Brazilian fashion retailer Lojas Renner SA reported an almost 17% jump in its fourth-quarter net income, as lower taxes and stronger operating results helped the company improve its margins. In a securities filing, the company said its quarterly net profit hit 513 million reais ($119.80 million) compared with 439.8 million reais a year earlier.
Brazil’s development bank BNDES sold on Wednesday $5.2 billion in common shares it owned in state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), the largest Petrobras offering in a decade. BNDES will send part of the profits to Brazil’s Treasury as dividends. The sale of Petrobras shares is the largest divestiture so far of the R$110 billion stock portfolio owned by the development bank.
Swedish truck and bus manufacturer Volvo announced an investment of R$ 1 billion ($237 million) in Brazil in the period between 2020 and 2023 for research and development of products and services, including construction of equipment and marine engines. Brazil was the second market of the group in the world in 2019 when heavy truck sales grew 58%, light heavy 55.5%, buses 73% and exports, mainly to Colombia and Chile, went up 77%.
Shares in Brazil’s budget airline Gol rose as much as 5.5% on Tuesday after signing a codeshare agreement with American Airlines, that will create “the most frequent service between the United States and South America”. Gol will connect customers to more than 30 destinations in the USA, and American will offer flights to Uruguay and Paraguay, in addition to the Brazilian cities of Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu.
A strike by workers at Brazil’s Petrobras started on Saturday, has not yet affected “production or supply to the market” and “all of its oil, fuel and derivatives production units are operating within safety standards,” the state-owned oil company said. Around 14,750 workers are on strike, or 80% of the total in the 12 states where the industrial action is taking place, according to Federação Única dos Petroleiros (FUP).
Markets will see R$39.5 billion ($9.3 billion) in share sales in the coming weeks, including the biggest offer since 2010, thanks to the government’s efforts to shed assets and a rush to stocks amid a hunt for returns. Development bank BNDES is leading the charge, unloading a stake worth almost R$24 billion in Petrobras, as well as shares of meatpacker JBS SA. Brazilian equity offerings rose 213% last year to R$115.1 billion.
“ASF, coronavirus and a new outbreak of bird flu influence consumer habits and may drive Chinese demand for Brazilian meat,” said Francisco Turra, president of Brazil’s meat industry association ABPA. The new threat reported on Saturday comes as China has been trying to increase local poultry output to substitute for pork. Last year, Chinese imports of Brazilian chicken rose 34% while its imports of Brazilian pork jumped 61%.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the construction in Brazil of an Israeli factory that draws water from the air, in order to “cope with the lack of water in the northeast, desalination, artesian wells and the São Francisco River.” Technicians and officials of the Brazilian National Water Agency travelled to Israel at the end of last year to discuss a memorandum of understanding between the two countries on water resources, desalination and wastewater management.
The BRIPAEM block is coordinating the trip of an Argentine trade mission to Iran with the purpose of strengthening agribusiness relations that could affect Brazil’s food exports to the Persian country estimated at $ 2.2 billion in 2019. Iran is the fourth largest importer of Brazilian food. Relations with Tehran became tense after Jair Bolsonaro’s support to Donald Trump’s decision to kill General Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad.
JBS and BRF, the largest producers of frozen meat in Brazil, estimate that the spread of coronavirus in China can boost Chinese demand for its products “for food safety reasons.” JBS and WH Group of Hong Kong signed an agreement this week for the supply to the Chinese market of up to $ 717 million in beef, chicken and pork per year. However, aggressive demands for discounts from Chinese importers could affect transactions.