m) in cash.\n\n\nIn addition, Cyberview has granted an exclusive license to some of its \nintellectual property to IGT for approximately £4.6m.\nCyberview will dissolve and wind up the company and distribute its cash \nassets to shareholders upon completion of the sale. A distribution of 34.7m, \ncorresponding to 216p per share, a premium of 60% over the March 4 closing \nprice, is expected.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Online gamers bet on consolidation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        \nThe purchase of Cyberview Technologies suggests that the rehabilitating \nonline gaming industry could face a wave of deals on hopes of a relaxation of \nthe US ban\n\n\n\nIt is now nearly two years since David Carruthers, chief executive of \nBetonSports, was arrested as he changed planes at Dallas airport. The former \nLadbrokes bookie, who is still awaiting trial in St Louis, Missouri, was accused \nof flouting ancient US regulations that effectively banned online betting. \nBetonSports was based offshore in Costa Rica to get around these laws. \nNevertheless most of its customers were based in the US.\nCarruthers' arrest showed that the Federal authorities were keen to clamp \ndown on online gambling. Shortly afterwards Congress passed an Act clarifying \nthe illegality of internet gambling. This prompted most of the leading operators \nin this field such as London-listed PartyGaming and Sportingbet, to sell their \nUS operations. Most did so within three months of Carruthers being detained.\nHowever, there are more positive signs emerging in this once troubled sector. \nFirst, there are hints that the major online gaming groups might reach a \nsettlement with the US Department of Justice meaning the latter would no longer \npursue the companies over past breaches by the businesses they have since sold. \nEven more optimistically, there are hopes that a new White House administration, \nparticularly a Democrat one, might overturn the ban altogether.\n\n\nThis would mean PartyGaming, which has run a shadow US site that does not \ntake money, could turn on that business again. More importantly, even if only an \namnesty rather than an outright repeal of the ban is agreed, this might mean \nacquirers would be willing to buy online gaming companies. Two years ago \nPartyGaming, the best capitalised operator, said it wanted to take advantage of \nconsolidation opportunities. Traditional bookmakers, such as William Hill and \nLadbrokes, might be buyers as might casino operators such as MGM and Harrah's.\nSome consolidation moves are already underway. This morning New York listed \nInternational Game Technology (IGT) agreed to buy fellow gaming systems group \nCyberview Tech for £38.8m (US$76m). Admittedly neither is involved in online \nbetting per se, but both facilitate such activities. And Sportingbet, which has \nrecently seen employees arrested in Turkey, reported strong third quarter \nrevenue growth of 25.4%, showing it is still an attractive industry for larger \nplayers to back. This allowed it to return to profit following the £75m \nexceptional loss in the last financial year relating to the US ban.\nSportingbet added that it was still in "constructive" discussions with the US \nDepartment of Justice but said "there is no certainty that they will reach an \nacceptable conclusion nor of any timetable associated with the discussions \nthemselves". Nevertheless, speculators might consider placing a few bets on the \nsmaller players being taken out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Casino Bonds Crush Harrah's as Recession Hurts Apollo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Casino bonds are generating the worst returns for investors as companies from Apollo Management LP's Harrah's Entertainment Inc. to Herbst Gaming Inc. risk bankruptcy under the weight of their debt. \n\nHigh-yield, high-risk casino bonds, which returned 10 percent during the last recession in 2001, are the biggest losers this year, according to Bank of America Corp., as consumers get slammed by record gasoline prices and the worst housing-market slump since the Great Depression. The debt has lost 4.4 percent, compared with junk bonds' average return of 1.4 percent. \n\nUntil the latest economic slowdown, casino bonds had gained a reputation for being recession-resistant, said Bruce Monrad, who manages $1.2 billion of below investment-grade debt at Northeast Investment Management Inc. in Boston. \n\n``It was very much viewed as a safe haven,'' Monrad said. ``If indeed the industry is less recession-proof than we were thinking, it would not have been a good time to lever up,'' as did Las Vegas-based Harrah's and Station Casinos Inc., he said. \n\nNortheast owns bonds of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., the Atlantic City, New Jersey-based gaming company led by Donald Trump, which have lost 26 percent in the last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Monrad said he isn't interested in buying Harrah's or Station Casinos bonds because ``they just have too much debt.'' \n\n``Four-dollar-a-gallon gas prices are something that probably weren't completely anticipated a year ago,'' Monrad said. \n\nBankruptcy Filing \n\nHerbst Gaming, operator of 8,400 slot machines in Nevada, stopped paying interest last month, Tropicana Entertainment LLC and Greektown Casino LLC filed for bankruptcy in May and bond prices show Harrah's and Station Casinos, which piled on more than $25 billion of combined debt in the past year to go private, are also at risk of default. \n\nHigh oil prices and falling property values are curbing spending on gambling at a time when casino operators have committed to spend more than $10 billion through 2009, according to Deutsche Bank AG. They invested $7.8 billion last year. \n\nThe average high-yield casino bond returned 11 percent in 2000, 10 percent in 2001 and 14 percent in 2002, according to Merrill Lynch indexes. The average junk bond had a 5.1 percent drop in 2000, a 4.5 percent gain in 2001 and a 1.9 percent loss in 2002. High-yield, or junk, bonds are rated below Baa3 by Moody's Investors Service and below BBB- by Standard & Poor's. \n\n`Most Leveraged' \n\nCasinos took on a record debt load before the economy's latest slowdown. Leon Black's Apollo, of New York, and Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG Inc. acquired Harrah's in a leveraged buyout in January for $27 billion. Station Casinos, owner of 12 Las Vegas-area properties, was taken over for $8.5 billion in November by its management and buyout firm Colony Capital LLC. \n\n``This would probably be the most leveraged'' the gaming industry has ever been, said Michael Paladino, an analyst at Fitch Ratings in New York. ``There's going to be an increase in defaults.'' \n\nInvestors from William Yung, who led Columbia Sussex Corp.'s purchase of Tropicana, to Capital Research & Management Co., the biggest Harrah's bondholder, are being stung by losses. \n\nDebt issued by a group of 10 of the biggest high-yield gaming companies from Las Vegas to Atlantic City and Connecticut will rise to a peak of 6.6 times cash flow this year from 6.5 times in 2007, Deutsche Bank predicts. The total debt for the group will increase to $47 billion from $45 billion. \n\nThird Drop \n\nLas Vegas Strip casino gambling revenue fell 4.8 percent to $517.5 million in March, the third consecutive monthly drop, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. In Atlantic City, the second-largest U.S. gambling center, casino revenue fell 6.7 percent this year through April after a 5.7 percent drop in 2007, the city's first decline. \n\nCasino revenue may weaken more than in 2001, said Paladino. Nevada gaming revenue fell 3.7 percent in the 12 months ended June 30, 2002, according to the state Gaming Control Board, as international gamblers stayed away from Las Vegas after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. \n\nConsumer spending may shrink this quarter for the first time since 1991, according to economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG. \n\n``The entertainment industries in general like to perpetuate the myth that they've never had a recession,'' said Martin Fridson, chief executive officer of Fridson Investment Advisors in New York. ``With your typical, normal, non-pathological gambler is it really the case that they're going to go and make as frequent trips and spend as lavishly? I don't think so.'' \n\n`Long Way to Fall' \n\nFridson said gaming bonds have been overvalued by investors for years. Now, about 80 percent of speculative-grade casino bonds are ``cheap,'' meaning they offer attractive yields, his analysis shows. \n\n``It had a long way to fall,'' Fridson said. \n\nTropicana filed for bankruptcy in May with $2.4 billion of debt, less than two years after its parent was bought by Crestview Hills, Kentucky-based Columbia Sussex for $2 billion. At the time of the merger agreement in 2006, Columbia Sussex's Yung said, ``In the down business cycle, the casinos don't really take a hit.'' \n\nTropicana's $960 million of 9.625 percent notes due in 2014 have lost 12 percent this year, Bloomberg data show. Yung didn't return calls seeking comment. \n\n`Going Concern' \n\nHerbst Gaming's auditors at Deloitte & Touche LLP issued a ``going concern'' notice on the company's 2007 annual results, indicating the accountants believed the company might go broke. The Las Vegas-based company spent $500 million on purchases of the Sands Regent and three casinos in Primm, Nevada, leaving it saddled with debt just as anti-smoking laws went into effect. \n\nHerbst's $160 million of 8.125 percent notes due in 2012 have lost 64 percent this year and are trading at 23 cents on the dollar to yield 71 percent, according to Bloomberg data. \n\nMary Beth Higgins, chief financial officer for Herbst Gaming, didn't return calls seeking comment. \n\nSince the LBO, Harrah's $1.4 billion of 10.75 percent notes due in 2016 tumbled to 80 cents on the dollar to yield 14.7 percent, or 1,077 basis points more than Treasuries, according to Bloomberg data. The cost of protecting Harrah's bonds from default in the credit-default swaps market has almost doubled since the start of the year, Bloomberg data show. \n\nCapital Research is the biggest holder of Harrah's bonds including the 2016 notes, according to regulatory filings. \n\nChuck Freadhoff, spokesman for Capital Research in Los Angeles, wouldn't comment on the firm's holdings. Steven Anreder, spokesman for Apollo, declined to comment. Jonathan Halkyard, CFO of Harrah's, couldn't be reached for comment. \n\n``I've been saying for years we're not recession-proof; we're recession-resistant,'' Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said on a conference call last week. ``Spas, shopping, the shows, golf courses -- we're competing for that disposable dollar from consumers. Anything that hurts consumer spending is now going to hurt.'' \n\n

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            EU and US Reach Deal on Online Gambling?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            EU and US Reach Deal on Online Gambling?\n\nOnline gaming companies in Europe were dealt a blow on Monday as the European Union accepted a US offer to open some other services markets as compensation for shutting foreign companies out of America’s lucrative gambling industry.\n\nThe EU said the bilateral deal would provide European businesses, such as TNT of the Netherlands and Deutsche Post of Germany, with unspecified new opportunities in the US postal and courier, research and development, storage and warehouse sectors. The US had also made concessions in the testing and analysis services sector.\n\nHowever, the deal, signed in Geneva, disappointed the online gambling industry, which claimed the EU had lost vital leverage in the effort to open up the $15bn-a-year US online gambling market. Millions of dollars were wiped off share values in October 2006 after the US made it illegal for credit card companies to process online gambling transactions, effectively closing the market to foreign competitors. The World Trade Organisation had ordered the US to grant compensation after it withdrew a commitment to liberalise the sector. The withdrawal came after the tiny Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda, which hosts a large gaming industry, brought a successful dispute case at the WTO. The WTO will rule soon on Antigua’s request for $3.4bn compensation.\n\nA spokesman for Peter Mandelson, the trade commissioner, refused to put a figure on the US offer, and said it could not be linked to the campaign for equal treatment in the US online gambling market. A spokeswoman for the US trade representative, who hatched the agreement, would also not discuss specifics but said she was confident the package provided WTO members with economic opportunities “at least as valuable” as the US gambling market. The US had also reached agreements with Canada and Japan.\n\nClive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association, which represents companies that say they are losing at least $4bn in revenue a year, claimed the EU had handed over its primary weapon in the fight. He said: “The Commission can still press for an opening up of the market, but the leverage of the outstanding [compensation] negotiations has been taken away.”\n\nMr Mandelson said he would continue to press for equal treatment and is placing hopes in legislation proposed by Barney Frank, chairman of the US House Financial Services Committee, to liberalise and regulate the online gaming industry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OPAP interested in Milli Piyango, CEO says

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OPAP interested in Milli Piyango, CEO says \n\nOPAP, the listed, state-controlled Greek Organisation of Football Pools, could possibly be interested in the privatisation of Milli Piyango, the Turkish National Lottery Operator. Capital reported the news, citing Christos Hatziemmanouil, the CEO of OPAP, during a financial results conference call. "It is possible that the privatisation of Milli Piyango will not find us uninterested, however we need to know the terms of the tender," Hatziemmanouil said, according to the report.\nThe privatisation procedure of Milli Piyango, which had a turnover of USD 1.22bn in 2006, is expected to start in June, the report added. Qlot and Ernst & Young are advising on Milli Piyango's privatisation, an earlier report said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Inspired Gaming on block

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Inspired Gaming on block\n\nUK fruit machine operator puts itself up for sale\n\nInspired Gaming has hired Global Leisure Partners to handle its sale. The business is reported to have received some initial offers.\n\nAn operator of fruit machines and betting terminals, Inspired Gaming's share price has slumped since the beginning of the year. Stock was trading at a price of around 350p per share in December 2007 but is now valued at around 71p, up from 67p on Friday and representing a market capitalisation in the region of £50m.\n\nLast December, Inspired was in talks with major shareholder FL Group regarding it acquiring the business for a price of 385p per share. This deal collapsed due to market conditions.\n\nInspired is currently trying to sell off its pubs division which provides quiz machines to pubs and bars. It is hoping to raise £40m to fund the exit from the pubs division, its worst performing part, and expand operations in other areas.\n\nInspired listed on AIM in 2006 after being backed by private equity groups Henderson and Duke Street Capital before that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Leisure defaults rise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Leisure defaults rise\n\nStandard & Poor's report notes that number of defaults this year has exceeded last year's total already\n\nRatings agency Standard & Poor's has noted that the number of defaults by bond issuers so far this year has hit 28 against 22 for the whole of last year. The amount of borrowings defaulted on amounts to US$18.4bn versus just US$8.1bn for 2007.\n\nS&P's report says that leisure companies are most at risk, with three casinos failing to repay their creditors on time. The latest is the Tropicana casino in Las Vegas. All defaults are currently in the US, apart from one Canadian one. This could herald a wave of distressed sales processes.\n\nAt the start of this month, Malaysian cigarette king Putera Sampoerna dropped the price that he was prepared to accept for London casino Les Ambassadeurs to just £75m (US$150m). That compares with the £115m he paid to buy the venue two years ago and a £95m verbal offer from Sports Direct entrepreneur Mike Ashley in December.\n\nS&P said: "Continued financial-market volatility, tightening credit conditions, an unfolding housing correction, dollar weakness, and the risk of a larger or a smaller impact of the fiscal stimulus package contribute to substantial variability in the default forecast. A material risk remains that defaults could be significantly more pronounced and severe, especially if the recession would be deeper and longer than expected."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Canada Casino Group Planning $4.2bill Project in Vietnam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Canada Casino Group Planning $4.2bill Project in Vietnam\n\nVietnam has given the go-ahead for a Canada-based casino and resort group to build a 4.2-billion-dollar tourism complex in a southern beach area near Ho Chi Minh City, the government said Thursday.\n\nAsian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd., or ACDL Group, has received the green light for the project in the seaside province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, east of Vietnam's largest city and port, formerly called Saigon. ACDL Group says on its website that it plans to develop "a five-star coastal paradise consisting of casinos, five stunning resorts, and a gorgeous 200-acre golf course set on the white-sand beaches of Vung Tau Province."\n\nThe ground-breaking ceremony Saturday will be attended by former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien, who is currently visiting the Southeast Asian country, said a report on the official government website. The 160-hectare complex will include a resort area, conference and exhibition centre, a shopping hall, restaurants and entertainment facilities, said the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in an online report.\n\nVietnam bans gambling, officially regarded as a "social evil," but allows foreign tourists to visit a casino in the port of Haiphong. State-controlled media referred to the ACDL project as a "tourist and convention complex."\n\nACDL says on its website it is the lead developer of the 4.2-billion-dollar Ho Tram Strip, where the first phase of development would include two five-star hotels with 2,300 rooms and "Vietnam's first Las Vegas-style casinos."\n\nConstruction of the project, also set to include a golf course designed by Greg Norman, is scheduled to start in the second half of 2008 and be completed by 2011, the company says on its website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Caja Mediterraneo acquires Playa Mujeres from Hank family

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Caja Mediterraneo acquires Playa Mujeres from Hank family \n\nCaja Mediterraneo, the Spanish savings institution, acquired Playa Mujeres from the Hank family, according to an unsourced business column in today's Reforma.\nThe column said Caja Mediterraneo, the sixth-largest savings institution in Spain, bought Playa Mujeres, the Mexico-based development, from the Hank family and plans to build 15,000 residential properties marketed towards the US and European retiree community.\nThe column explained that prior to the acquisition, the Hank family had invested USD 3bn in the development, which features 376 hectares of total area, 3.7 kilometers of beaches and a marina with the capacity for 180 vessels. There are also plans to construct two 18-hole golf courses designed by Greg Norman, the column said.\nIn the surrounding area, Spain-based hospitality chains have already established hotels that range from 11 to 20 hectares in area and provide a total of 7,400 rooms, the column said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ritzio Entertainment seeking buys in Europe and LatAm; possible London listing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ritzio Entertainment seeking buys in Europe and LatAm; possible London listing \n\nRitzio Entertainment, the gaming company owned by the Russian investor Oleg Boiko, is seeking acquisitions in Europe and Latin America, reported Cinco Días. Boiko's comments were reported by Newswires.\nAccording to the report Boiko wants to raise USD 1.5bn to fund the company's expansion in the gaming, retailing and property industries. Boiko is reported to be seeking USD 500m to acquire gaming companies in Europe and Latin America.\nIn Europe, Boiko highlighted Germany and Italy for possible acquisitions. Cyprus-based Ritzio is also planning to launch an initial public offering in London to raise USD 300-400m, Boiko said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Trump casinos could be for sale - Breaking News From New Jersey - NJ.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Trump casinos could be for sale\nby The Associated Press\nThursday May 08, 2008, 1:01 PM\n\nOne or more of the three Trump casinos could be sold if the right deal presents itself, the company said today.\n\nMark Juliano, chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts, said the gambling company is "looking at strategic alternatives" and would sell if a good deal materializes.\n\nAt least two potential deals to buy part or all of the company fell through last year.\n\n"If an opportunity presents itself that creates value for the company, we will definitely execute it," he said on a conference call to discuss the company's first-quarter earnings.\n\nJuliano said after the call that there are no current sale discussions going on with anyone.\n\nThe company reported a wider quarterly loss in the first quarter of this year, blaming a general economic slowdown, competition from out-of-state slots parlors, and promotional costs associated with its new player loyalty program, TrumpONE, which tracks play and awards comps at all three Trump casinos. Each casinos used to have its own player card.\n\nThe company reported a net loss of $18.6 million, or 59 cents per share, compared with a loss of $8.1 million, or 26 cents per share in the same period a year ago.\n\nThe company's stock opened at $2.79 a share Thursday, but traded as low as $2.41, a new 52-week low. It had traded as high as $17.15 within the past year.\n\nTrump casinos include the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort; Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino.\n\nJuliano said the company's key event this year will be the opening around Labor Day weekend of the 782-room Chairman Tower at the Taj Mahal, named after company chairman Donald J. Trump. The $255 million project is on time and within budget, Juliano said.\n\nIt is the centerpiece of the company's strategy to concentrate more on cash-paying customers who stay longer, rather than spending to attract less profitable day trippers.\n\nTrump Plaza plans to be the first casino in Atlantic City to offer electronic poker games in June, when 12 machines will be installed.\n\nThe company's total debt increased by $3.7 million over the first quarter to $1.64 billion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pio Cabanillas, nuevo consejero independiente de Codere - CincoDias.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pio Cabanillas, nuevo consejero independiente de Codere\n\nLa junta general de accionistas de Codere aprobó hoy el nombramiento como consejero independiente de Pío Cabanillas Alonso, actual director general corporativo de Endesa, informó hoy la compañía.\n \nCabanillas, licenciado en Derecho por la Universidad Complutense y Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (Tufts-Harvard), fue entre 2000 y 2002 ministro Portavoz del Gobierno del PP y desempeñó anteriormente el cargo de director general de RTVE. Además, fue abogado de News Corp y ha desempeñado el cargo de director de comunicación de Acciona.\n\nLa junta de accionistas de Codere, la primera tras su salida a bolsa en octubre del año pasado, también aprobó el nombramiento como consejero dominical de la empresa Masampe, controlada por la familia Martínez Sampedro, principal accionista del grupo de juego privado.\n\nEn su discurso, el presidente y consejero delegado de Codere, José Antonio Martínez Sampedro, que definió 2007 como un año "récord en inversiones" con 350 millones, mostró su confianza de cara al futuro en "las capacidades competitivas de las líneas de negocio en funcionamiento, así como en los nuevos proyectos que persiguen incorporar, una vez regulados, los nuevos formatos de juego que surgen con las nuevas tecnologías".\n\nAsí, subrayó que a pesar de que Codere se "ha iniciado por océanos financieros en un momento de especial turbulencia y que, si bien los juegos de azar tienen resistencia durante las crisis económicas, eso no equivale a total inelasticidad".\n\nInversiones más reducidas para 2008\n\nDe esta manera, los gestores del grupo de juego privado han previsto para 2008 un escenario de inversiones más reducidas que puedan ser financiadas, si fuese necesario, con los fondos generados por el negocio.\n\nMartínez Sampedro destacó que el pasado ejercicio fue "histórico" para Codere, ya que su salida a bolsa "ha supuesto un hito trascendental para la compañía, la primera empresa del sector del juego en España que cotiza en los mercados de valores".\n\nAdemás, destacó que ese paso supone "la culminación de un compromiso de responsabilidad, transparencia, profesionalidad y rigor en la gestión, que Codere asumió hace largo tiempo y que ahora mantenemos con todas sus consecuencias".\n\nEl presidente de Codere valoró "positivamente" las cuentas del pasado ejercicio, con unos ingresos que crecieron más del 20%, hasta los 915 millones de euros, y un Ebitda alcanzó los 197 millones, con un incremento del 12%, a pesar de que el beneficio neto sufrió pérdidas de 9,9 millones de euros, principalmente como consecuencia de la aplicación de provisiones y cargos no recurrentes por importe de 42 millones de euros en los negocios de Italia y Colombia, los costes de la inversión en nuevas oportunidades y el efecto negativo de la diferencia del tipo de cambio del euro frente a las monedas de Argentina y México, nuestros principales mercados.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Intralot logra licencia de administración de apuestas por 5 años en Madrid - Finanzas.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Intralot logra licencia de administración de apuestas por 5 años en Madrid\n\nATENAS (Thomson Financial) - La compañía griega de tecnología de apuestas Intralot SA dijo que ha logrado una licencia de cinco años para administrar apuestas deportivas en la Comunidad de Madrid a través de su filial ibérica.\n\nIntralot subrayó que hay una renovación automática de la licencia por otros cinco años.\n\nIntralot Iberia desarrollará una red de más de 100 puntos de venta en salones de juego, bingos y casinos, donde los jugadores podrán participar en las apuestas deportivas.\n\nLa pasada semana, Codere SA anunció la constitución de una joint venture con William Hill para la explotación de operaciones de apuestas en la Comunidad de Madrid tras lograr una concesión para la organización y comercialización de esta actividad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Portafolio.com.co - Economía Hoy -> Magnate ruso traería sus ruletas a A.L. incluyendo Colombia, para lo que captará unos US$1.500 millones

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Magnate ruso traería sus ruletas a A.L. incluyendo Colombia, para lo que captará unos US$1.500 millones\n\nEso dijo Oleg Boyko, el multimillonario que controla la mayor empresa de juego de Europa del Este, quien agregó que buscará financiar su expansión en sectores del juego, el comercio e inmobiliarias.\n\nRitzio Entertainment Group buscará 500 millones de dólares para comprar salas de juego de Europa y América Latina, mientras que la sociedad de cartera (holding) Finstar intentará conseguir 1.000 millones de dólares en nuevos recursos para impulsar sus cadenas de grandes almacenes y el negocio inmobiliario, dijo Boyko, de 43 años, el pasado 29 de abril en una entrevista en Moscú. El dinero se obtendrá a través de préstamos, emisiones de bonos y de inversores individuales.\n\nRitzio quiere abrir salas de juego fuera de Rusia -incluyendo a Colombia- donde el Gobierno ha confinando el negocio de las apuestas a cuatro regiones además de las principales ciudades del país para el 2009. La empresa venderá acciones en Londres cuando los mercados lo permitan, según Boyko. Diez años seguidos de crecimiento económico han impulsado la renta de los rusos.\n\n"Los locales de juego extranjeros están teniendo un crecimiento de las ventas y la rentabilidad bastante elevado", dijo Boyko, que ocupa la posición número 65 entre los más ricos de Rusia según la revista Forbes, con una riqueza patrimonial estimada en 1.500 millones de dólares.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tropicana casinos files for bankruptcy after losing license - May. 5, 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tropicana Entertainment files for bankruptcy\n\nATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- The fallout from losing its New Jersey casino license will force the owner of Tropicana casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company said Monday.\n\nTropicana Entertainment LLC said it plans to continue operating and will keep current staffing levels.\n\nIt was buffeted by a chain of events that began Dec. 12 when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission determined that the company was incapable of running the "first-class operation" required by state law and stripped the Tropicana in Atlantic City of its casino license after less than a year.\n\nRoad to bankruptcy That touched off a funding crisis that the company desperately struggled to fend off until deciding to file for protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, listing assets of $2.8 billion and liabilities of $3.3 billion. Company officials said they expected to file the petition Monday evening.\n\nScott C. Butera, the company's president, called the filing "an opportunity to take a breathing spell," get its debt under control, and move forward.\n\nHe urged current patrons of the Tropicana and the company's other casinos to keep coming.\n\n"This is the first step in making things much better," he told The Associated Press in an interview Monday. "I'd encourage them to remain a customer of the Tropicana, and I'm sure the customer will be rewarded as we do better things and invest in our assets."

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