Itaú Unibanco and Bradesco, Brazil’s two largest banks, maintain their estimates of 2.2% to 2.5% Brazil GDP growth this year, although they warn that the next two months will be crucial for the government. This is due to the below-expected productive activity in December and slightly contradictory economic indicators in January. The market still sees favourable points in civil construction, in the record agricultural harvest, in household consumption, and, mainly, in the increase in credit, although the general unemployment rate tends to remain around 11%.
Brazilian truck drivers began protesting early on Monday at Latin America’s largest port in Santos, affecting the unloading of shipments and arrival of trucks at the port. The union is demanding a reduction of value-added taxes on gasoline and diesel, the port’s management said. Santos is the No. 1 export port for Brazilian soy, corn and sugar, among other products.
Companhia Energética de São Paulo (CESP3) reported a net profit of R $ 1.3 billion in Q4 of 2019 against R $ 59 million in the same period of 2018. In large part, the result was achieved by reducing contingencies in R $ 1.5 billion and obtaining tax credits for R $ 1 billion. The company’s net profit in 2019 was R $ 1.16 billion, more than triple R $ 294 million in 2018.
Spanish supermarket chain Dia has appointed Marcelo Maia as chief executive of its Brazilian subsidiary to lead a restructuring process in the country, and as part of a broader global shakeup. Dia Brasil has 900 brick-and-mortar stores across Brazil, and closed around 300 underperforming stores last year, most of which were franchises. The company employs 6,800 people in Brazil.
“What we want from and with Argentina is Mercosur, a good relation, but having democracy and freedom above all”, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday. He expects foreign ministers of both countries agree on a new date for a meeting with his peer Alberto Fernández after the suggested summit in Montevideo on March 1 fell through due to the Argentina Congress opening sessions on the same day.