1. After last weeks update on the South African economy and real estate market, the figures of the Plettenberg Bay Property market show a further drop of 4,8% in the real estate prices for January only. The 2009 South African real estate prospects are a further decline until early 2010.

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  2. Update December 13th: average of 20 predictions is that 1 Euro will yield 3,14 BRL on December 2009; that's a little bit less than what it yields today (3,14). I remain with my position that the Euro will lower to 2,53 Reais by end 2009.

    The first question in the new set of 10 prediction questions for the coming: what will the EUR / BRL rate be on December 31st 2009?
    My prediction is 2,53, what is yours? Vote here (caution: use . instead of , as a decimal marker)

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  3. I wondered who followed my 2008 predictions and bought on the Bovespa and especially went into Rio Vale Doce and Petrobras. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's upgraded Brazil to investment grade two weeks ago, and Bovespa shares promptly surged thanks to the earlier-than-expected bump. The iShares MSCI Brazil Index, an exchange-traded fund that tracks Brazil's Bovespa index, rallied 8 percent on the day of the announcement and continues to climb this week. Petrobras profit for the last trimester was up 68% totaling a profit of already 6,9 billion R$ for this year.
    Slowly and without great fanfare (the Belgian news rarely mentions Brazil at all), Brazil's economy has turned a big corner. Already a global power in agriculture and natural resources, Brazil has added a key ingredient that had long eluded it: a currency with staying power. In turn, that's helping unleash the greatest burst of prosperity the country has witnessed in three decades.

    Gross domestic product grew 5.7 percent last year, up from 3.7 percent in 2006, and public debt as a percentage of GDP has been shrinking for five years. Brazilian stocks jumped 70 percent in the past year, while other hot emerging markets like China and India watched equities slump mightily. The Bovespa index is now at 70.000 and I see it further rising to 74.000 end of this year.

    Risks remain however. The S&P upgrade will mean the real will even go higher. I'll sum up my expectation for the economies indicators in a next article, but as to the exchange rate, I expect the Real to end at 1,72 by end of 2008 and 1,8 by the end of 2009. Make your own bets how the dollar will behave against the Euro by the end of 2009...

    The big question is however how Brazil could derail at the end of the commodity boom and a return to health for the US economy.
    First, I don't believe the US is close to a recovery. The US (and many other parts in the world) are in for a huge real estate deflation, like the article in the Economsit states: the housing price-bust has a long way to go.
    Secondly, some people claim commodity prices will come down sharply when the US economy starts to recover. This is utopic, commodities will not get back to their pre-2004 levels. At most the growth rythm will be lower or flattened. True, this could impact somewhat the speculations on Brazilian shares, it would however not impact the Brazilian economy. People tend to overestimate the importance of export for Brazil. Brazil is not Belgium, only 15% of the Brazilian GDP is composed of export. Also, analysis of past S&P upgrades shows that shares often fall following an investment-grade bump. Other nations like Mexico and Russia saw declines in the months following their upgrades. Still, Brazil's boost came earlier than expected, and that could help minimize some of the post-party hangover.

    What worries me personally most is the exchange rate. FX is a beast, the Yuan is still seriously overvaluated and already since early 2006 I have the fear the Real is a bit overevaluated. My guts proved wrong. The Brazilian central bank has managed for more than 2 years to keep its currency neatly stable. Usually by intervening and buying up dollars (Brazil has now huge dollar reserves and even becaming a net creditor on it's balance sheets, this in sharp contrast to eg. South Africa).
    And to keep the growth afloat the senate now has voted a plan to massively stimulate exports through subsidies in various sectors. More than 20 billion dollar will go into these subsidies. I agree with Miriam Leitao however (I'm her biggest fan) that this sector-oriented approach entails some dangers and that a general policy would be more beneficial to the country.

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  4. Brazil's real strengthened for an eighth straight day yesterday, alomst reaching a nine-year high, as a tumbling U.S. dollar and surging commodity prices boosted demand for the currency. The real has jumped up 4,8% since February 15, making it the biggest gainer against US dollar among the world's 16 most actively traded currencies during the period. The currency has strengthened 28 percent in the past 12 months, also the biggest gain among the major currencies against the dollar.

    Brazil's real interest rate, calculated by subtracting annual inflation of 4.56 percent from the 11.25 percent Selic benchmark lending rate, is 6.79 percent.
    Crude oil also rose above $102 a barrel today, the highest dollar level ever, as the weakening dollar led investors to buy commodities as a hedge against inflation. Brazil exports the crude oil it pumps from what are the deepest waters in the world, with recent discoveries in fields as deep as 6 kilometers. Commodity sales helped Brazilian exports rise to a record $160.6 billion in 2007. Brazil will export as much as $180 billion this year, according to Trade Ministry estimates.

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Emerging South Network

  • Apartamento em Inga, Niterói
  • Casa em Florianopolis, João Paulo
  • Casa em Florianopolis, Cacupe
  • Investimentos imoveis em Brasil



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