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.
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.
“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.
Brazil is studying the construction of a bi-national hydroelectric plant with Bolivia on the Mamoré river (northwest of the country) at a cost of $5 billion, said the Brazilian general director of Itaipu Binacional, general Joaquim Silva e Luna. In the next three years, Itaipú Binacional will have its debt settled for the construction of its plant, which will release about $2 billion annually, half for Paraguay and half for Brazil, which can count on this money to invest in the construction of the new central, he said.
The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative (FSFCI) launched by Nutreco, Grieg Seafood and Tesco in December has already secured more than $14 million to provide savanna soy producers with financial incentives to ensure that future soy cultivation expansion in the Cerrado biome only is carried out on existing agricultural lands. The exact mechanism by which these funds will be disbursed has not yet been developed.
A Brazilian Minas Girais state judge has accepted charges of homicide against Vale SA former Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman and 15 others related to the disaster at the iron ore miner’s Brumadinho tailings dam a year ago that killed 270 people. Prosecutors allege Vale, Brazil’s largest mining company, and German inspection firm TÜV SÜD systematically and intentionally hid information about safety issues at its tailings dams for years.
Opposition lawmakers called on Brazil’s Congress to reject a proposal by President Jair Bolsonaro to open indigenous reservations to commercial mining, saying it will endanger 200 tribes protected over decades by indigenous rights. Brazil has the largest number of isolated and uncontacted indigenous groups, 114 of the 185 known to exist in South America, said expert Antenor Vaz, who warned of the risk of ethnocide.
Banco do Brasil expects to post a return on equity above 18% this year and a net income between R$18.5bn and R$20.5bn after reporting Q4 profit rose by a fifth to R$4.62bn ($1.06bn). CEO Rubem Novaes, who has pushed unsuccessfully to privatise the entire bank, said that the lender will likely raise “billions of reais” from the sale of at least 51% of the lender asset management unit.
The Brazilian Senate has chosen to keep the veto on bill 8322/14 that grants a tax exemption for solar equipment imports. The government argued that the exemption could decrease the Federal revenue as it did not present compensation measures which is mandatory under the Fiscal Responsibility Law.