Brazil

Brazilian right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday wrote to newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden that he hoped the two countries would pursue a broad free trade agreement during Biden’s tenure, Reuters reported. The letter is Bolsonaro’s most amicable overture yet to Biden, a Democrat. The Brazilian president was a close ally of former Republican President Donald Trump and refused for weeks to accept the result of the Nov. 3 U.S. election, repeating baseless allegations of fraud. It took him 42 days to recognize Biden’s victory.

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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is joining a fund managed by Banco BTG Pactual SA to make a binding offer for the fiber unit of Brazilian telecom carrier Oi SA, Bloomberg News reported. The bid is expected Jan. 22, along with two other binding offers. Highline do Brasil, part of Digital Colony, and Ufinet, which is backed by Italy’s Enel SpA, both plan to make bids for the business. Oi is planning to sell as much as 51% of its subsidiary, known as InfraCo, with a value for the whole company of at least 20 billion reais ($3.6 billion).
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The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is hoping to win at least 28 billion reais ($5.3 billion) from a compensation deal with miner Vale SA after the 2019 Brumadinho deadly dam burst, a senior state official said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. State and Vale officials will meet on Thursday, when it is expected talks on compensation will begin, ahead of a court-mediated hearing expected in January, said state secretary general Mateus Simões. “The idea is that we end the text discussion tomorrow and start the value discussion,” he told Reuters.

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Latin America’s luck will change. Pandemic lockdowns caused more regional corporations to default between early May and June. But yield-starved investors will ignore some of these risks, Reuters reported. There’s a lot of bad news to ignore. The International Monetary Fund expects Latin American and Caribbean economies to contract by more than 8% in 2020, the most of any region, with only a 3.6% improvement in 2021. And non-financial companies with foreign debt have seen revenue dented by a combined $200 billion due to the pandemic, Fitch Ratings estimates.

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TIM Participacoes, Telefonica Brasil SA and America Movil SAB de CV’s Claro won an auction on Monday to acquire the mobile operations of Brazil’s Oi SA with a joint bid of 16.5 billion reais ($3.23 billion), the companies said in a series of securities filings, Reuters reported. The winning trio, which had submitted an initial bid in July, plans to split Oi’s assets once they have antitrust approval. Oi, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016, is selling assets to repay creditors. The group was the auction’s sole bidder, according to the filings.

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Brazil’s government will pardon about half of the roughly 14 billion reais ($2.6 billion) in debt owed to it by Brazilian telecom firm Oi SA, the country’s solicitor general said on Friday, Reuters reported. Oi, which has been working to emerge from bankruptcy protection for years, had accumulated gargantuan fines tied to quality of services and other regulatory demands, making telecoms regulator Anatel one of the company’s biggest creditors. The settlement, with the remainder of Oi’s government debt payable in installments, puts an end to 1,700 ongoing court cases between Oi and Anatel, sa

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President Jair Bolsonaro’s stimulus spending spree won praise far and wide for saving Brazilians from the worst of the pandemic’s economic pain. But now, as the worst of the health crisis eases, anxiety is mounting in financial circles about how he’s going to pay for it, Bloomberg News reported. Investors have been unloading the currency and stocks, sparking routs that are almost unparalleled in the world this year, and they’re increasingly refusing to buy anything but the shortest of short-term government bonds.

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Nextel Brazil has been rebranded as Claro-nxt after being acquired by America Movil in December last year, Developing Telecoms reported. America Movil, which operates Claro Brasil, spent US$905 million to obtain the unit from NII Holdings. Nextel subscribers have now been migrated and can access Claro’s LTE-A network, as well as benefits such as free calling and WhatsApp messages. Nextel’s former parent NII Holdings has now filed a “verified petition for dissolution” in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, reports TeleGeography.

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Coronavirus Tips Brazil Into Recession

Brazil’s economy has officially entered a recession following the swingeing impact of the coronavirus crisis, which has so far killed more than 120,000 Brazilians and pushed millions into unemployment, the Financial Times reported. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, gross domestic product shrank 9.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter, reflecting the effect of widespread economic shutdowns, which have hammered consumption and investment and triggered a wave of corporate bankruptcies. Compared with the same quarter last year, GDP was 11.4 per cent lower.

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