Brazil’s government is trying to fight off a move by some lawmakers to grant the central bank autonomy and force it to target growth as well as inflation. Opposition lower house deputies plan to present an amendment to the autonomy bill that would set an additional target for the central bank – either employment or growth level – alongside its mandate to keep prices stable. The autonomy bill is ready to be put to a vote in the lower house.
The majority of councillors at Brazil’s antitrust agency Cade voted on Wednesday against a prosecutors’ request to review the sale of Embraer SA’s EMBR3.SA commercial division to Boeing Co BA.N and allowed the deal to proceed. Earlier this month, Brazilian prosecutors had filed an appeal with Cade asking the regulator to reconsider its approval of the deal due to potential omissions in the decision. It tie-up had been approved without restrictions on Jan. 27.
Petrobras posted a net profit of R$40.137 billion ($9.2bn) in 2019, a 55.7% increase over the amount recorded in 2018. The figure also represents the highest nominal profit in the history of capital companies according to Economatica. In Q4 alone the net profit was R$8.153 billion – an increase of 287.87% over the same period the previous year.
The Brazilian telecoms regulator (Anatel) preparing to auction bandwidth for fifth-generation (5G) mobile data at the end of this year said any decision on the security risks of using Chinese technology will ultimately be taken by the president’s national security adviser. Anatel approved the rules for the auction published by the government last week and opened a public review. If confirmed, it will be the world’s largest 5G spectrum auction to date.
Brazilian oil workers and oil giant Petrobras are locked in a power struggle over plans to shift focus away from non-core assets, with a federation of unions saying that 21,000 employees in 13 states (60% of the company’s workforce) are on strike indefinitely. Petrobras did not confirm those numbers but said it has been able to maintain oil and gas production levels and meet fuel demand across the country by bringing in temporary workers on emergency contracts.
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.