FiNETIK – Asia and Latin America – Market News Network

Asia and Latin America News Network focusing on Financial Markets, Energy, Environment, Commodity and Risk, Trading and Data Management

China: Update on Shanghai FTZ Financial Reform

In year 2014 we expect to see numerous new policy and regulation updates on the financial reform of Shanghai FTZ. Where are we today?

Shanghai local government and Chinese central government will endeavor to expand the market functions, deepen the opening of local financial markets to foreign investors, increase the number of financial institutions in the FTZ, encourage the financial business innovation and make Shanghai more of an international financial center.

Many reform details are under consideration or have already been executed in 2014, such as setting up crude oil futures, international gold trading, financial asset trading, syndicated loan trading platforms and building nationwide trust registry service institutions. Besides, rules regarding foreign and FTZ-registered firms’ parent companies RMB bonds issuance are on the way. Moreover, Shanghai FTZ regulators will also consider introduction of free trade account management by allowing financial institutions to set up FTA (Free Trade Account) accounting units segregated for residents and non-residents. Furthermore, Shanghai FTZ regulators encourage direct investment abroad from local firms and private equity funds. The main contents of Shanghai FTZ’s reform could be described as a ‘1+4’ policy, where ‘1’ stands for risk control segregate account system; ‘4’ stands for interest rate liberalization, foreign exchange liberalization, RMB cross-border utilization and RMB capital account opening.

FX reform and FTA accounts

PBOC announced that, starting on March 17, 2014, the interbank RMB/USD spot price’s fluctuation spread increased from 1% to 2%. For commercial banks, the fluctuation range of RMB/USD spot price offering to the clients could be expanded from 2% to 3% from the mid-price calculated by Chinese interbank FX market. This is the third time for PBOC to expand the fluctuation range. Analysts say the expansion in RMB/USD spot fluctuation range is a clear signal that RMB will be internationalized in the near future and Shanghai FTZ is thought to be a test-bed for that. The most prominent aspect of Shanghai FTZ FX reform is the FTA (Free Trade Account). FTA is essentially a free trade bank account for Shanghai FTZ registered firms, very similar to an offshore bank account, which enables free capital flow inside the FTZ. FTA system allows both foreigners and local residents to get their money in and out through FTZ. Overall, there are mainly 3 types of FTA accounts. Local firms in the FTZ could open FTA accounts; individuals in the FTZ could open FTA accounts; foreign firms in the FTZ could open FTN accounts. As regulators are treading conservatively with hot money inflows and money laundering risks in mind, there is still no detailed timeline. However, we believe the FTA mechanism will be released in 2014 or 2015 as a momentous milestone in the financial history of China.

Interest rate reform

In March, 2014, a PBOC official claimed that the sequence of Shanghai FTZ interest rate reform will be ‘liberalize interest rates for foreign currencies prior to RMB interest rates; free the loan rates prior the deposit rates’.
There were actions towards interest rate reform in Shanghai FTZ from the regulators. PBOC announced that from March 1st, 2014, the deposit rate of foreign currencies below the amount of USD3 million would be liberalized, which actually removed the ceiling for foreign currencies’ deposit rate. This is thought to be an important step on the road to fully liberalized interest rate reform. The next step could be liberalization of the deposit rates of the local currency, which may not only be applicable in Shanghai FTZ, but also the rest of China.

Cross-border RMB utilization

On Feb 21, 2014, PBOC released the detailed regulation on expanding the usage of RMB overseas, which simplified the process of RMB overseas usage under current and direct investment account. However, overseas RMB financial scale and usage range will still be restricted, as well as cross-border e-commerce transactions and RMB trading services.
Six banks constitute the first batch of firms applied for the cross-border RMB settlement licenses. ICBC and Bank of China helped their clients within the zone to make an overseas RMB loan; Bank of Shanghai, HSBC and Citi Bank launched cross-border RMB current account centralized collection and payment services; Bank of Communications signed the first overseas RMB borrowing service for the non-bank financial institutions.

Capital account liberalization (to be announced)

In the future, the capital account might be opened for local and foreign investors. As Chinese reformers are relatively prudent and conservative, the liberalization process of capital accounts have been advancing relatively slowly so far. One important step in the process will be a gradual opening of commercial futures market to foreign institutional investors.

2014 version of ‘negative list’ (possibly to be released in the 1st half of 2014)

In the 1st half of 2014, a new version of ‘negative list’ will be released to update the 2013 version. Although it is not clear what items this version may include, there are two aspects which are certain. One aspect is that the contents included in the negative item list will be shortened, which implies that the restrictions on types of companies to register in the zone will be reduced. The other aspect is that Shanghai FTZ might cooperate with Hong Kong to introduce advanced practices from the city.

In-depth report on Shanghai FTZ are available here.

Source: Kapronasia, 05.06.2014

For more news and insights into Chinas Financial markets please visit www.kapronasia.com

Filed under: China, News, Risk Management, , , , , ,

Option the Dragon: Stock Options set for launch in China

On August 6, 2013, Chinese securities companies received ‘the notice of preparing the initiating stock options full simulating trading works’ sent by the Shanghai Stock Exchange. This information implies that SHSE is already fully prepared for the launching of stock options. Although there is no clear timetable for launching the stock options, it is likely that they will appear in Chinese capital markets in 2013 or 2014.

Exchange traded stock options are new to Chinese capital markets and these derivatives provide a number of benefits. For one, both long and short-term trading are accessible and, similar to other derivatives such as futures, t+0 is allowed. Another benefit, which is an advantage over futures, is that leverage is provided but buyers can only lose the amount that they paid for the option. Options traders can also execute more complicated strategies through the combination of buying and selling call and put options, including straddles and spreads. Moreover, stock options are perfect hedging tools for individual stocks. Currently, Chinese stock index futures can only hedge the risks of the CSI 300 index and can not directly hedge non-systematic risks from individual stock options. And, despite providing leverage, security companies charge high transaction fees and interest rates for customers interested in selling short and buying long. Furthermore, the introduction of stock options comes with a high minimum threshold, which may largely change the structure of investors in the stock market by increasing the proportion of institutional investors. Thus the introduction of stock options may largely change the landscape of Chinese stock markets and may stimulate trading volumes.

However, there are also potential problems and doubts from the public that my come with the introduction of Chinese stock options. One issue regards the minimum threshold for investors of stock options. Some market analysts estimate that this threshold could be as high as one million yuan, which is higher than thresholds for index futures and securities lending services from securities companies. Currently, only 1% of accounts in the stock market can meet this requirement. Critics argue that stock options may serve as a tool to short the market by institutional investors and rich individuals, who may be in a disadvantaged position. But there are also analysts stating that the threshold may be lower, which would give normal individual investors a better opportunity to participate. The minimum threshold will depend on the final decision from CSRC.

Another problem has to do with the underlying stock that stock options are based upon. Currently, it seems as though only very large blue chip listed companies can enjoy stock options, so not all stocks can be optioned. Because large-cap stocks fluctuate less dramatically than small-cap and medium-cap stocks, the meaning of stock options may not be as transparent as in the fully opened western markets. But for institutional investors like mutual funds, as large-cap stocks take larger proportions of their shares, stock options may be an ideal hedging tool for stabilizing the performance of their portfolios. As current stock markets have adopted t+0 and t+1 trading, short-term day trade for hedging is not feasible. Thus traders may either choose longer-term hedging strategies or speculate through high-frequency intra-day trading.

Furthermore, large amounts of speculation in stock options may lead to dramatic fluctuations in stock prices. Similar to trades within A-share markets, the cost of short-selling is much higher than longing the stocks. So under the current unbalanced system, both hedgers and speculators may choose short in the stock options and the performance of A-share markets in the future may weaken. This has already been proven from the stock index future’s impact on A-share stock markets.

In conclusion, despite the risks, the launching of stock options is important for the development of Chinese capital markets.

Source: KapronAsia, 20.08.2013

Filed under: Asia, China, Exchanges, News, Risk Management, , , , , , , ,

Mexico: FIBRAS (REIT´s) drive BMV Mexicos Stock Exchange listings

17 Placements that have been made in the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) so far in the year, five correspond to Fideicomisos de infraestructura en bienes raíces (Fibras).

These five trusts represent 34% of all placements in the year. This percentage shows the strength they mean to the Mexican stock market.

In addition, the participation of Fibras is remarkable for its amount of placement, since participates with 46.377 billion pesos, of the approximately 120 billion pesos collected until now.

But if the historical figure of Grupo Financiero Banorte is not considered- 27.815 million pesos-the capital gathered at the BMV is 91.568 billion pesos and of this amount, the resources obtained through the Fibras is close to 51%.

Then, five Fibras have collected slightly more than half of the resources at the BMV only from January 30 to July 24 this year.

The percentage of resources obtained by the trusts gives certainty and reflects a favorable perspective that constitutes one of the main platforms of financing for companies operating in the country, as well as an important investment vehicle.

Given the positive evolution of the Fibras in so far this year, José Manuel Allende, Deputy general director of promotion and planning of the BMV, did not rule out that in the remainder of the year new placements of these trusts could be announced .

The launch of a new Fibra, of Grupo Danhos is expected for next September. While today there are six trusts from investment in real estate listed in BMV: Fibra UNO, Fibra Hotel, Fibra Mcquarie, Fibra Inn, Fibra Terra and Fibra Shop.

Performance and operability of the Fibra has excelled since they went to the Mexican stock market, already reaching high levels of operation and in accordance with the liquidity, the BMV index, two trusts are in the segment of high liquidity and three more are in a midrange, said Jorge Placido, director of analysis and investment strategy of Vector.

No doubt it was an instrument with very good acceptance among investors and is expected to grow interestingly in the future, because it has several advantages.

For the real estate sector, the arrival of the Fibras brought important benefits that will also impact on the growth of the productive sector construction Mexico and represents one of the best ways to access funding.

Listings  BMV 2013 from January 30 – till July 24, 2013

DATE

ISSUER

AMOUNT

(MXN)

24/07/2013

FIBRA SHOP

5,466’319,197.50

27/07/2013

BANORTE

27,814’854,210.00

10/07/2013

GRUPO AEROPORTUARIO DEL CENTRO NORTE (OMA)

2,760’000,000.00

26/06/2013

CORPORACIÓN INMOBILIARIA VESTA

2,865’997,372.50

26/06/2013

GRUPO FINANCIERO INBURSA

12,548’681,522.00

21/06/2013

OHL MEXICO

6,993’508,369.00

14/06/2013

HOTELES CITY EXPRESS

2,915’603,088.00

03/06/2013

DESARROLLADORA Y OPERADORA DE INFRAESTRUCTURA HOSPITALA-RIA DE IXTAPALUCA

1,845’000,000.00

03/06/2013

SERVICIOS INTEGRADOS DE PASAJE Y TURISMO

3,500’000,000.00

31/05/2013

FIBRA HOTELERA MEXICANA

4,877’725,000.00

22/03/2013

INFRAESTRUCTURA ENERGETICA NOVA

7,415’757,000.00

20/03/2013

PLA ADMINISTRADORA INDUSTRIAL (FIBRA TERRA)

9,521’540,000.00

13/03/2013

FIBRA INN

4,460’457,244.50

13/03/2013

GRUPO DINIZ

250’000,000.00

26/02/2013

GRUPO CIOSA

150’000,000.00

31/01/2013

ORGANIZACION CULTIBA

3,944’696,770.00

30/01/2013

FIBRA UNO

22,050’000,000.00

(Judith Santiago / Mexican Business Web)

Related posts:

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, Exchanges, Latin America, Mexico, Risk Management, , , , ,

Mexico: Fibras acaparan la colocación bursátil MBV

De las 17 colocaciones que se han realizado en la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) en lo que va del año, cinco corresponden a los Fideicomisos de infraestructura en bienes raíces (Fibras).

Estos cinco fideicomisos representan 34% de todas las colocaciones en el año. Dicho porcentaje muestra la fortaleza que significa la actividad inmobiliaria para el mercado bursátil mexicano.

Además, la participación de las Fibras es destacable por su monto de colocación, ya que emite 46,377 millones de pesos, de los aproximadamente 120,000 millones de pesos hasta ahora recabados.

Pero si no se considera la cifra histórica del Grupo Financiero Banorte -27,815 millones de pesos-, el capital recabado en la BMV suma 91,568 millones de pesos; de este monto, los recursos obtenidos por medio de las Fibras representa una participación cercana a 51 por ciento.

Entonces, las cinco Fibras han recabado poco más de la mitad de los recursos en la BMV tan solo del 30 de enero al 24 de julio de este año.

El porcentaje de recursos obtenidos por los Fideicomisos da certeza y refleja una perspectiva favorable de que constituye una de las principales plataformas de financiamiento para las empresas que operan en el país, así como un importante vehículo de inversión.

Dada la evolución positiva de las Fibras en lo que va del año, José Manuel Allende, director general adjunto de Promoción y Planeación de la BMV, no descartó que en lo que resta del año se anuncien nuevas colocaciones de estos Fideicomisos.

Para septiembre próximo se espera el lanzamiento de una nueva Fibra, la de Grupo Danhos. En tanto que a la fecha hay seis Fideicomisos de inversión en bienes raíces listadas en la BMV: Fibra Uno, Fibra Hotel, Fibra Mcquarie, Fibra Inn, Fibra Terra y Fibra Shop.

El desempeño y operatividad de las Fibras ha destacado desde que salieron al mercado de valores en México, ya alcanzan altos niveles de operación y de acuerdo con el índice de bursatilidad de la BMV, dos Fideicomisos se encuentran en el segmento de alta bursatilidad y tres más están en un rango medio, dijo Jorge Plácido, director de Análisis y Estrategia de Inversión de Vector.

Sin lugar a dudas ha sido un instrumento con muy buena aceptación entre los inversionistas y se prevé que tenga un crecimiento interesante en el futuro, ya que tiene diversas ventajas.

Para el sector inmobiliario, la llegada de las Fibras trajo importantes beneficios que impactarán también en el crecimiento del sector productivo construcción México y representa una de las mejores vías para acceder a financiamiento.

EMISIONES BMV 2013  DEL 30 DE ENERO AL 24 DE JULIO

FECHA

EMISOR

MONTO

(*MDP)

24/07/2013

FIBRA SHOP

5,466’319,197.50

27/07/2013

BANORTE

27,814’854,210.00

10/07/2013

GRUPO AEROPORTUARIO DEL CENTRO NORTE (OMA)

2,760’000,000.00

26/06/2013

CORPORACIÓN INMOBILIARIA VESTA

2,865’997,372.50

26/06/2013

GRUPO FINANCIERO INBURSA

12,548’681,522.00

21/06/2013

OHL MEXICO

6,993’508,369.00

14/06/2013

HOTELES CITY EXPRESS

2,915’603,088.00

03/06/2013

DESARROLLADORA Y OPERADORA DE INFRAESTRUCTURA HOSPITALA-RIA DE IXTAPALUCA

1,845’000,000.00

03/06/2013

SERVICIOS INTEGRADOS DE PASAJE Y TURISMO

3,500’000,000.00

31/05/2013

FIBRA HOTELERA MEXICANA

4,877’725,000.00

22/03/2013

INFRAESTRUCTURA ENERGETICA NOVA

7,415’757,000.00

20/03/2013

PLA ADMINISTRADORA INDUSTRIAL (FIBRA TERRA)

9,521’540,000.00

13/03/2013

FIBRA INN

4,460’457,244.50

13/03/2013

GRUPO DINIZ

250’000,000.00

26/02/2013

GRUPO CIOSA

150’000,000.00

31/01/2013

ORGANIZACION CULTIBA

3,944’696,770.00

30/01/2013

FIBRA UNO

22,050’000,000.00

* Millones de pesos  (Judith Santiago / Mexican Business Web)

 Artículos relacionados

  1. Fibras tras proyectos de infraestructura
  2. Fibras aportan liquidez a desarrolladores inmobiliarios
  3. Fibras impulsan construcción de corporativos

Source: MexicanBusinessWeb, 19.08.2013

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, Exchanges, Latin America, Mexico, Risk Management, , , , ,

Risk Management Mexico PRMIA: Retos y Riesgos de la Industria de la Construcción en México

Retos y Riesgos de la Industria de la Construcción en México: el caso de las empresas desarrolladoras de vivienda

Los retos que enfrenta la industria de la Construcción, particularmente dentro del sector de la Vivienda, han sido producto de diversos cambios y políticas de carácter económico. Se analízarán estos impactos y las perspectivas que se tiene sobre la industria en el corto y mediano plazo.

Contenido:

- Entendimiento del entorno económico actual de México
– Modelo de Riesgo Industria
– Riesgos que enfrenta la industria de la Construcción
– Análisis de los principales indicadores del sector
– Situación actual de las constructoras de vivienda en México

Impartido por: Mtro. John Soldevilla
Director General ECOBI (Economy, Business & Indicators)

Fecha: Agosto 22, 19:00 hs

Lugar: Escuela Bancaria y Comercial, División de Posgrado
Centro de Estudio y Convivencia
Dinamarca no.32 esq. Hamburgo, Col. Juárez  México, D.F.
 
Registro y Detailles ver: PRMIA Mexico
 
SOURCE: PRMIA Mexico 15.08.2013

Filed under: Events, Latin America, Mexico, Risk Management, , ,

Data Management – a Finance, Risk and Regulatory Perspective- White Paper

Download this  white paper – Data Management – a Finance, Risk and Regulatory Perspective – about the challenges facing financial institutions operating across borders with respect to ensuring data consistency and usability across multiple user types.

 The finance, risk and compliance operations of any financial institution need nimble access to business information, for performance measurement, risk management, and client and regulatory reporting. But although the underlying data may be the same, their individual requirements are different, reflecting the group-level view required by senior management and regulators, and the more operational view at the individual business level.

Where in the past, risk managers have been left to figure out what’s most appropriate for their particular institutions, regulators today are adopting a more aggressive stance, challenging the assumptions underpinning banks’ approaches to risk management. As a result, today’s challenge is not only to understand the current regulatory, risk or finance requirements, but also to set in place the analytical framework that will help anticipate future requirements as they come on stream. To find out more, download the white paper now

Full text and downloads available to members only, please log in or become a member to view premium content and attached documents.  Becoming a member of the ReferenceDataReview.com community is free and easy – just click the link below.      
Source: A-Team, 02.07.2013

Filed under: Corporate Action, Data Management, Library, Reference Data, Risk Management, Standards, , , , , ,

Latin America: Investors News Letter 10 May 2013

Mexico

Mexico Industry Output Falls Three Times More Than Forecast

Mexico’s industrial production fell three times more than analysts forecast in March, reinforcing expectations that the central bank will cut interest rates for the second time since 2009 later this year.

Factbox: Key facts about Mexico’s tax system

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s new government has promised a comprehensive review of its tax system, to be announced in the second half of 2013 along with an overhaul of energy policy.

Obama tells Mexicans a ‘new Mexico’ is emerging

US-Mexico Stereotypes Must Be Broken

America Movil sees material impact from Mexico telecom reform

Brazil

Despite winning top world trade job, even Brazil looks beyond WTO

Brazil campaigned hard to get the top job at the World Trade Organization this week but behind closed doors even it acknowledges that the WTO’s main mission – pushing forward in global trade talks – looks for the moment like a lost cause.

BM&FBovespa Quarterly Earnings Trail Estimates as Costs Increase

Petronas Malaysia bolsters Brazil’s Batista with $850 million oil-field buy

Venezuela’s Maduro gets firm Brazilian backing, trade

Brazilian M&A Picks Up as Asians Seek Cheaper Oilfields

Latin America

Argentina’s Deadbeat Special: Buy a 4% Bond or Go to Jail

Panama Canal Cuts Water Use as Drought Prompts Energy Rationing

Brazil’s Odebrecht plans $20 billion spend, targets Peru as key investment
CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht plans to invest $20 billion globally over the next three years, mostly in Latin America and much of it in Peru

Saipem wins $500m offshore contracts in Latin America
– Italy-based engineering services provider Saipem has received new engineering and construction (E&C) offshore contracts, worth a total value of $500m, in Latin America.

APMT prepares for high growth markets
Although global container volumes are not predicted to grow as rapidly over the next five years as they have over the past decade, high growth emerging markets will require higher levels of productivity and rely heavily on expanded inland services

Cartagena aims to be a global megaport by 2017
The Colombian Caribbean port of Cartagena is undertaking extensive infrastructure and technology upgrades in an effort to be one of the world’s 30 best megaports by 2017.

Filed under: Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Malaysia, Mexico, News, Peru, Risk Management, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Derivatives: Struggling Into the New Era – Outlook 2013/14

The past few years have been challenging for the global economy but it seems as though the derivatives industry sustained more than its share of insults and injuries over the past year or so. Still reeling from the trauma of MF Global in October of 2011, exchange-traded volume went into its first nosedive in decades.

Urgent regulatory requirements added intense cost and time pressures to company staffs that were already stretched. A non-clearing FCM, Peregrine Financial, collapsed in scandal. OTC derivatives struggled with complex regulatory mandates and weak volume.

Perhaps the only positive for the year was that mergers and acquisitions at both the macro and micro level imply that innovation and creativity are still powerful industry drivers. That in turn suggests that the creative dynamism that has characterized the derivatives industry for so many years still has some innings to go.

Read the detailed report about Derivatives market outlook, challenges and issue of big deals, exchange mergers and new start ups, customer protection, Regulatory,Extraterritorial and Tax problems  and more. 

Source: WEF 25.04.2013 by Nicolas Ronalds

Filed under: Asia, Brazil, Exchanges, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investors News Letter 18 April 2013

MEXICO

Mexico Peso Declines as U.S. Earnings Crimp Outlook for Exports

Mexico says Nestle to sell Pfizer baby food business

MEXICO CITY – Swiss food giant Nestle will sell the assets of U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s baby food business in Mexico, a business it acquired globally in an $11.85 billion deal last year, Mexico’s competition watchdog said on Monday.

Analysis: Mexico’s smaller homebuilders set to gain as top three struggle

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s top three homebuilders, facing heavy debt burdens and holding land where Mexicans no longer want to live, will sell fewer homes this year, leaving a market wide open for smaller rivals or even private equity funds to snap up business.

Mexican manufacturing: from sweatshops to high-tech motors

SILAO, Mexico – Made in Mexico is increasingly more likely to mean cars than clothes as the country’s manufacturing sector moves away from the low-skill, high-volume production lines of the past toward more sophisticated products.

VIP Interview: Enrique Peña Nieto, forging the future

Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, on a new spirit of democracy and cooperation, and the economic future of Mexico.

BRAZIL

Itau Bet on Stocks Outside Brazil Leads Latin America Funds

QItau Unibanco Holding SA has found a winning strategy for the Itau Latam Pacific mutual fund: avoiding shares from the bank’s home country, Brazil.

 Brazil’s Votorantim Cimentos files for $5.4 billion IPO

Votorantim Cimentos S.A., Brazil’s biggest cement producer, on Wednesday filed with regulators to raise up to $5.4 billion in an initial public offering of its units.

Brazil clears Pão de Açúcar’s appliance stores deal

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO – Grupo Pão de Açúcar SA , Brazil’s biggest retailer, won regulatory approval on Wednesday for its 2009 purchase of the Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio appliance chains in exchange for selling less than 8 percent of their store fronts.

Brazil Indian-farmer standoff intensifies, tribes storm Congress

BRASILIA – Brazilian Indians are trying to derail a congressional proposal to change the way indigenous lands are recognized, intensifying a standoff between the powerful farm sector and a carefully protected minority by literally storming the floor of Congress.

Special Report: Rough justice as Brazil tries to right past wrongs to Indians

MARAIWATSEDE, Brazil – Damião Paridzané was nine years old in 1966 when the Brazilian Air Force loaded him and hundreds of other Xavante Indians onto a cargo plane. | Video

UK-based TMO Renewables building cellulosic fuel plant in Brazil

SAO PAULO – UK-based TMO Renewables said on Friday it plans to build Brazil’s first commercially viable second-generation ethanol plant, betting on the South American country’s need for non-food-based biofuels.

Brazil’s Embraer looks to shock Lockheed with price of cargo jet

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA is looking to shock rivals with the price of its KC-390 military transport plane when it starts booking firm orders within the next 12 months, according to a senior executive.

Higher volumes and more investment for Brazilian railfreight
INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY JOURNAL – Despite a slowdown in economic growth, Brazil’s freight railways invested nearly Reais 4.9bn ($US 2.4bn) in new infrastructure and equipment last year, a 6.6% increase over 2011,

LATIN AMERICA

British Firms Explore Trade Opportunities in Mexico and Colombia

A four-day trade mission to Mexico and Colombia by medium-sized British businesses took place in March, focusing on high value opportunities in key sectors.

Jamaica’s decades of debt are damaging its future

The latest IMF loan does not ‘rescue’ Jamaica, whose debt must be written off if its people are to take control of their economy

 The Logistics Hub Project and Jamaica’s Development
An ideal location midway between North and South America, in close proximity to the Panama Canal contributes to this advantage. The Panama Canal will be widened by 2015 to accommodate wider ships and Jamaica hopes to capitalise on this by expanding its port facility and affiliated infrastructure spread over four south coast parishes: namely Kingston, St Catherine, Clarendon and St Thomas. An IDB (2010) study on the productivity of the LAC region concluded that “ports and airports are grossly inefficient.

Latin America’s top port faces logistical woes
Santos’ cargo handling volumes made a strong start to 2013, with the port hitting a record high of 7.9 MM tons, up 27 percent year-on-year, according to Santos’ Port Authority CODESP. If the trend continues, the port is expected to close 2013 with total cargo traffic of 109 MM tons, up from 104 MM last year and 97 MM in 2011. But a record soybean harvest this year has clearly overwhelmed its storage and loading capacity. “It seems that our infrastructure can’t cope with the growth in grain production,” said Sergio Mendes, executive director of the Brazilian Cereal Exporters Association (ANEC). Last month, the logistical nightmare reached epic proportions, with a 64-kilometer traffic jam of trucks waiting to unload their soybean cargo outside Santos port. And the port congestion and resulting shipment delays led Sunrise Group, China’s largest soybean importer, to cancel an order to buy 2 MM metric tons of Brazilian soybean.

Latin America’s Largest PV Projects

As of April 1, 2013, 9.8 gigawatts of large-scale PV projects had been announced in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, the generating capacity of projects in operation is just 114 megawatts. Of the 9.8 gigawatts’ worth of announced projects, 731 megawatts have signed off-take agreements of some sort (power purchase agreements, feed-in tariff contracts, etc.) and a further 168 megawatts are under construction. These large numbers have generated a lot of hype for various Latin American markets, in particular, for Chile, Mexico, and Brazil.

Filed under: Banking, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investors News Letter 31 March 2013

Brazil

Brazil’s Mantiq To Raise Money Abroad For Infrastructure Fund
Mantiq, which was spun off from Banco Santander Brasil SA (BSBR, SANB4.BR) last year, currently manages three private equity funds with total investments of about 2.5 billion Brazilian reais ($1.27 billion). In addition to a fund that invests in the oil and gas industry supply chain, and another that invests in renewable energy and other environmentally sensitive technologies

Brazil to help banks bolster infrastructure financing-official
The Brazilian government is considering measures to help private banks finance the massive infrastructure projects that are key to reviving Latin America’s largest economy.

Strike Shuts Down 36 Brazilian Ports

Central America

Logistics and Transport: A Long Road to Travel in Central America

Why is it more expensive shipping tomatoes from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Managua in Nicaragua than it is to San Jose, California, which is 10 times the distance? According to Google, the distance between the Costa Rican capital and Managua is 430 kilometers, whereas 5,400 kilometers separate San Jose from the Californian city.

Barletta: 2013 should be a good year for logistics development
Panama is one of the rising stars of Latin America’s economy. The construction of large infrastructure projects, such as the $5.2 billion Panama Canal expansion and a $1.8 billion subway in the capital city, have boosted the country’s economy to 10.5% growth and reduced unemployment to 4.8% in 2012.

Jamaica ahead in race to be logistics hub of the Americas
The race to be the logistics hub of the Americas has already begun with the addition of Jamaica that has revealed its intention to position the island as the rival of Singapore. A similar situation is raking place with the Dominican Republic, while in Panama there is still a debate on the need for a long-term strategy that includes where to locate logistics parks.

Filed under: Banking, Brazil, Central America, Energy & Environment, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , ,

VAM: Vietnam Market Analysis – March 2013

The indices were mixed in the month of March. While the VN-Index gained 3% to close at 491, the HNX declined by the same quantum to 60.25. The VN30 edged up 0.62% to close the month at 552.3. After being net seller in February, foreigners have turned to net buyer with the value of USD55.6mn this month, suggesting that although difficulties still persist, sentiment was slightly improved.
 
Rate cuts to aid growth as inflation eased
A month after Tet, macro data indicated a significant weakness in total demand. Retail sales increased only 11.7% YoY in the first quarter, slowing from a 21.8% YoY pace in the same period last year. Besides, GDP expanded merely 4.89% YoY in 1Q2013, edging up from 4.75% YoY in the same period last year when growth was the slowest since 1999. A weak demand and noticeable deceleration in food and food stuff index caused CPI to decline 0.19% MoM in March, easing inflation to 6.64% YoY from 7.02% YoY in February. As inflation eased, the Central bank cut rates for the seventh time since the start of 2012 to spur growth. The cap on Dong deposit interest rates is reduced to 7.5% from 8% while other implemented rates such as refinancing and discount rates are lowered by 1% as well.
 
AMC plan not yet finalized; credit almost frozen
The establishment of a debt asset management company (AMC) was delayed until at least the end of April as government is skeptical about how much the company can help resolve bad debt between banks and businesses. On the other hand, the bank lending is still very weak as the credit growth only reached 0.1% YTD in the first quarter although the target for this year is 12%. While the economy is struggling with a slowdown of lending, the postponement of AMC might disappoint market further.
 
Dong still firm despite trade figures
According to GSO data, there was a trade deficit of USD300m in March, widening from a revised deficit of USD94mn in February. Nevertheless, the Dong remained stable as the year-to-date trade balance still remains at a surplus of USD481mn. After first three months of 2013, export increased 19.7% YoY while import improved 17% YoY as well. The unexpected improvement in import this month, in which imports of machinery and equipments was up 28.7% YoY should be viewed as the signal to preliminary recovery from manufacturing sector. Indeed, the HSBC PMI index posted in the positive territory at 50.8 in March, reaching the highest level since April 2011.
 
Challenging business environment
The Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced the result of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in 2012. The decline in median PCI score in 2012 reflected the slowdown in improvement of business environment across provinces. The most notable finding from the survey was that both foreign and domestic enterprises are more pessimistic about future prospect as optimism of enterprises, measure by the share of firms willing to expand in the next two years, has fallen to the historic low level of 33%. In addition, recent surprising petro price hike by 6.5% would make things more challenging as it would eat into businesses’ profit margin and hurt consumer spending.
 
Government’s effort to unfreeze the real estate market
Following the commitment to help the real estate sector, the SBV has revealed a draft of the social housing program. In which, 3% of the total loan book of 5 state owned banks will be dedicated to the social housing fund.  Buyers and developers of social houses will be provided loans with preferential interest rates in 10 and 5 years, respectively. For the first 3 years, starting from 15th April 2013, the lending rate will be 6%. The program is expected to bring some cheers to real estate developers and home buyers, however as most inventories are in mid and high end segments, the program may not be effective enough to rescue the whole troubled real estate market
 
Our ViewDespite some modest improvements, the first quarter of 2013 still ended with lackluster GDP and credit growth, coupled with a challenging business environment. Indeed, as domestic retail sales still remained weak, much of improvement was from external demand rather than from internal demand. All of these revealed that the economy is still struggling and may not have reached the bottom. Fortunately, recent effort of the government to spur growth has buoyed the stock market somewhat and hopefully it could buoy production and business activities as well.  After a sudden hike in petrol price that brings back the inflation risk, we think the scope for further rate cut is limited. Hence, in the long run, resolving the core problem (bad debt) still plays a critical role in regaining domestic confidence and recovering the stagnated economy.
We keep our cautious view on the economy and the stock market until clearer signs of recovery surface. In the mean time, as the AGM season has started, we will focus on screening for companies that still do well in the difficult time.

Filed under: News, Risk Management, Vietnam, , , , , ,

VAM: Vietnam Market Analysis – February 2013

After a long Tet holiday, rumors about financial policy changes and further arrests of top bank leaders emerged and eroded all the stock market’s gains from the beginning of February. Consequently,  the VN-Index closed the month with a 0.52% loss, whilst HNX shed 1.05%. With a 3.05% fall, the VN30 seemed to be even more sensitive to the panic.
 
Inflation subdued in the month of Tet
Thanks to the phasing out of pharmaceutical products price increases, inflation slowed somewhat in February as the consumer price index climbed 7.02 percent YoY (versus 7.07 percent YoY in January). The concerns about the “traditional” consumer price hikes during the Tet holiday did not materialize, partly due to weaker festive demand than usual. The government also decided not to raise retail prices of petroleum products including gasoline to ensure economic stability and keep inflation under control. However,  Ministry of Finance did not provide the information on price stabilization fund balance for petroleum products, so it remains unclear on how the gasoline price control will transpire in the coming time.
 
Trade surplus continued, foreign reserves given a boost
According to GSO, the trade balance in February continued to show a surplus, reaching USD900mn, the highest monthly level ever and the ninth month of surplus in a row. With this result, following the USD700mn in Jan, the YTD trade surplus is now around USD1.6bn, a comfortable level which should lend healthy support to the already strong foreign reserve (by Vietnam standard) and consequently the value of the Dong. However, exchange rate showed unexpected volatility in the first two weeks after Tet, possibly due to brisk actions in the gold market and the upsetting rumours. To comfort the market, a Central bank spokesman has stated that no depreciation is being planned for the foreseeable future.
 
Newly released NPLs figure eased concerns on banking system reform.
While the Prime Minister requested to establish the AMC in 1Q 2013, the new NPLs figure released by the Governor was encouraging. Accordingly, bad debt on banking system has come down from 8% in June 2012 to 6% as banks wrote off non-performing loan balance at the end of last year. As the Government set credit growth target of 12% in 2013 to boost economic growth and implement the “dual-targets”, the destination for credit flow is still at stagnation point. Whilst total liquidity (M2) increased 3.31% YTD, the credit growth up to 21 Feb was till in negative territory at – 0.16% YTD.
 
Business environment still appears challenging
In line with stagnation on the supply side, demand remained weak with retail sales increasing only 3.6% in Jan-Feb period, which is not different from Dec 2012’s level. While the inventory level hiked 19.9% Y-o-Y, industrial production showed no improvement. In a related note, the government released that by February, the number of enterprises going out of business was 8,600, which exceeded the figure of 8,000 newly created enterprises, implying the fact that the business environment is still very difficult.
 
A bumpy recovery progress reflected by a drop in the PMI.
After adjusting for seasonal factors, including the Tet holidays, the HSBC Vietnam Manufacturing PMI posted 48.3 in February, down from 50.1 in January. This has been the largest dip since last August. Notably, in February, the survey showed a first drop in four months of manufacturing output; a decline in the level of new order received and a sixth time in seven months increase in average input prices.
 
Our ViewAfter a long Tet holiday, the stock market was hit by negative rumors about possible currency devaluation, financial policy changes and further arrests of banking officials. Although these rumours were addressed and corrected in a timely manner by the relevant authorities, the stock market and economy in general showed its uncertainty and vulnerability. In 2013, the story will be mainly about boosting production and restructuring the economy. Fortunately, Vietnam’s leaders’ determination is supported by a relatively stable currency and a healthy trade balance.
We remain cautious and will carefully watch development in the political space and changes in macro economy as that will definitely affect the stock market. We are generally comfortable with our equity position but may look to selectively acquire more stocks if the macro environment becomes more favourable.

Filed under: Banking, News, Risk Management, Vietnam, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , ,

Latin America: Investor News Letter 18 January 2013

Mexico
Mexican Peso Slides on Carstens Hint at Interest-Rate ReductionMexico’s peso fell the most in four weeks after central bankers signaled that a further slowdown in inflation could prompt them to lower interest rates.
Nieto seeks to open Mexican energy sector
Los Tres Amigos: Positioning Your Portfolio In Mexican Peso Denominated Deb
Most U.S. funds missed Mexico gains, Brazil drop in 2012
Japanese investments in Mexico steady
Region completes work on international infrastructure project with Mexico

Brazil
Brazil’s Real Declines on Inflow Concern; Swap Rates Climb
Brazil: Daylight piracy
“SQUEEGEE merchants of the seas”: that is the nickname shipping companies have bestowed on the pilots who guide ships into Brazilian ports. Their legal monopoly and unregulated fees place them among the country’s highest earners: 150,000 reais ($73,500) a month, estimates the shipowners’ association. It costs twice the OECD average to import a container to Brazil, says the World Bank—and since that excludes bribes and fees for go-betweens, the true figure is surely greater.
Brazil Seeks Private Partners to Operate Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte Airports
Brazil announces regional airport infrastructure investment plans
Brazil aviation faces turbulence after rapid ascent
Brazil ports starved of investment, buried in red tape-group
Guyana, Brazil sign on to infrastructure plan
Brazilian municipality of São Bernardo do Campo to improve sustainable urban mobility with loan from IDB

Latin America
Argentina: Tax & Estate Planning
Argentina rapidly changing oil/gas industry levies to attract foreign investment
Bolivia takes over Spanish-owned Iberdrola energy suppliers
Colombia: ANI to launch four new public infrastructure concessions valued at US$1.95bn
Colombian Peso Advances on Foreign Investment Outlook
Chile: First Solar Stakes Claim in Latin America
Peru’s investment opportunities attracts Qatar’s firms Peru: Infrastructure gap put at $88bn
Peru-based AFPs invest over US$3.5bln in infrastructure
Cement Industry Figures In Peru: Btg Pactual Begins Coverage Of Cpac With A Buy Recommendation
Peru to invest over US$701mln in access infrastructure projects
Peru: Ezentis shifts focus to Latin America, helped by $64M Telefónica Peru contract
Peruvian entrepreneurs expect investment to continue growing in 2013
Venezuela: What Hugo Chavez’s Illness Means for Venezuelan Mining

Latin America and Caribbean PhotoVoltaic Demand Growing 45% Annually Out To 2017 
Latin American ports record strong performance in 2012
South America: A Powerhouse, Not a Circus
10 Latin American startups to look out for in 2013

Filed under: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Energy & Environment, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, News, Peru, Risk Management, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

VAM: Vietnam Market Analysis – December 2012

Improved economic conditions somewhat buoyed the stock market in the last month of the year as all three indices moved up
The VN-index closed at 413.7, gaining 11.23% while VN30 closed at 485.4, picking up 9.42%. HNX was the best performer of three indices, increasing 11.83% to close the month at 57.09.
 
Macro indicators showed joyful December
Market confidence was regained thanks to better-than-expected CPI, trade balance, interest rates cut and detail implementation of the Government on spurring the economy. For the first time in four months CPI slowed in December, with consumer prices rising 6.81% from a year earlier after climbing 7.08% Y-o-Y in November. Consequently, the State Bank cut benchmark interest rates for a sixth time to help companies cope with difficulties in production and business. The trade balance posted a first year of surplus (of US$284mn) since 1993. Despite a gloomy year, FDI disbursement reached USD10.5bn, dropping a marginal 5% YoY. As a result, foreign reserves are significantly improved, reaching US$24 billion, equivalent to 12 weeks of import. The Dong remains unchanged.
 
However, stability was achieved at the cost of growth
Vietnam’s economy expanded at the slowest pace in 13 years in 2012 as a slump in bank lending dampened domestic demand. GDP grew 5.03%, down from 5.89% in 2011, and the lowest since 1999. Bad debt and the gloomy business environment hampered credit growth, which ended 2012 at 6.45% YoY while total liquidity growth and deposit growth were 19.85% and 20.29% YoY, respectively.As the lenders’ liquidity position becomes comfortable and full-year inflation was a lower-than-expected 6.81%, the central bank decided to cut all policy rates and deposit cap rate by 1%, effective on December 24, in an attempt to make banks lend more. But as the real interest rate is still positive, some are speculating on another rate cut, even as the World Bank warned against easing too soon.
On the other front, the HSBC’s Vietnam PMI index fell back to deterioration in December, down to 49.3 from 50.5 last month, as a result of reduction in order inflows, disinvestment of inventory holdings and stagnating production volumes.
 
Government details its determination to spur the economy
To spur the economy and resolve the financial system, the Government started implementing a detailed action plan. Businesses may enjoy lower corporate income tax rate in 2013, i.e. 23% for large enterprises and 20% for SMEs (down from 25% earlier); real estate will receive more support based on a newly approved proposal by MoF, which includes a 50% VAT reduction, 2-year extension on the deadline of land use fees payment and the establishment of AMC aiming to solve rising NPLs. Moreover, USD300mn from Asian Development Bank in a 25-year loan package will help to restructure SOEs in 2013.
 
Authority changes rules to push the capital market
On the capital market, SSC submitted its proposal in support of the stock market to the Ministry, in which key measures might include tax incentives, allowing to issue stocks below par, increasing margin ratio and trading band and most importantly, increasing foreign ownership limit. Otherwise, SBV governor also announced that they are working on revising the Decree 69/2007, wherein special cases, i.e for restructuring commercial banks, the foreign ownership ratio might be allowed to exceed 30%. Since 10th January, the number of gold bar shops will decline from 8,000 to 2,400 including around 900 in Ho Chi Minh City and 400 in Hanoi, after SBV completes the licensing procedures. 
 
Our ViewOn the background of good macro economic indicators coming out in December and improved investor sentiments after seeing the Government’s determination to spur the economy being detailed into action plans, the stock market had a good run in the last month of 2012. We are cautiously optimistic and have started to mobilize cash into Vietnam Dong to be ready for deployment toward increasing equity level for the Fund. We are keen to buy stocks of strong companies with sound cash flow and healthy balance sheets in fundamental industries such as consumers and materials.

Filed under: Banking, Exchanges, News, Risk Management, Services, Vietnam, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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