A Brazilian government test has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Latin America, after a Sao Paulo hospital flagged the possible infection of a 61-year-old who had visited Lombardy, in northern Italy. The diagnosis comes during Brazil’s carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel when millions of revellers throng major cities for boisterous street celebrations. Sao Paulo stock market, which has been closed since last week, is set to open at 1 p.m. local time. Brazilian shares in exchange-traded funds in New York have dropped nearly 6% this week.
The extended holiday is expected to generate R$8 billion ($2bn) billion in tourism-related activities this year, estimates the National Confederation of Goods, Services, and Tourism (CNC). If confirmed, the turnover represents a one percent real increase over the same period last year and the highest figure since 2015. According to the CNC, “the gradual rebound of economic activity”, low inflation and a stronger dollar against Brazilian real should favour a greater inflow of tourists.
Leading global wind power producer Iberdrola posted a 13% net profit increase in 2019, meeting its broad growth target. Powering more than 30 million homes and businesses in Spain, the United States, Brazil and Britain brought Iberdrola a net profit of 3.41 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in the period. Iberdrola’s shares have risen around 20% so far this year and were up 0.5% on Wednesday morning.
Worries about the spread of coronavirus and its potential impact on the global economy pushed down the index for Brazilian shares in exchange-traded funds on the New York stock market on Tuesday. Around 5:20pm local time, iShares MSCI Brazil , an index fund, or ETF, for Brazilian stocks traded in New York, slipped 1.2% to 39.84 points, while the Dow Jones Brazil Titans 20 ADR, which combines the main Brazilian ADRs, fell 2% to 20,711.20 points. Trading at the Sao Paulo stock exchange is expected to resume at 1pm local time after being closed Monday and Tuesday for Brazil’s Carnival holiday.
After an arbitration hearing, around 21,000 workers at Brazil’s state-owned oil giant Petrobras (a third of total workforce) have ended a strike of nearly three weeks that left the firm scrambling to avoid a drop in production. Labor unions said they were protesting the closure of a fertiliser plant in the southern state of Parana, with around 1,000 total layoffs. Petrobras said the strike did not affect production thanks to the hiring of outsourced labour.
The crash in yesterday’s global markets took the spread of the 5-year Credit Default Swap (CDS) contract to Brazil, a measure closely accompanied by country risk, which was again traded at 100 points, according to data compiled by Markit.This morning, the CDS spread operated at 100 points, from 93 at the end of Friday, even at the lowest levels in more than ten years. The 7.3% increase is in line with that of other emerging markets, such as Mexico (7.1%), Colombia (7.8%) and Russia (7.0%).
The volume of dividends that large banks in Brazil paid out to their shareholders in 2019, with the exception of Itaú Unibanco, was R $ 52 billion ($ 12 billion), almost 26% more than in 2018. Itaú Unibanco distributed 66.2 % of recurring net revenues for 2019, compared to 89.2% the previous year. The decrease in the proportion of dividends was reflected directly in the pocket of the shareholders of Itaúsa, the holding company that controls the bank.
The soybean crop now reaches 30.4% of the area of 37 million hectares, according to a survey conducted by the consultant Safras & Mercado. Only Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul have not yet begun, says the survey. The most advanced state is still Mato Grosso (74%). If compared with the average rate of 28% of the period, the current national crop is advanced, but behind 40% in the same period last year. The progress in relation to the week ending February 14 was medium, when it was 22%.
Raízen, one of the biggest ethanol producer in Brazil, is looking at partnerships with Indian firms for second-generation ethanol, produced from bagasse and sugarcane leaves, President and CEO Luis Henrique Gulmaraes said. In the interim Brazil could also export ethanol to India to quicken its 10% ethanol-blend programme. Raízen, a 50-50 joint-venture between Cosan and Royal Dutch Shell , is the third largest Brazilian energy company by revenue and the fifth largest in the country.
ExpressJet Airlines, which operates in the United States as United Express on behalf of United Airlines Holdings, will add 36 Embraer ERJ145 aircraft to its fleet in the next 12 months. The company said it will eliminate a small number of E175 aircraft to have a fleet composed only of the ERJ145 as it plans to become the largest operator of the Brazilian 50-seat model in the world.